Work–Family Balance Among Coach-Fathers: A Qualitative Examination of Enrichment, Conflict, and Role Management Strategies

in Journal of Sport Management
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Work–family balance in sport has until this point largely been characterized as an issue for women. Current societal trends, however, suggest that men also struggle with balancing work and family responsibilities. Using theoretical frameworks from both conflict and enrichment, this study examined the ways that fathers who are coaches experience and manage the work–life interface. Twenty-four men who are fathers and high school varsity head coaches were interviewed for this study. The respondents discussed the day-to-day challenges and coping strategies they utilized to manage their work–life interface. Ultimately, five themes emerged from the data, including (a) coaching as more than an occupation, (b) experiences of conflict and strain, (c) coping strategies, (d) nonutilization of organizational supports, and (e) experiences of enrichment. These findings suggest that, indeed, men struggle with balancing competing role demands. However, the findings also suggest that men are utilizing diverse and creative approaches for managing their fathering and coaching roles, resulting in meaningful experiences of enrichment stemming from both coaching and fathering.

Jeffrey A. Graham is with the Department of Kinesiology, Recreation, and Sport Studies, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN. Marlene A. Dixon is with the Department of Health and Kinesiology, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX.

Address author correspondence to Jeffrey A. Graham at jgraha38@utk.edu.
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