A Keith Dils

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Coaches and administrators involved in athletics in the educational milieu proclaim that sport is an integral part of the educational process. The National Federation of State High School Associations maintains that athletics is "educational" (Jable, 1986). However, positive outcomes are not inevitable and in fact negative outcomes often occur. Because the mandates for the "educational" use of athletics consist of general and undefined values (e.g., collapsing the concept of sportsmanship into one undefined value) they are not conducive to making values development through sport an attainable goal (Wandzilak & Potter, 1986). Also, these mandates for the "educational" use of sport are often made and enforced by those who are under the mistaken assumption that educational outcomes are a natural by-product of sport participation (Greendorfer, 1987). In order for interscholastic athletics to be likely to promote desired educational outcomes, the coach must not assume that positive outcomes are inevitable, but must make a rational and planned effort to reinforce, model and teach those specific desired educational outcomes (Knoppers, 1992). Therefore, in order to determine the purposes of coaching education concerning the learning outcomes interscholastic coaches are to be taught to reinforce, model and teach, coaching education experts were surveyed via a modified Delphi method consisting of two rounds. Respondents were asked to rate the importance of each statement (definition was provided) to the present and future definition of the educational purpose of interscholastic athletics and also to rank each learning outcome. It was found that Self-confidence was the student athlete learning outcome found to be most important for both the present and future. The eight learning outcomes that were ranked distinctively high for the present included Self-respect, Self-discipline, Circular Respiratory Efficiency, Courage to Act, Joy of Movement, Teamwork, Honesty and Leadership. If the claims concerning the educational role of interscholastic athletics are to be free from hypocrisy, then there must either be changes so that coaches are taught to behave in ways that create learning experiences likely to produce the learning outcomes found in this framework, or the educational rhetoric associated with interscholastic athletics should change.