Evidence-Based Education and Research for Coaches

The Interdisciplinary Center for Athletic Coaching
04/02/2021 15:39

ICSSPE met Dr Timothy Baghurst of the Interdisciplinary Center for Athletic Coaching, one of ICSSPE’s latest members to learn about their current projects, goals and objectives for the ICSSPE membership. The Interdisciplinary Center for Athletic Coaching is based in Florida, USA.


ICSSPE: Dr Baghurst, please introduce yourself and your center.


Baghurst: I’m the Director of FSU COACH: Interdisciplinary Center for Athletic Coaching. Originally from England, I spent most of my childhood in West Africa before training at universities in England, Canada, Wales, and the United States. I came to Florida State University with the specific purpose of starting FSU COACH, which we opened about one year ago.


ICSSPE: What are the aims and vision within your center?


Baghurst: We want to prepare and equip the next generation of athletic coaches and sports professionals with evidence-based education and research that maximizes coaching excellence. We do this through online academic courses, conducting coaching-focused research, providing content expertise to individual coaches, and supporting sport organizations with best practices and training.


ICSSPE: What are your center's values?


Baghurst: We emphasize the development of transformational rather than transactional coaches. We place a priority on moral and ethical decision-making. We educate using current research and best practices.


ICSSPE: Can you tell us briefly about the ongoing projects of the center including teaching and research activities?


Baghurst: In 2020, we opened a four-class 100% online graduate certificate in athletic coaching. Our goal is to also open a 100% online master’s degree in 2021. We also began supporting sports organizations. For example, we recently formalized an agreement with the Women’s Football Alliance (WFA) to support the teams and coaches within the organization with best practices. Another initiative brought about by COVID-19 has been FSU COACH Live, where guests from around the world of sports are interviewed about their experiences and knowledge live on social media. These interviews are open and available to anyone to see and interact live or watch later.


ICSSPE: What are the future plans and goals?


Baghurst: Aside from the master’s degree previously mentioned, we want to expand our reach to meet the needs of sport organizations. While some larger organizations have their own infrastructure to support coaches, most do not and lack the funding to do so. Therefore, we are building our own infrastructure, through coaching experts at and outside of FSU, to help meet the needs of those who ask for help.


ICSSPE: As a new ICSSPE member, what do you envision for future cooperations with ICSSPE?


Baghurst: I would like to see FSU COACH working with other members and individuals in a way that is mutually beneficial. While our Center can educate and support, I hope we can also learn and receive help from other organizations with goals similar to ours.


ICSSPE: What are you most excited about regarding the ICSSPE membership?


Baghurst: As someone who has grown up around the world, I appreciate how different sports and coaching are across our society. I’m looking forward to continuing to learn from others in the organization in this regard, and hope that this knowledge can be shared to the students in our programs and to those organizations and external entities with whom we collaborate.


ICSSPE: In addition to what you mentioned earlier, how has the current situation with Covid-19 impacted your centre?


Baghurst: In the short-term, it has definitely affected our ability to meet with coaches and those working within sports in person. Many coaches have lost their jobs or have seen their salaries reduced. This affects whether a coach is willing to pay for further education, for example. But, it has also given some coaches more time and opportunity to reflect on their coaching and perhaps seek out ways to improve.


ICSSPE: What can the ICSSPE membership jointly do to help in this context?


Baghurst: We are looking forward to the networking and collaborative opportunities that a worldwide organization can offer. We want to provide the best coaching education and development that we can, and we want to help as many coaches and sport organizations as possible. However, to do that we must learn from the very best, which is why we are excited to join this impressive group of members.