An examination of coach education in Zambia : a case of the podium performance programme (PPP).

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Mulamula, Mukwawa
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The University of Zambia
Coach education has been noted to be key to improve coaching and essential for coach development. The study was undertaken to examine coach education for PPP trainers in Zambia, focusing on clear connections between type and level of education, coaching philosophies, behaviours and efficiency. A case study design was used and it involved the application of qualitative method. The sample consisted of nineteen respondents who were all interviewed, five of the six PPP coaches and fourteen officials who were all attached to the PPP. Semi-structured interviews were used to obtain the data from coaches and PPP officials. An observation guide was used on coaches to ascertain their ways of instructing athletes during training sessions and tournaments. All data was analysed thematically. The findings of the study revealed that much of the coach education received by PPP coaches came from the international sports federations that local sports federations were affiliated to. However, the kind of coach education received by some coaches was not enough to qualify them to be podium coaches. In comparison with the qualifications of a podium coach at international level, which is level III set by African Union Sports Council Region V (AUSC 5), only two out of the six met the set minimum qualifications. The study further revealed that PPP coaches had less sports science insights relating to coaching due to lack of exposure to scientific sports content and due to lack of pre-requisite sport science education. The coaches also did not have written coaching philosophies to guide their practice and had not paid particular attention to develop one. On coaches’ ways of instructing athletes, it was found that positive rewarding reactions in terms of language use were more compared to punitive reactions and that the coaches used highly technical instructions towards their athletes. The study concluded that the coach education received by some PPP coaches was on a lower side and this made them fall off in terms of meeting the qualification criteria for a podium coach. Therefore, PPP coaches must constantly seek for new knowledge and techniques by furthering their coach education through sports federations and tertiary institutions. Coach education is a significant contributing factor to the development and success of PPP coaches. Key words: Coach education, Coaching Philosophy, Coaching behaviour, Podium Performance Programme.
Coaches (Athletics)--Training of. , Coaching (Athletics)--Study and teaching. , Physical education and training--Study and teaching. , Mentoring in education.