Developing Batswana Coaches’ Competencies Through the LifeMatters Programme: Teaching Mental Skills Through Games

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Stephanie J Hanrahan
Tshepang Tshube


This study aims to determine if participating in a train-the-trainer version of LifeMatters, a programme combining games and mental skills, influenced the competence, confidence, connections, character, or caring (5 Cs) of sports (e.g. football, athletics, basketball) teachers/coaches in Botswana. Coaches’ perceptions of the programme were also investigated. Coaches (50 males, 12 females, 1 unspecified) in 2015 participated in intensive LifeMatters training. Ages ranged from 24 to 62 (M = 37.63). They completed a pre and post questionnaire measuring the 5 Cs, and a qualitative programme evaluation. Coaches showed significant increases in competence, confidence, and connection. Content analysis classified the 434 qualitative data units obtained from the evaluation of the programme. Skills most frequently mentioned were goal setting, self-confidence, imagery, and relaxation. Additional comments related to beliefs that the programme should be taught throughout Botswana. The coaches felt that LifeMatters was a valuable programme that had a positive influence on their coaching as well as their own lives.

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