Sports performance is determined by many factors. According to Serpa (), and the trends from the literature, the coach-athlete relationship is an important. The Coach-Athlete Relationship: Sport psychology at work, by Warrick Wood, MSc. A strong team culture is important to success and member satisfaction. Perceptions of Coach–Athlete Relationship Are More Important to Coaches than Athletes in Predicting Dyadic Coping and Stress Appraisals.
The coach—athlete relationship predicted the achievement of mastery goals six months later. Enhancing the quality of the coach—athlete relationship among elite adolescent athletes appears to be a suitable way of maximizing mastery achievement goals, particularly among developmental athletes who participate in team sports.
In response to concerns about the low number and quality of young players produced by soccer academies within England and Wales, the academy managers from Premier League clubs met up to discuss plans to modernize the structure of soccer academies, with a view to producing more and better homegrown players.
The Importance of a Strong Coach-Athlete Relationship | Ohio University
This meeting and subsequent consultations resulted in the development of the Elite Player Performance Plan EPPPwhich details the processes and procedures necessary for academies to produce more and better homegrown players. This revolved around producing world leading coaching, creating tactically and technically excellent players who are independent decisions makers, and developing educationally rounded people Football Association Premier League, As such, all academies are working toward achieving these goals and there is a clear structure across professional clubs.
Premier League academies are for players talented players aged from Under-9s through to Unders age groups. Academies are divided into three phases: Academy players in the foundation and youth development phases combine playing in the academy with their school responsibilities.
Conversely, players in the professional development phase are full-time players, although there are educational commitments for Under players. Even though being an F. Premier League academy player is very prestigious, these players are also expected to commit many hours to training and playing matches, with a typical season running from mid-July to mid-June Morley et al.
As such, over the course of a season, academy players will spend many hours working with their coach to improve their technique and tactical understanding of football Reeves et al. Indeed, players in the foundation age groups spend 8 h a week with their coach on the pitch and an additional 2 h each week with sport science support staff e.
Players in the development groups spend 8 h with their coach on the pitch training, and a further 4 h with sport science support staff. The professional development phase consists of two groups. The Under players are classified as scholarship players and spend 12 h with their coach on the pitch, 2 h in the classroom with their coach, 10 h with sport science support staff, and 6 h in education.
Finally, the Under players are with their coach on the pitch for 12 h per week and additional 2 h in the classroom.
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They accumulate 11 h per week with sport science support staff, but have no formal education. There are potentially other times in which the players and athletes may develop their relationship, such as when they spend time traveling to matches or if they spend time away on tour or at tournaments.
The quality of the relationship between an athlete and his or her coach is therefore very important. As such, enhancing our understanding of the coach—athlete relationship may have important implications for maximizing sporting and psychological outcomes among both players and coaches Nicholls and Perry, There are three theoretical models that specifically attempted to conceptualize the coach—athlete relationship.
These were proposed by Poczwardowski et al. Complementarity is the degree to which the behaviors of the athlete and coach relate to one another. Co-orientation represents the extent to which the athlete and coach have established common views on sporting and non-sporting matters.
Closeness refers to the extent to which the athlete and coach care, support, and value each other. Finally, commitment relates to whether the athlete and coach intend to maintain their relationship.
Jowett purported that the coach—athlete relationship is dynamic as both the coach and the athlete can influence the relationship and that it changes over time. LaVoi identified four main components in the coach—athlete relationship e. Finally, Poczwardowski et al.
At the present time, however, only Jowett developed a questionnaire to accompany her model Jowett and Ntoumanis,whereas, Lavoi and Poczwardowski are yet to create a questionnaire. The questionnaire by Jowett and Ntoumanis is widely used across different populations and is a valid measure of this construct, so we felt it was appropriate her framework and questionnaire. To our knowledge, scholars are yet to explore the extent to which the coach—athlete relationship changes over time.
As such, the first purpose of this study was to address this gap in the literature and examine whether perceptions of the coach—athlete relationship changed over a period of 6 months.
Although little is known about how the coach—athlete relationship may change over time, there is an association between this construct and achievement goals. Adie and Jowett examined the extent to which mastery-approach i. They revealed that athletes who perceived a closer and more committed relationship with their coach were more likely to adopt mastery-approach goals, but less likely to adopt mastery-avoidance goals.
These findings were echoed by Isoard-Gautheur et al. There is also evidence that links goals with how an athlete evaluates stress Nicholls et al. Athletes who adopt mastery-approach goals are more likely to view stressful situations as challenging, whereas athletes who endorse mastery-avoidance or performance-avoidance are more likely to experience threat when in stressful situations Nicholls et al.
