Doctoral Dissertations

Orcid ID

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy



Major Professor

Karee Dunn

Committee Members

Lisa Yamagata-Lynch, Joel F. Diambra, Rebecca A. Zakrajsek


Many sports studies investigated elite performance level or experienced athletes whereas there are few studies addressing non-experienced or volunteer coaches’ perspectives. Empirically, the effects of self-regulated learning (SRL) in sports performers have been proven in a variety of athletes. Meanwhile, few studies have addressed coaches’ perspectives of using SRL strategies to facilitate their athletes to develop athletic performance. Furthermore, many studies of SRL in sports were rarely analyzed qualitatively in order to understand the meaning of behaviors related to SRL strategy use. Therefore, the purpose of this study is to address volunteer youth soccer coaches’ understanding of self-regulation in athletes and strategies they used in the practice for developing athletes’ SRL skills. In accordance with these purpose statements, two research questions were formed. First, what are volunteer soccer coaches’ general thoughts and understandings of self-regulation in athletes? Second, what strategies do the volunteer coaches believe they use to develop self-regulatory abilities in their athletes and how do they employ them?

Eight volunteer soccer coaches of local youth (between 12 to 18 years old) team participated in a semi-structured interview and answered questions about general understanding of self-regulation in their athletes and strategies the coaches typically used to develop their athletes’ self-regulation. Their interviews were transcribed and analyzed with thematic analysis.

Findings illustrated youth athletes’ self-regulated behaviors as active engagement in sport, contribution to others, and proactive behaviors for playing sport while strategies the coaches used in the practice were related to approaching players, organizing the practice environment, motivational strategies, and learning strategies. These findings were discussed in terms of Zimmerman’s self-regulation theory (2013), as the findings of the first research question indicated athletes’ self-regulated behaviors while coaching strategies for athletes’ self-regulation emerged from the findings of the second research question. This study presents implications for evaluation of athletes’ self-regulated behaviors and coaching strategies for athletes’ self-regulation.

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