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Elite Alpine Ski Racing Coaches' Achievement Goal Orientations as Predictors of Their Coaching Behavior

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PAGE 1

ELITE ALPINE SKI RACING COACHES ACHIEVEMENT GOAL ORIENTATIONS AS PREDICTORS OF THEIR COACHING BEHAVIOR By HALEY S. PERLUS A DISSERTATION PRESENTED TO THE GRADUATE SCHOOL OF THE UNIVERSITY OF FLOR IDA IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF MASTER OF SCIENCE IN EXERCISE AND SPORT SCIENCES UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA 2003

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Copyright 2003 by Haley Perlus

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ACKNOWLEDGMENTS I would like to express profound gratitude to my advisor, Dr. John Todorovich for his invaluable support, encouragement, and supervision throughout this research. His moral support and continuous guidance enabled me to complete my work successfully. I am also thankful to Dr. David Fleming and Dr. Christine Stopka for serving on my committee and for their helpful suggestions throughout this thesis. I am grateful for the cooperation of Canadian Alpine Ski Racing FIS coaches. I would like to acknowledge all of my respondents who filled out the questionnaire. I would specifically like to thank the six coaches who participated in the interview portion of this study. I appreciate their kindness and thank them for providing me with valuable data for analysis. I am especially indebted to my family for their love and support throughout my life. I am grateful to my father who, over the years, has become my editor and biggest supporter. I am thankful to my mother for getting me through the lonely times away from home. I would like to thank my brothers and grandmother for their confidence in my ability to succeed. I also wish to thank Brad for always being there for me and believing in me. Moreover, my sincere thanks goes to my friend, Eric Model, for his valuable insight and guidance. Finally, I wish to thank my friends for their encouragement throughout this process. iii

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TABLE OF CONTENTS page ACKNOWLEDGMENTS.................................................................................................iii LIST OF TABLES.............................................................................................................vi ABSTRACT......................................................................................................................vii CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION........................................................................................................1 Qualitative Rationale....................................................................................................2 Purpose of the Study.....................................................................................................3 Research Questions.......................................................................................................3 Definitions....................................................................................................................3 Limitations....................................................................................................................4 Assumptions.................................................................................................................4 Significance of the Study..............................................................................................4 Personal Interest............................................................................................................5 2 REVIEW OF LITERATURE.......................................................................................6 Achievement Goal Theory............................................................................................6 Influence of Achievement Goal Orientation.................................................................6 Motivational Climate....................................................................................................8 Achievement Goal Theory in the Coaching Domain...................................................9 Influence of Dispositional and Situational Orientations.......................................9 Influences coaches have on their athletes............................................................11 Athletes perceptions of a motivational climate..................................................12 Coaches goals.....................................................................................................13 Favorable orientation...........................................................................................14 Coaching behaviors.............................................................................................18 Influences of all significant others......................................................................22 Purpose of the Study............................................................................................23 3 METHOD ...................................................................................................................24 Participants.................................................................................................................24 TEOSQ.......................................................................................................................25 Validity and Reliability of the TEOSQ......................................................................25 iv

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Procedure....................................................................................................................26 Data Analysis..............................................................................................................27 Issues with Trustworthiness........................................................................................27 4 RESULTS...................................................................................................................29 Passion for Alpine Ski Racing....................................................................................30 Themes........................................................................................................................30 Theme 1: Focus on Overall Development...........................................................31 Theme 2: Creating an Enjoyable Environment...................................................33 Theme 3: Training Sessions for Overall Development and an Enjoyable Experience........................................................................................................35 5 DISCUSSION.............................................................................................................37 Task Orientation and Overall Development...............................................................37 Task Orientation and its Influence on the Motivational Climate...............................40 Influence of Coaches Task Orientations...................................................................43 Conclusion..................................................................................................................43 Future Implications.....................................................................................................44 APPENDIX A TASK AND EGO ORIENTATION IN SPORT QUESTIONNAIRE.......................45 B INTERVIEW GUIDE.................................................................................................46 LIST OF REFERENCES...................................................................................................47 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH.............................................................................................52 v

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LIST OF TABLES Table page 1 RESISTANCE components .....................................................................................14 2 TARGET components..............................................................................................19 3 TEOSQ scores..........................................................................................................29 vi

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Abstract of Dissertation Presented to the Graduate School of the University of Florida in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of Master of Science in Exercise and Sport Sciences ELITE ALPINE SKI RACING COACHES ACHIEVEMENT GOAL ORIENTATIONS AS PREDICTORS OF THEIR COACHING BEHAVIOR By Haley S. Perlus December, 2003 Chair: John R. Todorovich Major Department: Exercise and Sport Sciences Research that examines how achievement goal orientations affect behavior and motivational climate can contribute to the understanding of an athletes motivation in sport. The purpose of this study was to assess how the achievement goal orientations of elite Alpine Ski Racing coaches elicit specific behavior patterns that impact on the way they develop the motivational climate of the sporting domain. Seventeen elite, FIS level, Canadian alpine ski racing coaches completed the Task and Ego Orientation in Sport Questionnaire. Six high taskand low ego-oriented coaches participated in an interview that focused on their coaching philosophies, beliefs, and behaviors. The three themes that emerged were the following: a) the coaches focused on overall development, b) the coaches created an enjoyable and intense climate, and c) the coaches utilized training sessions to improve sport specific skills and life skills as well as providing an enjoyable and successful experience. Alpine ski racing is extremely ego-involving and it is not surprising that a coach would adopt an ego orientation in training and vii

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competition.However, the coaches in this study were able to maintain certain beliefs and philosophies consistent with their task orientation. Further, the task-oriented coaches influenced a mastery motivational climate such that the athletes could work towards their personal goals in a serious, yet enjoyable, competitive environment. viii

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CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION Achievement motivation refers to an individuals effort to persist with a task, achieve mastery, and strive for success (Weinberg & Gould, 1999). Hence, it is an important driving force behind ones orientation to strive for task success and personal excellence. It modulates persistence in the face of failure to overcome perceived and real obstacles, and the general pursuit of excellence in an area of interest. It is critical for coaches to understand athletes achievement motivation. Athletes motives for participating in sport are the precise characteristics that allow athletes to achieve excellence. Coaches must acknowledge the unlikeliness of athletes adopting a strictly non-competitive orientation such that the only objective is to achieve mastery of skills. The competitive nature of sport is extremely intense in that there is a constant focus on the performance outcome. It is therefore not surprising that the role of the coach can be critical in influencing athletes achievement goals. The behavior patterns and beliefs exhibited by coaches can influence the competitive sporting environment and have direct impact on the achievement goals of athletes. Research on achievement motivation has concentrated on athletes goal orientations and on the motivational climate created by significant others. To date, studies have not examined the impact that coaches achievement goal orientations have on the performance of their jobs. Since the motivational climate that surrounds the athlete is primarily initiated and directed by the coach (Harwood & Biddle, 2002), it is of interest to gain insight into the beliefs and value systems held by coaches and the behavior they 1

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2 exhibit that ultimately influence the sporting environment. The purpose of the present study, therefore, was to identify the achievement goal orientations of Alpine Ski Racing coaches in order to understand how their goal orientations might influence what they say and do during practice and competition. Qualitative Rationale Qualitative research grasps the multidimensionality of meanings, contexts, unanticipated phenomena, processes and explanations that can be found in the word of sports, games, and physical activity. This paradigm assumes that cognitive processes are social, developing and active. They cannot be broken down into discrete elements, and can be studied in their relationship to one another (Martens, 1987). Qualitative research allows a researcher greater freedom to exercise intuition or rely on tacit knowledge in decision making and theory development. Qualitative research has typically higher external validity and generalizations can be made more readily (Martens. 1987). Qualitative studies take place in natural environments. Researchers do not have to manipulate the research setting or the subjects, thus allowing the study to be conducted under natural circumstances. In addition, there are no predetermined outcomes, results, or hypotheses made prior to the study. A qualitative study follows its natural course and conclusions emerge from the data collected. The present investigation will consist of a qualitative study employing a single case study design, and will include a sampling strategy referred to as Extreme or Deviant case sampling (Patton, 1990). This type of purposeful sampling involves an examination of unique or unusual cases to elucidate more typical situations. The idea is that lessons can be learned from these extreme cases that are relevant to improving more typical processes, operations, programs, or effects. Using extreme or deviant case sampling

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3 (Patton, 2002) will allow the researcher to investigate the specific behavior patterns of elite Alpine Ski Racing coaches based on their achievement goal profiles. Purpose of the Study The purpose of this study is to assess how elite Alpine Ski Racing coaches goal orientations elicit specific behavior patterns that impact the way they develop the motivational climate of the alpine ski racing skiing sport domain. Research Questions The following questions were investigated in this study: 1. How do alpine ski racing coaches achievement goal orientations influence their behavior patterns? 2. How do alpine ski racing coaches behavioral patterns affect the motivational climate they create for their athletes? Definitions 1. Achievement Goal Orientation addresses a pattern of beliefs that leads to different ways of approaching, engaging in, and responding to achievement situations. 2. Achievement Motivationrefers to an individuals effort to persist with a task, achieve mastery, and strive for success (Weinberg & Gould, 1999). 3. Disposition vs. Situational Orientationsdispositional orientation refers to achievement goal orientations. Situational orientations accommodate for a motivational climate as a predictor of behavior and beliefs. 4. Ego-Orientationability is measured by how well one does in relation to another person 5. Extreme Goal Orientationindividuals who score 4.0 or higher or 1.9 or lower on a 5-point scale for displaying a taskor ego-orientation. 6. Extreme or deviant case sampling-learning from unusual manifestation of the phenomenon of interest, for example, outstanding successes/notable failures; top of the class/dropouts, exotic events; crises. (Patton, 2002, p. 243). 7. Motivationthe direction and intensity of an individuals effort toward a specific task (Weinberg & Gould, 1999)

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4 8. Motivational Climatesocial climate of achievement settings created by significant others. 9. Task-Orientationability is measured by how well one does on a task Limitations 10. Data collection will depend on the operation of the audio taping equipment. 11. With a small sample size, generalizations will not be made beyond the scope of the study. However, findings may transfer. Assumptions 1. The researcher and the participants will have an open relationship during the study. 2. The participants will be candid and truthful. 3. The methodology used in the study will be appropriate for the research question. Significance of the Study Alpine Ski Racing is not only inherently highly ego involving in that performance is judged by competitive outcomes, but it is also significantly non task involving in that it does not provide objective personal performance feedback to the ski racers. Each race run in alpine skiing is different with respect to the coarse setter, snow and weather conditions, and length of course. Unlike sports such as swimming that relate to the competitors clear information about their performance regardless of their finish placement, the results of the ski race do not offer any direct feedback to the athletes on how they performed relative to themselves. Consequently, the ego-involving nature of ski racing causes athletes and their coaches to judge success on the outcome achieved rather than on the quality of the performance. Coaches play a significant role in determining an athletes achievement goal orientation, and this is particularly noteworthy given the lack of direct feedback given to skiing athletes. Researchers have investigated the influence of perceived motivational climate on athletes goal orientations. However, to date, researchers have failed to look at

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5 the goal orientations of coaches to determine if and/or how those orientations affect what coaches say and do when they coach their teams or athletes and, therefore, how they may impact the motivational climate in the sporting domain. This study is significant because it will explain how elite ski racing coaches goal orientations influence specific behavior patterns that influence the development of the motivational climate of the skiing sport domain. Personal Interest The researcher has interacted with many ski racing coaches who have displayed task and/or ego orientations. As an athlete and coach, the researcher has had experiences working with coaches who have overemphasized criteria outcome, ultimately affecting her own values and beliefs. On the other hand, the researcher has had experiences with task-oriented coaches who focused on the enjoyment of the sport while encouraging personal success. Therefore, the researcher understands the significant influence coaches have on athletes and understands the importance of demonstrating a task orientation (e.g., encouraging personal mastery) and a positive ego orientation (e.g., encouraging a healthy competitive drive) to help athletes achieve personal success. The findings of this study will be used as a tool for the researcher to help coaches, both old and new, understand the impact they can have on athletes motivation. The researcher will be able to identify specific behavior patterns elicited from a disposition toward either a task or ego orientation. In addition, the researcher will be able to guide coaches in the process of adopting an achievement goal orientation appropriate for displaying behavior patterns that encourage athletes to participate in sport for enjoyment and mastery.

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CHAPTER 2 REVIEW OF LITERATURE The purpose of this literature review is to define and describe achievement goal theory in general and how it is manifested in the coaching and sport domain. Achievement goal theory, therefore, is reviewed with the perspective that coaches achievement goal orientations are pertinent to how they behave in a sporting context. A review of achievement goal theory from this perspective reveals the theoretical perspective and background relative to the present study. Achievement Goal Theory Achievement goal theory helps us to understand the athletes motivation to participate in sport. Goal orientations outline what success and failure mean to athletes and how these beliefs interact with their perceptions of self-worth and ability (Weinberg & Gould, 1999; Pensgaard & Roberts, 2000). Athletes who measure success by comparing themselves with others display an ego orientation. In contrast, those who participate to develop, improve, and master the sport for its own sake display a task orientation. Influence of Achievement Goal Orientation Achievement goal orientations affect athletes cognitions, affective reactions, and behavioral patterns in achievement settings (Dweck & Leggett, 1988). Athletes goal orientations influence how they interpret different situations. For example, with a failure outcome, ego-oriented individuals, concerned with performance comparison, would see themselves as inadequate and most likely elicit a helpless attitude that may inhibit them 6

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7 from continuing to participate in the activity. In contrast, task-oriented individuals, who focus on self-improvement, would view a failure outcome as a sign that they need to work harder, continue skill development, or revise their strategy to be successful (Dweck & Leggett, 1988). Achievement goal orientations influence how individuals define competence and success in sport, (Harwood & Biddle, 2002). Furthermore, goal orientations reflect differences in conceptions of ability. Ego-oriented athletes believe that success in sport is due to ability. In addition, these athletes view ability as a fixed entity (Dweck & Leggett, 1988). Task-oriented athletes view ability as a malleable quality that can be increased by applying more effort (Dweck & Leggett, 1988). These athletes believe that the harder they try, the higher their ability will be. The amount of effort applied is used to assess competence levels in an entirely self-reflective manner (Harwood & Biddle, 2002). Ego-oriented individuals believe that effort and ability are inversely related (Dweck & Leggett, 1988). Having to try hard and exert effort to achieve a specific standard of performance indicates low ability. However, if athletes can be successful at a task by applying little effort, then they have high ability. How athletes interpret success and failure influences how they react to events. Ego-oriented athletes, who experience failure or execute effort, resulting in low perceived ability, may experience a decrease in self-esteem leading to anxiety and, in extreme situations, depression (Dweck & Leggett, 1988). In the same situation, however, task-oriented athletes may choose to apply more effort in an attempt to learn more. In return, these athletes may increase their intrinsic motivation and may experience a sense of

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8 pleasure, pride and enjoyment (Duda, Chi, Newton, Walling, & Catley, 1995; Dweck & Leggett, 1988). Athletes cognitions and affective reactions lead to differences in behavior patterns. Ego-oriented athletes, regardless of their perceived ability, would most likely choose easy tasks where they have a higher chance of succeeding. These athletes would refrain from challenging tasks that would pose a threat to their self-esteem (Dweck & Leggett, 1988). Task-oriented athletes would prefer challenging tasks where they would have the opportunity to learn more and increase their ability regardless of the outcome (Dweck & Leggett, 1988). Recently researchers have presented an orientation that combines both a task and ego orientation (Harwood, Hardy, & Swain, 2000). In a competitive sporting context, athletes may report being both high taskand ego-oriented. They value self-referent achievement and seek satisfaction from the mastery of their skills. However, they also value normative achievement and seek satisfaction from demonstrating superiority over others. For example, an Alpine ski racer can work extremely hard on improving his slalom technique, understand the importance of keeping his upper body quiet, but during a ski race, demonstrating superiority over others is important. In the race, the skier may invest considerable effort in maintaining a process focus (e.g., concentrating on keeping a quiet upper body). However, there is an underlying goal that reflects the normative requirement of winning. Motivational Climate Sport psychologists have not only studied how achievement goal orientations influence motivation in achievement contexts, but also observed how the social climate influences effort, persistence, cognitions, emotions and the behavior of individuals in

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9 sport (Ntoumanis & Biddle, 1999). Ames (1992) explains that the social climate of achievement settings, created by significant others (e.g., coach, parent, spectators), vary significantly according to the tasks that athletes are told to perform, authority patterns, recognition system, athlete ability groupings, evaluation procedures, and times allotted for tasks to be mastered (Ames, 1992). Individuals who collaborate with their coach and teammates, evaluate success based on individual effort and improvement, who are encouraged to learn new skills without a time constraint, and who are grouped not based on ability experience a mastery-oriented motivational climate (Ames, 1992). In contrast, athletes who evaluate success based on normative standards, are expected to learn new skills in a specific amount of time and who are grouped based on ability experience a performance-oriented motivational climate (Ames, 1992). Achievement Goal Theory in the Coaching Domain The coaching domain is a very dynamic situation, and many coaches often talk of the importance and influence of motivation on athletic performance. Moreover, many researchers have investigated the impact of various motivational constructs on athlete performance. Unfortunately, researchers have paid little attention to the role that a coaches motivational constructs have on how a coach works with his or her athletes. For the reason that coaches have a dramatic impact on athletic performance, it is important that we look to these factors as contributors to athletic performance. Influence of Dispositional and Situational Orientations Achievement goal theory states that both dispositional goal orientations and the motivational climate are important motivational factors that affect behavior in an achievement context (Ames, 1992; Duda, 1996; Harwood & Bidle, 2000). Research to

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10 date has primarily investigated these two variables (behavior and climate) in isolation. A few studies, however, have assessed the interaction affect, as well as examining the relative influence these variables have in sport settings. Results suggest that the motivational climate will override dispositional goal orientations, especially if the dispositional orientation is weaker than the situational goal (Treasure & Roberts, 1998; Duda & Hall, 2001; Treasure & Roberts, 2001). Xiang, Lee, & Bennett (2002) explain that although individuals goal orientations will determine a particular behavior pattern, situational variables may have the potential to alter the behavior. Duda (2001) suggests that situational goals may be more influential than dispositional goals because of the nature of the task. She explains that when the dependent variable of interest is more statelike (e.g., selfefficacy and beliefs), the motivational climate will be the better predictor. However, if the dependent variable of interest is more dispositional (e.g. source of confidence), goal orientation should override the motivational climate. Dweck and Leggett (1988) maintain that individuals will behave inconsistently across situations when the strength of the situational cues varies across settings. In addition, Pensgaard & Roberts (2000) contend that when athletes are high in both goal orientations, the motivational climate will have an increasing impact on their behaviors and beliefs. Pre-competitive goal orientations can differ from dispositional orientations. Given the competitive nature of sport, it is possible for athletes goal orientations to shift just prior to and/or during competition. Harwood and Swain (1998) have shown that the motivational climate can help to predict pre-competitive levels of task and ego involvement. For example, in alpine ski racing, athletes not only have race-specific perceptions of ability (expected to place in the race), and perceived importance of placing

