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Peter Olusoga and Göran Kenttä

This study investigated how the experiences of two elite coaches contributed to and shaped their stories of burnout and withdrawal from high performance coaching. The coaches whose narratives we explore were both middle-aged head coaches, one in a major team sport at the highest club level, and one in an individual Olympic sport at international level. Through a thematic narrative analysis, based on in-depth interviews, the stories of the two coaches are presented in four distinct sections: antecedents, experiences of coaching with burnout symptoms, withdrawal from sport, and the process of recovery and personal growth. These narratives have implications for high performance coaching, such as the importance of role clarity, work-home inference, counseling, mentoring, and social support as means to facilitate recovery, and the need for additional research with coaches who have left sport, to gain a more comprehensive understanding of the complete burnout-recovery process.

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Jens De Rycke, Veerle De Bosscher, Hiroaki Funahashi and Popi Sotiriadou

Many Nations are increasingly investing public money in elite sport on the belief that this will trigger a range of benefits for the population. However, there is lack of insight into how the population perceives elite sport’s impact on society. This study developed and tested a measurement scale assessing the publics’ beliefs of the positive and negative societal impacts that could potentially flow from elite sport. A sample of the Belgian population (N = 1,102) was surveyed. A 32-item scale was built using principal component and confirmatory factor analysis procedures for which the goodness-of-fit indices were excellent. Multivariate analysis revealed that the Belgian population perceived elite sport to have mostly positive societal impacts. The study findings can serve researchers wanting to measure the perceived potential positive and negative societal impacts of elite sport.

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Fernando Santos, Leisha Strachan, Daniel Gould, Paulo Pereira and Cláudia Machado

Team captains play an important role in promoting positive life-skills development (PLSD) in their teammates. However, little research has been conducted to understand how team captains perceive the value of PLSD in high-performance sport. Therefore, the purpose of the present study was to understand how team captains integrate PLSD in high-performance sport. The participants in this study were 10 team captains from high-performance sports with teammates ranging from 14 to 38 years old. Data collection was conducted through 2 semistructured interviews. Results indicated that participants considered themselves PLSD-focused leaders and acknowledged the need to develop specific PLSD strategies. Nevertheless, team captains recognized the need to obtain support from their coaches to implement PLSD. Moving forward, coaches could provide a support system for athlete leaders to further enhance their ability to promote PLSD in high-performance sport.

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Sarah Kölling, Rob Duffield, Daniel Erlacher, Ranel Venter and Shona L. Halson

The body of research that reports the relevance of sleep in high-performance sports is growing steadily. While the identification of sleep cycles and diagnosis of sleep disorders are limited to lab-based assessment via polysomnography, the development of activity-based devices estimating sleep patterns provides greater insight into the sleep behavior of athletes in ecological settings. Generally, small sleep quantity and/or poor quality appears to exist in many athletic populations, although this may be related to training and competition context. Typical sleep-affecting factors are the scheduling of training sessions and competitions, as well as impaired sleep onset as a result of increased arousal prior to competition or due to the use of electronic devices before bedtime. Further challenges are travel demands, which may be accompanied by jet-lag symptoms and disruption of sleep habits. Promotion of sleep may be approached via behavioral strategies such as sleep hygiene, extending nighttime sleep, or daytime napping. Pharmacological interventions should be limited to clinically induced treatments, as evidence among healthy and athletic populations is lacking. To optimize and manage sleep in athletes, it is recommended to implement routine sleep monitoring on an individual basis.

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Kirsi Hämäläinen and Minna Blomqvist

The purpose of this article is to describe recent actions for sport organizations and coach development in Finland. Finnish Sport organizations and systems especially in high-performance sports have been in a transition phase in recent years. The high-performance sport systems have been analyzed and reorganized and new strategic goals were set. Coach development was chosen as one of the focus areas and the leadership of coach development is at the new High Performance Unit of the Olympic Committee. There are different education paths for coaches and all the organizations which provide coach education belong to a network for coach development. This network works for developing programs, learning concepts and tools and sharing of expertise. One key idea of the development work has been to conduct systematic research among Finnish coaches to gain objective information of coaches’ needs and learning experiences. As a result of this work, the Finnish Coach Competence Model was created as a tool and for creating common understanding of coaches’ competences and for developing education programs and coaches’ assessment. Creating a new learning culture and a network have been the main steps so far and the further development for those are also the main goals in future.

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Sebastian Harenberg, Harold A. Riemer, Erwin Karreman and Kim D. Dorsch

Competition is a common phenomenon and occurs frequently in sports. In high performance sports, competition takes place not only between teams (interteam competition) but also within a team (intrateam competition). In the intrateam competition, coaches might play a central role because of their power to structure competition within their teams. Yet, there is a lack of research exploring how coaches facilitate this type of competition. Consequently, the purpose of this study was to explore how university-level team sport coaches’ experience, structure and use intrateam competition. Eight full-time Canadian Interuniversity Sports head coaches participated in semistructured interviews. The participants indicated that intrateam competition involves two distinct types of competition: situational and positional competition. While situational competition occurs primarily in practices, positional competition is an ongoing, continual process in which athletes who occupy the same position compete for playing time. The coaches shared important considerations about how to carefully structure and use both types of competition constructively. The study is an original account of intrateam competition as a multifaceted, constructive process within high performance sport teams.

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Sunnhild Bertz and Laura Purdy

The high-performance sports system is a rapidly evolving and increasingly important element of the Irish sporting landscape reflected in public policy, the direction and level of spending, and organisational/institutional evolution – all signalling a formal recognition of the high-performance sector as central to sport in Ireland. While certain aspects of high-performance sport in Ireland are beginning to be reflected in research (e.g., Guerin et al. 2008), this is yet to be extended to high performance coaching. The education, development, and support of coaches are key areas of the Coaching Strategy for Ireland (2008-2012). An understanding of high-performance coach activities and needs will become increasingly vital in underpinning the effectiveness of resources directed at high-performance coaching as Ireland seeks to reposition itself within the world’s elite in sport. The purpose of this article is to better understand the development of high-performance coaches in Ireland and the key influences on this (e.g., exposure to different coaching environments, sources of knowledge, and preferred ways of learning). It aims to explore what high-performance coaches believe has been most important in developing and fostering their coaching ‘know-how,’1 and what this may imply for future educational interventions for high-performance coaches. This article brings to light insights generated through semi-structured interviews with 10 high-performance coaches currently and/or recently working in Irish sport.

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Ralph Beneke

not only success in terms of quantity but possibly also substantial political, economic, and social developments in the world (of sport). The Cold War identified Olympic medals as a powerful propaganda tool. This notion led to boosted resources, particularly in Olympic high-performance sports. Later

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Alixandra N. Krahn

, nascent female coaches). This support may take many forms (i.e., social or financial) and is positioned as allowing women to overcome barriers by creating a more level playing field for women in high-performance sports coaching ( Kerr & Banwell, 2016 ). In order to outline the defining features of

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Jason C. Bartram, Dominic Thewlis, David T. Martin and Kevin I. Norton

. When it comes to intermittent high-intensity efforts though, such as those featured in the training and competition of many high performance sports, the original CP model has had limited utility. Advancing earlier research by Morton and Billat 3 and Ferguson et al, 4 Skiba et al 5 – 8 have since