Emotional labor and professional practice in sports medicine and science

Rebecca F. Hings, Christopher R. D. Wagstaff, Richard C. Thelwell, Sarah Gilmore, Valerie Anderson

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The aim of the present study was to explore how sport medicine and science practitioners manage their emotions through emotional labor when engaging in professional practice in elite sport. To address the research aim a semi-structured interview design was adopted. Specifically, eighteen professional sport medicine and science staff provided interviews. The sample comprised sport and exercise psychologists (n = 6), strength and conditioning coaches (n = 5), physiotherapists (n = 5), one sports doctor and one generic sport scientist. Following a process of thematic analysis, the results were organized into the following overarching themes: (a) factors influencing emotional labor enactment, (b) emotional labor enactment and, (c) professional and personal outcomes. The findings provide a novel contribution to understanding the professional demands faced by practitioners, and are discussed in relation to the development of professional competencies and the welfare and performance of sport medics and scientists.
Original languageEnglish
JournalScandinavian Journal of Medicine & Science in Sports
Early online date30 Jun 2017
Publication statusEarly online - 30 Jun 2017


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