Strategies Table of Contents
Enhancing Athlete Outcomes Through Quality Coaching
Win or go home” is an age-old proverb traditionally used as a catchphrase to describe a
single-elimination scenario in a sporting competition. This phrase also alludes to many deeper consequences
for those involved in the competition. For coaches of high-level,
competitive teams, such as collegiate and professional ballclubs
(and in some cases, high school teams), winning often represents the lifeblood by which their tenure is extended and thus
it is in a coach’s best interest to employ coaching methods that
optimally align with the goal of winning. In many cases, success
is determined by the level of synergy demonstrated by a team
and since coordination between the coach and the athletes is
a part of this, it is critical that coaches and athletes communicate effectively. In such an atmosphere, higher degrees of athlete motivation and performance become possible. Using this
lens, we evaluate coaching strategies to determine their impact
on athlete well-being and performance, as well as team success.
Furthermore, we adopt the position that team success stems
from the ability of the coach to impact individual athletes in
both team sports (i.e., football, basketball, baseball, etc.) as well
as individual sports (i.e., tennis, cross-country, golf, etc.). Thus,
while examining group-level (team) constructs, we assert the
need for additional consideration of these constructs as person centered (athlete).
Recognizing the genesis of all group processes as person-to-person interactions, we use Steiner’s (1966) model of group productivity as a model of group processes that may be helpful in
understanding the influence of coaches on their athletes. Steiner’s (1966) seminal research on group productivity states that the
actual productivity of a group or team is equal to the potential
productivity of the group minus losses due to faulty motivational
and coordination processes (Figure 1). Based on Steiner’s model,
we highlight some repercussions of coaching aggression, how
this type of negative behavior can affect athlete and team productivity, and what actions can be taken by coaches to bolster
current and future chances of success.
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