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Maureen R. Weiss and Becky L. Sisley

The present study examined the problem of coaching attrition in youth sports by asking former coaches why they quit. Also, dropout and current coaches were compared on demographic characteristics, coaching orientations, self-ratings of coaching abilities, and attitudes toward program policies. Current (n = 159) and dropout (n = 97) coaches associated with a youth sports agency responded to a background questionnaire and a coaching orientations and preferred outcomes questionnaire. Dropout coaches also completed a questionnaire to assess the reasons why they quite coaching. Multiple reasons were cited: time involvement, conflicts with job, child no longer participating, loss of motivation, problems with unqualified officiating, and dissatisfaction with program philosophy. Current and dropout coaches were similar on demographic characteristics and coaching orientations but differed on preferred coaching outcomes. Recommendations for retaining youth coaches, and thus coaching continuity for the kids, included enhancing the quality of officiating, providing coaching clinics, and soliciting input from coaches and parents regarding program philosophy and policies.

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Susan A. Capel, Becky L. Sisley and Gloria S. Desertrain

This study investigated the relationship of role conflict, role ambiguity, and six demographic variables to burnout in head high school basketball coaches. Respondents (N = 235) included coaches from six western states. Overall, burnout was found to be at a low to medium level. Regression analyses and follow-up canonical correlation analyses indicated that role conflict and role ambiguity were the only two variables consistently related to burnout. Role conflict explained the most variance on all burnout scores except depersonalization, which was best explained by role ambiguity, and personal accomplishment, which was best explained by number of years as a head coach. Ways are discussed in which role conflict, role ambiguity, and burnout may be reduced in the coaching profession. Follow-up studies need to consider other factors that may relate to burnout or that may contribute to role conflict and role ambiguity.