Attraction, Retention and Transfer of Athletes and Coaches in Community Sport Organizations


Thousands of athletes and coaches across Canada participate in organized sports (Solutions Research Group Consultants Inc., 2014; Gumulka, Barr, Lasby & Brownlee, 2005). Community sport organizations (CSOs) are critical in the quest for youth sport participation and without them, athletes and coaches would not be able to participate to the same extent (Patterson and Parent, 2017).

Soccer remains one of Canada’s most popular sports (Solutions Research Group Consultants Inc., 2014). The nation’s biggest province, Ontario, is the home to more than 600 youth soccer clubs, contributing to more than 10,000 members (Ontario Soccer, 2020). In the Elgin Middlesex region of London, Ontario alone, there are twenty-seven different clubs that youth soccer players can join (Elgin Middlesex District Soccer League, 2020). Although this provides young players with a plethora of options, it may also create unnecessary competition between clubs for players and coaches (Edwards & Washington, 2013; Hall et al., 2003).

This study aims to identify the elements of organizational capacity and leadership that may be valuable for CSOs to ensure athlete and coach attraction and retention, while avoiding athlete and coach transfer from one club to another within the same municipality. The assumption is that if CSOs attract and retain valuable human resources such as athletes and coaches, they will be more likely to meet their organizational goals (Misener & Doherty, 2009). This study may also aim to identify if any intervention at the league level is necessary in setting boundaries or rules for athlete and coach movement between clubs, such as the boundary zones set in hockey in Canada (Edwards, 2016). Finally, this study attempts to create a framework for athlete/coach attraction, retention and transfer that may be helpful for organizations in understanding how to keep key organizational members at their club and as a result, meet their organizational goals.


Community Sport Organizations (CSOs) are non-profit, voluntary organizations that provide a variety of sport and recreation opportunities at the community level (Doherty & Misener, 2008). CSOs provide a means for participation often at varying levels from competitive to recreational and from youth to adult (Doherty & Misener, 2008). According to the 2013 Canadian Youth Sports Report, 60% of youth aged 3-17 participate in organized sports, to which community sports organizations provide the bulk of the opportunity for that participation (Solutions Research Group Consultants Inc., 2014).  According to the 2005 report by Gumulka et al., there were approximately 33,600 Sports and Recreation Organizations in Canada, contributing to 21% of Canada’s non-profit and voluntary organizations.

CSOs must meet the needs of multiple stakeholders, not just athletes and coaches, but sponsors, shareholders, owners and other organizations (Doherty & Misener, 2008). Due to the voluntary, non-profit nature of CSOs, they generally have a very low organizational capacity and may need to depend on other organizations such as National Sport Organizations (NSOs) for support (Patterson and Parent, 2017). Gumulka et al. (2005) report that sport organizations have fewer financial resources and greater difficulty obtaining external funding than many other types of non-profit organizations. The volunteer-run nature of CSOs may present a challenge for these organizations to attract and retain their members and continue to progress after losing human resources (Chelladurai & Ogasawara, 2003). However, the amount of resources and time that is required to train and recruit new volunteers may be at a significant cost to an organization in comparison to being able to retain and train the same volunteers from year to year (Edwards & Washington, 2013). Therefore, coaches and athletes are vital human resources to CSOs.

Organizational Capacity

Organizational capacity refers to an organization’s ability to achieve its mission and objectives based on the extent to which it has certain attributes that have been identified as critical to goal achievement (Misener & Doherty, 2009). Organizational capacity includes many different aspects of an organization, including infrastructure and operations; leadership, vision, and strategy; human and financial resources; networks and external relationships (Doherty, Misener and Cuskelly, 2014). The specific capacity dimensions within various frameworks tend to vary. However, there are many common features or characteristics among them such as financial and/or capital resources, human resources, formalization, and external linkages (Misener & Doherty, 2009). Hall et al. (2003) breaks down organizational capacity into three categories: human capacity, financial capacity and structural capacity. Hall et al. (2003) noted that human resources, which include the competencies, knowledge, attitudes, motivation, and behaviors of individuals within the organization, are the most critical for organizational goal achievement. Human capital, such as the leadership and management aspects of individuals within the organization, have also been identified as a door to open new capacities (Hall et al., 2003). Community sport organizations obtain resources through volunteers and members, partner organizations and the government (Filo, Cuskelly & Wicker, 2015). This suggests that organizations may be able to build on their capacity through many sources, one of which is through their own members, such as athletes and coaches (Filo, Cuskelly & Wicker, 2015). For example, 65% of revenue for community sport organizations in Canada were found to come from earned income, such as membership fees (Gumulka et al., 2005). Government funding on the other hand accounted only for 12% of revenue, with donations counting for the next highest source of revenue to earned income (Gumulka et al., 2005). Given that organizations obtain resources and capacity from their volunteers and members, it may be important for organizations to consider how to better attract and retain them.

