Athlete’s perceptions of the relationship maintenance strategies their coaches implement to maintain the coach-athlete relationship.
Cardiff Metropolitan University
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Research regarding relationship maintenance strategies has explored the dyads between romantic and marital relationships. Until recently no research investigated the use of relationship maintenance strategies within the coach-athlete relationship. Following the development of the COMPASS model (Rhind & Jowett 2010); many positive associations with relationship quality and relationship maintenance were identified (Gould, Collins, Lauer & Chung 2007). Thus, this study aimed to investigate athlete’s perceptions of their coaches’ use of relationship maintenance strategies and the effect it has on their relationship. Twelve in depth one -to-one interviews were conducted with athletes who participated in team sports (6 male and 6 female), discussing their perceptions of the relationship maintenance strategies that their coaches use. Inductive content analysis of the athletes responses revealed seven categories; conflict management, openness, motivation, advice, support, social awareness and knowledge. Many of these themes were mirrored by the strategies highlighted in the COMPASS model, however new sub categories were identified as well as a completely new theme: knowledge. Based on this research study the understanding of relationship maintenance strategies have been enhanced as to the effect it has in the coaching environment and as a result, the coach-athlete relationship.
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