Reconciling the maintenance of on-field success with off-field player development: A case study of a club culture within the Australian Football League
Pink, Matthew. (2015) Reconciling the maintenance of on-field success with off-field player development: A case study of a club culture within the Australian Football League. Psychology of Sport and Exercise. 21, pp. 98 - 108. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.psychsport.2014.11.009
Objectives: As a contribution to developing understanding of how professional athletes may successfully develop a dual career and maintain a balance between life on and off the field, the present study sought to analyse a professional Australian Football club culture that has been identified within the industry as successfully supporting player dual career development. At the same time the club has been able to maintain a successful on-field record.
Methods: A case study methodology was used for the analysis with Schein's (2010) levels of organisational culture providing a theoretical framework. Data were collected by means of fifteen interviews which included players (11), and non-playing staff (4) comprising an executive staff member, a coach, a team manager, and the player development manager. Observations were also made and recorded by the first author during a two week immersion in the club environment.
Results: Four basic assumptions that explained the coherence between espoused values and artefacts concerning dual career development were identified. They were that: dual career development is important however football comes first; balancing sport and off-field life ensures players' well-being and facilitates on-field performance; players should be encouraged to find personal meaning in their dual career activity, and; the club has an ethical responsibility to support player dual career development.
Conclusion: Analysis of the findings suggests that the successful support of dual careers requires a coherent club culture, where related activities exist as part of a holistic approach to player development. This approach must recognise the priority placed on athletic performance.
|Keywords||dual career development; professional sporting club; AFL; Australia; professional athletes|
|Journal||Psychology of Sport and Exercise|
|Journal citation||21, pp. 98 - 108|
|Digital Object Identifier (DOI)||https://doi.org/10.1016/j.psychsport.2014.11.009|
|Page range||98 - 108|
|Research Group||Sports Performance, Recovery, Injury and New Technologies (SPRINT) Research Centre|
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|Place of publication||Netherlands|
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