Motivating and Coaching in Sports Management

Home Admissions Course Guide Motivating and Coaching in Sports Management

This Course Guide has been taken from the most recent presentation of the course. It would be useful for reference purposes but please note that there may be updates for the following presentation.

SPM B335

Motivating and Coaching in Sports Management

Welcome to SPM B335 Motivating and Coaching in Sports Management.

This course is a 20-credit, two-term, higher-level course for undergraduate students offered by the Lee Shau Kee School of Business and Administration.

This course is designed to help you to investigate how different personal and environmental factors may provide psycho-development influences on one’s pathway in sports. It further examines research specific to motivating and coaching athletes.

The study units, readings, and activities will help you master these topics and skills over a period of around 26 weeks.


Purpose of this Course Guide

The Course Guide tells you briefly what the course is about, and how you can work your way through the material. It suggests the amount of time you will likely need to spend in order to complete the course, and it gives you a general idea of when your assignments are due. For detailed information on assignments, however, please refer to the Assignment File, and for information on due dates and cut-offs for work to be submitted, please refer to the Course Timetable (available on the Online Learning Environment (OLE)).


Course aims

The aims of the course are to develop your:

  1. knowledge and understanding of environmental and personal psychological characteristics that influence development paths — this encompasses the influences of family, any coaches, career transition, leadership and theoretical influences;
  2. understanding of different research approaches and instruments used in applied psychology specific to athletic development;
  3. ability to analyse critically and evaluate theoretical ideas and practice;
  4. ability to reflect on and apply psychological evidence to coaching behaviour and leadership; and
  5. ability to interpret appropriate academic literature and communicate your own independent academic study of this.

Course learning outcomes

Upon completion of this course, you should be able to:

  1. Explain the framework of athletic development, and evaluate the research methods that can be used to effectively investigate athletic development.
  2. Analyse the psycho-developmental influences of family, coach–athlete interactions, and of coaching behaviours on motivating individuals in sport.
  3. Critically evaluate different aspects of the role expected from a successful coach.
  4. Compare different psycho-social theoretical perspectives, and apply these perspectives to explain athletic development.
  5. Identify the stages of career transition in sport, and discuss the psychological challenges athletes face in the transition journey.
  6. Explain the influences of depression, other people, and aggression on athletic development.

The following table provides a general overview of the course structure.


UnitTitleWeeksAssessment activity
(end of unit)
1Athletic development paths4 
2Family influences on athletic development4Assignment 1
3The coach–athlete relationship4Assignment 2
4Effective coaching behaviours4Assignment 3
5The athlete’s journey through sports5Assignment 4
6Topical issues in athletic development5 


The learning outcomes are related to the above units as follows:


Learning OutcomeUnit
Outcome 1Unit 1
Outcome 2Units 2 to 4
Outcome 3Units 3 and 4
Outcome 4Units 1 to 4
Outcome 5Unit 5
Outcome 6Unit 6

In addition to this Course Guide, you will receive or be granted access to the following important course components from HKMU:

  • six study units;
  • the supplementary readings related to each unit;
  • the set textbook (available on the SPM B335 OLE); and
  • the Assignment File.

Study units

There are six units in SPM B335 Motivating and Coaching in Sports Management. Each unit consists of four to five weeks’ worth of part-time work. It is essential for you to complete your assignments on time and pass the examination.

The study units outline the key concepts of each section, summarize key issues, explain the relevant theories and practices, and comment on related readings. Each unit contains activities to reinforce your assimilation of the issues under discussion. Moreover, the assignments will provide you with feedback.

The units are as follows.


Unit 1 Athletic development paths

In this opening unit you will be acquainted with the athletic development themes that underpin SPM B335. You will then go on to consider how athletic development paths are researched, and to examine the psychological characteristics of athletic development. Next, you will explore a framework of athletic development that is helpful in drawing together all the ideas studied in the rest of the course. Finally, you will be asked to consolidate your understanding of the research that underpins much of the unit’s content and brings together the unit’s main themes.


Unit 2 Family influences on athletic development

In this unit you will consider the way in which the family influences the physical activity a child participates, as well as how parents create motivational climates for their child, and the influence of these climates on the child’s sporting experience. Next, you will look at how mainstream psychology is drawn upon to investigate early relationships and the effect these have on the athlete’s future ability to perform in a social setting. Sibling research is also explored alongside the potential effects of birth order on athletic development. Finally, you will look at the role of the family in supporting talented young athletes. Throughout the unit there will be comments upon the type of research methods used to investigate athletic development.


Unit 3 The coach–athlete relationship

This unit will navigate through four main areas of the coachathlete relationship. You will first be acquainted with what the unit means by the coachathlete relationship. Then you will explore how coaches and athletes are mutually dependent on one another, and how this affects their relationship. Next, you will examine how coaches and athletes communicate with each other, and how communication can develop and maintain an effective relationship. Finally you will explore conflict between the coach and athlete, and will be asked to suggest ways to manage such conflict.


