Journal of Human Sport and Exercise

Effects of a training program to enhance autonomy supportive behaviors among youth soccer coaches

Jody Langdon, Robert Schlote, Brandonn Harris, Glenn Burdette, Sara Rothberger


This study aimed to evaluate the prevalence and implementation of a training emphasizing the use of autonomy supportive coaching behaviors among youth soccer coaches in game-play situations as well as evaluating its effects on motivational processes among athletes. Participants included youth sport soccer coaches and their intact teams. Coaches received a series of autonomy-supportive coaching training interventions based on successful programs in general and physical education (Reeve, Jang, Carrell, Jeon, & Barch, 2004; Cheon, Reeve, & Moon, 2012). Athletes completed questionnaires to assess perceived autonomy support, basic need satisfaction, and motivation (Harris & Watson, 2011). Observations indicated coaches were not able to significantly modify their behaviors, yet reflectively reported modest implementation of autonomy supportive behaviors. Coaches believed the training influenced their coaching style/philosophy in regards to the coach-athlete relationship and communication styles, emphasizing choice and rationales. Continued research is needed to enhance use of autonomy supportive behaviors with volunteer coaches in a youth sport environment.


Autonomy supportive coaching; Self-Determination theory; Youth sport


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