This study explored how the coaching context influences coaches’ psychological needs, motivation, and reported interpersonal behaviors, using self-determination theory. In Study 1, 56 coaches identified how contextual factors influence their coaching experience. Coaches identified administration, athlete motivation, colleagues, parents, professional development, time, and work–life as having the largest impact on them. In Study 2, 424 coaches reported on their perceptions of the factors identified in Study 1 and their psychological needs, motivation, and interpersonal behaviors. Structural equation modeling analyses suggested perceptions of the coaching context supported or thwarted their psychological needs, which positively or negatively predicted their autonomous and controlled motivation. Coaches’ autonomous motivation predicted their reported supportive interpersonal behaviors and controlled motivation predicted thwarting behaviors. Overall, the results provided additional support for understanding how the coaching context, coaches’ psychological needs, and their motivation for coaching relate to their coaching behaviors.
Meredith Rocchi and Luc G. Pelletier are with the Faculty of Social Sciences, School of Psychology, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.