Are winning coaches more autonomy-supportive? Examining the context of varsity boys' soccer
Recent research suggests autonomy-supportive coaching enhances athletes' performances in competition. In this study, we tested the hypothesis that varsity boys' soccer (VBS) coaches with higher career win percentages provide more autonomy-support than less-winning VBS coaches. We analyzed descriptive-analytic data from systematic observation of three more-winning and three less-winning coaches and interviews with the coaches and their athletes to determine the extent and purposes of the coaches 'verbal autonomy-support. Based on descriptive statistics, we suggest there were minimal differences between more- and less-winning coaches. though during games there was a tendency for less-winning coaches to provide more awonomy-support. Overall, we observed low rates per minute of autonomy support behaviors across coaches. Based on interview findings, we suggest that when coaches used autonomy-support, it was to encourage athletes' ownership as team members, improvement as players and balance between soccer and life. Other coaching behaviors and/or contextual elements may play a more significant role in VBS won/loss records than verbal autonomy support.
Webster, C. A., Hunt, K. & LaFleche, M. (2013). Are winning coaches more autonomy-supportive? Examining the context of varsity boys' soccer. Journal of Sport Behavior, 36 (2), 209-232.