Giving and receiving autonomy support in a high-stakes sport context: A field-based experiment during the 2012 London Paralympic Games

Sung Hyeon Cheon, Johnmarshall Reeve, Jaewon Lee, Youngsun Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

82 Scopus citations

Abstract

Objective: Recognizing that high-stakes competitions tend to pressure coaches toward a maladaptive controlling motivating style, we sought to evaluate the capacity of an intervention to help coaches adopt a more autonomy-supportive style as they and their athletes prepared for the 2012 London Paralympic Games. Design: We adopted a coach-focused experimental research design that longitudinally assessed coaches' and athletes' self-report, rater-scored, and objective dependent measures. Method: We randomly assigned 33 coaches and their 64 athletes from 10 sports into either an experimental or control group and assessed their motivation and functioning longitudinally. Results: In the control group, athletes and coaches both showed a significant longitudinal deterioration in all measures of motivation, engagement, and functioning. In the experimental group, none of the measures of motivation, engagement, and functioning deteriorated but, instead, were generally maintained. In terms of performance, athletes of coaches in the experimental group won significantly more Olympic medals than did athletes in the control group. Conclusion: Enacting an autonomy-supportive coaching style within the context of a high-stakes sports competition functioned as an antidote to coaches' otherwise situationally-induced controlling style.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)59-69
Number of pages11
JournalPsychology of Sport and Exercise
Volume19
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Jul 2015

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research was supported by the Research Program funded by the Kangwon National University and by the National Research Foundation of Korea Grant funded by the Korean Government ( NRF-2014S1A5A8017649 ).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2015 Elsevier Ltd.

Keywords

  • Athletes with disabilities
  • Autonomy support
  • Coaching
  • Intervention
  • Motivating style
  • Paralympics

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Giving and receiving autonomy support in a high-stakes sport context: A field-based experiment during the 2012 London Paralympic Games'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this