Evaluating male and female sports coaches: The influence of gender bias on perceptions of a coach’s effectiveness.
Cardiff Metropolitan University
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Whilst some athletes form a strong bond with their coach, emerging literature indicates problems can occur within the relationship due to gender differences or similarities (e.g., Medwechuk and Crossman, 1994; Perloff, 1982; Parkhouse and Williams, 1986). In spite of this, there is currently limited knowledge of the likelihood of gender bias occurring in non-elite coaching environments, and as such a better understanding of factors influencing it is needed. The aim of the study, therefore, was to investigate whether gender bias occurred in non-elite sport settings and what the factors contributing to such bias’ were. The objectives further explored: whether mistreatment occurred and what effect it had on athletes’ motivation to perform in sport; the features which construct a coach-athlete relationship; and whether the athletes’ desire to perform for the coach depended on the gender, or the resources they used within the session. Semi structured interviews were conducted with six non-elite athletes sampled from a range of sports (e.g., rugby, hockey and swimming). Interviews were analysed both inductively and deductively allowing three themes to emerge from the data: (a) relationships, (b) performance, and (c) motivation. The findings supported previous research which suggested gender bias was seen to flourish (e.g., Medwechuk and Crossman, 1994); nonetheless it became apparent that the rate is much less than previously stated and preferences in abilities and techniques of coaches have overtaken. The results displayed that the coach is evidently one of the most important and influential factors contributing to an athlete’s experience in sport. Body image and predetermined insights of sports enforced implications to the study which will be discussed further throughout.
DEGREE OF BACHELOR OF SCIENCE (HONOURS) SPORT COACHING
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