Coaching Strategies for Working with Athletes Who Have High Perceptions of Entitlement
Etheredge, Mikaila Sue
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The mainstream media has been increasingly describing athletes as entitled over the past several years and deems this concept of entitled athletes as a plague – something to be remedied. However, in the academic sport community, entitlement is a neglected topic. Using entitlement as it is looked at in education, psychology, and sociology as a base, this research aims to understand entitlement in sport as well as examine strategies coaches use in order to create and maintain success when working with athletes who have high perceptions of entitlement. A qualitative approach consistent with phenomenological principles was used to conduct the research. Eight participants from the United States and Canada who currently hold or have held a head coaching position at a junior college, college, or university level were interviewed for approximately sixty minutes and asked to discuss their experiences coaching athletes who have high perceptions of entitlement as well as the strategies they use to coach these athletes. Data were analyzed using an interpretive qualitative analysis approach and findings included categories centered around characteristics of athletes with high perceptions of entitlement as well as the impact these players have on the team. Additionally, categories (or strategies) were identified which showcase how coaches suggest managing these athletes.