Coaching in the UK

Research shows technology is providing new opportunities for coaching

Mon, 14 Mar 2016

New research commissioned by sports coach UK has shown that technology is providing new opportunities for people to participate in coaching in different ways.

The findings have shown the use of health and fitness apps has grown by 62%, this is in comparison to a 33% growth in general apps. The study also showed that more than one in ten UK adults now own a wearable device, up from 6% in 2014 to 13% in 2015.

Technology is a huge growth area for sport and physical activity - increasing numbers of participants use smartphones, apps and wearables in their active lifestyle to track and monitor performance.

The rise in the use of technology in sport has given participants the opportunity to engage with coaches and coaching in new ways; remote coaching  where participants receiving long-distance coaching via the internet to enhance their experiences and self-directed coaching where informal learning is used to support an individual’s sporting experiences.

This latest research is part of a two part study, the second part will show how sport and physical activity providers can use technology and coaches to reach a wider audience.

Mike Fisher, Head of Research and Innovation at sports coach UK said:

“The findings of this research let us get excited about the power of technology to bring coaching to new audiences as well as enhance the experiences of those who already receive coaching.

“This research will help our sector understand how people are using these technologies, how they impact on behaviour and how this differs for different participant groups.”

Professor David Morley oversaw the research conducted at Liverpool John Moores University. He said:        

“As we strive to understand more about the reasons why the population participate in sport, the need to recognise the role of technology in participant behaviour is paramount.

“This unique research demonstrates a fundamental understanding of the emerging picture of the role of technology in sports participation. A follow-up report will present the ground-breaking findings of a further, more widespread, study involving surveys and interviews of people involved in sport as well as interviews with Market Leaders of some of the most recognised and widely-used sport apps.

“The findings will shed a critical light on the place of technology in sport participation and whether the use of such remote technologies has the potential to lead the sport participant to face-to-face coaching experiences.”

The Coaching and New Technology Market Research report is available to download now.

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