Deakin University study to reveal exactly what is involved in being a sports coach

30 May 2011

In a first for Australian sport, Deakin University researchers are looking to reveal the complete picture of what is involved in being a sports coach.

“Sport coaches deal with more than seven million lives in any given year in Australia, yet little is known about the way coaches work,” said Deakin sports coaching expert Dr Andrew Dawson.

“So we are calling on all coaches of all sports to share their experiences,” Dr Dawson said.

“Whether they coach at the elite level or at the grass-roots level on the weekend, full-time or part-time, paid or unpaid, we want to know how much time, money and resources go into preparing them and their athletes/teams each week. We also want to hear their views on coach development and how they can best be supported.”

Early data from the Australian Coaching Workforce Study points to a ‘startling’ amount of work that coaches do beyond their face-to-face coaching role.

“A lot is put on the shoulders of sports coaches,” Dr Dawson said. “They are seen as teachers, mentors, parental figures and managers for the athletes and teams they coach.

“Interviews I have conducted so far also reveal a startling amount of work you wouldn’t normally associate with coaching such as negotiating use of venues and facilities, applying for funding and sponsorships and a large amount of other administrative duties.

“Through this study we are looking to put together a complete picture of what is involved in sports coaching in Australia. We hope that the results will inform the development of policies and management practices at national, state and community levels of sport that will better support and improve the working lives of coaches.”

Coaches of all levels and all sports are encouraged to complete the survey. The survey is available online at and will take 15 to 20 minutes to complete.

For more information about the survey contact Dr Andrew Dawson at Deakin University by phone (03) 9251 7309 or email

News facts
  • Deakin researchers calling on sports coaches of all sports, at all levels to take part in survey
  • Survey part of study to find out exactly what is involved in being a sports coach
  • Results to date indicate a startling amount of work is done beyond the face-to-face coaching role

Media contact

Mandi O'Garretty
Deakin Media Relations
(03) 5227 2776; 0418 361 890

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30th May 2011