A1 Journal article (refereed)
‘I was excited to train, so I didn’t have problems with the coach’ : dual career athletes’ experiences of (dis)empowering motivational climates (2020)

Saarinen, M., Ryba, T. V., Ronkainen, N. J., Rintala, H., & Aunola, K. (2020). ‘I was excited to train, so I didn’t have problems with the coach’ : dual career athletes’ experiences of (dis)empowering motivational climates. Sport in Society, 23(4), 629-644. https://doi.org/10.1080/17430437.2019.1669322

JYU authors or editors

Publication details

All authors or editors: Saarinen, Milla; Ryba, Tatiana V.; Ronkainen, Noora J.; Rintala, Harri; Aunola, Kaisa

Journal or series: Sport in Society

ISSN: 1743-0437

eISSN: 1743-0445

Publication year: 2020

Volume: 23

Issue number: 4

Pages range: 629-644

Publisher: Taylor & Francis

Publication country: United Kingdom

Publication language: English

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/17430437.2019.1669322

Publication open access: Not open

Publication channel open access:

Publication is parallel published (JYX): https://jyx.jyu.fi/handle/123456789/67424

Additional information: Special Issue: Transitions in Sport Life


In addition to investing in athletic development, adolescent elite athletes are expected to complete their secondary education. As a result of this expectation and the demands of sport and education, they may struggle to sustain high levels of motivation for both domains. Grounded in theoretical tenets of empowering coaching, this study sought to explore student–athletes’ perceptions of empowering and disempowering motivational climates and their possible implications for athletes’ dual career experiences. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 17 Finnish student–athletes, and the data were thematically analysed. The analysis indicated that a majority of the athletes had experiences of disempowering coaching climates due to coaches’ exclusive emphasis on athletic performance. It is concluded that the perception that obtaining an education is less important than sport may potentially decrease athletes’ motivation to pursue an academic track and thus challenge their exploration of future vocations outside the sporting context.

Keywords: motivation (mental objects); motivational climate; coaching; psychological coaching; athletes; top athletes; study; education and training; career development

Free keywords: motivational climate; youth athletes; empowering coaching; dual careers; Finland

Contributing organizations

Ministry reporting: Yes

Reporting Year: 2020

JUFO rating: 1

Last updated on 2022-20-09 at 13:03