Preferred coaching styles and leadership methods by athletes and their effectiveness! Jason Appleton Southern Oregon University, Instructor: Garth Pitman Research Strategies, Fall 2005 Summary: This is an investigation of different coaching methods and styles of leadership in which are most effective and preferred by Athletes. The various leadership styles are explained and examined. The present study found that there isn’t one style that is most effective or preferred by all athletes specifically.
As we enter the world of sports several different theories and methods of coaching are used and preformed each day. Each coach innovates their specific style or way of coaching to their athletes. When viewing coaching and leadership styles it becomes apparent that there are many different styles of coaching and leadership in general, each possessing a level of effectiveness in success and preference. The question that is commonly raised is which method is most effective and or preferred by athletes.
This study is being preformed to analyze and accumulate a solution or result to the preference by athletes and also which method or style is most effective. To conclude and answer that question the idea r concept we are left with is that there isn’t one style or technique of coaching and leadership that is most effective and preferred. It is important to reveal and identify what leadership entails and represents. As we take a look at (Adams, Brilliant, Gleans, 2004 ) they do a great job of focusing on the difference between leadership and a leader.
When focusing on leadership in general they keen in on the idea that it is an interpersonal influence. Even further the way that Hickman and Johnson describe it with the focus on communication it reveals or is defined as “human symbolic immunization which modifies the attitudes and behaviors of others in order to meet group goals and 229) When reaching further into the article it explains how leadership is essentially controlled by power or it is present by the superior leader, but with it comes the proper use of its possession.
They continue to explain leaders can influence others by using power thus creating a relationship of some magnitude based on perceived power. With this relationship the many power levels vary by situation and enforcement. To be more specific effective leader and to know how to use their power by punishing lowers when necessary and reward followers when positive performance is achieved. These are concepts of an effective leader must posses. Directly incorporated in leadership is a leader or the person who posses the power.
This person is explained to be influential to the group behaviors and or is elected by the group or designated by the group to lead. The big difference explained in this article is leadership being a process and leaders as a person with influence. This concept directly relating to coaching effectiveness and the aspects a coach must withhold in order to be an effective leader. The article also hits an interesting part in which is often forgotten when thinking about leaders and that is as a leader or individual the success of the group or team is directly reflected back to you.
An area of leadership that is not often focused on is the nonverbal aspect of leadership. As author Remand (2003) analyzes the importance of effective nonverbal cues and communication. Remand describes the different techniques and knowledge a coach or leader needs to specifically insert towards individuals. An example the author discusses is “sudden and dramatic changes in behavior ay be viewed as insincere and manipulative by subordinates” (pig. 28). The idea of athletes or followers each having specific abilities to comprehend nonverbal cues and an effective leader has to be able to recognize this.
Therefore, stating that “managers need to develop some skills in the encoding and decoding of nonverbal messages. Much of what a manager says may be contradicted by what he or she does” (pig. 28). This directly relates with athlete-coach relationships and their nonverbal communication. This idea that much of the nonverbal cues displayed have a great effect on the relationship and thoughts between the coach-athlete. Leadership has been researched extensively but yet scholars are yet to find or compile an exact definition.
As (Kent, Todd, 2004) explain there have been many efforts in defining leadership and several ideas have been compiled yet there is still a distinct discrepancy amongst scholars. Author Childcare breaks down leadership into three elements: “(1) leadership is a behavior process, (2) leadership is interpersonal in nature, and (3) leadership is aimed at influencing and motivating members toward group goals” (pig. 160). These are the ways he focuses leaderships and their intentions towards leading.
Kent and Todd further issues the importance of leadership and its distinct aspect to society and organizations, and that future successes are largely dependent upon it (2004). Another area in the domain of leadership styles is when (Zorn & Violation 1993) define leadership as “patterns of behaviors, assumptions, attitudes, or traits exhibited by individuals in attempting to provide leadership” (pig. 70). Additionally we further examine (Bloom, Ball©e, 2005; Childcare, 1990; Childcare & Sells 1978; Ghana et. Al. 997) in which “they break down the different styles of leadership into five categories, autocratic, democratic, positive dieback, social support and training and instruction. They believed that these were the prominent methods of coaching in athletics. They then ran various surveys to compile as they mention more accurate reflection of coaching process” (pig 74). Source after source continues to mention the impact of the multidimensional model of leadership and how it is the first of its kind specifically generated for sports situations.
