These are articles that are aimed at an informed yet not necessarily specialised audience. The emphasis of these articles are on the dissemination of knowledge that is practical.

Podcast: Sophia Jowett on the coach-athlete relationship

Sophia Jowett is interviewed by Steve Ingham (Sports and Performance Scientist and Co-Founder at Supporting Champions). In this episode, Sophia and Steve are exploring "a topic that sits at the very heart of performance, yet is often overlooked: the coach-athlete relationship."

Wednesday Sep 27, 2023

125: Sophia on the coach-athlete relationship - listen or watch here:

Public Lecture: What has the coach-athlete relationship got to do with coaching?"

My inaugural lecture entitled "What has the coach-athlete relationship got to do with coaching?" is freely accessible here: Please share with anyone who you think may be interested.

December 2019

Read this article on an external website

Long-Distance Coach-Athlete Relationship (remote coaching)

Coaches and athletes usually develop typical coach-athlete relationships. A typical relationship is defined as one where coaches and athletes interact face-to-face on a daily or regular basis. In atypical coach-athlete relationships, a coach and an athlete choose to work long-distance. Due to the current situation created by COVID-19, coaches and athletes need to adjust to long-distance working modes with one another. Moving to a long-distance coach-athlete relationship can pose certain challenges.

Coaches Dealing with Change – a new situation…due to COVID-19

Feeling Stuck?

Take some time to self-reflect (Why are you stuck? Explore why and what this change/new situation means to you?) Get a third party involved (e.g., a mentor, a psych, a friend). They can help you: they can ask different questions making you think about the change/situation you are facing in a different way…It is likely that you will create different meanings as you talk to others!! Communication is key in “unpacking” what you are dealing with and can help you understand why you feel stuck…and how you can best move on. It is important to gain perspective – your clarity and vision will affect your individual athletes and team/squad as a collective.

Building a Coach-Athlete Relationship

Listen to #16 Prof Sophia Jowett – Building a Coach-Athlete Relationship from The Sport Psych Show in Podcasts.

Read this article on an external website

How to fuel good quality relationships with effective communication (1)

Communication Strategies for good quality coach-athlete relationships

How to fuel good quality relationships with effective communication (2)

Communication Strategies for good quality coach-athlete relationships

How to fuel good quality relationships with effective communication (3)

Communication Strategies for good quality coach-athlete relationships

How to fuel good quality relationships with effective communication (4)

Communication Strategies for good quality coach-athlete relationships

Infographics: Creating Relational Coaching Environments (1)

Creating Closeness (mutual respect, trust, appreciation and interpersonal liking)

Infographics: Creating a Relational Coaching Environment (2)

Commitment (developing a long-term orientation toward the relationship; the intention to maintain a close relationship over time through ups and downs)

Infographics: Creating a Relational Coaching Environment (3)

Complementarity or Co-operation (interactions are marked by responsivenes, easiness, acceptance, patience, friendliness, calmness but also a sense of leadership and followship)

Tandem Workbook for coaches

  • Tandem workbook allows coaches by reflecting and drawing on their experiences and skills to get the edge
  • Tandem workbook offers coaches an opportunity to think of ways they can further improve the ways they relate, communicate and interact with their athletes
  • Tandem workbook provides a glimpse into the workshops we deliver to coaches and coach educators where the coach-athlete relationship is viewed at the heart of effective and successful coaching
  • If you wish to deliver a Tandem workshop for coaches at your organisation please get in touch. We will be happy to discuss your requirements
  • If you have feedback about the Tandem workbook, please share it with us: [email protected]

Read this article

Tandem Workbook for athletes

It is coming up soon!

Two Can Play This Game: Review of the Tandem Coach-athlete Relationship Tool

This is what Sports Coach UK through Connected Coaches said:

Tandem provides an online profile of a coach-athlete relationship. A number of options are available, which include the profile being completed by only one half of the relationship. On the two occasions I completed the profile, the athlete did too.

The profile is a diagnosis tool and provides a visual record of where both parties see the relationship at the current time. Through this and the recommended questions, you are able to reflect and begin an important coaching conversation with your athlete.

On registering with Tandem through the website, you are provided with your own dashboard where you can purchase, complete and review the profiles.

