From teaching the United States Sports Academy’s post-secondary, non-degree education programs in Thailand to attending international coaching seminars in Tokyo to traveling with students on a Sports Study Tour of the United States, Dr. Roch King has been a busy man the last few months.
King, the Academy’s chair of sports coaching, recently returned from the International Council for Coaching Excellence (ICCE) Global Coach Conference in Tokyo, Japan, where he presented on his experience working in coaching mentorship programs in the United States. He also co-presented a poster focused on university-based sports coaching education programs. The Academy is an organizational member of the ICCE as well as the United States Center for Coaching Excellence (USCCE).
“It is interesting to me that no matter where I go to talk about coaching, people everywhere seem to understand that coaches matter,” King said. “No matter where you are in the world, people know that a good coach can mean the world to an athlete, from the youth sports level all the way to professional and international competition levels. Coaches are a critical part of every athlete’s experience, and I am happy to see that the ICCE is working to make sure coaches everywhere are better prepared to make a positive impact in the lives of athletes.
“For the Academy, it is great to be part of the ICCE because it shows that the institution is willing to do what is necessary to do its part in training the next generation of coaches. The Academy has always been on the leading edge of sports education, and being part of the ICCE is just another example of the institution’s commitment to making the world a better place through sport.”
While he was in Tokyo, King also met two Academy students who were attending the conference. Doctoral student Mara Braegelmann presented on coaching hard-of-hearing athletes at the conference, and master’s degree student Brent Tipton was attending in his role as the head basketball coach for the Guam U-17 national basketball team.
King is also set to present at a December conference at West Virginia University on the National Youth Sports Strategy, a federal initiative put forth by the Department of Health and Human Services Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion. The conference, “Examining Coaching and Coach Education in the United States,” is hosted by the USCCE.
“This conference is going to be interesting because for the first time, the federal government is beginning to look at youth sport and how it can be tied to public health efforts,” King said. “I think for a long time we’ve understood that sport can be good for the emotional wellbeing of an athlete, but now we are starting to look at the role coaches play in that effort.”
King also recently accompanied a group of sports professionals selected by the Sports Authority of Thailand (SAT) for the Sports Strength and Conditioning Certification (SSCC) pilot program to the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA) headquarters in Colorado Springs, Colo., for an immersive experience featuring classroom instruction, hands-on training, and interactive assessment. The group spent two weeks at the NSCA facility with the second weekend focusing on how to teach fundamental weightlifting techniques and more.
He also taught sports psychology as part of the Academy’s National Sports Coaching Program (NCSP) in Thailand earlier in 2019.
“My time working for and traveling for the Academy the last six to eight months has been fulfilling and interesting,” King said. “It has been interesting to see how coaches are viewed in different parts of the world. Also, I’ve learned that no matter where you go, everyone shares the view that what coaches do is important. There is, very obviously, a global need for good coaches and I’m pleased that the Academy has put itself at the forefront of coaching education.”
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 18th 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, and Finland.