While many focus on Secularism’s model C¶t©, J. ; Selma, J. H. And several other scholars state “athlete performance and satisfaction was the product of three types of leadership behaviors: required dervish behaviors, preferred leadership behaviors, and actual leadership behaviors” (pig. 180). The authors explain that it’s an equal combination between these three different aspects that incorporate each behavior creates effective leadership. The first style of leadership being examined is the autocratic method of coaching and leadership.
When focusing on the autocratic method authors explain that this style “limits involvement of student-athletes in decisions; use of commands and punishments; prescribes plans and methods for activities” (Beam, Serrated, & Wilson 2004 pig. 11). When looking at (Beam, Serrated, & Wilson) we observe their study on the preference of division I athletes and fatherly sub-categorized into specific variables. These including gender, competition level, task dependency, and task variability all in which playing factors in the results and being analyzed.
The results observed that “male-students showed significantly greater preferences for autocratic and social behaviors. Just the opposite the female-athletes preferred situational consideration and training and instruction. Analysis then also showed there wasn’t a difference in preference based on competition levels. The study brings up an interesting point in the idea that athletes being coached with a autocratic approach and the athletes perception of their coaches didn’t change is they were successful but there was a significant perception of their coaches on a unsuccessful team.
This test identified that successful teams were affected by their coach’s use of an autocratic approach at the beginning of a season as compared to a successful team which wasn’t affected. Another observation abstracted from these results is that athletes in their first years of competition felt less support form their coaches. As we analyze other sources including (Truman 2003 citing Childcare, Mallory, Miramar & Humanity 1 987) their research shows that higher level of competition and skill preferred an autocratic style of coaching.
This may conclude that the level of skill can only be taught in an autocratic style as compared to more contemporary sports today. As we glance at other material we find that there is a lack there of preference for autocratic behavior. Identifying that athlete’s don’t like the authoritarian coach that keeps their distance from the team. In fact athletes prefer less strict environments where they can perform with more personal freedom and lack of fear from coaches. (Fuller, Sherman & Speed 2000) The next style of coaching and leadership being analyzed is the democratic approach.
As we observe the definition from (Beam, Serrated, & Wilson 2004 pig. 1 1) they state it “allows participation of student-athletes in decision; involves respect and acceptance of student-athletes rights”. Research by (Truman 2001 pig. 585) describes “athletes’ perceptions of their coaches’ use of positive feedback or training and instruction leadership significantly affecting the success ND athlete experience levels” which is an excellent way of describing a democratic method of coaching. Studies have also shown that this style of coaching is highly preferred by female athletes.
Other sources or article also by (Truman 2003 pig. 76) describes the preference of democratic coaching in “modern day sports such as football, hockey, and basketball sports had strongest desire for their coaches to include them in the decision making process for the team. ” This is a difference in preference comparison as the elite and or higher level athletes preferring autocratic styles of coaching and teaching. This approach of coaching in a sense is making the team a part of the coaching process, or a democracy in the decisions the teams makes.
Another form or style of coaching and leadership is known as the situational leadership method. Going back to Beam, Serrated, and Wilson (2004) their table describes this method as “reflects situational factors in behavior; considers individual student-athletes maturity and skill level” (pig. 11). Or in other words the coach adapting to each situation on a individual basis. This is the most ideal form of coaching and most likely expected to be successful in a sense. If a coach as the ability to adapt to each situation and transform methods of coaching by each situation this would be the making of a successful coach.
As Hershey & Blanchard (1969) explain and support this method in contributing belief that a effective leader must adapt their leadership style based upon their subordinates” (pig. 580). This idea of using maturity as a keyword in describing a follower’s skill level and readiness creating wiliness is how Blanchard and Hershey use or create this idea. They explain how that a leader must be able to encompass this skill of being able to read these different levels of readiness and kill on an individual bases off individual and a group.
In a specific example they state “Maturity is a task-specific concept and depends on what the leader is attempting to accomplish” (Blanchard & Hershey pig. 420). This concept of different stages of readiness seems to be a key factor to focus in on when using this method. The idea is brought up that at beginning stages a higher level or you could say autocratic method would be used and or imposed as compared to a skillful group in which then a lesser level of leadership would be used.
Truman does an excellent job of relating Carbon and Secularism’s idea that and coincides tit Blanchard and Hershey in the concept of maturity and stages of readiness. They state that ” it can be assumed that athletic maturity increases as the athlete progresses through the competitive levels of elementary, high school, university, and professional sport’ (pig. 372). This can also be broken down into stages our over the course of a season. The draw back to the situational leadership is identified as the comparison of different levels of play.
