Female Athletes’ Perceptions of Teammate Conflict in Sport: Implications for Sport Psychology Consultants

in The Sport Psychologist

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Nicholas L. HoltUniversity of Alberta

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Camilla J. KnightUniversity of Alberta

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Peter ZukiwskiUniversity of Alberta

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The purpose of this study was to examine female varsity athletes’ perceptions of teammate conflict. Semistructured interviews were conducted with 19 female varsity athletes (M age = 21.17 years) from four sport teams. Analysis revealed that conflict was a prevalent feature of playing on their teams. Conflict relating to performance and relationships was identified. Strategies athletes thought may help create conditions for managing conflict were to (a) engage in team building early in the season, (b) address conflict early, (c) engage mediators in the resolution of conflict, and (d) hold structured (rather than unstructured) team meetings. It also seemed that athletes required personal conflict resolution skills. These findings are compared with previous research and offered as implications for professional practice.

Holt, Knight, and Zukiwski are with the Faculty of Physical Education and Recreation, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.

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