Coaching Association of Canada

Creating positive sport experiences: A self-reflection tool for coaches

Sport is a vehicle through which many positive developmental outcomes may be achieved. Participation in sport does not, however, guarantee these positive outcomes. To ensure that athletes receive the greatest benefits from their sport participation, coaches should therefore use positive, holistic, and values-based approaches to athlete development. Coaches can do this by paying particular attention to enhancing the Core Foundations of Positive Athlete Development, the 5Cs:

Use the specific examples of the 5Cs across the physical, intellectual, psychological, and social dimensions of human development listed below to assess how well you integrate the 5Cs into your athlete’s daily environment. Think of very specific instances when you’ve regularly integrated these aspects. If none come to mind, think of how you could integrate them in the future.

Click here to download an editable PDF of this tool.

  • Competence


    • Physical – How I (could) develop a wide variety of skills that enable athletes to engage in healthy living activities:...
    • Intellectual – How I (could) encourage athletes to think creatively and imaginatively about how to play each game:...
    • Psychological – How I (could) encourage athletes to value skill development as a determinant of optimal play:...
    • Social – How I (could) teach athletes how to play with others so all improve:...
  • Confidence


    • Physical – How I (could) teach athletes to participate with confidence, knowing the tactical and strategic dimensions of each game:...
    • Intellectual – How I (could) teach athletes to apply tactics and skills to the dynamics and artfulness of play:...
    • Psychological – How I (could) encourage athletes to apply effort to skill and play performance:...
    • Social – How I (could) encourage athletes to respect the power of collective effort:...
  • Character


    • Physical – How I (could) ensure athletes play fair:...
    • Intellectual – How I (could) teach athletes to understand how giving everyone opportunities improves play:...
    • Psychological – How I (could) encourage athletes to value play with others as teammates or opponents:...
    • Social – How I (could) teach athletes to recognize the value of teamwork:...
  • Connection


    • Physical – How I (could) create opportunities for athletes to experience affiliation with others through physical pursuits:...
    • Intellectual – How I (could) encourage athletes to work with other participants to develop strategies for success:...
    • Psychological – How I (could) teach athletes to value camaraderie with fellow players:...
    • Social – How I (could) encourage athletes to value the sense of connection and belonging associated with group/team play:...
  • Caring and Compassion


    • Physical – How I (could) have athletes help others experience the reward of playing with enthusiasm:...
    • Intellectual – How I (could) encourage athletes to play in ways that build other players’ skills and confidence:...
    • Psychological – How I (could) ensure athletes play competitively but with humility and respect for opponents, and lose with dignity:...
    • Social – How I (could) encourage athletes to support other team/group members, whatever the performance outcome:...

Whether you’re a first-time coach or an experienced veteran, it’s important to keep the 5Cs in mind and regularly reflect on how well your actions impact the participants’ sport experience!

Want more information on how to create positive and healthy sport experiences for your participants? The Empower + module, part of the National Coaching Certification Program (NCCP) Multi-sport module series for coaches, will provide you with additional knowledge! Contact your Provincial or Territorial Coaching Representative for more details!