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The Importance of Positive Relationships for Coaches’ Effectiveness and Well-Being

Louise Davis, Sophia Jowett, and Daniel Sörman

The present study investigated the role of quality coach–athlete relationships and coaching efficacy on coaches’ well-being and performance. We examined whether coaches’ direct and meta-perspectives of the coach–athlete relationship quality predicted dimensions of coaches’ efficacy, hedemonic and eudaimonic well-being, and coach-related performance. A total of 233 male and female Swedish coaches from various team and individual sports completed the Coach–Athlete Relationship Questionnaire, the Coaching Efficacy Scale, Positive and Negative Affect Scale, Subjective Vitality Scale, and a one-single item developed to measure perceived coach performance. Structural equation modelling analyses revealed that quality coach–athlete relationships as defined by closeness, commitment, and complementarity associated with all four dimensions of coach efficacy. While coach–athlete relationship quality was linked with coaches’ positive affect, vitality, and satisfaction with coaching performance, only the motivational dimension of coach efficacy was associated with indicators of coach well-being and coach-related performance. Further analyses showed that the motivational dimension of coach efficacy explained the link between coach–athlete relationship quality, well-being, and coach-related performance. Overall, the findings extended the coach efficacy model by investigating the coach–athlete relationship as a predictor and coach well-being as an outcome. Our findings emphasize the importance of relationships for coaches’ efficacy and well-being.

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Exploring “Sledging” and Interpersonal Emotion-Regulation Strategies in Professional Cricket

Paul A. Davis, Louise Davis, Samuel Wills, Ralph Appleby, and Arne Nieuwenhuys

The present study examines cricketers’ perceptions of emotional interactions between competitors. Semistructured interviews with 12 male professional cricketers explored experiences (i.e., emotions, cognitions, behaviors) relating to incidents during competition where they or an opponent attempted to evoke an emotional reaction (e.g., sledging). Cricketers described their use of sledging as aggressive actions and verbal interactions with the aim of disrupting concentration and altering the emotional states of opponents. They described experiencing a variety of emotions (e.g., anxiety, anger) in response to opponents’ attempts at interpersonal emotion regulation; linguistic analyses indicated that both positive than negative emotions were experienced. A range of strategies in response to competitors’ deliberate attempts at interpersonal emotion regulation were outlined. The present study extends previous research investigating interpersonal emotion regulation within teams by indicating that professional cricketers are aware of the impact of cognitions and emotions on performance and attempt to negatively influence these factors in competitors.

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Bridging Boundaries Between Life and Sport: Exploring Sports Coaches’ Micro Role Transitions

Paul A. Davis, Faye F. Didymus, Scott Barrass, and Louise Davis

Coach education notes the importance of effective transitions between life and sport, yet research evidence supporting coaches to make such transitions is lacking. The present study used a mixed-methods design to explore 41 highly qualified coaches’ perceptions of how responsibilities in life beyond sport spill over to coaching practice. Additionally, we examined coaches’ transitions between roles in life and sport and the implications for their health and coaching practice. Coaches completed questionnaires measuring perceived stress and emotion regulation, and a writing task about how roles outside of sport impacted their coaching practice. Linguistic analyses using Linguistic Inquiry and Word Count software revealed that coaches with lower levels of perceived stress expressed more positive emotions when writing about the influence of life commitments on their coaching practice. The findings also suggest that coaches’ perceptions of the coaching process can be both positively and negatively influenced by life commitments spilling over into sport. Further, coaches reported challenges with the process of undertaking micro role transitions and highlighted implications for their mental health, coaching effectiveness, and relationships in both sport and life. Integrating organizational and sport psychology research, we offer guidance to optimize coaches’ transitions between roles to promote health and optimal performance.

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Urine Specific Gravity as a Practical Marker for Identifying Suboptimal Fluid Intake of Runners ∼12-hr Postexercise

Eric Kyle O’Neal, Samantha Louise Johnson, Brett Alan Davis, Veronika Pribyslavska, and Mary Caitlin Stevenson-Wilcoxson

The legitimacy of urine specific gravity (USG) as a stand-alone measure to detect hydration status has recently been challenged. As an alternative to hydration status, the purpose of this study was to determine the diagnostic capability of using the traditional USG marker of >1.020 to detect insufficient recovery fluid consumption with consideration for moderate versus high sweat losses (2.00–2.99 or >3% body mass, respectively). Adequate recovery fluid intake was operationally defined as ≥100% beverage fluid intake plus food water from one or two meals and a snack. Runners (n = 59) provided 132 samples from five previous investigations in which USG was assessed 10–14 hr after 60–90 min runs in temperate-to-hot environments. Samples were collected after a meal (n = 58) and after waking (n = 74). When sweat losses exceeded 3% body mass (n = 60), the relationship between fluid replacement percentage and USG increased from r = −.55 to −.70. Correct diagnostic decision improved from 66.6 to 83.3%, and receiver operating characteristic area under the curve increased the diagnostic accuracy score from 0.76 to approaching excellent (0.86). Artifacts of significant prerun hyperhydration (eight of 15 samples has USG <1.005) may explain false positive diagnoses, while almost all (84%) cases of false positives were found when sweat losses were <3.0% of body mass. Evidence from this study suggests that euhydrated runners experiencing significant sweat losses who fail to reach adequate recovery fluid intake levels can be identified by USG irrespective of acute meal and fluid intake ∼12-hr postrun.