Creat ive Educati on
2014. Vo l.5, No.2, 114-121
Published Online February 2014 in SciRes (http://www.scirp.org/journal/ce) http://dx.doi. org/10.4236/ce.2014.52018
Verbal Aggressiveness and Leadership Style of Sports Instructors
and Their Relationship with Athletes’ Intrisic Motivation
Department of Physical Education and Sports Science, University of Thessaly, Trikala, Greece
Received Septem ber 16 th, 201 3; revi sed Octobe r 16th, 2013; ac cepted October 2 6th, 2013
Copyright © 2014 Alexandra Bekiari. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons
Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the
original work is properly cited. In accordance of the Creative Commons Attribution License all Copyrights ©
2014 are reserved for SCIRP and the owner of the intellectual property Alexandra Bekiari. All Copyright ©
2014 are guarded by law and by SCIRP as a guardian.
The purp ose of t he study was t o examine intr insic moti vation of athletes and its r elation with i nstruct ors’
verbal aggressivenes s and leadershi p style. T he sample of the st udy co nsist ed of 168 athletes (95 boys and
73 girls), 15 - 19 years old (M = 16.5, SD = 0.5), participating in different individual and team sports
(basketball, volleyball, football, long jump, pole vault, 200 m). Every participant completed three ques-
tionnaires, the Verbal Aggressiveness Questionnaire, the Intrinsic Motivation Inventory, and the Leader-
ship Scale for Sports. The results revealed differences existing among variables of the instruments in
terms of sex and type of sport (indi vidual or team sport a nd contact or non contact sp ort). P earson correla-
tion r evealed a si gnifi cant positi ve rela ti onship of coaches ’ verb al a ggres sivenes s wit h anxi ety, aut ocra tic
style, and a negati ve significa nt relati onship concer ning coa ches’ verba l aggressi on with enjoyment , abil-
ity, effort, and democratic style. Findings and implications for instructors’ type of communication were
discussed and future r esearch suggesti ons were included.
Key words: Athl etes; Intrinsic Motivati on; Coaches; Verbal Aggressiveness ; Leadership Style
The concept of motivation is generally referred to the way
with which each person prompts himself to achieve his objec-
tives. Related research in this field found that individual’s
achievement targets are determined by whatever the individual
considers important and desirable (Dweck & Leggett, 1988;
Nicholls, 1989, 1992; Duda, 1992, 1993). A theoretical frame
that is often used and more for the study of motivation in the
field of physical education is the theory of self-determination
(Deci & Ryan, 1985; Ryan & Deci, 2000). Intrinsic motivation
appears to have the higher level of motivation which derives
from self-determination. As intrinsic motivation is defined the
participation in activities that people perceived interesting and
pleasure (Vallerand, Deshaies, Cuerrier, Pelletier, & Mongeau,
1992). According to Vallerand and Rousseau (2001) there are
three main types of intrinsic motivation: intrinsic motivation
“to know”, intrinsic motivation “to accomplish”, and intrinsic
motivation “to experience” stimulation. Ryan and Deci (2000)
suggested that intrinsic motivation is important for self-deter-
mined and autonomy behaviour.
Moreover, it has been shown to relate po sitively with com-
petence and satisfaction. A study conducted by Jowett and
Ntoumanis, (2001) revealed the existence of a reciprocal rela-
tionship and interaction between coaches and athletes. In sports
field Mageau and Vallerand (2003) suggested that intrinsic
motivation po sitively related with au tono my-supportive climate
provided by coach. Also, Amorose and Horn (2000) suggested
that a l ow in au to crat ic st yle and h igh i n democrat ic st yle co ach
leads their athletes to a high level of intrinsic motivation. Fur-
thermore, the coach who used mainly the democratic style and
rarely the autocratic style, it is likely to advance an autonomy
climate which, in turn, would have a positive impact on intrin-
sic motivation. Results of another study (Hollembeak & Amo-
rose, 2005) indicated the existence of a significant positive
relationship between intrinsic motivation and athlete’s per-
ceived competen ce, aut ono my and related ness. Also , aforemen-
tioned researches found that all coaching behaviours (training
and instruction, positive feedback, social support, and demo-
cratic behaviour) positively associated with intrinsic motivation
except of autocratic behaviour which related negatively. Fur-
thermore, the above study indicated that individual sport ath-
letes perceived that their coaches were more li kely to use d emo-
cratic style and reported higher level of intrinsic motivation,
autonomy and relatedness compare to team sport athletes. On
the contrary team sports athletes perceived that their coaches
tend to involve more in autocratic behaviour and training in-
struction than individual sport athletes.
