My coaching career began at the ripe age of 19 as a strength and conditioning (S&C) intern with the Cleveland Indians Baseball Club. Under the mentoring of then head S&C coach Fernando Montes (who was known throughout Major League Baseball for developing quality coaches), I was fortunate to begin my career within this small community of knowledgeable coaches. They took the development of coaches seriously, introduced me to the NSCA, and within weeks I became a member.
Over the past 15 years, I’ve steadily increased my involvement with the NSCA, learned from countless researchers and practitioners, and served as a coach educator by hosting clinics, giving lectures, and producing scholarly research. I believe it is accurate to state that the NSCA continues to be the leader in S&C coach education. There are numerous ways to become involved with the NSCA, and I encourage curious students, experienced coaches, and seasoned scholars alike to seek out opportunities. One of the essential qualities of any profession is service to its members and community. It is in this sentiment that I dedicate this special issue on Coach Education to all the educators who helped me to learn and think. Our work as educators is always ongoing.
Interest in coach education seems to be at an all-time high and shows no signs of slowing. Scholars from multiple disciplines are investigating topics such as: defining coach effectiveness and expertise, coach learning and development, power and control, the types of knowledge needed to coach, and the politics and ethics of coaching. Indeed, the articles in this special issue reflect the importance of these topics and their relationship to coach education.
The implications of our thinking and research in these areas should not be taken lightly. How we understand effective coaching, for example, influences academic curriculums, conference speaker selections, and funding opportunities. Challenging questions abound for our field. What are the effective ways to enhance learners’ understanding of coaching concepts? What gaps exist in our current understandings of coaching? How can we prepare coaches for the practical, social-psychological, and ethical demands of coaching that is often outside the scope of the natural sciences?
I hope this special issue serves as a catalyst for greater research and discussion. A “call to research” the aforementioned topics, and others, is offered so that we may understand, critique, and intervene. It is our professional responsibility to do so.
I am honored to present Strength and Conditioning Journal readers a full journal devoted to Coach Education. The authors worked tirelessly to provide interesting and practical ideas. What they’ve achieved is not an easy task. The literature specific to S&C coach education is limited, and they’ve demonstrated an ability to expand the discourse in our field. I am grateful for their contributions.
Naturally, being a guest editor has been quite the learning experience! I appreciate this opportunity and thank Dr. Chandler for his patience and advice, and Managing Editor, Britt Chandler for his diligence.