Sportopedia Glossary

Autonomy Supportive Strategies

Autonomy Supportive Strategies

Autoethnography is a type of creative analytical practice that connects personal lived experiences to an analysis of the cultural through carefully constructed stories. In an autoethnography, the author is present in the work, embraces vulnerability with a purpose, and creates a reciprocal relationship with audienAutonomy supportive strategies refer to a set of approaches and practices that promote individuals’ autonomy and self-determination. These strategies are based on the self-determination theory (SDT), a well-known psychological theory which states that human growth takes place to meet the three basic psychological needs of competence, autonomy, and relatedness (Ryan & Deci, 2000).
Autonomy support focuses on giving choice, allowing for participation in decision making, and recognizing an individual’s perspective or desires (Grolnick & Ryan, 1989; Mageau & Vallerand, 2003; Reeve, 2009). Autonomy supportive strategies have been found to enhance intrinsic motivation, performance, engagement, well-being, and satisfaction in various domains of life. By supporting individuals’ autonomy, these strategies contribute to their personal growth, development, and flourishing.

Specifically in the context of sports, Cronin et al. (2022) found that autonomy-supportive coaching was positively associated with basic needs support and the development of a number of life skills. Autonomy supportive coaching has also been shown to foster positive youth self-perception (Coatsworth & Conroy, 2009). Additionally, Amorose and Anderson-Butcher (2007) found that feeling of autonomy support from coaches led to increases in competence, autonomy, and relatedness.

Amorose, A. J., & Anderson-Butcher, D. (2007). Autonomy-supportive coaching and self-determined motivation in high school and college athletes: A test of self-determination theory. Psychology of Sport and Exercise, 8(5), 654–670.

Coatsworth, J. D., & Conroy, D. E. (2009). The effects of autonomy-supportive coaching, need satisfaction, and self-perceptions on initiative and identity in youth swimmers. Developmental psychology, 45(2), 320–328.

Cronin, L., Ellison, P., Allen, J., Huntley, E., Johnson, L., Kosteli, M. C., Hollis, A., & Marchant, D. (2022). A self-determination theory based investigation of life skills development in youth sport, Journal of Sports Sciences, DOI: 10.1080/02640414.2022.2028507

Grolnick, W. S., & Ryan, R. M. (1989). Parent styles associated with children’s self-regulation and competence in school. Journal of Educational Psychology, 81(2), 143–154.

Mageau, G. A., & Vallerand, R. J. (2003). The coach–athlete relationship: a motivational model. Journal of Sports Sciences, 21(11), 883–904.

Ntoumanis, N. (2012). A self-determination theory perspective on motivation in sport and physical education: Current trends and possible future research directions. In G. C. Roberts & D. C. Treasure (Eds.) , Advances in motivation in sport and exercise , Vol. 3 (pp. 91-128). Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics.

Reeve, J. (2009). Why Teachers Adopt a Controlling Motivating Style toward Students and How They Can Become More Autonomy Supportive. Educational Psychologist, 44, 159-175. in order to compel a response. The author also is committed to a rigorous and critical cultural analysis and making meaningful contributions to knowledge and social life. Autoethnographic research is open to a vast range of representational styles.