“. . . Didn’t Only Change My Coaching, Changed My Life”: Coaches’ Use of Sport Psychology for Their Own Development and Performance

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This study examined the experiences of 8 high-performance coaches (male n = 6) from a range of sports who have worked with a sport psychology consultant (SPC) for their own performance enhancement as coaches. Using a hermeneutic phenomenological methodology, each participant engaged in 2 semistructured interviews. Thematic analysis of the data elicited 8 higher-order themes related to the research questions. Impetus themes included buy-in and opportunity. Benefits coaches felt they received included themes of facilitating self-awareness, performance enhancement, enhancing interactions, and friendship development. Barrier themes included lack of resources and stigma. This research gives the field of applied sport psychology insight into how SPCs and high-performance coaches navigate working together in support of the coaches’ performance and professional development.

Sheehy, Zizzi, and Dieffenbach are with the Dept. of Sport Sciences, West Virginia University, Morgantown, WV. Sharp is with the Academy of Sport, University of Ulster, Belfast, United Kingdom.

Sheehy (tlsheehy@mix.wvu.edu) is corresponding author.
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