Sport coaches who are supportive, motivational and have a culture of openness improve team bonding and performance.
This is the finding of Dr Daniel Rhind from Brunel University who will present his findings today [Friday 10 December] at the Division of Sport and Exercise Psychology’s Annual Conference being held at the Holiday Inn London, Camden Lock.
498 athletes from a range of team sports (football, cricket, hockey, rugby and netball), who competed at the regional, national or international level, completed questionnaires relating to the behaviour and their relationship with their coach, their satisfaction with their performance and treatment, and levels of team bonding.
The results showed that coaches who demonstrated positive traits such as openness, supportiveness and who used motivational strategies were most likely to have high levels of team satisfaction and cohesion.
Daniel said: "Cases in which coaches are said to have 'lost the dressing room' are regularly reported in the media. A recent example of this was Rafa Benitez’s final season with Liverpool.
"This study indicated that such incidents may be associated with the coach failing to effectively maintain the quality of the relationship that s/he has with each of the players.
"This in turn may create a negative climate in which the player’s respect, commitment and co-operation with the coach is diminished. As a result, the players become less satisfied and begin to lose cohesion. If not remedied then a critical point can be reach when the coach 'loses the dressing room'."
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