This study examined the psychological contract of volunteer youth sport coaches to determine the content, variation, and influences to its development. Interviews were conducted with 22 volunteer coaches of team sports, representing different levels of play (recreational, competitive), coaching tenure (novice, experienced), and gender (female, male), who were sampled to account for the potential variation based on these demographic factors. The findings revealed that volunteer coaches possessed both transactional and relational expectations of themselves and their club. Coaches’ most frequently cited expectations of themselves were technical expertise (transactional), and leadership (relational), while their most frequently cited expectations of the club were fundamental resources and club administration (transactional), and coach support (relational). Variation was found by different levels of play (recreational, competitive) and coaching tenure (novice, experienced). The coaches’ psychological contract was shaped predominately by sources external to the club. Implications for managing the psychological contract of volunteer youth sport coaches and directions for future research are discussed.
Alanna Harman is with the Department of Sport Studies, Lock Haven University, Lock Haven, Pennsylvania, PA, USA. Alison Doherty is with the Department of Kinesiology, University of Western Ontario, London, Ontario, Canada. Address author correspondence to Alanna Harman at firstname.lastname@example.org.