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Work-Life Balance

Beginning in 2005, the SLQ has produced a robust body of scholarly work around the investigation of the work-life interface in sport. This investigation includes examination of early- mid-late career male and female coaches in both high school and collegiate settings, across a variety of sports. It also includes investigation of front office personnel in collegiate sport. This work has been funded by The University of Texas, Troy University, The NCAA, and Rice University.



















Major findings from this work with coaches are highlighted below:

  • Coaching moms and dads both struggle to find balance, but experience work-life conflict in different ways


  • Coaching moms fiercely competitive nature lends itself to tremendously high levels of guilt


  • Fathers typically do not use organizational supports even if available


  • Mothers rely on a whole network of supports


  • Career head coaches often find success in managing dual roles, and those management patterns can be identified.


  • Autonomy, flexible performance schedules, supervisor support, and individual supports helpful


  • Dual roles can be enriching- provides impetus for organizations to support work-life policies and practices.

















The exploration of the work-life interface includes those working in the front office of sport organizations. This recent work with Dr. Matt Huml, Dr. Liz Taylor and Dr. Erianne Weight includes these major findings:

  • An overly pressurized work culture or environment can change an employee’s positive work engagement into workaholism


  • Employers need to invest in improving their employee’s work-life conflict.


  • Work-family conflict can actually buffer employee’s from workaholism and burnout


  • A framework of five career archetypes show how poor industry culture hinders long-term development of underrepresented groups within the upper-levels of sport, such as women



















An extension of this work involves the ability of elite athletes to manage multiple life roles, or identities. This work with Dr. Arden Anderson, has uncovered the following highlights:


  • Holding multiple life roles is highly beneficial for elite athletes.


  • Structure and management of competitive team environments limits life roles.


  • Athletes can still place importance on athlete role without sacrificing other life roles.


  • Athletes need to be given more agency over their team and life roles.


  • Managers need flexibility and adaptability in socialization process to build identification and conformity without suffocating team members.



















The exploration of work-life balance also extends to families. This work, with Dr. Mike Newhouse-Bailey identified the following:


  • Pursuit of high-performance sport comes at a high cost to siblings, families


  • Costs are both financial and relational


  • Is it worth it?

Family in Pool
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