‘The that encourage adaptive or compromised motivated behaviour

‘The coach athlete relationship
acts as a platform which the coach and the athlete cooperate in distinctive
ways in order to bring about performance accomplishments, achievement and
fulfilment. In other words the coach athlete relationship becomes the key
driving force from which needs are expressed and fulfilled’ (Jowett and
Cockerill, 2002). This essay will be explaining how having a positive
coach-athlete relationship has a positive effect on players. The essay will
also explain how  Chelsea FC Head Coach Antonio
Conte demonstrates his coach athlete relationship in a positive way, how he
uses motivational tools to push his players further to their peak and how these
tools have an effect on sporting performance.

The coach athlete relationship is
important because it can supply knowledge of the personal factors that
encourage adaptive or compromised motivated behaviour (Olympiou, Jowett et al ,2008).
Antonio Conte gave an interview prior to the Ballon d’or award which is for the
best player in Europe, where he stated that one of his own players Ngolo Kante
should be awarded the award. Conte claimed that ‘for a coach, Kante has to win,
for every coach’. According to (LaVoi ,2004) ‘athletes will achieve in theory a
higher volume of success when optimally close with teammates and coaches’.
Antonio Conte demonstrates the Four Qualities that fall under (LaVoi, 2004)
Conceptual Model, which are: Authenticity, Engagement, Empowerment and ability
to deal with conflict. Authenticity is shown by saying ‘for a coach Kante has
to win’ this shows the player that the coach is not being unrealistic by claiming
he is the best player in the world but shows authenticity by saying coaches
will appreciate hardworking players over more talented players like his
teammate Eden Hazard. Empowerment is used by Conte to suggest that Kante should
win the European Player of the year, this shows the player that he is valued
and is a key member in the coaches eyes.  Conte also demonstrates Empowerment by saying
Eden Hazard has the ‘characteristics to fight with these giants’ when referring
to Hazards chances in competing with the best players in the world. Conte engages
with the player Hazard in this case by saying ‘everyone has a fire inside of
them to succeed but we must find a solution to improve’, this links in with
(Kelly and Thibaut, 1978) Interdependence Theory as its a form of communication
from the coach to the player to improve and achieve positive outcomes, on
addition this theory helps to shape athletes and help them in mental events and
interaction outcomes, in this case the Ballon D’or. Also, the Interdependence
Theory claims that coaches are less likely to give an intense session to an
athlete when they have shown in the past that they are not ready, this shows
that Conte believes Hazard is ready to ignite the ‘flame’ inside of him to an
‘inferno’ that Conte refers to. This also links with, The Self Efficiacy Theory
(Bandura, 1977) as Conte is perceived to have belief in Hazards ability to
perform the task successfully, and does so by using verbal persuasion,
vicarious experience is also evident  by
telling him to follow suit of Messi, Ronaldo who are the two best players in
the world. Conte also taps into the emotional state of his players by
suggesting Hazard should look within himself to become the best.

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Motivational Climate is when there
is a positive atmosphere between the player, coach, peers and parents. Amongst
elite coaches, ‘Credible Coaches’ have a broader sense of success and they
strive to win in a way that develops respect and trust (Janssen and Dale,
2002). The definition of a group according to (Aronson, Wilson and Akert, 2000)
is  ‘Two or more people who interact
with, and exert mutual influences together’ . This will benefit the players as
they will both share the same goals and aim to achieve them together, this is
important in sport as a positive motivational climate creates good group
dynamic amongst the team. Antonio Conte demonstrated his motivational skills by
saying ‘I like to call it a sacred fire, when you have it inside of you, the
will to win every game, to score goals’. He is suggesting that Hazard has a
flame inside of him that is ready to turn into an ‘inferno’ and enable him to
become the best in the world. By also comparing Hazard to the best players in
the world such as Messi, Ronaldo and Neymar, Antonio Conte has outlined to Hazard
that he is on the cusp of breaking into that category if he ignites the flame.
This in addition creates imagery in Hazards head which will in return give him
more confidence (Vealey and Knight ,2002) . This is tied into the ‘Coach
created climate’ which is significant to an athlete’s performance, both
cognitive and emotionally, it also gives players confidence if they have a
closer bond with their manager (Pensgaard and Roberts, 2000). Conte does this
by providing an environment for Hazard to thrive on by giving him the mantel of
the main player and encouraging him to score more goals which is the coach
giving the player technical knowledge. This is also a way of Antonio Conte
creating an ego oriented goal for Hazard by saying he could become the best in
the world. This is important for some players as they need a goal within
themselves to achieve. (Duda and Balaguer, 2007) suggest that if a coach is
seemingly creating an ego involved goal, the athlete is more likely to show
signs of maladaptive cognitions, affective and behavioural responses. (Duda and
Balaguer, 1999) highlights that coach leadership actions are seen as
influential in developing stimulated, capable and fulfilled athletes.  (Janssen and Dale, 2002) Also say that a
coach must rebound quickly and effectively, Conte shows his tools to motivate
by reminding his players that the upcoming game against West Ham won’t be easy,
‘In this league, every game is very tough, but to play during a season eight to
ten derbies is not simple’. This came after several Chelsea players were quoted
in the press talking about putting pressure on those above, Conte switched the
focus back onto his own team. This is important as it eliminates social loafing
in the group as the focus is put back on them to win a derby game rather than
having the perceived thought that it will be an easy game.


conclude, psychological tools such as the coach created climate, self
confidence and motivational climate are key aspects for coaches as it allows
the coach to influence players positively (Kelley and Thibaut, 1978). In this
case, Antonio Conte has set out to ‘ignite a flame’ in his star player Eden
Hazard. This will help the coach and player see if the player is ready to get
out of their comfort zone and respond to the ego orientated goal to become the
best. Conte has shown various types of motivational tools to positive effect,
and has used them in contrasting ways. One was to highlight the importance of
an unsung hero in Kante, and the other was to further motivate his best player
Eden Hazard to his peak. As mentioned before, it is important to have positive
group dynamics as this will help the team function together rather than as
individuals. By publically praising both players in different ways Conte has
demonstrated (Bandura, 1977) self efficacy theory by giving his players verbal
persuasion that they are amongst the best, imagery experiences when telling
Hazard hes up there with the best and performance accomplishment by saying his
players deserve to be considered and one day the best in the world. This shows
that the manager has the faith and belief in his players to reach their peak
and has used motivational tools to good use when doing so. 


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