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    Perceived and received social support functions among UEFA B licensed women football coaches

    Norris, Luke A, Didymus, Faye F and Kaiseler, Mariana ORCID logoORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-7931-4584 (2024) Perceived and received social support functions among UEFA B licensed women football coaches. International Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology. ISSN 1612-197X

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    Abstract

    Literature that focuses on women coaches indicates frequent experiences of difficult social environments in the coaching community. Individuals who are more socially integrated and satisfied with their social network are likely to overcome these demanding situations more effectively and have higher levels of well-being. Therefore, this study explored perceived and received social support functions among UEFA B licensed women football coaches. An exploratory, multiple case study approach was used to collect data from three white British women football coaches (Mage=26.6, SD=1.2 years, Mexperience=7.6, SD=3.7 years). Each coach engaged in two semi-structured interviews that were conducted three or four months apart. We analysed the interview data using abductive thematic analysis. The coaches reported receiving social support that they perceived as unhelpful such as a tutor giving them easier drills to coach on coaching courses. However, they also received positive exchanges of social support resources (e.g., emotional support or providing a lift to coaching), which predominantly came from friends and family. The women coaches generally felt supported by the social networks that they had access to. However, there was an overall perception that the coaches would like support to be more easily accessible (e.g., via formal coaching networks). Given the pertinence of social support functions for performance and psychological well-being, applied implications that aim to better support women coaches are discussed.

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