It is said that there is a different relationship between athletes and coaches at different levels of play specifically related to which level of school they are in. As we look at several authors backing this notion they identify that “maturity from a perspective of differing sports settings including Amateur Athletic Union, junior high, senior high school, college, and professional levels is one of the major reasons for the inability to apply the situational leadership theory to a sports context” Pig #??? (Case, 1987; Arrant & Childcare, 1985; Carbon & Childcare, 1983; Voss Strachey, 1979).
Further, examining the relationship amongst these athlete-coach relations and finding there to be a strong difference in comparability. In direct relation to the situational method we observe (Adams, Brilliant, Gleans, 2004 pig. 239) and hear the concept of Contingency approach defined as “assume that group situations vary, with different situations requiring different leadership styles. ” In more detail they explain that factors such as skills and experience, cultural values, and type of task all are going to concepts that a leader will have to take into effect in order to be successful.
The common phrase also being used in the article in which “What will work for one group won’t for another”. With this being taken into account a leader must use the proper teeth or style of leadership directly corresponding with the individual case or situation. In there words they describe it as tailoring to fit a specific situation facing the group(Adams, Brilliant, Gleans, 2004, pig. 259 ). This article also does an excellent job of comparing the different models of significant scholars.
They focus on Fiddler’s Contingency model and its idea that leaders have limitations in their ability to adapt, and can only change so much. This leads to the concept that individuals have specific coaching styles and they tend to stick to them and prefer them and are usually not subject to change. This model differencing from the other model used Hershey and Blanchard situational model, explaining that individual or leaders are flexible and capable to adapt and fur fill the needs of the group directly objecting from the other model.
Going into more detail it is explained that an effective leader will have top adapt over the course of time and with the skills of its followers. This also leads to the idea that an effective leader has to have the ability to see and observe these changes and the necessary changes in their leadership style in order to fit the group’s needs. Other sources such as (Fuller, Sherman, & Speed 2000 pig. 390) they state “The coach may adopt either a homogeneous approach that treats all athletes equally, or alternatively create a heterogeneous style that provides differential treatment to individual athletes”.
Then going on to explain that it is vital that a coach uses the proper style either to provide a positive experience for the athletes generating the most effective performance. This basically supports both models but with the emphasis on the best choice for the group or team. Another interesting idea that (Adams, Brilliant, Gleans, 2004 ) present is the incept of leadership amongst a group to be present in order for a group to perform. They mention that you can have an effective group without a leader but you can not have a effective group without leadership.
This holds true in the concepts of athletics and the idea that you could still perform your goals and task in an athletic event as long as there was leadership amongst the team. The idea that different forms of leadership are amongst the team and different levels of maturity are described to or distributed by the amount of leadership one posses within themselves. If there is leadership amongst a group it can properly function thou the title of a leader being present or a coach for instance.
Without leadership amongst a team the lack there of wouldn’t allow a team to function at least effectively and or successfully. When analyzing the ideas and concepts of effective group leaders the authors break it down in to certain aspects that an effective leader would posses. These include communicating actively, having a good grasp of the group tasks, inspiring team members confidence in themselves, skillful information ideas and knowledge, opinionated, group-centered concerns, respecting and supporting others and rewards and credit shared between he group.
These are prime examples of a leaders skills and which they posses and in the idea of being effective. (Adams, Brilliant, Gleans, 2004) Another idea and style used in coaching is the social support method in which is seen to be a factor that athletes prefer in coaching. It is seen that athletes in higher level of skill prefer this method of training and instruction. When we focus on a college level of skill they already have a high level of skill in their particular sport therefore they preferred coaching method wouldn’t be that the same of a high school athlete.
These athletes prefer positive feedback and basically to be instructed in a calm manner with respect form their coach. In relation to this idea brought up by Truman we also take a look at the concept of support behaviors having “beneficial impact on athletes’ intrinsic and self-determined extrinsic motivation, which are important determinants of performance and persistence”(Manage, Valerian 2003 pig. 899). This being the idea that with the support of a coach it allows the athlete to feel good about themselves and in return perform to their best ability and in an emotional stable matter.
Horn supports this notion as well stating the type of leadership behavior displayed by he coach can have a significant effect on the performance and psychological well being of the athlete ( Horn 1992). With support from coaches it drives a motivation to excel and do well. Bloom and Ball©ex.’s (year) findings showed that ” expert coaches aimed at developing each player into a high level athlete, instilling intrinsic motivation to maximize their potential” (pig. 187). This is a very important aspect to understand and realize that a coach’s behavior towards an athlete or team can have a direct effect on their ability to perform adequately.
