Rustad, B. E., & Lemyre, P. N. (2010). A social-cognitive investigation of the coach-created motivational climate and coaching behavior in Norwegian youth swimming. A paper presented at the XIth International Symposium for Biomechanics and Medicine in Swimming, Oslo, June 16–19, 2010.

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This investigation examined how Norwegian swimmers perceived their coaches’ behaviors and the corresponding motivational climates, and how these influenced a range of well-being parameters (e.g., burnout, vitality, and positive/negative affect). Male and female Norwegian swimmers (N = 202; ages 14 – 24 years) completed a battery of questionnaires (e.g., Motivational Climate Scale for Youth Sports, CBAS-PBS, Athlete Burnout Questionnaire, Subjective Vitality Scale, and the PANAS). A canonical correlation analysis determined the multivariate association between the two sets of variables. The perceived motivational climate was the predictor variable. Swimmers’ perceptions of coaching behavior and a range of well-being parameters (e.g., burnout, vitality, and positive and negative affect) were the criterion variables.

The multivariate relationship was significant. The canonical function emerged with a Rc = .70 (49 % common variance) and a redundancy index of 30. Swimmers who perceived coaching behaviors that emphasized positive reinforcement, mistake-contingent encouragement, corrective instruction given in a positive and encouraging fashion, and proper technical instruction perceived a mastery climate. In contrast, coaching behaviors that emphasized punitive technical instruction were positively correlated with an ego climate. However, perception of a mastery climate was also positively correlated with coaching behaviors that emphasized non-reinforcement, punishment, and ignoring mistakes. Further, findings indicated that there was a positive relationship between an ego climate and the three dimensions of burnout. Also found was a positive relationship between a mastery climate, vitality, and positive effect.

Implication. All coaches should strive to create a mastery climate in youth sports that promotes athletes’ well-being and optimizes their achievement motivation.

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