Can the working alliance between coaches and athletes explain athlete burnout among junior athletes?

Authors: Frode Moen(1) and Kenneth Myhre(2).

Corresponding Author:
1. E-mail address: frmoe@online.no, Tel.: +47 932 487 50.
Centre for Elite Sports Research, Department of Education and Lifelong Learning, Faculty of Social and Educational Sciences, Norwegian University of Science and Technology, NTNU, Trondheim, Norway.

2. Centre for Elite Sports Research, Department of Neuromedicine and Movement Science, Faculty of Medicine and Health Science, Norwegian University of Science and Technology, NTNU, Trondheim, Norway.

ABSTRACT
Research suggests that the numbers of athletes who are suffering from burnout symptoms are considerably. In this study, the authors explore associations of working alliance between coaches and athletes on positive- and negative affect, worry and athlete burnout in a group of Norwegian junior elite athletes. An online survey, consisting of the Working Alliance Inventory, the Positive and Negative Affect Schedule, the Worry Questionnaire and the Athlete Burnout Questionnaire was completed by a sample of 358 junior elite athletes. Data analysis was conducted using structural equation modelling. The theoretical model in this study explained 66 % of the variance athlete burnout. These effects mainly derived from positive affect, negative affect, worry and the working alliance directly. However, working alliance also showed a significant indirect effect through the mediating variables positive affect, negative affect and worry. These results are discussed in a cognitive and affective activation-perspective.
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Physical, Affective and Psychological determinants of Athlete Burnout

Authors: Frode Moen, Kenneth Myhre, Christian A. Klöckner, Kristin Gausen and Øyvind Sandbakk.

Corresponding Author:
Frode Moen
E-mail address: frmoe@online.no, Tel. : +47 932 487 50
Postal address: Department of Education, Norwegian University of Science and Technology, N-7491 Trondheim, Norway

Frode Moen is currently the head manager of the Olympic Athlete program in central Norway, where he also has a position as a coach / mental trainer for elite athletes and coaches. He also is an associate professor at the Department of Education and lifelong learning at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology. He previously has worked as a teacher in high school where sport was his major subject, and he has been a coach for the national team in Nordic combined in Norway for several years. Frode received his Ph. D. in coaching and performance psychology from the Norwegian University of Science and Technology. His research focuses mainly on coaching in business, coaching in sport, communication, performance psychology and relationship issues.

ABSTRACT
This article examined how training load, illness and injuries, perceived performance, affect and worry predict athlete burnout in sport. A sample of 358 Norwegian junior elite athletes from a variety of sports with cross country skiing (28 %), soccer (22 %) and biathlon (13 %) being those most frequently reported participated in the investigation. The results show that the theoretical model in this study explains 57% of the variance in athlete burnout, and the direct effects on athlete burnout are mainly derived from the variables positive affect, worry and negative affect. In addition, our model also shows that performance, illness/injuries and worry indirectly affect athlete burnout through the mediating variables in the model. The results are discussed in regard of applied implications and possible future research.

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