Extensive knowledge exists about how coaches influence youth sport participants' skill development and motivational outcomes, yet less is known about promoting sportsmanship (Horn, 2008; M. R. Weiss, Smith, & Stuntz, 2008). The purpose of the present studies was to identify mechanisms by which coaches make an impact on youths' sportsmanship. It was first necessary to create a comprehensive measure of coaching behaviors that captures the ways in which coaches influence athletes' sportsmanship. With such a measure, it was possible to examine relationships between coaches' behaviors and sportsmanship outcomes consistent with moral development theory.
Study 1 included a series of steps to develop the measure: (a) completing a literature review, (b) conducting focus groups, (c) enlisting an expert panel, and (d) conducting a pilot study. These steps resulted in a 40-item measure reflecting 8 coaching behaviors: (a) Sets Expectations for Good Sportsmanship, (b) Reinforces Good Sportsmanship, (c) Punishes Poor Sportsmanship, (d) Discusses Good Sportsmanship, (e) Teaches Good Sportsmanship, (f) Models Good Sportsmanship, (g) Models Poor Sportsmanship, and (h) Prioritizes Winning Over Good Sportsmanship. Results from Study 1 provided content validity for the Sportsmanship Coaching Behaviors Scale (SCBS).
Study 2 was designed to provide further construct validity for the SCBS. The sample included 418 youth (211 females, 207 males), ages 13-18, participating in a variety of team sports (e.g., rugby, lacrosse, basketball, soccer). Participants completed the SCBS and a measure of prosocial and antisocial behaviors toward teammates and opponents. A confirmatory factor analysis established factorial validity for a 6-factor model for the SCBS. Tests for gender invariance showed the 6-factor model to be equivalent for male and female athletes. Criterion validity was shown in that four coaching behaviors (modeling, reinforcing, teaching, and prioritizing winning) were related to athletes' prosocial and antisocial behaviors in theoretically consistent ways. Unique findings emerged for boys and girls in the pattern of relationships between coaching behaviors and sportsmanship outcomes. Collectively, results support and extend moral development theory and research by identifying the specific mechanisms by which coaches promote sportsmanship and by creating a valid and reliable measure of coaching behaviors that can be used in future investigations.
University of Minnesota Ph.D. dissertation. August 2010. Major: Kinesiology. Advisor: Dr. Maureen R. Weiss. 1 computer file (PDF); ix, 280 pages, appendices A-I.
Bolter, Nicole D..
Coaching for character: mechanisms of influence on adolescent athletes‟ sportsmanship..
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