The relationship between perceived coaching behaviors, competitive trait anxiety, and athlete burnout: A cross-sectional study

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International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health


Athletes possibly experience a great deal of stress which may cause anxiety and burnout. Athletes’ perceptions of their coaches’ behaviors influence their performance and psychological well-being. The purpose of this study is to investigate the relationship between athletes’ perception of their coaches’ coaching behaviors and burnout, and also to examine the medication effects of competitive trait anxiety on the relationship. A total of 368 collegiate athletes participated in the study, and their ages ranged from 20 to 26 years old (Mage = 21.21 years, SD = 1.07 years). A cross-sectional research design was employed to collect the data. Descriptive statistics and structural equation modeling are utilized to analyze the data. Trait anxiety in athletes had a significant correlation with athlete burnout as well as significant pathways. Controlling coaching behaviors were significantly related to athletes’ competitive trait anxiety, whereas autonomy-supportive coaching behaviors were not significantly related to trait anxiety. A significant positive pathway from controlling coaching to trait anxiety was observed. The bootstrapping results indicated a significant and indirect pathway from controlling coaching to athlete burnout via competitive trait anxiety. Given that controlling coaching behaviors affected trait anxiety and, in turn, burnout, it is concluded that coaches should provide less controlling coaching to reduce anxiety and burnout in athletes.



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