Resource-Dependence Theory

Resource dependency theory posits that organizations do not exist in isolation and rely on other organizations for resources (Pfeffer and Salancik, 2003). An organization’s ability to have power and a competitive advantage over another may therefore be as a result of their ability to control resources (Pfeffer and Salancik, 2003). In the context of this study, an organization’s ability to attract and retain their human resources such as athletes and coaches will therefore lead to greater control over key resources in the environment and a competitive advantage (Hall et al., 2003; Misener & Doherty, 2009). 

A further element of resource dependency theory posited by Pfeffer & Salancik (2003) is that organizations with more power may be less likely to depend on other organizations for resources needed to survive. Therefore the ability to obtain resources such as coaches and players may make a community sport organization less likely to rely on their environment or government funding for external support, allowing them to be more self-sufficient and continue to focus on capacity building toward success (Pfeffer & Salancik, 2003). Organizations who hold less power, come to depend more on other organizations, such as governmental organizations for support, and further lose their power (Patterson and Parent, 2017).  

Self-Determination Theory

According to the Self-Determination-Theory (SDT), individuals are motivated to fulfill tasks through three aspects: autonomy, competence and relationships (Gagne & Deci, 2005). Individuals need to feel all three of these aspects or at least some combination of them in order to experience intrinsic motivation (Ryan & Deci, 2000; Gagne & Deci, 2005).

Autonomy involves the freedom to make intrinsically motivated decisions on one’s own omission. It is associated with self-actualization, ego development, and self-esteem (Gagne & Deci, 2005). An autonomous individual may therefore decide to transfer to another organization because they think it will be better for their development as a player or coach, regardless of what others think of the decision.  In contrast, a lack of autonomy occurs when individuals do not have control over their decisions. In the context of this study an athlete may lack autonomy when the decision to move from one club to another is made by the parent of the athlete. Competence meanwhile is a perceived ability to achieve one’s goals, while relatedness regards an individual’s ability to connect with others and achieve a sense of belonging (Gagne & Deci, 2005). Under self-determination theory, individuals who leave an organization may do so as a result of a perceived lack of belonging, or a failure to have success within their role.

SDT has many implications for community sport organizations. Firstly, Gagne & Deci (2005) found that psychological need satisfaction of autonomy, competence and relatedness positively correlated to a volunteer’s intentions to continue volunteering at future events. Similarly, Bang & Ross (2009) found that volunteers were more satisfied when they felt like they were contributing positively to an event’s success (achieving competence). This has implications for organizational managers, to clearly communicate with volunteers or their members what will lead to a successful event or a successful job in their roles. Evidently, a manager’s role in providing constant support and guidance may be required to enhance volunteers’ satisfaction and future intentions within the organization (Bang & Ross, 2009).

Furthermore, from the context of this study, an individual’s autonomy, competence and relatedness within their role at an organization may play an important role in their motivation to stay or leave an organization. Crucially, the coach can have a major impact on an athlete’s perceptions of competence, relatedness and autonomy (Sarrazin, Vallerand, Guillet, Pelletier & Cury, 2002). Sarrazin et al. (2002) identified that when a coach’s behaviour and environment was more task-involving as opposed to ego-involving, female handball players had more positive perceptions of their competence, autonomy and relatedness. Athletes who had lower levels of competence, autonomy and relatedness also had lower levels of self determined motivation and greater intentions to drop out of handball (Sarrazin et al., 2002). In the context of this study, it may be important for community sport organizations to understand their role in supporting self-determination and intrinsic motivation, so that they are more likely to stay within the organization.

Perceptions of autonomy-supportive coach behaviours have been suggested to predict need satisfaction, optimal functioning and well-being of athletes (Bartholomew, Ntoumanis & Thøgersen-Ntoumani, 2011). Sport dropout has been explained by higher levels of amotivation, external regulation, and lower satisfaction of relatedness and autonomy needs (Calvo, Cervello, Jimenez, Iglesias & Murcia, 2010). Conversely, stronger feelings of relatedness and autonomy and lower levels of amotivation explained sport persistence (Calvo et al., 2010).

