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Health SA Gesondheid (Online)

On-line version ISSN 2071-9736
Print version ISSN 1025-9848

Health SA Gesondheid (Online) vol.16 n.1 Cape Town  2011




Coping under pressure: Strategies for maintaining confidence amongst South African soccer coaches



Jhalukpreya SurujlalI; Sheila NguyenII

IFaculty of Management Sciences, Vaal University of Technology, South Africa
IIFaculty of Business and Law, School of Management and Marketing, Deakin University, Australia





Sport coaching can be a fulfilling and rewarding occupation, but can also be stressful because of the demands and expectations of various external factors. The complex and extraordinary demands placed on coaches, force them to perform multiple roles (e.g. educator, motivator, counsellor, adviser, trainer, manager and administrator). Soccer coaches face a number of challenges, frustrations, conflicts and tensions, the enormity of which is often underestimated. This notion is supported by the description of coaching as a perilous occupation in which coaches experience pressures like stress, conflict and tension, media pressure and intrusions into family life. This study explored the perceptions of South African soccer coaches in terms of the mechanisms they use to cope with potential stressors experienced in their jobs and employed a non-experimental design, using a quantitative approach, to assess stress and coping strategies of South African coaches. One hundred and twelve soccer coaches, coaching at the provincial level and higher, completed a questionnaire on stress and stress coping mechanisms used in their coaching jobs. Descriptive data analysis was completed using the Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS - version 16). The sources of stress experienced and coping methods used by the coaches were evaluated. Results revealed that the top three sources of stress were a lack of resources, fixture backlog and games where the outcome is critical, whilst the lowest three sources of stress were political interference, physical assaults from players and substituting a player. Moreover, various coping strategies used by the coaches showed that an average of 5.68%, 5.14% and 89.78% of the sample used maladaptive coping, emotion management coping and problem management coping strategies respectively. Academic and practical implications of the study results are discussed.


Sport afrigting kan 'n baie vervullende en bevredigende beroepskeuse wees, maar as gevolg van die eise en verwagtinge van verskeie omgewings faktore, kan dit ook as 'n spanningsvolle beroep ervaar word. Afrigters moet verskeie rolle vertolk (o.a. opvoeder, motiveerder, sielkundige, adviseerder, afrigter, bestuurder en administrateur) wat deel uitmaak van die komplekse en buitengewone eise wat op hulle geplaas word. Sokker afrigters beleef 'n aantal uitdagings, konflik situasies, frustrasies en spanning waarvan die impak of waarde daarvan selde gemeet kan word. Afrigting as 'n konsep word beskryf of gedefinieer as 'n potensieel onveilige en/of wisselvallige beroep waar die meerderheid afrigters spanning ervaar, konflik beleef, media druk moet verwerk en 'n geweldige inbreuk op hul persoonlike en familielewe ervaar. Hierdie studie ondersoek Suid-Afrikaanse sokker afrigters se persepsies aangaande die meganismes wat hulle gebruik om die potensiële spanning van hul beroep te bestuur. Die studie is gebaseer op 'n nie-eksperimentele ontwerp met 'n kwantitatiewe benadering van Suid-Afrikaanse sokker afrigters om spanning te evalueer en te bestuur. Een honderd en twaalf sokker afrigters wat op provinsiale vlak of hoër afgerig het, het vraelyste ingevul aangaande spanning en spanning hanteringstegnieke wat in hul afrigtingsberoepe gebruik is. Beskrywende data analise is met behulp van 'n statistiese pakket in Sosiale Wetenskap (SPSS-weergawe 16) gedoen. Die oorsake van spanning asook die hanteringstegnieke wat deur die afrigters gebruik is, is geevalueer. Die resultate het bevind dat daar drie duidelike oorsake van spanning was, naamlik 'n tekort aan hulpbronne, die akkumulasie van geskeduleerde wedstryde asook wedstryde waarvan die uitslag krities is. Die drie laagste oorsake van spanning was onder andere politieke inmenging, fisiese aanranding deur spelers en die vervanging van spelers. Die afrigters het 'n verskeidenheid van spannings hanteringstegnieke gebruik, maar die resultate toon dat 5.68%, 5.14% en 89.78% van die eksperimentele groep oneffektiewe spannings-, emosionele- en probleem bestuurstegnieke geïmplementeer het. Akademiese en praktiese implikasies van die navorsingsresultate word bespreek.



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Jhalukpreya Surujlal
Private Bag X021, Vanderbijlpark 1900, South Africa

Received: 16 Jan. 2010
Accepted: 11 Aug. 2010
Published: 23 Feb. 2011

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