New Horizons in Management series
Edited by Janice Langan-Fox and Cary Cooper
Chapter 22: Sources of Stress and Coping Strategies of Sport Officials
Mike Voight Anyone who has donned the zebra stripes and whistle for the task of assisting players, teams and coaches in adhering to the laws of their particular sport knows the stress that embodies this most noble profession. For those who have not had the pleasure, take our word for it! One does not need to go too far to get a sense of the stress involved in governing over sport participants from the age of 4 to the millionaire athletes in the professional ranks, Olympics and World Championships/World Cups. Sports fans only need to turn to the next telecast/webcast of the big game, read the front page of the sports paper, or perform an Internet or You Tube video search to see and hear for themselves the stressors involved with sports officiating – most notably the worldwide attention given to the mistakes officials make on the job. It is the aim of this chapter to identify the most salient sources of stress experienced by sports officials and the ways they attempt to cope with these job-related stressors based on the empirical research from the fields of psychology, sports psychology, counseling, and sports science and coaching. Concluding the chapter will be an explanation of stress management techniques specific to this profession. CURRENT EVENTS In a simple example, a Google search using the title ‘blown referee calls’ revealed over 7 million hits, while using the title ‘blown umpire calls’ resulted in over 13 000 hits. These hits indicated news reports, blog articles...
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