The X's and O's of high school football: a look at how high school football coaches reinforce and motivate their players

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Fox, Adrian Joseph
Parcell, Lisa

This research examines the methods high school football head coaches use to sculpt player performance and motivate their players to perform exercises designed to increase player mastery or measure player performance. Depth, face-to-face interviews of fifteen high school head coaches in and around the south central Kansas area reveal their use of and reasoning behind their use of positive and negative reinforcement and intrinsic and extrinsic motivation. This research also adds to the academic debate on how an evaluator's use of extrinsic motivation affects a subject's intrinsic motivation. There are six major findings from this research. First, reasons are detailed as to why coaches' individual use of reinforcement and motivation differs from one another. Second, coaches use positive reinforcement to intrinsically motivate their players to master a task. Third, coaches carry out their negative reinforcement extrinsically. Fourth, coaches extrinsically motivate their players during performance drills. Fifth, coaches feel extrinsic motivation does not always have an impact on player's intrinsic motivation. Sixth, coaches matched different types of practice drills with how they used reinforcement.

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Thesis (M.A.)--Wichita State University, Fairmount College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, the Elliott School of Communication