Research Summaries Research Summary 25 Intervention Tone and Coach - Page 3
Intervention Tone and Coach-athlete Relations
What they did
The researchers worked with 55 volleyball players and five
coaches. Over the course of a season they attended three
training sessions, collecting video and audio data to be
analysed afterwards.They also asked players and coaches
to complete a series of surveys measuring Competence,
Confidence, Connection and Character so they could track
player progress over the season.
The purpose of collecting this information was to split
players into different groups based on their development
over the season.They would then look at how individual
interactions differed between these groups. In particular
they were looking for differences in coaching tone and
how players reacted.
To split the players, information was taken from their own
perception of improvement and that of their coach and
teammates.Three groups emerged over the course of a
High and Increasing players had significantly higher levels of
Competence, Confidence and Character.
Low and Decreasing players had significantly lower levels
of Confidence and Connection and were particularly
lower than High and Increasing players around
Moderate and Maintaining players were the middle
ground.They tended to score lower than High and
Increasing but were above the Low and Decreasing.
Using the audio and video data from coaching sessions the
researchers could then examine the intervention tone
conveyed within different coaching behaviours.This was
described as the degree of autonomy support, the
evaluation climate promoted, and the degree of personal
rapport.These are further explained below.
Autonomy supportive tone ranged from conveying
views of the players as capable decision makers who
can contribute to a situation, through to taking a
controlling or autocratic tone of the coach as the sole
Evaluation climate tone ranged from focusing on either
the process or the outcome of skill execution.There
was also a middle ground tone of no evaluation at all.
Rapport tone measured if the coach was making
reference to personal information about the athlete or
sticking to sport-only discussions.
On the other side of the relationship, the researchers also
wanted to look at how players were responding to these
different tones.This could be: not directly communicating;
simply acknowledging the coach; providing answers to
coach-controlled questions; contributing new information;
communication about non-sport/performance matters.