Type of Document Thesis Author Matthews, Megan Elizabeth URN etd-06232008-114541 Title The Effect of Coach Expectations on Athletes' Motivation to Practice Degree Master of Science Department Educational Psychology and Learning Systems, Department of Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title Robert Eklund Committee Chair David Eccles Committee Member Gershon Tenenbaum Committee Member Keywords
- sport competence
- self-fulfilling prophecy
Date of Defense 2008-06-19 Availability unrestricted AbstractThe purpose of this thesis was to examine the self-fulfilling prophecy relative to the possible effects that an expectancy placed on a player by a coach can have on that athlete’s motivation to continue practicing their sport. Male and female softball coaches (n = 8) over the age of 18, and female softball athletes (n = 85) between the ages of 12 and 17 years old participated in this study. Coaches completed the Coach Questionnaire which was developed by the researcher. Athletes completed the Sport Motivation Scale (SMS), the Physical Self-Perception Profile sport competency section (PSPP), and the Coaching Behavior Assessment System Perceived Behavior Scale (CBAS-PBS). Athletes were assigned colored wristbands in an attempt to manipulate coaches’ expectations. Athletes were labeled as either “low expectancy” or “high expectancy” athletes by the coaches, and were used for comparison throughout the study.
Once the coaches’ pre-existing beliefs were controlled for, the coaches did not form expectations based on athletes’ wristband colors. Both high and low expectancy athletes increased in perceived sport competence from the beginning of camp to the end, regardless of group membership. Neither group showed a significant increase in intrinsic motivation levels, however, there were slight increases in certain types of extrinsic motivation throughout the course of the study. There was a significant, yet small, positive correlation between motivation to experience stimulation (intrinsic), and introjected regulation (extrinsic) initially and perceived sport competence. Coaching behaviors, such as, keeping control, encouragement after mistakes, giving instructions, general communication were perceived similarly by both groups, and also to a greater degree by the end of camp. Rewarding behaviors and corrective instruction by the coaches were perceived by high expectancy athletes to occur more often than low expectancy athletes from beginning to the end of camp.
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