A clear comprehension of motivation, however, requires that
the target of behavior should be recognized. The objectives of
individuals seem to determine the type of motivation they ex-
perien ce, which in tur n is rel ated to cert ain beh avio rs. Fr eder ick
and Ryan (1995) support the notion that the participation in
activities for a long period of time is more likely to happen
when individuals are internally rather than externally motivated.
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Moreover, it has been found that internal motivation predicts
the intention of students to maintain their attendance in physical
education activities (Goudas, Biddle, & Underwood, 1995). On
the other hand, detachment from sports appears to be connected
with decreased internal motivation (Pelletier, Fortier, Vallerand,
Tuson, Briere, & Blais, 19 95).
In all types of relationships, research consistently shows that
verbal aggression leads to negative outcomes (Infante, Myers,
& Buerkel, 1994; Martin & Anderson, 1995; Infante & Rancer,
1996; Myers & Rocca, 2000b) leading to learned helplessness
(Infante, 1995; Infante & Rancer, 1996). Studies conducted in
the academic domain showed that verbal aggression is a demo-
tivating force in the classroom (Gorham & Christophel, 1992)
that is negatively related to social attraction and liking for the
source of aggressiveness (Martin, Heizel, & Valencic, 1999),
student perceptions of the teacher (Martin, Weber, & Burant,
1997), perceptions of immediacy and interpersonal attraction
(Rocca & McCroskey, 1999), students’ feelings of learner em-
powerment (Burant, 1999), students’ attendance (Rocca, 2004)
and participation (Rocca, 2000), and students affect toward the
teacher, the cours e content, and the recommended course b eha-
viors (Myers & Knox, 1999; Wrench & Richmond, 2004). A
negative relationship between advisor verbal aggressiveness
and advisee affect found Wrench and Punyanunt-Carter (2005)
and also, suggested that advisor verbal aggressiveness nega-
tively related to advisee perceived credibility. Schrodt (2003)
found that students’ perception of their instructor verbal ag-
gressiveness negatively correlated with their perceptions of
understanding, instructor credibility, and evaluations. Myers,
Edwards, Wahl, and Martin (2007) revealed the negative im-
pact of inst ructo r verbal aggressivenes s on thei r students’ class-
room involvement and motives to communicate with him. Re-
search conducted by Myers and Rocca (2000a) revealed that
students’ state motivation negatively correlated with perceived
use of seven verbally aggressive messages (attacks on compe-
tence, character, or background, malediction, ridicule, threats,
and no nverbal symbols). Only three verbal ly messages (at tacks
on physical appearance, teasing, or swearing) were not related
to state motivation. Myers and Rocca (2001) found that verbal
aggressiv eness was negat i vel y relat ed t o stud ents’ percep tio n of
classroom climate and state motivation.
