CBU Professor Awarded Funding for Research in Coaching

Dr. Bettina Callary, Associate Professor of Sport & Physical Activity Leadership and Community Studies at Cape Breton University, has been awarded $227,348 in funding from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC). The money will fund her research in Coaching adult (Masters) athletes and will focus on the development of a feedback tool which can be used by national sporting organizations in order to meet the preferences and needs of a growing cohort of adults in sport. The tool will be the first of its kind and will allow coaches to use coaching tactics and instruction tailored to adults in order to optimize performance and the quality of their sporting experience.

“Beyond being an empirically-validated tool for coach education, our work will build knowledge in the field of adult sport, bridging educational perspectives with adult learning in and through sport. Masters coaches will be able to access valuable information about their coaching, allowing them to be more effective coaches for their athletes,” says Dr. Callary.

Dr. Callary’s four-phase research project will also provide a more in depth understanding of how adult learning and teaching manifest differently across sports and ages, and how adult-oriented coaching approaches impact quality sport experience.

“Masters Athletes are typically 35 years or older and are currently the fastest growing category of athletes in Canada,” says Dr. Callary. “There is a current need for specific research into the behavioural, personal, emotional, and ethical aspects of Masters sport in order to effectively provide correct coaching and support to this group of athletes.”

Initial evidence shows benefits for adults associated with having a coach, including a more self-determined profile related to psychological well-being and sport persistence. Results from this project will specifically inform enhanced learning efforts for Masters coaches on a large scale, and more broadly, will advance conceptual understandings of how instructional/coaching practices may be adapted in consideration of an ever-aging demographic in various educational contexts.

This announcement was made on May 28, 2018, by the Honourable Kirsty Duncan, Minister of Science and Minister of Sport and Persons with Disabilities. At that time more than $158 million in funding was announced for over 800 research projects across. The investment will fund research projects on education, immigration, youth, Indigenous arts leadership and climate change.

Dr. Callary will work with co-investigators Dr. Scott L. Rathwell of the University of Lethbridge and Dr. Bradley W. Young of the University of Ottawa on the project. For more information contact Dr. Bettina Callary at bettina_callary@cbu.ca.