Date of Award

5-2019

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science

Major

Kinesiology

Major Professor

Leslee A. Fisher

Committee Members

Lars Dzikus, Stephen N. Waller

Abstract

Care within the coach-athlete relationship has only recently been examined (Fisher et al., 2016; Fisher et al., 2017; Gano-Overway, et al., 2009; Knust & Fisher, 2015; Newton, et al., 2007). However, this research has yet to include athletes’ perceptions of caring coaching. Thus, the purpose of this study was to examine NCCAA DII athletes’ perceptions of coach caring. The hope was that we may better understand how athletes perceive that their coaches do and do not care for them. A secondary purpose of the study was to explore whether a Christian context makes a difference in athletes’ perceptions of coach caring. Using purposeful sampling (Merriam & Tisdell, 2016), 11 NCCAA athlete participated in semi-structured interviews lasting 30 to 60 minutes. Using CQR (Hill, 2012) and a six-person research team – including two external auditors - 7 major domains were constructed: (I) Christian Universityi student-athletes’ perceptions of how they learned coach caring; (II) Christian University student-athletes’ definition of coach caring; (III) Christian University student-athletes’ description of the demonstration of coach caring: Athlete-centered coaching; (IV) Christian University student-athletes’ definition of a lack of coach caring; (V) Christian University student-athletes’ description of the embodiment of Christian coach caring; (VI) Christian University student-athletes’ description of the relationship between coach caring and athlete performance; and (VII) additional influences, where influences such as context, gender, and terminology related to coach caring at Christian University are examined. The final focus of the document is on the ways that sport psychology professionals can better understand how coach caring influences athletic performance.

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