WA News Letters Coaches Should Lead the Way
Coaches Should Lead the Way
Written by Ms Amy Dyer
Tuesday, 25 October 2016

Dear Editor,

Re: ‘What is the Ultimate Elixir of Sport?’ (October issue), what is frequently talked about in the media is the need for anti-doping organisations to improve and advance their ability to test for prohibited substances and use increasingly advanced technology and intelligent testing regimes. What is often overlooked is anti-doping education and promoting a culture of anti-doping in sport.

The World Anti-Doping Code states doping is fundamentally contrary to the spirit of sport and to fight it Anti-Doping Organisations must develop and implement education and prevention programs for athletes, including youth, and their support personnel (e.g., coaches).

Researchers (e.g., Barkoukis et al., 2013; Whitaker et al., 2014) have argued for the merits of a preventative stance by fostering young athletes’ anti-doping attitudes, diminished willingness to dope, and efficacy to resist doping-related temptations early in their sporting careers.

As architects of the talent development environment in sport, coaches play a crucial role in shaping the psychological experiences and actions of athletes. Under the WADC, part of the role of coaches is to educate and counsel athletes regarding anti-doping policies and rules, and use their influence on athlete values and behaviour to foster anti-doping attitudes.

Coaches are uniquely placed to influence athletes’ attitudes and behaviours and reduce the risk of doping. Encouraging coaches to talk about anti-doping with athletes and maximise the effectiveness by which they communicate these messages is key to protecting clean sport.

Led by Prof Nikos Ntoumanis of Curtin University, a group of internationally recognised experts in anti-doping, motivation and applied psychology are developing a coach-based program to prevent current and future willingness to dope in adolescent sport.

The project, CoachMADE, is funded by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and involves researchers from Curtin University (Australia), Leeds Beckett University (England), and Aristotle University of Thessaloniki (Greece). The results of CoachMADE will enable more efficient and evidence-based educational programs and campaigns to prevent doping through athlete support personnel.

Coaches of athletes aged 14-18 years are being invited to take part by contacting This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or visit www.coachMADE.com.

Ms Amy Dyer, Researcher, Curtin University