U.S. Sports Academy
Authors: Krista M. Kezbers1, 2,*, Bridget M. Miller1, and Jamie C. Clark3
1School of Community Health Sciences, Counseling and Counseling Psychology, Oklahoma State University, Stillwater, OK, USA
2School of Community Medicine, University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center, Tulsa, OK, USA
3School of Kinesiology, Applied Health and Recreation, Oklahoma State University, Stillwater, OK, USA
*The primary author completed this work while affiliated with Oklahoma State University. The primary author is now affiliated with the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center.
Krista M. Kezbers, PhD, DipACLM, ACSM-CPT, ACSM-EIM
4502 E. 41st Street
Tulsa, OK, 74135
Krista M. Kezbers, PhD, DipACLM, ACSM-CPT, ACSM-EIM is a Research Associate in the School of Community Medicine at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center in Tulsa, OK. Her research interests focus on the health and well-being of sports coaches, lifestyle medicine, and exercise is medicine. Krista has over 10 years of swim coaching experience ranging from high school teams to national-level club teams and athletes.
Bridget M. Miller, PhD is an Associate Professor, Joan Donelson Jacques Endowed Professor of Health Promotion, and Health Education and Promotion Program Direction at Oklahoma State University in Stillwater, OK. Her research interests include: the prevention of obesity and other chronic diseases through the promotion of physical activity and the cognitive mediators within the exercise-mood relationship.
Jamie C. Clark, MS has a master’s degree in Exercise Science and at the time of the study was a PhD student in Health and Human Performance at Oklahoma State University in Stillwater, OK. Her research interest includes sport burnout, post-collegiate transition and sport support relationships with parents and coaches. Jamie has over 10 years of volleyball coaching experience.
Qualitative exploration of health and well-being perceptions of swim coaches
Purpose: The sports coach profession encompasses many non-traditional working characteristics, such as early morning and late evening hours. Literature regarding the health and well-being of sports coaches has been mostly limited to psychological components, such as stress and burnout, but little has focused on the physical health of coaches. The purpose of this study was to explore the lived experiences on health and well-being within the coaching profession. Methods: A qualitative interpretative phenomenological analysis approach was used for this study. Six focus groups were conducted at a swim conference using a semi-structured question guide. Transcriptions of each focus group were used by a 3-person research team to individually code salient words and phrases. Researchers met to reconcile codes and determine themes. Results: Twenty-three swim coaches, mostly male (73.9%), participated in the focus groups. From the data, six themes were identified: 1) Health and well-being definitions, 2) Former athlete transition to coaching, 3) Coaching challenges, 4) Health correlates, 5) Healthy eating barriers, and 6) Reasons for coaching. Conclusions: Coaches identified a number of different components of the profession that impact health and well-being and potentially increase health risks. Of emphasis was the steady
decline in health experienced by athletes as they leave their sports and enter the coaching world. Despite the many challenges that coaching poses, coaches expressed a deep love for their profession. Applications in Sport: This research provides important information for those considering a career in coaching and the impacts, both positive and negative, on their health and well-being. Coaches, teams, and organizations can explore this data for future points of intervention and areas to provide training and education to coaches, not only improve their health and well-being, but also to minimize any potential negative aspects of the coaching profession.