Observing the coach-created motivational environment across training and competition in youth sport

Nathan Smith, Eleanor Quested, Paul Appleton, Joan Duda

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20 Citations (Scopus)
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Adopting an integrated achievement goal (Nicholls, 1989) and self-determination theory (Deci & Ryan, 2000) perspective as proffered by Duda (2013), the aim of the current study was to observe empowering and disempowering features of the multidimensional motivational coaching environment in training and competition in youth sport. Seventeen grassroots soccer coaches were observed and rated in training and competitive settings using the Multidimensional Motivational Climate Observation System (MMCOS; Smith, Tessier, Tzioumakis et al., 2015). In line with our hypotheses, coaches created different motivational environments in the 2 contexts. More specifically, coaches were observed to create a less empowering and more disempowering environment in competition compared to in training. The observed differences were underpinned by distinctive motivational strategies used by coaches in the 2 contexts. Findings have implications for the assessment of the coach-created motivational environment and the promotion of quality motivation for young athletes taking part in grassroots level sport.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Sports Sciences
Early online date8 Apr 2016
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 8 Apr 2016


  • Achievement goal
  • self-determination
  • coach observation
  • training
  • competition


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