Exercise Science (B.S.)

Document Type and Release Option

Thesis (open access)

Faculty Mentor

Daniel Czech


NCAA Division I college coaches interact with their players on a daily basis, sometimes more than once a day. Research has claimed that a coach-athlete relationship is a critical relationship when talking about psychological effects, and was even compared to that of a parent-child relationship (Sterling & Kerr, 2013). The importance of this relationship stems from the fact that coaches influence athletes’ lives in a plethora of different ways. A coach can influence the atmosphere in which an athlete performs; for example a motivational climate is said to be created by the coach from the perception of the athlete (Olympiou, Jowett & Duda, 2008). A coach’s role in an athlete’s life is not limited to simply the performance of the athlete or the environment in which the athlete is performing, but expands to the mental health, the psychological well being of the athlete because the actions of coaches and their relationships with athletes directly affects the athletes’ psychological needs and functioning (Felton & Jowett, 2013). The current research will examine the effects coaches have on the psychological well being of their players. From conducting this research, it was found that NCAA Division 1 women soccer coaches’ actions and words can have both a positive and negative affect on the psychological well being of their players that be carried on to the field as well as off.