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The coach as a moral influence

Title:

The coach as a moral influence

Pelaez, Sandra (2011) The coach as a moral influence. PhD thesis, Concordia University.

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Abstract

Elite sport requires a great amount of time deliberately devoted to training and to
optimize improvement (Ericsson, Krampe, & Tesch-Römer, 1993). Coaches are
important social influences for an athlete (e.g., Smith & Smoll, 1996). Elite athletes
spend more time with coaches than with other potential sources of influence. Therefore,
the main purpose of the present study was to study the coach as a moral influence.
The review of literature indicated that coaches are moral influences for their
athletes. However, this evidence has to be considered with caution because of the
characteristics of the designs of the studies (e.g., theoretical framework, methodology).
Based on the evidence provided by the literature review, two qualitative case studies were
conducted in an attempt to address current gaps in literature. For the pilot study, 7 elite
coaches that had been athletes themselves were sampled and for the main study 10
coaches with the same characteristics were sampled. Interviews were conducted and data
was inductively analyzed using Grounded Theory strategies for analysis (Corbin &
Strauss, 2008; Strauss & Corbin, 1998). In addition, the dimension of the Coaching
Efficacy Scale evaluating coaches’ self-efficacy to instil morality in their athletes was
used in the main study (Feltz, Chase, Moritz, & Sullivan, 1999).
Evidence from these research efforts generated four major findings. First, coaches
are important moral influences. Participants in this study recognized their past coaches
had a moral influence over them. Also, these participants acknowledged that as coaches,
they had the moral obligation to watch over morality within the team. Second, coaches’
iv
conceptions of morality entail four dimensions: a) “elite sport involvement”; b) “game”;
c) “interaction with others”; and d) “self-related”. Third, participants’ past moral
influences are reflected in their conceptions of morality, and captured in their current
coaching practices. Past coaches are models from which current coaching interventions
are built. Finally, a better understanding of moral influences in sport can be attained if
different theoretical contributions are considered together. Important factors concerning
moral influence are a coach-athlete relationship and culture.
Findings from this thesis have addressed a knowledge gap in the field. This
qualitative design has provided valuable information concerning the factors that enable or
prevent moral influences, and the environment where moral influences take place. Also,
this data has provided insight on potential targets in the design of future educational
coaching interventions to sensitize coaches concerning morality. Future research
endeavour should continue build upon this thesis by considering other populations (e.g.,
athletes) and other sport contexts (e.g., recreational). The relationship between coachathlete
relationship and culture needs to be examined in-depth.

Divisions:Concordia University > School of Graduate Studies
Item Type:Thesis (PhD)
Authors:Pelaez, Sandra
Institution:Concordia University
Degree Name:Ph. D.
Program:Special Individualized Program
Date:16 November 2011
Thesis Supervisor(s):Bacon, Simon L.
Keywords:coach - socialisation - morality - culture - self-regulation - coach-athlete relationship
ID Code:7400
Deposited By:SANDRA PELAEZ
Deposited On:13 Jun 2011 11:09
Last Modified:13 Jun 2011 11:09
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