Preoccupation with results can be damaging for young coaches


  • Callum Gowling Liquid Sport Psychology



autoethnography, emotional challenges, young coaches


Sports coaching research can portray an overly simplistic picture of the activity leading to young coaches being underprepared for intra-personal conflicts during coaching careers (Cushion, 2006; Jones, 2009; Potrac et al., 2016).  This paper builds on work that shows coaching is emotionally challenging (Thelwell, 2017; Gowling, 2019). Autoethnography illustrates the first authors inner struggles with their perceived effectiveness while trying to prove their worth in the elite junior coaching context.  There are four main findings (1) the performance narrative influences young coaches’ behaviour; (2) inability to assess one’s own effectiveness, without using player results as the sole criteria can have a negative emotional effect on coaches; (3) relational narratives are present in elite junior coaching; (4) provides governing bodies with opportunities to improve the preparation of young coaches for intra-personal challenges related to coaching.


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How to Cite

Gowling, C. (2020). Preoccupation with results can be damaging for young coaches. ITF Coaching & Sport Science Review, 28(82), 11–13.