Sources of Organizational Stress in Elite Sports Performers

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David Fletcher Loughborough University, UK

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Sheldon Hanton University of Wales Institute, Cardiff, UK

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This study extends recent research investigating organizational stress in elite sport. Fourteen international performers (7 men and 7 women) from a wide range of sports were interviewed with regard to potential sources of organizational stress. Consistent with Woodman and Hardy’s (2001a) theoretical framework of organizational stress in sport, four main categories were examined: environmental issues, personal issues, leadership issues, and team issues. The main environmental issues that emerged were selection, finances, training environment, accommodation, travel, and competition environment. The main personal issues were nutrition, injury, and goals and expectations. The main leadership issues were coaches and coaching styles. The main team issues were team atmosphere, support network, roles, and communication. The findings are discussed in relation to previous research and in terms of their implications for sport organizations and personnel working with elite performers.

David Fletcher is now with the School of Sport, Physical Education and Recreation, University of Wales Institute, Cardiff (UWIC), United Kingdom. E-mail: DFletcher@uwic.ac.uk. Sheldon Hanton is also with the School of Sport, Physical Education and Recreation, University of Wales Institute, Cardiff (UWIC), United Kingdom.

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