The Balance of the Well-Being of Elite Athletes for the Successful Performance of the Team

The Balance of the Well-Being of Elite Athletes for the Successful Performance of the Team

Background and rationale

Although the benefits of exercise have been precisely documented widely, elite training and exercise may increases the health to an athlete significantly. It is a shared endeavor among elite athletes to train and compete even when they are sick o have injuries. The motivation to train even when the athletes are not physically fit can be intrinsic sometimes or influenced by coaches and pressure from the team. The sports medicine physician plays an essential role to risk-manage the health of the competing athlete in partnership with the coach and other members of the support team. The sports medicine physician needs to strike the right ethical and operational balance between health management and optimizing performance. It is necessary to revisit the popular delivery model of sports medicine and science services to elite athletes based on the current reductionist multispecialty system lacking in practice an integrated approach and effective communication. Athlete and coach in isolation or with a member of the multidisciplinary support team, often not qualified or experienced to do so, decide on the utilization of services and how to apply the recommendations.

The well-being of an athlete is an essential component of sports performance and significantly determines the final results in a sport (Dunn, 2014). Generally, well-being is defined in terms of the absence of negative feelings and the presence of positive emotions in the mind and body of the athlete. Precisely, the well-being of an athlete consists of all aspects of an athlete’s life. Such elements include relationshipswhich are not related to sports (Dunn, 2014). Elite athletes face numerous pressures within elite sports careers. For instance, Dubuc-Charbonneau and Durand-Bush (2015) discovered that high levels of stress and burnout are common in student-athletes and thus affects their subjective well-being. However, the study argued athletes adopt various task and social behaviors to manage the challenges they face through a more balanced situation. According to the World Health Organization well-being is a crucial determinant in enabling individuals to cope with daily stressors. Apart from the struggle to perform better, poor coach-athlete relationships, poor performance, and injury are additional daily challenges athletes may face. Consequently, problems result in stress. Hence, it is worthwhile to investigate athlete well-being in the context of elite sport.

According to () it is difficult for many managers and coaches to adopt an integrated and performance-focused approach in the training of elite athletes.Consequently, it is the role of the clinicians such as psychologists and physicians to decide on the health fitness of elite athletes during training. However, the practitioners tend to overlook the psychological consequences and the performance potential of athletes when making critical decision excluding the athlete’s preferences.Sometimes, coaches and athletes focus much on performance and end up not taking into account the health consequences of decisions made with the pressure. It is, therefore, necessary to critically look at the organization of medical support services to elite athletes. Besides, thedecision-making process in the elite sports environment needs restructuring to include the best alternatives usefulin the management of the health of athletes. However, athletes cannot make the best health decisions in isolation.Therefore, they need the support of a well-organized and integrated health and coaching team working in harmony towards common goals of ensuring the well-being of the athletes and performance.

This paper proposes an investigation into the relationship between the balance of the well-being of elite athletes and the successful performance of the team. This study will, therefore, demonstrate clear negative associations found between injury and team success. Additionally, the study will show that moderate reductions in injury burden could have a direct impact on a positive outcome in competition for rugby teams. The negative consequences could includethe inability to select the best players for a match or disruptions to match preparations. Besides, injuries result in the possibility of adverse psychological effects, such as stress and anxiety, both of which have physical results on a body.

Literature

For Ireland, success is defined not by the number of winnings, but by performance, always looking for improvement. They have a system in place where the players get contracted to the union rather than the clubs, so they are carefully managed and not overplayed. Head coach Joe Schmidt is looking for long-term investment, starting with the execution of the basics. Rather than define the term success, I will state what it means to me. New Zealand’s win rate over the last 100 years is 75%. This is a massive achievement and would be considered the most successful team for that alone. But the All Blacks have developed a culture, with emphasis placed on character and leadership. The All Blacks have a new mantra “better people make better All Blacks.” So they follow some ideals. Learn humility –a cardinal rule for this team. Before leaving the dressing room at the end of the game, stop and tidy up after yourself: “Sweep the Sheds” they call it but it is about personal humility, and it is believed that it is impossible to achieve such success without having the feet planted firmly on the ground. Football team Leeds United’s manager Marcelo Bielsa had his team picking up litter for 3 hours to remind them what it cost their fans to come and watch them play one game. Follow the Spearhead comes from the Maori meaning of “extended family.” The team selection is on the character as well as talent. This team does not function on superstars. Former All Black, Brad Thorn, strongly believed that all players should find small ways to do more, on and off the field, to focus on continual improvement with an ongoing learning environment. After spending time with a psychiatrist, the team learned that there is a  “red-head” unproductive state of mind where you are off task – and a “Blue-head” state, where the player is on task and focused. Every player uses a different technique to help them. Ritchie McCaw stamps his feet. Understand the responsibilities wearing the jersey brings, the past that has come before and the future. Be good role models for the children to come. This creates a sense of purpose. If we play a bigger game, we play a more active game. This is what success looks like, coming from a successful team.