However, to the best of my knowledge, there is li ttle resear ch
exploring PE teachers’ verbal aggression in PE classes. In par-
ticul ar, research demonstr ated that s tudent s who perceived t heir
PE instructors as verbally aggressive reported greater learning
loss in physical education classes (Bekiari, Kokaridas, & Sa-
kellariou, 2005). In addition, Bekiari (2012) found a negative
relationship between P E teachers’ perceived verbal aggressive-
ness and students’ affective learning, and satisfaction in the
field of physical education. Another study indicated that the
antiso cial fair pl ay behavio rs p os itivel y correlat ed with teach ers’
verbal aggr ession, whi le the prosoci al fair play behavio rs nega-
tively correlated with PE teachers’ verbal aggression (Hassan-
dra, Bekiari, & Sakellariou, 2007). Moreover, in physical edu-
cation classes, it was revealed that there was a negative rela-
tionship between teachers’ verbal aggression and lesson satis-
faction, the motivation factors of enjoyment/interest, compe-
tence, and effort/importance, and the discipline factors of in-
trinsic and caring reasons (Bekiari, Kokaridas, & Sakellariou,
At the same time, few studies have probed into coaches’
verbal aggressiveness. For example, Bekiari, Digelidis and
Sakellariou (2006) found that athletes who took part in a non-
contact sport viewed their coaches as less verbally aggressive
compared to athletes participating in a high-contact sport. Ad-
ditionally, Bekiari, Patsiaouras, Kokaridas, and Sakellariou
(2006) showed that male volleyball players rated somatic an-
xiety higher and were more influenced by the verbal aggres-
siveness of their coaches than female volleyball players. Other
studies mainly examined the relationship between athletes’
aggressiveness and the type of sport (contact or non-contact)
(Bredemeier, Weiss, & Shields, 1986; Huang & Cherek, 1999;
Lemieux, McKelvie, & Stout, 2002). More often than not,
though the use of verbal aggression leads to negative results in
most settings, it is quite acceptable in sports. Namely, it is like-
ly that a verbally aggressive coach should lead their athletes to
be motivated to perform better in order to achieve a champion’s
level of competition; however, verbal aggressiveness make
athletes less willing to contact with their coach.
As far as lead ership is concerned, it i s defined as the p rocess
of influencing the activities of an individual or a group in ef-
forts toward goal achievement in a given situation (Hersey &
Blanchard, 1982). Based on situational leadership theory (Her-
sey & Blanchard, 1969), Chelladurai and Saleh (1980) proposed
Multidimensional Leadership Theory as an application to the
sports field. Also, Multidimensional Leadership Theory pro-
poses that leadership strategies in the context of sport consist of
five dimensions: a) autocratic behaviour, b) democratic beha-
viour, c) social support, d) positive feedback, e) training and
instruction. Turman (2001) examined athlete’s (wrestlers) per-
ceptio n and preferences as well co aches’ perceptions of leader-
ship behaviours during a season. Results indicated that the suc-
cess of their goals is a determinant factor on athlete’s percep-
tions of their coaches’ use of autocratic style. S uccess ful tea ms’
athlet es p erceived that their co aches utilize the same a mount o f
autocratic style throughout the season. In contrast athletes of
unsuccessful team perceived as inclined the use of th eir coaches’
autocratic style during the season. Turman (2003) in another
study suggested that both athletes’ preferences and perception
of coaches’ aut ocrat ic beh aviou rs were high er at t he midd le and
at the end of the season. In addition Turman (2003) also found
that experienced coaches perceived themselves as more auto-
cratic at t he end of the seaso n th an at the begin ning. Convers el y,
inexper ienced coach es perceived themsel ves as more auto cratic
at the end of the season than at the beginning or at the middle of
the season. Riemer and Chelladurai (1995) examined the dif-
ferences between offensives and defensives football players
concerning their perceived and preferred leadership style and
found that defensive players reported greater preferences and
perceived greater amounts of democratic and autocratic beha-
viour t ha n did offe ns i ve play e r s .
Loughead and Hardy (2005) investigated athletes’ percep-
tions of coaches and peers leaders, and found that coaches
demonstrated greater amounts of autocratic behaviour compar-
ing to peer leaders, whereas peer leaders exhibited greater
amounts of democratic behaviours than coaches. Concerning,
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A. BE KIARI
perceptions of coaches’ leadership styles, male athletes reported
higher levels of autocratic behaviour (Beam, Serwatka, & Wil-
son, 2004; Chelladurai & Saleh, 1978) in comparison with fe-
male athletes. In contrast, female athletes preferred more dem-
ocratic leadership behaviour (Chelladurai & Saleh, 1978) from
their coaches. Amorose and Horn (2000) found that democratic
style is more important to female athletes’ intrinsic motivation
compared t o male.
