1Norwegian University of Science and Technology, NTNU, Department of Sociology and Political Science, Trondheim, Norway
Stress among Talents in a Football Academy
This article studies Norwegian football academy players who have been part of a professional club at level 2 in Norwegian elite football. The purpose of the article is to report the stress levels of selected players in 2013 and 2016. In addition, the study compares the reported stress level of players who were part of the academy in both 2013 and 2016, with that of the players who were new to the academy in 2016. The selection consists of two groups of players between 12 and 16 years: group 1 consists of 57 players (age 12.8 years) from 2013 and group 2 consists of 51 players (age 15.0 years) from 2016. The results show that the 2013 players reported a significantly higher evaluation and development stress and significantly lower academic stress. The youngest age group reported a significantly higher evaluation stress compared to both the 14-year-olds and the 15–16-year-olds. Compared to the oldest players, the 12–13-year-olds reported a significantly higher development stress and a significantly lower academic stress. Furthermore, the results showed that the players who had been part of the academy for a long time reported significantly less stress on both dimensions – evaluation and development stress. The results would indicate that coaches should be aware of newly recruited players because of their potential lack of safety in the role as an academy player. Further studies should be conducted to see to what extent these results can be confirmed in other academies or other similar performance groups.
stress, football, youth
Arnold, R., & Fletcher, D. (2012). A research synthesis and taxonomic classification of the organizational stressors encountered by sport performers. Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology, 34(3), 397–429.
Ashworth, J., & Heyndels, B. (2007). Selection bias and peer effects in team sports: The effect of age grouping on earnings of German soccer players. Journal of Sports Economics, (8), 355–377.
Byrne, D.G., Davenport, S.C., & Mazanov, J. (2007). Profiles of adolescent stress: The development of the Adolescent Stress Questionnaire (ASQ). Journal of Adolescence, 30, 393–416.
Carver, C.S., & Connor-Smith, J. (2010). Personality and coping. Annual Review of Psychology, (61), 679–704.
Engan, C., & Sæther, S.A. (Submitted). Goal orientations, motivational climate and perception of stress in elite junior football players: A comparison of club levels.
Finn, J., & McKenna, J. (2010). Coping with academy-to-first-team transitions in elite English male team sports: The coaches’ perspective. International Journal of Sports Science and Coaching, 5, 257–279.
Fletcher, D., Hanton, S., & Mellalieu, S.D. (2006). An organizational stress review: Conceptual and theoretical issues in competitive sport. In S. H. S. D. Mellalieu (Ed.), Literature reviews in sport psychology (pp. 321–374): New York: Nova Science.
Gustafsson, H., & Skoog, T. (2012). The mediational role of perceived stress in the relation between optimism and burnout in competitive athletes. Anxiety, Stress, & Coping, 25, 183–199.
Gustafsson, H., Skoog, T., Podlog, L., Lundqvist, C., & Wagnsson, S. (2013). Hope and burnout: Stress and affect as mediators. Psychology of Sport and Exercise, 14, 640–649.
Hanton, S., Fletcher, D., & Coughlan, G. (2005). Stress in elite sport performers: A comparative study of competitive and organizational stressors. Journal of Sports Sciences, (23), 1129–1141.
Holt, N.L., & Dunn, J.G.H. (2004). Grounded theory of the psychosocial competencies and environmental conditions associated with soccer success. Journal of Applied Sport Psychology, (16), 199–219.
Ivarsson, A., Stenling, A., Fallby, J., Johnson, U., Borg, E., & Johansson, G. (2015). The predictive ability of the talent development environment on youth elite football players’ well-being: A person-centered approach. Psychology of Sport and Exercise, 16, 15–23.
Lazarus, R.S. (2000). How emotions influence performance in competitive sports. The Sport Psychologist, 14, 229–252.
Lazarus, R.S., & Folkman, S. (1984). Stress, appraisal and coping: New York: Springer.
Mellalieu, S.D., Neil, R., Hanton, S., & Fletcher, D. (2009). Competition stress in sport performers: Stressors experienced in the competition environment. Journal of Sports Sciences, 27(7), 729–744.
Moksnes, U.K., Byrne, D.G., Mazanov, J., & Espnes, G.A. (2010). Adolescent stress: Evaluation of the factor structure of the Adolescent Stress Questionnaire (ASQ-N). Scandinavian Journal of Psychology, 51, 203–209.
Nerland, E., & Sæther, S.A. (2016). Norwegian football academy players: Players self-assessed competence, perfectionism, goal orientations and motivational climate. Sport Mont Journal, 2, 7–11.
Raedeke, T.D., & Smith, A.L. (2004). Coping resources and athlete burnout: An examination of stress mediated and moderation hypotheses. Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology, 26, 525–541.
Reeves, C.W., Nicholls, A.R., & McKenna, J. (2009). Stressors and coping strategies among early and middle adolescent premier league academy football players: Differences according to age. Journal of Applied Sport Psychology, 21, 31–48.
Roderick, M. (2006). The work of professional football: A labour of love? Oxford: Routledge.
Rudolph, K.D. (2002). Gender differences in emotional responses to interpersonal stress during adolescence. Journal of Adolescent Health, 30, 3–13.
Rudolph, K.D., & Hammen, C. (1999). Age and gender as determinants of stress exposure, generation, and reaction in youngsters: A transactional perspective. Child Development, 70, 660–677.
Sager, S.S., Busch, B.K., & Jowett, S. (2010). Success and failure, fear of failure, and coping responses of adolescent academy football players. Journal of Applied Sport Psychology, 22, 213–230.
Sæther, S.A. (2017). De norske fotballtalentene. Hvem lykkes og hvorfor?Oslo: Universitets for laget.
Sæther, S.A., & Aspvik, N.P. (2016). Norwegian junior football players: Players’perception of stress according to playing time. Sport Science Review, XXV(1–2), 85–96.
Sæther, S.A., Aspvik, N.P., & Høigaard, R. (2017). Norwegian football academy players:Players’ characteristics, stress and coach–athlete relationship. The Open Sports sciences Journal, 10, 141–150.
Tabachnick, B.G., & Fidell, L.S. (2001). Using multivariate statistics. Boston: Allyn and Bacon.
Williams, A.M., & Reilly, T. (2000). Talent identification and development in soccer. Journal of Sports Sciences, 18(9), 657–667.