Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository

Thesis Format



Master of Arts




Hall, Craig

2nd Supervisor

Mitchell, Marc



Sport psychology has become widely applied in coaching practices to assist in athletic success. Despite the increased use, there is a lack of evidence-based sport psychology information available to coaches in the form of informal sources. The aim of this study was to explore coaches’ perceptions and use of a sport psychology website using mixed methods. Eight coaches participated in semi-structured interviews. A thematic analysis revealed five themes (current use, accessibility, attitudes, website use, website engagement). Google Analytics demonstrated coaches’ engagement with the website. Findings suggested that coaches perceive sport psychology to be relevant to their sport and the website sportpsychologyforcoaches.ca was effective in providing new ideas to coaches. Furthermore, this research offers evidence on the value of online resources in providing coaches with readily applicable sport psychology information for their coaching practices.

Summary for Lay Audience

Coaches are always looking for ways to improve their athletes’ performance. The practice of sports psychology has been shown to be beneficial in improving athletic performance. Coaches often look for new ideas in sport psychology in order to gain an athletic advantage, but these ideas are not presented via preferred formatting. This creates a gap between the sport psychology research being done and the ways coaches prefer to access new ideas. To bridge this gap, a sport psychology website (www.sportpsychologyforcoaches.ca) was developed by sports psychology experts, with the aim to give coaches credible and easy-to-use techniques in sport psychology. The current study looked at coaches’ current perceptions, experiences, and use of sport psychology as well as their engagements with the website. To investigate, eight coaches were recruited from various sports. Combining interviews and reports from Google Analytics (a tool used to track and measure website engagement patterns), the coaches found sport psychology to be an important component to their coaching practices but lacked confidence and knowledge in the field to apply it. After engaging with the website for two months, many coaches rated the website to be a great resource to help them learn how to apply sport psychology skills with their athletes. This research contributes to the novel area regarding coaches’ preferred learning sources and application of sport psychology skills. It also provides insights for coach education developers on ways to make resources more effective for learning.