The Journal of SPORT


Numerous research studies have examined the relationship between organizational stress and organizational effectiveness, especially in relation to athlete performance. The purpose of this case study was to investigate the process by which National Performance Directors (NPDs) of a single U.S. Olympic sport program attempted to prevent and manage the organizational stress of their athletes in preparation for and participation in international competition in an Olympic year. Results indicated the NPDs were aware of the causes of stress identified in the literature. Despite a lack of formalized sport psychology training, the NPDs assumed responsibility for managing these stressors, relying on past personal experience as elite athletes to guide them. Critical to prevention and management of stress were facilitating environments conducive to maximizing athlete performance, creating ample support structures, communicating among constituent groups, and managing relationships through the development of social cohesion.