Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
ISSN: 1303 - 2968   
Ios-APP Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
Androit-APP Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
©Journal of Sports Science and Medicine (2015) 14, 657 - 668

Research article
The Value of Indirect Teaching Strategies in Enhancing Student-Coaches’ Learning Engagement
Isabel Mesquita1, , Patrícia Coutinho1, Luciana De Martin-Silva2,3, Bruno Parente1, Mário Faria1, José Afonso1
Author Information
1 Centre of Research, Education, Innovation and Intervention in Sport, CIFID, Faculty of Sport, University of Porto, Porto, Portugal
2 Cardiff School of Sport, Cardiff Metropolitan University, Cardiff, UK
3 Hartpury College, HE Sport, Hartpury, England, UK

Isabel Mesquita
✉ Centre of Research, Education, Innovation and Intervention in Sport, CIFID, Faculty of Sport, University of Porto, Porto, Portugal
Publish Date
Received: 06-05-2015
Accepted: 08-07-2015
Published (online): 11-08-2015
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This study aimed to examine the indirect teaching strategies adopted by a coach educator in terms of promoting student-coaches’ engagement in a positive and active learning environment. The participants were an expert coach educator and seven student-coaches from an academic coaching setting. A mix method approach was used to collect data. Whilst video-recording and participant observations were used to collect data from the lessons, focus groups were adopted to recall the perceptions of student-coaches. The results showed that indirect teaching strategies (i.e., asking questions, showing signs of autonomy by monitoring the pace at which they completed tasks and actively engaging in the search for solutions to tasks) implemented by the coach educator promoted a supportive and challenging learning environment which, in turn, encouraged student-coaches to be more actively involved in the lessons. Additionally, the affective aspects of the relationship established with student-coaches (tone of voice, gestures, facial expressions, eye contact, physical contact and humor) led them to feel confident in exposing their doubts and opinions, and in learning in a more autonomous manner. Moreover, the practical lessons proved to be crucial in helping student-coaches to reach broader and deeper forms of understanding by allowing the application of theory to coaching practice. In conclusion, this study reinforces the value of indirect teaching strategies to stimulate an active learning environment. It further highlights the value of practical learning environments to better prepare neophyte coaches for dealing with the complex and dynamic nature of their professional reality.

Key words: Coaching, coach education, teaching approach, learning

           Key Points
  • Both instructional and affective teaching indirect strategies used by the coach educator promoted a positive and challenging learning environment to student-coaches.
  • The directness profile used by this coach educator (questioning, giving autonomy for problem solving and responsibility to regulate the learning tasks development) promoted the awareness and the ability of student-coaches to explore alternative solutions and self-regulate their own learning.
  • Using humor, touch, gestures and tone of voice, the coach educator showed great care for student-coaches, which impacted positively on their enthusiasm, confidence and desire to be actively engaged in their own learning.
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