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High Performance Coaching Specialization

If you’re interested in learning how to help athletes achieve optimal athletic performance at the high school, collegiate, or professional levels, the UF M.S. in Sport Management with a specialization in High Performance Coaching (HPC) may be the right fit for you. The specialization is designed to enhance the efficacy of active coaches and to better prepare students for managerial coaching positions or careers in athletic administration. Individuals who will benefit from this training path include those pursuing career trajectories leading to these positions: head coach; associate head coach or coordinator; strength and conditioning coordinator; or sport administrator (working directly with coaching staffs).

The HPC specialization includes 15 credit hours of coursework that can be used to satisfy the elective requirement for the M.S. in Sport Management degree program. Courses from this specialization’s curriculum may also be taken as individual electives by students not pursuing a specialization.

Focusing on both the psychological and physiological elements of athlete performance training, the required courses are designed to offer theoretical and practical insight into creating an effective performance evaluation and development program. Drawing from the latest research, you’ll learn to work with athletes to assess their physical and mental abilities and develop programs to foster skill development and enhance performance. You’ll also acquire a deeper understanding of how coaches can apply sport management principles to team management.

HPC includes coursework that addresses these facets of performance development:

  • Nutrition
  • Energy Systems
  • Physical Training
  • Athlete Fitness
  • Athlete Health and Safety
  • Psychology and Mental Skills
  • Athlete Maturation

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High Performance Coaching Courses (15 credits):

APK 5404: Sport Psychology (3)

APK 5404 Sport Psychology examines the cognitive, social, behavioral, and neurophysiological factors that influence performance in sport and other athletic endeavors. APK 5404 emphasizes the theory and science informing the applied field of sport psychology. Examples of general topics covered include confidence, motivation, emotion, attention, performance attributions, mental imagery, the injured and over-trained athlete, burnout, career transition, youth sport, group/team dynamics, and the development of the elite performer.

The field of sport psychology actively promotes the scientist-practitioner model. Utilization of the scientist-practitioner model involves the ability to consume and appropriately apply contemporary theory and scientific findings to the practice of applied sport psychology. Accordingly, APK 5404 will lightly explore how sport psychology science and theory inform practical application of psychological skills interventions. Successful completion of APK 5404 (through deliberate, genuine,and persistent engagement with the course) will prepare students for APK 6408 Performance Enhancement. APK 6408 provides in-depth coverage of applied sport psychology.

APK 6408: Performance Enhancement (3)

APK 6408 Performance Enhancement emphasizes applied perspectives on the science and practice of sport psychology by examining the psychological techniques and strategies utilized to maximize performance in sport and other athletic endeavors. APK 6408 builds upon theoretical foundations (amassed in APK 5404 Sport Psychology) that describe cognitive, social, behavioral, and neurophysiological factors influencing sport and athletic performance.

Examples of general topics covered include consulting skills, goal setting, emotion regulation, attention training, mental imagery, attribution training, confidence building, practice structures, team interventions, leadership training, and career transition programs. The field of sport psychology actively promotes the scientist-practitioner model. Utilization of the scientist-practitioner model involves the ability to consume and appropriately apply contemporary theory and scientific findings to the practice of applied sport psychology. Accordingly, APK 6408 will explore how sport psychology science and theory inform practical application of psychological skills interventions.

SPM 5936: Training High Performance Athletes (3)

This course overviews the theory and practice of sport training methodologies for enhancing the athlete’s physiological capacity. We begin by examining how to configure a sport-specific physical work capacity from the five foundational motor performance abilities of endurance, strength, speed, coordination and flexibility. The impact of growth, maturation and genetics is factored into the discussion. Other broad topics include:

  • How the body adapts to a training stimulus
  • Principles of training theory
  • Development of sport-specific strength, speed and endurance
  • How the energy systems work and are fueled
  • Overtraining and fatigue
  • Mechanics of the training plan
  • The importance of a balanced approach to sport and life is emphasized throughout the course with specific emphasis on the principle encompassed in the Hippocratic Oath of “doing no harm.”

