Field Audit of Strength and Conditioning Coaches’ Instructional and Motivational Language Repertoire
Authors: Alexandra Szarabajko, Bradley J. Cardinal, Dakota B. Dailey, Nzubechukwu Emmanuel Ughelu, Jake D. Wambaugh
Number of views: 16
Strength and conditioning (S&C) coaches must employ psychological skills to optimally motivate athletes and promote their well-being. Yet, S&C coaches feel uncomfortable in their ability to apply such skills, highlighting a need for the development of science-based, practical tools. The purpose of this study was to examine the verbal language used by S&C coaches in publicly available YouTube videos through the Psychological Capital Model (PCM) lens. Coaches’ statements (N = 178) were transcribed verbatim and coded into one of the eight dimensions of the PCM. Significant differences were found in S&C coaches’ use of the eight developmental dimensions of the PCM, x 2 (7, N = 173) = 139.52, p < .0001, C = .67. Three PCM developmental dimensions were overused (i.e., standard residuals ranging from +2.76 to +7.10; i.e., experiencing success/modeling others [n = 54, 31.2%], building efficacy/confidence [n = 48, 27.8%], and implementing obstacle planning [n = 34, 19.7%]), while five were underused (i.e., standard residuals ranging from -2.23 to -4.18; i.e., building assets/avoiding risk [n = 11, 6.4%], persuasion and arousal [n = 10, 5.8%], affecting the influence process [n = 9, 5.2%]), goals and pathway design [n = 5, 2.9%]), and developing positive expectancy [n = 2, 1.2%]). To facilitate the use of a more diverse set of psychological strategies, this study offers a collection of 40 practice- and science-based motivational statements – five for each of the eight PCM dimensions – that S&C coaches may use and build upon to improve their own coaching language and practices.