Is winning everything? The relative contributions of motivational climate and won-lost percentage in youth sports

S P Cumming, F L Smoll, R E Smith, J R Grossbard

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

66 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to examine the main and interactive effects of motivational climate and won-lost percentage upon young athletes' evaluations of their coaches, enjoyment of their team experience, and perceived parental liking for the coach. A total of 268 male and female youth basketball players, aged 10 to 15 years, completed the Motivational Climate Scale for Youth Sports ( Smith, Cumming, & Smoll, in press) and selected attitudinal scales relating to their sport enjoyment and their evaluations of their coach. Regular season won-lost percentages were calculated for each of the 50 teams. Hierarchical linear modeling was used to predict player evaluations of the coach. Attitudes toward the coach were positively associated with perceptions of a mastery-involved climate and negatively associated with perceptions of an ego-involved climate. Won-lost percentages positively predicted players' evaluations of their coach's knowledge and teaching ability, but accounted for far less attitudinal variance than did the motivational climate measures. Consistent with earlier findings, young athletes' sport enjoyment, and evaluations of their coach were more strongly related to coaching behaviors than to their team's won-lost record. No significant interactions involving winning and motivational climate were found.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)322-336
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Applied Sport Psychology
Volume19
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2007

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