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06 Jun 2023 912

UK Coaching release new research on the state of coaching in the UK

The 'Coaching in the UK, 2022' report highlights the invaluable contribution the nation's three million coaches make to the health and well-being of all who take part in sport and physical activity

As part of this year's UK Coaching Week national awareness campaign, UK Coaching has released its Coaching in the UK research: a UK-wide report on the state of coaching in the UK.

The report, produced by YouGov, surveyed over 30,000 adults aged 18+ and explores the thoughts and opinions of our nation's coaches as well as the participants they coach.

The report was last conducted in 2019 and this latest research helps identify the trends that have emerged over the last three years.

The positive impact coaches have on the lives of their participants was one of the key takeaways from the report. One area that has seen a positive shift was in the confidence and trust participants have in their coaches. Over three quarters (79%) of participants said they think coaches are trustworthy, while 90% stated they had confidence in their coach.

And when compared to other professions, coaches ranked fourth, following nurses, teachers, and social workers, but were deemed more trustworthy than police officers.

There were also significant shifts in what participants viewed as great qualities in a coach with more stating that creating a warm and welcoming environment (43%) and having a coach who listens to them (32%) were important. On the other hand, attributes such as previous coaching experience (19%), qualifications (31%), and a high level of skill in the sport (30%) were considered less important compared to 2019.

The coaches themselves reflected this change in the desirable attributes of a great coach. A larger percentage acknowledged the significance of listening to participants (30%) and creating a warm and welcoming environment (37%). Meanwhile, traits such as qualifications (29%) and a high level of skill in the sport (27%) were deemed less important compared to previous years.

The benefits of coaching on both physical and mental health were also brought to the forefront within the report as 82% of participants agreed that the coaching they receive has positively impacted their mental health and well-being. Over 80% also stated that the coaching they receive helps to improve their physical health.

Participants also recorded improved responses on the importance of regular physical activity, their ability to participate, feeling as though they have the opportunity to do so, and their motivation to do more.

As the latest research indicates, coaches continue to have a profound positive impact on the health and well-being of the nation and play a vital role in delivering on the shared aims of Sport England's 'Uniting the Movement' strategy. Coaches and activity leaders inspire and educate participants to develop a lifelong love of being active and reach communities where access to physical activity can have the biggest impact.

The Coaching in the UK report also highlighted some of the key motivators for coaches, with the biggest driver being wanting to support others to be more active. According to those who have coached in the last five years, top reasons for first getting into coaching include supporting their local club/team (20%), staying involved in sport or physical activity (20%), and that they began coaching while still playing (20%).

With coaches playing such an integral role in supporting communities to get active and stay active, this UK Coaching Week sees the launch of UK Coaching's Duty to Care Hub, to ensure we celebrate and protect everyone in sport equally, including coaches, the wider support system of nutritionists, physios, strength and conditioning specialists, and administrators.

To find out more about Duty to Care, visit the Duty to Care Hub.

To read the Coaching in the UK reports visit Coaching in the UK.

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