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Alexandra Szarabajko1, Bradley J. Cardinal1, Dakota B. Dailey2, Nzubechukwu Emmanuel Ughelu1, Jake D. Wambaugh3

1Oregon State University, Kinesiology Program, School of Biological and Population Health Sciences, College of Public Health and Human Sciences, Corvallis, OR, United States
2McKendree University, Athletic Department, Lebanon, IL, United States
323 Fit Club, Sports Performance, Bellevue, WA, United States

Field Audit of Strength and Conditioning Coaches’ Instructional and Motivational Language Repertoire

J. Anthr. Sport Phys. Educ. 2021, 5(3), 3-10 | DOI: 10.26773/jaspe.210701


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.


Coaching Behavior, Exercise Leadership, Motivational Climate, Psychological Capital

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