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Reflections on a dream: towards an understanding of factors Olympic coaches attribute to their success

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When coaches watch our athletes in the Olympic Games competing as the best in the world, we fill with pride in what we have nurtured and produced as a nation. However, often less visible, yet no less integral to this success is the Olympic coach. While defining what it means to be an effective coach is quite difficult and controversial, most would agree that to have reached Olympic coaching level is to have reached the pinnacle or ultimate level of your sport. What sets these coaches apart enabling them to be the best in the world, emerging to become leaders in their chosen field? This paper fills a gap in the current literature by identifying the most significant factors eight Olympic coaches attribute to their own success and fulfilment of goals. Analysis revealed that having a passion and commitment to wanting to succeed, past experience as an athlete, learning from other coaches/mentors, focusing on the needs of the athlete and a need to contribute were the key factors identified as helping them reach their dream of becoming an Olympic coach.
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Keywords: Olympic; coaching; factors; individual perceptions; reflection; success

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Learning Cultures & Practices, University of Technology Sydney (UTS), Sydney, Australia 2: Hawaii Canoe and Kayak Team (HCKT), Honolulu, USA

Publication date: 2012-06-01

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