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An interpretative phenomenological analysis of burnout and recovery in elite soccer coaches
Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology. (Idrottspsykologi)ORCID iD: 0000-0002-2869-8995
Department of Health and Environmental Scienses, Karlstad University, SE-651 88, Karlstad, Sweden och Swedish Winter Sports Research Centre, Mid Sweden University, SE-831 25, Östersund, Sweden.
School of Health and Medical Sciences, Örebro University, SE-701 82, Örebro, Sweden.
Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
2012 (English)In: Qualitative Research in Sport, Exercise and Health, ISSN 2159-676X, Vol. 4, no 3, 400-419 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Knowledge about the personal experience of burnout in elite coaches is sparse. We therefore studied subjective experiences associated with burnout in a group of elite soccer coaches; specifically how they describe perceived causes of burnout, symptoms and the subsequent recovery process. A qualitative approach was used, because our aim was to study the coaches ’ personal experiences of burnout. We conducted semi-structured interviews and used interpretative phenomenological analysis to analyse the data. We interviewed eight Swedish elite soccer coaches who had previously reported high levels of burnout. We found two burnout profiles that matched the coaches’ perceived causes of burnout. The first was associated with problems in handling the performance culture itself and the second had to do with the overall situation, including workload, family and health. Our findings describe coach burnout as stemming from a combination of issues, related to both home and work. When combined with work overload, coaches who have problems handling the performance culture in elite sports, and who lack the tools to enhance recovery, are particularly vulnerable to burnout.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Routledge, 2012. Vol. 4, no 3, 400-419 p.
Keyword [en]
coach burnout, elite sports, IPA, causes, recovery
National Category
Psychology
Research subject
Psychology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-57795DOI: 10.1080/2159676X.2012.693526OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-57795DiVA: diva2:544807
Note

Version of record first published: 21 Jun 2012

Available from: 2012-08-16 Created: 2012-08-16 Last updated: 2015-01-15Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Side effects of being tired: burnout among Swedish sport coaches
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Side effects of being tired: burnout among Swedish sport coaches
2015 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Alternative title[sv]
Sidoeffekter av trötthet : utbrändhet hos svenska idrottstränare
Abstract [en]

Burnout is a psychological concept that have got much attention since it was first defined in the middle of the 1970s. Although the definition of burnout differ there is consensus about exhaustion as the most important part of the concept. Burnout have also been in focus in sport psychology research. Mostly athletes have been studied but interest the coach profession have also been of interest. Research on coach burnout have mostly been directed towards demographic variables, organizational issues, behaviors and emotions and more holistic perspectives covering larger models or theories.

The aims with this thesis was to try to fill some of the knowledge gaps from earlier coach burnout research with three studies. Study 1 aimed to study subjective experiences associated with perceived causes and symptoms of burnout and the subsequent recovery process. Eight elite soccer coaches who previously had been troubled with high scores of the exhaustion was interviewed. We found two burnout profiles that matched the coaches’ perceived causes of burnout. The first was associatedwith problems in handling the performance culture itself and the second had to do with the overall situation, including workload, family and health. Our findings describe coach burnout as stemming from a combination of issues, related to both home and work. When combined with work overload, coaches who have problems handling the performance culture in elite sports, and who lack the tools to enhance recovery, are particularly vulnerable to burnout.

Study 2 focused on evaluating three self-report burnout measures that are available for researchers to use. Our analysis included Maslach Burnout Inventory (MBI), Oldenburg Burnout Inventory (OLBI) and Coach Burnout Questionnaire (CBQ). The main findings were that there are psychometric problems with all three measures and that MBI and OLBI cover similar definitions of burnout and CBQ cover somewhat different dimensions. Of the three methods that were tested CBQ seem to be most suitable for the coaching context. However, CBQ also have several problems and other burnout measures need to be evaluated in the coach context.

Study 3 focused on the associations between workaholic tendencies and combining coaching job with having a family or a spouse, which can be a stressor since the work situation and family situation can be hard to combine. The main findings were that work seem to interfere more with family life than family life interfere with working live. Further workaholic tendencies and exhaustion was not associated.

