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EvelChat #27 “How Did We Go From 'Three Weeks a Year' To You're Never Home…?”: A Chat with Donna Kaye-Harris.
Episode 2714th January 2022 • EvelChat • Derek Evely
00:00:00 02:12:13

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If you are a committed coach in a relationship you are going to want to listen to this podcast. If you are the committed spouse or partner of a coach you are really going to want to listen to this podcast...

In this, the first in a two part series of EvelChat, Derek talks to Donna Kaye-Harris, lifelong coach, sport builder & researcher, on interviews she did with 10 Olympic coaches & their partners prior to the 2016 Rio Games. In part 1 we discuss the feedback from the data on the partners of coaches, in part 2 we discuss the data from the coaches themselves.

Donna interviewed each person in the cohort separately & independently, collecting feedback on how the coaching profession (obsession?) has impacted their partnership, family life, health and other important areas. While her findings are unpublished, her raw data, easily digestible & organized around quotes from both the coach & partner, can be viewed here.

This is a fascinating discussion on the impact coaching has on a marriage, partnership, relationship and family and should not be missed.

Donna Harris, ChPC, is a Chartered Professional Coach skilled in program development and implementation. She holds a Master of Arts in Kinesiology; her thesis explored the impact of passion on the performance and lives of elite coaches and their partners. The research outcomes lend insight into the requirements high performers need to be successful as well as the impact being a high performer has on the individual, their partner and their family.  The architect behind Athletics Canada’s revised coaching education program, she understands the components of performance and the steps necessary to draw out the best from everyone.


  • “They’re not quite present in family life”
  • “Knowing that you’re second place”
  • “I got to go, I went to Beijing, I went to Athens”
  • “The coach’s career trumps my career”
  • “You’re not really making a lot of the decisions that affect your life”
  • “Worrying (about job security) doesn’t really help a whole lot”
  • “It’s a job of passion, not a job you count hours”
  • “. . .and then it consumes you”
  • “Tell me a coach that was great and had good work-life balance”
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