How can social support make coaching less stressful? A longitudinal inquiry with sports coaches

Luke Norris, Faye Didymus, Mariana Kaiseler

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal Articlepeer-review

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Abstract

Research on social support with sports coaches is limited, yet the benefits of social support on performance and well-being within other occupations have been widely reported. This study explored sports coaches’ social support resources over a six-week period and to understand how social support resources may alleviate stressors. Longitudinal data was collected with women (n=6) and male (n=4) sports coaches (Mage=35.2, SD=13.0 years, Mexperience=13.5, SD=9.7 years) using three semi-structured interviews over a six-week period training and competition period. Interview data were analyzed using abductive thematic analysis. Coaches used all four types of social support resources over the six-week period. Informational support for advice, ideas, and feedback on training sessions, new job roles, and player development was used most regularly across the different time points. Coaches also reported that they perceived social support resources may alleviate stressors through stress-buffering and main-effects social support resources (e.g., esteem) might be more important for buffering the effects of stressors and others (e.g., emotional) may be more important for main-effects. Given the pertinence of social support resources for performance and psychological well-being, applied interventions should aim to educate coaches on ways to develop a social support network that provides all types of social support resources to help cope more effectively with stressors. Moreover, interventions should aim to alter coaches’ perceptions of potential stressors as less of a threat and more of a challenge to alleviate the prospective negative influences of stressors.
Original languageEnglish
JournalInternational Journal of Sports Science and Coaching
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 23 May 2022

Keywords

  • appraisal
  • community
  • health
  • relationships
  • stress management

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