The purpose of this study was to attain a deeper understanding of youth coaches’ attitudes toward the display of moral character (e.g., the values they try to teach their players, the concrete means they use to teach game rules, and prosocial norms) and to examine how they make rule abidance compatible with intensive efforts to achieve success. Semistructured interviews were conducted with 16 coaches of adolescent rugby teams. The interviews dealt with how values are taught to players and how rule following is enforced during practice and competition. A lexical analysis (Alceste software) and a thematic analysis were performed on the interview answers. The findings illustrate the complexity of the coaching role—coaches must impart a certain number of rules and ways of acting to their athletes while simultaneously inciting them to a high performance level that can lead players to go overboard in competitive situations.
Philippe Romand and Nathalie Pantaléon
Thierry Long, Nathalie Pantaléon, Gérard Bruant and Fabienne d’Arripe-Longueville
Based on game reasoning theory (Shields & Bredemeier, 2001) and related research, the present study aimed at describing young elite athletes’ perceptions of rules compliance and transgression in competitive settings, as well as the underlying reasons for these actions. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 10 young elite athletes. The qualitative analysis showed that respect and transgression of rules in competitive settings were perceived to depend upon the athletes’ individual characteristics (e.g., desire to win), their social environment (e.g., coach’s pressure, team norms), sports values and virtues (e.g., fair play, the effort ethic), and modern sports rewards (e.g., media recognition, financial rewards). These results confirmed and expanded game reasoning theory and illustrated moral disengagement mechanisms (Bandura et al., 1996) in the sport domain.