Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


School of Kinesiology and Recreation

First Advisor

Tony Amorose


Objective: The purpose of this study is to determine how collegiate athletes perceive their coach’s behaviors and if there are differences in the perceived effectiveness of autonomy-supportive and controlling coaching styles.

Method: A cluster analysis was conducted among collegiate athletes (N = 306) from the Midwest portion of the United States. The athletes were given questionnaires to report on perceived autonomy-support and control exhibited by their coach, as well as the perceived effectiveness of their coach in terms of confidence in their coach.

Results: Preliminary analyses found that autonomy support was positively related to confidence in the coach, whereas controlling behaviors were negatively related to confidence in the coach. The relationship between autonomy support and confidence in the coach was particularly strong (r=.79). In the main analysis, seven profiles representing athletes that perceived various combinations of low, high, and moderate levels of autonomy-supportive and controlling behaviors were found. Results also revealed that the confidence the athletes had in their coach tended to decline across profiles as the degree of perceived autonomy support declined.

Conclusion: Experiencing higher levels of autonomy-supportive behavior leads athletes to be more confident in their coach. Coaches that are perceived to be high in autonomy-supportive behavior and low in controlling behavior are the most effective in coaching. The least effective coaches are those coaches who are perceived as low in autonomy-supportive behaviors and high in controlling behaviors. The present findings are most useful for coaches and athletic departments.


Imported from ProQuest Love_ilstu_0092N_11677.pdf


Page Count