The ICCE Research Committee acts in an advisory capacity to the ICCE Board with respect to coaching research interests.

The ICCE Research Committee consists of eight (8) voting members, plus the editor of the International Sport Coaching Journal (voting) and the ICCE designated representative (non-voting). These are:

Torsten Buhre (Sweden): Member
Bettina Callary (Canada): Editor of the International Sport Coaching Journal
Kristen Dieffenbach (USA): Co-Chair
Larissa Galatti (Brazil): Member
Sergio Lara-Bercial (UK): ICCE designated representative
Alliance Kubayi (South Africa): Member
Christine Nash (Scotland): Co-Chair
Donna O’Connor (Australia): Member
Gethin Thomas (Wales): Member
Don Vinson (England): Member

Research Committee terms of reference is available here


Central to the ICCE’s approach is an evidence informed approach to coaching, coach development, and coaching systems, underpinned by high quality original and applied research. The Research Committee aims to encourage and promote evidence based coaching related research by linking active researchers around the world. Primarily, these researchers will be based in universities, but the Research Committee wants to nurture links between applied researchers and practitioners in the field of sport coaching.

The ICCE Global Coach Conference (GCC) provides an opportunity for researchers across the globe to share their work, and to inform policy and practice. The GCC is held every two years with some sessions specifically designed for researchers to engage as a group and share new developments and shape future research agendas.

The last GCC in Lisbon (2021) was the first conference where abstracts were published by the International Sport Coaching Journal. We hope to continue and extend this practice for Singapore 2023.



  • During the last 25 years sport coaching has evolved as an academic subject with research in the area informed by various disciplines, such as physiology, psychology, sociology, pedagogy, alongside knowledge of sports themselves (Campbell et al., 2022; North et al., 2021). This has led to the emergence of different research positions and interpretations of sport coaching.
  • Despite the emergence and establishment of sport coaching research as an academic discipline and profession its status within broader sporting and academic agendas, and scientific credibility continues to be questioned, challenged or ignored (Hughes, 2022; Jones, 2019; North et al., 2021;). Alongside this, differing perspectives resulting from this growth appear to divide sport coaching researchers.
  • There is, however, some consensus among the research community that coaching is primarily concerned with athlete and team development (e.g. Abraham & Collins, 2011; Bush et al., 2013; Garratt, 2013; North, 2013; Jones, 2019).

Nurturing links between applied researchers and practitioners

  • Within sport coaching’s continued growth as a discipline of study, it is suggested that the dichotomy of academic and practitioner (or separation of theory and practice) needs to be challenged.
  • This approach has the potential to highlight the importance and relevance of research (and theory) to coaches, coach educators, academics and national governing bodies (or other relevant employers).
  • To educate and develop coaches, educators and academics as “practical theorists” (Cassidy et al., 2016), content needs to be innovative, relevant and accessible, while allowing for integration into practice (Corsby et al., 2021).
  • Therefore, it’s crucial to undertake and present research that considers the reality of a coach’s everyday work, is practical to coaches and subsequently influences coach educators and policy makers etc (Jones, 2019).

Future Coaching Research

  • For sport coaching to continue its development as a scientific field it requires research to ensure its relevance and legitimacy. This is crucial for enhancing sport coaching’s status as an academic discipline and its scientific credibility (Barker-Ruchti & Purdy, 2022; Hughes, 2022). Our field is conceding authority to other sport or social sciences in terms of development and compromising its legitimacy through inter-disciplinary interests.
    • o For example, the book An Introduction to Sports Coaching: Connecting Theory to Practice (2013) has specific chapters on Psychology for Coaches, History for Coaches, Biomechanics for Coaches. Performance Analysis for Coaches etc
  • Although various disciplines (as highlighted above) will continue to inform research in the area, we believe that extending beyond the boundaries of other disciplines would enhance coaching as a field of inquiry.
  • Sports coaching should be interpreted from within its own frame of reference to further locate it as a discipline of study. This would involve evaluating and building on previous research alongside developing a critical and original knowledge on issues related to sports coaching theory and practice (Jones, 2019).

ICCE & aim of the Research Committee

  • Central to the ICCE’s approach is an evidence-informed approach to coaching, coach development, and coaching systems, underpinned by high quality original and applied research (from ICCE website).
  • An important aim of the RC of ICCE is to develop an internationally collaborative research community to promote sharing of knowledge and understanding to develop research capability that, in turn, will inform both policy and practice in advancing the professionalization of sports coaching and the sporting experience for all actors (North et al., 2021).
  • As a research committee we recognise that coaching is constantly evolving and that research will provide new insights into all aspects that relate to sports coaching.


Open Research Committee Meeting

An open ICCE Research Committee Meeting was held on 2nd December in Singapore.

More information on the meeting is available here.

    Outstanding Coaching Article Award

    We are delighted to announce that the winner of the ISCJ Outstanding Coaching Article Award is:

    “An Investigation Into Coach Developers’ Theories in Practice, Learning, and Development on a Continuing Professional Development Course ” authored by Mark Partington, Jimmy O’Gorman, Kenny Greenough and Ed Cope.

    This outstanding article scored exceptionally highly across all criteria, although the reviewers were particularly impressed by the longitudinal nature of the project, the insightful application to practice, and the interesting theoretical underpinning.

    The award was presented at the 14th ICCE Global Coach Conference on December 2nd, 2023. Congratulations again to all the finalists for producing excellent research. Join us in congratulating Mark and his authorship team. Read the winning article below!


    A Special Interest Group for Early Career Professionals is being proposed with the purpose of creating a learning and networking space that fosters opportunities to gain experience in various topics relating to coaching research and practice. In order for us to gauge interest please can you complete the following short survey. Please note that we are interested in the views of researchers and practitioners in all age groups/academic stages so please complete and share the link and QR code.

    A recent review of the purpose, function and governance of the Research Committee: Summary here