Laughter in the Locker Room: Unlocking High Performance Through Humor in Coaching


  • Lawrence W. Judge Ball State University
  • Ronald Dolon Ball State University
  • Kyra Livergood Ball State University
  • Brandon Evans Ball State University



This article examines the strategic use of humor in sports coaching and its positive effects on athletic engagement and performance. Grounded in empirical research and the synthesis of sports coaching theory, the study highlights humor's critical function in fortifying social bonds, reducing stress, and enhancing information retention among athletes. The incorporation of humor into coaching practices is presented not just as casual amusement but as a sophisticated tactic to navigate the complexities of elite sports environments. With an emphasis on respectful and effective application, humor is identified as a transformative tool within interpersonal and group dynamics. This exploration advocates for the purposeful implementation of humor by coaches to cultivate a coaching atmosphere that nurtures rapport and resilience. The article calls for further investigation into the nuanced interactions of humor within cultural contexts and learning styles, suggesting that such inquiry will benefit ongoing advancements in sports coaching methodologies and contribute to the broader coaching discourse. In essence, the valorization of humor in coaching is recognized as pivotal in developing enriched, athlete-centered coaching approaches.