A longitudinal analysis of adult-oriented coaching practices in masters sport


Adult-oriented coaching practices have been described qualitatively by Masters athletes (MAs) as a preferred method to receive coaching (Callary et al., 2017) and to foster hallmarks of Quality Masters Sport Experiences (QMSE; Young et al., 2021). The development of the Adult-Oriented Sport Coaching Survey (AOSCS; Rathwell et al., 2020) provides researchers with a tool to quantitively assess adult-oriented coaching practices. The purpose of this study was to longitudinally examine relationships between adult-oriented coaching practices and three hallmarks of QSME (i.e., quality relationships, feeling empowered, and mastery). Over eight weeks during their sporting seasons, 103 MAs (Mage = 51.5, SD = 9.9) completed a survey at two-time points consisting of the AOSCS, the Coach-Athlete Relationship Questionnaire (Jowett & Ntoumanis, 2004), the Basic Needs Satisfaction in Sport Scale (Ng et al., 2011), the Psychological Needs Thwarting Scale (Bartholomew et al., 2011). Path analyses using change scores showed that MAs' perceptions of their coaches' general use of adult-oriented coaching practices over time were related to all aspects of quality coach-athlete relationships and the satisfaction of MAs' basic needs with small to medium effect sizes (B = .18 to .41). Cross-sectionally, path analyses at both time points revealed similar results with small to large effect sizes (B = -.46 to .68). We also interpret and discuss the relationships between the five specific adult-oriented coaching practices and the same criterion outcomes. Our findings provide evidence of criterion-validity for the AOSCS and suggest a degree of causality between adult-oriented coaching practices and hallmarks of QMSE.

Acknowledgments: This research was supported by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada #227348.