DOHERTY, MACINTOSH and KERWIN: Fostering a fear-based environment: Coach behaviour needs to change in high-performance sport

Shannon Kerwin, Associate Professor of Sport Management at Brock University; Alison Doherty, Professor of Sport Management at Western University; and Eric MacIntosh, Professor of Health Sciences at University of Ottawa, had a piece recently published in The Conversation about the need for a shift in coaching behaviour in Canadian high-performance sport to protect athletes.

The write:

“Sport organizations have repeatedly come under fire with frequent allegations of toxic culture. With each news article, comes a push to change the culture of sport, yet culture change is difficult and ripe with push back.

This leaves sport practitioners with the question, where do we start? Our answer: The coach.

Several sport organizations have faced criticism about coaching practices, and this was highlighted by athletes who shared their stories with us.

As part of a larger project that aims to inform safer high-performance sport culture, we spoke with 28 Canadian high performance athletes who are (or were) on a path to podium results at the highest level of their sport.

In response to an open question about when they feel unsafe in their sport, above all else these athletes discussed coaches at length, providing a range of examples of unsafe behaviours and practices that epitomize a culture that needs to be changed.”

Continue reading the full article on The Conversation website.

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