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|Title: ||Coaching behaviours and players' motivation in elite youth football|
|Authors: ||Morgan, Gareth P.|
|Issue Date: ||2006|
|Publisher: ||© G.P. Morgan|
|Abstract: ||The first phase of this research project focused on developing an understanding of the
current practice behaviours being exhibited by coaches within elite-level English youth
football. That is, prior to any further enquiry into this unique setting, it was felt that an investigation should establish, as accurately as possible, the practice behaviours utilised
in the coaching of talented youth players. Thus, Study la comprised the contextual
validation of a systematic observation instrument (the Elite Youth Football Coaches'
Observation Instrument; EYFCOI) that would enable a precise detailing of coaches'
practice behaviours to be undertaken that was more holistic than the other observational
tools in common use. Subsequently, Study lb used the EYFCOI to carry out an
evaluation, over mid-late season, of Under 12, Under 15, and Under 19 coaches'
behaviours that found instructional provision to feature prominently within positive
learning environments. These behaviours, and players' perceptions in relation to them,
were found to be stable throughout the observation period. A significant age group
finding, however, was identified in relation to players' perceptions, as younger players
were found to have higher levels of enjoyment, exerted effort, and perceived learning
than their older peers. Descriptive analysis of the coach behaviour data revealed that
coaches of older players provided more frequent verbal instruction, but less frequent
demonstrations and questioning strategies. A positive-to-negative feedback ratio of
approximately 4: 1 was consistently recorded across the three age groups, with general
feedback usage found to dominate over feedback that was informational.
Study 2 sought to build on the findings of Study lb by qualitatively investigating
the factors that influenced the performance of their role, whilst simultaneously
researching players' coaching behaviour preferences. The main findings identified in
relation to the factors impacting on coaches' performance of their role included a
consistently cited emphasis on developing players, with conflicting opinions expressed in
relation to how this is best achieved. The beliefs ranged between the extremes of valuing
intense, pressurising, and controlling methods to a much more facilitative approach.
Coaches' educational development was found to be primarily achieved through
independent reflections. The most significant findings from the focus group interviews
with players was a preference for coaches' open questioning usage on the basis that it was most beneficial for learning. Similarly, this same reason was cited for players' desire
for feedback to be provided that was specific and informational.
The final study assessed the efficacy of an autonomy-supportive coach behaviour
intervention that was conducted over a 24-week period in mid-late season. Following an
initial baseline period, coaches were supplied with educational support essentially geared
towards increasing their usage of open questioning and making specific feedback their dominant feedback type. Support - in the form of quantitative data, video feedback, and behavioural modification strategies - was consistently provided during an intervention
period, before being withdrawn post-intervention. The participating coaches were each
found to successfully modify their behaviours, although it was found that changes were
most effectively realised through coaches' perceived value in the programme of study,
their adherence to the programme (reflected most notably in their independently-initiated
efforts to achieve behavioural changes), and ultimately, in reaching a behavioural
frequency at which the coaches' objectives were best achieved. Overall, the present thesis has extended the knowledge of elite-level English
youth football environment, identifying practically-based findings that, it is proposed, can be of use within the development of coach education content and strategies in particular.|
|Description: ||Doctoral Thesis. Submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the award of Doctor of Philosophy of Loughborough University.|
|Appears in Collections:||PhD Theses (Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences)|
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