Preferred Behaviors Used by Coaches in Female Middle School Athletic Programs

Authors: Raymond Tucker

Corresponding Author:
Raymond Tucker, D.S.M, CSCS, FMSL1, USATFL1, USAWLP-1
Assistant Professor of Kinesiology
University of Houston at Victoria
3007 N. Ben Wilson
Victoria, Texas 77901
Phone: (361)-570-4381
rtbills2001@gmail.com

Raymond Tucker is an assistant professor of Kinesiology at the University of Houston at Victoria. He is a graduate of the United States Sports Academy with a Doctorate in Sports Management, and he is a certified strength and conditioning specialist by the National Strength and Conditioning Association. He is also a certified coach by the United States Track and Field Association, United States Weightlifting Federation, and Functional Movement Systems. He is certified by the state board of educator certification in Texas in health grades (EC-12) and secondary physical education (6-12).

Preferred Behaviors Used by Coaches in Female Middle School Athletic Programs

ABSTRACT
The purpose of this study was to determine female athlete’s perception of the behavior styles of leadership used by their coaches in female middle school athletic programs. The average of these perceptions can be viewed as the actual behavior style of leadership coaches used in the treatment of their athletes. The study compared behavior styles of leadership used by coaches in female middle school athletic programs at three different middle schools. This study also compares coaches from the three different middle schools to determine if the behavior styles of leadership used are similar amongst coaches.

Data for this study was collected using the Leadership Scale of Sports (LSS) questionnaire with the permission of Dr. Packianthan Chelladurai Ph.D at Ohio State University. The questionnaire measures an athlete’s perception of their coach’s behavior style of leadership and consists of forty items that all begin with “My Coach.” These forty items represent five dimensions of leadership behavior in sports and operationally defined in the Leadership Scale of Sports.

The scoring of the Leadership Scale of Sports questionnaire was based on an ordinal scale, five-category scale that consists of a numerical number: 1. Always; 2. Often (about 75 % of the time); 3. Occasionally (50% of the time); 4. Seldom (about 25% of the time); 5 Never. Each of the forty items on the Leadership Scale of Sports questionnaire represents one of the five latent dimensions of leadership (2). These five dimensions were
1. Autocratic Behavior
2. Democratic Behavior
3. Positive Feedback
4. Social Support Behavior
5. Training and Instruction

The athletic coordinators of each school were each given instructions in person prior to the questionnaire being mailed. The questionnaires were sent back in a self- addressed stamped envelope. Athletic coordinators at the respective middle schools received communication in person, phone, and e-mail. The data was analyzed quantitatively by using the 15.0 version of the SPSS statistical software. Due to the ordinal and theoretically categorical nature of the LSS scale, nonparametric statistical methods (i.e., a test of medians rather than means) was used in all data analyses. Specially, the Mann-Whitney U, Kruskal-Wallis, and multi-way contingency table (log-linear) nonparametric ANOVA tests was used. To what degree was there a difference among the distribution of LSS scores on the five dimensions for eighth grade females in middle school sports? To answer this question, the Kruskal-Wallis nonparametric alternative to the parametric analysis of variance (ANOVA) was employed. If a statistically significant finding was observed, post-hoc analyses was conducted to determine what leadership behaviors were preferred based on median scores.

Results of this study did detect a statistically significant difference in the behavior styles of leadership used by coaches among the middle schools between the following dimensions: (1) democratic behavior and training and instruction, (2) autocratic behavior and training and instruction, (3) social support and training and instruction, (4) positive feedback and democratic behavior, (5) positive feedback and autocratic behavior, (6) positive feedback and social support. Results of this study indicate coaches at the three respective middle school in this study place more emphasis on the social support, democratic and autocratic behavior styles of leadership. This study does not determine which behavior style of leadership is superior for the overall success of a female’s middle school athletic program. What follows is the basis for this study, procedures used to conduct the research, an analysis of the data, conclusions, and finally, recommendations for further research on this topic.

Keywords: Coaches, Coaching Climate, Effective Leadership, Female Athletes, Sports

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Leadership: Athletes and Coaches in Sport

Authors: Dr. Sharon P. Misasi*, Dr. Gary Morin and Lauren Kwasnowski

Dr. Sharon P. Misasi is a Professor of Exercise Science at Southern Connecticut State University. Dr. Gary Morin is a Professor of Exercise Science, Assistant Athletic Trainer and Program Director of the Athletic Training Education Program. Lauren Kwasnowski is a Research assistant for this study, undergraduate student in the Allied Health Program at the University of Connecticut and a member/captain of the UCONN Division I Lacrosse team.

*Corresponding Author:
Sharon P. Misasi PhD, AT.
Southern Connecticut State University
501 Crescent Street
PE 002B
New Haven CT 06515
misasis1@southernct.edu

ABSTRACT
This study investigated the interpersonal aspects and perceptions of the coach-athlete relationship as it pertains to collegiate athletes at Division I and II universities and athletes and coaches of different genders. Electronic surveys were emailed to 50 NCAA Division I and 50 Division II head coaches in the Northeast. Coaches were requested to respond to the survey and email the athlete survey to their respective athletes. These surveys were completed by both coaches and athletes: Coach-Athlete Relationship Questionnaire (CART-Q), Leadership Scale for Sports (LSS). The final instrument, Coaching Behavior Scale for Sports (CBS-S), was completed by only the athletes. There were no significant differences found with the CART-Q. The LSS illustrated several areas of significances in the categories of Training, Democratic Behavior, Autocratic Behavior and Social Support. Although there was no significance found in Positive Feedback there was an interesting finding in that female coaches felt they were less likely to provide positive feedback than their male counterparts. The CBS-S has subscales which include: physical training and planning, technical skills, mental preparation, competition strategies, personal rapport and negative personal rapport. Statistical significance was found in the following subscales: competition strategies, personal rapport and negative personal rapport. The coach is a meaningful person in the lives of athletes and the role they play is vital in the athlete’s sport experience. Our results indicate that the level of competitive division appears to play a role in how athletes perceive their coaches and how coaches perceive themselves. In addition, gender differences among coaches’ affect responses of the athletes and the coaches. Leadership is not a simple process. There is no one way to lead and what works for one may not work for all. Therefore, the best one can do is get to know their athletes and work hard to understand their goals, motivations and needs.

KEYWORDS: Coaching, Effective Leadership, Successful Leadership

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