Perceived coach-created environment directly predicts high school athletes’ physical activity during sport

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Alan Chu, Associate Professor (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
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Abstract: Sport participation is an important means for adolescents to achieve moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA), yet most high school students including athletes do not achieve the 60-minute daily MVPA guideline. As psychosocial factors influence athlete engagement and physical activity during sport, the perceived environment created by coaches could play a role in this influence. Guided by self-determination and achievement goal theories, this four-month prospective study examined the direct and indirect effects of perceived coach-created environment on high school athletes’ MVPA and sedentary behavior (SB) during sport. During the third to fourth week of a sport season, 225 high school athletes (Mage = 15.24 years) completed a survey assessing perceptions of coach-created empowering and disempowering climates as well as psychological need satisfaction and frustration. Four months later, their MVPA and SB percentage times (%) during sport were measured using accelerometers. Path analyses partially supported our hypothesis, indicating significant direct effects of a perceived empowering climate on need satisfaction (ß = .41) and need frustration (ß = –.29), and direct effects of a perceived disempowering climate on need frustration (ß = .38) and MVPA% (ß = –.28). No significant indirect effects on MVPA% or SB% were found. Findings support and provide new insights into the important role of disempowering beyond empowering climates in predicting high school athletes’ PA. Specifically, when coaches display ego-involving and controlling behaviors, high school athletes may disengage during sport and achieve less overall MVPA. Further examination of these relationships using a longitudinal design across more diverse samples is warranted.

Additional Information

International Journal of Sports Science and Coaching, 16(1)
Language: English
Date: 2020
achievement goal theory, motivational climate, self-determination theory, youth sport

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