Coaches violent because of their wounded narcissism

I have long been convinced of the narcissistic evolution of the personality of soccer coaches. There are no studies on these aspects in the world of soccer, however, it seems to me that the violent and aggressive outbursts of coaches already in these first two months of the championship, confirm this idea.

Today we get angry immediately, but above all this is associated with unacceptable behaviors made of shouting on the field at someone, gestures and chairs taken as if they were a club. These are manifestations of human frailty. They are experienced by coaches as an expression of their legitimate right to protest, true, but the form expresses an injury suffered.

Moreover, there is no negative effect brought about by these behaviors. They may be ejected and receive disqualification days, but they are not useful deterrents to abandon this way of being. The only way to motivate them to change would be solely social disapproval but this is not there in soccer. Being condemned and taken back by one’s social sporting environment would represent an opportunity for change, in its absence they will continue as now.

“We should not deny our ambitions, our desire to dominate, our desire to shine and our aspiration to merge with omnipotent figures, but instead we should learn to recognize the legitimacy of these narcissistic forces [...]. We will then be able [...] to transform our archaic grandiosity and exhibitionism into realistic self-esteem and pleasure with ourselves [...] adaptive and joyful capacity to be enthusiastic and to admire the great upon whose life, deeds and personality we can afford to model ourselves” (Kohut, 1982).

Kohut reminds us that the desire to dominate is legitimate but must be geared toward building realistic self-esteem. It seems to me, however, that it is precisely this adaptive work that is lacking in coaches, who thus become dominated by their grandiose thoughts, which if unacknowledged trigger these moments of irrationality in them.

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