The purpose of this study was to assess the psychosocial work environment (PWE) of a sample of coaches in comparison with the reference values of the Spanish general workforce, as well as to explore the relationship between PWE and mental health, behavioral-stress symptoms, and burnout. A representative sample (N = 1,481) of Spanish coaches (18.1% women, mean age = 32.98 years, SD = 11.60) completed a battery of questionnaires. Results showed that, in comparison with the general workforce, coaches showed statistically significant differences in most of the PWE areas assessed. The emotional demands experienced by coaches are a health risk, while trust regarding management and recognition are positive features in their PWE. Coaches’ emotional demands were associated with low mental-health scores and higher levels of behavioral-stress symptoms and burnout, whereas social community at work and role clarity were protective factors for health. Practical implications to provide more favorable work environments for coaches are discussed.
Assessing Psychosocial Work Environments of Coaches in Spain and Their Relationships With Mental Health, Behavioral-Stress Symptoms, and Burnout
Ingrid Hinojosa-Alcalde, Ana Andrés, Faye F. Didymus, Leanne Norman, and Susanna Soler
Determining and Improving Shared Leadership in an Elite Junior Volleyball Team
Mette van Kruijsbergen, Jan Robert Pijpers, and Rebecca Ivana Hutter
Shared leadership contributes to team functioning, collective efficacy, and team resilience. This applied study aimed to increase shared leadership by providing role clarification and tailored leadership interventions and to systematically evaluate the effects of these interventions. A leadership-intervention program was delivered with a female elite junior volleyball team of 20 players (age, M = 15.14, SD = 0.73). The intervention included acquaintance, recognition, analysis, and practice with leadership behavior during training/competition and was conducted before the start of the season. Changes in leadership were evaluated with a social-network analysis. Results showed that after role clarification, social- and external-leadership scores increased significantly. Task-, motivational-, and social-leadership scores improved significantly after the leadership-development intervention. The study offers a detailed description of the intervention and a systematic evaluation of results. Role clarification and a leadership program provide quick and practical avenue to increase awareness and shared leadership skills.
The Coach–Parent Relationship and Athlete Development in Elite Youth Hockey: Lessons Learned for Conflict Management
Cassidy Preston, Veronica Allan, Lauren Wolman, and Jessica Fraser-Thomas
Extensive research highlights the important roles of coaches and parents in fostering positive youth development (PYD). However, little research has examined the complex coach–parent relationship in the bidirectional interactions of the coach-parent-athlete triad. This research is particularly pertinent in elite youth sport, wherein the performance-oriented environment may impede the pursuit of PYD. As such, this study aimed to deepen understandings of the coach–parent relationship in relation to athletes’ PYD. Specifically, the first author critically analyzed and reflected on his experiences as an elite youth ice hockey coach, thus offering a unique portrayal of reflective practice in the context of sport coaching. Two interconnected themes emerged: understanding conflict in the coach-parent-athlete relationship and fostering collaboration through enhanced coach–parent communication. Findings and reflections are discussed in relation to the dual-concern model of conflict resolution, and strategies to help practitioners foster cooperative coach–parent relationships are presented.
One Shot—No Hit? Evaluation of a Stress-Prevention Workshop for Adolescent Soccer Players in a Randomized Controlled Trial
Johanna Belz, Jens Kleinert, and Moritz Anderten
Adolescent soccer players experience many stressors and negative stress-related outcomes. Short-term stress-prevention programs are frequently implemented in youth sports, although there is limited evidence of their usefulness and effectiveness. Thus, the present study evaluated the usefulness and effectiveness of a stress-prevention workshop for adolescent soccer players. Ninety-two soccer players (age: M = 15.5 years, SD = 1.43; 31.5% female) were randomly allocated to either an intervention group or an intervention control group. To evaluate effectiveness, stress, coping, and depression were assessed at baseline (t1) and 4 weeks postworkshop (t2). To investigate usefulness, the perceived quality of results was assessed at t2. No intervention effects on stress, coping, and depression emerged, but both groups exhibited high values regarding perceived quality of results. Although one workshop might not be enough to modify stress-related parameters, it may be useful for adolescent soccer players and pave the way for long-term interventions.
