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Motivational coaching climate outscores winning for young athletes
Date:10/31/2007

yed 268 boys and girls who participated in basketball programs operated by Seattle Parks and Recreation. The sample was predominantly white and middle class. The study found that players attitudes toward their coach were positively associated with the athletes perceptions of a mastery-oriented climate and negatively associated with perceptions of an ego climate.

Boys and girls who perceived that their coach created a mastery climate:

  • liked playing for their coach more.

  • rated their coaches as more knowledgeable about the sport.

  • thought their coach was better at teaching kids how to play basketball.

  • had a greater desire to play for the coach again the following year.

  • enjoyed their team experience more.

  • believed that their parents liked the coach more.

Smoll noted that the results held up equally for girls and boys and that winning was relatively unimportant when it comes to youth sports.

Athletes who played on more successful teams, those with better won-loss records, believed that their coach was more knowledgeable about basketball, but a winning team record was far less influential than a mastery climate.

Youth sport administrators can use our results to teach coaches a powerful lesson: Winning isnt everything, nor is it the only thing. The key to a positive athletic experience rests solidly on the ways the coach relates to athletes and on the achievement standards that he or she emphasizes, said Smoll.

So much of what we do is based on the ideas of what adults think kids need without looking at the kids perspectives and what they want.


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Contact: Joel Schwarz
joels@u.washington.edu
206-543-2580
University of Washington
Source:Eurekalert

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