An exploration of game-strategy efficacy beliefs in UK youth sport coaches

Matthew F Fiander, Martin I Jones, John K Parker

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal Articlepeer-review


In the sport domain, game-strategy efficacy is the belief that coaches can lead teams or athletes to a successful performance in competition. Developmentally-focused youth sport coaches, however, may define success differently to those working in other contexts. Researchers suggest that if youth sport coaches define successful performances in terms of winning only, the psychosocial development of young athletes could be hindered. Therefore, scholars and practitioners need to understand how developmentally-focused youth sport coaches cultivate their game-strategy efficacy beliefs to improve coach education and personal development programs. The purpose of this study was to explore UK developmentally-focused youth sport coaches' game-strategy efficacy beliefs and to examine the sources and outcomes of perceived efficacy. A secondary focus was the generation of practically relevant and useable findings that developmentally-focused youth sport coaches could utilise. Data was obtained by interviewing 10 male youth sport coaches and analysed using an interpretive description methodology. Results are presented as a representative bricolage from the perspective of two fictional coaches who either have high or low game-strategy efficacy. These results highlighted sources of game-strategy efficacy within the UK developmentally-focused youth sport context, including acknowledgement, playing experience, relationships with athletes and peers, results, self-image, and success. Additionally, two outcomes of game-strategy efficacy included releasing control and self-evaluation. The findings offer coaches a chance to explore their own game-strategy efficacy beliefs against others in similar positions while opening a dialogue between research findings and those in the field.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)33-46
Number of pages14
JournalSport & Exercise Psychology Review
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • Game-strategy efficacy
  • coach
  • developmental
  • interpretive description
  • youth sport


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