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11 well in the race, they also have perceptions of the achievement goal most preferred and recognized by parents, coaches, and spectators. In other words, the social context influences athletes achievement goal state (Harwood & Biddle, 2002). Influences coaches have on their athletes Coaches play a critical role in the success of athletes. They are partly responsible for the physical and emotional development of athletes, enabling their performance to be the best that it can be. With this role comes inevitable power and tremendous influence. Smith, Smoll and Curtis (1979) studied the actual influence that the coach had on the athletes social and psychological experience with sport. They concluded that the athletes experience with sport and psychological development are directly related to the structure and supervision of the particular program. The coach has direct authority to structure and supervise the program as he or she sees fit, and in so doing, becomes a role model and direct source of motivation (Vernacchia, McGuire, & Cook, 1996). Coaches have the ability to inspire each athlete to perform to the best of their ability. Providing support and care for athletes and focusing on those aspects athletes can personally control (e.g. improvement), coaches can serve to maintain or enhance self-esteem and intrinsic motivation, leading to increased effort and persistence in sport (Ferrer-Caja & Weiss, 2000) Coaches are responsible for creating the sporting environment, and, in return, are strong predictors of athletes goal orientations for sport (Carr & Weigand, 2002; Pensgaard & Roberts, 2002). Weiss and Ferrer-Caja (2002) maintain that coaches have the capability of creating a more extrinsic or intrinsic environment through control of the direction of the social and athletic context. The structure of the skill development environment and the coachs mindset as to the criteria for success send clear messages to

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12 the athletes regarding what is valued as positive achievement in a particular sport setting. The coach can either make the sport experience enjoyable or ruin it completely by being over zealous about winning (Oden & Avens, 2001). Competing as an elite athlete is a stressful experience in itself, and the coach can add to the stressful experience by placing too much emphasis on winning (Pensgaard & Roberts, 2000). Suggesting that winning is the most important part of the sport can have an important effect on athletes expectancies, values, and involvement decisions (Weiss & Ferrer-Caja, 2002). Baker, Cote, and Hawes (2000), performed a study using 228 athletes to measure the interaction between performance anxiety and coaching philosophies. They found that coaches who emphasized competition strategies were a positive predictor for semantic anxiety, disruption and worry among their athletes. This is strong evidence that the coach is the key factor in not only physically training, but also emotionally training athletes (Balaguera, Duda, Atienzaa, & Mayoc, 2001). Athletes perceptions of a motivational climate Coaches, along with many significant others, influence the motivational climate in an achievement context. However, as a result of unintended behavior by these groups (e.g. overemphasizing outcome criteria or giving a disproportionate amount of criticism over praise), it is possible for athletes to perceive the climate to be different than originally intended (Pensgaard & Roberts, 2002). Athletes perceptions of the motivational climate can affect their beliefs, values, and attitudes toward sportpersonship, coaches and fellow competitors (Fry & Newton, 2003). Pensgaard and Roberts (2002) explain that when elite athletes are high in both task and ego orientation, their perception of the motivational climate may be vital for determining which goal orientation will be overtly displayed. Results reveal that

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13 perceptions of a mastery climate are positively associated with adapted sources of confidence, social sources, and the belief that motivation and effort is the cause of success and satisfaction (Magyar & Feltz, 2001; Treasure & Roberts, 2001). Further, Duda (1996) showed that athletes perceptions of a mastery climate reduced potential aggressive behavior. In contrast, perceptions of a performance climate were related to the belief that aggression and deception causes success (Treasure & Roberts, 2001). Pensgaard and Roberts (2002) also revealed that perceptions of a performance climate were associated with viewing the coach and team as sources of distress. Coaches goals For the benefit of athletes, it is crucial for coaches to become what Duda ( http://www.positivecoach.org/documents/pcmm_research.pdf ) refers to as the double-goal coach. The idea is to steer away from a scoreboard mentality, and to adapt a mastery orientation. Coaches should want to win but should also want to help the athletes develop positive character traits necessary for success in life. Weinberg, Butt, Knight and Perritt (2001) interviewed 14 NCAA head coaches and found that, although goals were set for process, performance, and outcome, and related to fun and enjoyment, coaches focused more on performance and outcome. It is important for coaches to emphasize working, personal improvement, and the importance of learning from mistakes (Duda, 1996). Harwood and Biddle (2002) suggest working towards a self-challenge to improve and maximize personal skills. This self-challenge can then be used to work towards a game-challenge to overcome the performance goal set for a specific event. Harwood and Biddle (2002) used an acronym, RESISTANCE, to help coaches enable athletes to refocus their attention on the importance of the selfand game-challenge. RESISTANCE stands for rating, esteem, seeding, importance, score, team, audience, no

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14 justice, comparison, and endorsement. Each component is followed by a phrase that can help cope with the negative ego-involving characteristics of athletics. Table 1. RESISTANCE components* Component Phrase Rating Its not the rating or ranking that produces the performance Esteem Separate the person from the outcome Seeding Competitions arent played on paper they are played on the field Importance Any competition is just as important as any other competition Score Its not about the result, it about your effort, discipline, and focus Team Effective team members compete like the competitors who earned selection Audience An audiences main desire is to witness a competitor trying their best No justice One bad result is not the end of a season. Comparison never base achievement solely on comparison with others Endorsement High fashion and sponsorships never won a competition *This acronym was developed by Harwood and Biddle and modified for athletes of any sport (Harwood & Biddle, 2002) Favorable orientation Researchers have demonstrated the benefits of adopting a task goal orientation. A task goal orientation is associated with adaptive motivational patterns (Xiang, Lee & Bennett, 2002). Researchers refer to these motivational patterns as adaptive because challenges and obstacles are pertinent in most important life pursuits. Response patterns that encourage individuals to confront obstacles and commit to goals, ultimately lead to achievements (Dweck & Leggett, 1988). Since task-oriented athletes believe that effort increases ability and ultimately perceived competence in sport, it is the preferred goal orientation. Further, since effort is controllable, believing that trying hard will bring success reflects an I can feeling (Harwood & Biddle, 2002). Researchers have related a high task goal orientation to intrinsic motivation. People with intrinsic motivation participate in activities to learn new skills to the best of their

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15 ability. These athletes participate for the love of the sport and to achieve self-mastery (Weinberg & Gould, 1999). Duda et al. (1995) showed that high task-oriented athletes tried harder in the activity and participated for enjoyment. Both effort and enjoyment are indicators of intrinsic motivation. Furthermore, when athletes enjoy participation for its own sake, they use more adaptive learning strategies and exhibit incremental gains in performance (Duda, 1996). Therefore, such findings provide an explanation for why a task-oriented focus would be beneficial (Harwood & Biddle, 2002). Duda (1996) related achievement goal orientations to persistence in sport. She revealed that athletes who were most likely to drop out of sports tended to be solely ego-oriented and associated their sport success and failure in terms of comparison with others. However, athletes who were involved in sport for long periods of time tended to display both task and ego goal orientations. Task-oriented individuals thrive on hard work. Athletes anticipate future sport participation where they will have the opportunity to improve their skills and performance outcome. Achievement goal orientation has been found to relate to sportspersonship. In a study with basketball players, low task oriented and high ego oriented athletes were more likely to endorse unsportmanlike play and cheating (Duda, http://www.positivecoach.org/documents/pcmm_research.pdf ). A survey of high school athletes revealed that low task and high ego oriented individuals endorse unsportsmanlike play including aggressive behavior and injurious acts. Conversely, task-oriented athletes have respect for social conventions and exhibit a personal commitment to the rules and regulations of sport (Duda, 1996).

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16 Recent work by Roeser, Midgley and Urdon (1996) related anxiety and enjoyment to achievement goal orientation. Ego orientation was found to lead to a greater sense of pressure, tension, and worry. In contrast, task-oriented athletes, focused on mastery and improvement, experienced increased levels of enjoyment, and reported higher levels of self efficacy. For these athletes, goals were viewed as achievable, and therefore performance was not impaired by anxiety, tension and worry about performance (Nicholls, 1984). Ntoumanis, Biddle and Haddock (1999) found that task-oriented individuals use problem-solving coping strategies to succeed. These athletes tried hard and, when needed, sought social support. On the other hand, ego-oriented athletes used negative coping strategies such as getting upset and venting emotions. A general conclusion is that a high task orientation is positive. However, recent researchers have suggested a high task orientation with a positive ego involvement may be beneficial (Harwood &Biddle, 2002). It is important for athletes to develop a high level of task orientation. Athletes need to feel satisfied with their positive performances, regardless whether they perform better then their competitors. It is important to keep a positive perspective regarding athletes performances and their potential as an elite athlete. At the same time, athletes must maintain their competitiveness and desire to be the best competitor. Maintaining a healthy ego involvement can provide athletes with competitive direction and purpose for each competition. Without ego involvement, athletes are less likely to be concerned with a top placement. With ego involvement, backed up with a high level of task involvement, athletes will have the intrinsic motivation and the competitiveness they require to be successful.

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17 Similar to a high task-involved goal orientation, a mastery climate is associated with adaptive motivational and affective patterns (Treasure & Roberts, 2001). Mastery climates use effective learning strategies, positive attitudes towards the activity and increased effort (Ntoumanis & Biddle, 1999). Burton (cited by Duda, http.www.positivecoach.org/documents/pcmm_research.pdf) examined the behavior patterns of intercollegiate swimmers who participated in either a masteryor a performance-based goal setting training program. Results revealed that athletes who were a product of a mastery climate displayed more effort and greater improvement in performance. Furthermore, the positive effect of a mastery-based training program was influential for athletes with initially lower levels of perceived competence. These athletes looked forward to the opportunity to try harder and increase their ability. They ultimately increased their perceived competence (Duda, 1996). Ferrer-Caja and Weiss (2000) explain that motivational climates that promote learning and participation, influence individuals who focus on activities and evaluate their success using self-referenced sources such as effort and improvement. It has been shown that in a mastery motivational climate, athletes participate for enjoyment, fun, and a desire to learn. They have high-perceived ability and therefore choose difficult tasks, put forth high effort, and persevere in the face of failure (Ferrer-Caja & Weiss, 2000). In contrast, a performance motivational climate that promotes success in competition influences athletes to focus on outcomes and to evaluate success by viewing their standings relative to others. These athletes learn to fear making mistakes, and are likely to be distressed (Ferrer-Caja & Weiss, 2000; Pensgaard & Roberts, 2000). As a result of distress, athletes experience negative thoughts and worry about their performance that

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18 can lead to a decrease in self-confidence and, eventually, decreased motivation (FerrerCaja & Weiss, 2000; Newton, Duda, & Yin, 2000; Pensgaard & Roberts, 2000) Coaching behaviors Different coaching styles and behaviors can affect the motivational climate and an athletes learning and performance in training and competition. The acronym TARGET has become a basic building block of an achievement setting (Epstein, 1988; Ames, 1992). The TARGET components (i.e. task, aut hority, rewards, groupi ng, evaluation, and time) can be manipulated by coaches to crea te either a masteryor a performanceoriented motivational climate in a sport setting (Todorovich & Curtner-Smith, 2002). To create a mastery motivational climate, coach es should provide indi vidually challenging tasks for athletes, involve athlet es in the choice of the differe nt tasks to master, and have them participate in setting their own proce ss goals. Furthermore, for a mastery climate, coaches should provide equal and private eval uations as athletes make progress toward individualized goals. An important part of coaching is the ab ility to understand athletes social and emotional motives for participating in sport (NASPE, 1995). Coaches must remember that athletes are people, not machines under their control. To develop a positive coachathlete relationship, coaches must know what each individual athlete requires in order to excel (Dieffenbach, Gould, & Moffett, 1999; Pe nsgaard & Roberts, 2002). They must understand the individual training and competitiv e experiences of the athletes under their influence. They also must recognize the impor tance of self-confiden ce and self-esteem to the athletes development, and learn to be sens itive to when an athlete is able to receive constructive criticism and when he or she needs to be shown acceptance and given more encouragement regarding his or her athletic ability (NASPE 1995; Pensgaard & Roberts,

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19 2002). Over training athletes both physically and mentally can put a lot of stress on them and can cause the promising young athletes to be come frustrated with sport participation and to stop competing at or near the peak of their career. Table 2. TARGET components* Target Component Performance-oriented Mastery-oriented Task All pupils attempt at the same task. Goals for the task are determined by the instructor Pupils choose to attempt different tasks. They are permitted to set their own goals Authority The instructor makes all decisions about what pupils will learn, sets up all equipment and carries out all pupil evaluations Pupils choose what they will attempt to learn, are given the opportunity to set up their own equipment, and are encouraged to evaluate their own performance Rewards Recognition of pupils accomplishments are made public and rewards are given for superior performance Recognition of pupils accomplishments are kept private and rewards are given for improvement Grouping An entire class or squad works on one task or pupils are grouped according to their ability Pupils work on individual tasks or in small cooperative groups. Grouping is flexible and heterogeneous Evaluation Evaluation is norm-referenced or rank-ordered and public Progress is judged on the basis of the whole group objectives and level of performance Evaluation is self-referenced, and private. Progress is judged on the basis of individual objectives, participation, effort and improvement Time The instructor gives strict time limits for all pupils to complete tasks and establishes timelines for improvement Time limits for task completion are flexible. Pupils help to schedule timelines for improvement. This acronym is used to develop masteryor performance-oriented motivational climate (Todorovich & Curtner-Smith, 2003) Burnout is an important issue in athletic s and coaches can help in its prevention. Coaches must have two-way co mmunication with their athletes, and they must cultivate personal involvement with their players. In other words, coaches must understand their players feelings (Weinberg & Gould, 1999). With this knowledge, a coach can work towards creating what Dieffenbach, Gould, a nd Moffett (1999) refer to as a Quality

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20 Coach-Athlete Relationship. This relationship is characterized by mutual trust, confidence in each others abilities, good communication, and a sense of collaboration. Athletes prefer coaches who allow them to have input in the decision making process about goals, practice methods, and game tactics (Martin, Jackson, Richardson, & Weiller, 1999). Athletes respond better to an autonomy approach, where goals are dictated by the coach and set in collaboration with the athlete, than to an approach where the coach primarily exerts control (Weinberg, Butt, Knight, & Perritt, 2001; Weiss & Ferrer-Caja, 2002). Coaches play a critical role in the personal as well as the athletic development of athletes. How an athlete regards his or her sport is often dependent on the behavior of the coach. NASPE (1995) recommends that coaches demonstrate effective motivational skills and provide positive, appropriate feedback. Coaches must use appropriate goal setting strategies. Their approach to correcting errors must be positive and they must recognize the effectiveness of using inspirational speeches as ways of reducing the athletes level of stress felt in practice and competition or their fear of failure. Coaches should emphasize the importance of enjoying the training sessions and competitions. They must provide opportunities for athletes to derive satisfaction from striving to achieve their goals, both performance process and outcome. Coaches must learn to balance positive feedback with constructive criticism (Duda, http://www.positivecoach.org/documents/pcmm_research.pdf ). Nunelly (2002) recommends coaches be tough, firm, but quick to praise. In a study by Ryan, Koestner, and Deci (1991), under conditions of positive feedback, task-oriented athletes persisted more in their activity than ego-oriented athletes. However, this pattern was reversed

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21 under conditioning of negative or no feedback. Smith, Smoll, and Curtis (1979) showed that male baseball players whose coaches displayed frequent encouragement, positive reinforcement and corrective feedback, had significantly higher levels of self esteem over the course of the season than players whose coaches used these techniques less frequently. In the same study, players who demonstrated low self esteem at the beginning of the season benefited the most from positive coaching techniques. Baseball players reported enjoying their athletic experiences more and wanting to continue their participation when their coach gave them more positive reinforcement in response to good performance and effort, and responded to mistakes with fewer punitive responses and more encouragement, support and constructive criticism (Barnett, Smoll & Smith, 1992). There is a clear distinction between athletic career phases. According to Dieffenbach, Gould and Moffett (1999), the early years of participation are marked by developing love for the sport and participating for fun. The middle years of competition are when, with the help of a coach, the athlete works on long-term skill development. The elite years are characterized by many hours of training and working towards personal excellence. Studies have shown that during the early years of athletes careers, coaches focus mainly on fun and the development of goals (Dieffenbach, Gould, & Moffett, 1999). However, as athletes improve in skill and performance and progress to the next level of competition (i.e. middle years), when the coach plays a significant role, coaches tend to become stricter regarding rules and criteria for successful performances. Coaches tend to focus more on results than on effort and skill development. The emphasis in the training environment shifts from creativity in drills and segmentation of the required

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22 skills for improvement to tactics and performance in competition. As a result of this change in approach many talented athletes never reach elite levels of competition, retiring due to declining interest and competence (Weiss & Ferrer-Caja, 2002). Winning inevitably becomes more important as levels of competition increase. Nonetheless, too much focus on the competition and extrinsic awards can diminish feelings of intrinsic motivation. Training sessions as well as competitions provide opportunities to satisfy the athletes need to feel competent in their sport. Coaches should emphasize having fun and work on creating an enjoyable competitive environment (Dieffenbach, Gould, & Moffett, 1999). Levels of intrinsic motivation will reflect the mastery motivational climate and athletes will put forth more effort, ultimately leading to success and personal satisfaction in the achievement context (Ferrer-Caja & Weiss, 2000; Newton, Duda, & Yin, 2000). Influences of all significant others In addition to coaches, the social environment is influenced by significant others and affect athletes goal perspectives (Duda, 1996). In athletics, parents, peers, and society shape and mold the beliefs, attitudes, and values participants will have about physical activity. Carr and Weigand (2002) conducted a study to explore the relationship between motivational climates created by significant others and childrens goal orientations in physical education. Results suggest that children with a high task orientation tended to internalize higher perceptions of a mastery climate from significant others than children with a low task orientation. Children with a high ego orientation tended to internalize higher perceptions of a performance-oriented climate from teachers, peers, and sport heroes then children with a low ego orientation. Teachers were found to promote a mastery climate that more strongly related to a task orientation, while peers

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23 promoted a more performance-oriented climate that was strongly related to an ego orientation. Weiss and Ferrer-Caja (2002) referred to a looking glass self, created by Charles Cooley to illustrate that individuals use important adults and peers as social mirrors through which they evaluate their competences and worth, ultimately affecting their self esteem. Duda and Hom (1993) found moderately strong correlations between childrens task and ego orientations, and the perceptions of their parents task orientations. Hayashi (1999) also found that gymnasts decisions to continue in their sport significantly relied on the perceived support from family and friends. Purpose of the Study As previously mentioned, coaches play a significant role in determining an athletes achievement goal orientation, and this is particularly noteworthy given the lack of direct feedback given to skiing athletes. Researchers have investigated the influence of perceived motivational climate on athletes goal orientations. However, to date, researchers have failed to look at the goal orientations of coaches to determine if and/or how those orientations affect what coaches say and do when they coach their teams or athletes and, therefore, how they may impact the motivational climate in the sporting domain. Thus, the purpose of this study is to assess how elite Alpine Ski Racing coaches goal orientations elicit specific behavior patterns that impact the way they develop the motivational climate of the snow skiing sport domain.

