Masters Thesis

Predicting Life Skill Development from Coaching Behaviors for Female College Basketball Players

This study investigated the relationship between athletes’ perceptions of coaching behaviors and how these perceptions influenced the athletes’ life skill development. Life skills are defined as the ability to effectively communicate, make good decisions, problem solve, set and achieve desired goals, assume leadership roles, and manage time efficiently (Danish, Petitpas, & Hale 1993). The participants in this study were female college basketball players (n = 84) ranging in age from 18 – 25 years old. All participants completed the Youth Experience Survey – 2.0 that assessed their positive and negative experiences during sport participation. They also completed the Coaching Behavior Survey for Sports that measured various coaching behaviors and actions. Results from multiple regression analyses indicated that the athletes reported several particular coaching behaviors that significantly influenced their personal development. These findings suggest that the coaching behaviors perceived by the athletes during instruction of “physical training and conditioning,” “technical skills,” and “goal setting,” led to personal experiences that influenced the athletes’ individual life skill development. During these training experiences, the athletes reported positive personal growth regarding the ability to regulate their temper, fear, anxiety, and stress; work in groups; and identifying with the social dynamics of sports participation. They also reported being inspired to identify, set, and achieve goals. Upon examining their interpersonal behaviors, the athletes reflected on how these behaviors influenced their outlook on life, social dynamics, and personal environment.

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