Interpersonal Styles

In the research world, there are many theoretical frameworks that have been used to identify the key behaviours and interactive methods that coaches can implement in order to provide the most ideal environment for their athletes. Although many of these theories overlap to some degree in the behaviours or interactive styles that they highlight, each theory has at least one unique feature that separates it from the other theories. Considering the background information that we conducted to design Sport Psychology for Coaches indicated that coaches were primarily interested in understanding how they can motivate their athletes, we decided to use the Self Determination Theory (SDT) (1) to guide this topic. One of the unique features of SDT, is that the theorists advocate that an individuals’ motivation for an activity can vary not only in quantity, but quality as well. More specifically, motivation that is driven by internalized reasons (e.g., enjoyment, satisfaction, goal fulfillment, valued benefits, or consistency with central beliefs) will yield more beneficial results in comparison to those motivated by more external reasons (e.g., guilt, shame, or pressure from others). Furthermore, self determination theorists propose that one way that individuals such as coaches can enhance the self determined motives of the athletes they mentor is to optimize their interpersonal coaching styles.

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