Another line of research found that it is likely for autonomy-
supportive coaches to increase their students’ motivation and
satisfaction derived from the lesson and, finally, their intention
to participate in physical activities during leisure time (Chatzi-
saranti s & H agger, 20 09).
What is more, the findings of a qualitative study revealed
that activity instructors’ positive leadership style increased
female participants’ self-efficacy, satisfaction, and intrinsic
motivation rendering them more willing participants in similar
physical activities (Lloyd & Little, 2010).
The Problem a nd the Aim of the Study
According to the above, we can conclude that undoubtedly,
verbal aggressiveness is negatively related to state motivation
or act as a demotivating force in the educational domain. Un-
fortunately there does not exist any relativel y study in the sports
setting. A negative teacher trait such as verbal aggressiveness
(Myers & Knox, 1999; Roach, 1995) that undermine learning,
are similar to autocratic coaching behaviours. Also according to
Lewin and Gold (1999), aggression was much more common
while autocratic leadership style was operating. In addition,
autocratic style can lead to social problems within the class-
room. While, in sport setting, Shields, Bred emeier, Gard n er an d
Bostrom (1995) state that autocratic coaching style facilitates
the acceptance of unsporting behaviour (cheating and aggres-
siveness) in a team. Their statement is based on the high corre-
lation they found between the autocratic coaching leadership
style and the shared rules (cheating and aggressiveness) ac-
cepted as valid by the t eam. Consequently, we can assume that
autocratic leadership style it is likely to act as a demotivating
force not only in the educational domain but and in the sport
setting also. Studies suggested that coaches have an important
influen ce in all aspects o f athletes’ p reparatio ns for competit ion
and in determining athletes’ success and development (Durand-
Bush & Salmela, 2002). Also, coaches are perceived to have a
key point role in all aspects of athletes’ career’s, as well as in
training and competition (Lyle, 1999).
Reviewing the literature, however, it seems that there is a
lack of research exploring athletes’ internal motivation with
relation to verbal aggressiveness of coaches as perceived by
athlet es and coaches’ leadership style ( democratic or autocratic).
This study attempted to examine intrinsic motivation of athletes
and its relation with coaches’ verbal aggressiveness and lea-
dership style. More specifically, the main purpose of this study
was to investigate the relation between intrinsic motivation of
athletes and coaches’ verbal aggressiveness and also, the rela-
tionship between verbal aggressiveness of coaches and their
leadersh ip style. The second purpose was to investigate if there
were differences in verbal aggressiveness, intrinsic motivation,
and leadership style, between the sexes and types of sports
(individual or team sport and contact or non contact sport) that
The sample of the study consisted of 168 Greek athletes (95
males and 73 females), 15 - 19 years old (M = 16.5, SD = 0.5).
All participants were members of individual (N = 97) and team
(N = 71) sport clubs. More specifically, 43 runners, 32 shooters,
8 jumpers, 32 basketball players, 26 volleyball players and 27
football players. They participated voluntarily in the study,
under the instruction of male coaches as extracurricular activi-
ties in athletic clubs located in a pro vincial city of Greece, Tri-
kala. Researcher was available to provide explanation through-
out the data collection process.
Every participant completed three questionnaires, the Verbal
Aggressiveness Questionnaire (Bekiari, Digelidis, Hatzigeor-
giadis, & Sakellario u, 2 005), the Intrinsic Motivation Inventory
(Ryan, 1982; McAuley, Duncan, & Tammen, 1989), and the
Leadership Scale fo r Sport s ( L.S.S., Ch elladurai & Saleh, 1980 ).
