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Joseph P. Mazer, Katie Barnes, Alexia Grevious and Caroline Boger

Team sports have become a vital informal learning setting in which athletes are taught, motivated, and mentored by their coaches. This experimental study examined the effects of coach verbal aggression on athlete motivation and perceptions of coach credibility. Results revealed that athletes exposed to a verbally aggressive coach were significantly less motivated and perceived the coach as less credible than athletes who were exposed to a coach who used an affirming style. With respect to credibility, athletes perceived a verbally aggressive coach as significantly less competent, trustworthy, and caring than a coach who used an affirming style. Implications and areas for future research are discussed. Case-study questions are presented for discussion by scholars and students.