Session 6: Coaches and burnout
You may be surprised to learn that, as well as athletes, coaches can also experience burnout. A coach’s burnout experience tends to be similar to that found amongst those working in the caring professions (e.g. nurses and teachers) as they become exhausted handling the relentless strain of dealing with people.
In this session you will explore differences between coach and athlete burnout experiences using three case studies – two of coaches and one relating to the leader of a sports organisation.
Working with people means that the influence of the surrounding working context has a profound impact on burnout and you will explore this further in the early part of this session. You will then discover two ideas which are attracting increasing interest in the research literature on burnout: ‘emotional labour’ and ‘depersonalisation’. These are the focus of the second half of this session.
By the end of this session, you should be able to:
- identify the distinctive differences between athlete and coach burnout and explain why they differ
- explain the concept of ‘emotional labour’ and how it particularly affects coaches, whether they are experiencing burnout or not.