A Framework for Attraction, Retention and Transfer in CSOs

The next section of this paper will discuss attraction, retention and transfer of coaches and athletes from one club to another. At the end of this section, we present a framework that explains the mediating factors that may lead from one stage of the process to the next.

Attraction of Coaches

One of the greatest concerns for community sport organizations is their ability to attract volunteers, such as coaches (Hall et al., 2003). According to Gumulka et al., (2005), 65% of sports and recreation organizations report that they have difficulty attracting volunteers and 58% report difficulty retaining them. This is particularly problematic as human resources such as volunteers can be a CSO’s greatest resource (Hall et al., 2003; Misener & Doherty, 2009). The availability of qualified and experienced coaches at the elite grassroots level in many sports remains limited and youth hockey organizations may be in constant competition for coaches (Edwards & Washington, 2013).

Recruitment and attraction of coaches typically begins from the top of the organization, with the executive director and board of directors (Bouchet & Lehe, 2010). Coaches are frequently recruited through informal means, such as word of mouth or recommendations from another coach or organizational member (Borges, Rosado, de Oliveira & Freitas, 2015; Gumulka et al., 2005). Volunteers typically become involved in their organizations due to being asked by someone in the organization to volunteer, or because they have a child or spouse already involved in the organization (Gumulka et al., 2005). This indicates that organizations need to have an active role in recruitment of coaches, rather than waiting for coaches to come to them; and that CSO’s may not need to spend hours recruiting outside of the organization. Members already a part of the organization in some capacity may also be very useful as potential volunteer candidates (Bouchet & Lehe, 2010).

Volunteer coaches may be motivated to join an organization for a variety of reasons (Gumulka et al., 2005). 95% of sport and recreation volunteers surveyed cited a belief in the cause as a reason to volunteer, followed by opportunity to use skills and experiences (85%) and being personally affected by the cause, such as having a child within the organization (72%) (Gumulka et al., 2005). The findings of this study suggest that an organization may be able to attract new coaches if they can communicate why the position will be personally meaningful to them and their future career (Gumulka et al., 2005; Johnson, Giannoulakis, Felver, Judge, David & Scott, 2017). Previous literature also suggests that a community sport organization’s reputation may be critical in their quest to attracting the most talented coaches (Edwards, 2016). An organization may build their reputation on success and winning. But having a variety of programming from recreational to competitive opportunities can also be attractive for coaches and players alike (Edwards, 2016; Green, 2005) and can be a source of building organizational reputation, leading to the enhancement of resources such as sponsorships, memberships, and volunteers (Edwards, 2016).  

Although research on attracting coaches in youth sport organizations is limited, some useful comparisons can be made to the broader organizational context. Rynes and Miller (1983) found that increased amounts of information regarding specific job characteristics (e.g., salary, career paths and benefits) positively influenced applicants’ perceptions of organizational attractiveness. Gatewood, Gowan, & Lautenschlager (1993) found that recruitment image and intentions to apply to an organization were positively correlated with the total amount of information provided in an organization’s advertisement.

Person-organizational fit may be another important consideration for CSO’s when recruiting coaches. P–O fit has been defined as the compatibility between people and organizations that occurs when at least one entity provides what the other needs (Kristof, 1996). P–O fit models generally argue that applicants tend to be attracted to, select, and remain in those organizations whose work environments best match their own personal characteristics (Kristof, 1996). However, more recent research has identified that one’s person-organization fit may have no relationship with retention, even if the person felt committed and satisfied to their role within the organization (Van Vianen, Nijstad, & Voskuijl, 2008).

One complication for organizations in attracting qualified coaches is that they tend to favour non-parent coaches (Edwards & Washington, 2013). Some parents may be willing to volunteer their time, but many organizations would rather have non-parent coaches and some even forbid parent-coaches from taking part in their organization (Edwards & Washington, 2013). Parent-coaches may favour their own children with extra playing time (Edwards & Washington, 2013) and can often put more pressure on their own children during sporting activity than other children on the team (Knight, Neely & Holt, 2011). Having an unskilled, unqualified coach has also been found to lead to greater likelihood of withdrawal from sport than having a qualified coach (Barnett, Smith & Smoll, 1992). However, organizations that forbid parent-coaches may find the pool of potential applicants significantly reduced.

