Identifying Stressors and Personal Coping Strategies that Elite Coaches employ within their Coaching Practices
Lewis, Wyn Rhys
Cardiff Metropolitan University
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Recent literature has declared that sport coaching is a stressful profession and stress within the vocation arises from a number of different sources. If we are to prolong coaching longevity for individuals within their sports, sources of stress need to be examined and further research needs to be conducted to evaluate the way coaches attempt to deal with stress. This particular study was conducted to identify the stressors faced by elite coaches within an international context and to identify the coping strategies they employed within their practices which influenced their behaviours. Four semi-structured interviews were conducted with four international coaches from the South Wales area. Two international netball coaches, one international rugby coach and one tennis coach were the sample used for this study. Interviews were transcribed in their entirety and were analysed both inductively and deductively to produce results. Different themes emerged from the results which showed that the majority of stressors experienced by the elite coaches were from a situational context which was contrary to previous research which started that stressors were more likely to originate from an organisational context. As a consequence, it was apparent that coping strategies employed by the international sample proved to be key in the management of stress. Causal networks identified that no outcome of the stress process was categorised as negative when a coping strategy was used. The results of this study highlighted the notion that stressors are prevalent within an international coaching context and regardless of perceived negative emotional responses and negative appraisals the use of coping strategies is paramount if symptoms such as burnout are to be prevented.
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