The Relation between Coaching Behaviour, Motivational Climate and Intrinsic Motivation in Youth Football Players


  • Vedran Jakobek Centar za socijalnu skrb Našice
  • Damir Ljubotina Sveučilište u Zagrebu, Filozofski fakultet, Odsjek za psihologiju, Zagreb, Hrvatska


intrinsic motivation, youth football, coaching behaviour, mastery climate


The aim of this study was to deepen the understanding of social influences on intrinsic motivation of young male football players, aged 15–18 years (N = 152). We measured coaching behaviours, motivational climate in football teams, and intrinsic motivation to play football. Results revealed positive correlations between measures of specific positive coaching behaviours (Training and Instructions, Democratic Behaviour, Social Support and Positive Feedback) that could be explained by a latent factor we named positive coaching behaviour. Additionally, positive correlations between measures of specific negative coaching behaviours (Autocratic Behaviour, Insensitivity to Athletes’ Well-being, Negative Feedback and Results Orientation) could be explained by a latent factor we named negative coaching behaviour. Hierarchical regression analysis was then conducted. The first block of predictors consisted of positive and negative coaching behaviours and the second of mastery climate. Results show that a total of 22% of the intrinsic motivation variance was explained by negative coaching behaviour, a statistically significant negative predictor and mastery climate, a statistically significant positive predictor. The present study also investigated mechanisms underlying the effects of coaching behaviours on intrinsic motivation. Positive coaching behaviour had an indirect positive effect on intrinsic motivation via mastery climate. The effects of negative coaching behaviour on intrinsic motivation were twofold, showing both direct and indirect negative effects via mastery climate.