All questionnaires were published in the English language and
were translated into Greek with the use of back-translation
procedure. The researchers gave verbal instructions prior to the
completion of the questionnaires and they were present during
the whole procedure to answer questions posed by the athletes.
The parti cipan ts were asked t o respo nd to each statement o f the
questionnaires using a 5-point Likert Scale (anchored by
strongly/totally disagree and strongly/totally agree).
Verbal Aggressiveness Scale. The Verbal Aggressiveness
Questionnaire (Bekiari, Digelidis, Hatzigeorgiadis, & Sakella-
riou, 2005) is designed to assess students’ perceptions of phys-
ical education instructors’ verbal aggressiveness. The ques-
tionnaire was structured according to the theoretical basis for-
mulated by Infante and Wigley (1986) and comprised of 8
items describing verbal aggressiveness (e.g., “insults toward
students”, “negative judgments on students’ ability”). P artici-
pants were asked to respond on a 5-poi n t Li ker t-type scale fro m
1 to 5, where 1 = strongly disagree, and 5 = strongly agree.
Intrinsic Motivation Inventory. The Intrinsic Motivation In-
ventory (Ryan, 1982; McAuley, Duncan, & Tammen, 1989), a
20-item version first used in Greek physical education settings
(Goudas, Der mitzaki, & B agiatis , 200 0) includ es four subscales:
enjoyment/interest, effort/importance, competence, and pres-
sure/tension. Responses to the items were in dicated on a 5-
point Likert-type scale, an cho red by 1 = stron gly disagree an d 5
= strongly agree.
Leadership Scale. The Leadership Scale for Sports (L.S.S.),
(Chelladurai & Saleh, 1980), a shorter version of the “Leader-
ship Scale for Sports” (L.S.S.), (Chelladurai & Saleh, 1980)
was used in order to measure perceived coaches’ leadership
style. This short version consisted of 6 items describing auto-
cratic leadership and 5 items describing democratic leadership
teaching style, only two of the five dimensions were used.
Responses were given on a 5-point Likert-type scale (1 =
strongly disagree, 5 = strongly agree).
Statistical analysis included the use of the statistical package
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SPSS (11.0). Cronbach alpha Reliability analysis was used to
examine the internal consistency of the factors of each ques-
tionnaire. Pearson correlation was used to determine the rela-
tionship between the factors of the questionnaires. A t-test
analysis for independent samples was used to estimate possible
differences existing in terms of sex and type of sport (individual
or team sport and contact or non-contact sport). Statistical sig-
nificance was set at 0.05 (p < .05).
Cronbach’s Alpha reliability analysis of intrinsic motivation,
verbal aggressiveness and leadership style.The factors of ver-
bal aggre ssivenes s (α = .93) showed a high degree of reliability
for the questionnaire of Bekiari et al. (2005). The factors of
enjoyment (α = .85), ability (α = .90), effort (α = .67) and an-
xi e ty ( α = .87) of the Intrinsic Motivation Inventory (Goudas, et
al., 2000) showed a satisfactory or high level of reliability. The
factors of democratic leadership style (α = .95) and autocratic
(α = .92) of the questionnaire of Chelladurai and Saleh (1980)
showed a high degree of reliability.
Correlation between intrinsic motivation, verbal aggressive-
ness and leadership style. Pearson correlation revealed a sig-
nificant relationship existing among all factors. In particular,
there was a significant positive relationship of coaches’ verbal
aggressiveness with anxiety (r = .73) and autocratic style (r
= .91). A negative significant relationship concerning coaches’
verbal aggression with enjoymen t (r = −.76), ability (r = −.59),
effort (r = −.42), and democratic style (r = −.92) was also no-
ticed (Table 1).
Gender differences. Statistically significant differences were
observed in coaches’ verbal aggressiveness (t1.166 = −4.82, p
< .05), enjoyment (t1.166 = 4.38, p < .05), ability (t1.166 =
3.35, p < .05), effort (t1.166 = 2.85, p < .05), anxiety (t1.166 =
−3.54, p < .05), democratic style (t1.166 = 4.98, p < .05) and
autocratic style (t1.166 = −4.62, p < .05) b etween the two gen-
ders (T a ble 2).
