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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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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.