Athletic Insight - The Online Journal of Sport Psychology

Coaching Influences on Student-Athlete
Motivation, Stress, and Skill

Bart L. Weathington, Amanda C. Alexander,
and Laure L. Rodebaugh

The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga


The coach-athlete relationship is an important determinant of athlete stress and motivation levels. Accordingly, the purpose of this study was to examine the relationship between athlete evaluations of coaching characteristics (specifically likeability and technical expertise), student-athlete motivation, perceived stress, and self-reported skill. Participants were one hundred and five high school student-athletes representing a variety of sports. Results indicated that significant relationships existed between coach technical expertise and emotional stability, interest/enjoyment, competence, and social motivation. Higher ratings of coach likeability were related to lower levels of perceived stress. An interaction also existed between coach evaluations and motivation for participating in sport in predicting self-reported skill. These findings are congruent with and extend prior research emphasizing the impact of coaching on student-athletes. Further research should attempt to more narrowly define the particular coaching traits related to increased motivation and performance, including techniques which may aid in improving performance and reducing the negative effects of stress.

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ISSN 1536-0431