Differences concerning kind of sports. Statistically significant
differences were also observed in coaches’ verbal aggre ssive-
ness (t1.166 = −2.11, p < .05), democratic style (t1.166 = 2.64 ,
p < .05) and autocratic style (t1.166 = −2.15, p < .05) between
individual and team sports (Table 3). No differences were
found regarding the other variables of the instruments.
Differences concerning sports’ type. In terms of contact or
non contact sports statistical analysis revealed significant dif-
ferences in coaches’ verbal aggressiveness (t1.166 = −2.11, p
< .05), anxiety (t1.166 = −2.02, p < .05), democratic style
(t1.166 = 2.98, p < .05) and autocratic style (t1.166 = −2.89, p
< .05). No differences were noticed concerning the other vari-
ables of the instruments (Tabl e 4).
Tabl e 1.
Correlat ions among var iables .
1 2 3 4 5 6 7
1. Verbal aggressi on 1.00
2. Enjoyment −.76** 1.00
3. Ability −.59** .50 ** 1.00
4. Effort −.42** .63** .39** 1.00
5. Anxiety .73** −.78** −.51** −.60** 1.00
6. Democratic style −.92** .72** .58** .43** −.72** 1.00
7. Au to c ratic style .91** −.74** −.59** −.47** .78** −.93** 1.00
**p < .001.
Tabl e 2.
Descriptive statistics and t-test result s according to sex.
Factors Boys Girls t p
M SD M SD
Verbal aggressiveness 2.92 1.05 3.64 .86 −4 .82 .000
Enjoyment 2.73 .88 2.23 .59 4.38 .000
Ability 2.98 1.00 2.52 .76 3.35 .001
Effort 2.70 .65 2.43 .58 2.85 .005
Anxiety 2.93 .94 3.40 .76 −3.54 .001
Democra tic styl e 3.13 1.10 2.33 .95 4.98 .000
Autocratic style 2 .76 1.20 3.55 .98 −4.62 .000
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Tabl e 3.
Descriptive statistics and t-test result s a ccording t o individual or team sports.
Factors Indiv id ua l S po rt Team Sport t p
M SD M SD
Verbal aggressiveness 3.1 0 1.05 3.44 .98 −2.11 .036
Democra tic styl e 2.96 1.14 2.51 1.02 2.64 .00
Autocratic style 2 .95 1.21 3.34 1.08 −2.15 .03
Tabl e 4.
Descriptive statistics and t-test result s a ccording t o contact or non contact sport .
Factors Non-Contact Sp ort Contact Sport t p
M SD M SD
Verbal aggressiveness 2.9 5 1.32 3.62 1.32 −3.23 .00
Anxiety 2.98 .92 3.26 .86 −2.02 .04
Democra tic styl e 3.07 1.14 2.56 1.04 2.98 .00
Autocratic style 2 .81 1.25 3.34 1.06 −2.89 .00
The results of this study revealed that verbal aggressiveness
is negatively associated with enjoyment, ability, effort of the
athletes and the democratic style of the instructor. In other
words, verb al aggressiveness once again app ears to be a demo-
tivating force in the sports setting and this is in agreement with
the study of Gor ham and Christophel (1992) which conducted
in the educational field. As results showed, verbal aggressive-
ness lead s to an increased anxiety an d is strict ly related to au to-
cratic st yle of teaching. An anxious person wh o receives ver bal
aggressiveness b y his instructor does not enjoy teaching (Myers,
2002; Myers & Knox, 2000). As a result, athletes often exhibit
a lack of desire to perform or make an effort in sports. On the
other hand, democratic style of teaching leads to an increased
enjoyment and effort of the athletes to express their ability
(Schmuck & Schmuck, 1968).
