Dealing with retirement from coaching

A new article published in The Sport Psychologist raises an interesting question about how prepared are coaches for retirement?

The article is a case study of one elite swimming coach and their experience of the London Olympics. It covers their preparation for the games, the moment their athlete failed to win a medal and the realisation that their coaching career was over. Two years later the coach reflected on what happened on that day in London and how life changed over the next few years.

What was interesting about this story was how the coach was so well prepared coming into the event but so badly prepared for retirement.  As the researchers point out, coming into the Olympics the coach had developed a range of robust psychological skills and strategies to manage the demands and perform effectively. However after the event they experienced a lack of personal resources to help come to terms with their perceived failure and their new world without coaching.

In the same way that we are always told to invest financially for our own retirement do coaches needs to invest more time thinking about what they will do when they stop coaching?


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