Cognitive-interpersonal and motivational mechanisms may regulate relations between youth perceptions of interpersonal aspects of the social ecology and their fear-of-failure (FF) levels. Youth (N=165) registered for a summer swim league rated their fear of failure at the beginning, middle, and end of the season. Extensive model comparisons indicated that youths' end-of-season ratings of coach behaviors could be reduced to three factors (affiliation, control, blame). Perceived control and blame from coaches predicted residualized change in corresponding aspects of youths' self-talk, but only changes in self-blame positively predicted changes in FF levels during the season. Perceived affiliation from coaches predicted autonomy need satisfaction which, in turn, negatively predicted the rate of change in FF levels during the season. These findings indicate that (a) youth perceptions of coaches were directly and indirectly related to acute socialization of FF and (b) both cognitive-interpersonal and motivational mechanisms contributed to this socialization process. Further research is needed to test for developmental differences in these mechanisms to determine whether findings generalize to more heterogeneous and at-risk populations and to investigate other potential social-ecological influences on socialization.