United States Sports Academy Chair of Sports Coaching Dr. Roch King recently visited Athens, Greece, where he participated in a working group and panel discussion about the coaching profession hosted by the Hellenic Olympic Committee and the International Council for Coaching Excellence (ICCE) and co-sponsored by the Erasmus+ Program of the European Union.

King was part of panel that discussed “The Voice of the Coach,” which touched on how sport is viewed as a profession around the world. The panel, part of the CoachForce21 conference, included representatives from the coaching profession from European Union countries, Canada, and the United States. Dr. King was jointly representing The Academy as an ICCE member and the United States Center for Coaching Excellence.

“It was interesting to hear how the profession of coaching is viewed in places like Hungary and Finland and around Europe,” King said. “There, coaches are represented by something like a trade union. In the United States, there are more than 2,000 coaching organizations for coaches at every level of sport, but almost none of them operate like a trade union. In the United States, there is no single organization that represents coaches. This fact has hindered the development of coaching as a professional.

“We discussed the fact that around the world, young athletes who compete at a high level see their coaches more often than they see their parents, or their teacher or doctor,” King said. “Around the world, there are many more people who work as coaches than as teachers or doctors. Coaches are viewed as important everywhere, but they are often overlooked as a workforce.”

King earned his Ph.D. in psycho-socio interactions in sport from Temple University in Philadelphia, Pa. He has been deeply involved with coach education and development as a faculty member at West Virginia University, Ball State University, and Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania, in addition to previously serving as the chair of sports coaching at the Academy.

King served as the director of sport development for Indiana Swimming and oversaw the High-Performance Plan for club swimming throughout the state. He has coached swimming at all levels from age-group to masters including serving on the staff at Carmel Swim Club (CSC) and Carmel High School in Carmel, Ind. King has also held coaching certifications in volleyball and water polo.

King served a three-year term on the executive board of the National Council for the Accreditation of Coaching Education, during which he served one year as president (2006-2007). He has celebrated his 20th year as a senior trainer for the Positive Coaching Alliance for whom he has led live workshops for coaches, athletes, parents, and youth sport organization leaders across the country. King has presented on coaching and coach education internationally in countries such as the United Kingdom, Thailand, Malaysia, Japan, and Finland.