The light quartet: Positive personality traits and approaches to coping in sport coaches

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Research on coping in sport has focused predominantly on athletes. However, coping is also relevant to coaches who are known to experience much competitive stress. The aim of this investigation was to examine the association between positive personality traits (the light quartet: hope, optimism, perseverance, and resilience) and coping strategies adopted by sport coaches.


Cross-sectional observational study.


In total, 2135 Spanish individual and team sport coaches (657 women, 1478 men, mean age = 31.10 years, range = 18–74 years), working in 41 different sports, completed a battery of questionnaires assessing approaches to coping, hope, optimism, perseverance, resilience, and various demographic questions.


The data showed that facets of the light quartet were associated with the coping strategies adopted by coaches. Perseverance and resilience were most important for emotional calming and active planning, optimism was most important for mental withdrawal and turning to religion, hope and perseverance were most important for seeking social support, and optimism and perseverance were most important for taking behavioral risks. Some associations between personality and coping were moderated by coach sex and type of sport coached (team vs. individual).


The findings of this study provide evidence that positive personality traits are important for coping among sport coaches. Further research using prospective designs and natural experimental methods is encouraged.

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