Year of Publication


Date of Thesis


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science


Exercise and Sport Sciences


The coach-athlete relationship has been studied with regard to athlete outcomes (e.g., performance, cohesion, satisfaction; Cronin & Allen, 2015; Jowett, 2007; Norman & Jamie, 2013). Yet, there is limited research on what variables predict the coach-athlete relationship. Hence, the purpose of this study was to explore passion, perfectionism, and leadership behaviors as predictors of the coach-athlete relationship. Three hundred and ninety NCAA (DI-III) coaches (male n = 231, 59.5%, female n = 157, 40.3%) completed The Passion Scale (Vallerand et al., 2003), the Sport Multidimensional Perfectionism Scale-2 (Gotwals & Dunn, 2009), the Leadership Scale for Sports (Chelladurai & Saleh, 1980), and the Coach-Athlete Relationship Questionnaire (Jowett & Ntoumanis, 2004). The results indicated that passion, perfectionism, and leadership behaviors were predictors of the coach-athlete relationship with the direction of the relationship depending on the dimension. Specifically, doubts about action and autocratic leadership behaviors were negative predictors in all three dimensions (i.e., closeness, commitment, complementarity) of the coach-athlete relationship. In contrast, harmonious passion and training and instruction were positive predictors in all three dimensions with social support, democratic behaviors, and obsessive passion all being predictors in at least one of the three dimensions. There are theoretical and practical implications for coaches, athletes, and sport psychology consultants. This study helps to inform sport psychology consultants to target harmonious passion and work through doubts about actions when working with coaches. Additionally, it provides leadership behaviors coaches should focus on (i.e., training and instruction, social support, and democratic behaviors) and avoid (i.e., autocratic) to help them attain a better coach-athlete relationship.



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