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CHAPTER 3 METHOD This qualitative study used a sampling strategy referred to as Extreme or Deviant case sampling (Patton, 2002). Patton refers to extreme or deviant cases as a strategy that selects unique and unusual cases that can be used to explain more typical situations. In this case, the researcher looked at elite downhill skiing coaches extreme achievement goal profiles as determinants of specific behavior patters. Participants Twenty Canadian FIS (Federation International de Ski) coaches were asked to be potential participants for this study. They were each contacted with a brief description of the study. Informed consent forms, approved by the universitys human subjects protection board, were mailed to each coach to be signed and sent back to the researcher before they were allowed to volunteer as participants. With the coaches informed consent, they completed the Task and Ego Orientation in Sport Questionnaire (TEOSQ) to identify those coaches that displayed an extreme task or ego orientation (Duda & White, 1992). This approach is consistent with the criterion sampling procedure described by Patton (1990) with the indication that criterion sampling can be applied to identify cases from quantitative questionnaires or tests for in-depth follow-up (p.177). Using the criterion sampling procedure, the researcher identified those FIS coaches who displayed a high task and low ego orientation or high ego and low task orientation, based on their TEOSQ scores. A high task orientation or ego orientation score was considered any score ranging from 4.1 to 5.0 on either TEOSQ sub-scale. A low task orientation or 24

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25 ego orientation was considered any score ranging from 1.0 to 2.9 on either TEOSQ sub-scale. The coaches high in task or ego orientation were then asked to participate in the interview process of the study. TEOSQ The Task and Ego Orientation in Sport Questionnaire (TEOSQ) was used to assess the coaches goal orientation (Duda & White, 1992). The TEOSQ asks participants when they felt most successful in sport (in this case, alpine skiing). The questionnaire has 13 items and, by indicating their degree of agreement for each item, the subjects levels of task and ego orientation are identified. Seven items on the TEOSQ reflect a task involvement (e.g. I learn something that is fund to do), and 6 reflect an ego involvement (e.g. The others cant do as well as me). Coaches responses to each item were recorded on a 5-point Likert scale from strongly agree (1) to strongly disagree (5). The mean score (i.e. the sum of the scores divided by the number of items) for each subscale were calculating to obtain each participants TEOSQ score. The range for each participants degree of task and ego orientation in alpine skiing was from 1 (low) to 5 (high). Validity and Reliability of the TEOSQ Internal reliability was determined using two samples (Duda, Chi, Newton, Walling, & Catley, 1995). In sample 1, high alpha scores of .72 and .82 were found in respect to task and ego orientation. In sample 2, high alpha scores of .83 and .78 were provided for task and ego orientation. This shows that there is internal reliability. Duda (1992) proved validity for the TEOSQ using two studies. In the first study, Duda administered the TEOSQ and a Motivation Orientation Scale specific to a classroom to 205 high school students. The results showed a high positive correlation

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26 between the sport task and ego orientation scale scores. The second study, using undergraduate students confirmed these results. Therefore, it is shown that the TEOSQ is valid in regard to sport. Procedure In order for this study to be conducted in the true naturalistic and qualitative sense, two standardized, open-ended, semi-structured, formal interviews were utilized for the data collection process (Patton, 2002). The standardized open-ended interview required proper planning of each question (Patton, 2002). Each interview question was carefully written and evaluated before accepted for application. Open-ended interview questions in this study allowed flexibility in each coachs answers and eliminated the possibility of receiving one-word responses. In addition, since coaches had to respond to the questions using their own thoughts and words, valuable data were collected. The two formal interviews took place after the summer ski training camp, and prior to the fall ski training camp. Interviews ranged from one half of an hour to one hour in length. During the first interview, the coaches were asked to describe their philosophy of coaching elite FIS athletes, describe how they design and plan for their training days, what they think the purpose of competition is, how they would describe a favorable team climate, what role they believe they have in creating this environment and their role as a coach in general. The purpose of the second interview was to confirm the coaches responses in the first interview. All formal interviews were tape recorded with the coaches knowledge and approval. Once all interviews were complete and transcribed, the researcher analyzed the data.

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27 Data Analysis Although two separate groups (task-oriented and ego-oriented) were identified for this study, data for participants in each group were analyzed separately because attempts to compare or contrast the two groups were beyond the scope of this study. However, the researcher presented the findings for both groups in this paper to the dichotomous nature suggested by the extreme scores obtained by participants on the TEOSQ instrument. Although data analyses were conducted separately for each group, the same techniques were used. Data gathered via informal interviews were conducted using individual-case and cross-case analysis procedures (Patton, 1990). A constant-comparative approach to analyzing the data (Glaser & Strauss, 1967; Strauss & Corbin, 1990) revealed categories that have common linkages and patterns among group participants. Next, data were categorized into themes that represented common discourse or language used among the coaches regarding the coaching and training process. Issues with Trustworthiness To establish trustworthiness, themes that emerged from the data were cross-checked (Patton, 1990) and compared with a second researcher as well as the theory based TARGET component, both of which acted as sources to confirm or disconfirm assertions made by the researcher. This process, referred to as triangulation, was a well-used qualitative technique for ensuring data accuracy. To establish credibility, participants were asked to review the interpretations made by the researcher and to correct any inaccuracies. Next, peer debriefing was used to assist with evaluating the responses (Patton, 1990). This process involved a second researcher knowledgeable of

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28 both achievement goal theory and qualitative research methods to periodically review the assertions made by the primary researcher.

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CHAPTER 4 RESULTS Seventeen Canadian FIS (Federation International de Ski) level Alpine Ski Racing coaches completed the Task and Ego Orientation in Sport Questionnaire. FIS coaches work with athletes from 16 to 20 years of age. Nine coaches displayed a high task (4.1 to 5.0 on a 5-point scale) and low ego (1.0 to 2.9 on a 5-point scale) orientation. Six of these coaches participated in the interview process. There were five male coaches and one female coach. Each coach is from a different Canadian province and/or ski racing team. The coaches averaged 13 years of experience in alpine ski racing. Two of the coaches are current FIS level coaches. The remaining four coaches, while not directly involved in the FIS program, are still involved in alpine ski racing. Table 3. TEOSQ scores* Participant Task-oriented score Ego-oriented score Overall orientation 1 5.0 2.8 high task, low ego 2 4.6 1.5 extreme task 3. 4.5 2.0 high task, low ego 4 4.9 1.6 extreme task 5 4.3 2.6 high task, low ego 6 4.4 1.7 extreme task 7 4.8 2.8 high task, low ego 9 5.0 2.7 high task, low ego 10 4.9 2.8 high task, low ego 11 4.1 3.3 high task, moderate ego 12 4.9 3.2 high task, moderate ego 13 3.7 3.3 moderate task, moderate ego 14 4.0 3.3 moderate task, moderate ego 15 4.2 4.0 moderate task, moderate ego 16 4.3 4.0 moderate task, moderate ego 17 3.2 4.6 high task, moderate ego Data collection from the Task and Ego in Sport Questionnaire 29

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30 Passion for Alpine Ski Racing All of the coaches interviewed had athletic backgrounds. Most of them were alpine ski racers at the FIS or national level. All six respondents emphasized their love for alpine ski racing. They enjoyed their athletic experiences and developed a passion for the sport. For each of them coaching was one way they could stay involved in the sport to which they devoted so much of their lives as competitors. One coach said: Its very rewarding to get back and give back to the sport I truly love. Thats the main reason why I got into coaching. I wanted to give back to the sport that has given me so much. These individuals became coaches not only for the love of the sport, but also because they received a great deal of satisfaction from helping future generations of athletes in the pursuit of their own goals. They enjoyed seeing athletes improve and progress to higher levels of competition. This is particularly well described by one coach who stated: I was always able to help them stay happy, keen and focused. I enjoy seeing the kids do well. I enjoy watching them progress and seeing them have fun. I take an interest in the kids and enjoy their energy. All the coaches interviewed were highly certified in alpine ski racing and have stayed current with new developments related to their sport and coaching. One coach explained that it was important to keep our learning going ahead and not just stagnant. The coaches believed it was important to be creative and innovative with new and better training techniques. The coaches were constantly evaluating themselves with goals of selfimprovement and enhancing their coaching abilities. Themes Three main themes emerged from the coaches responses to the interview questions. The themes were: a) the coaches focused on overall development, b) the

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31 coaches created an enjoyable and intense climate, and c) the coaches utilized training sessions to improve sport specific skills and life skills, and to provide a fun and successful experience. Theme 1: Focus on Overall Development The first theme reflects the coaches perceptions of the purpose of ski racing at an elite level. They acknowledged that alpine ski racing teaches the athletes important life skills. Most of the coaches also believe that the main focus of ski racing at the FIS level, in addition to performing well, should be on overall skill development. Competing at the FIS level, it is understandable for coaches to want to see their athletes perform well and progress to the next level of competition. However, most of the coaches interviewed maintained that overall development should be the primary focus. Once an athlete develops physically and mentally, good results will come. One respondent stated: When people are strong and really understand their own bodies, their skiing just falls into place. We have to do that instead of chasing those FIS points. The main goal is not to develop world champions but to create people with really good life skills. Everyone wants instant gratification we want to win now. We dont want to wait. We dont allow kids to develop long enough. We push them way too soon. Another coach responded: Athletes goals are always result oriented which is wrong. You only get the results if you do all the things (physical skills) first and properly so, those should be your daily goals. You really want to focus on development. Focus on how youre improving rather than how you actually do it. The idea is to make it a developmental thing until youre 19 or 20 years old. The coaches reported wanting what was best for their athletes regardless of whether the end result was a world cup holding or merely a personal measure of accomplishment You have to look at an individuals potential and if you get the most out of that individual regardless of what the end result is. I think that that was for sure one of

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32 my goals at the end of every year you can say I feel good about what weve accomplished. In the event of an unsuccessful outcome, the coaches did not see value in dwelling on the result, but instead advised to work on dissecting the performance and come to a decision about what needs to be done to improve. One coach explained that maybe we are spending too much time in gates or something so they need to free ski more, spend more time in practice session or a one-on-one session. With a successful outcome, the coaches felt it was important to acknowledge that individual. An athlete who has achieved a goal should be recognized and it is appropriate for the athletes teammates and competitors to witness the coach congratulating him or her. In addition, the coaches agreed that it was very important to always leave the athlete with something to work on to be even more successful in the future. Definitely congratulations are in order. You worked hard at this, good job; this is a step along the way. Definitely allow them to feel the success and pride of their performance but not over glorifying it. Do I do it in front of other racers? Yeah, sure thats the way it is. I mean it all really depends on the situation. You do have a little one-on-one where its personal and private to talk about things but you do that with everybody but Im not afraid to congratulate someone in a crowd. In addition to race results, coaches believed athletes should be evaluated based on other criteria. Each coach reported taking part in an evaluation process throughout the ski season. They took the time to discuss each athletes progress during the training season, race season, and post season. I reserve judgment on their technical improvement, maybe change in their attitude or mental skills. Their FIS goals and world ranking goals is appropriate for that person but we also set physical, technical, tactical, and psychological goals as well. Its all living skills goals. With on-going evaluation, through discussion, you could see how an individual develops as a person socially, physically. But I think pure performance at the elite level is the outcome that everyone is looking for, but I think the numbers that reach that are very few so I think you have to focus on your accomplishments when you break down the sport into different skill areas.

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33 Theme 2: Creating an Enjoyable Environment The second theme outlines the coachs understanding of the importance of creating an enjoyable sporting experience. Each coach believed he or she had a significant role in developing a competitive environment that was both fun and intense. They each expected their athletes to work hard but also acknowledged the importance of having fun while training and in competition. As coach, you are in position of empowerment. I certainly feel that the coach has a lot to do with dictating how fun the program can be and how well the team gets along because they have control over the whole thing, for the most part. My athletes know that I am intense and know what I want to achieve something but at the same time they know they can have fun it doesnt always have to be serious. At the FIS level of competition, performance becomes more important and, as a result, athletes are expected to work very hard. However, coaches understand that an athlete will no longer want to compete in alpine skiing if he or she is not enjoying the sport. Not surprisingly, coaches agreed that they should develop a fun atmosphere. However, it is important for the athletes to understand the serious side of the sport. One coach said: I can be your friend. We can fool around but when were working, were working and that is the ethic we have to get back. Theres time for play and theres time to learn. They have to understand that I am still the coach and there is a line drawn. Developing a strong coach-athlete relationship is an important contributing factor in ensuring a positive sporting experience for an athlete. Since FIS is the first level of competition that demands a great deal of travel, the athletes are consequently away from home for a large part of the year. As a result, the coaches shared in the view that they take on many additional roles. One coach described the situation as actually becoming a family when you start traveling. The coaches knew that it was essential to build a trusting relationship in order for athletes to become more involved in the program. Its

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34 nice to give them some role of responsibility and some accountability. Theyll be happy if Im not nagging them. They need to feel they can be themselves. The coaches realized the importance of open communication with their athletes. They are in the position to make the decisions, but athletes were more willing to cooperate when they knew exactly what was expected of them. As one coach stated: The thing is open communication about where theyre at. I think its an important thing to do with your athletes. Its part of active cool down. By keeping everyone informed about whats happening, it just alleviates a million problems. Keeping the lines of communication open, athletes were able to state their opinions and felt as though they had some influence over the program. The coaches believed that athletes had valuable insights in alpine ski racing and should have had the opportunity to communicate their thoughts and feelings with everyone on the team. Respect each other and listen to each other because every one of those guys has something valuable to bring to the table. We always ate together, especially on the road. That was the time where a lot of stuff got brought to the table about what their feelings and stuff were. We never left the hill without having a meeting first. For me and its for them. I believe that we can stop a lot of the problems if you find out about them right away. Everybody thinks kids dont understand. You have to talk to them The coaches had specific items they wanted their athletes to focus on and goals to work toward. However, they understood that it was important for an athlete to be involved in planning, goal setting, and be given the opportunity to develop his or her own goals. Once the athletes had decided on specific goals they would like to achieve, the coaches would collaborate with them in order to achieve a combined effort. I think its important to get the athlete to think about what theyre doing so if you remember we used to have I think two meetings to first explain the process and then to go back and try to think about what they want to do and then we would sit down together.

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35 Theme 3: Training Sessions for Overall Development and an Enjoyable Experience The third theme is developed from a combination of the two themes previously mentioned. The coaches used the training days to create an enjoyable and competitive environment with a focus on overall skill development. Results in alpine ski racing are solely based on the clock. Therefore, the coaches believed it was necessary to simulate race conditions as much as possible when training. This involved wearing downhill suits and using proper timing equipment. However, to create an enjoyable experience they encouraged fun competition with their athletes. One coach believed that: Once they were past their second year when they were 16, we put the clock on them and then from then on any time they were in gates, there was always a clock on them always, never without. Free ski, nothing, just feedback, but when they were in gates, always a clock. And they pushed themselves. I always believe that you give 100% in training because you have to simulate the race. When youre in training gates, you have to make each run count like its a race. They try to beat their own times, basically, but bragging rights on time too. But this becomes fun to them. There isnt a nasty side to it. Very healthy and not only that but that is the sport of ski racing. The coaches viewed skill development as the main focus for their athletes during training sessions. Although, the athletes were given an opportunity to express their thoughts and feelings, the coaches agreed it was their job to plan and prepare for the training days. One coach stated that: My athletes have very specific things they have to do. I expect active cool down and I want to see that. Youve got to be somewhat flexible but I think by having a certain regiment that you deal with, it gets the kids into a rhythm. M job is to make sure when my athletes come to the hill, everything was prepared. I never expected an athlete to carry gates and help screw, unless we were in a bit of a rush and had to get off the hill. Another coach explained that: I dont think they are ready to do much of their training on their own. Youve got to look ahead to when youre racing and how important the race is. You gear training towards that.

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36 Finally, the coaches explained that the athletes trained as one group and that there were inherent advantages to this. In alpine ski racing, at the elite level, teams were usually small enough to train as one unit. However, although teams trained in the same race course and, in many situations, on the same drills, they were all working on different skills specific to their individual needs. One coach replied: I start with the same drill. Sometimes I have two drills within one course. Some will start at the top and some will start on the second. I think they can all certainly improve on every drill so its not a bad thing. I find that younger kids develop faster because they ski with kind of role models so they are learning more skills and techniques and they try to do it like their models.