In short, an organization’s reputation, capacity for variety of programming and their stance on parent-coaches may all be mediating factors in attracting coaches. Coaches may be attracted to their roles or specific clubs for a variety of reasons, but the amount of information sharing seems to be closely tied to a potential applicant’s desire to apply (Rynes and Miller, 1983).

Attraction of Athletes

In the context of youth sport, attraction to a specific organization may not be something that an athlete has much regard for initially (Green, 2005). Instead, organizations must meet the demands and expectations of parents of young athletes in order to attract and recruit them to join (Green, 2005). Strategic planning to recruit new members must therefore be targeted to parents, with athletes as a secondary focus. Beyond the family, a young athlete may also be motivated to join a sporting club for a desire to participate in sport, or a desire to improve their skills in that sport (Light & Lemonie, 2010).

A variety of organizational strategies and capacity features may attract parents and athletes to a specific CSO over another. Athletes or their parents may select a specific organization due to its reputation (Edwards & Washington, 2013), location (Edwards, 2016), variety of programming (Green, 2015), access to facilities (Edwards, 2016; Sotiriadou, Shilbury & Quick, 2008), or the coach (Borges et al., 2015). Therefore, stakeholders such as organizational leaders and coaches may be required to share the task of recruiting and attracting athletes and their parents (Borges et al., 2015). That said, capacity elements like facilities and variety of programming can also attract new members without an organization needing to have an active role. Unlike the attraction of coaches to an organization, the organization itself may need to do less active recruitment in order to secure new athletes. If the management team can continue to build on an organization’s reputation and capacity, new members might come more naturally toward them. For example, Green (2005) posits that sport organizations can ensure greater attraction to sport through offering multiple different programs, such as varying levels between recreational and competitive or programs for a range of different ages, from young children to adults. It must be noted however that an organization’s capacity may be important in having the financial and human resources required to facilitate a greater variety in programming.  

A potential barrier to attracting athletes may exist for hockey organizations in Canada, due to residential boundaries that restrict players to organizations within the zone in which they live (Edwards, 2016). This system attempts to create a competitive balance between clubs. However, these boundaries may make recruitment of players a challenging task. Organizations therefore require extra creativity to persuade youth living in the organization’s zone to join (Edwards, 2016). A goal of this study is to identify if any intervention is necessary at the league level to restrict player movement between clubs. Following the example of the residential boundaries in hockey, intervention by higher powers to restrict player movement may have unintended negative outcomes on attracting new members to participate.

In short, organizations may attract new members through various organizational capacity features such as facilities and variety of programming, the organization’s reputation, and the ability to share this information with the general public, particularly parents of youth athletes.

Retention of Coaches

Coaches are considered to be the public face (Edwards & Washington, 2013), the lifeblood of a youth sport organization (Bouchet & Lehe, 2010), and pivotal in the administration and management of athlete development programs (Green, 2005; Sotiriadou et al., 2008; Bouchet & Lehe, 2010). Due to the importance of human resources on capacity building and organizational functioning, organizations may adopt or develop strategies to enhance the retention of coaches. Strategies may take the form of coaching education and training, financial incentives and opportunities to coach at higher levels (Edwards & Washington, 2013). In many cases, organizations are willing and able to provide funds for coach training and education (Edwards & Washington, 2013). Wiersma & Sherman (2005) suggest that greater education opportunities for coaches are an optimal strategy for coach retention. They suggest mentorship programs, informal training being available on websites and books, roundtable discussions and regular clinics and courses rather than just the standard refresher course that may be required once a year at maximum. (Wiersma & Sherman, 2005). Edwards & Washington (2013) also go further to suggest that organizations must provide incentives to retain coaches. Thus, youth hockey organizations communicate with one another to ensure that they are paying their ‘volunteer’ coaches similar amounts as other clubs (Edwards & Washington, 2013). CSOs are therefore increasingly becoming professionalized as parents of young athletes are willing to pay for better coaching (Edwards & Washington, 2013). Here we see evidence that an organization’s ability to secure resources in their environment such as funds to pay their volunteer coaches can have an influence on the desire of coaches to stay with the organization, and as a result, potentially the desire of athletes to stay within the organization as well. Financial incentives may also motivate coaches to obtain training and greater qualifications that can allow them to coach at higher levels and earn greater pay (Edwards & Washington, 2013).

