1Department of Sport Psychology, Faculty of Physical Education and Sport Sciences, University of Tehran, Tehran, Iran
2Department of Psychology, Faculty of Psychology and Educational Sciences, University of Tehran, Tehran, Iran
Introduction: Burnout can lead to many medical, psychological, emotional, and performance-related issues (Bentzen et al., 2017). It has been argued that high-performance coaches may be especially vulnerable to the development of burnout (Schaffran et al., 2019). Few studies to date have examined the psychological mechanisms that may underpin this vulnerability (Bentzen et al., 2017; Ugrenovic et al., 2020). Sports Psychologists have found that a form of perfectionism reflecting a preoccupation with avoiding mistakes and intolerance of errors differentiated between burnout and non-burnout sports coaches (Sas-Nowosielski et al., 2018). Additionally, primary research supports various leadership styles that correlate with perceived burnout differently (Ugrenovic et al., 2020). Thus, these studies aimed to investigate the relationships between perfectionism, controlling coaching style, and burnout and the mediating role of controlling coaching style on the relationship between perfectionism and burnout in high-performance coaches.
Methods: A cross-sectional survey design was employed. A total of 270 sports coaches (Mage= 38.23 years, SD= 7.36; Mcoaching experience= 13.17 years, SD= 5.72 years; 174 male) from various sports types, who were involved in coaching athletes at the national level completed a battery of inventories assessing burnout, perfectionistic, and controlling coaching style.
Results: Structural equation modeling indicated a significant positive relationship between perfectionism and burnout as well as a significant positive relationship between controlling coaching style and burnout. Furthermore, controlling coaching style indicated a positive mediating effect on the relationship between perfectionism and burnout. In particular, three dimensions of perfectionistic demonstrated a positive indirect association with symptoms of burnout.
Conclusion: Overall, findings highlighted the important combined role of perfectionism and controlling coaching style in understanding and explaining professional coaches ’ sports burnout and confirmed the mediator role of coaching style might increase vulnerability to burnout in perfectionists.