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CHAPTER 5 DISCUSSION The purpose of this study was to assess the impact of achievement goal orientations on coaching behavior and to identify how the behavior patterns of alpine ski racing coaches influence the motivational climate they create for their athletes. The study revealed that those coaches who were high task-oriented and low ego-oriented chose to be involved in alpine ski racing because they love the sport. The coaches believed that through ski racing, athletes would not only acquire physical skills to help them achieve success in the sport, but they would also develop important life skills that would help them achieve success beyond the sport. In addition, task-oriented coaches believed in the importance of developing a competitive sporting environment that was both intense and enjoyable. The coach was the leader who was empowered to make important decisions about training and competition. However, an athletes insight into alpine ski racing was never underestimated. Task-oriented coaches understood that they were able to accomplish this through constant collaboration with and evaluation of their athletes. They also utilized the training session to not only improve skills related to ski racing, but also to focus on overall development. Task Orientation and Overall Development Task orientation is related to adaptive achievement strategies. Individuals who are task-involved focus on self-improvement and endorse effort and persistence to optimize performance (Dweck & Legett, 1988). Maintaining a positive work ethic and remaining devoted to their activity, individuals develop a passion for their activity and, in return, 37

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38 increase their intrinsic motivation (Dweck & Leggett, 1988; Duda, Chi, Newton, Walling, & Catley, 1995). The task-oriented coaches who participated in the interview process this study emphasized their love for athletics. They believed that with hard work and persistence, they were able to have an impact on each of their athletes and the sport of alpine ski racing. Once coach explained: I really enjoy the sport in itself and what I can do with the sport. At a certain point, I really enjoy what you can do with young people and the impact you can have on their lives, especially with ski racing because you spend a lot of time with them so you know you can really have an impact on their whole values and structure and.I like that. In the sport of alpine ski racing, athletes spend roughly three quarters of the year either in training or in competition. There is a lot of traveling involved and athletes can be away from their families for weeks. This gives a coach the opportunity to effectively influence the overall development of an athlete. A coach has a tremendous impact on an athletes values, beliefs and behavior. A coach can effectively teach an athlete the value of hard work and persistence not only in their sport, but also in all aspects of their life. Task-oriented individuals recognize that ability can improve with effort (Dweck & Leggett, 1988). The task-oriented coaches realized that an athlete can learn a lot from both successful and unsuccessful outcomes. In the event of a successful outcome, it is important for the coach to acknowledge the athletes accomplishments but also to keep the success in perspective. At the FIS (Federation International de Ski) level, athletes are roughly 16 to 20 years old. In ski racing, these athletes are at the start of their competitive careers. There is always room for improvement and it is important for an athlete to understand that each success is a stepping stone for achieving the ultimate goal. In one interview, a coach mentioned:

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39 Youve got to prepare them for that. Its nothing too complicated except that I try to keep them focused on the process so that if they have success it doesnt make them superstitious or overconfident. Its important they remember how hard they worked to achieve success so they continue to have success. And they keep it in perspective of development. Its important they enjoy their success. I dont want to downplay it but its important to keep it in perspective. It is important for an athletes success to be acknowledged. The athlete should feel a sense of pride and satisfaction after performing well. However, the task-oriented coaches believed that the athlete should continue to work hard to further increase their ability for greater success. In the case of unsuccessful outcomes, coaches in the study chose to focus on overall skill development. Unlike the ego-oriented individual, who would view this as a sign of inability, the task-oriented coaches understood that it was important for the athletes to acknowledge their potential as ski racers and to help them remember why they love ski racing. One coach found it important to reassure him that its going to take time. you have to pull away from the race a little bit and you have to make sure that he has lots of time to just go and ski. The task-oriented coaches recognized that one unsuccessful outcome does not mean the end of an athletes career. It may be beneficial to take an athlete out of the competitive environment and allow him or her to simply go and ski. When the athlete is ready to put forth the effort and try again, he or she will improve and eventually succeed. It was evident from the interviews that the coaches provided their athletes with challenging tasks by having the less skilled and more experienced athletes train in one group. Each task-oriented coach created an environment that allowed the athletes to feed off each other and improve together. It was shown that the younger and less skilled athletes had the opportunity to train and race against their older and more experienced

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40 teammates, whom they viewed as role models or simply ski racers they would like to defeat. The coaches understood that by keeping the team as one unit, the athletes were able to challenge each other, learn from each other, and improve together. Task Orientation and its Influence on the Motivational Climate The social climate, principally created by the coach, influences an athletes achievement motivation (Harwood & Biddle, 2002). Congruent with research in classrooms, the motivational climate displayed is defined by the coach-athlete relationship, evaluation process, athlete groupings, and times allotted for tasks to be completed (Ames, 1992). Previously mentioned, the acronym TARGET that stands for task, authority, rewards, grouping, evaluation, and time help to clarify the difference between a mastery and a performance motivational climate. Coaches who collaborate with their athletes, evaluate success based on individual effort and improvement, encourage athletes to learn new skills without a time constraint, and do not group athletes based on ability, create a mastery-oriented motivational climate (Ames, 1992). In this study, it was clear the task-oriented coaches created a mastery-oriented motivational climate in their training sessions. The coaches agreed it was necessary for the coaching staff to make final decisions regarding training and competition. However, they believed that their athletes should have an opportunity to express their thoughts and feelings regarding decision-making. The task-oriented coaches made it routine for the whole team to meet as one group after training to discuss the day and the future plans. Coaches would share with their athletes what was to be expected for the upcoming training days and race series. In addition, the coaches would listen to the athletes and discuss their thoughts regarding the tasks they were asked to perform. With open lines of communication, the coaches were able to

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41 create a positive relationship with their athletes based on trust and respect. Keeping athletes informed of their progress and the short and long term plans for their racing season, the coaches were able to gain the trust of athletes. These coaches also developed an understanding and appreciation for the athletes personal goals for participating in sport. One coach discussed how his relationship with his athletes had improved over the years. He said: I think Ive learned a lot in the last few years about developing a stronger relationship. In the first few years coaching, Im not really sure what kind of respect Ive had from my athletes. But I think in the last several, respect has been pretty good. I dont get athletes who dont believe in me or who dont think that Im doing the right thing. My relationship has been really good. I think I look after them well and I have their interest at heart and I think that they believe that. Im trying to get to know them a little better trying to relax. These guys operate in good faith. Im not worried that any one is going to lie to me. They work hard, theyre honest by large. And I trust them so I can be a lot more relaxed. They make it easier for me. A strong relationship between an athlete and a coach based on trust and respect and created through open communication, eliminates many problems they may experience in working together. When a coach and athlete are in sync, aware of each others needs and wants, they are able to focus on the task at hand and enjoy working together. Similar to the information derived from research completed in classrooms, it is important for an athlete to be evaluated based on improvement (Ames, 1992). Alpine ski racing is a sport in which an athletes success is based solely on the scoreboard. With each ski race, athletes experience changes in the weather and snow conditions, the race course and their starting position. Every race run is completely different and therefore, alpine ski racing does not provide an objective way to measure personal performance. With this in mind, in order to create, in part, a mastery climate, coaches need to develop their own criteria for evaluating an athletes success that is self-referenced. In this study,

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42 it was shown that task-oriented coaches evaluated success on the amount of technical improvement shown in one season, the ability to graduate to a higher level of competition, or on overall development as an athlete and a mature individual. These evaluations were ongoing and personal. Each athlete had the opportunity to meet with the coach, one-on-one, to discuss his or her individual improvement and progress toward achieving set goals. In a mastery motivational climate, athletes work on individual tasks with flexible time limits for completion (Todorovich & Curtner-Smith, 2003). In this study, task-oriented coaches reported that, although the team was kept together as one unit, each individual was given specific skills to develop and lots of time was provided to complete the task. As previously mentioned, these coaches believed that keeping the athletes together benefited everyone. One coach said: We very much work as one team. They (more experienced athletes) help me out a lot because they help pickup the slack because they know how to do things. They know what theyre doing and the younger guys follow. We train at the same place. We make a plan. We start off together some are a little faster, some are a little slower. We teach the drills and then let them work at their speed. Last year I had four of us (coaching staff) and we tried to split the guys up and each work with a couple when we were working on technical work, but I dont really think there was an advantage so, this year we just try to use the strength of the coaches a little more. Some guys end up racing more than others but when were doing technical things we try to create an idea of what our team goals are, technical and otherwise. We all agree on a point of reference all the time and we work from there. The coaches did not find it necessary to create groups based on ability. Keeping everyone together allowed the coaches to use their strengths to help each athlete improve. Working together as one team allowed athletes to feel united and to experience the group atmosphere. In addition, athletes could push each other for more effort and enhance motivation for improvement.

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43 Influence of Coaches Task Orientations This study has shown how a task orientation elicits common behaviors among alpine ski racing coaches at the FIS level. As previously mentioned, alpine ski racing is extremely ego-involving. With each ski race, there is a different race hill, a variety of snow and weather conditions, a new course setter, and a different starting order. Unlike a track event where an athletes personal performance can be measured by comparing it to previous performances, a ski racers personal performance can only be measured by comparing his or her finish times with those of the other competitors. With this in mind, it is not surprising that coaches would mainly focus on race results and consequently display ego-oriented behavioral patterns in training and in competition. However, the coaches in this study were able to maintain certain beliefs consistent with their task orientation. In addition to final race results, these coaches recognized the importance of improvement for ones own sake. Further, task-oriented coaching behaviors influenced a motivational climate such that the athletes could work towards their personal goals in a serious, yet enjoyable, competitive environment. Conclusion This study revealed that the achievement goal orientations of elite alpine ski racing coaches elicited specific behavior patterns in training and in competition. Furthermore, these behavior patterns impacted on the way coaches created the motivational climate in the ski racing realm. Task-oriented coaches can overcome the ego-involving characteristics inherent in their sport and incorporate their task-oriented values and beliefs into the training environment, creating a mastery-oriented motivational climate. The mastery motivational climate enables athletes to appreciate hard work and effort. This helps them to understand the benefits of adopting a non-scoreboard orientation,

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44 regardless of the requirements of the sport, and assists them in improving their performance to be the best that it can be. Future Implications The present study needs to be replicated among high-level athletes in other primarily ego-involving sports in order to provide further evidence for the ability of task-oriented coaches to overcome the ego-oriented character of their sport and integrate their values and beliefs, consistent with their task orientation, into their training designs leading to a mastery-oriented climate. Another interesting question for future research concerns the impact coaches achievement goal orientations have on athletes goal orientations. Does the achievement goal orientation of the coach, that influences how they create the motivational climate, influence the athletes goal orientation? If so, this further illustrates the impact coaching behaviors have on the sporting domain. Lastly, to provide further evidence that achievement goal orientations of coaches predict certain behavior patterns, behavioral patterns of coaches should be observed in its natural setting. Direct observation of coaching behaviors will confirm or deny the responses made by the coaches in the interviews. The researcher will also be able to directly relate coaches achievement goal orientations to their coaching behaviors instead of having to make predictions about the relationship.

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APPENDIX A TASK AND EGO ORIENTATION IN SPORT QUESTIONNAIRE DIRECTIONS: Give your reaction to the following statements in regards how you usually or generally feel about the sport of snow skiing as if YOU were the athlete. You are asked to rank your reaction by indicating SD = Strongly Disagree, D = Disagree, N = Neutral, A = Agree, SA = Strongly Agree I feel most successful in snow skiing when 1. Im the only one who can do the play or skill. SD D N A SA 2. I learn a new skill and it makes me want to practice more. SD D N A SA 3. I can do better than my friends. SD D N A SA 4. The others cant do as well as me. SD D N A SA 5. I learn something that is fun to do. SD D N A SA 6. Others mess up and I dont. SD D N A SA 7. I learn a new skill by trying hard. SD D N A SA 8. I work really hard. SD D N A SA 9. I score the most points/goals/hits, etc. SD D N A SA 10. Something I learn makes me want to go and practice more. SD D N A SA 11. Im the best. SD D N A SA 12. A skill I learn really feels right. SD D N A SA 13. I do my very best. SD D N A SA 45

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APPENDIX B INTERVIEW GUIDE 1. Why did you choose to become a ski coach? 2. What are your coaching philosophies? 3. What are your own personal goals? 4. What are the goals you set for your athletes? 5. What do you believe is the key to success in athletics? a. What does it mean to an athlete to be successful? b. How do you deal with an athlete who is successful? c. How do you deal with an athlete who is unsuccessful? 6. How would you describe a favorable team climate/team atmosphere/competitive sporting environment? 7. How do you design and plan your training sessions? a. Do you decide what discipline to train? b. Do you set up the training courses and decide when to set another course and clean up? 8. Who sets the athletes goals? 9. In training, does everyone work together as a team? a. Everyone works on the same task? b. Same drills? 10. How do you reward your athletes in training and competition 46

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LIST OF REFERENCES Ames, C. (1992). Achievement goals, motivational climate, and motivational processes. In G.C. Roberts (ed.), Motivation in Sport and Exercise (pp. 161-176). Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics. Baker, J., Cote, J., & Hawes, R. (2000). The relationship between coaching behaviors and sport anxiety in athletes. Journal of Science in Medicine in Sport, 3, 110-119. Balaguera, I., Duda, J.L., Atienzaa, F.L., & Mayoc, C. (2002). Situational and dispositional goals as predictors of perceptions of individual and team improvement, satisfaction and coach ratings among elite female handball teams, Psychology of Sport and Exercise, 3, 4, 293308. Barnett, N.P., Smoll, F.L., & Smith, R.E. (1992). Effects of enhancing coach-athlete relationships on youth sport attrition. The Sport Psychologist, 6, 111-127. Carr, S., & Weigand, D.A. (2002). The influence of significant others on the goal orientations of youngsters in physical education. Journal of Sport Behavior, 25(1), 19-40. Dieffenbach, K., Gould, D., & Moffett, A. (1999). The coachs role in developing champions. Retrieved August 21, 2003, from http://coaching.usolympicteam.com/coaching/kpub.nsf/v/gould1 Duda, J.L. (n.d.). The positive coach mental model research summary. Retrieved August 21, 2003, from http://www.positivecoach.org/documents/pcmm_research.pdf Duda, J.L. (1992). Motivation in sport settings: A goal perspective approach. In G. Roberts (Ed.), Motivation in Sport and Exercise (pp. 147-155). Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics. Duda, J.L. (1996). Maximizing motivation in sport and physical education among children and adolescents: The case for greater task involvement. QUEST, 48, 290-302. Duda J.L. (2001). Goal perspective research in sport: Pushing the boundaries and clarifying some misunderstandings. In G. Roberts (Ed), Advances in Motivation in Sport and Exercise. (Chapter 5). Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics. 47

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48 Duda, J.L., Chi, L., Newton, M.L., Walling, M.D., & Catley, D. (1995). Task and ego orientation and intrinsic motivation in sport. International Journal of Sport Psychology, 26, 40-63. Duda, J.L., & Hall, H. (2001). Achievement goal theory in sport: Recent extensions and future directions. In R.N. Singer, H.A. Hausenblas, & C.M. Janelle (Eds.), Handbook of Sport Psychology. (pp. 417-443). New York: John Wiley & Sons. Duda, J.L., & Hom, H.L. (1993). Interdependencies between the perceived and self-reported goal orientations of young athletes and their parents. Pediatric Exercise Science, 5, 234-241. Duda, J.L., & White, S.A. (1992). Goal orientations and beliefs about the causes of success among elite skiers. The Sport Psychologist, 6, 334-343. Dweck, C.S., & Leggett, E.L. (1988). A social-cognitive approach to motivation and personality. Psychological Review, 95, 256-273. Epstein, J.L. (1988). Effective schools or effective students: Dealing with diversity. In R. Haskins and B. Macrae (eds.). Policies for Americas Public Schools: Teacher Equity Indicators (pp. 33-35). Norwood, NJ: Ablex. Ferrer-Caja, E., & Weiss, M.R. (2000). Predictors of intrinsic motivation among adolescent students in physical education. Research Quarterly for Exercise and Sport, 71(3), 267. Fry, M., & Newton, M. (2003). Application of Achievement goal theory in an urban youth tennis setting. Journal of Applied Sport Psychology, 15(1), 50-66. Glaser, B.G., & Strauss, A.L. (1967). The discovery of grounded theory: Strategies for qualitative research (pp. 47-52). New York: Aldine. Harwood, C., & Biddle, S. (2002). The application of achievement goal theory in youth sport. In I. Cockerill (Ed.), Solutions in Sport Psychology (pp. 58-73). London: Thomson. Harwood, C.G., Hardy, L., & Swain, A.B. (2000). Achievement goals in sport: A critique of conceptual and measurement issues. Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology, 22, 235-255. Harwood, C.G., & Swain, A.B. (1998). Antecedents of pre-competition achievement goals in elite junior tennis players. Journal of Sports Sciences, 16, 357-371. Hyashi, S.W. (1999). Understanding youth sport participation through perceived coaching behaviors, social support, anxiety and coping. (Doctoral dissertation, Michigan State University, 1999). Dissertation Abstracts International, 59(7-A), 2418.

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49 Magyar, T.M., & Feltz, D.L. (2001). The influence of dispositional and situational tendencies on 42 adolescent girls sport confidence sources. Psychology of Sport and Exercise. Received 15 November 2001. Martens, R. (1987). Science, knowledge, and sport psychology, The Sport Psychologist, 1(1), 29-55. Martin, S.B., Jackson, A.W., Richardson, P.A., & Weiller, K.H. (1999). Coaching preference of adolescent youths and their parents. Journal of Applied Sport Psychology, 11, 247-262. National Association for Sport and Physical Education. (1995). Five levels of coaching competency. In National Standards for Athletic Coaches: Quality Coaches, Quality Sports, USA: Author. Newton, M., Duda, J.L., & Yin, Z. (2000). Examination of the psychometric properties of the perceived motivational climate in sport questionnaire-2 in a sample of female athletes. Journal of Sports Sciences. 18(4), 275-291. Nicholls. J. (1984). Achievement motivation: Conceptions of ability, subjective experience, task choice, and performance. Psychological Review, 91, 328-346. Ntoumanis, N., & Biddle, S.J.H. (1999). A review of motivational climate in physical activity, Journal of Sports Sciences, 17, 643-665. Ntoumanis, N., Biddle, S.J.H., & Haddock, G. (1999). The mediating role of coping strategies on the relationship between motivation and affect in sport. Anxiety, Stress, and Coping, 12, 299-327. Nunnely, W. (2002, January). Building pride, loyalty, and commitment to excellence. Coach and Athletic Director, 71(6), 18-19. Oden, G. and Avans, D. (2000). Training the youth athlete. Applied Research in Coaching Athletics Annual, 16, 78-88. Patton, M.A. (1990). Qualitative evaluation and research methods (pp. 12). Newbury Park, CA: SAGE Publications. Pensgaard, A.M., & Roberts, G.C. (2000). The relationship between motivational climate, perceived ability, and sources of distress among elite athletes. Journal of Sports Sciences, 18(3), 191-201. Pensgaard, A.M., & Roberts, G.C. (2002). Elite athletes' experiences of the motivational climate: The coach matter. Scandinavian Journal of Medicine and Science in Sports, 12(1), 54.

