Sport Psychology

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A coach can have an indelible mark on an athlete; hence this study is to determine the relationship between athlete satisfaction and coach behavior. A lot of studies and methods were developed to understand the relationship between the preferred coach behavior by the athletes, the actual coach behavior as perceived by the athletes and the athlete satisfaction. However, the model best suited for examining the relationship was developed that took the theoretical framework from the Coaching Model. It was the Coaching Behavior Scale for Sport (CBS-S) model that considered seven behaviors for determining relationship and they were “physical training and planning, goal setting, mental preparation, technical skills, competition strategies, personal rapport, and negative personal rapport” (Baker, Côté & Hawes, 2000) .The difference between this method and the previous methods was that this method includes certain variables that would have moderating influence on the perceived and preferred coach behavior with that of athlete satisfaction. Team and individual athletes differ in their preference of coaching behavior and the frequency of that behavior. The sport type would also have a moderating influence on the relationship.

The method applied to determine the relationship was that first a sample was taken for this study that “included 198 university and club level athletes from 14 sports” (Baker, Yardley & Côté, 2003). Second the measure that was taken was a 44-item scale which is the CBS-S that examined the frequency of seven coaching behaviors as mentioned above. Next the sport type was classified as determined by Chelladurai and Saleh (1978) where the level of dependency among athletes was used as classification, that is, where the interdependency level was greater among the athletes they were categorized as team sport athletes (includes basketball, volleyball, soccer and hockey) while athletes that were more or less independent “were classified as individual sport athletes” (Baker, Yardley & Côté, 2003). This includes swimming, wrestling, golf, gymnastics, etc. Coaching satisfaction was then measured on the CBS-S scale where there were 7 questions that evaluated how satisfied are athletes with their leaders or coaches and the athletes were asked to rate their leaders on a scale of 1 to 7 (1 being extremely dissatisfied and 7 being extremely satisfied).

The findings/results revealed quite a few interesting facts. Firstly, the athletes’ age and coaching satisfaction is directly proportional in the sense that more the age of the athlete more satisfied he is with his coach. Another fact came to light that male athletes are more satisfied with their coaches than the female athletes. It was also noted that at least six of the seven behaviors had a significant influence over the sport type except the negative personal rapport since that affected all sport type. If there is a high frequency of negative personal rapport the athlete satisfaction would be low for both team and individual sport type. It was also found that physical training; mental preparation, goal setting and competition strategies mattered a lot in a team.
This CBS-Method of assessing the relationship between the coaching behavior and the athlete satisfaction is better than most of the previous methods used as it takes into consideration the moderating influence of other factors like the sports type that affect the athletes’ expectation of the coaching behavior. It has been observed in this method that physical training, goal setting, competitive strategies and mental preparation are all important factors for the satisfaction of team athletes than the individual athletes. The frequency of such behavior by the coaches need to be high for the team while it does not matter so much if the frequency of physical training or goal setting is not so high for the individual athlete. Teams need more control and cohesiveness than the individual athlete hence the satisfaction levels also differ. Hence sport type is an important moderator identified by the CBS-S method.

Moreover in a team the interdependency on the other athletes is of utmost importance hence they require more control and their dependency on their coaches or leaders to manage them and their motivation and satisfaction levels is greater than that of the individual athlete. The findings of this system have been consistent with the notions propounded by Chelladurai and Riemer (1998).

This method also differentiates between the technical skill development and physical training behavior and this also brings out another difference between the preference of individual athletes and team athletes over these two different aspects. The preference for individual athletes over technical skill development as a coaching behavior would be higher than their preference for actual physical training. This differentiation between two aspects was not considered in the previous studies.

Although this method has brought a lot of interesting facts to light there are still certain coaching behaviors that are under explored. In this method the negative personal rapport coaching behavior is not broken down further and is not fully explored. This is important as the negative personal rapport deeply affects not only the team but also the individual satisfaction.

There are other aspects that need due consideration in further studies and research on this topic like individual and team athlete performance and its relationship with the coaching behavior and the athletes’ satisfaction. Other aspects that could be studied are gender difference not only in athletes but also coaches, enjoyments and anxiety levels of the athletes. All these are factors that could affect the athlete’s satisfaction levels.

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