University Sport: Sport Creates Man... Man Develops Nationhoods edition:24 location:Bangkok date:9-12 August 2007
The purpose of this study was to examine the impact of the coaches' behavior on the overall performance of topsport students and to examine the possible differences of this impact for individual and team athletes. In this study, coaches' behavior was defined as a leadership style supporting the three basic psychologic needs from the self-determination theory: the need for autonomy, competence and belongingness. According to this, a coach becomes a need supportive leader when his behavior supports these basic tenets of the self-determination theory. In the present study, students of Belgian topsport schools filled in a questionnaire to assess the coaches' behavior. Additionally, the coach rated the progress in overall performance of the individual athletes. Multiple regression analyses showed that (a) progress in overall performance was influenced by the perceived coaching behavior, and (b) that this influence was different for individual and team athletes. Specifically, individual young athletes seemed to perform better when the coaches' leadership focused on social support, whereas in team sports, the overall performance of topsport students benefited from a autonomy supportive coaches' behavior.