Unit 4 Effective coaching behaviours

This unit introduces different aspects of the role expected from a successful coach. You will be introduced to the roles of coaching and leadership. While there has been much research into leadership in business settings, you will examine how this might be applied to the sports coach as a leader. You will also look at models of leadership, and how they might be influenced by different situations and by different people. For example, would the coach of a sports team need different skills to those of an exercise leader or personal trainer? Then you will be asked to consider the wider context in which coaching operates, its impact on participation and motivation, and the athlete’s engagement with the coach’s agenda. Finally, you will explore the factors that a coach has to work with in order to develop cohesive relationships based upon shared understandings and shared commitment.


Unit 5 The athlete’s journey through sports

This unit features many transitions and changes in an athlete’s journey through sport. Each athlete’s journey will be different, but all will at some point experience transitions that can be categorized as (i) transition into sport; (ii) transitions within sport; and (iii) transition out of sport participation. You will therefore examine the psychological challenges of these transitions and their impact on athletic development. You will explore some of the theoretical models that have been applied to career transitions in sport. You will then consider some of the within-career transitions athletes might face, and finally you will examine retirement from sport. Career transitions are faced by athletes competing at all levels ranging from professional athletes down to club and recreational athletes. Consequently, the term ‘career’ will be used to describe the sporting life of athletes at all levels, not just those who are full- time professionals.


Unit 6 Topical issues in athletic development

In this final unit, you will select an option to explore from a choice of three specialist topics in sport psychology and athletic development: (i) depression in sport, (ii) the impact of others on performance, (iii) moral behaviour and aggression.

The course is structured so that each unit builds upon previous knowledge. Each unit contains various different ways to help you study. You are advised to:

  1. Read the study unit.
  2. Read the supplementary readings that accompany the unit.
  3. Test your comprehension and analytical skills by working through the activities that appear throughout the unit.
  4. Complete the assignments.
  5. Keep in mind the key questions raised in the units as you read articles and hear of events and commentaries through television, radio, or the World Wide Web.


One textbook is required for the course:

Jowett, S and Lavallee, D (2007) Social Psychology in Sport, Human Kinetics.

Please note that this is an e-textbook; you will be able to gain access to it via the course OLE.



You will be instructed in the study units to read articles or other supplementary materials. These will be provided as hard copies in readings booklets, or will be made available via the HKMU e-Library.


Assignment File

Assignment details for this course are available on the Online Learning Environment (OLE). The nature of these assignments is described in the ‘Assignments’ section below. You are required to complete your assignments and submit them through the Online Learning Environment (OLE) to your tutor in accordance with the times provided in the Course Timetable.


Course Timetable

The Course Timetable for this course is available on the OLE. In this Timetable, you will see the times by which your tutor should receive your assignments. Please note that you must submit all your assignments in time to reach your tutor by the dates shown.


Equipment required by students and tutors

Web access is necessary to complete this course.


Online Learning Environment

This course is supported by the Online Learning Environment (OLE). You can find course materials and the latest course information from the OLE. Through the OLE, you can also communicate with your tutors, the Course Coordinator and other students. For details about the OLE and how to access it, please refer to the Online Learning Environment User Guide.

You should pay particular attention to this Course Guide and all instructions in the study units. You should also attend all your supplementary lectures, tutorials and surgeries, where you will meet other ‘distant’ learners.


Study units

You must read the study units carefully as they guide your learning and tell you how to approach any assignment related to the unit. Otherwise, you might miss important information. You must read the study units and the readings. They are not alternatives. Moreover, you should also read articles in newspapers and journals and other books related to the topics. Don’t forget to scan the Web. The more widely you read, the better your appreciation and understanding of the course.


Non-assessed activities

You will come across non-assessed activities in each of the study units. These are designed to help you remember and apply what you have learned, and to prepare you for your assignments and examination. The activity questions provide you with immediate feedback on your understanding of the subject matter just learned. By answering these questions and referring to the comments/feedback provided, you can check your progress accordingly. However, you should attempt all questions before referring to the comments/feedback.


Checking understanding

While you are doing your study, please keep in mind the objectives of each study unit. After you have finished the unit, check whether you have achieved the set objectives. If you encounter any problems, please make notes and raise your concerns with your tutor as soon as possible.

This course is designed to help you progress easily from the required readings to the assignments and examination. You will be required to apply the information and techniques learned during the course when doing the assignments. The assignments must be submitted to your tutor for formal assessment in accordance with the deadlines stated in the Assignment File. The non-assessed activity questions are not part of your formal assessment, but these should be done before you progress to the assignments.



Four assignments have been set for this course. You must submit all assignments to your tutor for marking. It is advisable that you should also read other references, apart from the materials covered in the textbook and study units, when you are working through your assignments.


