Date of Award:
Master of Science (MS)
Health, Physical Education, and Recreation
Department name when degree awarded
Players with leadership ability are persons coaches are constantly striving to find, develop and use in their sports program. Although coaches are groping for the people that possess these qualities, the identification of the qualities of leadership is a very difficult and evasive task. The major problem the coach faces is not having a lack of leadership on his team, but one of identifying the qualities of leadership and then using the person or persons with these recognized characteristics to the advantage of the team and its common goals.
Nelson (31) emphasizes that coaches and physical educators have greatest knowledge and work most closely with the purely physical, mechanical aspect of sports, as might be expected; but too often this results in a tendency to assume that success in sports, the finished product, is almost a pure function of a single process--the physical process. We readily recognize that maximum performance in the final analysis is not a simple thing. It is structured from many facets of the individual--his intelligence, various personality traits, spiritual and social background, etc., as well as his physical endowments.
Very little is known about player attitudes and the psychological or emotional aspects which affect success in athletic competition. This aspect of performance is not only important but relatively unexplored.
A coach often observes leadership in sports competition and has witnessed the effect that good leadership has on team performance. Observation of this leadership ability and its influence on the team is usually the result of the experience in associating with the players. Coaches seldom have the skills and knowledge necessary to define, objectively measure, and determine what psychological variables give a person these leadership qualities.
Eisenhower (11) states that leaders are waiting in the wings, waiting to be called and used when the situation needing leadership presents itself. He believes that any man who does his work well, who is justifiably self- confident, and not unduly disturbed by jeers of the cynics and the shirkers, any man who stays true to decent motives and is considerate of others is, in essence, a leader.
Leadership is a very evasive quality to measure, but through testing and evaluating an athlete's personality, a coach may gain objective insight to enable him to adopt more successful coaching techniques in using the qualities of leadership and to form a basis on which to predict future athletic success.
Bliss, Gary H., "Leadership in Sports" (1965). All Graduate Theses and Dissertations. 2983.
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