The duties of the sports coach have been traditionally modelled by sequential, rationalistically driven paradigms. Time-honoured practice has been steeped in regulatory controls that discipline participants, culminating in rigid approaches to teaching (Lyle, 2002; 2007). However, recent literature has reconceptualised the role of the sports coach as complex, contextual focusing on more holistic socio-pedagogical endeavours (Jones, 2007; Cassidy et al., 2009; Denison and Avner, 2011). A second key challenge facing the modern-day sports coach, is the revered ability to engage and motivate young people to the intrinsic values of sport (Holt, 2009; Holt and Talbot, 2013), thus reducing antisocial, and indeed sedentary behaviour, within young people (Johnson, 2013). Could caring instructors change behaviour through generating self-determination in order to motivate young people and stimulate self-actualising tendencies?
In this presentation I will disseminate the findings from my study which aimed to evaluate the ability of modern-day sports coaches to instil positive behaviour patterns in order to combat antisocial behaviour in young people. My sample consisted of two coaches and female rugby teams based in a community considered disadvantaged in South Wales. The data I will present was collected through extensive observations, interviews with the coaches and a semi-structured focus group with members of the rugby team. I will explore the challenges facing coaches to engage young people in sport, and the role of adaptive approaches, caring and constructive environments in promoting motivation and actualising tendencies.
Ultimately, I hope to demonstrate how person-centred approaches within practice formulate strong coach-athlete relationships, and that autonomy-supportive practice, targeted toward mastery achievement goals, engender positive outcomes in engagement and behaviour within young people.