A cross-sectional examination of well-being in sport coaches

Brendan Cropley, Stephen Mellalieu, Rich Neil, Ross Wadey, Chris Wagstaff

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review


It is widely acknowledged that coaches are expected to consistently perform in a job role that is multifaceted and in environments characterised by complexity and ambiguity(Fletcher & Scott, 2010). Such positions are thought to place considerable demands on the well-being of the individual.This study aimed to provide an insight into the levels of wellbeing and the prevalence of psychological issues associated with ill-being amongst sports coaches in the UK. Following receipt of institutional ethical approval, a cross-sectional approach was adopted whereby Williams and Smith’s (2012)Well-Being Process Questionnaire was distributed to coaches registered with UK National Governing Bodies of sport. The sample (n = 165) consisted of male (n = 98) and female (n =67), elite (n = 89) and non-elite (n = 76) coaches from team (n= 109) and individual (n = 56) sports. Utilizing non-parametric statistics (e.g., Kruskal-Wallis) no differences were found between genders, sport type or the level of performance for overall levels of well-being. However, results indicated that 25% of the sample reported low overall well-being, with 7% totalling negative well-being and 45% mid-low overall well-being. Results also indicated a significant number of coaches with high levels of anxiety, life and job stress, and work withdrawal difficulties. These results have significant implications for coaches both on a personal and professional level. The prevalence of low levels of well-being experienced in this study has the potential to impact on the physical health of coaches as well as on their ability to build and sustain positive relationships both in and out of sport. Further, such symptoms are likely to impair a coach’s ability to fulfil their multiple and often demanding roles. Consequently, future research is needed to gain a better understanding of the factors contributing to such mental states.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAssociation for Applied Sport Psychology (AASP) Annual Conference 2017 Orlando, FL October 18-21
Subtitle of host publicationConference Abstracts
PublisherAssociation for Applied Sport Psychology
VolumeIndianapolis, IN
ISBN (Print)978-0-9855310-6-5
Publication statusPublished - 20 Oct 2017
EventAssociation for Applied Sport Psychology 2017 Annual Conference - Orlando, United States
Duration: 18 Oct 201721 Oct 2017
Conference number: 32nd


ConferenceAssociation for Applied Sport Psychology 2017 Annual Conference
Abbreviated titleAASP2017
Country/TerritoryUnited States


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