University of Hertfordshire

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Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 16 Dec 2013
EventAnnual conference of the BPS Division Sport and Exercise Psychology. - Manchester, United Kingdom
Duration: 16 Dec 201317 Dec 2013


ConferenceAnnual conference of the BPS Division Sport and Exercise Psychology.
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom


Objective: To explore elite athletics coaches’ experiences of stress and its potential impact on the coach-athlete relationship.
Design: A qualitative research design was employed. – underpinned by which philosophical standpoint? In-depth interviews encouraged individuals to provide detailed information that resonated at a personal level and captured the subjective meaning of experiencing this implies phenomenology stress in contextual situations. A semi-structured interview guide provided flexibility that facilitated exploration of unique points raised by participants.
Method: Six male, UK based, elite athletics coaches aged between 32 and 57 years (46.5 ± 11.8 years), with 7 to 30 years (15.5 ± 9.9 years) elite coaching experience were interviewed face-to-face. All responses were recorded and transcribed verbatim.
Results: Data was analysed using inductive and deductive qualitative content analysis. 18 (?) themes emerged – is ‘emerge’ appropriate to deductive and inductive approaches? detailing a variety of competitive and organisational stressors experienced by coaches (e.g. pressure, expectation, conflict and coaching responsibilities), with most debilitative? stress reported during competition. Stress was described as having debilitating and facilitating affects on both the coaches’ and athletes’ performance. Coaches explained how they withdrew from their athletes and coaching responsibilities at times of stress, through changes in body language, and communication. In response, athletes were reported to over-compensate how? , which often resulted in poor performance outcomes. However, experiencing stress was also described to increase responsiveness and productivity of the elite coaches. E.g.?
Conclusions: Understanding and responding appropriately to stress in elite sport is paramount.- is this last sentence your focus? Coaches must be aware of how the affects of stress impact the coach-athlete relationship and thus potentially performance. Stress and responses that are below the ‘radar’, and why...


Stephen Pack, Judith Naseby, Elizabeth Scholefield, ‘It takes two: The experience of stress and associated impacts upon the coach-athlete relationship in elite athletics’, paper presented at the Annual Conference of the BPS Division Sport and Exercise Psychology, Manchester, UK, 16-17 December, 2013.

ID: 10163941