Title of Research Project: The coach-athlete relationship and athletes’ self-efficacy.

  1. Is this:
  • a research project that involves University students?
  • a research project that involves adult members of the general public?
  • a research project that involves people under the age of 18?

Please underline an appropriate description.

  1. Brief description of the purpose of the investigation:

This study aims to explore the dynamics of the coach-athlete relationship and the potential impact it may have on athletes’ self-efficacy. Specifically, the implications of the relationship on the athletes’ beliefs in their capacity and ability to perform.

  1. Describe and justify the research method(s) that will require completion by your research participants (e.g. interviews, questionnaires, participant observation etc.).

Interviews will essentially be used to collect data regarding the coach-athlete relationship. Interviews are research instruments comprising of a set of open-ended or closed questions that gather respondents’ perceptions regarding a given phenomenon (Descombe, 2017). In this study, a series of questions designed to explore the relationship between athletes and their coaches will be used to collect data. Essentially, a semi-structured interview – a set-up in which both predetermined and unplanned questions are used – will be applied to the data collection process and will guide the participants in providing information relevant to the study (Hughes et al., 2020). Interviews are especially suited to this dissertation given their compatibility with the study’s data needs and numerous benefits over other research methods.

First, interviews offer flexibility in the data collection process as researchers can follow-up, seek clarification, or skip questions that appear invasive or uncomfortable for the interviewee (Alshenqeeti, 2014). Non-verbal cues are especially beneficial to these approaches of data collection as they allow interviewers to assess interviewees’ reactions in real time. Interviews also increase the precision of the data collection process, particularly through the presence of a mediating individual (Alshenqeeti, 2014). In this study, the researcher will be available to answer any questions arising from the process or clarify any misunderstandings emanating from the process. This research method is also easy and uniform in its application, as researchers can provide similar questions to a broad group of participants and ensure accuracy from all individual responses. Further, interviews generate a more honest and natural response to target questions compared to such methods as questionnaires. For these reasons, this study will incorporate interviews in data collection (Guest et al., 2017).

  1. Provide a brief description of the ethical implications of your project using any of the appropriate research methods texts (e.g. Bryman, Denscombe, Silverman).

The first significant ethical implication concern is consent (Bryman, 2016). The researcher will ensure that all participants sign a consent form after they have read the Participant Information Sheet (PIS) and agreed to participate. Within the PIS they will be informed of how the data obtained will be used (Cohen et al., 2017). Another ethical issue is anonymity, where participants’ perceptions – especially regarding their coaches – could be somewhat sensitive and lead to concerns from participants about their identity being exposed (Bell et al., 2018). To protect against this threat interviews will not require the respondents to provide any personal information, such as names, emails, or addresses. Furthermore, pseudonyms will be used to identify participants, thus ensuring protection of their identity.

This study will also accommodate participants’ wishes, by offering the chance for withdrawal for any respondent who feels uncomfortable. Though questions are designed not to be controversial or insensitive, the researcher understands that some participants might find some questions provocative (Queirós et al., 2017). Therefore, the study offers two options – participants could opt to withdraw from the data collection process or skip controversial questions at any time. This ensures that the respondents are in control of their data and contribute ethically to the research (Bryman, 2016).

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