Subjective Beliefs Among Sport Coaches About Communication During Practice

Frode Moen & Kristin Garland
Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Trondheim, Norway

T.his article looks at subjective beliefs among sport coaches in terms of what they consider to be effective communication during practice. A sample of 36 different opinions about different underlying aims for communication, and how this affects athletes’ abilities to understand better (knowing), to perform better (doing), and/ or improve their focus, was presented to 23 sport coaches from different top level sports. A sample from a concourse of statements was presented to the coaches who were asked to consider the statements regarding what they thought are optimal communication during practice in action. The authors develop their analysis by employing the Q methodology. Four different factors emerged from the factor analysis, and one stronger factor had 18 cases when mixed cases were included. In general, coaches agree that during practice they must stimulate their athletes to be focused. In order to do this, their communication must be based on information and concepts that both coaches and athletes understand. Communication that effects common understanding and is based on clear and direct instructions seems to be beneficial to achieve a strong focus during action. The results also indicate that coaches must have conversations with their athletes in order to achieve common understanding, so that the information that is communicated during action is well discussed and clarified between themselves and their athletes.

Click here to read this peer reviewed article in Scandinavian Sport Studies Forum, Vol. 3, 2012

FRODE MOEN has a PhD in coaching and performance psychology at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology, department of education. His current research focuses on executive coaching, coaching based leadership, sport coaching, communication performance psychology. He is a former coach for the national team in Norway in Nordic combined, and is currently working as the leader of the Olympic organization in middle-Norway, and as coach and mental trainer for national athletes in different sports. He is publishing a new book about performance development during autumn of 2012.

KRISTIN GARLAND has a Master in sport management from the University of Minnesota, in the United States of America. Her current research focuses on international student-athletes in the United States, and the struggles that they experience integrating into American culture and the school sponsored model of athletics. She had a Fullbright scholarship at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology during the period of her work with this article.


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