Autonomy-supportive Coaching: An Autoethnographical Account of the Coaching Process.

Authors

  • Michelle Smith School of Science & Sport University of the West of Scotland
  • Hayley McEwan University of the West of Scotland

Keywords:

Motivation, Athlete-Centred, Autoethnography, Reflection, Behaviour

Abstract

Existing literature suggests that coach behaviours can influence the motivation of an athlete. More speci!cally, the creation of an autonomy-supportive environment is believed to nurture the athletes’ psychological needs of autonomy, competence and relatedness. Embedded in self-determination theory, the aim of the present study was to provide an in-depth examination of the development of autonomy- supportive coaching behaviours. An autoethnographical approach was adopted to explore and chart this process. Data were drawn from field notes, reflective journals, and critical conversations during the seven week study. Data are represented in three progressive stories – Athlete Input, Provision of Choice for All, and Self-Awareness of the Autonomy- Supportive Coach, which raise awareness of the contextual and social influences on the development and sustainment of autonomy-supportive coaching behaviours. Difficulties in creating a motivational climate are reflected upon (e.g., the implications of providing an A-S environment to children). A reflective examination of the process, and product of autonomy-supportive coaching is provided, bringing the unexplored and mundane aspects of the coaching process to life. To fuel the development of autonomy-supportive coaching behaviours, coaches are encouraged to adopt a research-oriented approach to practice.

Author Biographies

Michelle Smith, School of Science & Sport University of the West of Scotland

Michelle Smith is a PhD student at the University of the West of Scotland. Michelle’s research examines sport psychologists’ training experiences through a professional judgement and decision-making framework.

Hayley McEwan, University of the West of Scotland

Hayley McEwan is a lecturer in Sport Psychology at the University of the West of Scotland and teaches on the BSc (Hons) Sport Coaching. She is a British Association of Sport & Exercise Sciences (BASES) sport scientist specialising in Sport Psychology.

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Published

2016-10-15