Scientific article
Open access

Changing coaches in a local Portuguese professional soccer team: influencing factors and decision effect

Published inJournal of Physical Education and Sport, vol. 23, no. 1, p. 276-285; 33
Publication date2023-01-31
First online date2023-01-31

In male professional soccer, changing coaches frequently occurs during a sports season. Although this decision may disrupt players’ and teams’ development, organizational progress, and financial stability, the administrations still decide to change coaches due to several sportive factors. This study aims to describe a local Portuguese professional soccer team's reality regarding specific factors influencing the decision to dismiss a coach across a sports season and reflect on the decision effect. The sample was composed of three male coaches who managed a professional soccer team during the 2020/2021 season and thirty-six male professional soccer players. Our results showed that the coaches were dismissed after a sequence of unsatisfactory results and the team being in a relegation position. Both new coaches had a short-term positive impact on team results and players’ total distance covered in official matches. In terms of training, there was a decrease in the total distance covered by the players in the weeks following the change of coach, raising the hypothesis that there was a focus on tactical and technical aspects, rather than on the physical work of the team. Also, the change of coach led to a modification in the players most used in official matches in two or three specific positions on the field. Although, changing coaches did not have long-term effects on the team sports results. Therefore, considering the financial effort required and the sportive effects, the decision to change coaches during a season seems questionable. Our findings contribute to the analysis of an event that has become more frequent in our reality, being a topic that still requires further exploration in other local contexts.

  • Football
  • Coach dismissal
  • Sports expectation
  • Changing impact
  • Total distance
Research group
Citation (ISO format)
MARTINS, Francisco et al. Changing coaches in a local Portuguese professional soccer team: influencing factors and decision effect. In: Journal of Physical Education and Sport, 2023, vol. 23, n° 1, p. 276–285. doi: 10.7752/jpes.2023.01033
Main files (1)
Article (Published version)
ISSN of the journal2247-8051

Technical informations

Creation08/17/2023 12:54:52 PM
First validation08/24/2023 1:21:12 PM
Update time08/24/2023 1:21:12 PM
Status update08/24/2023 1:21:12 PM
Last indexation02/01/2024 10:34:17 AM
All rights reserved by Archive ouverte UNIGE and the University of GenevaunigeBlack