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Nicholas L. Holt, Camilla J. Knight and Peter Zukiwski

The purpose of this study was to examine female varsity athletes’ perceptions of teammate conflict. Semistructured interviews were conducted with 19 female varsity athletes (M age = 21.17 years) from four sport teams. Analysis revealed that conflict was a prevalent feature of playing on their teams. Conflict relating to performance and relationships was identified. Strategies athletes thought may help create conditions for managing conflict were to (a) engage in team building early in the season, (b) address conflict early, (c) engage mediators in the resolution of conflict, and (d) hold structured (rather than unstructured) team meetings. It also seemed that athletes required personal conflict resolution skills. These findings are compared with previous research and offered as implications for professional practice.

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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.

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Michael Bar-Eli, Arie Shirom, Michal Nir and Ayala Malach Pines

Ninety female athletes at the international and/or national level, engaged in sports that are either “feminine” (n=49) or “non-feminine” (n=41), participated in this study. We predicted (a) a positive relation between role conflict and burnout; and (b) higher role conflict and burnout among athletes from “non-feminine” sports. Questionnaire results revealed a positive relation between role conflict and burnout, albeit only in “feminine” sports. Role conflict was not higher among athletes from “non-feminine” sports. Burnout was somewhat lower among “non-feminine”-sports athletes. “Feminine”-sports athletes were significantly younger, had more training, and felt more restricted by their athletic activity, in comparison to “non-feminine”-sports athletes. Results are interpreted in terms of current theoretical perspectives, such as the “expansionist” approach.

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Eric Flavier, Stefano Bertone, Denis Hauw and Marc Durand

This study employed methodological principles of the course-of-action theory in order to identify the typical organization of teachers’ actions when in conflict with one or more students. Eighteen physical education teachers were filmed during physical education lessons and then participated in self-confronting interviews. Data analysis consisted of comparing each course of action to identify the archetypal structures that characterize conflict management. The results showed (a) conditions conducive to conflict, (b) teacher attempts at resolution occurring under strong time pressure and thus carrying risks of further deteriorating the situation because of precipitous decisions, (c) an authoritative use of the status conferred by the role of teacher, and (d) a systematic exploitation of the conflict to drive home a message.

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Robin S. Vealey

Although sport psychology consultants typically engage in conflict resolution as part of team interventions, cases of extreme relationship conflict in teams resulting in distrust, tension, and hostility require special consideration for the consultant who is starting “below zero” when beginning a consultant relationship with a program. Such a case warrants not just culture building, but cultural reparation and the development of resolution efficacy among team members. The purpose of this case study is to describe an intervention program with a college basketball team that was experiencing multiple relationships conflicts and an extremely dysfunctional team culture. The intervention focused on (a) enabling players to take ownership of and be accountable for a “smart system” team culture, (b) initiating a process to build resolution efficacy that focused on accepting and managing task conflict (while reducing relationship conflict) and emphasized interpersonal risk-taking and vulnerability to build trust, and (c) enhancing coach-athlete relationships. Reflections on the case include the importance of vigilance about ethical boundary and confidentiality issues in “below zero” situations and the role of coaches who prefer transactional leadership styles in building team culture and resolution efficacy for conflict.

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Normand Bourgeois

The sociocultural context of sports journalists, comprising journalism on the one hand and the sports spectacle on the other, induces a conflict of interests. Journalists must endeavor to gain and maintain a minimum of professional credibility and sustain a close relationship with the source of information. This article presents two resolutive practices used by sports journalists as a means of dealing with this conflict. The first is the sports journalises ambivalent behavior toward the source of information. The second is the sports journalises use of a sociodramatic narrative feeding a loss-of-control scenario. These practices, respectively interactive and discursive, are discussed as well as their relationship to the sports journalise’s conflict of interests.

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Dick Moriarty and Marge Holman-Prpich

This paper (a) presents a comparative analysis design for use in tracing organizational history, (b) applies the comparative analysis design to the original Canadian Interuniversity Athletic Union-Central (CIAUC) (1905-1955) and the modern Canadian Intercollegiate/Interuniversity Athletic Union (CIAU) (1961 to present), and (c) relates the evolution of the past and present CIAU to Stogdill’s1 theories of cycles of conflict and Katz and Kahn’s2 theories of organizational growth, development, and decline. The comparative analysis design focuses on a number of organizational variables and the interactions among these variables such as goals, conflict, events, individuals and groups, social stress, and constituent strain and change over time. Analysis of these variables and their impact upon the development of an organization reveals the pattern of growth, decline, and restructuring within the organization. The application of the organizational history design to the original CIAUC traces the growth, development, and decline of this organization from 1905 to 1955. A similar pattern is identified in the modem CIAU from 1961 to the present. Involvement of the various regional leagues is recorded, and the transition from a mutual benefit educational sport service association to a highly centralized bureaucratic athletic business organization is documented. A CIAU conflict cube is presented, focusing on issues at the national, regional, and university member levels.

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Julie A. Waumsley, Brian Hemmings and Simon M. Payne

To date there has not been a comprehensive discussion in the literature of work-life balance for the sport psychology consultant. The number and complexity of roles often undertaken by consultants may lead to potential stress if roles conflict. Underpinned by Role Theory (Kahn, Wolfe, Quinn, Snoek, & Rosenthal, 1964) and the Spillover Hypothesis (Staines, 1980) this paper draws on the work-life balance literature to present the potential conflicts and ethical dilemmas experienced by the sport psychology consultant as a result of conducting multiple roles. With an applied focus, ways of obtaining work-life balance are suggested through a psychological model outlining personal organizational skills, ongoing supervision/mentoring and reflective practice, and safeguarding leisure time. While certain aspects of the model are built on the UK experience, many of the suggestions will be applicable to sport psychology consultants regardless of their location. Ideas for future research directions involving exploring conflicting roles, work-life balance and coping issues for the sport psychology consultant are presented.

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Kin-Kit Li and Darius K.-S. Chan

This study examined how goal conflict influences the pattern of the moderating effects of intention stability on the intention-behavior relations in the context of physical activity participation. A longitudinal study of 136 young adult students with three waves of data collection (a 2-week interval between waves) was conducted. Results showed a significant three-way interaction among intention, goal conflict, and intention stability in explaining vigorous-intensity physical activity (ß = -.25, p < .05). Consistent with our expectation, the pattern of the three-way interaction revealed that when the level of goal conflict was low, the intention-behavior relations were stronger with stable intentions and weaker with unstable intentions. However, when the level of goal conflict was high, the intention-behavior relations were weaker with stable intentions and stronger with unstable intentions. Possible underlying processes of goal conflict and intention stability on the intention-behavior relations are discussed.

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Joy D. Bringer, Celia H. Brackenridge and Lynne H. Johnston

Bringer, Brackenridge, and Johnston (2002) identified role conflict and ambiguity as an emerging theme for some swimming coaches who felt under increased scrutiny because of wider concerns about sexual exploitation in sport (Boocock, 2002). To further understand this emerging theme, 3 coaches who had engaged in sexual relations with athletes, or had allegations of abuse brought against them, took part in in-depth interviews. Grounded theory method (Strauss & Corbin, 1998) was adopted to explore how these coaches responded differently to increased public scrutiny. The findings are discussed in relation to how sport psychologists can help to shape perceptions of coaching effectiveness that are congruent with child protection measures. Reflective practice is proposed as one method by which coaches may embed child and athlete protection in their definition of effective coaching, rather than seeing it as an external force to which they must accommodate.