Leadership characteristics in high school athletic coaches and a link with winning records: An exploratory study

by Halpern, Gregory A., Ph.D., CAPELLA UNIVERSITY, 2011, 154 pages; 3458473

Abstract:

This exploratory research examined high school athletic coaches to determine whether there was a link between leadership characteristics and styles and winning records. Leadership is a topic that has been given considerable attention, with a significant accumulation of research focused on leadership styles and characteristics and how they affect the follower. Further, while there has been a great deal of research leadership, it has focused more on business leadership and performance outcomes than specifically athletic coaches and a link to winning. The purpose of this study was to explore leadership characteristics of high school athletic coaches with winning records in a medium-sized county in Maryland. In addition, the study explored coaching high-school-level sports to determine if there was a link to winning and if leadership characteristics and styles vary by sport. A qualitative exploratory methodology using a semi-structured interview approach was employed to address the problem under study. Discussion of the results revealed three specific themes either directly associated with the three research questions or were a related component: 1) Characteristics of coaches impacted others, 2) talent was a big factor in whether a coach was successful, and 3) coaches can be good and not win. Implications of the study included improvement on understanding leadership and expectations, coaching improvement through the review of leadership characteristics, and the creation of an interview mechanism to select coaches who provide the best chance of winning.

AdviserMarc Muchnick
SchoolCAPELLA UNIVERSITY
Source TypeDissertation
SubjectsBehavioral psychology; Management; Physical education; Secondary education
Publication Number3458473

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