Faculty in the Kinesiology Department recently traveled to Washington, D.C. to attend the 2014 National Coaching Conference. Dr. Wade Gilbert and Tim Hamel, along with graduate student Inge Milius, were given the unique opportunity to present at this conference, which brought in over 230 attendees.

Organized annually by SHAPE America, the conference brings together premiere leaders in the coaching education field to share their knowledge and best practices with coaches, coach educators and administrators from around the world – including Canada, England and Japan.

Dr. Gilbert said this conference offers many benefits, including ready access to information that he will be able to bring right back to the classroom. “This conference allows us to stay current with best coaching practices and researching standards. We can teach our students the information we learn now, as opposed to students reading this information in textbooks maybe two to three years down the line.”

Milius, who recently obtained her M.A. in kinesiology (with an emphasis in sport psychology), reflected this as she was able to present her theses on positive touch and coach-athlete relationships and receive direct evaluations from experts in the field almost immediately.

Presenting allowed me to personally present the content of the study directly to the target audience that it was intended to assist,” Milius said. “I don’t know how many students have the opportunity to gain such feedback and response on their projects and theses from professionals in their desired field. In addition, I think the questions and comments allowed me to critically analyze my work and the future direction of the research.”

In addition to assisting Milius with her presentation, Gilbert also collaborated on two other presentations. One presentation was a panel on coach development, in which Gilbert presented a state of the art review on coach development research in youth sport settings, together with Dr. Karl Erickson (Tuft’s University) and Dr. Gordon Bloom (McGill University).

The other presentation co-authored by Gilbert focused on the 3-year innovative coach, athlete and program development project being conducted at Fresno High School. David Barton, athletics director at Fresno High School, co-presented the session with Gilbert and shared evidence to support the positive impact of the ongoing applied research partnership.

Overall, the conference provided great opportunities to network, learn and engage with others in the field. “We were able to connect with leading policy makers and sport scientists working in coaching, coach education, and sport (ranging from youth sport all the way through to Olympic sport),” said Gilbert. “It is a great leadership event, not necessarily just for coaches themselves, but the people responsible for setting the path for professional development of coaches in America.”

For more information on the National Coaching Conference or the area of sport psychology, please contact Dr. Wade Gilbert at 559.278.5170 or wgilbert@csufresno.edu.