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50 Roeser, R., Midgley, C., & Urdan, T. (1996). Perceptions of school psychological environment and early adolescents psychological and behavioral functioning in school, Journal of Educational Psychology, 85(3), 408-422. Ryan, R.M., Koestner, R., & Deci, E.L. (1991). Varied forms of persistence: When free-choice behavior is not intrinsically motivated. Motivation and Emotion, 15, 185-205. Smith, R.E., Smoll, F.L., & Curtis, B. (1979). Coach effectiveness training: A cognitive-behavioral approach to enhancing relationship skills in youth sport coaches. Journal of Sport Psychology, 1, 59-75. Smith R.E., & Smoll, F.L. (1991). Behavioral research and intervention in youth sports. Behavior Therapy, 22, 329-344. Strauss, A.L., & Corbin, J. (1990). Basics of qualitative research: Grounded theory procedures and techniques (pp. 58-60). Newbury Park, CA: SAGE Publications. Todorovich, J.R., & Curtner-Smith, M.D. (2002). Influence of the motivational climate in physical education on sixth grade pupils goal orientations. European Physical Education Review, 8(2), 119-138. Treasure, D.C., & Roberts, G.C. (1998). Relationship between female adolescents achievement goal orientations, perceptions of the motivational climate, belief about success and sources of satisfaction in basketball. International Journal of Sport Psychology, 29, 211. Treasure, D.C., & Roberts, G.C. (2001). Students' perceptions of the motivational climate, achievement beliefs, and satisfaction in physical education. Research Quarterly for Exercise and Sport, 72(2), 165. Vernacchia, R., McGuire, R., Cook, D. (1996). Coaching mental excellence: It does matter whether you win or lose. (pp. 15-16). Newbury Park, CA: Warde Publishers, Inc. Weinberg, R., Butt, J., Knight, B, & Perritt, N. (2001). Collegiate coaches perceptions of their goal-setting practices: A qualitative investigation. Journal of Applied Sport Psychology, 13, 374-398. Weinberg, R.S., & Gould, D. (1999). Foundations of sport and exercise psychology (2 nd ed.). (Chapter 3). Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics. Weiss, M.R., & Ferrer-Caja, E. (2002). Motivational orientations and sport behavior. In T.S. Horn (Ed.), Advances in Sport Psychology (p116-160). Champaign, IL : Human Kinetics.

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51 Xiang, P., Lee, A., & Bennett, S.J. (2002). Achievement goals, perceived motivational climate, and students' self-reported mastery behaviors. Research Quarterly for Exercise and Sport, 73(1), 58-64.

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BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH Miss Haley Perlus was born March 6, 1980, in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. She achieved her Bachelor of Arts degree with honors at the University of Western Ontario from the Department of Health Sciences. She earned a degree in kinesiology with an area of concentration in sport psychology. She is currently completing her masters degree in the Department of Exercise and Sport Sciences. Her area of concentration is sport pedagogy. Haley plans to continue in pursuit of a Doctor of Philosophy in sport psychology. She aspires to become an applied sport psychologist working with elite athletes and coaches. 52


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Title: Elite Alpine Ski Racing Coaches' Achievement Goal Orientations as Predictors of Their Coaching Behavior
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Copyright Date: 2008

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ELITE ALPINE SKI RACING COACHES' ACHIEVEMENT GOAL ORIENTATIONS
AS PREDICTORS OF THEIR COACHING BEHAVIOR















By

HALEY S. PERLUS


A DISSERTATION PRESENTED TO THE GRADUATE SCHOOL
OF THE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT
OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF
MASTER OF SCIENCE IN EXERCISE AND SPORT SCIENCES

UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA


2003

































Copyright 2003

by

Haley Perlus















ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

I would like to express profound gratitude to my advisor, Dr. John Todorovich for

his invaluable support, encouragement, and supervision throughout this research. His

moral support and continuous guidance enabled me to complete my work successfully. I

am also thankful to Dr. David Fleming and Dr. Christine Stopka for serving on my

committee and for their helpful suggestions throughout this thesis.

I am grateful for the cooperation of Canadian Alpine Ski Racing FIS coaches. I

would like to acknowledge all of my respondents who filled out the questionnaire. I

would specifically like to thank the six coaches who participated in the interview portion

of this study. I appreciate their kindness and thank them for providing me with valuable

data for analysis.

I am especially indebted to my family for their love and support throughout my

life. I am grateful to my father who, over the years, has become my editor and biggest

supporter. I am thankful to my mother for getting me through the lonely times away from

home. I would like to thank my brothers and grandmother for their confidence in my

ability to succeed. I also wish to thank Brad for always being there for me and believing

in me. Moreover, my sincere thanks goes to my friend, Eric Model, for his valuable

insight and guidance. Finally, I wish to thank my friends for their encouragement

throughout this process.
















TABLE OF CONTENTS
page

A C K N O W L E D G M E N T S ......... .................................................................................... iii

LIST OF TABLES ........... ............................... ............... ............. vi

ABSTRACT ........ .............. ............. .. ...... .......... .......... vii

CHAPTER

1 IN TR OD U CTION ............................................... .. ......................... ..

Qualitative Rationale ........................ .............. ......................... .... .2
Purpose of the Study ............... ............... .................................. .3
R research Q uestions............ .................................................................. ........ .. .. ...
D definition s ......................................................................... . 3
L im itatio n s ................................................................................. 4
A ssum options ............................................................ 4
Significance of the Study ................................................................ .4
P erso n al In there st ................................................................................ 5

2 REVIEW OF LITERATURE .............................................................. .............. 6

Achievement Goal Theory.......................................... ........6
Influence of Achievement Goal Orientation............................................ 6
M otivational Clim ate ............................. ............................ ... ...............
Achievement Goal Theory in the Coaching Domain ...........................................9
Influence of Dispositional and Situational Orientations .................. ................. 9
Influences coaches have on their athletes .....................................................11
Athletes' perceptions of a motivational climate ...............................................12
C o a c h e s' g o a ls ............................................................................................... 1 3
F av orab le orientation ..................................................................................... 14
Coaching behaviors .................................. .......................... ....... 18
Influences of all significant others .......................................... 22
Purpose of the Study ......................................... .......................................23

3 M E T H O D .......................................................................................................2 4

P artic ip an ts .....................................................................................................2 4
TEO SQ ................................................................ ............ 25
Validity and Reliability of the TEOSQ .................................................... 25









P ro c e d u re .......................................................................................................2 6
D ata A nalysis................................................... 27
Issues w ith Trustw orthiness............................................... ............................. 27

4 R E S U L T S .............................................................................2 9

P assion for A lpine Ski R acing ........................................................................ ......30
Themes ............... .. ...................... .............. ..................... ......... 30
Theme 1: Focus on Overall Development.......................... ...... ............... 31
Theme 2: Creating an Enjoyable Environment...............................................33
Theme 3: Training Sessions for Overall Development and an Enjoyable
Experience .................. ......... ................... 35

5 D ISCU SSION ............. ................. .................................................................37

Task Orientation and Overall Development...................... ...................... 37
Task Orientation and its Influence on the Motivational Climate ............................40
Influence of Coaches' Task Orientations ....................................... ............... 43
C on clu sion ................................................................................................... 4 3
Future Im plications ......... .... ...... .. ... ........... .. ...... .... ........44

APPENDIX

A TASK AND EGO ORIENTATION IN SPORT QUESTIONNAIRE....................45

B IN T E R V IE W G U ID E ...................................................................... .....................46

LIST OF REFEREN CES ............................................................................. 47

B IO G R A PH IC A L SK E TCH ..................................................................... ..................52






















v
















LIST OF TABLES

Table page

1 RESISTANCE components .................................. .....................................14

2 TA R G E T com ponents............................................ ....................................... 19

3 TE O SQ scores.................................................. ................ 29















Abstract of Dissertation Presented to the Graduate School
of the University of Florida in Partial Fulfillment of the
Requirements for the Degree of Master of Science in Exercise and Sport Sciences

ELITE ALPINE SKI RACING COACHES' ACHIEVEMENT GOAL ORIENTATIONS
AS PREDICTORS OF THEIR COACHING BEHAVIOR

By

Haley S. Perlus

December, 2003

Chair: John R. Todorovich
Major Department: Exercise and Sport Sciences

Research that examines how achievement goal orientations affect behavior and

motivational climate can contribute to the understanding of an athlete's motivation in

sport. The purpose of this study was to assess how the achievement goal orientations of

elite Alpine Ski Racing coaches elicit specific behavior patterns that impact on the way

they develop the motivational climate of the sporting domain. Seventeen elite, FIS level,

Canadian alpine ski racing coaches completed the Task and Ego Orientation in Sport

Questionnaire. Six high task- and low ego-oriented coaches participated in an interview

that focused on their coaching philosophies, beliefs, and behaviors. The three themes that

emerged were the following: a) the coaches focused on overall development, b) the

coaches created an enjoyable and intense climate, and c) the coaches utilized training

sessions to improve sport specific skills and life skills as well as providing an enjoyable

and successful experience. Alpine ski racing is extremely ego-involving and it is not

surprising that a coach would adopt an ego orientation in training and









competition.However, the coaches in this study were able to maintain certain beliefs and

philosophies consistent with their task orientation. Further, the task-oriented coaches

influenced a mastery motivational climate such that the athletes could work towards their

personal goals in a serious, yet enjoyable, competitive environment.














CHAPTER 1
INTRODUCTION

Achievement motivation refers to an individual's effort to persist with a task,

achieve mastery, and strive for success (Weinberg & Gould, 1999). Hence, it is an

important driving force behind one's orientation to strive for task success and personal

excellence. It modulates persistence in the face of failure to overcome perceived and real

obstacles, and the general pursuit of excellence in an area of interest.

It is critical for coaches to understand athletes' achievement motivation. Athletes'

motives for participating in sport are the precise characteristics that allow athletes to

achieve excellence. Coaches must acknowledge the unlikeliness of athletes adopting a

strictly non-competitive orientation such that the only objective is to achieve mastery of

skills. The competitive nature of sport is extremely intense in that there is a constant

focus on the performance outcome. It is therefore not surprising that the role of the coach

can be critical in influencing athletes' achievement goals. The behavior patterns and

beliefs exhibited by coaches can influence the competitive sporting environment and

have direct impact on the achievement goals of athletes.

Research on achievement motivation has concentrated on athletes' goal orientations

and on the motivational climate created by significant others. To date, studies have not

examined the impact that coaches' achievement goal orientations have on the

performance of their jobs. Since the motivational climate that surrounds the athlete is

primarily initiated and directed by the coach (Harwood & Biddle, 2002), it is of interest

to gain insight into the beliefs and value systems held by coaches and the behavior they









exhibit that ultimately influence the sporting environment. The purpose of the present

study, therefore, was to identify the achievement goal orientations of Alpine Ski Racing

coaches in order to understand how their goal orientations might influence what they say

and do during practice and competition.

Qualitative Rationale

Qualitative research grasps the multidimensionality of meanings, contexts,

unanticipated phenomena, processes and explanations that can be found in the word of

sports, games, and physical activity. This paradigm assumes that cognitive processes are

social, developing and active. They cannot be broken down into discrete elements, and

can be studied in their relationship to one another (Martens, 1987). Qualitative research

allows a researcher greater freedom to exercise intuition or rely on tacit knowledge in

decision making and theory development. Qualitative research has typically higher

external validity and generalizations can be made more readily (Martens. 1987).

Qualitative studies take place in natural environments. Researchers do not have to

manipulate the research setting or the subjects, thus allowing the study to be conducted

under natural circumstances. In addition, there are no predetermined outcomes, results, or

hypotheses made prior to the study. A qualitative study follows its natural course and

conclusions emerge from the data collected.

The present investigation will consist of a qualitative study employing a single case

study design, and will include a sampling strategy referred to as Extreme or Deviant case

sampling (Patton, 1990). This type of purposeful sampling involves an examination of

unique or unusual cases to elucidate more typical situations. The idea is that lessons can

be learned from these extreme cases that are relevant to improving more typical

processes, operations, programs, or effects. Using extreme or deviant case sampling









(Patton, 2002) will allow the researcher to investigate the specific behavior patterns of

elite Alpine Ski Racing coaches based on their achievement goal profiles.

Purpose of the Study

The purpose of this study is to assess how elite Alpine Ski Racing coaches' goal

orientations elicit specific behavior patterns that impact the way they develop the

motivational climate of the alpine ski racing skiing sport domain.

Research Questions

The following questions were investigated in this study:

1. How do alpine ski racing coaches' achievement goal orientations influence their
behavior patterns?

2. How do alpine ski racing coaches' behavioral patterns affect the motivational
climate they create for their athletes?

Definitions

1. Achievement Goal Orientation addresses a pattern of beliefs that leads to different
ways of approaching, engaging in, and responding to achievement situations.

2. Achievement Motivation-refers to an individual's effort to persist with a task,
achieve mastery, and strive for success (Weinberg & Gould, 1999).

3. Disposition vs. Situational Orientations-dispositional orientation refers to
achievement goal orientations. Situational orientations accommodate for a
motivational climate as a predictor of behavior and beliefs.

4. Ego-Orientation-ability is measured by how well one does in relation to another
person

5. Extreme Goal Orientation-individuals who score 4.0 or higher or 1.9 or lower on a
5-point scale for displaying a task- or ego-orientation.

6. Extreme or deviant case sampling-"learning from unusual manifestation of the
phenomenon of interest, for example, outstanding successes/notable failures; top of
the class/dropouts, exotic events; crises." (Patton, 2002, p. 243).

7. Motivation-the direction and intensity of an individual's effort toward a specific
task (Weinberg & Gould, 1999)









8. Motivational Climate-social climate of achievement settings created by significant
others.

9. Task-Orientation-ability is measured by how well one does on a task

Limitations

10. Data collection will depend on the operation of the audio taping equipment.

11. With a small sample size, generalizations will not be made beyond the scope of the
study. However, findings may transfer.

Assumptions

1. The researcher and the participants will have an open relationship during the study.
2. The participants will be candid and truthful.
3. The methodology used in the study will be appropriate for the research question.

Significance of the Study

Alpine Ski Racing is not only inherently highly ego involving in that performance

is judged by competitive outcomes, but it is also significantly non task involving in that it

does not provide objective personal performance feedback to the ski racers. Each race run

in alpine skiing is different with respect to the coarse setter, snow and weather conditions,

and length of course. Unlike sports such as swimming that relate to the competitors clear

information about their performance regardless of their finish placement, the results of

the ski race do not offer any direct feedback to the athletes on how they performed

relative to themselves. Consequently, the ego-involving nature of ski racing causes

athletes and their coaches to judge success on the outcome achieved rather than on the

quality of the performance.

Coaches play a significant role in determining an athlete's achievement goal

orientation, and this is particularly noteworthy given the lack of direct feedback given to

skiing athletes. Researchers have investigated the influence of perceived motivational

climate on athletes' goal orientations. However, to date, researchers have failed to look at









the goal orientations of coaches to determine if and/or how those orientations affect what

coaches say and do when they coach their teams or athletes and, therefore, how they may

impact the motivational climate in the sporting domain.

This study is significant because it will explain how elite ski racing coaches' goal

orientations influence specific behavior patterns that influence the development of the

motivational climate of the skiing sport domain.

Personal Interest

The researcher has interacted with many ski racing coaches who have displayed

task and/or ego orientations. As an athlete and coach, the researcher has had experiences

working with coaches who have overemphasized criteria outcome, ultimately affecting

her own values and beliefs. On the other hand, the researcher has had experiences with

task-oriented coaches who focused on the enjoyment of the sport while encouraging

personal success. Therefore, the researcher understands the significant influence coaches

have on athletes and understands the importance of demonstrating a task orientation (e.g.,

encouraging personal mastery) and a positive ego orientation (e.g., encouraging a healthy

competitive drive) to help athletes achieve personal success.

The findings of this study will be used as a tool for the researcher to help coaches,

both old and new, understand the impact they can have on athletes' motivation. The

researcher will be able to identify specific behavior patterns elicited from a disposition

toward either a task or ego orientation. In addition, the researcher will be able to guide

coaches in the process of adopting an achievement goal orientation appropriate for

displaying behavior patterns that encourage athletes to participate in sport for enjoyment

and mastery.














CHAPTER 2
REVIEW OF LITERATURE

The purpose of this literature review is to define and describe achievement goal

theory in general and how it is manifested in the coaching and sport domain.

Achievement goal theory, therefore, is reviewed with the perspective that coaches'

achievement goal orientations are pertinent to how they behave in a sporting context.

A review of achievement goal theory from this perspective reveals the theoretical

perspective and background relative to the present study.

Achievement Goal Theory

Achievement goal theory helps us to understand the athlete's motivation to

participate in sport. Goal orientations outline what success and failure mean to athletes

and how these beliefs interact with their perceptions of self-worth and ability (Weinberg

& Gould, 1999; Pensgaard & Roberts, 2000). Athletes who measure success by

comparing themselves with others display an ego orientation. In contrast, those who

participate to develop, improve, and master the sport for its own sake display a task

orientation.

Influence of Achievement Goal Orientation

Achievement goal orientations affect athletes' cognitions, affective reactions, and

behavioral patterns in achievement settings (Dweck & Leggett, 1988). Athletes' goal

orientations influence how they interpret different situations. For example, with a failure

outcome, ego-oriented individuals, concerned with performance comparison, would see

themselves as inadequate and most likely elicit a helpless attitude that may inhibit them









from continuing to participate in the activity. In contrast, task-oriented individuals, who

focus on self-improvement, would view a failure outcome as a sign that they need to

work harder, continue skill development, or revise their strategy to be successful (Dweck

& Leggett, 1988).

Achievement goal orientations influence how individuals define competence and

success in sport, (Harwood & Biddle, 2002). Furthermore, goal orientations reflect

differences in conceptions of ability. Ego-oriented athletes believe that success in sport is

due to ability. In addition, these athletes view ability as a fixed entity (Dweck & Leggett,

1988). Task-oriented athletes view ability as a malleable quality that can be increased by

applying more effort (Dweck & Leggett, 1988). These athletes believe that the harder

they try, the higher their ability will be. The amount of effort applied is used to assess

competence levels in an entirely self-reflective manner (Harwood & Biddle, 2002). Ego-

oriented individuals believe that effort and ability are inversely related (Dweck &

Leggett, 1988). Having to try hard and exert effort to achieve a specific standard of

performance indicates low ability. However, if athletes can be successful at a task by

applying little effort, then they have high ability.

