Coach and Athlete Relationship
The 20th century sports have made coaching a critical profession. The coach is entrusted with the responsibility of ensuring individual’s or team’s success in any sport. In athletics, the coach influences both the sense of personal fulfillment and performance of an athlete (Jowett and Cockeril, 2002). In team sports, a coach plays the key role of influencing team cohesion and culture. During the coaching process, many interpersonal relationships are formed. This essay is more interested in coach-athlete relationship. The relationship formed between the coach and athlete during the process of coaching is vital in determining the performance (Jowett and ...view middle of the document...
Besides, the nature of interaction between the coach and an athlete can determine coaching quality and the dyadic athletic relationship between the coach and an athlete (Jowett and Pocswardowski, 2007). Effective coach- athlete relationship is holistic in that it places emphasis on positive development and growth as a coach/athlete and as a person (Jowett and Pocswardowski, 2007). Despite the significance of coach-athlete relationship in coaching, factors that may potentially lead to effective relationships between the coach and an athlete remain unknown.
Research on coach-athlete relationship dynamics has been studied from a leadership point of view since 1970s (e.g. the multidimensional model by Chelladurai, 1993). This approach is, however, limited in that it emphasizes coach leadership and fails to address the mutual relationship between a coach and an athlete.
This apparent gap triggered the development of various relationship oriented conceptual models in the recent past as evidenced on Jowett and Cockerill (2002), Poczwardowski et al. (2002) and Wylleman (2000) among other studies. However, most of these models focus on the interpersonal behavior between the coach and athlete leaving out other important non-behavioral elements of relationships.
Recent studies have shifted their approach to more relevant conceptual models of Co-orientation and 3 Cs (Jowett, 2007; Jowett and Chaundy, 2004; Olympiou et al., 2005; Jowett and Clark-Carter, 2005). Such conceptual models allows for a broader study of the subject to explore other elements of coaching apart from performance output.
In conclusion, the relationship between the coach and athlete is significant not only to the career development of an athlete, but also to the athlete’s personal development. While most studies focus on positive coach-athlete relationship, there is a need to explore factors that may lead to effective coach-athlete relationships. A comprehensive study that focuses on other important elements of coaching except for performance is highly recommended.
Antonini Philippe, R. A., & Seiler, R. (2006). Closeness, co-orientation and ...