Sport Psychologists’ Experiences of Organizational Stressors

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David Fletcher Loughborough University

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James L. Rumbold Loughborough University

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Robert Tester University of Essex

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Matthew S. Coombes University of Essex

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This study extends stress research by exploring sport psychologists’ experiences of organizational stressors. Twelve accredited sport psychologists (6 academics and 6 practitioners) were interviewed regarding their experiences of organizational stress within their jobs. Content analysis involved categorizing the demands associated primarily and directly with their occupation under one of the following general dimensions: factors intrinsic to sport psychology, roles in the organization, sport relationships and interpersonal demands, career and performance development issues, and organizational structure and climate of the profession. A frequency analysis revealed that academics £AOS = 201) experienced more organizational stressors than practitioners £APOS = 168). These findings indicate that sport psychologists experience a wide variety of organizational stressors across different roles, some of which parallel those found previously in other professions. The practical implications for the management of stress for sport psychologists are discussed.

Fletcher and Rumbold are with the School of Sport, Exercise, and Health Sciences, Loughborough University, Loughborough, UK. Tester and Coombes with the Centre for Sports and Exercise Science, University of Essex, Colchester, UK.

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