The following study involved qualitative interviews with 15 National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division III male soccer coaches, who concurrently served as head men's and women's soccer coaches, in order to assess their perceptions of gender similarities and differences in coach-athlete and teammate relationships. Male coaches were asked to assess the qualities of successful coach-athlete relationships and compare the impact of coach-athlete and teammate relationships upon male and female athletic performance. Additionally, coaches compared the importance of athletic performance and coach-athlete and teammate relationships to males and females orientation to sport and reflected on whether or not they coached and led their male and female athletes similarly or differently. After a qualitative analysis of the transcripts, the relationship-performance orientation construct was developed to explain the perceptions of the male coaches interviewed, and it serves as a unique perspective to viewing male and female athletes' orientations to sport. Results revealed that coaches perceived their male athletes to be more performance oriented and their female athletes to be more relationship oriented. Coaches identified the same attributes for successful coach-athlete relationships with males and females and reported coaching their male and female athletes similarly despite noting differences in communication and leadership. Coaches perceived females to be more coachable and less competitive than males. Coaches also perceived females to be more interested in decentralized leadership environments compared to males who were perceived to favor hierarchical leadership structures. Coaches also reported that the women's game is undergoing an evolution through which female athletes are becoming more competitive and starting to adopt orientations to sport that resemble male athletes. The strengths and limitations of the study are noted as well as implications of the results and suggestions for future research.
University of Minnesota Ph.D. dissertation. May 2011. Major:Kinesiology. Advisor: Diane M. Wiese-Bjornstal. 1 computer file (PDF); xi, 270 pages, appendices A-C.
Navarre, Michael Jetté.
Male college soccer coaches perceptions of gender similarities and differences in coach–athlete and teammate relationships:introducing the construct of relationship–performance orientation..
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