How to Support Athlete Autonomy in University Sports: Coaches’ Experience of the reROOT Program

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Emilie Lemelin Department of Psychology, Université de Montréal, Montreal, QC, Canada

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Hali Kil Department of Psychology, Simon Fraser University, Burnaby, BC, Canada

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Élodie Petit Department of Psychology, Université de Montréal, Montreal, QC, Canada

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Joëlle Carpentier Department of Organization and Human Resources, Université du Québec à Montréal, Montreal, QC, Canada

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https://orcid.org/0000-0001-7550-2134
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Jacques Forest Department of Organization and Human Resources, Université du Québec à Montréal, Montreal, QC, Canada

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https://orcid.org/0000-0002-1476-7857
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Sophie Gadoury Nimble Bubble, Montreal, QC, Canada

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Jean-Paul Richard TANGIBLE Performance, Montreal, QC, Canada

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Mireille Joussemet Department of Psychology, Université de Montréal, Montreal, QC, Canada

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Geneviève A. Mageau Department of Psychology, Université de Montréal, Montreal, QC, Canada

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The purpose of this study was to evaluate coaches’ experience of the reROOT program, a program aiming to increase coaches’ autonomy-supportive skills, structure, and involvement. We delivered the program to 32 university sports coaches, and of these coaches, 13 participated in three semistructured focus groups 2 weeks postprogram and discussed their experience of the program. Guiding questions aimed at assessing participants’ responsiveness to the program and its perceived usefulness. Classical content analyses were performed and organized based on the guiding questions when applicable. Results suggest that coaches appreciated the program, believed that they could implement its skills in their day-to-day coaching, and observed positive impacts on themselves and their athletes despite the COVID-19 pandemic. It thus appears that coaches are responsive to the reROOT program and that it could be a useful part of their training.

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