Further, athletes who use goal re-engagement strategies are likely to experience challenge states, whereas goal disengagement strategies are more likely to generate threat appraisals Nicholls et al. Scholarly activity by Lochbaum and Smith revealed that mastery-approach goals are associated with superior performance in golf. As such, the coach—athlete relationship may be associated with sporting performance, via achievement goals.
Sport psychology researchers reported a link between the coach—athlete relationship and sporting performance. For example, Jowett and Cockerill interviewed 12 Olympic medalists regarding their experiences of the coach—athlete relationship. Findings revealed that the quality of the coach—athlete relationship was instrumental in helping the athletes perform well and thus win an Olympic medal.
Other scholars examined this relationship via quantitative research designs.The Power of the Coach-Athlete Relationship
Mata and Da Silva Gomes examined the relationship between perceptions of coach—athlete relationship quality and goal achievement among two teams that won the most prestigious professional volleyball competitions e. The volleyball players who won a medal perceived that they were closer and more committed to their coaches than the non-medalists.
It should be noted that the association between the coach—athlete relationship and sports performance is yet to be tested longitudinally. Assessing this relationship longitudinally will allow scholars to assess the predictive powers of the coach—athlete relationship. The second purpose of this study was to assess the relationship between the coach—athlete relationship and goal achievement. The aim of this study was to quantitatively assess some of the theoretical and empirical assertions made by Jowett Firstly, we assessed whether the coach—athlete relationship changed over six months, from Time 1 T1 to Time 2 T2.
We also examined whether the coach—athlete relationship was associated with goal achievement at the initial measurement and whether perception of the coach—athlete relationship predicted goal achievement six months later. In accordance with existing research e. Materials and Methods Participants One-hundred and four male F.
Other scholars reported satisfactory psychometric properties for this measure including construct and factorial validity, criterion validity, and internal consistency e. Moreover, previous studies also provided support for the use of an overall coach—athlete relationship score and used this measure among similar samples to the present study e. Moreover, these studies provided support for the use of an overall score and used this measure with similar samples to those in the present study e.
Following approval, we purposively sampled F.
Why is the coach-athlete relationship important?
Premier League academy players within one academy by distributing information letters, consent forms, and assent forms to all players within the academy, with the aim of recruiting as many players as possible. We obtained informed consent from all participants aged 18 years and over, informed assent from players aged 17 years and below, and parental consent from all players who were aged 17 years and below. There are two lead coaches in the Foundation phase, two in the youth development phases, and five coaches in the professional development phase.
We did not ask participants to identify the coach the completed the questionnaire about, because we thought that participants might less inclined to provide honest answers, but the players were instructed to complete the questionnaire in regards to the same coach at T1 and T2. In total, players completed T1 and 52 players completed both T1 and T2 assessments.
Of the players who completed the assessments at T1, 35 players were released, 12 players were injured, five players were on loan at another club, and two players had joined another club when the T2 assessments occurred.
Importance of the coach-athlete relationship
All of the players absent from the academy during T2 assessments were sent questionnaires to their home address in stamped address envelope, but only two players returned the questionnaires. Other than these two players, all participants completed the questionnaires in the presence of Keith Earle, who is a Health and Care Professions Council Registered Psychologist.
Keith Earle was present to answer any questions the athletes had and to clarify the meaning of the questions if the players struggled to comprehend them. Data Screening Firstly, we inspected the data for missing values. Coaches who focus on positive, personal relationships with their athletes are ensuring success beyond their record on the field.
Coaches hold a place of respect and authority, but still feel reachable enough for athletes to open up and view their coach as a role model or mentor. The challenge of coaching is balancing rationale and logic along with empathy and emotional awareness. Positive Relationship Skills Coaches who value and focus on effective, personal relationships with their athletes are guaranteed benefits regardless of wins and scores because they will have helped to influence positive moral and ethical behaviors.
Through strong relationships and a holistic approach to coaching, young athletes will develop as people and play better as a team. The skills an effective coach possesses revolve around honesty and positivity. Coaches who genuinely want to connect with their athletes need to be empathetic and understanding. They must accept, support and respect their athletes as well as the people around them.
If coaches are willing to create a relationship but are unsure how to begin, they can try a few simple methods. They can host events outside of the athletic program, like a meal or fun activity during the weekend.
It gives the athletes an opportunity to connect with their coach outside the usual relationship structure. Another method is being available as a tutor or advisor. Before or after school, coaches can hold office hours that figuratively and literally promote an open door policy. It is really about going more than halfway and giving athletes every chance to build a possible relationship. Negative Relationship Characteristics The coach-athlete relationship is considered particularly crucial because of its effect on the athlete.