The purpose of this study was to determine the existence and extent of the relationship of coaching styles and adolescent athletes in terms of Self Determination Theory (SDT). Specifically, this study adapted Baumrind’s parenting styles of authoritative, authoritarian, and permissiveness to coaching styles and examined the relationship between each coaching style and the tenets of SDT, namely competence, autonomy, and relatedness. This study also examined the effect of the number of years an athlete participated in a chosen sport, the number of years played on a specific team, and the number of years played for a particular coach. The sample consisted of 194 Brigham Young University students who had participated in either club or high school level sports for at least one year while in high school. Study participants completed the Basic Needs Sports Satisfaction Scale (BNSSS) and a sports-adapted version of the Parenting Authority Questionnaire (PAQ). Results from block entry method linear multi-regression analysis suggested Baumrind’s Parenting Typology could in fact be successfully applied to adolescent sports and that coaching style could impact athletes’ levels of perceived autonomy, and competence. Results revealed that an authoritative coaching style was a significant predictor of athlete autonomy and competence while an authoritarian coaching style was a significant negative predictor of athlete autonomy levels. Results hold practical implications for coaches, athletes, parents, and league administrators.



College and Department

Marriott School of Management; Recreation Management



Date Submitted


Document Type





autonomy, competence, relatedness, adolescent sports, coaching, authoritative, authoritarian, permissive