Gender (Dis)Similarity in Mentorship Among Intercollegiate Coaches: Implications for Leader Development

in The Sport Psychologist
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  • 1 Michigan State University
  • 2 Osaka University of Health and Sport Sciences
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Mentoring has been identified as an important antecedent for coaches’ professional and leadership development. I examined how the gender composition of head coach and assistant coach mentorship moderates the relationship between the quality of mentorship and assistant coaches’ leadership skills. The participants were 239 pairs of assistant and head coaches in U.S. college sports. The assistant coaches assessed the quality of mentorship with their head coaches, while the head coaches assessed their assistant coaches’ leadership skills. Mentorship quality was generally related to assistant coaches’ leadership skills, yet the relationships were positive and significant for dyads that involve female head coaches and not significant for dyads that involve male head coaches. The results indicate that gender composition may need to be considered in increasing the effectiveness of coaches’ mentorship. The findings inform the current practices in the implementation of mentoring for coaches’ leader development.

The author (machidam@ouhs.ac.jp) is with the School of Physical Education, Osaka University of Health and Sport Sciences, Kumatori, Japan, and formerly the Dept. of Kinesiology, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI, USA.

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