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Discussing the knowledge gap of coach-athlete relationships within strength and conditioning
journal contributionposted on 19.06.2019, 00:00 authored by Fraser Carson, Steven FouldsSteven Foulds, Samantha HoffmannSamantha Hoffmann, Kris HinckKris Hinck
Sports coaching research has identified the importance of positive coach-athlete relationships as a means to improve athlete performance and satisfaction, however, there has been minimal investigation within the sub-disciplines of coaching such as strength and conditioning. The purpose of this directed topic article was to describe the key components of three models of coach-athlete relationships commonly used in general sports coaching and from this provide practical recommendations that can be applied by strength coaches to help create positive relationship with their athletes. A narrative review of the literature was conducted on pertaining to 1) Multidimensional Model of Leadership; 2) the Mediational Model of Leadership, and 3) the 3+1C's model. The main findings from each model are discussed, followed by guidelines for practical implementation from the authors’ experience in the field. As a whole, the models suggest that the relationship is dynamic, with the behaviours, actions and expectations of the coach greatly influencing the athlete. The crucial aspect is the athlete’s perception of these, suggesting creation of a positive relationship is essential. Examples of key practical recommendations are to implement mutual goal-setting sessions, to avoid using workouts as punishment, to demonstrate how the coaching philosophy has been adapted for their athlete/s, to keep a diary of self-reflection, and to have meaningful conversations beyond sport or training.