Athlete perceptions of coaching behaviours and their impact on group relations
Cardiff Metropolitan University
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Jones (2007) highlighted how the coach-athlete relationship consisted of continuous social interactions that were unpredictable in nature. Consequently, in order for a coach to assert power over their athletes, the adoption of appropriate coaching actions and behaviours in training and competition would be utilised (Heydarinejad and Adman, 2010), which subsequently impacted on group relations (Amarose and Horn, 2001; Chelladurai and Saleh, 1980). However Carron and Chelladurai (1981) highlighted that factors contributing to group cohesion were different between athletes from individual and team sports. As a result the purpose of this study was to determine athlete perceptions of the impact that different coaching actions and behaviours had on group relations in training and competition settings in the individual sport of athletics. The three key aims of this study were to highlight: how athlete’s perceived whether their preferred coaching style was met; whether the coach’s actions and behaviours were beneficial to training and competition and; whether the interactions between coach and athlete influenced group relations. Four jumpers from the same training group were specifically selected for this study, and undertook one individual interview where they were questioned on areas that related to the three main aims. An inductive content analysis was undertaken across all transcripts to identify themes and categories for discussion. Results showed that athletes did not perceive their preferred coaching style to be met but acknowledged that, on occasion, the situational context required a different approach. Furthermore, specific coach actions and behaviours were found to influence the training and competition environment, although not always positively. Finally, when considering both the coach’s actions and behaviours alongside athlete’s perceptions, it became apparent that a combination of these factors influenced group relations. Therefore, coaches should take into account the individual needs of athletes and modify their actions and behaviours to best satisfy individual and group needs.
DEGREE OF BACHELOR OF SCIENCE (HONOURS) SPORT DEVELOPMENT
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