The influence of gender on perceptions of coaches’ relationships with their athletes: a novel video-based methodology

Paula Murray, Rhiannon Lord, Ross Lorimer*

*Corresponding author for this work

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The aim of this study was to investigate the influence of coach and athlete gender on perceptions of a coach through the use of a novel video-based method. Forty-one participants (16 males, 25 females, Mage=32.76 SD= ± 11.57) watched four videos depicting a coach and an athlete having a conversation about the athlete’s de-selection from a squad. Each video featuring different gender combinations of the coach and athlete. Participants rated the coach on perceived relationship quality and perceived empathy. Analysis showed a main effect for coach gender with female coaches being rated higher than male coaches for relationship quality and empathy, and a main effect for athlete gender with all coaches perceived as displaying a greater level of affective empathy when paired with a female athlete. Coaches need to be aware that their actions may be interpreted differently based on their gender and that of the athletes they are working with. This could potentially impact on coach effectiveness and the outcomes of their behaviours.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages12
JournalThe Sport Journal
Early online date30 Aug 2018
Publication statusPublished - 30 Aug 2018


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