The relationship between passion and burnout in coaching: An assessment of characteristics that influence passion and burnout levels in coaches

Kyle F. Paradis, Paige Pope, Craig R. Hall

Research output: Contribution to journalMeeting Abstractpeer-review


Passion is defined as “a strong inclination toward an activity that people like, that they find important, and in which they invest time, and energy” (Vallerand et al., 2003, p. 757). The dualistic model of passion (Vallerand et al., 2003) comprises harmonious and obsessive dimensions. Harmonious passion is thought to result from an autonomous internalization of the activity into one’s identity, whereas obsessive passion is thought to be a controlled internalization of the activity into one’s identity. While harmonious passion has been linked to adaptive outcomes such as greater well-being (Mageau et al., 2005) and positive affect (Mageau & Vallerand, 2007), obsessive passion has been linked to a number of maladaptive outcomes such as dependence (Paradis et al., 2013), rigidity and inflexibility (Rip et al., 2006) and negative emotions (Phillipe et al., 2010). Another consequence of obsessive passion found in athletes has been athlete burnout (Curran et al., 2013). However, it would also seem probable that coaches who are also highly invested in these activities, may also be vulnerable to similar experiences of burnout. Thus the purpose of the current study was to assess various coaching characteristics as potential influences to passion and burnout levels. Participants were N = 360 elite coaches (n = 212 male, n = 148 female) who filled out the Passion Scale (Vallerand et al., 2003) and the Maslach Burnout Inventory (Maslach et al., 1986). In addition, several demographic variables were collected from coaches as potential influencing factors on passion and burnout levels experienced. Results indicated that harmonious passion (a = .82) was significantly and negatively related to burnout (r = –.18, β = –.27, p < .01), and obsessive passion (a = .85) was significantly and positively related to burnout (r = .31, β = .38, p < .01). Additionally, significant differences were found in passion and burnout levels for gender, income, competition level, and hours/week coached. Implications are discussed pertaining to factors that may increase or reduce coach burnout.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)S135-S135
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2015

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