This study highlights how sport psychology professionals can assist sport administrators in evaluating and strengthening youth sport programs. A sport psychology research team provided expertise to two sport administrators to develop a survey to examine their athletes’ experiences participating in the programs. The study examines the relationship between athletes’ perceptions of the climate (caring, task, and ego involving) to their intrinsic motivation, caring behaviors, and future intention to participate in the sport. Volleyball clinic (Sample 1: N = 71) and basketball summer camp (Sample 2: N = 138) participants completed the survey. Canonical correlation analyses for each sample revealed one significant function indicating that the athletes’ perceptions of a caring/task-involving climate, along with low perceptions of an ego-involving climate, were associated with higher levels of intrinsic motivation, caring behaviors, and future desire to participate. Sport administrators can use this information for coach training, parent education and overall program evaluation.
Iwasaki and Fry are with the Dept. of Health, Sport & Exercise Science, University of Kansas, Lawrence, KS.