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2008 Grant Recipient: An examination of sport coaches’ perceptions of athletes exhibiting signs of ADHD and their perceived reactionary behavioral responses.

Tiffanye Vargas-Tonsing, University of Texas-San Antonio

PROJECT GOALS AND PROGRESS TOWARD OUTCOMES: The purpose of this grant was to explore 1) coaches’ perceptions of athletes’ behaviors; 2) coaches’ proposed reactionary behaviors towards athletes exhibiting restlessness, inattentiveness, and hyperactivity; and 3) coaches’ attitudes and efficacy towards working with athletes with ADHD.  
PROJECT STATUS: Four video scenarios were created to illustrate common behaviors from youth athletes with learning disabilities.  These videos showcased athletes unable to follow full sets of directions, being inattentive, distracting other individuals, and hyperactivity.  Each video showcased the athletes during practice drills in a team setting with the coach present.
To date, 31 coaches have viewed and completed questionnaires on these scenarios.  Coaches were asked to describe the witnessed behaviors, their projected response to these behaviors, and to rate their efficacy in their ability to appropriately redirect the athlete, effectively make accommodations to coach the athlete and to prevent the athlete from interfering with coaching the rest of the team.  Upon the conclusion of the videos, coaches completed an attitude questionnaire.
Overall, these 31 coaches responded with relatively high efficacy beliefs in their ability to work with these athletes as well as positive attitudes towards working with this population.  A qualitative analysis is underway to assess whether coaches appropriately perceived the showcased behavior as well as their proposed responses.