The safety and scientific validity of this study is the responsibility of the study sponsor and investigators. Listing a study does not mean it has been endorsed by the ANZCTR. Before participating in a study, talk to your health care provider and refer to this information for consumers
Trial registered on ANZCTR

Registration number
Ethics application status
Date submitted
Date registered
Date last updated
Date data sharing statement initially provided
Date results information initially provided
Type of registration
Retrospectively registered

Titles & IDs
Public title
Can games based professional learning for community sports coaches for the improvement of coaching quality and student outcomes of physical skills and self-perception?
Scientific title
In late primary school aged (8 - 12 years) athletes, does a game centered approach professional development intervention for community level coaches, compared to normal coaching practice, improve the skills, activity levels in training and physical self perception of students?
Secondary ID [1] 286534 0
Universal Trial Number (UTN)
Trial acronym
Linked study record

Health condition
Health condition(s) or problem(s) studied:
Game play abilities 294764 0
Physical self perception 294765 0
Physical activity levels 294766 0
Perceived motivational climate 294767 0
Condition category
Condition code
Public Health 295049 295049 0 0
Health promotion/education

Study type
Description of intervention(s) / exposure
Coach professional development intervention delivered by the research team (PhD level) focusing on the use of a game centered approach for coaching community level junior athletes.

Intervention involves:
1- Coach learning session:
A one-off 2 hour theory based seminar covering: i) Physical activity research findings and theoretical grounding for improving skills, ii) Game Centered Approach (GCA) background, iii) GCA comparison to a direct instruction methodology, iv) using a game centered approach to guide a session, v) the use of questioning to assist student cognition, vi) concepts of quality coaching including Active Learning Time (ALT), athlete management for improved ALT and enhanced skills learning, and identification and use of Teachable Moments within activities.

2- Coach mentoring:
Coaches will deliver 30 minutes of researcher developed GCA curriculum each week across the 8 week delivery phase. A member of the research team will provide in-session scaffolding (demonstration) and feedback of the coaches curriculum delivery for the first 4 weeks of the program (4 x 30minutes during the coaches programmed 1 hour session).

Mentoring ensures the coaches involved understand the format and purpose of the designed content, and for coaches to observe, undertake, problem solve and trouble shoot more effective practice with an academic partner, in the authentic context of their own coaching sessions (4 x 1 hour). Mentoring begins the week following the professional learning seminar (1 week between seminar and mentoring).

A sample of 12 coaches and their teams (n = 120 approx) are sought for recruitment. All participants will undergo outcome assessment, with half of the coaches (n = 6) with their respective team randomized post assessment to the intervention group, or wait-list control group (n = 6 coaches).

Fidelity and adgerence:
All coaches (intervention and control) are observed at bi-weekly intervals across the intervention period, with sessions referenced against coaching observation scales (Turner and Martinek, 1992). Sessions are judged against three skill based statements and four game based statements to obtain the percentage of agreement for each of these sets of statements (E.g. lesson agreement with one of four game based statements and two of three skill statements = 25% game agreement and 66% skills agreement, indicating a greater skills based lesson focus). These agreement values are used to indicate: i) if the style of instruction undertaken at each time period was in line with a skill based or game centred approach, and ii) if the fidelity of the instruction undertaken by the intervention group teachers was in line with the true nature of the intervention.

A register of attendance at learning session for coaches and at training sessions for students is maintained to monitor adherence at sessions across the intervention period.
Intervention code [1] 291632 0
Intervention code [2] 291696 0
Comparator / control treatment
Standard treatment wait-list control group.
The control group undertake the standard content planned by the coaches across the intervention period. The wait-list control receive the professional development intervention with two mentoring sessions after the completion of follow-up assessments (8 weeks from baseline testing).
Control group

Primary outcome [1] 294815 0
Game play abilities assessment measured using a Game Play Assessment Instrument (GPAI). Participants are filmed playing a 5 a side version of the sport they are involved in. A participants decision making, skill performance and support play are evaluated as a proportion of effective performance segments against the total game segment involvement (A game segment occurs each time a player touches the ball).
Timepoint [1] 294815 0
Baseline and 10 weeks from the coach learning session
Secondary outcome [1] 314123 0
Active Learning Time (ALT) is assessed using a direct measure: Students will wear pedometers during the baseline and follow-up observation sessions, and at the 3rd and 5th intervention week sessions.
Timepoint [1] 314123 0
Baseline, 3rd and 5th intervention week sessions, and 10 weeks from coach learning session.
Secondary outcome [2] 314124 0
Enjoyment of Physical Activity is assessed using (Motl et al, 2001) Physical activity enjoyment scale
Timepoint [2] 314124 0
Baseline and 10 weeks from the coach learning session
Secondary outcome [3] 314125 0
Athletic competence is assessed using Harter’s physical self-perception profile (Harter, 1985)
Timepoint [3] 314125 0
Baseline and 10 weeks from the coach learning session
Secondary outcome [4] 314126 0
Student perceived motivational climate is assessed using the Learning and Performance Orientations in Physical Education Classes Questionnaire (LAPOPECQ) (17 Questions)
Timepoint [4] 314126 0
Baseline and 10 weeks from the coach learning session

Key inclusion criteria
Coach: Volunteer (unpaid) coaching athletes 8-12 years, already coaching the team to be invited into the study.

