COACHES, CLIMATES, “FIELD” GOALS, AND EFFICACY: A “DE-CONSTRUCTION” OF THE MASTERY-APPROACH TO COACHING AND EXAMINATION OF RELATIONSHIPS TO PSYCHOSOCIAL OUTCOMES IN A YOUTH FOOTBALL PLAYER DEVELOPMENT PROGRAM.
Iso-Ahola, Seppo E.
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In support of the achievement goal theory (AGT), empirical research has demonstrated psychosocial benefits of the mastery-oriented learning climate. In this study, we examined the effects of perceived coaching behaviors on various indicators of psychosocial well-being (competitive anxiety, self-esteem, perceived competence, enjoyment, and future intentions for participation), as mediated by perceptions of the coach-initiated motivational climate, achievement goal orientations and perceptions of sport-specific skills efficacy. Using a pre-post test design, 1,464 boys, ages 10-15 (M = 12.84 years, SD = 1.44), who participated in a series of 12 football skills clinics were surveyed from various locations across the United States. Using structural equation modeling (SEM) path analysis and hierarchical regression analysis, the cumulative direct and indirect effects of the perceived coaching behaviors on the psychosocial variables at post-test were parsed out to determine what types of coaching behaviors are more conducive to the positive psychosocial development of youth athletes. The study demonstrated that how coaching behaviors are perceived impacts the athletes’ perceptions of the motivational climate and achievement goal orientations, as well as self-efficacy beliefs. These effects in turn affect the athletes’ self-esteem, general competence, sport-specific competence, competitive anxiety, enjoyment, and intentions to remain involved in the sport. The findings also clarify how young boys internalize and interpret coaches’ messages through modification of achievement goal orientations and sport-specific efficacy beliefs.