I found the website easy to use, clear and very visual. Once you have purchased a report, you are able to send an email link to the athlete for them to complete it. You also receive an email asking you to complete the assessment. This is very easy to do, asking you your thoughts and feelings on the relationship, as well as your view on how the athlete may perceive the relationship.

Shortly afterwards, you receive a generated report. I selected the option where both coach and athlete complete the assessment. I received three reports – two individual reports and a comparison report.

The reports are clearly presented, providing a blend of text and graphics. The sections within the reports are explained, as are the reasons for their inclusion and their importance to the relationship. This is followed by a breakdown of your personal scoring and how this may influence the relationship. Finally in each section, there is a series of questions, reflection areas, prompts and points that you may want to consider, along with a number of suggestions and ideas to help you progress your coach-athlete relationship.

To read the entire blog click the link.

Read this article on an external website

Golf: The man behind the player can hold the key to victory

According to new research conducted at Loughborough University and guided by Jowett's 3+1Cs model of relationships, a caddie can improve a golfer's performance by 30% or more if their relationship is strong.

Read this article on an external website

What makes the coach-golfer relationship succeed or fail

Can success be achieved by talent alone? Maybe it can. Though what is clear is that even the most talented and successful athletes have coaches to help and support them. While Tiger Woods, Lee Westwood and Phil Mickelson are among the most talented and skilled golfers in the world, they still need coaches. It begs the question, what do coaches do to be so successful with their golfers? It is commonly argued that the coach has the capacity to see what golfers can’t see and has the ability to fine-tune their performance as well as help them focus their efforts and energies so they excel. However, without the coach-athlete bond, coaches’ capacities, abilities and skills would be less effective. The coach-athlete bond provides a platform from which both the coach and the athlete pursue and ultimately achieve success.

Read this article

Special Relationship (in Football)

Relational coaching recognises that at the heart of coaching lies the interpersonal relationship formed between the coach and each one of the players in a team. Each relationship provides a unique vehicle that allows the coach to transform their players by openly communicating strengths and weaknesses as well as individual and joint performance goals. The bond or connection that is formed between coaches and their players allow each player to be more receptive and responsive in the knowledge that their coaches have their best interest at heart. In this article I describe how relational coaching is a sound platform from which players develop their skills, techniques, and tactics, and ultimately successfully cohesive teams.

Read this article

As Andy Murray Appoints Amélie Mauresmo His New Trainer - Can a Woman Coach a Man?

Loughborough University Sports Psychologist Sophia Jowett commented on the specific issue of why Andy Murray has chosen a female coach: 'The motivation between selecting a female coach is an interesting one and only Andy can answer this question. What our research has shown is that the coach-athlete relationship (like any type of relationship) evolves/changes. In terms of coaching, the relationship is very instructional in the beginning, and very supportive in the middle/end. What I would imagine Andy requires at this stage of his career is someone who is wholly supportive and believes in his abilities and acts as a "mirror" that reflects errors, weaknesses and shortcomings... but also strengths, abilities and powers. It is the looking glass self phenomenon, someone that validates him... and helps him overcome his demons. His new coach may be the person that he needs to overcome obstacles by supporting, energising and motivating him'.

Read this article on an external website

Loughborough sports research could benefit business, education and medicine

Research by a Loughborough University academic into the  importance of the athlete-coach relationship may be used in other areas, like  business, education and medicine. The study conducted by a team of national and international  scientists led by Dr Sophia Jowett, from the School of Sport, Exercise and  Health Sciences, showed that the coach-athlete relationship was fundamental to  world class performance and success. They developed the world’s first theoretical model to  explain the content and functions of the relationship. It is known as the 3+1Cs  model of relationships: Closeness, Commitment, Complementary, and  Co-orientation.

Dr Jowett said: “We are  spreading our wings to other life domains

“What we have uncovered in sport has applications in  business, medicine and education.

“The 3+1Cs model of relationships is a theoretical model  that explains how people relate, communicate and interact.

“It can be easily applied to numerous types of relationships  people develop and maintain over time, such as manager-employee, doctor-nurse-patient,  teacher-pupil and so on.

“We are currently working on applying this model across and  testing it in other domains.

“We are employing it in executive coaching within corporate  organisations, and in education where we are investigating the quality and  functions of the pupil-teacher relationship for achievement, success and  happiness.

“So far, research findings suggest that the 3+1Cs  relationship model and its accompanied psychometric tools translate well from  sport to both executive coaching and education.

Read this article on an external website