Wachsmuth et al (2018) - Conflict Management in CAR.docx.pdf (1.38 MB)
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Managing conflict in coach-athlete relationships

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journal contribution
posted on 21.06.2019, 10:15 by Svenja Wachsmuth, Sophia JowettSophia Jowett, Chris HarwoodChris Harwood
This study investigated coach-athlete conflict and focused on conflict management approaches used to minimize dysfunctional and maximize functional outcomes of interpersonal conflict. A qualitative approach to data collection enabled the researchers to explore various conflict management strategies used by the participants. Within the scope of the current study, 22 high-performance coaches and athletes took part in semistructured interviews. A thorough review of the recent literature (Wachsmuth, Jowett, & Harwood, 2017) informed the interview guide that consisted of 26 questions. A cross-case content analysis revealed that coaches and athletes prevent the onset of conflict by (a) facilitating good-quality relationships and optimal working environments (implicit conflict prevention) and (b) engaging in active conflict prevention strategies (explicit conflict prevention). Further, athletes and coaches appeared to manage conflict by using intra- and interpersonal strategies, as well as by seeking out external help. These strategies were found to be challenged by a range of conflict management barriers and associated with functional or dysfunctional performance and intra- and interpersonal outcomes. Overall, the role of the coach was central to managing conflict effectively.



  • Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences

Published in

Sport, Exercise, and Performance Psychology


WACHSMUTH, S., JOWETT, S. and HARWOOD, C.G., 2018. Managing conflict in coach-athlete relationships. Sport, Exercise, and Performance Psychology, 7 (4), pp.371-391.


© American Psychological Association


AM (Accepted Manuscript)

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This work is made available according to the conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0) licence. Full details of this licence are available at: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/

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©American Psychological Association, 2018. This paper is not the copy of record and may not exactly replicate the authoritative document published in the APA journal. Please do not copy or cite without author's permission. The final article is available, upon publication, at: https://doi.org/10.1037/spy0000129.