Relationship Between Collegiate Athletes’ Psychological Characteristics and Their Preferences for Different Types of Coaching Behavior

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Thelma S. Horn Miami University

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Patrick Bloom University of Wisconsin—Stevens Point

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Katie M. Berglund Miami University

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Stacie Packard Miami University

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This study was based on Chelladurai’s (1978, 2001, 2007) Multidimensional Model of Leadership and was designed to determine whether athletes’ preferred coaching behavior would vary as a function of their psychological characteristics. Study participants (N = 195 collegiate athletes) completed questionnaires to assess their sport anxiety (SAS), motivational orientation (SMS), as well as their preferred coaching styles (LSS) and feedback patterns (CFQ). Canonical correlation procedures revealed that athletes who were high in self-determined forms of motivation and in somatic trait anxiety preferred coaches who exhibited a democratic leadership style and who provided high amounts of training, social support, and positive and informational feedback while athletes who were high in amotivation indicated a preference for coaches who exhibited an autocratic style and who provided high amounts of punishment-oriented feedback. In addition, high cognitive sport anxiety was linked to greater preference for high frequencies of positive and informational feedback and lower preference for punishment-oriented feedback.

Horn, Berglund, and Packard are with the Dept. of Kinesiology and Health, Miami University, Oxford, OH. Bloom is with the School of Health, Exercise Science, and Athletics, University of Wisconsin—Stevens Point, Stevens Point, WI.

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