n African Journal for Physical Health Education, Recreation and Dance - Athlete perceptions and preferences of coach behaviour : a qualitatve study of female soccer players psychology - : sport psychology

Volume 17, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 1117-4315


Of all the interpersonal relationships that are formed in sport, exercise and physical education settings, the coach-athlete relationship may perhaps be the most noteworthy. This may be because the coach is regarded as the most significant individual whose authority, influence and experience impact directly on the participation, behaviour and performance of the athlete. In recent years the coach has also been called upon to address a number of ethical issues such as drugs in sport, abuse of power, harassment, cheating, eating disorders and respect for officials. These issues have a significant influence on athletes and their relationship with their coach. Considering the importance of the coach in determining the quality and success of an athlete's sport experience it is important to investigate athlete perceptions and preferences of coach behaviour. Soccer, which was once a male-dominated sport, is increasingly attracting female participation. The increased interest in women's soccer has resulted in it receiving prominence at national and international levels and in particular the university level. The purpose of this study was to determine the perceptions and coach behaviour preferences of female soccer players at university level. Using a qualitative approach, twelve in-depth interviews of 30-45 minutes duration were conducted with female soccer players purposefully recruited from a university. Data were analysed using the immersion and crystallization technique. Arising from the in-depth interviews the following themes emerged: and . The validity of the identified themes was tested by two experienced researchers who examined the appropriateness of the identified themes. The findings of the current study provide a basis from which to investigate certain emergent themes and codes for the purposes of discussion on coaching within the South African context. It highlighted significant factors which influence the coach-athlete relationship.

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