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Stirling academics evaluate national youth sport coaching programme

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Coaching experts from the University of Stirling have been selected by sportscotland, the national agency for sport, to evaluate a national programme which seeks to create a positive environment for young people in sport.

Senior lecturer Alan Lynn, pictured, and staff from Scotland’s University for Sporting Excellence will collate an impact study of the Positive Coaching Scotland (PCS) programme.

Winning Scotland Foundation adapted and gained the licence for PCS in Scotland in 2008 through their on-going relationship with the highly successful Positive Coaching Alliance (PCA) programme from the USA, created by Jim Thompson at the University of Stanford in California back in 1998.

Since then, it has been used by 1,000 different sports organisations and affected over three million young people.

Positive Coaching Scotland (PCS) completed a two year pilot phase in 2010 and sportscotland has now taken over the lead role in the initiative, working with their local and national partners to deliver a phased national roll out of the PCS programme. 

Its key principles are to teach young people to: appreciate the value of effort and learning; improve personal performance; foster a competitive, but fair, sporting mentality and deal positively with mistakes.

The Scottish programme is now managed by sportscotland, who have been working with a number of local authorities and governing bodies of sport to deliver PCS workshops since the start of the year.

Beth Macleod, Lead Manager at sportscotland, said: “PCS is unique and sets new standards for coaches as well as sport leaders, parents and teachers for their involvement with young people in sport.

“Ultimately the programme is designed to improve the quality of coaching through systematic training and development. We look forward to working with Scotland’s University for Sporting Excellence to deliver this study.”

Stirling staff will now measure its impact thus far, through a series of case studies and interviews with its users and with governing bodies of sport. An important focus will be on coaching behaviour, using video analysis to support their outcomes.

The final report is set to be completed by 2014 with the findings considering the people involved in the programme; its delivery and the benefits to young people with a view to shaping its future delivery.

Alan Lynn said: “We are delighted to be working with sportscotland on this important project. Positive Coaching Scotland is an exciting initiative and we look forward to evaluating the outcomes and developing robust tools to measure its impact.”

Background information

Double Goal Coach: The cornerstone of PCS ethos which is based around two goals:
1.    The first goal is winning – not at all costs but through concerted effort
2.    The 2nd goal is teaching young people vital, character building life skills

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