Coaches’ Burnout, Stress, and Recovery Over a Season: A Longitudinal Study

in International Sport Coaching Journal
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The development of burnout in the vocation of sports coaching is a process that can take months or even years. Unfortunately, there is a paucity of longitudinal examination of coaches’ burnout, stress, and recovery. The present study investigated burnout, stress, and recovery of full and part-time coaches to examine possible changes during the course of the season. Twenty-five full-time and 45 part-time active German coaches of different sports and competition levels completed the German coaches’ version of the MBI and the RESTQ for Coaches at three time points. Inferential statistical analysis revealed significant changes of full-time coaches’ stress and recovery scores over the course of the season. Moreover, the work hours per week were significantly higher at the end of the season. Post hoc analysis revealed that full-time coaches whose values of perceived success decreased over the season showed increased emotional stress and decreased recovery values. Part-time coaches reported consistent stress experiences. Consequently, findings suggest that full-time coaches experienced increased emotional stress, invested more time, and had insufficient recovery during the season. Thus, the results highlighted the significant role of recovery for full-time coaches and were particularly important to enhance the understanding of coaches’ work.

Sebastian Altfeld is a research assistant at the Faculty of Sport Science at Ruhr-University Bochum (Germany). As a practical sport psychologist, he is working with top-level coaches and athletes in a variety of sports. Moreover, he possesses an extensive background as a basketball coach and player.

Cliff Mallett is an associate professor of sport psychology and coaching, and Director of the Australian Centre for Sport, Physical and Health Education Research in the School of Human Movement Studies at The University of Queensland. He is Associate Editor for the International Sports Coaching Journal. He is Co-chair (Research) for the International Council for Coaching Excellence (ICCE). He has published over 90 peer-reviewed papers and book chapters on sport and coach motivation, motivational climate, mental toughness, coach learning and development.

Michael Kellmann is a professor of sport psychology at the Faculty of Sport Science at Ruhr-University Bochum (Germany). He is also honorary professor at the Schools of Human Movement Studies and Psychology at The University of Queensland (Australia). His work has appeared in over 100 publications. He coauthored the Recovery-Stress Questionnaire for Athletes and edited the book Enhancing Recovery: Preventing Underperformance in Athletes, both published by Human Kinetics.

Address author correspondence to Sebastian Altfeld at sebastian.altfeld@rub.de.
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