Interview Coach Project

The purpose of this assignment is to learn about the psychological approach (e.g., motivation, philosophy, team cohesion, leadership strategies, communication, and/or use of mental preparation) used by an established coach, so that you can learn from that person and examine their real life answers in relation to the material being discussed in class.

  1. Steps to Follow in Completing the Assignment:
  • Design your interview guide, which includes specific questions you will ask your coach about their psychological approaches to coaching (how they do it, what they believe, how they put their philosophy into practice, how they think motivation works with their athletes, how they mentally prepare, etc.). Your questions should reflect your understanding of the class topics and readings. Spend some time on this, and work through several drafts. THIS IS A VERY IMPORTANT STEP, AND THE QUALITY OF YOUR QUESTIONS WILL BE EVALUATED AND WILL DIRECTLY CONTRIBUTE TO THE QUALITY OF INFORMATION GAINED.

TIP: Use open-ended questions. Ask “Describe the ways you think a coach may motivate his/her athletes.” instead of “Do you believe coaches can motivate athletes?”

  1. Set up your interview guide/questions so that you can easily follow it when talking with your coach.
  1. Contact a coach you would like to interview and ask if they would be willing to talk with you about the psychology of coaching for approximately 40-60 minutes. Do not interview someone you are related to – a former coach is OK.
  1. Arrange a time and place to meet for the interview (at the coach’s convenience).
  1. Take a few notes during and immediately after the interview. Record your interview (using your phone – many apps are available) so that extensive note taking is not necessary when talking with your coach.
  1. Analyze the coach’s responses in relation to course material. That is, how do the coach’s responses adhere to or differ from the course material in your readings and discussed in class? What did you learn, and/or what insights did you gain?
  1. Write up your analysis using the following format:
  • Provide an anonymous case description of your coach (e.g., high school junior varsity head coach in football). Do not name who you interviewed.
  • Present your analysis in organized sections using headings to describe each section or area of analysis. You could use headings based on your interview guide/questions or you can organize your sections differently based on your results. Quality will be assessed based on your insights/analysis about your coach’s responses, and your abilities to link your interview data with course ideas and material.
  • Cite relevant literature (e.g., Vealey, 2005, use some others) in analyzing the coach’s responses.
  • Provide a reference list at the end of your paper (APA format).

The length of the paper should be 4 or more pages.

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