Volume 34 (2020): Issue 2 (Jun 2020)
The Cognitive Component of Elite High Jumpers’ Preperformance Routines
Thomas Gretton, Lindsey Blom, Dorice Hankemeier, and Lawrence Judge
Preperformance routines are microlevel performance processes utilized by athletes to facilitate the attainment of an optimal state and enhance the chance for successful performance. Despite continued examination of these routines, only a small proportion of research has been directed toward the cognitive component of these routines. This study explored the cognitive component of elite high jumpers’ preperformance routines, and specifically the consistency of the cognitive content (i.e., psychological skills and strategies). Data were acquired over an 8-week high-jump season and subjected to inductive thematic analysis. Results revealed the consistent implementation of the cognitive content (e.g., visualization) but an inconsistent design of this content (i.e., the content of the visualization). Furthermore, results underline the critical role of high-jump coaches and an athlete’s need to be adaptable and competent in utilizing various types of preperformance routine. This study offers valuable insight into the complexities and inconsistencies of the cognitive component of high jumpers’ preperformance routines.
One Case, Four Approaches: The Application of Psychotherapeutic Approaches in Sport Psychology
Martin J. Turner, Gillian Aspin, Faye F. Didymus, Rory Mack, Peter Olusoga, Andrew G. Wood, and Richard Bennett
Practitioners in sport and exercise psychology tasked with service provision in any environment can decide which framework(s) they draw on to inform their applied work. However, the similarities and differences between psychotherapeutic approaches are underrepresented in current literature. Therefore, this paper brings together practitioners from 4 dominant psychotherapeutic approaches to address a specific hypothetical case. Four different cognitive-behavioral approaches are outlined: rational emotive behavior therapy, cognitive therapy, schema therapy, and acceptance and commitment therapy. Each practitioner outlines the particular approach and proceeds to address the case by covering assessment, intervention, and evaluation strategies that are specific to it. Similarities and differences across the approaches are discussed, and implications for practice are put forth. Finally, two other practitioners introduce motivational interviewing as an additional framework to foster the working alliance.
Supporting Young Elite Athletes With Mental Health Issues: Coaches’ Experience and Their Perceived Role
Florence Lebrun, Àine MacNamara, Dave Collins, and Sheelagh Rodgers
This study explored talent-development coaches’ experiences of athletes having faced mental health issues (MHIs). A second objective was to allow participants to share their opinion on how sport environments could improve the support offered to coaches and athletes encountering MHIs. A thematic analysis was performed on 11 verbatim-transcribed interviews conducted with UK-based talent-development coaches. While monitoring and supporting their athletes’ performance and well-being were viewed as day-to-day practice, dealing with MHIs was, however, not considered part of their role for a variety of reasons. Findings also suggest that coaches need more suitable and context-specific knowledge and tools to appropriately respond to and support their athletes. Generating a better understanding of coaches’ perceived role, knowledge, and needs to adequately support their athletes suffering from MHIs is crucial for the design of sport-specific interventions and for the athletes themselves.
Using the Team Environment AssessMent (TEAM) to Enhance Team Building in Sport
Mark W. Bruner, Mark Eys, Jeremie M. Carreau, Colin McLaren, and Rachel Van Woezik
Team building (TB) is recognized as one of the most prevalent and promising group-development interventions applied in sport. However, most coaches lack the necessary information to effectively and efficiently target and enhance specific group characteristics and processes. The aim of this study was to develop and apply the Team Environment AssessMent (TEAM) to better inform a TB intervention. Twenty-three male adolescent athletes (mean age 17.9 years) from an elite hockey team completed the TEAM and measures of cohesion before and after a TB intervention. Based on initial TEAM scores, role acceptance and leadership were identified and purposefully targeted in the TB intervention. Athletes’ perceptions of role acceptance, leadership, and task cohesion were stronger after the TB intervention. Furthermore, follow-up interviews with team members and coaches provided additional empirical support for the utility of the TEAM to assess and enhance the efficiency of a TB intervention in sport.