LaVoi’s 3C’s of Effective Coaching

If there is one theoretical framework that can easily be applied to helping coaches be more effective, it is the motivational framework of the Self-Determination Theory (SDT). SDT posits that human beings have 3 essential needs: the need for relatedness, the need to feel competence, and the need for autonomy.

I like to call these needs “The 3C’s“–care, competence, & choice–as talking “theory” is usually not met with interest and enthusiasm! When the three needs are not being met, well-being, optimal health, functioning, performance, and development are less likely to occur. Coaches play a unique role in meeting the needs of their athletes. If you’re interested in increasing your effectiveness as coach, parent, manager or any task that involves social interactions with other human beings, I’d encourage you to learn more about SDT.

2 Replies to “LaVoi’s 3C’s of Effective Coaching”

  1. Has the 3C’s framework ever been to applied to how coaches experience being coaches? Of course, the athlete’s perspective is, and should be, priority of coaches. However, I wonder if the needs of coaches are being met (both while learning to coach and being a coach).


    1. Great question. To my knowledge, no one has done a study on this nature that is published. BUT…since these needs are essential and inherent to all human beings, obviously coaches have the same needs. The SDT theorists would suggest that the degree to which coaches’ needs are met (or not) in the context of sport will determine the degree to which intrinsic motivation is fostered and flourishing will occur. GREAT question! -nml


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