According to Infante (1989), educators tended to be less
verbally aggressive toward girls. Boys are usually less obedient
toward instructors, which in turn results to an increased verbal
aggressiveness on behalf of the instructors in their attempt to
impose di scipline. Ind eed, female athletes of this st udy seemed
to perceive their instructors’ behavior as more aggressive and
less democratic compared to males. As a consequence, results
revealed that girls’ derived decreased enjoyment and tended to
perform less and express their abilities in comparison with boys.
In addition, the findings of a number studies (Amorose & Horn,
2000; Chelladurai & Saleh, 1978; Chelladurai, 1993; Eccles &
Harold, 1991; Martin, Jackson, Richardson, & Weiller, 1999)
found that female athletes exhibited higher preferences for
democratic coaching style than did male athletes. At the same
time, Beam, Serwatka, and Wilson (2004) found that significant
differences in gender, as male student-athletes showed signifi-
cantly greater preferences for autocratic and social support
behaviour than their female counterparts. Thus, it is rational to
assume th at th e female ath letes of t he pres ent study deri ved l ess
enjoyment and more anxiety under the autocratic leadership
style of th eir coaches when compared to male athletes .
Athletes participating in team sports seem to perceive in-
structors’ behavior as more verbally aggressive and more re-
lated to autocratic style of teaching as compared to individual
sports’ athletes. It seems that coaching a group of athletes in a
team sport is a more demanding task that obliges coaches to
adop t a more autocrat ic style of teachi ng in ord er to achieve hi s
goals. On the other hand, coaching athletes o f individual sports
demands a personal relation with their athletes and it is likely to
constitute a deterrent factor to exhibit a verbally aggressive
Autocratic style of teaching was found to be adopted more by
contact sport coaches. In particular, basketball and football
coaches of this study were perceived as more verbally aggressive
and au tocrat ic by their athlet es leading to an increased anxiet y,
as compared to non-contact (volleyball, long jump, pole vault,
200 m ) sports’ coaches. Contact sports increase competitiveness
and tension among athletes which in turn requires coaches to
adopt a more “aggressive” profile to counterbalance the de-
mands o f the game (Bekiari, Di gelidis , & Sakellario u, 2006). It
appears that contact type sport athletes still perceived as more
verbally aggressive their coaches than non contact type sport
athletes. It is rational to be assumed that athletes participating in
contact sports due to the nature of the sports (physical contact,
prolonged tension and effort for win) inherently emit more
frequently aggressive behaviors than non-contact sports.
The findings of this investigation suggest that if the goal of
coachin g is to increase enjo yment, ab ilit y, and effort o f athletes
to pursue their goals then coaches must consider the types of
communicative messages that students are motivated by and
respond to po siti vely. The go al o f co aches who are i nt erested in
creating an environment, in which intrinsic motivation can
occur, is to create opportunities for student control in the class-
room or at least to feel that participate in the receiving deci-
sions. Athletes who take control of their training experience
will then derive personal rewards from their own successful
completion of their tasks.
Future studies should examine the relationship of verbal ag-
gressiveness, leadership style and intrinsic motivation in other
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A. BE KIARI
sports using larger samples in order to provide more precise and
more reliable measures. Also in a future study we should ex-
amine some impo rtant coaches’ descript ive characteristics su ch
as age, sex, family statu s, social an d economical stat us in o rder
to found if and how determinant these factors influenced on
coaches’ verbal aggressiveness and leadership style. Addition-
ally, a future research with personal coaches’ interviews and
questionnaires for athletes at the same time, it would be inter-
esting to be conducted in order to compare coaches’ self-re-
ported verbal aggressiveness and athletes perceptions of their
coaches’ verbal aggressiveness, to determine if these types of
communicat ive behaviours effect athletes’ intrinsic moti vat ion.
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tions of their coaches’ behavior. Journal of Sport and Exercise Psy-
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Beam, J. W., Serwatka, T. S., & Wilson, W. J. (2004). Preferred lead-
ership of NCAA Division I and II intercollegiate student-athletes.
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