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Ambitious Coaching Project

Ambitious Coaching (n): 

Ambitious Coaching is the UW Center for Leadership in Athletic’s term for high quality sports coaching. Ambitious Coaching is a holistic approach to individual and team instruction that blends social emotional growth and improved sports performance. Targeted to student athletes from elementary school through college, in any sport, Ambitious Coaching serves as the cornerstone for the Center’s coach training and professional development.

Ambitious Coach talking to little league athletes
Dr. Julie McCleery coaching her little league team. Photo via Snap! Raise, Leading Edge 

About the Project

In 2016, the Center for Leadership in Athletics began a project to identify the knowledge and skills at the heart of excellent coaching. That project, known as the Ambitious Coaching Project, has led to a research study and spawned a range of activities guided by our deepening understanding of what we call Ambitious Coaching.

Ambitious Coaching focuses on producing outcomes at the intersection of social emotional growth and peak athletic performance.

Ambitious coaches engage athletes in a fundamentally sound, intentional, and integrated approach to sport designed to elicit both high levels of execution and personal growth and fulfillment.

Ambitious coaching acknowledges the complex factors involved in eliciting peak individual and team performance and recognizes and identifies the ways great coaches put their knowledge into action to make this happen. This knowledge in action is called a core practice.

Coaching Core practices are the high leverage routines, strategies, and activities ambitious coaches use that have profound influence on the achievement of positive outcomes for athletes.

The first phase of our research has identified 15 Coaching Core Practices.  Download the preliminary research findings here.


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University of Washington, Center for Leadership in Athletics  |  Gilman Building: 4725 30th Avenue NE  |  Seattle, WA, 98105

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