Collegiate Coaches: An Examination of Motivational Style and Its Relationship to Decision Making and Personality

By Frederick, Christina M.; Morrison, Craig S. | Journal of Sport Behavior, June 1999 | Go to article overview
Save to active project

Collegiate Coaches: An Examination of Motivational Style and Its Relationship to Decision Making and Personality

Frederick, Christina M., Morrison, Craig S., Journal of Sport Behavior

Not a great deal is known about psychological characteristics of NCAA, Division I and II coaches. Most of the knowledge related to motivation, personality and behavior of college coaches is gleaned from observation and anecdotal evidence. Because Division I, male, basketball and football coaches have such high profiles, we often ascribe to all coaches motivations and personality characteristics exhibited by these coaches. Is this indeed an accurate way to describe coaches? The following research presents a theoretically driven assessment measure of coaching motivation with corresponding reliability and validity estimates of this scale. Motivation style is then related to decision making and personality characteristics of Division I and II, collegiate coaches.

Coaching Motivation

What factors drive coaches to be in their chosen profession? Theoretical work in the domain of social psychology has examined female coaching motivation as well as attrition (Hart, Hasbrook & Mathes, 1986; Stevens & Weiss, 1991). In Stevens and Weiss' work, female coaches identified motivators which led them to coaching or kept them in the field. These motivators included: the pleasure or enjoyment associated with working with athletes and the fun of coaching. Weiss, Barber, Sisley and Ebbeck (1991) followed up on this earlier work with new female coaches. They found a number of motivators present in their sample, including coaching skill development, the satisfaction of working with athletes, the fun of coaching and the social support present in the coaching milieu. Unfortunately, neither of these studies addressed male coaching motives.

Other researchers have focused their attention on coaches and their behaviors, although not in a motivational sense. Smith, Smoll and Hunt (1977) created a coaching behavior assessment system that identifies spontaneous and reactive behaviors present in coaches as they direct practices and competitions. Chelladurai and associates (Chelladurai, 1990; Chelladurai & Carron, 1977; Chelladurai & Saleh, 1978) have also studied coaching behaviors and how athletes perceive their relationships with coaches. In Chelladurai's Multidimensional Theory of Coaching Behavior importance is placed upon the match between actual coaching behaviors, preferred coaching behaviors and behavior prescribed by the sport and the institution. Results of research using the Multidimensional Theory have primarily shown which leadership behaviors athletes prefer and how these relate to sport factors, such as performance and satisfaction.

Studies of coaching behavior, drawn from models in business, have tried to place coaching styles on a continuum from identifying those coaches with a people orientation to those whose focus is more task-oriented (Fiedler & Chemers, 1974; Fiedler, Chemers & Mahar, 1977; Danielson, 1977). This perspective certainly provides useful and important information about what coaches do and how athletes perceive their coaches. However, no research was found that addresses a fundamental issue surrounding coaching behavior namely what is the motivational attitude which drives coaches within their chosen profession? Thus, research in the domain of coaching motivation in both men and women, at a college level, is warranted.

Motivation in Sport

In the domain of sport, studies with athletes have attempted to create measures which distinguish between intrinsic and extrinsic motivation for athletics (Frederick & Ryan, 1993; Goudas, Biddle & Fox, 1994). Using a theoretically derived measure of motivation based in Self-Determination Theory (Deci & Ryan, 1985), Frederick and Ryan identified five components of participation motivation, which included dimensions of intrinsic and extrinsic motivation. In Self-Determination Theory, emphasis is placed upon the distinction between behaviors driven intrinsically, for the inherently derived motives of interest, fun, enjoyment and challenge, and for those driven extrinsically by factors such as reward, material gain or external pressure.

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
Loading One moment ...
Project items
Cite this article

Cited article

Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited article

Collegiate Coaches: An Examination of Motivational Style and Its Relationship to Decision Making and Personality


Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.

Are you sure you want to delete this highlight?