Assessing autonomy-supportive coaching strategies in youth sport

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Objectives:Autonomy support is a component of the motivational climate in youth sport that may promote youth's internalization of behaviors and attitudes. This study examined the psychometric properties of the Autonomy-Supportive Coaching Questionnaire (ASCQ), a measure of two forms of autonomy-supportive coaching perceived by young athletes.Design:The study design was non-experimental.Methods:Over a 6-week season, youth (Symbol) participating in a recreational summer swim league completed measures of perceived coaching behavior (weeks 1 and 5), autonomy-supportive coaching (week 5) and psychological need satisfaction (weeks 1 and 6).Results:Responses to the ASCQ could be reduced to two correlated factors representing an “interest in athlete's input” and “praise for autonomous behavior.” These factors exhibited slightly different relations with perceived coaching behaviors and positively predicted coaching-associated contrasts in the satisfaction of all three basic psychological needs.Conclusions:The ASCQ appears to provide a valid assessment of young athlete's perceptions of autonomy-supportive coaching. Autonomy-supportive coaching should be evaluated as a potential source of motivational consequences of coaching and as a potential moderator of coaching effects on youth internalization.

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