Author: Jim Schmutz, ASEP Executive Director
The new fourth edition of Successful Coaching, written by ASEP founder Rainer Martens, and the updated and enhanced Coaching Principles course were released May 24, 2012. Once again available in both classroom and online formats, Coaching Principles represents the most comprehensive coaching education course available today to certify high school coaches.
More than 30 years ago, a foursome of scholars, researchers, and practitioners in the emerging fields of sport and exercise science and sport medicine set their sights on educating coaches. Sport psychologist Rainer Martens, sport physiologist Brian Sharkey, sport pedagogy specialist and coach Bob Christina, and sports medicine specialist John Harvey joined ranks in an attempt to provide youth sport coaches a very readable and useful book to fulfill their role more effectively. The result, Coaching Young Athletes, was published 1981 and served as the text for the first American Coaching Effectiveness Program (ACEP) course introduced that same year.
Feedback from athletic administrators, program coordinators, and coaches themselves over the years, and increased demand encouraged major enhancements of the book and the Coaching Principles course. In the third edition, the page count expanded to a whopping 520 pages, and the book’s interior was visually upgraded with appealing full-color artwork and photography presented throughout. America’s most authoritative coaching guide became an even more complete source of information. The book bears no resemblance to the far more basic and much shorter Coaching Young Athletes that preceded it by more than two decades. In fact, over 200 colleges and universities across the country use Successful Coaching as part of curriculum dedicated to coach education and athletic leadership.
Now, here we are, eight years later and with the completion of yet another edition of Successful Coaching, to continue our ongoing commitment to upgrade the book and Coaching Principles course. Given the high regard for the third edition and the more than 500,000 copies sold in its previous versions, be assured that all the best features have been retained. The content continues to focus on the key principles of coaching that are at ASEP’s core. Also, the visual presentation is more attractive than its eye-pleasing predecessor. But changes are noteworthy, all designed to make reading, retaining, and referencing back to material even easier. We have also been able to reduce the page count to less than 480 pages.
Equally important is the revision of Coaching Principles, which was given much thought and attention. We compiled and took into consideration extensive input and feedback from coaches, coaching educators, sport administrators, ASEP instructors, and sport organizations. As a result, the classroom course outline has been consolidated in to seven units, while the online course is presented in 20 units designed to correspond with the book chapters. Classroom instructors will find preparation easier and presentation more stimulating with the new format and interactive exercises. Coaches will find the classroom presentation even more compelling and practical. The classroom and online versions of the course include new video presentations which feature the use of “Master Coaches,” who share years of practical experience and provide insight on critical elements related to being a success coach.
Coaching Principles also introduces a number of new interactive exercises including the Developmental Dozen which provides coaches with 12 goals focused on coach development and designed to prepare coaches for the demands that they will face in developing athletes. At the conclusion of each unit, coaches are encouraged to compile notes related to each of the 12 goals associated with the unit.
Instructors and coaches will benefit from the increased use of technology with the fourth edition of the book and course. Higher education instructors who adopt Successful Coaching have access to an upgraded set of ancillary materials available online. In keeping pace with the increasing demand for digital products, Successful Coaching is available as an e-book and coaches are able to purchase the course with e-book version. Classroom instructors are provided with updated instructor materials including the instructor guide, classroom workbook for coaches along with the hard copy and eBook versions of Successful Coaching. Those coaches taking the classroom course have the standard hard copy classroom workbook to complete the exercises during the class but also have access to an online component that supports preparation for coaching and completing the course. All evaluations are completed online. And while paper tests remain available, ASEP encourages coaches to take their tests online.