Team size: minimum of the correct number of players required to field a competition team (E.g. 7 players for a netball team), and maximum of double the players required to field a competition team (E.g. 14 players for a netball team).

Sport: Netball

Athlete: Stage 2-3 (8-12 years age)
Minimum age
8 Years
Maximum age
80 Years
Both males and females
Can healthy volunteers participate?
Key exclusion criteria
Coach: Undergraduate Physical Education or Coaching degree qualification

Athlete: Mental development disorder (eg- down syndrome)

Study design
Purpose of the study
Educational / counselling / training
Allocation to intervention
Randomised controlled trial
Procedure for enrolling a subject and allocating the treatment (allocation concealment procedures)
An eligible coach is enrolled with all athletes from their team invited to participate.

Teams allocated to intervention or wait-list control. Allocation is decided post baseline assessment at an off-site location, with participants informed of group enrollment prior to intervention start.

Allocation is not concealed
Methods used to generate the sequence in which subjects will be randomised (sequence generation)
Randomization at the team level via a coin flip by independent 3rd party
Masking / blinding
Blinded (masking used)
Who is / are masked / blinded?

The people assessing the outcomes
Intervention assignment
Other design features
Not Applicable
Type of endpoint(s)
Statistical methods / analysis
Linear mixed models

Assuming an alpha of 0.05 and power of 80%, it was determined that a total sample size of 102 was needed to detect a medium effect (d = 0.5) between independent group means.

Recruitment status
Date of first participant enrolment
Date of last participant enrolment
Date of last data collection
Sample size
Accrual to date
Recruitment in Australia
Recruitment state(s)

Funding & Sponsors
Funding source category [1] 291100 0
Name [1] 291100 0
University of Newcastle
Address [1] 291100 0
University Drive, Callaghan, NSW, 2308
Country [1] 291100 0
Primary sponsor type
University of Newcastle
University Drive, Callaghan, NSW, 2308
Secondary sponsor category [1] 289776 0
Name [1] 289776 0
Address [1] 289776 0
Country [1] 289776 0

Ethics approval
Ethics application status
Ethics committee name [1] 292680 0
University of Newcastle Human Research Ethics Commitee
Ethics committee address [1] 292680 0
University Drive, Callaghan, NSW, 2308
Ethics committee country [1] 292680 0
Date submitted for ethics approval [1] 292680 0
Approval date [1] 292680 0
Ethics approval number [1] 292680 0

Brief summary
The aim of this study is to report the effects of a Game Centered Approach professional development program for improving game play abilities, active learning time, athlete enjoyment of training, athlete physical self-perception and athlete perceived motivational climate.

The Professional Learning for Understanding Games Education in Sport (PLUNGE into SPORT) program was developed to enhance the coaching skills of community sport based volunteer coaches using a Game Centered Approach in an authentic learning environment. We hypothesized that athletes in the PLUNGE intervention, compared to those in the control group, will display more favorable changes in game play abilities, activity levels during sessions, enjoyment of training, physical self-perception and perceived motivational climate.
Trial website
Trial related presentations / publications
Exposing athletes to playing form activity: Outcomes of a randomized control trial among community netball teams using a game-centered approach. Under review. Journal of Sports Sciences.
Public notes

Principal investigator
Name 56554 0
Dr Andrew Miller
Address 56554 0
EN2.05, Ourimbah campus, University of Newcastle, Chitaway Rd, Ourimbah, NSW, 2258
Country 56554 0
Phone 56554 0
+61 425 308 186
Fax 56554 0
Email 56554 0
Contact person for public queries
Name 56555 0
Dr Andrew Miller
Address 56555 0
EN2.05, Ourimbah campus, University of Newcastle, Chitaway Rd, Ourimbah, NSW, 2258
Country 56555 0
Phone 56555 0
+61 425 308 186
Fax 56555 0
Email 56555 0
Contact person for scientific queries
Name 56556 0
Dr Andrew Miller
Address 56556 0
EN2.05, Ourimbah campus, University of Newcastle, Chitaway Rd, Ourimbah, NSW, 2258
Country 56556 0
Phone 56556 0
+61 425 308 186
Fax 56556 0
Email 56556 0

Data sharing statement
Will individual participant data (IPD) for this trial be available (including data dictionaries)?
No/undecided IPD sharing reason/comment
It was not built into the original ethics in 2015
What supporting documents are/will be available?
No other documents available
Summary results
Have study results been published in a peer-reviewed journal?
Other publications
Have study results been made publicly available in another format?
Results – basic reporting
Results – plain English summary
Engaging athletes in greater proportions of playing form time through coach mentoring and curriculum provision resulted in players undertaking greater amounts of physical activity in training sessions and developing greater game skills in relation to a control condition receiving normal coaching.