How to do your assignments

For each assignment, please read through the questions and the instructions accompanying the question in the Assignment File. Please read each question carefully and make sure you understand what is required before attempting it.

You must be careful when you are using other references in the research for your assignments. If you commit plagiarism, you will be penalized severely. Plagiarism is theft of somebody else’s work or ideas. This applies just as much to using work of other students as it does to authors of books. However, you may include parenthetical references to the works you cite, e.g. (Stott 1998, p. 38). So, you should include a section at the end of your assignment called ‘References’ where the full name, title, date and place of the publication appear. The way to cite a reference is:

Stott, V (1998) Hong Kong Company Law, 8th edition, Hong Kong: Financial Times Pitman Publishing.


How to submit assignments

You must use word processing software (such as Microsoft Word) to prepare the assignments, and submit them via the Online Learning Environment (OLE). All assignments must be uploaded to the OLE by the due date.

Failure to upload an assignment in the required format to the OLE may result in the score of the assignment being adjusted to zero.


Assignment extension policy

The assignment policy of the University as stated in the Student Handbook should be observed. Applications for extension of up to seven days should be submitted to your tutor. For extensions of over seven days, you should note the following:

  1. Assignment extensions may be granted in extenuating circumstances, which should be interpreted as circumstances that are unexpected. Work commitments and travelling are not regarded as extenuating circumstances unless they are unexpected.
  2. Supporting documents must be submitted along with the application for extension of over seven days to justify the claim. Applications without supporting documents will not be considered.
  3. Applications for extension should be submitted either before or on the due date.
  4. The decision to grant or refuse an extension is made by:
    • the Course Coordinator for extensions of up to 21 days;
    • the Dean for extensions of over 21 days.

After an assignment is submitted via the OLE, it is your responsibility to check that the assignment has been successfully submitted. Extension applications due to any problem with uploading will not be accepted. The University cannot accept any responsibility for assignments that are not received by your tutor due to any problem with submission via the OLE. As a precaution, you are advised to keep a copy of each assignment you submit.

According to the University’s policy, no extension of the due date will be allowed for the final assignment. This policy will be strictly enforced. Any late submission of the final assignment will result in the score of the assignment being adjusted to zero.


Assignment schedule

TitleAssessment activity
(end of unit)
Assignment 1 is due at the end of Unit 2 and covers the contents of the first two units.Assignment 1
Assignment 2 is due at the end of Unit 3 and covers the contents of Unit 3.Assignment 2
Assignment 3 is due at the end of Unit 4 and covers the contents of Unit 4.Assignment 3
Assignment 4 is due at the end of Unit 5 and covers the contents of Unit 5.Assignment 4


Final examination and grading

The final examination for this course will be of two hours’ duration and will count for 60% of the total course grade. You should use the time between finishing the last unit and the examination to review the entire course. You might find it useful to review the activity questions, assignments and your tutor’s comments on them before sitting for the examination. You will be advised of examination arrangements after you send in your examination registration card.

The final examination covers information from all parts of the course.


Marking scheme for assessment

This tells you the total marks allocated to the assignments and to your final examination. In order to pass this course, you must pass both the assignments component and the examination.


Assessment typeWeighting
Four assignments40%
The two-hour examination will include a brief case (with questions) and essay-style questions.

Your tutor will mark and comment on your assignments. He/she will keep an eye on your progress and assist you if you encounter problems during the course. Marked assignments will be returned to you as soon as possible.

It is a good practice to keep a copy of each assignment submitted for marking so that you can always refer to any queries with the tutor during a telephone conversation. Please contact your tutor should any of the following arise:

  1. You do not understand any part of the study units or the assigned readings.
  2. You have any difficulty with self-tests.
  3. You have a question or problem with the assignments, or with your tutor’s comments or grading on an assignment.

Apart from self-study, supplementary lectures, tutorials and surgeries will also be organized to assist you in your learning process. Details of the dates, times and locations of the teaching sessions as well as the name and phone number of your tutor will be sent to you in due course.

It is strongly recommended that you attend all these supplementary lectures, tutorials and surgeries because they will provide considerable assistance in your study of this course. Moreover, you will have the chance to meet with other distance learners who are studying at HKMU.


Lesson policy

Supplementary lectures, tutorials and surgeries will start on time. If a teacher fails to turn up 30 minutes after the scheduled starting time, students may assume that the session is cancelled and they should report the case to the Course Coordinator so that a make-up session can be arranged.

If you wish to defer your studies of this course until a later date, you should apply for deferment of studies. For the regulations governing deferment of studies, please refer to your Student Handbook. If you have applied for deferment of studies you should continue with your studies of this course and submit the required assignments until formal approval is given by the University. Should you have difficulties in submitting an assignment, you are advised to liaise with your Course Coordinator and apply for an assignment extension. Students who have been granted deferment of studies will not be allowed to submit assignments due before the date that their application for deferment of studies is received by Registry.

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