Little in-depth knowledge is known about the person behind successful coaching. Therefore, the current study was designed to comprehensively examine the personality of a successful Olympic coach. Using McAdams’ whole-person framework, we sought to elicit a coherent description of this coach’s personality by integrating data drawn from three layers of personality: (i) dispositional traits, (ii) personal strivings, and (iii) narrative identity. The findings suggest that, compared with the norm, the participant coach is emotionally stable, agreeable, conscientious, and open to new experiences. His achievement and power strivings shape his motivational agenda as a coach. His narrative identity identifies many redemptive sequences that speak of a coach who is seeking to redeem his failures as an athlete, to feel special, and who invests himself wholeheartedly into developing others to help fulfill their potential. Overall, the study, incorporating McAdams’ personality framework, provided a deep understanding of the person as a coach. We were able to garner insights about how this individual typically behaves, what guides and structures his coaching priorities, and how he has made sense of his life experiences that are fundamental to his investment in coaching and winning. Tentative implications for coaches and coach developers are presented.
Clifford J. Mallett and Tristan J. Coulter
Trevor Prophet, Jefferson Singer, Ira Martin, and Tristan J. Coulter
The quality of the coach-athlete relationship is important to athlete development and overall performance in sport. To better enable coaches to foster this relationship, this study was designed to use an integrative personality framework (McAdams, 2013) to gain a deeper, more contextualized understanding of the athlete. Using a case study approach, two Division III collegiate soccer players completed a three-part survey that profiled these individuals as a social actor (layer one), motivated agent (layer two), and autobiographical author (layer three). Results are presented for each athlete, yielding rich, yet different, personality profiles. These profiles identify particular traits, motives, and personal stories that uniquely shape the personalities of these individuals. We discuss the efficacy of using McAdams’ framework as a guiding structure for helping elite coaches better understand their athletes and, subsequently, further develop the coach-athlete relationship. We also discuss the use of McAdams’ framework in the sport context and how it might provide useful insights for advancing the psychological profiling of athletes.
Suzanna Russell, Marni J. Simpson, Angus G. Evans, Tristan J. Coulter, and Vincent G. Kelly
Purpose: To investigate and explore the relationships between physiological and perceptual recovery and stress responses to elite netball tournament workloads. Methods: Nine elite female netballers were observed across a 3-day (T1–3), 4-match tournament. Participants provided salivary samples for cortisol and alpha-amylase analysis, completed the Short Recovery Stress Scale (SRSS), and reported session ratings of perceived exertion. Inertial measurement units and heart-rate monitors determined player load, changes of direction (COD), summated heart-rate zones, and jumps. Results: Analysis revealed 6 significant SRSS time effects: (1) decreased recovery markers of physical performance (P = .042), emotional balance (P = .034), and overall recovery (P = .001) and (2) increased perceptual stress markers of muscular stress (P = .001), negative emotional state (P = .026), and overall stress (P = .010). Salivary cortisol decreased over the tournament (T1–3) before progressively increasing posttournament with greater salivary samples for cortisol on T+2 compared with T3 (P = .014, ES = −1.29; −2.24 to −0.22]) and T+1 (P = .031, ES = −1.54; −2.51 to −0.42). SRSS overall recovery moderately negatively correlated with COD (r = −.41, P = .028) and session ratings of perceived exertion (r = −.40, P = .034). Cumulative workload did not relate to posttournament perceptual or salivary responses. Percentage change in salivary variables related (P < .05) to total player load, total COD, and overall recovery across specific cumulative time periods. Conclusions: During and after an elite netball tournament, athletes indicated increased perceptual stress and lack of recovery. The SRSS is a valuable tool for recovery–stress monitoring in elite tournament netball. It is recommended that practitioners monitor COD due to its negative influence on perceived overall recovery.