How athletes interpret success and failure influences how they react to events. Ego-

oriented athletes, who experience failure or execute effort, resulting in low perceived

ability, may experience a decrease in self-esteem leading to anxiety and, in extreme

situations, depression (Dweck & Leggett, 1988). In the same situation, however, task-

oriented athletes may choose to apply more effort in an attempt to learn more. In return,

these athletes may increase their intrinsic motivation and may experience a sense of









pleasure, pride and enjoyment (Duda, Chi, Newton, Walling, & Catley, 1995; Dweck &

Leggett, 1988).

Athletes' cognitions and affective reactions lead to differences in behavior patterns.

Ego-oriented athletes, regardless of their perceived ability, would most likely choose easy

tasks where they have a higher chance of succeeding. These athletes would refrain from

challenging tasks that would pose a threat to their self-esteem (Dweck & Leggett, 1988).

Task-oriented athletes would prefer challenging tasks where they would have the

opportunity to learn more and increase their ability regardless of the outcome (Dweck &

Leggett, 1988).

Recently researchers have presented an orientation that combines both a task and

ego orientation (Harwood, Hardy, & Swain, 2000). In a competitive sporting context,

athletes may report being both high task- and ego-oriented. They value self-referent

achievement and seek satisfaction from the mastery of their skills. However, they also

value normative achievement and seek satisfaction from demonstrating superiority over

others. For example, an Alpine ski racer can work extremely hard on improving his

slalom technique, understand the importance of keeping his upper body quiet, but during

a ski race, demonstrating superiority over others is important. In the race, the skier may

invest considerable effort in maintaining a process focus (e.g., concentrating on keeping a

quiet upper body). However, there is an underlying goal that reflects the normative

requirement of winning.

Motivational Climate

Sport psychologists have not only studied how achievement goal orientations

influence motivation in achievement contexts, but also observed how the social climate

influences effort, persistence, cognitions, emotions and the behavior of individuals in









sport (Ntoumanis & Biddle, 1999). Ames (1992) explains that the social climate of

achievement settings, created by significant others (e.g., coach, parent, spectators), vary

significantly according to the tasks that athletes are told to perform, authority patterns,

recognition system, athlete ability groupings, evaluation procedures, and times allotted

for tasks to be mastered (Ames, 1992).

Individuals who collaborate with their coach and teammates, evaluate success

based on individual effort and improvement, who are encouraged to learn new skills

without a time constraint, and who are grouped not based on ability experience a

mastery-oriented motivational climate (Ames, 1992). In contrast, athletes who evaluate

success based on normative standards, are expected to learn new skills in a specific

amount of time and who are grouped based on ability experience a performance-oriented

motivational climate (Ames, 1992).

Achievement Goal Theory in the Coaching Domain

The coaching domain is a very dynamic situation, and many coaches often talk of

the importance and influence of motivation on athletic performance. Moreover, many

researchers have investigated the impact of various motivational constructs on athlete

performance. Unfortunately, researchers have paid little attention to the role that a

coaches' motivational constructs have on how a coach works with his or her athletes. For

the reason that coaches have a dramatic impact on athletic performance, it is important

that we look to these factors as contributors to athletic performance.

Influence of Dispositional and Situational Orientations

Achievement goal theory states that both dispositional goal orientations and the

motivational climate are important motivational factors that affect behavior in an

achievement context (Ames, 1992; Duda, 1996; Harwood & Bidle, 2000). Research to









date has primarily investigated these two variables (behavior and climate) in isolation. A

few studies, however, have assessed the interaction affect, as well as examining the

relative influence these variables have in sport settings. Results suggest that the

motivational climate will override dispositional goal orientations, especially if the

dispositional orientation is weaker than the situational goal (Treasure & Roberts, 1998;

Duda & Hall, 2001; Treasure & Roberts, 2001). Xiang, Lee, & Bennett (2002) explain

that although individuals' goal orientations will determine a particular behavior pattern,

situational variables may have the potential to alter the behavior. Duda (2001) suggests

that situational goals may be more influential than dispositional goals because of the

nature of the task. She explains that when the dependent variable of interest is more state-

like (e.g., self-efficacy and beliefs), the motivational climate will be the better predictor.

However, if the dependent variable of interest is more dispositional (e.g. source of

confidence), goal orientation should override the motivational climate. Dweck and

Leggett (1988) maintain that individuals will behave inconsistently across situations

when the strength of the situational cues varies across settings. In addition, Pensgaard &

Roberts (2000) contend that when athletes are high in both goal orientations, the

motivational climate will have an increasing impact on their behaviors and beliefs.

Pre-competitive goal orientations can differ from dispositional orientations. Given

the competitive nature of sport, it is possible for athletes' goal orientations to shift just

prior to and/or during competition. Harwood and Swain (1998) have shown that the

motivational climate can help to predict pre-competitive levels of task and ego

involvement. For example, in alpine ski racing, athletes not only have race-specific

perceptions of ability (expected to place in the race), and perceived importance of placing









well in the race, they also have perceptions of the achievement goal most preferred and

recognized by parents, coaches, and spectators. In other words, the social context

influences athletes' achievement goal state (Harwood & Biddle, 2002).

Influences coaches have on their athletes

Coaches play a critical role in the success of athletes. They are partly responsible

for the physical and emotional development of athletes, enabling their performance to be

the best that it can be. With this role comes inevitable power and tremendous influence.

Smith, Smoll and Curtis (1979) studied the actual influence that the coach had on the

athlete's social and psychological experience with sport. They concluded that the

athletes experience with sport and psychological development are directly related to the

structure and supervision of the particular program. The coach has direct authority to

structure and supervise the program as he or she sees fit, and in so doing, becomes a role

model and direct source of motivation (Vemacchia, McGuire, & Cook, 1996).

Coaches have the ability to inspire each athlete to perform to the best of their

ability. Providing support and care for athletes and focusing on those aspects athletes can

personally control (e.g. improvement), coaches can serve to maintain or enhance self-

esteem and intrinsic motivation, leading to increased effort and persistence in sport

(Ferrer-Caja & Weiss, 2000)

Coaches are responsible for creating the sporting environment, and, in return, are

strong predictors of athletes' goal orientations for sport (Carr & Weigand, 2002;

Pensgaard & Roberts, 2002). Weiss and Ferrer-Caja (2002) maintain that coaches have

the capability of creating a more extrinsic or intrinsic environment through control of the

direction of the social and athletic context. The structure of the skill development

environment and the coach's mindset as to the criteria for success send clear messages to









the athletes regarding what is valued as positive achievement in a particular sport setting.

The coach can either make the sport experience enjoyable or ruin it completely by being

over zealous about winning (Oden & Avens, 2001). Competing as an elite athlete is a

stressful experience in itself, and the coach can add to the stressful experience by placing

too much emphasis on winning (Pensgaard & Roberts, 2000). Suggesting that winning is

the most important part of the sport can have an important effect on athletes'

expectancies, values, and involvement decisions (Weiss & Ferrer-Caja, 2002). Baker,

Cote, and Hawes (2000), performed a study using 228 athletes to measure the interaction

between performance anxiety and coaching philosophies. They found that coaches who

emphasized competition strategies were a positive predictor for semantic anxiety,

disruption and worry among their athletes. This is strong evidence that the coach is the

key factor in not only physically training, but also emotionally training athletes

(Balaguera, Duda, Atienzaa, & Mayoc, 2001).

Athletes' perceptions of a motivational climate

Coaches, along with many significant others, influence the motivational climate in

an achievement context. However, as a result of unintended behavior by these groups

(e.g. overemphasizing outcome criteria or giving a disproportionate amount of criticism

over praise), it is possible for athletes to perceive the climate to be different than

originally intended (Pensgaard & Roberts, 2002). Athletes' perceptions of the

motivational climate can affect their beliefs, values, and attitudes toward sportpersonship,

coaches and fellow competitors (Fry & Newton, 2003).

Pensgaard and Roberts (2002) explain that when elite athletes are high in both task

and ego orientation, their perception of the motivational climate may be vital for

determining which goal orientation will be overtly displayed. Results reveal that









perceptions of a mastery climate are positively associated with adapted sources of

confidence, social sources, and the belief that motivation and effort is the cause of

success and satisfaction (Magyar & Feltz, 2001; Treasure & Roberts, 2001). Further,

Duda (1996) showed that athletes' perceptions of a mastery climate reduced potential

aggressive behavior. In contrast, perceptions of a performance climate were related to the

belief that aggression and deception causes success (Treasure & Roberts, 2001).

Pensgaard and Roberts (2002) also revealed that perceptions of a performance climate

were associated with viewing the coach and team as sources of distress.

Coaches' goals

For the benefit of athletes, it is crucial for coaches to become what Duda

(http://www.positivecoach.org/documents/pcmmresearch.pdf) refers to as the "double-

goal coach". The idea is to steer away from a "scoreboard" mentality, and to adapt a

mastery orientation. Coaches should want to win but should also want to help the athletes

develop positive character traits necessary for success in life. Weinberg, Butt, Knight and

Perritt (2001) interviewed 14 NCAA head coaches and found that, although goals were

set for process, performance, and outcome, and related to fun and enjoyment, coaches

focused more on performance and outcome. It is important for coaches to emphasize

working, personal improvement, and the importance of learning from mistakes (Duda,

1996). Harwood and Biddle (2002) suggest working towards a "self-challenge" to

improve and maximize personal skills. This self-challenge can then be used to work

towards a "game-challenge" to overcome the performance goal set for a specific event.

Harwood and Biddle (2002) used an acronym, 'RESISTANCE', to help coaches enable

athletes to refocus their attention on the importance of the self- and game-challenge.

RESISTANCE stands for rating, esteem, seeding, importance, score, team, audience, no









justice, comparison, and endorsement. Each component is followed by a phrase that can

help cope with the negative ego-involving characteristics of athletics.

Table 1. RESISTANCE components*
Component Phrase
Rating It's not the rating or ranking that produces the performance
Esteem Separate the person from the outcome
Seeding Competitions aren't played on paper they are played on the field
Importance Any competition is just as important as any other competition
Score It's not about the result, it about your effort, discipline, and focus
Team Effective team members compete like the competitors who earned
selection
Audience An audience's main desire is to witness a competitor trying their best
No justice One bad result is not the end of a season.
Comparison never base achievement solely on comparison with others
Endorsement High fashion and sponsorships never won a competition
*This acronym was developed by Harwood and Biddle and modified for athletes of any
sport (Harwood & Biddle, 2002)

Favorable orientation

Researchers have demonstrated the benefits of adopting a task goal orientation. A

task goal orientation is associated with adaptive motivational patterns (Xiang, Lee &

Bennett, 2002). Researchers refer to these motivational patterns as adaptive because

challenges and obstacles are pertinent in most important life pursuits. Response patterns

that encourage individuals to confront obstacles and commit to goals, ultimately lead to

achievements (Dweck & Leggett, 1988).

Since task-oriented athletes believe that effort increases ability and ultimately

perceived competence in sport, it is the preferred goal orientation. Further, since effort is

controllable, believing that trying hard will bring success reflects an "I can" feeling

(Harwood & Biddle, 2002).

Researchers have related a high task goal orientation to intrinsic motivation. People

with intrinsic motivation participate in activities to learn new skills to the best of their









ability. These athletes participate for the love of the sport and to achieve self-mastery

(Weinberg & Gould, 1999). Duda et al. (1995) showed that high task-oriented athletes

tried harder in the activity and participated for enjoyment. Both effort and enjoyment are

indicators of intrinsic motivation. Furthermore, when athletes enjoy participation for its

own sake, they use more adaptive learning strategies and exhibit incremental gains in

performance (Duda, 1996). Therefore, such findings provide an explanation for why a

task-oriented focus would be beneficial (Harwood & Biddle, 2002).

Duda (1996) related achievement goal orientations to persistence in sport. She

revealed that athletes who were most likely to drop out of sports tended to be solely ego-

oriented and associated their sport success and failure in terms of comparison with others.

However, athletes who were involved in sport for long periods of time tended to display

both task and ego goal orientations. Task-oriented individuals thrive on hard work.

Athletes anticipate future sport participation where they will have the opportunity to

improve their skills and performance outcome.

Achievement goal orientation has been found to relate to sportspersonship. In a

study with basketball players, low task oriented and high ego oriented athletes were more

likely to endorse unsportmanlike play and cheating (Duda,

http://www.positivecoach.org/documents/pcmmresearch.pdf). A survey of high school

athletes revealed that low task and high ego oriented individuals endorse unsportsmanlike

play including aggressive behavior and injurious acts. Conversely, task-oriented athletes

have respect for social conventions and exhibit a personal commitment to the rules and

regulations of sport (Duda, 1996).









Recent work by Roeser, Midgley and Urdon (1996) related anxiety and enjoyment

to achievement goal orientation. Ego orientation was found to lead to a greater sense of

pressure, tension, and worry. In contrast, task-oriented athletes, focused on mastery and

improvement, experienced increased levels of enjoyment, and reported higher levels of

self efficacy. For these athletes, goals were viewed as achievable, and therefore

performance was not impaired by anxiety, tension and worry about performance

(Nicholls, 1984).

Ntoumanis, Biddle and Haddock (1999) found that task-oriented individuals use

problem-solving coping strategies to succeed. These athletes tried hard and, when

needed, sought social support. On the other hand, ego-oriented athletes used negative

coping strategies such as getting upset and venting emotions.

A general conclusion is that a high task orientation is positive. However, recent

researchers have suggested a high task orientation with a positive ego involvement may

be beneficial (Harwood &Biddle, 2002). It is important for athletes to develop a high

level of task orientation. Athletes need to feel satisfied with their positive performances,

regardless whether they perform better then their competitors. It is important to keep a

positive perspective regarding athletes' performances and their potential as an elite

athlete. At the same time, athletes must maintain their competitiveness and desire to be

the best competitor. Maintaining a healthy ego involvement can provide athletes with

competitive direction and purpose for each competition. Without ego involvement,

athletes are less likely to be concerned with a top placement. With ego involvement,

backed up with a high level of task involvement, athletes will have the intrinsic

motivation and the competitiveness they require to be successful.









Similar to a high task-involved goal orientation, a mastery climate is associated

with adaptive motivational and affective patterns (Treasure & Roberts, 2001). Mastery

climates use effective learning strategies, positive attitudes towards the activity and

increased effort (Ntoumanis & Biddle, 1999). Burton (cited by Duda,

http.www.positivecoach.org/documents/pcmm_research.pdf) examined the behavior

patterns of intercollegiate swimmers who participated in either a mastery- or a

performance-based goal setting training program. Results revealed that athletes who were

a product of a mastery climate displayed more effort and greater improvement in

performance. Furthermore, the positive effect of a mastery-based training program was

influential for athletes with initially lower levels of perceived competence. These athletes

looked forward to the opportunity to try harder and increase their ability. They ultimately

increased their perceived competence (Duda, 1996).

Ferrer-Caja and Weiss (2000) explain that motivational climates that promote

learning and participation, influence individuals who focus on activities and evaluate

their success using self-referenced sources such as effort and improvement. It has been

shown that in a mastery motivational climate, athletes participate for enjoyment, fun, and

a desire to learn. They have high-perceived ability and therefore choose difficult tasks,

put forth high effort, and persevere in the face of failure (Ferrer-Caja & Weiss, 2000). In

contrast, a performance motivational climate that promotes success in competition

influences athletes to focus on outcomes and to evaluate success by viewing their

standings relative to others. These athletes learn to fear making mistakes, and are likely to

be distressed (Ferrer-Caja & Weiss, 2000; Pensgaard & Roberts, 2000). As a result of

distress, athletes experience negative thoughts and worry about their performance that









can lead to a decrease in self-confidence and, eventually, decreased motivation (Ferrer-

Caja & Weiss, 2000; Newton, Duda, & Yin, 2000; Pensgaard & Roberts, 2000)

Coaching behaviors

Different coaching styles and behaviors can affect the motivational climate and an

athlete's learning and performance in training and competition. The acronym TARGET

has become a basic building block of an achievement setting (Epstein, 1988; Ames,

1992). The TARGET components (i.e. task, authority, rewards, grouping, evaluation, and

time) can be manipulated by coaches to create either a mastery- or a performance-

oriented motivational climate in a sport setting (Todorovich & Curtner-Smith, 2002). To

create a mastery motivational climate, coaches should provide individually challenging

tasks for athletes, involve athletes in the choice of the different tasks to master, and have

them participate in setting their own process goals. Furthermore, for a mastery climate,

coaches should provide equal and private evaluations as athletes make progress toward

individualized goals.

An important part of coaching is the ability to understand athletes' social and

emotional motives for participating in sport (NASPE, 1995). Coaches must remember

that athletes are people, not machines under their control. To develop a positive coach-

athlete relationship, coaches must know what each individual athlete requires in order to

excel (Dieffenbach, Gould, & Moffett, 1999; Pensgaard & Roberts, 2002). They must

understand the individual training and competitive experiences of the athletes under their

influence. They also must recognize the importance of self-confidence and self-esteem to

the athlete's development, and learn to be sensitive to when an athlete is able to receive

constructive criticism and when he or she needs to be shown acceptance and given more

encouragement regarding his or her athletic ability (NASPE, 1995; Pensgaard & Roberts,









2002). Over training athletes both physically and mentally can put a lot of stress on them

and can cause the promising young athletes to become frustrated with sport participation

and to stop competing at or near the peak of their career.

Table 2. TARGET components*
Target Performance-oriented Mastery-oriented
Component
Task All pupils attempt at the same task. Pupils choose to attempt different


Goals for the task are determined
by the instructor
Authority The instructor makes all decisions
about what pupils will learn, sets
up all equipment and carries out
all pupil evaluations

Rewards Recognition of pupils'
accomplishments are made public
and rewards are given for superior
performance
Grouping An entire class or squad works on
one task or pupils are grouped
according to their ability
Evaluation Evaluation is norm-referenced or
rank-ordered and public Progress
is judged on the basis of the whole
group objectives and level of
performance
Time The instructor gives strict time
limits for all pupils to complete
tasks and establishes timelines for
improvement


tasks. They are permitted to set their
own goals
Pupils choose what they will attempt
to learn, are given the opportunity to
set up their own equipment, and are
encouraged to evaluate their own
performance
Recognition of pupils'
accomplishments are kept private
and rewards are given for
improvement
Pupils work on individual tasks or in
small cooperative groups. Grouping
is flexible and heterogeneous
Evaluation is self-referenced, and
private. Progress is judged on the
basis of individual objectives,
participation, effort and
improvement
Time limits for task completion are
flexible. Pupils help to schedule
timelines for improvement.