Johnson et al. (2017) surveyed 322 undergraduate students in sport management from five Midwestern institutions in the United States who had volunteered in the sport management program. They found that career factors such as gaining experience and greater work opportunities were the only significant predictor of both volunteer motivation and volunteer satisfaction (Johnson et al., 2017). Volunteers who felt as though their work would correlate toward their professional career were more motivated and satisfied to continue volunteering (Johnson et al., 2017). Van Vianen et al. (2008) also discovered that individuals who felt as though they were improving and developing career skills were more likely to remain committed to an organization, even if they were not satisfied within their roles. This relationship between career opportunities and retention may be important in the context of volunteer coaches.

Overall, retention of coaches can be critical to developing an organization’s reputation, which has been identified as potentially valuable in attracting more coaches and players (Edwards & Washington, 2013). Strategies for retention may take the form of coaching education and training, financial incentives and opportunities to coach at higher levels (Edwards & Washington, 2013), in addition to career factors such as helping to build the coach’s work experience (Johnson et al., 2017). Among these strategies, an organization’s ability to provide information in the form of education and training may prove particularly valuable in retention (Edwards & Washington; Wiersma & Sherman, 2005).

Retention of Athletes

The retention of athletes may also be a challenging task for youth sporting organizations (Edwards, 2016). Organizations and coaches may do a great job at fulfilling an athlete’s needs, but they may still choose to withdraw. As a result, organizations may adopt strategies to retain players, such as player development programs, facility ownership, performance-driven outcomes and information sharing (Edwards, 2016). Player development programs and facility ownership are unsurprising strategies; however, information sharing was a particularly interesting contribution from Edwards’ (2016) study. Youth hockey organizations host informational meetings, form partnerships with public schools, and attend meetings of community organizations to inform parents and players of the expectations, fees, development, structure, coaches, and opportunities available through playing hockey for their organization (Edwards, 2016). Sharing this information is important for promoting the organization and allows the organization to be proactive in shaping its reputation, therefore potentially becoming more likely to retain their members (Edwards, 2016). Sotiriadou et al., (2008) also found that promotion of events and programs such as sport marketing, exposure and opportunities to increase profile resulting from events and competitions contributed to membership and participation growth. 

Among the various strategies that organizations can deploy to ensure athlete retention, hiring and educating the right coaches may prove to be particularly useful. Coaches can be instrumental to an athlete’s wellbeing (Bartholomew, Ntoumanis & Thøgersen-Ntoumani, 2011), self-determination and intrinsic motivation (Sarrazin et al., 2002) and in the athlete retention process (Sotiriadou et al., 2008). Much research has found that an athlete’s relationship with the coach is a key reason for withdrawal from a sport (Butcher, Lindner & Johns, 2002; Molinero, Salguero, Álvarez & Márquez, 2009; Pelletier, Fortier, Vallerand, & Briere, 2001). In addition to the coach, Armentrout & Kamphoff (2011) found in a study of hockey parents in Minnesota that an overemphasis on competition, time commitment, financial costs, and politics were the most frequently cited reasons for discontinuing with a youth hockey organization. It is likely that financial and political reasons may not lead an athlete to switch clubs as these elements are likely to be widespread across all youth hockey organizations. However, the implications of Armentrout & Kamphoff’s (2011) study again suggest that if organizations have more variety in level of competition and time commitment required, that their athletes (and their parents) may be more likely to stay in the organization and the sport. Parents themselves referenced greater affordability, less time commitment, more of a recreational opportunity, and better leadership and coaching as recommendations that could lead to continued involvement in the sport (Armentrout & Kamphoff, 2011).

Other key stakeholders such as parents can also have an important role to play in an athlete’s decision to remain at a sport club or their decision to leave (Light & Lemonie, 2010). Green (2005) describe how the social aspects of sport can increase or decrease commitment to sport. Opportunities for both athletes and parents to take on role identities within the sport organization can enhance a child’s socialization into the sport (Green, 2005). When parents have greater opportunities for involvement within an organization, their commitment to that organization grows. Conversely, when opportunities for involvement fall, commitment also falls (Green, 2005). If parents are more committed to staying with an organization, their athletes, who may at times have less choice in the matter, may be more committed too.

The research presented in this section suggests that there are many mediating factors related to the retention of athletes. The coach and parents of the athlete have a powerful role in the satisfaction, motivation and commitment of the athlete to an organization (Sarrazin et al., 2002; Green, 2005). Moreover, various capacity elements like facility ownership and player development programs can be useful for organizations in the retention process, while information sharing may also be a necessary strategy for retaining athletes (Edwards, 2016).

