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Date of Award

1998

Document Type

Thesis - Pacific Access Restricted

Degree Name

Master of Arts (M.A.)

Department

Sport Sciences

First Advisor

Glen Albaugh

First Committee Member

Becky Beal

Second Committee Member

John Boelter

Abstract

An investigation of. quality practice in sport had the dual purposes of developing a conceptual model of quality practice arid proposing a definition of quality practice from the perspectives of expert coaches. Individual, semi-structured interviews were conducted with five expert coaches. The coaches were considered experts because they bad coached teams to World or National championships and worked with athletes who had attained recognizable excellence in their sports (All-American, Olympic Gold Medalist, or All-Pro). In addition the coaches represented individual team, male, and female sports.

Analysis of the interviews was conducted using the qualitative methodology known as "grounded theory" (Glaser and Strauss, 1967) . Analysis of the interviews identified 138 meaningful bits of information ("meaning units" Tesch, 1990) . Results recommended a quality practice model consisting of four general dimensions. eight categories and 16 properties. The four general dimensions of the quality practice model were; a. personal factors of athletes, b. coaching philosophy, c. components of practice, and d. effort of athletes. The quality practice model that emerged represented a more comprehensive understanding of quality practice than had previously existed.

The second purpose of the study was to propose a definition of "quality practice". The interviews with expert coaches suggested that quality practice as it pertained to sport was: "Quality practice is an effortful activity which is highly structured with specific goals and tasks aimed at thorough performance preparation. It is carried out with a total commitment of optimal intensity, energy, focus, awareness, enthusiasm and competitiveness. Results of the study suggested that "quality practice" existed in a conceptual and definable way.

Expert coaches when discussing quality practice recognized the personal factors of athletes, had distinct coaching philosophies, carefully planned the components of practice; and consistently monitored the effort of the athletes.

Pages

95

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