When interpreting the aggregated results from the thesis there are two main findings. First, the way coach burnout has been measured until now is unsatisfying. Although the development of a coach specific measure (CBQ) is promising, further development is needed, both when it comes to the theoretical aspects of the burnout construct and psychometric issues. Second, the symptoms and perceived causes in coach burnout is highly individual and makes burnout a very personal experience. Future research should focus on both the origins as well as the measurement of thisdetrimental concept.

Abstract [sv]

Utbrändhet är ett psykologiskt begrepp som har fått mycket uppmärksamhet sedan den först introducerades i mitten av 1970-talet. Även om synen på vad utbrändhet är skiljer sig åt finns en enighet om att utmattning är huvudsymptomet. Utbrändhet har studerats inom idrottspsykologisk forskning sedan början av 1980-talet. Mestadels har intresset legat på idrottare men intresse har också riktats mot tränaryrket. Forskning om tränares utbrändhet har främst intresserat sig för demografiska variabler, organisationens påverkan, beteenden och känslor samt mer övergripande modeller eller teorier som täcker flera områden. Syftet med denna avhandling var att försöka fylla en del av de kunskapsluckor som funnits i tidigare forskning med tre studier. Studie 1 syftade till att studera tränares subjektiva upplevelser av utmattning kopplat till upplevda orsaker och symptom av utbrändhet samt vägen tillbaka från utbrändhet. Åtta elitfotbollstränare som tidigare hade haft problem med utmattning intervjuades. Huvudresultatet i studien var att det fanns två sätt att uppfatta utbrändhetsprocessen. Antingen såg man miljön runt elitfotbollen som den stora orsaken eller så upplevdes hela livssituationen med små stressande händelser kopplade till arbetsbelastning, familj och hälsa som problematiska. Studie 2 fokuserade på att utvärdera tre frågeformulär som är lämpliga i en tränarkontext. I analysen ingår Maslach Burnout Inventory (MBI), som oftast använts, Oldenburg Burnout Inventory (OLBI) och Coach Burnout Questionnaire (CBQ). De viktigaste resultaten var att det dels finns problem med alla tre samt att MBI och OLBI täcker liknande definitioner av utbrändhet medan CBQ mäter lite andra aspekter. Slutsatsen från studien är att CBQ verkar passa bäst för den kontext där idrottstränare arbetar även om CBQ också har en del problematiska inslag. Studie 3 fokuserade på arbetsnarkomani och att kombinera tränarjobb med familjeliv har ett samband med utmattning. Huvudresultaten i studie 3 var att det framförallt verkar vara arbetet som störa familjelivet än familjelivet som stör arbetslivet. Ytterligare fanns inget statistiskt stöd att arbetsnarkomani skulle ha ett samband med utmattning. När det sammanlagda resultatet från hela avhandlingen tolkas utifrån vilken ny kunskap denna avhandling tillför finns två huvudbidrag. Det första är att problemen med de frågeformulär som hittills använts för att mäta utbrändhet har lyfts upp. Även om det är lovande att det utvecklats ett idrottsspecifikt formulär finns tillgängligt så finns det både teoretiska och mättekniska aspekter som behöver utvecklas. Det andra bidraget är att de symptom som ingår i upplevelsen av utbrändhet verkar vara olika för olika individer. Framtida forskning bör fokusera både på hur teoretiska och mättekninska aspekter av utbrändhetsbegreppet.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Umeå: Umeå Universitet, 2015. 55 p.
Keyword
Coach burnout, exhaustion, interpretative phenomenological analysis, convergent validity, discriminant validity, quantile regression, work-home/home-work interference, workaholism
National Category
Social Sciences
Research subject
Psychology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-98056 (URN)978-91-7601-198-0 (ISBN)
Public defence
2015-02-06, Hörsal E, Humanisthuset, Umeå universitet, Umeå, 13:15 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Funder
Swedish National Centre for Research in Sports, P2013-0075
Available from: 2015-01-16 Created: 2015-01-14 Last updated: 2015-02-13Bibliographically approved

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