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Other-Initiated Motivational Climate and Youth Hockey Players’ Good and Poor Sport Behaviors

Davies, M. J., Babkes Stellino, M., Nichols, B. A., & Coleman, L. M. (2016). Other-Initiated Motivational Climate and Youth Hockey Players’ Good and Poor Sport Behaviors. Journal of Applied Sport Psychology, 28(1), 78-96.

Mentioned: Duda, J. L., Balaguer, I., Jowett, S., & Lavallee, D. (2007). Coach-created motivational climate. Social psychology in sport, 117-130.

by Rachel Webb

This study aims to examine the relationship between the motivational climate created by peer-, coach-, and parent- and how this perceived climate effects youth hockey players’ good and bad sports behavior (Davies, Stellino, Nichols, & Coleman, 2016). Hockey was specifically chosen because it has been shown that in high contact sports there can be a much larger gray area for what kind of behavior is condoned. With this research it is imperative to be able to draw the line for this potentially aggressive population that can be more susceptible to poor behavior in sport. Examples that demonstrate good behavior can be seen as adhering to the rules of the game, respecting others, or having positive social interactions with other. Poor behavior can be demonstrated through argumentative players, attempts at cheating, or overly aggressive acts. These poor behaviors not only affect the game and individuals involved with the sport but also have the potential to have adverse effects on the cognitive, social, and psychological development of youth players. The authors use Achievement Goal Theory, which provides an explanation for an athletes decision to play, expended effort toward, and persistence in the sport, to construct the personal motivation that an athlete may have (Duda & Beleaguer, 2007). However, at this young age specifically there is a greater influence from peers, parents, and coaches on the motivational climate that they encounter with their sport. Motivational climate is defined, and used as a guide to determine how each subject has an influence on the player. How these social outlets define and encourage success plays a large factor in what the player is willing to do (i.e. exhibit poor behavior) in order to win. The relationship between the perceived motivational climate from the previously discussed significant others, combined with the athletes goal orientation, perceived ability, and their resulting good or poor behavior is examined. Another factor taken into consideration was the level of play that the hockey players were involved in.
Although all athletes can come into a sport with their own personal intentions and personal orientations, the overarching theme provided through this study supported that the motivational climate initiated by significant others with a sport context can have an important influence on the behavior of the youth players (Davies et al, 2016). In order to increase the adaptive behaviors for youth players and foster their development coaches and parents must have an awareness and understanding of the role that they play. This study provides further perspective on the influences that social support and networks have on a youth hockey players good and poor behavior.

On June 13, 2016 

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