Perceptions of How Motorcycle Road Racing Team Relationships Affect Rider Performance
Date of Award
Graduate School of Professional Psychology
First Committee Member
motorsport, racing, cohesion, organizational stress, leadership, communication
Several factors have been identified within human interactions to influence individual and team performance in sports. Such factors include, for example, organizational stress (e.g., Woodman et al., 2001), quality of leadership (Hampson et al., 2014), communication (Kristiansen, Tomten, Hanstad, & Roberts, 2012), and coach-athlete relationships (e.g., Jowett & Poczwardowski, 2006). There is a clear gap in research on the nature of interpersonal relations in motorcycle road racing. The purpose of this presentation is to report findings from a study on how the perceptions of relationships within motorcycle road racing teams affect performance of the rider. Three members from three different national motorcycle road racing teams aged 30 to 61 years old took part in semi-structured interviews (Patton, 2002) investigating the perceptions of how interpersonal dynamics within the team influence rider’s racing performance. An inductive content analysis (Patton, 2002) indicated that the team member’s perception of the quality of communication within a team had the greatest impact on rider performance. Specifically, the participants indicated the quality of communication to influence team confidence, team cohesion, conflict resolution, rider confidence, rider focus, and rider composure. Themes in communication also included the influence of sponsors and factory management on rider confidence, rider focus, and rider performance through provisions of equipment and parts. Communication was perceived to influence other major factors found to be related to rider’s performance, a pattern observed in other sports (Kristiansen, et al., 2012) and non-athletic performance domains (e.g., Arif, Khadim, Marwat, & Ullah, 2009). If replicated, the findings from the present study would necessitate future research to investigate the extent of the influence of communication within motorcycle road racing teams and the ability to develop applied work in this domain supported by research.
Fritz, Joseph, "Perceptions of How Motorcycle Road Racing Team Relationships Affect Rider Performance" (2016). Doctoral Papers and Masters Projects. 196.