Stress and coping in high performance squash coaching
This thesis investigates stress and coping in high performance squash coaching from the perspectives of both the coach and the player. An introduction to the thesis (chapter 1), a discussion of key concepts and theories from the general stress and coping literature (chapter 2), and a systematic review of the stress and coping in sport literature (chapter 3) are presented. The empirical work is reported in two phases. Phase one (chapters 4, 5 & 6) documents an in-depth study of 18 high performance squash coaches. Retrospective interviews were used to collect both qualitative and quantitative data. Inductive content analysis (Patton, 1980) revealed 223 raw data themes for stress, which collapsed into 12 general dimensions, and 415 raw data themes for coping, from which 13 general dimensions emerged. Descriptive statistics on stress source characteristics revealed a number of interesting trends that required further investigation. Further, general ('multi-purpose') and specific coping strategies were identified. Coping effectiveness and frequency data detailed the analysis. Phase two (chapters 7, 8 & 9) investigates stress and coping experiences of elite squash players during coaching activities via two studies. In study one, data were collected through telephone interviews, and analysed using inductive content analysis (QSR NUDIST), revealing 227 raw data themes for stress and coping from which 9 stress and 8 coping general dimensions emerged. These results were used to develop a postal questionnaire (study two) administered to 84 elite squash players on the England Squash World Class Performance Programme (Jan. 1999). A response rate of 60% was obtained, data was input into SPSS, and various statistical tests revealed significant contributions to 5 major investigative themes detennined at the outset. An overall picture of the landscape in stress and coping in high performance squash coaching is offered, and conclusions and future directions are presented (chapter 10).