Understanding the Coach’s Role in Identifying and Meeting the Motivations of Soccer Players


  • Claire Mulvenna St Mary's University
  • Anika Leslie-Walker University of Bolton
  • Nick Wadsworth University of Bolton
  • Mark Moran University of Bolton


Motivation, Coaching practice, self-determination


The motivational climate created by the coach is important for the quality of motivation exhibited by players. However, limited research exists investigating if a coach is aware of the motivations held by their players. As such this study investigated the motivations of semi-elite soccer players taking part in club coaching sessions and identified the way in which coaches planned and delivered structured coaching sessions, to address the reasons their players had for attending coaching sessions.  Using a qualitative approach with 21 adult soccer players and two soccer coaches, findings from this study highlight a dissonance is apparent between the coaches understanding of their player’s motivational climate and the soccer player’s motivation. Formal, pre-planned methods to meet player’s motivation for participation were not followed suggesting that although the coach may play a major role as a facilitator of the motivational climate this is not achieved through a structured process.


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