What does Tandem measure?

Tandem measures 4 key ingredients of relationship quality and 6 communication strategies.

The 3+1Cs Relationship Model

Closeness refers to the affective bond experienced in the relationship. It is reflected in such relational properties such as mutual trust, respect, appreciation, interpersonal liking. Closeness is about how you perceive the affective bond. Do you  respect, trust and appreciation one another? Do you like your athlete/coach?

Commitment refers to the intention to maintain a close bond over a period of time. It is reflected in such relational properties as being close as opposed to distant, willing to sacrifice and dedicate. Commitment is about whether you perceive that the relationship is close enough to last over time. How committed are you to your athlete/coach?

Complementarity refers to the co-operative acts of interaction. It is reflected in such relational properties as being friendly as opposed to hostile, responsive, comfortable and relaxed while employing specific roles and tasks (corresponding complementarity). It also captures the roles commonly expected to manifest in the interactions with one another (reciprocal). For example, coaches are usually expected to direct, instruct, take charge where athletes are usually expected to follow and execute.

Co-orientation: Interpersonal Perceptions. People evaluate or assess the quality of their relationships utilising (often not fully aware) at least two different perceptual lenses: Direct perceptions (e.g., “I like my coach/athlete”) and Meta-perceptions (e.g., “My coach/athlete likes me”). Both perceptual lenses help us evaluate the quality of our relationships accurately while promoting a better and clearer view of their status.

  •  Assumed Similarity reflects how similar we think our partner’s perspectives are with our own. For example, a coach not only trusts a great deal his athlete, but also he/she assumes that his/her athlete trusts him/her a great deal. 
  •  Actual Similarity reflects how actually similar each other’s perspectives are. For example, both a coach’s and an athlete’s perceive high levels of respect and trust.
  •  Empathic Understanding reflects how well we understand our partner’s perspectives. For example, an athlete perceives that his/her coach respects him/her a great deal and his/her coach indeed perceives a great deal of respect for that athlete.

Communication Strategies (COMPAS model)

Conflict Management refers to discussing, identifying, resolving and monitoring areas of potential conflict and disagreement. 

Openness refers to promoting open lines of communication, disclosing and freely discussing specific and generic issues.

Motivation refers to providing reasons and drivers for one’s sporting partner to stay in the relationship.

Preventative refers to discussing expectations (including roles and goals) and what should happen if these are not met.

Assurance refers to communicating one’s commitment, reliance, responsibility and allegiance to the relationship.

Support refers to helping one another through difficult times (e.g., performance slumps, injury, burnout, loss of a loved one).