High Performance Coaches’ Mental Health and Wellbeing: Applying the Areas of Work Life Model

in International Sport Coaching Journal
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In the last five years, mental health and wellbeing has attracted greater public, government, and research interest. In sport, athlete mental health and wellbeing has been a focus across all competition levels. The high performance coach responsible for athlete performance, health and wellbeing has not attracted the same attention despite working in an intense high-pressure work environment. Using the Areas of Work Life Model as a theoretical framework, this Insights paper discusses the existing coaching literature to ascertain both contributing factors for promoting positive mental health and wellbeing, and negative influences that increase stress and potential burnout. The six dimensions (workload; control; reward; fairness; community; and values) resonate throughout the coaching literature, but to-date, no study has applied the model to this group. Analysis of the extracted articles indicated that high performance coaches should become more self-aware around how to cope with stress and stressful situations, while sports organisations should invest in both the individual coach and the organisational culture to enhance work engagement. Coaches are performers and should prepare themselves to ensure they can perform at their peak; and managing their own mental health and wellbeing is an important component to this.

Fraser Carson, Julia Walsh, and Peter Kremer are with the Centre for Sport Research, School of Exercise and Nutrition Sciences, Deakin University, Geelong, Victoria, Australia. Luana C. Main is with the Institute for Physical Activity and Nutrition, School of Exercise and Nutrition Sciences, Deakin University, Geelong, Victoria, Australia.

Address author correspondence to Fraser Carson at f.carson@deakin.edu.au.
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