Realities of Excellence in Sport Coaching through Experiences of Transformational Leadership

Claire Bruce-Martin, Calum Arthur, Karl Wharton, Rebecca Radley, Mary Bruce-Martin, Nick Caplan

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This study explored coaches’ experiences regarding excellence and transformational leadership within their applied setting. To date the concept of transformational leadership has been examined across a varied set of environments including the military, business organisations, and more recently, sport. However, there seems to be a lack of understanding of how excellence and transformational leadership behaviours link to the quality of coaching practice and connect into coach education. Tennis coaches/employees (n=17) satisfied the purposive criterion-based sampling for this study (Teddlie and Yu, 2007; Collis & Hussey, 2003). After verbatim transcription, interviews were subjected to Braun and Clarke’s [2006] step-by-step thematic analysis process using NVivo (QSR NVivo 12). This hybrid approach (Fereday & Muir-Cochrane, 2008) focused on weaving together both theory-derived (deductive) and data-driven (inductive) themes providing greater rigour. Themes extracted indicated that for coaches to deliver excellence across coaching practice athletes must also exhibit specific behaviours, these were: self-regulation, focus, and competence. Suggesting that athlete excellence and transformational follower behaviour is integral for the coaches to be able to perform at the very highest levels, linking to wider research regarding the leader V’s follow debate and mindfulness-based practice/s to develop coaches’/athletes’ focus and self-regulation specifically. The positive applied implications of transformational leadership knowledge across many existing professional contexts has already been established providing a sound theoretical basis. Findings from this qualitative study offer opportunity to progress new/distinctive lines of research with authentic impact on excellence within coaches’/athletes’ practice, specifically connected through the development of high quality/relevant coach education pathways.

Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 4 Jun 2019
EventThe Canadian Association for Leisure Studies conference - , Canada
Duration: 4 Jun 20194 Jun 2019


ConferenceThe Canadian Association for Leisure Studies conference

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