The coach-athlete relationship in table tennis: Practical implications and avenues for intervention

Research papers
By Guillaume Martinent

The scientific literature on the coach-athlete relationship, coach behaviors, or coach leadership widely recognizes the central role of the coach-athlete relationship in athlete well-being and performance. This is even more important in individual sports where the athlete is in constant interaction with his or her coach during training and competitions. In table tennis, coaches and their players share many experiences (both pleasant and unpleasant) during the athlete’s sporting career, and it is not uncommon for coaches of young players to accompany them to the highest level of play as adults. Thus, the dissemination of knowledge about the coach-athlete relationship, as well as its practical implications, is essential in order for the different actors (i.e., table tennis players, coaches, parents, sports psychologists, mental trainers) to optimize the resources and performance of athletes. The first part of this article will aim at briefly presenting the different theoretical models of the coach-athlete relationship. The second part will consider the concrete practical implications that could result from this in order to optimize the different periods in the life of the table tennis player (i.e., joining a club, training, competitions, matches). Finally, the third part will consist in presenting the results of interventional research protocols and proposing avenues for the construction of interventional research protocols that could be considered to optimize the coach-athlete relationship in table tennis.

  • coach behaviors
  • interventional research
  • coach-coachee relationship
  • table tennis
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