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:, 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.

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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Improving Amateur Indoor Rock Climbing Performance Using a Changing Criterion Design Within a Self-Management Program

Brett E. Furlonger*, Andrew Oey*, Dennis W. Moore*, Margherita Busacca* & Douglas Scott*.

*Faculty of Education, Monash University

Correspondence concerning this manuscript should be addressed to Dr. Brett Furlonger, Krongold Centre, Faculty of Education, Monash University, Clayton Campus, Melbourne, Australia 3800. Phone: + 61 3 99059173. Fax: +61 99055127. Email:

The authors state that this manuscript has not been published or submitted simultaneously for publication elsewhere.

Despite the popularity of indoor rock climbing there is little information on how amateur climbers can improve their performance. A single-case experimental design with baseline, intervention, and post intervention phases was conducted using a changing criterion design within a self-management program. Discrete exercise training and combined training methods were trialled, with the effects of both on actual rock climbing compared. All discrete exercises improved over baseline; Powerball grip 45%, open-handed pull-ups by 50% and multi-stage fitness 35%. There was, however, no observable improvement in climbing performance. In contrast combined training led to a 40% improvement in climbing performance. For amateurs wishing to improve their recreational indoor rock climbing ability, practicing the task holistically rather than by training discrete skills in isolation may prove to be more effective.

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Factors That Influence Collegiate Student-Athletes to Transfer, Consider Transferring, or Not Transfer

Authors: Jared K. Richards, Undergraduate Student, Shelley L. Holden, Ed.D., Steven F. Pugh, Ph.D.

Corresponding Author:
Steven F. Pugh
Department of Health, Kinesiology, and Sport
University of South Alabama, 36688

Steven Pugh is a professor and program leader for teacher education programs in health and physical education, Shelley Holden, is an associate professor in health and physical education and Jared Richards is an undergraduate, exercise science major in the B.S. program at the University of South Alabama.

Factors That Influence Collegiate Student-Athletes to Transfer, Consider Transferring, or Not Transfer

Student-athletes deal with many stressors every day of their collegiate career and each athlete responds to these stressors in different ways. Some thrive, while others seek new environments. The purpose of this study was to assess the reasons college student-athletes reported for transferring, seriously considered transferring, or not transferring from their original university. Also, the study examined transfer status and perceived stress and/or internal locus of control scores. Little research investigating factors related to athlete transfer decisions has been done. Participants were collegiate student athletes aged 17-23. Results indicated that 56% of athletes that transferred or seriously considered transferring listed coaching style as a reason, while 88% of athletes that have not transferred listed academics as a reason for remaining in their current setting. Data indicated that one factor does not typically convince a student-athlete to transfer, rather, it is a complex interaction of many factors.

Keywords: Athlete attrition, Sport, Coaching

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How Mindfulness Training may mediate Stress, Performance and Burnout

Submitted by  P. Furrer1*, Dr. F. Moen2*,  and. Dr. K. Firing3*

1* Master student; Faculty of Teacher Education; The Nord-Trøndelag University College; Levanger, Norway

2* Associate Professor; Department of Education; Norwegian University of Science and Technology; Trondheim, Norway

3*Associate Professor; Department of Leadership; The Royal Norwegian Air Force Academy; 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 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.


The aim of this article was to explore the influence of mindfulness training on stress, perceived performance in school and sports, and athlete burnout among junior elite athletes.  One goal was to determine the usefulness of mindfulness training in performance enhancement and burnout prevention in junior elite sports.  A mindfulness-training program (MTP) was conducted with 29 junior elite athletes over a period of 12-weeks.  Six of the athletes who were participating in the MTP were randomly chosen to voluntarily participate in a semi structural interview that explored possible effects from the MTP.  Our qualitative analyses showed that the mindfulness intervention had a positive impact on the athletes’ awareness and recovery.  The authors also discuss positive effects on the athletes’ focus and performances.  The findings are discussed against the usefulness of mindfulness training in athlete burnout prevention.

Key words: mindfulness, stress, athlete burnout, sport

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Ethical Considerations of Genetic Manipulation in Sport

Submission by Dr. John T. Ehrbar1*

1* Student of doctoral studies in sports management at the United States Sports Academy


New technologies are currently being developed that will enable medical professionals to modify genes for medicinal purposes.  As the process continues to be refined, the emergence of a controversial new use for this technology has ignited some serious debate.  Scientists have submitted that genetic modification could potentially be used as a method of performance enhancement in sport.  There are different schools of thought on this type of performance enhancement, and researchers and theorists have argued the advantages and disadvantages of using such a technology.  These arguments are discussed in the present review.  Though the ethical debate on this matter is in its infancy, a general consensus is that the allowance of genetic modification for the purpose of enhancing performance in sport will most certainly create a new look, along with new concerns, for sport in the future.

Key words: ethics, gene doping, sport, performance, enhancement Continue reading