A West Virginia University faculty member has been selected to join an elite group of international coaching experts to create a network of coach developers across the world.

Kristen Dieffenbach, associate professor in WVU’s College of Physical Activity and Sport Sciences athletic coaching education program, has been selected into the Nippon Sport Science University Coach Developer Academy as part of the Japanese government’s Sport for Tomorrow program. As a fully funded initiative leading up to the 2020 Olympics to be hosted by Japan, the program targets athletes, coaches and coach developers.

The Sport for Tomorrow program promotes sport and the Olympic and Paralympic movement, trains sport leaders, and protects and promotes the values of sport. The group strives to create coaching cultures that lead to positive experiences for everyone.

“I am looking forward to using the knowledge and international relationships I develop through this experience to enhance the work that the CPASS Center for Applied Coaching and Sport Science is doing and expand opportunities for our students,” explained Dieffenbach.

Dieffenbach was one of 12 experts accepted from a pool of 60 people who are working actively in coaching education around the world. Dieffenbach was selected due to her excellent credentials in academics, service and education leadership in the coach development profession. The coach developer program is coordinated in conjunction with the International Council for Coaching Excellence. Dieffenbach will travel to Japan during the summer 2016 and spring 2017 for weeklong intensive training sessions.

“This effort represents an international movement and a shift in the field, and recognizes the significance of coaching education preparation. The profession needs systems and facilitators to arm coaches with specialized knowledge and skills” said Dieffenbach.

Dieffenbach explained that the program recognizes that “context matters.” Specialization supports a depth of knowledge that explores the difference between coaching a 5-, 15- and 30-year-old athlete while studying the difference between participation and performance sports. “It’s a system; we need a depth of knowledge.”

“By participating and contributing to this effort, I can help influence CPASS master’s and doctoral students and help make their training and education stronger, guiding them to make contributions in the profession” Dieffenbach added.

“Dr. Dieffenbach’s recognition as international coach developer is a tremendous honor and clearly demonstrates her status as a foremost coaching education scholar and leader within the field. Having scholars and leaders of this capability as part of the team at CPASS allows the university to make strides in partnering with citizens�and communities to better their health outcomes and quality of life in West Virginia and across the globe. CPASS is proud to have such a distinguished faculty member among our faculty�ranks,” Dana Brooks, dean and professor at CPASS stated.

Dieffenbach has published research articles in scientific journals, authored and co-authored numerous book chapters and has written for applied publications such as Olympic Coach, VeloNews and Dirt Rag. Dieffenbach has served as an expert panelist or consultant for features in publications such as Performance Conditioning for Cycling, Runner’s World, Backpacker, Bicycling, and Adventure Sports Magazine, and on the Outdoor Life Network. As a coach she holds an elite level�USA�Cycling license and has earned a Level II endurance specialization from�USA�Track and Field.

The NSSU Coach Developer Academy mission is to foster future international coach development talent across the world and help individuals become more effective facilitators, coach assessors, mentors and program designers. The group has partnered with the International Council for Coaching Excellence and will offer a blended learning experience, including two one-week residentials at NSSU in Tokyo, with e-learning and on-line support. Upon completion of the program, participants will work toward certification.



CONTACT: Kim Cameon, College of Physical Activity and Sport Sciences
304.293.0827, Kimberly.Cameon@mail.wvu.edu

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