I would love for my research to result in more focus on coach stress and wellbeing


Lee Baldock is in the final year of his PhD in USW Sport.

"My PhD examines the psychological well-being of elite football coaches working at the highest levels, such as the Barclays Premier League. I’m looking at how they manage the considerable demands of the role, and the impact of stress on both their practice and their life outside of work. I hope that my research will help them be better prepared to cope with the pressures of the job and avoid the implications these pressures may pose for their mental health and well-being.

"This is a great time to do a PhD in this area. Stress, well-being and mental health are currently hot topics in the news and more and more high-level sportspeople are sharing their personal experiences of how the pressure of elite sport can negatively impact upon their psychological health. My research is unique in that it looks at the people who work alongside elite athletes, namely the managers and coaches who also operate within this crazy, highly pressured environment, and are therefore equally susceptible.

"I was inspired to do research by the academics who taught me on my Sport and Exercise Science degree. I saw how their research could influence people’s lives and bring about changes in the world of sport and exercise performance.

"It is a great privilege to be doing a PhD, but it is demanding, mentally challenging and requires a lot of personal sacrifice along the way. The passion I have for my research drives me on during the tough times and conducting research that can have a genuine impact is hugely satisfying.

"One of the highlights was being asked by some esteemed colleagues in the field to write and contribute to two book chapters in the area of stress and well-being in sport, which are due to be published later this year or early next year.

"Doing a PhD at USW has been great. I have a great Director of Studies, Professor Brendan Cropley, who is supportive and challenges me to be the best I can. I have developed fantastic working relationships with the academics here and have been given the opportunity to teach on a range of undergraduate and postgraduate sport courses and develop my skills as an academic.

"Ten years ago, I never imagined I would be doing this, so it will be a huge personal achievement to achieve my PhD.

"Ultimately, though, I am looking to bring about change and I would love for my research to result in coach education programmes dedicating more time to ensuring that coaches are appropriately prepared for the psychological demands of the job."


Mae Lee Baldock ym mlwyddyn olaf ei PhD mewn Chwaraeon USW.

"Mae fy PhD yn archwilio lles seicolegol hyfforddwyr pêl-droed elitaidd sy'n gweithio ar y lefelau uchaf, fel Uwch Gynghrair Barclays. Rwy'n edrych ar sut maen nhw'n rheoli gofynion sylweddol y rôl, ac effaith straen ar eu hymarfer a'u bywyd y tu allan i'r gwaith. Gobeithio y bydd fy ymchwil yn eu helpu i fod yn fwy parod i ymdopi â phwysau'r swydd ac osgoi'r goblygiadau y gallai'r pwysau hyn eu hachosi i'w hiechyd meddwl a'u lles.

"Dyma amser gwych i wneud PhD yn y maes hwn. Mae straen, lles ac iechyd meddwl yn bynciau llosg yn y newyddion ar hyn o bryd ac mae mwy a mwy o chwaraeon lefel uchel yn rhannu eu profiadau personol o sut y gall pwysau chwaraeon elitaidd effeithio'n negyddol ar eu hiechyd seicolegol. Mae fy ymchwil yn unigryw yn yr ystyr ei fod yn edrych ar y bobl sy'n gweithio ochr yn ochr ag athletwyr elitaidd, sef y rheolwyr a'r hyfforddwyr sydd hefyd yn gweithredu yn yr amgylchedd gwallgof, dan bwysau mawr, ac sydd yr un mor agored i niwed.

"Cefais fy ysbrydoli i wneud ymchwil gan yr academyddion a ddysgodd i mi ar fy ngradd Gwyddor Chwaraeon ac Ymarfer Corff. Gwelais sut y gallai eu hymchwil ddylanwadu ar fywydau pobl a sicrhau newidiadau ym myd chwaraeon a pherfformiad ymarfer corff.

"Mae'n fraint fawr cael gwneud PhD, ond mae'n feichus, yn heriol yn feddyliol ac yn gofyn am lawer o aberth personol ar hyd y ffordd. Mae'r angerdd sydd gen i dros fy ymchwil yn fy ngyrru ymlaen yn ystod yr amseroedd anodd ac mae cynnal ymchwil a all gael effaith wirioneddol yn foddhaol iawn.

"Gofynnwyd i un o'r uchafbwyntiau gan rai cydweithwyr uchel eu parch yn y maes ysgrifennu a chyfrannu at ddwy bennod llyfr ym maes straen a lles mewn chwaraeon, y mae disgwyl iddynt gael eu cyhoeddi yn ddiweddarach eleni neu'n gynnar y flwyddyn nesaf.

"Mae gwneud PhD yn USW wedi bod yn wych. Mae gen i Gyfarwyddwr Astudiaethau gwych sy'n gefnogol ac yn fy herio i fod y gorau y gallaf fod. Rwyf wedi datblygu perthnasoedd gwaith gwych gyda'r academyddion yma ac wedi cael cyfle i ddysgu ar ystod o gyrsiau israddedig ac ôl-raddedig a datblygu fy sgiliau fel academydd.

"Ddeng mlynedd yn ôl, wnes i erioed ddychmygu y byddwn i'n gwneud hyn, felly bydd yn gyflawniad personol enfawr i gyflawni fy PhD. Yn y pen draw, serch hynny, rydw i'n edrych i sicrhau newid a byddwn i wrth fy modd pe bai fy ymchwil yn arwain at raglenni addysg hyfforddwyr yn neilltuo mwy o amser i sicrhau bod hyfforddwyr wedi'u paratoi'n briodol ar gyfer gofynion seicolegol y swydd."