Coaches' interpersonal emotion regulation and the coach-athlete relationship
Movement & sport sciences
Researchers have examined the impact of coaches' emotional expressions and emotional intelligence on athlete outcomes (Allan, V., & Côté, J. (2016). A cross-sectional analysis of coaches' observed emotion-behavior profiles and adolescent athletes' self-reported developmental outcomes. Journal of Applied Sport Psychology, 28, 321–337; Thelwell, R.C., Lane, A.M., Weston, N.J., & Greenlees, I.A. (2008). Examining relationships between emotional intelligence and coaching efficacy. International
... . International Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology, 6, 224–235; van Kleef, G.A., Cheshin, A., Koning, L.F., & Wolf, S.A. (2018). Emotional games: How coaches' emotional expressions shape players' emotions, inferences, and team performance. Psychology of Sport & Exercise). However, there is little research examining coaches' use of specific strategies to regulate their athletes' emotions. The purpose of the present study was to explore the strategies coaches used to try and regulate their athletes' emotions, and to explore the relationship and contextual factors influencing coaches' IER strategy use. A longitudinal multiple case study approach was used (Stake, R.E. (2006). Multiple case study analysis. New York: The Guilford Press) with five cases, each consisting of one male coach and two individual varsity sport athletes (N = 15). Participants completed individual interviews, a two-week audio diary period, and a follow-up interview. Data were inductively and deductively analyzed and a conceptual model was developed outlining athletes' emotions and emotion regulation, coaches' IER, the coach-athlete relationship, and contextual factors. Participants described a bidirectional association between the coach-athlete relationship and coaches' IER. A number of factors influenced athletes' and coaches' use of emotion regulation strategies and contributed to the quality of the coach-athlete relationship. The IER strategies that coaches used may reflect instrumental, performance-related motives, and coaches' IER efforts may also contribute to coaches' emotional labour.