SPM 5936: Training High Performance Athletes II (3)

This course overviews the theory and practice of sport training methodologies for enhancing, analyzing and assessing the athlete’s skill and performance development.

SPM 5206: Sport Ethics (3)

This course is designed to encourage sport managers to think about the moral and ethical dilemmas typically encountered by managers in the sport industry. The course will better acquaint and refine sport managers’ understandings of sport relative to issues such as sportsmanship, violence, performance enhancing drugs, race, gender, and media. This will better prepare students in this class to be agents of change within the sport industry to help it strengthen and prosper. This will be accomplished through student discussions, case studies analyses, formal debates, and the development of position papers on particular topics, which will be supplemented with lectures and readings.

After successfully completing this course, students should be able to:

  • Describe ethics and morals, and discuss their role and application to sport managers and the sport industry
  • Apply the theoretical and foundational concepts that support ethical and moral reasoning
  • Compare the similarities and differences of various ethical theories
  • Discuss factors that influence their decision making and avoid negative factors that may impact their ability to be an ethical sport manager
  • Identify, analyze, and debate specific issues relative to ethical dilemmas commonly encountered within the competitive sport context
  • Demonstrate effective written and verbal communication such as critical thinking, deductive reasoning, decision-making and research skills

SPM 5936: Fundamentals of Coaching (3)

Coaches are leaders, managers, mentors and teachers. Coaching is a demanding job and yet we do not formally train coaches in our country. The goal of this course is to provide current and aspiring sports coaches with the foundation of self-awareness needed to operate in this profession with confidence. This course will help you clarify your values, understand the bigger picture of the coaching profession and develop or re-examine your coaching philosophy.We will deep dive into how managing and leading yourself is the essential starting point to effectively managing and leading others

Course Objectives Upon completion of this course, students are expected to successfully:

  • Know and understand their life story and how this impacts their leadership style
  • Identify areas that may be holding them back from moving ahead with confidence
  • Know their DISC profile and understand how this helps them connect with others on their team and staff
  • Identify their highest values and make them actionable
  • Use their values to write a personal mission statement and coaching mission statement
  • Implement systems to be more organized and efficient in their work
  • Analyze their level of emotional control and how to manage their thoughts, feelings and emotions in a healthy and productive way
  • Understand the importance and components of a Well-Integrated Life and how to evaluate areas needed for improvement
  • Research established coaching philosophies in the athletic world and begin writing their own
  • Write their first draft of their coaching philosophy

SPM 6905: Athlete Centered Coaching and Leadership (3)

Coaching sports is usually viewed from a perspective of the pursuit of performance excellence. However, studies have shown that performance excellence is, actually, dependent upon personal wellbeing. A thriving, happy individual will achieve the best performances. The Athlete-Centered Sport model provides for the creation of best performances by placing equal emphasis on the personal development of the performer.

This course is designed to explore the Athlete-Centered coaching model, what it is and how to apply its elements in daily coaching and team-building. The model apples to developing a team, a school program, a recreational program or an individual athlete. Leadership in sports is emphasized but correlation is made to business leadership and other high-performing cultures. Assignments are, largely, personally based, allowing the student to create a personal coaching plan that outline the student’s own values and goals as a coach and a useful, step-by-step model for impacting those they lead.

Students will:

  • Create an Athlete-Centered model of coaching by analyzing components of the Athlete-Centered model, prioritizing them and integrating them into a personalized coaching plan.
  • Argue for justification of inclusion of the elements they chose in their personal plan using research-based supports.
  • Compare and contrast transformational leadership to transactional leadership models and be able to classify leadership they have witnessed and experienced in the past as transactional or transformational.
  • Associate the changes and demands of youth development, findings through research and general culture to the methods and needs of coaching, coaches and business leaders, past and present.