Authors: Decroos, Steven
Ceux, Tanja
Boen, Filip
De Backer, Maarten
Vande Broek, Gert #
Issue Date: Jul-2012
Host Document: Book of abstracts of the 17th Annual Congress of the Europan College of Sport Science pages:122-122
Conference: Annual Congress of the Europan College of Sport Science edition:17th location:Bruges Belgium date:4-7 July 2012
Abstract: Introduction
In youth sports, coach education programs should aim at building leadership qualities, because it is not merely ‘playing the game’ that promotes positive trajectories (Fraser-Thomas, Côté, & Deakin, 2005). It is much more the quality of the coaches’ leadership that yields positive and sustainable development of the players’ autonomous motivation, performance, enjoyment and personal strengths (Larson & Rusk, 2011; MacDonald, Côté, Eys, & Deakin, 2011; Theokas, 2009). Since basic need support is currently seen as one of the most qualitative leadership behaviors, we examine in this study whether coaches of youth sport teams benefit from current education programs to be more need supportive and fine-tune their leadership behavior in favor of the players’ autonomous motivation.
Youth handball, volleyball, basketball and football players (N=1050, M=12,54) completed multiple questionnaires assessing the quality of their motivation, their need satisfaction and the need support of their coaches. The coaches (N=126, M=33,15) reported their age, years of experience and highest sport education degree.
Regression analysis revealed that neither the coaches’ years of experience nor their sport education degree could predict their perceived need support by the players, players’ need satisfaction or players’ autonomous motivation. All standardized beta-coefficients ranged from -,083 to ,039 (all p-values above ,12).
Our results reveal that current coach education programs fail to foster coaches’ need supportive leadership. Therefor we argue to revise current curricula. Rather than building years of experience, coaches need new tools and revised education to regulate their leadership behavior in favor of the athletes’ autonomous motivation, performance and overall thriving.
Fraser-Thomas, J. L., Côté, J., & Deakin, J. (2005). Youth sport programs: an avenue to foster positive youth development. Physical Education and Sport Pedagogy, 10(1),
Theokas, C. (2009). Youth Sport Participation - A View of the Issues: Introduction to the Special Section. Developmental Psychology, 45(2), 303-306.
MacDonald, D.J., Coté, J., Eys, M., & Deakin, J. (2011). The Role of Enjoyment and Motivational Climate in Relation to the Personal Development of Team Sport Athletes. The Sport Psychologist, 25, 32-46.
Larson, R. W., & Rusk, N. (2011). Intrinsic Motivation and
Positive Development. In R. M. Lerner, J. V. Lerner, & J. B. Benson (Eds.), Advances in Child Development and Behavior (pp. 89-130). New York: Academic Press.
ISBN: 978-90902686-8-2
Publication status: published
KU Leuven publication type: IMa
Appears in Collections:Physical Activity, Sports & Health Research Group
# (joint) last author

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