ISSN 1652–7224  :: Published 28 March 2007
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The Sports Coach as Health Promoter

Jan-Ola Högberg
Dept. of Physical Education, Dalarna University


Teaching and learning in Physical Education (PE) have been given a dominant role in promoting a lifelong healthy lifestyle, including physical activity (PA). Sports training and practice are also believed to make an impact on people’s choice of a physically active lifestyle. Many of the national “curricula” of sports, state that participation in sports should enhance the consciousness of the value of a healthy lifestyle, especially in children’s and youth sports. The aim of this study is to examine whether coaches in children’s and youth sports involve lifestyle teaching in their sports practice.


A Likert scale questionnaire was collected from 106 coaches/leaders of young people’s sports practice. The young people in practice were 10 to 18 years old. Eleven other coaches were interviewed with the same aim. The SPSS statistical programme was used for the analysis of data from the questionnaires.


The analysis of the questionnaire gave no significant answers to the major question. No significant differences between individuals with different coaches’ education, different experience, etc. were found. The interviews indicated that different attitudes to health promotion within sports practice are caused by factors outside sport, e.g. vocational education.


The results indicate that the education offered by the Swedish Sport Federation is not efficient enough to change the attitudes of the coaches towards a more active health promoting practice.

Copyright © Jan-Ola Högberg 2007.