Hockey Alberta: Good and Poor Sport Behaviors in Youth Hockey

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Hockey Alberta


Health, Exercise, and Sport Sciences Department

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Purpose: The purpose of this research was to determine the relationship between the influence of parents, peers, and coaches and players’ self-reported good and poor sport behaviors in minor hockey. Information obtained from this study provides minor hockey associations within Alberta with valuable information that could aid in educating parents, participants, and coaches about the elements which foster good and poor sport behaviors during both games and practices.

Protocol: Data collection took place from February, 2013 to June, 2013 using an online survey protocol. The survey was comprised of scales measuring parent-, peer-, and coach-initiated motivational climate, a good and poor sport behavior scale, questions about the participants’ perceived ability, as well as several demographic items. All surveys were completed by male and female PeeWee, Bantam, or Midget players who first received parental approval and then agreed to partake in the study. A total of 285 usable surveys were collected and analyzed.

Motivational Climate: Motivational climate, or achievement environment, refers to an athlete’s perception about the beliefs and values of the social-contextual atmosphere created by coaches, parents, and peers. Motivational climate is determined by the ways groups are organized, performance is evaluated, the authority figure operates, and by the extent to which social comparison exists. Task-involving climates, which promote learning and skill mastery have been connected with adaptive motivational responses, while ego-involving climates, which promote success in relation to others has been associated with maladaptive motivational responses, including low effort and attrition.

Good and Poor Sport Behavior: Sport has often been linked to the fostering of virtues, such as fairness, loyalty and teamwork, but poor sport conduct demonstrated through argumentative players, sore losers, attempts to cheat, and overly-aggressive acts have an effect, not just on the purity of what was meant by sport, but potentially on the development of the players involved.