* This acronym is used to develop mastery- or performance-oriented motivational climate
(Todorovich & Curtner-Smith, 2003)

Burnout is an important issue in athletics and coaches can help in its prevention.

Coaches must have two-way communication with their athletes, and they must cultivate

personal involvement with their players. In other words, coaches must understand their

players' feelings (Weinberg & Gould, 1999). With this knowledge, a coach can work

towards creating what Dieffenbach, Gould, and Moffett (1999) refer to as a "Quality









Coach-Athlete Relationship". This relationship is characterized by mutual trust,

confidence in each other's abilities, good communication, and a sense of collaboration.

Athletes prefer coaches who allow them to have input in the decision making process

about goals, practice methods, and game tactics (Martin, Jackson, Richardson, & Weiller,

1999). Athletes respond better to an autonomy approach, where goals are dictated by the

coach and set in collaboration with the athlete, than to an approach where the coach

primarily exerts control (Weinberg, Butt, Knight, & Perritt, 2001; Weiss & Ferrer-Caja,

2002).

Coaches play a critical role in the personal as well as the athletic development of

athletes. How an athlete regards his or her sport is often dependent on the behavior of the

coach. NASPE (1995) recommends that coaches demonstrate effective motivational skills

and provide positive, appropriate feedback. Coaches must use appropriate goal setting

strategies. Their approach to correcting errors must be positive and they must recognize

the effectiveness of using inspirational speeches as ways of reducing the athlete's level of

stress felt in practice and competition or their fear of failure. Coaches should emphasize

the importance of enjoying the training sessions and competitions. They must provide

opportunities for athletes to derive satisfaction from striving to achieve their goals, both

performance process and outcome.

Coaches must learn to balance positive feedback with constructive criticism (Duda,

http://www.positivecoach.org/documents/pcmmresearch.pdf). Nunelly (2002)

recommends coaches be tough, firm, but quick to praise. In a study by Ryan, Koestner,

and Deci (1991), under conditions of positive feedback, task-oriented athletes persisted

more in their activity than ego-oriented athletes. However, this pattern was reversed









under conditioning of negative or no feedback. Smith, Smoll, and Curtis (1979) showed

that male baseball players whose coaches displayed frequent encouragement, positive

reinforcement and corrective feedback, had significantly higher levels of self esteem over

the course of the season than players whose coaches used these techniques less

frequently. In the same study, players who demonstrated low self esteem at the beginning

of the season benefited the most from positive coaching techniques. Baseball players

reported enjoying their athletic experiences more and wanting to continue their

participation when their coach gave them more positive reinforcement in response to

good performance and effort, and responded to mistakes with fewer punitive responses

and more encouragement, support and constructive criticism (Barnett, Smoll & Smith,

1992).

There is a clear distinction between athletic career phases. According to

Dieffenbach, Gould and Moffett (1999), the early years of participation are marked by

developing love for the sport and participating for fun. The middle years of competition

are when, with the help of a coach, the athlete works on long-term skill development. The

elite years are characterized by many hours of training and working towards personal

excellence. Studies have shown that during the early years of athletes' careers, coaches

focus mainly on fun and the development of goals (Dieffenbach, Gould, & Moffett,

1999). However, as athletes improve in skill and performance and progress to the next

level of competition (i.e. middle years), when the coach plays a significant role, coaches

tend to become stricter regarding rules and criteria for successful performances. Coaches

tend to focus more on results than on effort and skill development. The emphasis in the

training environment shifts from creativity in drills and segmentation of the required









skills for improvement to tactics and performance in competition. As a result of this

change in approach many talented athletes never reach elite levels of competition, retiring

due to declining interest and competence (Weiss & Ferrer-Caja, 2002). Winning

inevitably becomes more important as levels of competition increase. Nonetheless, too

much focus on the competition and extrinsic awards can diminish feelings of intrinsic

motivation. Training sessions as well as competitions provide opportunities to satisfy the

athletes' need to feel competent in their sport. Coaches should emphasize having fun and

work on creating an enjoyable competitive environment (Dieffenbach, Gould, & Moffett,

1999). Levels of intrinsic motivation will reflect the mastery motivational climate and

athletes will put forth more effort, ultimately leading to success and personal satisfaction

in the achievement context (Ferrer-Caja & Weiss, 2000; Newton, Duda, & Yin, 2000).

Influences of all significant others

In addition to coaches, the social environment is influenced by significant others

and affect athletes' goal perspectives (Duda, 1996). In athletics, parents, peers, and

society shape and mold the beliefs, attitudes, and values participants will have about

physical activity. Carr and Weigand (2002) conducted a study to explore the relationship

between motivational climates created by significant others and children's goal

orientations in physical education. Results suggest that children with a high task

orientation tended to internalize higher perceptions of a mastery climate from significant

others than children with a low task orientation. Children with a high ego orientation

tended to internalize higher perceptions of a performance-oriented climate from teachers,

peers, and sport heroes then children with a low ego orientation. Teachers were found to

promote a mastery climate that more strongly related to a task orientation, while peers









promoted a more performance-oriented climate that was strongly related to an ego

orientation.

Weiss and Ferrer-Caja (2002) referred to a "looking glass self", created by Charles

Cooley to illustrate that individuals use important adults and peers as social mirrors

through which they evaluate their competence and worth, ultimately affecting their self

esteem. Duda and Hom (1993) found moderately strong correlations between children's

task and ego orientations, and the perceptions of their parents' task orientations. Hayashi

(1999) also found that gymnasts' decisions to continue in their sport significantly relied

on the perceived support from family and friends.

Purpose of the Study

As previously mentioned, coaches play a significant role in determining an

athlete's achievement goal orientation, and this is particularly noteworthy given the lack

of direct feedback given to skiing athletes. Researchers have investigated the influence of

perceived motivational climate on athletes' goal orientations. However, to date,

researchers have failed to look at the goal orientations of coaches to determine if and/or

how those orientations affect what coaches say and do when they coach their teams or

athletes and, therefore, how they may impact the motivational climate in the sporting

domain. Thus, the purpose of this study is to assess how elite Alpine Ski Racing coaches'

goal orientations elicit specific behavior patterns that impact the way they develop the

motivational climate of the snow skiing sport domain.














CHAPTER 3
METHOD

This qualitative study used a sampling strategy referred to as Extreme or Deviant

case sampling (Patton, 2002). Patton refers to extreme or deviant cases as a strategy that

selects unique and unusual cases that can be used to explain more typical situations. In

this case, the researcher looked at elite downhill skiing coaches' extreme achievement

goal profiles as determinants of specific behavior patters.

Participants

Twenty Canadian FIS (Federation International de Ski) coaches were asked to be

potential participants for this study. They were each contacted with a brief description of

the study. Informed consent forms, approved by the university's human subjects'

protection board, were mailed to each coach to be signed and sent back to the researcher

before they were allowed to volunteer as participants. With the coaches' informed

consent, they completed the Task and Ego Orientation in Sport Questionnaire (TEOSQ)

to identify those coaches that displayed an extreme task or ego orientation (Duda &

White, 1992). This approach is consistent with the criterion sampling procedure

described by Patton (1990) with the indication that "criterion sampling can be applied to

identify cases from quantitative questionnaires or tests for in-depth follow-up" (p. 177).

Using the criterion sampling procedure, the researcher identified those FIS coaches who

displayed a high task and low ego orientation or high ego and low task orientation, based

on their TEOSQ scores. A high task orientation or ego orientation score was considered

any score ranging from 4.1 to 5.0 on either TEOSQ sub-scale. A low task orientation or









ego orientation was considered any score ranging from 1.0 to 2.9 on either TEOSQ sub-

scale. The coaches high in task or ego orientation were then asked to participate in the

interview process of the study.

TEOSQ

The Task and Ego Orientation in Sport Questionnaire (TEOSQ) was used to assess

the coaches' goal orientation (Duda & White, 1992). The TEOSQ asks participants when

they felt most successful in sport (in this case, alpine skiing). The questionnaire has 13

items and, by indicating their degree of agreement for each item, the subjects' levels of

task and ego orientation are identified.

Seven items on the TEOSQ reflect a task involvement (e.g. I learn something that

is fund to do), and 6 reflect an ego involvement (e.g. The others can't do as well as me).

Coaches' responses to each item were recorded on a 5-point Likert scale from strongly

agree (1) to strongly disagree (5). The mean score (i.e. the sum of the scores divided by

the number of items) for each subscale were calculating to obtain each participant's

TEOSQ score. The range for each participant's degree of task and ego orientation in

alpine skiing was from 1 (low) to 5 (high).

Validity and Reliability of the TEOSQ

Internal reliability was determined using two samples (Duda, Chi, Newton,

Walling, & Catley, 1995). In sample 1, high alpha scores of .72 and .82 were found in

respect to task and ego orientation. In sample 2, high alpha scores of .83 and .78 were

provided for task and ego orientation. This shows that there is internal reliability.

Duda (1992) proved validity for the TEOSQ using two studies. In the first study,

Duda administered the TEOSQ and a Motivation Orientation Scale specific to a

classroom to 205 high school students. The results showed a high positive correlation









between the sport task and ego orientation scale scores. The second study, using

undergraduate students confirmed these results. Therefore, it is shown that the TEOSQ is

valid in regard to sport.

Procedure

In order for this study to be conducted in the true naturalistic and qualitative sense,

two standardized, open-ended, semi-structured, formal interviews were utilized for the

data collection process (Patton, 2002). The standardized open-ended interview required

proper planning of each question (Patton, 2002). Each interview question was carefully

written and evaluated before accepted for application. Open-ended interview questions in

this study allowed flexibility in each coach's answers and eliminated the possibility of

receiving one-word responses. In addition, since coaches' had to respond to the

questions using their own thoughts and words, valuable data were collected.

The two formal interviews took place after the summer ski training camp, and prior

to the fall ski training camp. Interviews ranged from one half of an hour to one hour in

length. During the first interview, the coaches were asked to describe their philosophy of

coaching elite FIS athletes, describe how they design and plan for their training days,

what they think the purpose of competition is, how they would describe a favorable team

climate, what role they believe they have in creating this environment and their role as a

coach in general. The purpose of the second interview was to confirm the coaches'

responses in the first interview.

All formal interviews were tape recorded with the coaches' knowledge and

approval. Once all interviews were complete and transcribed, the researcher analyzed the

data.









Data Analysis

Although two separate groups (task-oriented and ego-oriented) were identified for

this study, data for participants in each group were analyzed separately because attempts

to compare or contrast the two groups were beyond the scope of this study. However, the

researcher presented the findings for both groups in this paper to the dichotomous nature

suggested by the extreme scores obtained by participants on the TEOSQ instrument.

Although data analyses were conducted separately for each group, the same techniques

were used.

Data gathered via informal interviews were conducted using individual-case and

cross-case analysis procedures (Patton, 1990). A constant-comparative approach to

analyzing the data (Glaser & Strauss, 1967; Strauss & Corbin, 1990) revealed categories

that have common linkages and patterns among group participants. Next, data were

categorized into themes that represented common discourse or language used among the

coaches regarding the coaching and training process.

Issues with Trustworthiness

To establish trustworthiness, themes that emerged from the data were cross-

checked (Patton, 1990) and compared with a second researcher as well as the theory

based TARGET component, both of which acted as sources to confirm or disconfirm

assertions made by the researcher. This process, referred to as triangulation, was a well-

used qualitative technique for ensuring data accuracy. To establish credibility,

participants were asked to review the interpretations made by the researcher and to

correct any inaccuracies. Next, peer debriefing was used to assist with evaluating the

responses (Patton, 1990). This process involved a second researcher knowledgeable of






28


both achievement goal theory and qualitative research methods to periodically review the

assertions made by the primary researcher.














CHAPTER 4
RESULTS

Seventeen Canadian FIS (Federation International de Ski) level Alpine Ski Racing

coaches completed the Task and Ego Orientation in Sport Questionnaire. FIS coaches

work with athletes from 16 to 20 years of age. Nine coaches displayed a high task (4.1 to

5.0 on a 5-point scale) and low ego (1.0 to 2.9 on a 5-point scale) orientation. Six of these

coaches participated in the interview process. There were five male coaches and one

female coach. Each coach is from a different Canadian province and/or ski racing team.

The coaches averaged 13 years of experience in alpine ski racing. Two of the coaches are

current FIS level coaches. The remaining four coaches, while not directly involved in the

FIS program, are still involved in alpine ski racing.

Table 3. TEOSQ scores*
Participant Task-oriented score Ego-oriented score Overall orientation
1 5.0 2.8 high task, low ego
2 4.6 1.5 extreme task
3. 4.5 2.0 high task, low ego
4 4.9 1.6 extreme task
5 4.3 2.6 high task, low ego
6 4.4 1.7 extreme task
7 4.8 2.8 high task, low ego
9 5.0 2.7 high task, low ego
10 4.9 2.8 high task, low ego
11 4.1 3.3 high task, moderate ego
12 4.9 3.2 high task, moderate ego
13 3.7 3.3 moderate task, moderate ego
14 4.0 3.3 moderate task, moderate ego
15 4.2 4.0 moderate task, moderate ego
16 4.3 4.0 moderate task, moderate ego
17 3.2 4.6 high task, moderate ego
Data collection from the Task and Ego in Sport Questionnaire









Passion for Alpine Ski Racing

All of the coaches interviewed had athletic backgrounds. Most of them were alpine

ski racers at the FIS or national level. All six respondents emphasized their love for

alpine ski racing. They enjoyed their athletic experiences and developed a passion for the

sport. For each of them coaching was one way they could stay involved in the sport to

which they devoted so much of their lives as competitors. One coach said:

It's very rewarding to get back and give back to the sport I truly love. That's the
main reason why I got into coaching. I wanted to give back to the sport that has
given me so much.

These individuals became coaches not only for the love of the sport, but also

because they received a great deal of satisfaction from helping future generations of

athletes in the pursuit of their own goals. They enjoyed seeing athletes improve and

progress to higher levels of competition. This is particularly well described by one coach

who stated:

I was always able to help them stay happy, keen and focused. I enjoy seeing the
kids do well. I enjoy watching them progress and seeing them have fun. I take an
interest in the kids and enjoy their energy.

All the coaches interviewed were highly certified in alpine ski racing and have

stayed current with new developments related to their sport and coaching. One coach

explained that it was important to "keep our learning going ahead and not just stagnant."

The coaches believed it was important to be creative and innovative with new and

better training techniques. The coaches were constantly evaluating themselves with goals

of self- improvement and enhancing their coaching abilities.

Themes

Three main themes emerged from the coaches' responses to the interview

questions. The themes were: a) the coaches focused on overall development, b) the









coaches created an enjoyable and intense climate, and c) the coaches utilized training

sessions to improve sport specific skills and life skills, and to provide a fun and

successful experience.

Theme 1: Focus on Overall Development

The first theme reflects the coaches' perceptions of the purpose of ski racing at an

elite level. They acknowledged that alpine ski racing teaches the athletes important life

skills. Most of the coaches also believe that the main focus of ski racing at the FIS level,

in addition to performing well, should be on overall skill development.

Competing at the FIS level, it is understandable for coaches to want to see their

athletes perform well and progress to the next level of competition. However, most of the

coaches interviewed maintained that overall development should be the primary focus.

Once an athlete develops physically and mentally, good results will come. One

respondent stated:

When people are strong and really understand their own bodies, their skiing just
falls into place. We have to do that instead of chasing those FIS points. The main
goal is not to develop world champions but to create people with really good life
skills. Everyone wants instant gratification we want to win now. We don't want
to wait. We don't allow kids to develop long enough. We push them way too soon.

Another coach responded:

Athletes' goals are always result oriented which is wrong. You only get the results
if you do all the things (physical skills) first and properly so, those should be your
daily goals. You really want to focus on development. Focus on how you're
improving rather than how you actually do it. The idea is to make it a
developmental thing until you're 19 or 20 years old.

The coaches reported wanting what was best for their athletes regardless of whether

the end result was a world cup holding or merely a personal measure of accomplishment

You have to look at an individual's potential and if you get the most out of that
individual regardless of what the end result is. I think that that was for sure one of









my goals at the end of every year you can say I feel good about what we've
accomplished.

In the event of an unsuccessful outcome, the coaches did not see value in dwelling

on the result, but instead advised to work on dissecting the performance and come to a

decision about what needs to be done to improve. One coach explained that "maybe we

are spending too much time in gates or something so they need to free ski more, spend

more time in practice session or a one-on-one session."

With a successful outcome, the coaches felt it was important to acknowledge that

individual. An athlete who has achieved a goal should be recognized and it is appropriate

for the athlete's teammates and competitors to witness the coach congratulating him or

her. In addition, the coaches agreed that it was very important to always leave the athlete

with something to work on to be even more successful in the future.

Definitely congratulations are in order. You worked hard at this, good job; this is a
step along the way. Definitely allow them to feel the success and pride of their
performance but not over glorifying it. Do I do it in front of other racers? Yeah,
sure that's the way it is. I mean it all really depends on the situation. You do have a
little one-on-one where it's personal and private to talk about things but you do that
with everybody but I'm not afraid to congratulate someone in a crowd.

In addition to race results, coaches believed athletes should be evaluated based on

other criteria. Each coach reported taking part in an evaluation process throughout the ski

season. They took the time to discuss each athlete's progress during the training season,

race season, and post season.

I reserve judgment on their technical improvement, maybe change in their attitude
or mental skills. Their FIS goals and world ranking goals is appropriate for that
person but we also set physical, technical, tactical, and psychological goals as well.
It's all living skills goals. With on-going evaluation, through discussion, you could
see how an individual develops as a person socially, physically. But I think pure
performance at the elite level is the outcome that everyone is looking for, but I
think the numbers that reach that are very few so I think you have to focus on your
accomplishments when you break down the sport into different skill areas.









Theme 2: Creating an Enjoyable Environment

The second theme outlines the coach's understanding of the importance of creating

an enjoyable sporting experience. Each coach believed he or she had a significant role in

developing a competitive environment that was both fun and intense. They each expected

their athletes to work hard but also acknowledged the importance of having fun while

training and in competition.

As coach, you are in position of empowerment. I certainly feel that the coach has a
lot to do with dictating how fun the program can be and how well the team gets
along because they have control over the whole thing, for the most part. My
athletes know that I am intense and know what I want to achieve something but at
the same time they know they can have fun it doesn't always have to be serious.

