Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy



Major Professor

Craig A. Wrisberg

Committee Members

Leslee A. Fisher, Charles L. Thompson, Ronald E. Taylor


Previous research has demonstrated that coaches experience stress due to the nature of their job and that it may affect their physical and mental well-being (e.g., Richman, 1992; Wang & Ramsey, 1998). The purpose of this study was to achieve a greater understanding of coaches’ experiences with stress, the perceived effects of stress on their coaching performance, and their coping strategies. A semi-structured interview approach was utilized with 10 NCAA Division I male and female head coaches. The five major themes identified in the data were: contextual/conditional factors, sources of stress, responses and effects of stress, managing stress, and sources of enjoyment. The results are discussed in relation to Smith’s (1986) cognitive-affective model of stress. Implications for practitioners and opportunities for future research are suggested with the objective of helping coaches more effectively manage the stress of their profession.

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