The Relationship Between the Perceived Motivational Climate in Elite Collegiate Sport and Athlete Psychological Coping Skills

in Journal of Clinical Sport Psychology
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  • 1 University of Kansas
  • | 2 Pennsylvania State University
  • | 3 Fort Lewis College
  • | 4 Texas Christian University
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Psychological coping skills in sport are believed to be central to athlete performance and well-being. This study examined the relationship between the perceived motivational climate in elite collegiate sport teams and player psychological coping skills use. Division I athletes (N = 467) completed a questionnaire examining their perceptions of how caring, task-, and ego-involving their teams were and their use of sport specific psychological coping skills (i.e., coping with adversity, peaking under pressure, goal setting/mental preparation, concentration, freedom from worry, confidence/achievement motivation, and coachability). Structural equation modeling revealed positive relationships between perceptions of a task-involving climate and confidence/achievement motivation (β = 0.42) and goal setting/mental preparation (β = 0.27). Caring climate perceptions were positively associated with coachability (β = 0.34). These findings illustrate how encouraging athletes and coaches to create a caring, task-involving climate may facilitate athletes’ use of psychological coping skills and set athletes up to perform their best and have a positive sporting experience.

Fry is with the Department of Health, Sport & Exercise Sciences, University of Kansas, Lawrence, KS, USA. Hogue is with the Kinesiology Program, Pennsylvania State University Harrisburg, Middletown, PA, USA. Iwasaki is with the Health Sciences Department, Fort Lewis College, Durango, CO, USA. Solomon is now retired from the Department of Kinesiology, Texas Christian University, Fort Worth, TX, USA.

Hogue (cmh454@psu.edu) is corresponding author.
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