By Chris Evans
To participate in any adventure sport, a level of decision making is required, this includes decisions on elements like residual risk, perceived risk, and real risk. The job of adventure sport coaches (ASC) can often be to encourage and facilitate the development of the required decisions necessary to become an independent performer. Recently, I was the coach on an advanced white water kayaking week for under eighteen year olds where three participants were constantly in trouble in the evenings for boisterous behaviour, but on the water, were capable of making decisions that could be perceived to beyond their age. During the course part of their learning became decision making using similar methods to those I would use while coaching adults. I was left surprised and impressed with the grown-up judgments during activity from a group that were guilty of acting up in the evening. Is what I did that week reflected in others in adventure sports coaching? There has been research into the decision-making processes that the adventure sports coach utilizes, however, very little that discusses age of decision making capabilities. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to examine if and how ASCs facilitate and encourage decision making while working with the adolescents.