Extending the Kaleidoscope Career Model: Understanding Career Needs of Midcareer Elite Head Coaches

in Journal of Sport Management
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  • 1 Elon University
  • 2 University of Tennessee—Knoxville
  • 3 Texas A&M University
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Today’s workforce, with trends toward aging and greater gender diversity, looks dramatically different than past decades, creating a need to more closely examine the midcareer stages of employees. In sport, midcareer head coaches have developed a broad skill set and an ability to manage both internal and external stakeholders. Thus, they are valuable, experienced employees who have successfully navigated the coaching profession. Using the Kaleidoscope Career Model as a framework, this study explored male and female head coaches’ career experiences, needs, and management strategies in the midcareer stages. The findings indicate that coaches follow an alpha career pattern, prioritizing authenticity over balance and challenge. Yet, the participants suggested different approaches to achieving authenticity, balance, and challenge within the midcareer stages, which may be more nuanced than traditionally expected. Understanding these needs and management strategies are a necessary first step toward more nuanced theoretical understandings and customized human resource management plans that will enhance career longevity and performance.

Dabbs is with the Elon University, Elon, NC, USA. Graham is with the University of Tennessee—Knoxville, Knoxville, TX, USA. Dixon is with the Texas A&M University, College Station, TX, USA.

Dixon (madixon@tamu.edu) is corresponding author.
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