, Volume 28, Issue 3, pp 297-313

Dimensions of Coaching Behavior, Need Satisfaction, and the Psychological and Physical Welfare of Young Athletes

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Abstract

Grounded in self-determination theory (E. L. Deci & R. M. Ryan, 2000), the purpose of this study was to examine the relationship of dimensions of coaching behavior to intrinsic need satisfaction and indices of psychological and physical well-being among male adolescent athletes. Participants were 265 British soccer and cricket players (M age = 16.44). Structural equation modeling analysis, using maximum likelihood robust method, showed athletes' perceptions of autonomy support, mastery focus, and social support from the coach to predict their satisfaction of the needs for autonomy, competence, and relatedness, respectively. The satisfaction of the need for competence emerged as the most important predictor of psychological and physical well-being. The findings suggest that particular aspects of the social environment may be salient for fostering particular psychological needs. The results also underline the importance of perceived competence for the psychological and physical welfare of adolescents in team sports.