Managing conflict in coach—athlete relationships.

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. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2018 APA, all rights reserved)