When referring to a rugby team, it is easy to look at the players; however, there is more to the team and its success than just those playing the game. There are the support and management team, the coaches, medical and physios, psychologists and the analysts. They all play their part towards an elite group, with the communication is key to everything. Interdisciplinary teamwork is where different types of staff work together to share knowledge and skills, and it is used to bring together and to challenge the professional boundaries, but what are the functional attributes of a good interdisciplinary team? Identify a good team leader, with clear direction and vision for the team, while listening and providing support. Provide a set of values that demonstrate leadership to the team. Communication is critical, both between the staff and the players in promoting intra-team joint decision making. Besides, proper communication channels ensure there is enough staff to offer the appropriate skills and at the level required.

Most of the studies on competitive athletes’ well-being are quantitative. Out of 17 published studies between 2003 and 2011 on competitive athletes’ well-being, the majority did not specifically definethe concepts of well-being. Instead, the studies labeled the various aspects of athlete well-being inconsistently or synonymously. For instance,one study indicated that the athlete’s well-being consists of mental, physical and emotional well-being. Moreover, the researchers applied several assessments with little or no links to any theoretical framework ofwelfare. Therefore, the studies could not come up with definite conclusions. On the other hand, relying highly on quantitative assessments offers general and comprehensive information on well-being.The quantitative evaluations arebased on a few fixed items specified in the questionnaires used for collecting the data. However, the specific context and environment surrounding the athlete affects the well-being experience of elite athletes.Therefore, to reduce the risk of misinterpreting study findings, studies need to account for the subjective experience of elite athletes on a contextual level.Additionally, personal experience also reduces the chances of relating resultsto standards that are irrelevant in an elite athlete population. To clarify thedistinction between the physical well-being and social well-being perspectivesLundqvist (2011) suggested a broad framework as a guide and inspirationfor further studies in competitive sports.

Clubs and sporting organizations are responsible for the health management of individual athletes and teams.The organizations, however, face a high number of health challenges.Financial constraints are the primary challenge for sporting organizations when employing team doctors on a full-time or sessional basis. However, employing medical expertsis likely to influence the clinical decisions madewith more focus onorganizational performance goals as opposed to long term individual health goals. An integrated performance health structure can address the challenges facing sports companies. In such a framework, the roles and responsibilities of the medical staff and the coaches are transparent such that both athletes and officials understand the system of clinical governance and external professional appraisal.

Aims and objectives

Women’s rugby is a fast-growing sport with many women now having had an amateur, but successful career in the game. However, many get injured during the competition, sometimes through high risk non-functional over-reaching. The general objective of this study is to determine the effects of the balance of the well-being of elite athletes on the successful performance of the team. The specificobjectives of the study are;

  1. Assess coach and player perceptions of well-being and physical performance
  2. Define success within the boundaries of the team
  • Discuss the impact of interdisciplinary work on well-being and performance
  1. Interview other staff on interdisciplinary communication, with regard to the well-being

Experimental design and methods

This section describes the research design used, the population, and sample size, sampling techniques, data collection techniques, instrument validity, and data analysis methods that will be used in the study.A research design is the plan and structure of investigation so conceived as to obtain answers to research questions. The plan is the overall scheme or program of the research. The descriptive research design was used in the study.The study seeks to establish factors associated with specific occurrences, outcomes, conditions or types of behavior. It describes the current circumstances, terms or relationships concerning a problem, (Maxwell, 2012)

Sampling Technique

Sampling is the process of selecting a  sufficient number of elements from a population so that and understanding the properties or the sample, researchers would be able to generalize the features of the sample to the population. This study will employ non- probability sampling and technique used for purposive sampling to select the sample size. The purposive sampling method was used to choose the sample from the population to get a very accurate result for this study. This method is a technique where the researcher establishes a criterion devoid of randomness for selecting the sample. In purposive sampling, the sample is chosen to suit the purposes of the study. The selected participants for this study will represent a purposeful sample since they have the experience of both playing and coaching in male and female environments (Glesne, 1999). Besides, the participantshave recent memories of these playing and coaching experiences.These methods willbe used due to the time constraints and the difficulty involved in assessing allthe athletes and coaches participating in world championships. The sample is derived from the English rugby union leagues and is a small representation of this field. The participants in this study are all coaches and players involved in elite female rugby union, both male and female. All participants have had experience as players in this sport and in some cases other sports. Some coaches have worked at different levels. The research will be a case study of an elite team, over a short period, to help explore the more holistic element and better understand the complexity of the relationships in a team.

