Mentors’ roles in Basketball Coaching

Paul G. Schempp *, Jeremy Elliott **, Bryan A. Mccullik *, David Laplaca * and Brian Berger ***

(*) University of Georgia, USA
(**) University of Alabama-Huntsville, USA
(***) Turner Broadcasting System, Inc., USA


G. Schempp, P., Elliott, J., A. Mccullik, B., Laplaca, D., Berger, B. (2016). Mentors’ roles in Basketball Coaching. International Journal of Sport Psychology, 47(6), 508-522. doi:10.7352/IJSP.2016.47.508


The purpose of this study was to identify the perceived effectiveness of roles played by basketball coaches’ mentors. Specifically, the study assessed the degree to which protégés perceive their mentors to carry out specific mentor functions in basketball coaching. Any variance in the magnitude of these roles due to years of experience, education, and current coaching level of the protégés was also analyzed. The participants were high school and college head and assistant basketball coaches (N=83). Using the Coaches Mentor Role Instrument (CMRI) (Schempp, McCullick, Berger, White, & Elliott, 2014), data were collected at the 2013 National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) annual convention held in conjunction with the NCAA Final Four Tournament. Potential participants were approached at the NABC convention, asked to complete informed consent and then the CMRI. Data analysis included descriptive statistics and regression analysis. Descriptive statistics found the mean for Career Development Functions was 4.12 (SD=0.67) and the mean for Psychosocial Support Functions was 4.32 (SD=0.58), indicating protégés scored their mentors as highly effective in both functions. Notably, mentors were scored highest in the roles of acceptor (M=4.57, SD=0.59), friend (M=4.56, SD=0.65) and challenger (M=4.35, D=0.76). Regression analysis revealed an inverse relationship between years of coaching experience and the protector role. Finally, coaches who maintained mentoring relationships for longer durations perceived their mentors more effective in both the Career Development and Psychosocial Support Functions. They also scored their mentors higher in the sponsor, promoter, role model, and counselor roles than those with shorter mentoring relationships.

Keywords: Coach Development, Coach Education, Coaching, Mentor Role, Mentoring Coach