The effects of coaching and leadership styles on youth athletes and their motivation: An Exploratory Analysis

Date of Award

Summer 5-11-2023

Document Type

Non Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science in Coaching and Athletic Administration




Motivation is a broad topic that can be difficult to understand. In the world of youth sports, specifically adolescent (high school) sports, motivation has been found to be necessary for the success of an individual and of the team. Understanding what motivates youth athletes in their respective sport and being able to foster this motivation is essential for leaders. Therefore, this study focused on coaching and leadership styles that increase motivation in youth athletes. More so, this study focused on motivational factors in youth athletes in regard to their own personal experiences. Research about coaching styles and leadership qualities that promote motivation have been done with varying results. Autonomy-supportive, transformational/transactional, and controlling/pressuring styles of leadership have all been at the forefront of discussion without any leading to a definite conclusion of preferred leadership. However, the Self-Determination Theory (SDT) has gained a lot of attention in the conversation of what motivates youth athletes. This proposed study would build off this theory in regard to coaching and leadership styles. With participation in adolescent (high school) traditional sports on the decline, it has never been more important to find a solution to what will keep youth active and participating in sports. Understanding their motivational processes will be essential to stop this downward spiral.

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