This study aimed to test a model that hypothesized that the compassionate coach, as perceived by the athletes, has an impact on athlete-related social safeness and psychological health, through shame and self-criticism. The sample comprised 270 Portuguese adult athletes, who practiced different competitive sports. The path analysis results confirmed the adequacy of the proposed model, which explained 45% of the psychological health’s variance. Results demonstrated that athletes who perceive their coaches as more compassionate tend to present higher levels of social safeness (feelings of belonging to the team) and of psychological health, through lower levels of shame and self-criticism. These novel findings suggest the importance of the adoption of supportive, warm, safe, and compassionate attitudes from coaches in athletes’ mental health. This study also offers important insights by suggesting that feelings of acceptance and connectedness in team relationships may be at the root of athletes’ emotional processes and well-being.
Sara Oliveira, Marina Cunha, António Rosado, and Cláudia Ferreira
Carolina Paixão, Sara Oliveira, and Cláudia Ferreira
This study explored the differences in shame, perception of performance, the need to present a perfect body image, and disordered eating among 223 female athletes from esthetic (n = 114; M age = 14.30; SD age = 1.65; M yearsofpractice = 6.62) and nonesthetic (n = 109; M age = 14.75; SD age = 1.87; M yearsofpractice = 4.56) individual sports. Descriptive, t test, and correlational analyses were performed. Moreover, path analyses were conducted to examine the link between the variables. The two groups did not present significant differences in variables, except in perception of performance. The path model analyses explained 47% of disordered eating. Results suggested that individual characteristic of sports practice seems relevant in shame. This study suggests that female athletes from individual sports who experience inferiority tend to adopt perfectionist defensive strategies and engage in disordered eating behaviors. This study highlights the relevance of intervention and educational programs that promote more adaptative emotional regulation strategies in female athletes from individual sports.