Nonlinear Pedagogy Underpins Intrinsic Motivation in Sports Coaching

Ian Renshaw*, 1, 2, Anthony R. Oldham3, Mark Bawden4
1 Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation, Queensland University of Technology, Australia
2 School of Exercise & Nutrition Sciences, Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, Australia
3 Coach Development Centre, Auckland University of Technology, Auckland, New Zealand
4 Metaphorics Performance Consultants & English Institute of Sport, Sheffield, England

© 2012 Renshaw et al.

open-access license: This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Public License (CC-BY 4.0), a copy of which is available at: This license permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

* Address correspondence to this author at the School of Exercise & Nutri-tion Sciences Queensland University of Technology Victoria Park Road Kelvin Grove 4059: Tel: +61 73138 5828; Fax: +61 73138 3980; E-mail:


A key challenge for sports coaches is to provide performers with learning environments that result in sustain-able motivation. In this paper, we will demonstrate that programmes based around the principles of Nonlinear Pedagogy can support the three basic psychological needs that underpin self-determined motivation. Coaches can therefore ensure that practice sessions provide for intrinsic motivation with its associated motivational and emotional benefits.

Keywords: Nonlinear pedagogy, self-determination theory, sports coaching, constraints, motivation.