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PCA Resource Center

Coaches Giving Athletes A Say In Their Training And Development

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Autocratic coaching is falling by the wayside as research points to its failings and youth have a greater sense of empowerment than they did decades ago. In this video, Jenny O -- an assistant professor at California State University - East Bay and a former baseball player and coach -- explains how that benefits coach and player alike.

Athletes who feel a sense of control of their own destiny and who feel respected by their coaches are more likely to buy into the coach's messages from training techniques to cultural norms around a team. Buy-in leads to the athlete working harder and longer, which improves performance, success and the next level of buy-in that creates a virtuous cycle. Also, the athlete's sense of autonomy, or at least share of voice in his or her own training and development, contributes to higher values of self-esteem.