Planning for the Development of Strength & Conditioning Coaches’ Psychosocial Competencies

Bettina Callary, Brian T. Gearity, Kimberly Eagles, Christoph Szedlak

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal Articlepeer-review


Co-produced research can engage academics with non-academic partners to impact policy development. Accordingly, we collaborated with the stakeholders of the United Kingdom’s Strength and Conditioning Association (UKSCA). As part of an ongoing participatory action research (PAR) project, in phase one we explored the lack of psychosocial competencies in the UKSCA’s predominantly positivist and bioscientific coach education curriculum and their suggestions for change. This manuscript focuses on the planning step of phase two of our PAR. Twenty-six UKSCA stakeholders engaged in focus groups or one-on-one interviews where they discussed their knowledge, beliefs, feelings, and suggestions of learning psychosocial coaching competencies as part of the UKSCA’s coach education and accreditation pathway. We used a thematic narrative analysis to create one story involving five sequential themes that build towards a plan for the UKSCA’s curriculum changes. The narrative arc starts with the stakeholders uncovering the central problem—the lack of psychosocial competencies. Then, the stakeholders identify the current curriculum as scientific and objective, explore how psychosocial competencies are currently learned through experience, and the story climaxes with a debate on the need for change. In the resolution, they suggest actions for change, particularly a new module for the UKSCA, taught by psychosocial content experts. In the challenge of introducing new disciplinary knowledge to the field of strength and conditioning, the story outlines how PAR work can lead to the organization of a practical plan for ongoing co-production, which may shape coaches’ knowledge construction, ontological and epistemological perspectives of the UKSCA through curricular development.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages18
JournalQualitative Research in Sport, Exercise and Health
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 26 Apr 2024


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