Systematic Review of the Coach–Athlete Relationship From the Coaches’ Perspective

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Keith McShan Department of Kinesiology, McQueary College of Health and Human Services, Missouri State University, Springfield, MO, USA

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E. Whitney G. Moore Department of Kinesiology, East Carolina University, Greenville, NC, USA

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The purpose of this study was to systematically review the variables associated with the coach–athlete relationship (CAR) from the coaches’ perspective. Three databases were searched; 57 studies published between January 2000 and May 2021 met the inclusion criteria. Correlates (n = 35) were grouped into three categories: coach variables, athlete variables, and coaching behaviors. Variables positively associated with the coaches’ perspective of the CAR included coaching satisfaction, the teaching of life skills, and engaging in need-supportive behaviors. Negative correlates included coaching burnout, athletes’ avoidant attachment style, and coaches’ controlling behaviors. Aside from coach satisfaction, many of the relationships mentioned came from only one or two studies; therefore, replication studies are needed examining CAR from the coaches’ perspective. In conclusion, the better coaches report CAR to be, the more they also report fostering a caring and autonomy-supportive environment, teaching life skills, and being satisfied with their coaching experience.

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  • Yang, S.X., Jowett, S., & Chan, D.K.C. (2015). Effects of big-five personality traits on the quality of relationship and satisfaction in Chinese coach-athlete dyads. Scandinavian Journal of Medicine and Science in Sports, 25(4), 568580. https://doi.org/10.1111/sms.12329

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