Developing emotion abilities and regulation strategies in a sport organization: an action research intervention

Chris Wagstaff, S. Hanton, D. Fletcher

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objectives This study aimed to improve the practice of individuals operating in a sport organization by providing an intervention to develop emotion abilities and strategies. Design: A two-phase action research approach was adopted to facilitate the objective and to assess the intervention’s effectiveness. Method In the first phase of the intervention, 25 individuals fulfilling a range of roles (i.e., board of directors, chief executive officer, heads of performance and development, staff, administrators, national coaches and team managers, club coaches, national talent academy athletes) attended educational workshops over a 6 month period. In the second phase, three pivotal operators (i.e., national managers) received one-to-one coaching for a further 3 months. Data were collected using a range of self-report and performance measures, participant daily diaries, a researcher’s log, and social validation interviews. Results Following social validation procedures the findings suggest that both phases were effective at improving the practice of participants, with significant improvements in regulation strategy use, perceptions of relationship quality, and closeness. However, only participants receiving the extended one-to-one coaching showed improvement in emotional intelligence ability scores. Conclusions The findings indicate that short-term generic interventions to promote the use of adaptive emotion regulation strategies may be effective in sport organizations, but the purposive development of emotional intelligence may require more longitudinal and idiographic approaches.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)476-487
Number of pages12
JournalPsychology of Sport and Exercise
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2013


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