Coaching Behavior in Norwegian Youth Swimming: An Achievement Goal Perspective

Bård Erlend Solstad, The Norwegian School of Sport Sciences, Norway

Theme: Youth sport

Poster Number: 75

Program ID: POS-1

Presentation: October 3, 2013 5:30 pm - 7:00 pm

Room: Napoleon


The ways in which coaches relate to their athletes’ and the achievement standards they emphasize have an impact on athletes’ well being. Thus, grounded in achievement goal theory (Nicholls, 1989), the purpose of this study was to examine how Norwegian swimmers perceived their coaches’ behavior and the corresponding motivational climate, and how these influenced a range of well-being parameters (e.g., athlete burnout, subjective vitality, as well as positive and negative affect). A total of 202 male and female Norwegian swimmers (ages 14-24) completed a battery of questionnaires (e.g., Motivational Climate Scale for Youth Sports, CBAS-PBS, Athlete Burnout Questionnaire, Subjective Vitality Scale, and the PANAS). We conducted a canonical correlation analysis to determine the multivariate association between the two sets of variables. The perceived motivational climate was the predictor variable. Athletes’ perceptions of coaching behavior and a range of well-being parameters (e.g., burnout, vitality, and positive and negative affect) were the criterion variables. The multivariate relationship was significant, Wilk’s ? = .43 F (40,360) = 4.7 p < .001. The canonical function emerged with a canonical correlation, rci, of .70 (49 % overlapping variance) and a redundancy index of 30. Consistent with earlier findings, athletes who perceived coaching behaviors that emphasized positive reinforcement, mistake-contingent encouragement, corrective instruction given in a positive and encouraging fashion, and proper technical instruction perceived a mastery climate. Conversely, coaching behaviors that emphasized punitive technical instruction were positively correlated with an ego climate. Further, our findings indicated that there was a positive relationship between an ego climate and the three dimensions of burnout. We also found a positive relationship between a mastery climate, vitality, and positive affect. Thus, all coaches should strive to create a mastery climate in youth sports that promotes athletes’ well-being and optimizes their achievement motivation.

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