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 season. 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 Competence. 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 decision maker. 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.