THE NEW SPORTS INSTRUCTORS
IN FINNISH CERTIFICATE
Unit for Youth Life Style Research, LINET
Quality management thinking has become an essential
There were more females than males as new young
part of voluntary organizations such as sports clubs. To
instructors. Their main motive was that sports or
some extent this is because organized sport is seen as
coaching was a hobby for them. These respondents were
a commodiﬁ ed service product sold and marketed to
motivated in participating in various courses by clubs,
customers. The quality of the product must be planned,
regional organisations of Finnish Sports Federation
and national sports federations. Adult instructors were usually in the clubs because their children participated
A quality system is considered important in ensuring
in sports. Two thirds of all adults were men. One third
the educational and other goals of children’s sport are
of all respondents had no training at all in coaching.
achieved. This includes attracting new participants in clubs and making sure that clubs have enough
Half of the new instructors said they had received
motivated and inspired coaches. The key element of
enough information to teach sports and instruct
any quality management system is that organizations
children. More than half thought they had sufﬁ cient
pursue developing their processes constantly.
information on club’s practises. Half of the respondents had been given some written material, one third had
In Finland there are 500 sports clubs that have a
been to some course, and one third was given tutoring.
quality certiﬁ cate (Seal Clubs) granted by Young
25 % of the respondents said they were given no help
Finland Association. Main criteria in quality system is
that the sports instructors and coaches have attended some course in instructing sports for children, they are
The new instructors considered the tutoring of a senior
tutored in clubs and, are aware of the Young Finland
coach to be the most important support method offered
by club. Courses, pre-designed practice plans, and a substitute system were also mentioned.
The instructors said the positive atmosphere in the practice group is the most important factor motivating them to continue coaching. One third of the respondents mentioned either public recognition, success of their athletes, or monetary or other compensations given by club being very important or fairly important.
40% of coaches said they are going to continue coaching several years or had not thought of quitting.
40 % said they were going to continue coaching on a year-to-year basis.
To ﬁ nd out how this goal is achieved, a web-based survey was conducted to all new instructors who had
a valid e-mail account. Information was gathered on 186 new sports instructors that had been in the position
Although the respondents represented the quality
less than a year. Their background, motives and future
certiﬁ ed sports clubs in Finland and there are many
plans as instructors were asked. Also amount and forms
courses and training available, many of them thought
of tutoring in the clubs are reported. In addition the
that tutoring practices in clubs are still insufﬁ cient and
needs of the new instructors are examined.
The respondents represented 25 different sports
Creating and maintaining systematic procedures on
and the ages were equal to age distribution of other
how to support coaches and manage information in
sports clubs are currently the most important quality issues expressed by the respondents.
Contact information: Matti Hakamäki, matti.hakamä[email protected]
Acknowledgements: This study was funded by LIKES-Foundation and Finnish Ministry of Education
LIKES - FOUNDATION FOR SPORT AND HEALTH SCIENCES
Rautpohjankatu 8a, FI-40700 Jyväskylä, Finland
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