Data Collection

Data collection is the process of gathering and measuring information on targeted variables in an established systematic fashion which then enables one to answer relevant questions and evaluate outcomes. This study will use primary data. A questionnaire will serve as a preliminary data collection technique for providing empirical analysis in the study. Both open- and closed-ended questionnaire will be administered. The nature of the study will be explained to the respondents; hence the respondents’ confidentiality of any information provided will be assured. Respondents will be presented with detailed instructions as to how to complete the questionnaires . The rationale behind giving clear instructions and ensure confidentiality of information is to reduce the likelihood of obtaining biased responses significantly. Using a semi-structured interview, the researcher will begin with more generalized questions followed by more direct and specific ones.

Pilot Study

According to Baker (2010), a pilot study is a mini-version of a full-scale investigation or a trial run done in preparation for the complete study. A pilot study is also known as a ‘feasibility’ study. It can also be a specific pre-testing of research instruments, including questionnaires or interview schedules. A pilot study has not yet been run for the study.

Data Reliability and Validity

Reliability refers to the consistency of measurement instruments (Bonnet, 2010). The instrument in this study is the research questionnaire. This study will useCronbach’s alpha to test reliability; a threshold of 0.7 will be used. The reliability will be established through the Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) data analysis software.

Validity is the degree to which an instrument measures what it is supposed to measure. Content validity which was employed in this study is the extent to which a measuring instrument provides adequate coverage of the topic under review. The research instrument in this study was the questionnaire; it was checked to ensure that it measured the content it was supposed to regulate, and to ensure that the content is meaningful and accurate.

Data Analysis

Data collected through questionnaires was sorted, edited and cleaned. Additionally, the data was coded to ease the analysis and tabulation. Coding is assigning of respondents’ answers to relevant responses categories, in tabulation form, (Creswell, 2013). Regression method, mainly multiple linear regressions will be the significant statistical tool that will be used To analyze the effect of the balance of the well-being of elite athletes on the successful performance of the team. The regression method is more suitable since almost all variables in the present study are measured by interval/ratio scales.Secondly, if the sample size is sufficient, regression is undoubtedly a more powerful way to test the relationship between two or more variables than other statistical methods like non-parametric tests. Graphs such as histograms, pie charts, bar charts, and tables will also use to summarize the result obtained with the help of the Statistical Software such as the Statistical Package for Social Science (SPSS, Version 20) and Microsoft Excel.

Ethical considerations

Ethical consideration in research gives researcher guidelines to ensure that analysis is carried out in the best interest of the respondents (Cardwell, 1999). In this study, the researcher informed the respondents on the purpose of the study. The respondents were given the freedom to choose whether to participate or not to participate in the study.Confidentiality denotes the researcher’s ethical obligation to keep the respondents’ identity and responses private (Newman, 2005). In this study, the respondents will be assured of the confidentiality of the information they gave. The anonymity of the respondents was maintained To maintain this confidentiality,  by not asking them to write their name in the questionnaire and by grouping the data rather than presenting individual responses. There are noforeseen ethical problems involving the interviewing process, interaction with the coaches during the research. All data collection will be the researcher’s responsibility and will be stored in a flash drive and I-cloud account which is password protected. Written documentation and transcriptions will be unnamed and stored safely.

The nature of the study involves interviewing, and the participants may decide to leave at any point.  If a participant chooses to go, I will ask another coach to take part as a replacement. Any coaches who raise objections with any questions may refuse to answer, and this will be noted as part of the study. Coaches may decide to relay their interviews to one another, thereby identifying themselves to each other.All data will be kept confidential except for the information shared during the interviews. A research summary will be provided, on request, to any participant upon completion of all interview transcription for their review. Once the research has been completed, the data will be securely stored for a short period and then destroyed.

There is no professional or personal conflict of interest in this study.

 

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