Project M.I.A.: Motivational Interviewing in Athletics
Motivational Interviewing (MI) has been forwarded as an effective communication strategy for enhancing an individual’s motivation to make behaviour changes (Miller & Rollnick, 2013). With sport coaches playing a prominent role in an athlete’s motivation (Vallerand & Losier, 1999) and continually engaging in behaviour change conversations with athletes (Amorose, 2007), MI presents a viable option that could be used by sport coaches. However, research has yet to address MI in the context of sport despite the evidence supporting its practical use in changing behaviour in various health domains, as well as its endorsement among health professionals who are in the vocation of changing individual’s behaviour (Miller & Rollnick, 2013). Therefore, the purpose of the study was to determine Canadian university sport coach’s awareness, use, and knowledge of MI, and examine potential differences based on demographic and coaching history variables. A non-experimental, cross-sectional design was used to collect data from Canadian university sport coaches (N = 152) from February to March 2017. Coaches reported awareness (27.00%), use (29.80%), and knowledge of MI (77.85%). Chi-square statistics revealed coaches with alternative certifications to those certified by the National Coaching Certification Program (NCCP) reported greater awareness of MI (χ2 = 4.77, p < .05), and logistic regression results indicated that coaches with more certifications reported greater awareness of MI than those with less certifications (χ2 = 5.59, p < .05) and use of MI in their coaching practice (χ2 = 6.26, p < .05). In general, the findings suggest that MI has resonated with sport coaches, albeit minimally, but perhaps greater than anticipated, which presents an interesting avenue to further explore MI in the context of sport as a potential mechanism to improve coach-athlete communication patterns.