Mentor Requirements In the Student-Coach Practicum: An Analysis Using the Critical Incident Technique

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Kinesiology and Nutrition


The purpose of this study was to gain insight into mentor requirements in the context of undergraduate sports coaching practica by examining mentor actions that mentees identified as having contributed to their learning. Flanagan’s Critical Incident Technique (CIT) was applied by having mentees (student-coaches) describe “critical incidents” wherein their mentor’s actions impacted their learning. Qualitative analysis was performed on 335 critical incidents recorded by 80 student-coaches during their practica over a two-year period. Four principal requirements were identified for mentors in this context (Gives responsibilities to the mentee, Models, Dialogues with the mentee, Provides feedback to the mentee). Gives responsibilities to the mentee appears to be a requirement unique to mentors in this context and represents a novel contribution. This finding likely reflects a characteristic of this context – the mentee is often coaching within the mentor’s coaching environment – and has implications for the quality of mentee experiences in their practica.

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Sports Coaching Review

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