It seems through various researches no matter what level of play or gender there is demand for this type of relation and preference. As we look further into coaching methods and leadership skills the idea the athlete-coach relationship is brought into effect in the feelings of the athlete. Looking at (Manage, Valerian, 2003) they analyze the motivational aspects of the athlete induced by the coach. The authors talk about how the behavior of the coaches towards their athletes plays a role in the emotional motivation of the athlete.
It discusses how being “autonomy supportive and having the coach in a authority position and the athlete in a students position and acknowledges the there’ feelings and provides the other with pertinent information and opportunities for choice, while minimizing the use of pressure and demands’. Included in this method or style several other aspects are present and they include avoiding over control, guilt inducing criticism, providing non-controlling competence feedback and finally preventing ego-involvement from taking place”(pig. 889).
When leadership styles and methods of coaching are broken down there are successful teams as well as non-successful teams. The idea of teams with elite athletes not being successful while other teams with average players beating the ads and being really successful is brought into account we then examine team cohesion. According to Truman “the way leaders promote and create high levels of group cohesion have a dramatic effect on the way a group performs” (2003, pig. 86). Truman (2003) examines the coaches motivational techniques used to create success and or high levels of cohesion.
He explains that the idea of athletes in small groups specifically a team all stick together to obtain success. “Team success is seen as the ultimate goal of sports competition” (pig. 87). It’s safe to say that usually athletes don’t enjoy the idea of losing it’s not the goal of the team. According to a study by Martens and Peterson (1971) in surveying 1,200 male university athletes who participated in intramural sports the results concluded that the influence of differing levels of group cohesiveness as a determinant of player satisfaction and team effectiveness. Those teams who are more cohesive are more successful, and teams which are successful have a greater satisfaction from participation than unsuccessful teams” (pig. 58). Truman describes “the use of athlete directed techniques, use of motivational speeches and showing dedication are similar coaching strategies represented by democratic style, social support behavior, and rewarding behaviors displayed in the leadership scale for sports” (pig. 100). These results from Truman using the leadership of sports scale also correlating directly with findings from other scholars (Carton, Childcare, Bibb; Gardner et. L. , 1996; Shields, et. Al. , 1995; West, Weiss, 1991 Turban’s study showed different results varying form positive to negative motivation due to the coach’s leadership. In direct consequence bringing down the team’s cohesiveness. Negative motivations included embarrassment, ridicule, bragging and favoritism all played an negative effect on the athletes relations tit other teammate as well as the relationship and or feeling towards the coach directly bringing down the cohesion of the team and overall success.
Positive motivational attributes included sarcasm, teasing, bragging, enthusiasm and motivational speeches all in which generated positive feedback form the athletes and felt it brought the team together and as a family. According to West and Weiss (1991) “a series of sub-analyses revealed that perceptions of team and individual success, as well as starter/nonstarter playing status, were also related to perceptions of coaching behaviors and/or team cohesion” (pig. 43). One interesting result from his analysis was that team prayer was a positive attribute amongst the team that brought them together before their event. The team prayer allowed athletes to forgo any conflicts and brought them together as one unit” (pig. 99). Turban’s main idea and conclusion indicated that an effective coach has to have the ability to create team cohesion. In this the coach has to create activities, promote positive motivation to the team and amongst the teammates themselves. This is what an effective leader has to incorporate in order to be successful. As Truman mentions it’s the cohesion of the team that trivets the athletes to perform at their highest level of competition leading to the most success.
To conclude as Americans it is recognized by our people that a situational leadership style of coaching and leadership is the most preferred amongst our people. This is stated in Adams, Brilliant, Gleans, 2004. When in all actuality it comes to realize that there is no one specific answer to the most effective style of coaching and leading. It may be true to say that situational leadership maintains aspects of all types of leadership but too can be ineffective at times or not preferred by athletes.
A supporting idea that helps support this idea that situational leadership is not the most effective is when we look into the maturity levels of the athletes varying form different levels of play. (Pig. 582 on Truman) Horn (1992) also stated that most attempts to apply general leadership theories to sports have had minimal success. As we analyze different sources and the many different opinions and views from different scholars the only concise conclusion to be drawn form the information and analysis is that there is no one superior and most effective method.
Each coach has his or her style of coaching ND leadership method that works for them but studies have concluded that the results of effectiveness don’t prove one method to be superior. Hey- Here way go. Everything in yellow needs changes. You cites are a little messed up. Green writing is things that I changed-just so you can see them. When you are quoting someone do: Smith (1998) commented, “disharmonious” (PIG 67). Have the name out of quotes, then year and end it with the page You paper might also be clearer if you broke up your paragraphs so they are easier to follow.