By: Alyssa Foster
IU South Bend will begin offering a new minor in Coaching during the Spring 2023 semester.
The new program will be offered through the School of Education at the undergraduate level. It aims to follow the national standards for athletic coaches through the National Association for Sport and Physical Education.
The minor will require 15 credit hours of work to be completed, beginning with one three-credit hour course in the spring which will serve as a required prerequisite. The first course, HPER-H312: Coaching, will be offered as a hybrid course taking place Monday evenings.
According to Dr. Tony Randles, the acting assistant dean of the School of Education, the coaching minor is “available to undergraduate students in any major aspiring to coach children, adolescents or adults in athletic settings.”
The minor is intended to help potential future coaches develop strategies that would help them guide successful programs. Essential coaching and performance skills, as well as knowledge in education, sport science and sport management, will be prioritized.
Randles explained that while there is a shortage of referees in Indiana, the employment is expected to increase by approximately 23 percent over the next decade. Future coaches should ideally have knowledge of ways to approach athletes’ various needs.
“If an aspiring sports coach only has their own experience to draw from, they are likely to replicate the kind of coaching they received or the coaching they would like to receive,” Randles said. “This may not be appropriate or effective today or across multiple contexts.”
There are several differences within sports and competition levels; however, Randles expressed the importance of giving attention to the fundamental psychosocial needs of athletes such as competence, autonomy and relatedness.
The program seeks to improve the quality of future coaching. The courses required for the minor are structured based on the curriculum on game strategy, motor learning, cognition and psychology in order to gain an understanding of how to approach athletes of all ages and talents.
“Athletes need a coach who will guide their technical, tactical and physical development to help them improve at their sport,” Randles said.
Dr. Randles can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions regarding the Minor in Coaching.