Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



First Advisor

Dr. James Thomas


Cooper (1980) identified two models of organizing and supervising youth sport participants. The first is the Championship model, characterized by an emphasis on competition and winning; the Developmental model, with the emphasis being on the development o f basic skills, rules, and strategies of the game. Most importantly the Developmental model stresses that all players should be allowed the opportunity to enjoy participating in the sport. The present research was intended to develop a means to reliably categorize a coach as adhering to a Championship or Developmental orientation and subsequently determine what effect the orientation would have on participants’ satisfaction with participating on the team, intentions to continue participating, and win percentage for the team. Twenty-two specific behaviors were identified as being representative of either the Championship or Developmental model by having subject matter experts in the area of youth sports generate ratings on each dimension. Subjects consisted of 326 seventh- and eighth-grade boys participating in organized basketball. Data from 60 teams were utilized for group level analysis. Athletes’ perceptions were obtained by having them rate the frequency with which their coaches displayed Championship or Developmental behaviors. Players’ perceptions of satisfaction, intentions to continue participating, and ability level were also collected via survey. Hierarchical regression analyses were used at both the team and individual levels to determine what effect a coach’s orientation would have on satisfaction with participating on the team and intentions to continue participating. Analyses at the individual level revealed that the Developmental orientation was the only variable to account for a significant amount of variance in the satisfaction variable. Satisfaction with the team and perceived ability level produced significant Beta values in predicting intentions to continue participating. Team level analyses indicated that win percentage and a Developmental orientation were the only significant predictors of satisfaction with the team. Ability level was found to be the only significant predictor of intentions to continue participating at the team level. Analysis of variance indicated that no significant difference existed between the win percentage for those coaches identified as Developmentally or Championship oriented. Taken as a whole these results indicated that youth sport participants would ultimately benefit from having coaches who exemplify a Developmental orientation.


A Thesis Presented to the Department of Psychology and the Faculty of the Graduate College University of Nebraska at Omaha. Copyright 1992, Mary Elizabeth Davis.