Transfer / Withdrawal of Coaches

The role of the volunteer coach is becoming increasingly complex and difficult (Wiersma & Sherman, 2005). Volunteer coaches may find difficulty in effectively communicating with children, dealing with parents, the commitment of players, administrative issues and the demands of the position (Wiersma & Sherman, 2005). In a separate study, volunteer coaches expressed difficulty of staying in favour with parents and players, having the time to devote to volunteering and the demands of the position (Edwards & Washington, 2013). This may be particularly true for non-parent coaches, who have less stakes in the success of the team or organization (Edwards & Washington, 2013). The various challenges that coaches face within their roles may lead to burnout and withdrawal (Dixon & Warner, 2010). Here we see that self-determination and intrinsic motivation can also be applicable to coaches who may decide to leave their organizations. Coaches that are not having their needs fulfilled are more likely to withdraw from their roles (Dixon & Warner, 2010).

In a study of migration of coaches from one country to another, (Borges et al., 2015) found that coaches were most motivated to migrate to enhance their professional careers, seek new challenges or develop sport abroad. Although this current study is more focused on coaches who transfer from one organization to another within the same community, the study by Borges et al., (2014) has implications that coaches may move clubs for greater opportunities to enhance their professional careers, seek new challenges or develop sport at another club. Overall career opportunities can be a source of both retention and transfer from one organization to another (Borges et al., 2015), while a coach’s needs and intrinsic motivation may also need more attention from organizations than currently given (Dixon & Warner, 2010).  

Transfer / Withdrawal of Athletes

The current study aims to identify factors that may lead to transfer of athletes and coaches from one organization in a municipality to another. However, the comparisons that can be made from an athlete’s desire to quit a sport altogether may be applicable to considering an athlete’s desire to leave a team or a sporting club and move to a different one.

An athlete’s relationship with their coach is a commonly cited reason for withdrawal from sport (Butcher et al., 2002; Molinero et al., 2009; Pelletier, et al., 2001). Female handball players who had dropped out of the sport were found to perceive their coach as being less task-involving, and more ego-involving (Sarrazin et al., 2002). The same athletes perceived themselves as being less autonomous in their decisions, competent in their abilities and less able to relate to others at the club (Sarrazin et al., 2002). Butcher et al., (2002) found in their study of high school students who had dropped out of community sport that coaches, injuries and jobs were the most frequently cited reasons for withdrawal from a sport (Butcher et al., 2002). For the purposes of this research, the coach may be a particularly important stakeholder that organizations pay closer attention to monitoring, educating and hiring, given that they can play such a key role in a player’s withdrawal of sport or team (Butcher et al., 2002). A positive autonomy-supportive atmosphere has been found to be related to intentions to continue one’s role within an organization (Bang & Ross, 2009), sport (Rottensteiner et al., 2013) and physical activity (Ntoumanis, 2005). Through these examples, we can predict that a coach’s behaviours and the atmosphere that they create can promote both retention and transfer from one organization to another.

 In addition to the coach, aspects like the team atmosphere, spirt and unity have also been identified in the literature as crucial to an athlete’s enjoyment in sport and motivation to continue (Molinero et al., 2009). Athletes may therefore be more motivated to stay in sport or with a team if the atmosphere is pressure-free, fun and rewarding. Although all of these studies deal with withdrawal from sport altogether, the findings have implications for athletes or coaches who decide to switch clubs, suggesting that athletes who are happier with their team atmosphere and perceive it to be one full of positivity may be more likely to stay with that team (Molinero et al., 2009). Evidently, the most commonly cited reasons in the literature for withdrawal from sport in youth athletes seem to be the coach and the atmosphere they create, contributing to a lack of need fulfillment and intrinsic motivation (Sarrazin et al., 2002), time commitment and financial costs (Armentrout & Kamphoff, 2011). 

Conclusion & Framework

Based on the findings and the literature, we propose that models of attraction, retention and transfer of athletes and coaches in community sport organizations are directly related to organizational capacity features, such as reputation and information sharing. Having sound information sharing and a respectable reputation can then influence how the organization goes about retaining and attracting players. If individuals are not having their needs fulfilled, are not intrinsically motivated or have better opportunities come along, they may be likely to transfer or withdraw from the organization. This study has implications for the future of CSOs, in ensuring they work toward greater need fulfillment, intrinsic motivation and opportunities for their athletes and coaches, in order to avoid the individual transferring to another organization or withdrawing from sport altogether.


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