Kinesiology Professor Heading to Tokyo for Coach Developer Program

HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - The following is a news release from The University of Southern Mississippi

There is more to being a coach than blowing a whistle and calling plays. Great athletes need to be led by great coaches and great coaches need to be led by coach developers.

Dr. Melissa Thompson, associate professor in The University of Southern Mississippi's School of Kinesiology, will attend the Nippon Sport Science University and International Council for Coaching Excellence Coach Developer Program in Tokyo, Japan. The course will be held over two sessions, Sept. 14-20 and Feb. 13-19, 2016.

"From a global perspective, we are moving toward a more systematic approach to developing coaches," said Thompson. "Sport has become such a global market that coaches need to transfer their skills amongst sports, different levels of play and geographic locations. Having an international academy allows us to create a more consistent language about the development of coaches."

Thompson submitted her application in June and was notified that she is one of 18 accepted to attend the Nippon Sport Science University (NSSU) Coach Developer Academy (NCDA). She will be joined by one other coach developer from the U.S. All other participants will come from international locations in Portugal, Slovenia, Norway and Poland.

"I am excited to learn from the other coach developers, as I do not have a clear idea on what methods they are using in their respective countries," said Thompson.

The International Council for Coaching Excellence describes coach developers as individuals who "are trained to develop, support and challenge coaches to go on honing and improving their knowledge and skills to provide positive and effective sport experiences for all participants."

"The purpose of the course is to prepare individuals to be better developers of coaches," said Thompson. "This involves how we instruct coaches on how to apply knowledge to everyday coaching situations."

Thompson will develop and assess her own program based on information learned during the first session and will report her findings during the second session. She plans to rework content delivery in her Advanced Coaching Methods course and consulting sessions.

"We tell athletes to continually develop, so we need to practice what we preach," said Thompson. "Coaches need coach developers and we, as coach developers, need to continually improve how we are developing coaches."