Effects of Coach and Parent Training on Performance Anxiety in Young Athletes: A Systemic Approach

Frank L. Smoll, Ronald E. Smith, Sean P. Cumming

Abstract


Coaches and parents play a major role in determining the consequences of sport participation in young athletes. This study focuses on the assessment of a systemic, empirically inspired intervention directed at coaches and parents. Parallel workshops derived in part from achievement goal theory were presented to the coaches and parents of 9 to 15 year old boys and girls participating in community-based basketball programs, and their effects were compared with a matched control condition. Multilevel analyses revealed significant Time x Condition interactions on all three subscales of the Sport Anxiety Scale-2 (SAS-2) and on a total anxiety score. Athletes in the intervention condition decreased in cognitive and somatic anxiety scores on the SAS-2, whereas athletes in the control condition exhibited increases in cognitive and somatic anxiety. Results suggest the potential efficacy of brief, economical interventions in enhancing the psychosocial impact of the youth sport environment.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5195/jyd.2007.358

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