Developing a workshop to introduce psychosocial coaching competencies within strength and conditioning

  • Szedlak, C. (Speaker)
  • Bettina Callary (Speaker)
  • Kimberly Eagles (Speaker)
  • Brian T. Gearity (Speaker)

Activity: Talk or presentation typesOral presentation at Conference


Strength and condition (S&C) coach educators, such as the United Kingdom Strength and Conditioning Association (UKSCA), promote athlete-centered coaching practice, which includes psychosocial competencies. However, the UKSCA has so far neglected to develop learning opportunities that focus on psychosocial coaching competencies, which include philosophical, pedagogical, psychological, and sociocultural aspects (Callary et al., 2022). As part of an ongoing participatory action research project, our aim was to develop a workshop that introduces psychosocial coaching competencies within the UKSCA’s curriculum.
Methods & Results
We used a learner-centred, constructivist approach to underpin the development of our workshop. This included the use of stories and communities of practice to promote learning, when reflecting on coaching practice (Szedlak et al., 2019). The workshop comprised of five main elements: (1) psychosocial, included reflecting on the ability to manage their own/their athletes’ mental skills, health, emotions, and cognitions, (2) pedagogical, focused on creating an effective learning environment, including effective communication and feedback, (3) philosophical, examined the underlying values and beliefs that guide coach’s behaviour, and (4) sociocultural, introduced issues of power, control, discrimination, diversity, and social justice. We finish with a reflective task using Moon’s model for critical reflection (Moon, 2004), which allowed the participants to identify the most pertinent psychosocial area for future development.
The UKSCA is the first S&C coach educator to develop a workshop focusing on psychosocial coaching practice to be included in the curriculum. As a result, the UKSCA is now in a position to provide a learning tool that introduces the S&C coach to examine their coaching practice regarding psychosocial coaching competencies. Furthermore, this workshop provides a stepping stone for the development of more comprehensive workshops focusing on each individual psychosocial competency.

Callary, B. Gearity, B. T., Eagles, K., & Szedlak, C (2022). Defining psychosocial strength and conditioning coaching competencies: A qualitative participatory action research approach. International Journal of Sports Science and Coaching. (ahead of print).
Moon, J. A. (2004). A handbook of reflective and experiential learning: Theory and practice. Psychology Press.

Szedlak, C., Smith, M., & Callary, B. (2019). Exploring the influence and practical development of coaches’ psychosocial skills in strength and conditioning. Strength and Conditioning Journal. 41(2), 8-17.
Period12 Jun 2023
Event titleCluster for Research into Coaching Symposium
Event typeConference
LocationLiverpool, United KingdomShow on map
Degree of RecognitionInternational