The relationship of perceived autonomy-supportive coaching behavior with motivation among high school athletes

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Chelsea J. Burrell (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site:
Diane Gill

Abstract: Recent literature suggests that coaches play a significant role in creating a climate that fosters self-determined motivation among athletes. Coaching style influences athlete perception, motivation, and performance. Research supports that an autonomy-supportive coaching style is an effective motivational tool for coaches, whereas a controlling coaching style is ineffective. Previous research has shown that an autonomy-supportive interpersonal style increases self-determined motivation among athletes. However, previous research typically includes only one interpersonal coaching style. In addition, there is minimal research looking at needs satisfaction mediating the relationship between coaching behavior and athlete motivation through the SDT continuum. The purpose of this study was to examine the relationship of autonomy-supportive and controlling coaching behaviors with high school athletes’ motivation as well as needs satisfaction. High school athletes from the Western region of North Carolina (n=162) completed the Coach Behavior Scale in Sport, Controlling Coach Behavior Scale, Behavior Regulation in Sport Questionnaire, and the Basic Needs Satisfaction Sport Scale. Correlations and multiple regression analyses were used to analyze relationships among coaching behaviors, needs satisfaction, and motivation. The hypotheses were 1) autonomy-supportive coaching behavior is positively related to higher forms of self-determined motivation and needs satisfaction, 2) controlling coaching behavior is negatively related to self-determined forms of motivation and needs satisfaction, and3) needs satisfaction mediates the relationship between coaching behavior and athlete motivation. As predicted, autonomy-supportive coaching behavior was positively and significantly correlated with higher forms of self-determined motivation (intrinsic: r=.463; integrated: r=.512; and identified: r=.558), whereas controlling coaching behavior was positively and significantly correlated with more extrinsic forms of motivation (external: r=.411 and amotivation: r=.279). Autonomy-supportive coaching behavior was positively correlated with all three needs (competence: r=.479, autonomy: r=.583, and relatedness: r=.582), and in turn, the three needs positively predicted higher forms of self-determined motivation. Multiple regression results indicate that the relationships of autonomy-supportive and controlling coaching behaviors with motivation are partially mediated by perceived needs satisfaction, but the relationships differed for different forms of motivation. Evidence for mediation was strongest for intrinsic motivation, and for integrated motivation and identified motivation, autonomous coach behavior added to the prediction suggesting the relationship was not fully mediated by needs satisfaction. For external regulation, controlling coaching behavior was a strong direct predictor with no evidence of mediation. The results indicate that autonomy-supportive coaching behavior predicts need satisfaction and enhances athlete motivation whereas controlling coaching behavior reduces self-determined motivation. Therefore, coaches are advised to use strategies that promote autonomy, such as providing options, giving athletes opportunities to make decisions, and allowing athletes to feel involved.

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 2016
Sport Psychology, Coaching styles, Athletes
Coaching (Athletics) $x Psychological aspects
School sports $x Coaching $x Psychological aspects
High school athletes $x Psychology
Coach-athlete relationships
Motivation (Psychology)
Autonomy (Psychology)

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