UBC Theses and Dissertations

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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Nonverbal behavior of national figure skating coaches: effects upon female athletes differing in age and athletic maturity levels Miller-Tait, Jennifer


Enjoyment is a key motivational factor influencing both recreational and youth sport athletes (Scanlan, Stein & Ravizza,1989). The enjoyment and satisfaction experienced by athletes may affect their continued participation and success in sport. Athlete satisfaction and enjoyment can be derived from variables such as achievement recognition, competitive achievement, mastery and coach/athlete relationships. An understanding of effective coaching leadership has involved the study of coach personalities, coach behaviors, and coach-athlete interactions. The view that leadership effectiveness is a function of both situational and individual coach and athlete characteristics has gained general acceptance (Chelladurai, 1983). The Multi-dimensional Model of Leadership (Chelladurai & Carron, 1978).stresses that athlete satisfaction and performance are directly related to the congruency between athletes' preferences for specific coach behaviors and actual behaviors demonstrated by the coach. The fact that athlete satisfaction is affected by the display of and/or the frequency of specific nonverbal behaviors may have an important impact upon the coaching profession. The purpose of this study was to identify the commonalities and/ or differences in nonverbal behaviors displayed by National level figure skating coaches (3 male, 3 female) when coaching athletes of specific age (6-10, 12-15, and 16 years and older) and athletic maturity (Preliminary - Juvenile, Novice - Senior) levels. The relationship between the display of certain nonverbal behaviors and athlete satisfaction within each of the various categories of athletes was assessed, as was the satisfaction of these athletes with their coaches. Coaches were videotaped while instructing three female athletes within each age and athletic maturity level (three 15 minute lessons for each athlete). A Nonverbal Behavior Checklist was developed from these tapes. This list was then given to three judges who viewed one tape of each skater (randomly selected). Judges recorded the specific behaviors and frequency of these displays seen on each tape. An average frequency of display for the behaviors shown throughout the three tapes was calculated for each skater. A 2 (gender) X 3 (level) ANOVA was then performed on the average frequency of behaviors. The coaches bent forward while instructing the Preliminary - Juvenile skaters significantly more (p

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