At the FIS level of competition, performance becomes more important and, as a

result, athletes are expected to work very hard. However, coaches understand that an

athlete will no longer want to compete in alpine skiing if he or she is not enjoying the

sport. Not surprisingly, coaches agreed that they should develop a fun atmosphere.

However, it is important for the athletes to understand the serious side of the sport. One

coach said:

I can be your friend. We can fool around but when we're working, we're working
and that is the ethic we have to get back. There's time for play and there's time to
learn. They have to understand that I am still the coach and there is a line drawn.

Developing a strong coach-athlete relationship is an important contributing factor

in ensuring a positive sporting experience for an athlete. Since FIS is the first level of

competition that demands a great deal of travel, the athletes are consequently away from

home for a large part of the year. As a result, the coaches shared in the view that they

take on many additional roles. One coach described the situation as "actually becoming a

family when you start traveling." The coaches knew that it was essential to build a

trusting relationship in order for athletes to become more involved in the program. "It's









nice to give them some role of responsibility and some accountability. They'll be happy

if I'm not nagging them. They need to feel they can be themselves."

The coaches realized the importance of open communication with their athletes.

They are in the position to make the decisions, but athletes were more willing to

cooperate when they knew exactly what was expected of them. As one coach stated:

The thing is open communication about where they're at. I think it's an important
thing to do with your athletes. It's part of active cool down. By keeping everyone
informed about what's happening, it just alleviates a million problems.

Keeping the lines of communication open, athletes were able to state their opinions

and felt as though they had some influence over the program. The coaches believed that

athletes had valuable insights in alpine ski racing and should have had the opportunity to

communicate their thoughts and feelings with everyone on the team.

Respect each other and listen to each other because every one of those guys has
something valuable to bring to the table. We always ate together, especially on the
road. That was the time where a lot of stuff got brought to the table about what
their feelings and stuff were. We never left the hill without having a meeting first.
For me and it's for them. I believe that we can stop a lot of the problems if you find
out about them right away. Everybody thinks kids don't' understand. You have to
talk to them

The coaches had specific items they wanted their athletes to focus on and goals to

work toward. However, they understood that it was important for an athlete to be

involved in planning, goal setting, and be given the opportunity to develop his or her own

goals. Once the athletes had decided on specific goals they would like to achieve, the

coaches would collaborate with them in order to achieve a combined effort.

I think it's important to get the athlete to think about what they're doing so if you
remember we used to have I think two meetings to first explain the process and
then to go back and try to think about what they want to do and then we would sit
down together.









Theme 3: Training Sessions for Overall Development and an Enjoyable Experience

The third theme is developed from a combination of the two themes previously

mentioned. The coaches used the training days to create an enjoyable and competitive

environment with a focus on overall skill development. Results in alpine ski racing are

solely based on the clock. Therefore, the coaches believed it was necessary to simulate

race conditions as much as possible when training. This involved wearing downhill suits

and using proper timing equipment. However, to create an enjoyable experience they

encouraged fun competition with their athletes. One coach believed that:

Once they were past their second year when they were 16, we put the clock on
them and then from then on any time they were in gates, there was always a clock
on them always, never without. Free ski, nothing, just feedback, but when they
were in gates, always a clock. And they pushed themselves. I always believe that
you give 100% in training because you have to simulate the race. When you're in
training gates, you have to make each run count like it's a race. They try to beat
their own times, basically, but bragging rights on time too. But this becomes fun to
them. There isn't a nasty side to it. Very healthy and not only that but that is the
sport of ski racing.

The coaches viewed skill development as the main focus for their athletes during

training sessions. Although, the athletes were given an opportunity to express their

thoughts and feelings, the coaches agreed it was their job to plan and prepare for the

training days. One coach stated that:

My athletes have very specific things they have to do. I expect active cool down
and I want to see that. You've got to be somewhat flexible but I think by having a
certain regiment that you deal with, it gets the kids into a rhythm. M job is to make
sure when my athletes come to the hill, everything was prepared. I never expected
an athlete to carry gates and help screw, unless we were in a bit of a rush and had to
get off the hill.

Another coach explained that:

I don't think they are ready to do much of their training on their own. You've got to
look ahead to when you're racing and how important the race is. You gear training
towards that.









Finally, the coaches explained that the athletes trained as one group and that there

were inherent advantages to this. In alpine ski racing, at the elite level, teams were

usually small enough to train as one unit. However, although teams trained in the same

race course and, in many situations, on the same drills, they were all working on different

skills specific to their individual needs. One coach replied:

I start with the same drill. Sometimes I have two drills within one course. Some
will start at the top and some will start on the second. I think they can all certainly
improve on every drill so it's not a bad thing. I find that younger kids develop
faster because they ski with kind of role models so they are learning more skills and
techniques and they try to do it like their models.














CHAPTER 5
DISCUSSION

The purpose of this study was to assess the impact of achievement goal orientations

on coaching behavior and to identify how the behavior patterns of alpine ski racing

coaches influence the motivational climate they create for their athletes. The study

revealed that those coaches who were high task-oriented and low ego-oriented chose to

be involved in alpine ski racing because they love the sport. The coaches believed that

through ski racing, athletes would not only acquire physical skills to help them achieve

success in the sport, but they would also develop important life skills that would help

them achieve success beyond the sport. In addition, task-oriented coaches believed in the

importance of developing a competitive sporting environment that was both intense and

enjoyable. The coach was the leader who was empowered to make important decisions

about training and competition. However, an athlete's insight into alpine ski racing was

never underestimated. Task-oriented coaches understood that they were able to

accomplish this through constant collaboration with and evaluation of their athletes. They

also utilized the training session to not only improve skills related to ski racing, but also

to focus on overall development.

Task Orientation and Overall Development

Task orientation is related to adaptive achievement strategies. Individuals who are

task-involved focus on self-improvement and endorse effort and persistence to optimize

performance (Dweck & Legett, 1988). Maintaining a positive work ethic and remaining

devoted to their activity, individuals develop a passion for their activity and, in return,









increase their intrinsic motivation (Dweck & Leggett, 1988; Duda, Chi, Newton, Walling,

& Catley, 1995). The task-oriented coaches who participated in the interview process this

study emphasized their love for athletics. They believed that with hard work and

persistence, they were able to have an impact on each of their athletes and the sport of

alpine ski racing. Once coach explained:

I really enjoy the sport in itself and what I can do with the sport. At a certain point,
I really enjoy what you can do with young people and the impact you can have on
their lives, especially with ski racing because you spend a lot of time with them so
you know you can really have an impact on their whole values and structure
and....I like that.

In the sport of alpine ski racing, athletes spend roughly three quarters of the year

either in training or in competition. There is a lot of traveling involved and athletes can

be away from their families for weeks. This gives a coach the opportunity to effectively

influence the overall development of an athlete. A coach has a tremendous impact on an

athlete's values, beliefs and behavior. A coach can effectively teach an athlete the value

of hard work and persistence not only in their sport, but also in all aspects of their life.

Task-oriented individuals recognize that ability can improve with effort (Dweck &

Leggett, 1988). The task-oriented coaches realized that an athlete can learn a lot from

both successful and unsuccessful outcomes. In the event of a successful outcome, it is

important for the coach to acknowledge the athlete's accomplishments but also to keep

the success in perspective. At the FIS (Federation International de Ski) level, athletes are

roughly 16 to 20 years old. In ski racing, these athletes are at the start of their competitive

careers. There is always room for improvement and it is important for an athlete to

understand that each success is a stepping stone for achieving the ultimate goal. In one

interview, a coach mentioned:









You've got to prepare them for that. It's nothing too complicated except that I try
to keep them focused on the process so that if they have success it doesn't make
them superstitious or overconfident. It's important they remember how hard they
worked to achieve success so they continue to have success. And they keep it in
perspective of development. It's important they enjoy their success. I don't want to
downplay it but it's important to keep it in perspective.

It is important for an athlete's success to be acknowledged. The athlete should feel

a sense of pride and satisfaction after performing well. However, the task-oriented

coaches believed that the athlete should continue to work hard to further increase their

ability for greater success.

In the case of unsuccessful outcomes, coaches in the study chose to focus on

overall skill development. Unlike the ego-oriented individual, who would view this as a

sign of inability, the task-oriented coaches understood that it was important for the

athletes to acknowledge their potential as ski racers and to help them remember why they

love ski racing. One coach found it important to "reassure him that it's going to take time.

you have to pull away from the race a little bit and you have to make sure that he has lots

of time to just go and ski."

The task-oriented coaches recognized that one unsuccessful outcome does not mean

the end of an athlete's career. It may be beneficial to take an athlete out of the

competitive environment and allow him or her to simply go and ski. When the athlete is

ready to put forth the effort and try again, he or she will improve and eventually succeed.

It was evident from the interviews that the coaches provided their athletes with

challenging tasks by having the less skilled and more experienced athletes train in one

group. Each task-oriented coach created an environment that allowed the athletes to feed

off each other and improve together. It was shown that the younger and less skilled

athletes had the opportunity to train and race against their older and more experienced









teammates, whom they viewed as role models or simply ski racers they would like to

defeat. The coaches understood that by keeping the team as one unit, the athletes were

able to challenge each other, learn from each other, and improve together.

Task Orientation and its Influence on the Motivational Climate

The social climate, principally created by the coach, influences an athlete's

achievement motivation (Harwood & Biddle, 2002). Congruent with research in

classrooms, the motivational climate displayed is defined by the coach-athlete

relationship, evaluation process, athlete groupings, and times allotted for tasks to be

completed (Ames, 1992). Previously mentioned, the acronym TARGET that stands for

task, authority, rewards, grouping, evaluation, and time help to clarify the difference

between a mastery and a performance motivational climate. Coaches who collaborate

with their athletes, evaluate success based on individual effort and improvement,

encourage athletes to learn new skills without a time constraint, and do not group athletes

based on ability, create a mastery-oriented motivational climate (Ames, 1992). In this

study, it was clear the task-oriented coaches created a mastery-oriented motivational

climate in their training sessions.

The coaches agreed it was necessary for the coaching staff to make final decisions

regarding training and competition. However, they believed that their athletes should

have an opportunity to express their thoughts and feelings regarding decision-making.

The task-oriented coaches made it routine for the whole team to meet as one group after

training to discuss the day and the future plans. Coaches would share with their athletes

what was to be expected for the upcoming training days and race series. In addition, the

coaches would listen to the athletes and discuss their thoughts regarding the tasks they

were asked to perform. With open lines of communication, the coaches were able to









create a positive relationship with their athletes based on trust and respect. Keeping

athletes informed of their progress and the short and long term plans for their racing

season, the coaches were able to gain the trust of athletes. These coaches also developed

an understanding and appreciation for the athletes' personal goals for participating in

sport. One coach discussed how his relationship with his athletes had improved over the

years. He said:

I think I've learned a lot in the last few years about developing a stronger
relationship. In the first few years coaching, I'm not really sure what kind of
respect I've had from my athletes. But I think in the last several, respect has been
pretty good. I don't get athletes who don't believe in me or who don't think that
I'm doing the right thing. My relationship has been really good. I think I look after
them well and I have their interest at heart and I think that they believe that. I'm
trying to get to know them a little better trying to relax. These guys operate in
good faith. I'm not worried that any one is going to lie to me. They work hard,
they're honest by large. And I trust them so I can be a lot more relaxed. They make
it easier for me.

A strong relationship between an athlete and a coach based on trust and respect and

created through open communication, eliminates many problems they may experience in

working together. When a coach and athlete are in sync, aware of each other's needs and

wants, they are able to focus on the task at hand and enjoy working together.

Similar to the information derived from research completed in classrooms, it is

important for an athlete to be evaluated based on improvement (Ames, 1992). Alpine ski

racing is a sport in which an athlete's success is based solely on the scoreboard. With

each ski race, athletes experience changes in the weather and snow conditions, the race

course and their starting position. Every race run is completely different and therefore,

alpine ski racing does not provide an objective way to measure personal performance.

With this in mind, in order to create, in part, a mastery climate, coaches need to develop

their own criteria for evaluating an athlete's success that is self-referenced. In this study,









it was shown that task-oriented coaches evaluated success on the amount of technical

improvement shown in one season, the ability to graduate to a higher level of

competition, or on overall development as an athlete and a mature individual. These

evaluations were ongoing and personal. Each athlete had the opportunity to meet with the

coach, one-on-one, to discuss his or her individual improvement and progress toward

achieving set goals.

In a mastery motivational climate, athletes work on individual tasks with flexible

time limits for completion (Todorovich & Curtner-Smith, 2003). In this study, task-

oriented coaches reported that, although the team was kept together as one unit, each

individual was given specific skills to develop and lots of time was provided to complete

the task. As previously mentioned, these coaches believed that keeping the athletes

together benefited everyone. One coach said:

We very much work as one team. They (more experienced athletes) help me out a
lot because they help pickup the slack because they know how to do things. They
know what they're doing and the younger guys follow. We train at the same place.
We make a plan. We start off together some are a little faster, some are a little
slower. We teach the drills and then let them work at their speed. Last year I had
four of us (coaching staff) and we tried to split the guys up and each work with a
couple when we were working on technical work, but I don't really think there was
an advantage so, this year we just try to use the strength of the coaches a little
more. Some guys end up racing more than others but when we're doing technical
things we try to create an idea of what our team goals are, technical and otherwise.
We all agree on a point of reference all the time and we work from there.

The coaches did not find it necessary to create groups based on ability. Keeping

everyone together allowed the coaches to use their strengths to help each athlete improve.

Working together as one team allowed athletes to feel united and to experience the group

atmosphere. In addition, athletes could push each other for more effort and enhance

motivation for improvement.









Influence of Coaches' Task Orientations

This study has shown how a task orientation elicits common behaviors among

alpine ski racing coaches at the FIS level. As previously mentioned, alpine ski racing is

extremely ego-involving. With each ski race, there is a different race hill, a variety of

snow and weather conditions, a new course setter, and a different starting order. Unlike a

track event where an athlete's personal performance can be measured by comparing it to

previous performances, a ski racer's personal performance can only be measured by

comparing his or her finish times with those of the other competitors. With this in mind,

it is not surprising that coaches would mainly focus on race results and consequently

display ego-oriented behavioral patterns in training and in competition. However, the

coaches in this study were able to maintain certain beliefs consistent with their task

orientation. In addition to final race results, these coaches recognized the importance of

improvement for one's own sake. Further, task-oriented coaching behaviors influenced a

motivational climate such that the athletes could work towards their personal goals in a

serious, yet enjoyable, competitive environment.

Conclusion

This study revealed that the achievement goal orientations of elite alpine ski racing

coaches elicited specific behavior patterns in training and in competition. Furthermore,

these behavior patterns impacted on the way coaches created the motivational climate in

the ski racing realm. Task-oriented coaches can overcome the ego-involving

characteristics inherent in their sport and incorporate their task-oriented values and

beliefs into the training environment, creating a mastery-oriented motivational climate.

The mastery motivational climate enables athletes to appreciate hard work and effort.

This helps them to understand the benefits of adopting a "non-scoreboard" orientation,









regardless of the requirements of the sport, and assists them in improving their

performance to be the best that it can be.

Future Implications

The present study needs to be replicated among high-level athletes in other

primarily ego-involving sports in order to provide further evidence for the ability of task-

oriented coaches to overcome the ego-oriented character of their sport and integrate their

values and beliefs, consistent with their task orientation, into their training designs

leading to a mastery-oriented climate.

Another interesting question for future research concerns the impact coaches'

achievement goal orientations have on athletes' goal orientations. Does the achievement

goal orientation of the coach, that influences how they create the motivational climate,

influence the athlete's goal orientation? If so, this further illustrates the impact coaching

behaviors have on the sporting domain.

Lastly, to provide further evidence that achievement goal orientations of coaches

predict certain behavior patterns, behavioral patterns of coaches should be observed in its

natural setting. Direct observation of coaching behaviors will confirm or deny the

responses made by the coaches in the interviews. The researcher will also be able to

directly relate coaches' achievement goal orientations to their coaching behaviors instead

of having to make predictions about the relationship.














APPENDIX A
TASK AND EGO ORIENTATION IN SPORT QUESTIONNAIRE

DIRECTIONS: Give your reaction to the following statements in regards how you


usually or generally feel about the sport of snow
are asked to rank your reaction by indicating SD
Neutral, A = Agree, SA = Strongly Agree

I feel most successful in snow skiing when...


skiing as if YOU were the athlete. You
= Strongly Disagree, D = Disagree, N =


1. I'm the only one who can do the SD D N A SA
play or skill.

2. I learn a new skill and it makes me SD D N A SA
want to practice more.

3. I can do better than my friends. SD D N A SA

4. The others can't do as well as me. SD D N A SA

5. I learn something that is fun to do. SD D N A SA

6. Others mess up and I don't. SD D N A SA

7. I learn a new skill by trying hard. SD D N A SA

8. I work really hard. SD D N A SA

9. I score the most points/goals/hits, SD D N A SA
etc.

10. Something I learn makes me want SD D N A SA
to go and practice more.

11. I'm the best. SD D N A SA

12. A skill I learn really feels right. SD D N A SA

13. I do my very best. SD D N A SA














APPENDIX B
INTERVIEW GUIDE

1. Why did you choose to become a ski coach?

2. What are your coaching philosophies?

3. What are your own personal goals?

4. What are the goals you set for your athletes?

5. What do you believe is the key to success in athletics?

a. What does it mean to an athlete to be successful?

b. How do you deal with an athlete who is successful?

c. How do you deal with an athlete who is unsuccessful?

6. How would you describe a favorable team climate/team atmosphere/competitive

sporting environment?

7. How do you design and plan your training sessions?

a. Do you decide what discipline to train?

b. Do you set up the training courses and decide when to set another course

and clean up?

8. Who sets the athletes' goals?

9. In training, does everyone work together as a team?

a. Everyone works on the same task?

b. Same drills?

10. How do you reward your athletes in training and competition















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BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH

Miss Haley Perlus was born March 6, 1980, in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. She

achieved her Bachelor of Arts degree with honors at the University of Western Ontario

from the Department of Health Sciences. She earned a degree in kinesiology with an area

of concentration in sport psychology. She is currently completing her master's degree in

the Department of Exercise and Sport Sciences. Her area of concentration is sport

pedagogy. Haley plans to continue in pursuit of a Doctor of Philosophy in sport

psychology. She aspires to become an applied sport psychologist working with elite

athletes and coaches.