Committed relationships and enhanced threat levels: Perceptions of coach behavior, the coach–athlete relationship, stress appraisals, and coping among athletes

Adam R. Nicholls, Andy Levy, Leigh Jones, Rudi Meir, Jon N. Radcliffe, John L. Perry

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10 Citations (Scopus)


The purpose of this study was to assess an a priori model that included perceptions of coach behavior, coach–athlete relationship, stress appraisals, and coping. A total of 274 athletes from the United Kingdom, Austalia, and Hong Kong completed relevant measures that assessed each construct. Our results revealed that perceptions of coach behavior were associated with aspects of the coach–athlete relationship and stress appraisals. In particular, closeness was posi- tively associated with challenge appraisals and negatively with threat appraisals. However, commitment was positively associated with threat, indicating that there might be some negative implications of having a highly committed coach– athlete relationship. Further, commitment was also positively associated with disengagement-oriented coping, which has previously been linked to poor performance and lower goal-attainment. Applied practitioners could monitor athlete’s perceptions of the coach–athlete relationship, particularly commitment levels, and provide training in appraising stress and coping to those who also score highly on threat and disengagement-oriented coping, but low on task-oriented coping.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)16-26
JournalInternational Journal of Sports Science & Coaching
Issue number1
Early online date11 Feb 2016
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 11 Feb 2016



  • Commitment
  • disengagement-oriented coping
  • task-oriented coping

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