Having conducted the literature review and identified the various themes from previous and subsequently conducted qualitative and quantitative research, this section presents the main lessons learned. Generally, the level of coach-athlete relationship in Ireland as observed from the results is stable and can be categorized as follows.
According to Jowett, & Nezlek, (2014) supportive relationship is one which brings mutual benefit to both parties helping them to achieve their set objectives. In this context, the objective of the coach is to help athletes attain their full potential while helping the team in general register high performances. On the other hand, the objective of the athletes is to attain their full potential. Also, from the study conducted by Nicholls et al. (2016) existence of positive paths between supportive coaching behavior in addition to closeness, commitment, and complementarity would be observed. From the questionnaires, there are high levels of commitment in the coaches. A larger percentage of coaches show high levels of commitment to their work. From the analysis section. It was identified that 75 percent of coaches are committed to the athletes and none is not committed to the athletes.
According to Bennie, & O’Connor, (2012) there exists a direct relationship between commitment and passion. That is, the higher the levels of passion in a task or sport the higher the levels of commitment. On the other hand, Jackson, B., Gucciardi, & Dimmock, (2014) argues that high levels of commitment more so to a leader makes it possible for him/ her to go an extra mile to see them achieve. This is evidenced by the high levels of 70 percent of the coaches who are ready to do their best. The high levels of commitment make it easy for the coaches to be willing to go an extra mile so as to see their players and team succeed. Additionally, committed coaches are willing to appreciate the efforts put by their individual players and the entire team at large.
This is evidenced by the high levels of coaches who appreciate the sacrifices made by athletes. The number stands at 70 percent. Thus, the tendency by coaches to appreciate the sacrifices made by their coaches is caused by their high levels of commitment and passion to the sport. Beside the higher levels of commitment as portrayed by the coaches, a good number of them have high trust to their employees. It was identified that 60 percent of them trust their athletes while 70 percent of them do value their athletes. This is line with the statement by the investigation by Rhind, Jowett, & Yang, (2012) who noted that passionate coaches are always willing to see their trainees succeed by creating a favourable climate that will propel their success. Additionally, the investigation identified that creating a positive relationship where players feel valued, appreciated and trusted is key for success. Thus, from the results it can be concluded that the coaches aim at creating a conducive environment for their players to succeed by trusting them, appreciating the efforts they make and valuing them.
This is only possible because of the high levels of commitment by the caches who are passionate with their work as initially identified. However, despite the high levels of commitment and subsequent trust by the athletes it has been identified that coaches are aware of the need to have positive relationships now and in future. For instance, 60 percent of the coaches portrayed that they are committed to keeping close relationships with their athletes. This aspect was evident from the interviews with the coaches where most of them agreed that having a positive relationship is important for the team in that it helps to build trust.
According to Hampson, & Jowett, (2014). Trust plays an important role in facilitating open communication which makes it easy for trainers to comprehend and communicate the strengths as well as the weaknesses of the players. Apart from the trust, the interviews portrayed that caches are willing to build good relationships because of the support they will get from the players. For instance, one responded states that “It is important that you have the support and the backing of your team so it is very important to maintain a good relationship with them.” Thus, by showing high levels of trust, value and appreciation to the athletes the coaches are aware that it will help them comprehend the weaknesses as well as the strengths of the team an aspect which is important for them to help improve the performance of each player and the team at large. Besides the coaches benefiting from this relationship by learning the weaknesses and strengths as well as training the cooperation of players the players also benefit by having a favourable climate to fully achieve realise their individual talents hence improving the performance of the team.
Apart from the positive supportive relationship between the coaches and the athletes, there is a small percentage of coaches who have a negative relationship. For instance, it was identified that 20 percent of the coaches do not value their athletes while 10 percent do not appreciate the sacrifices they put while 5 percent of them feel they don’t like the players. Yang, & Jowett, (2012). argues that a negative coaching relationship is characterized by factors such as lack of commitment, lack of appreciation, poor communication and lack of good terms between the coach and the player. From this description it can be argued that having a coach who does not appreciate the efforts of his/ her team, who does not like his/ her team or who does not value them creates an environment that promotes negative relationships between coaches and athletes.