Verbally Aggressive Coaching Decreases Motivation, Study Shows

Verbally Aggressive Coaching Decreases Motivation, Study Shows

April 23, 2013

A study conducted at Clemson University shows that Division I college athletes exposed to a verbally aggressive coach were less motivated to perform and viewed their coaches as significantly less competent than did athletes who had coaches with a more affirming style. "This study shows that extra amounts of verbal aggression in the coach-athlete relationship is a negative thing - it's not productive, and many athletes find it to be unacceptable," says Joseph P. Mazer, an assistant professor of communication studies at Clemson University and the lead author of a report on the study. The study, which will be published this summer, was based on feedback from 130 Division I college athletes. Mazer hopes that the findings can help raise awareness of the effects of verbally aggressive conduct and lead colleges to look more critically at how athletes are treated.

On April 19, Rutgers announced that it had suspended its head men's lacrosse coach, Brian Brecht, due to allegations of verbal abuse. The suspension comes just weeks after the university fired its head men's basketball coach over his abusive behavior toward players. Rutgers president Robert L. Barchi said he then asked athletics department officials to review practice tapes of the university's sports teams and report back to him about any abuse. "While I cannot comment on an ongoing investigation, let me reiterate that there is no place at Rutgers for words or actions that are inconsistent with the values of the university," Barchi said in a written statement. "Our student athletes, as all members of the Rutgers community, should know that our university is committed to promoting an atmosphere of respect and dignity."

New Research Shows Effects of Verbally Aggressive Conduct in Coaching
Brad Wolverton
The Chronicle of Higher Education
April 12, 2013

Rutgers Suspends Men™s Lacrosse Coach Amid Allegations of Verbal Abuse
Nick DeSantis
The Chronicle of Higher Education
April 19, 2013