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Mathieu Simon Paul Meeûs, Sidónio Serpa and Bert De Cuyper

This study examined the effects of video feedback on the nonverbal behavior of handball coaches, and athletes’ and coaches’ anxieties and perceptions. One intervention group (49 participants) and one control group (63 participants) completed the Coaching Behavior Assessment System, Coaching Behavior Questionnaire, and Competitive State Anxiety Inventory-2 on two separate occasions, with 7 weeks of elapsed time between each administration. Coaches in the intervention condition received video feedback and a frequency table with a comparison of their personal answers and their team’s answers on the CB AS. Repeated-measures ANOVAs showed that over time, athletes in the intervention group reported significantly less anxiety and perceived their coaches significantly more positively compared with athletes in the nonintervention condition. Over time, coaches in the intervention group perceived themselves significantly more positively than coaches in the nonintervention condition. Compared with field athletes, goalkeepers were significantly more anxious and perceived their coaches less positively. It is concluded that an intervention using video feedback might have positive effects on anxiety and coach perception and that field athletes and goalkeepers possess different profiles.

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Katrien Fransen, Norbert Vanbeselaere, Bert De Cuyper, Pete Coffee, Matthew J. Slater and Filip Boen

Research on the effect of athlete leadership on precursors of team performance such as team confidence is sparse. To explore the underlying mechanisms of how athlete leaders impact their team’s confidence, an online survey was completed by 2,867 players and coaches from nine different team sports in Flanders (Belgium). We distinguished between two types of team confidence: collective efficacy, assessed by the CEQS subscales of effort, persistence, preparation, and unity; and team outcome confidence, measured by the ability subscale. The results demonstrated that the perceived quality of athlete leaders was positively related to participants’ team outcome confidence. The present findings are the first in sport settings to highlight the potential value of collective efficacy and team identification as underlying processes. Because high-quality leaders strengthen team members’ identification with the team, the current study also provides initial evidence for the applicability of the identity based leadership approach in sport settings.

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Katrien Fransen, Stef Van Puyenbroeck, Todd M. Loughead, Norbert Vanbeselaere, Bert De Cuyper, Gert Vande Broek and Filip Boen

This research aimed to introduce social network analysis as a novel technique in sports teams to identify the attributes of high-quality athlete leadership, both at the individual and at the team level. Study 1 included 25 sports teams (N = 308 athletes) and focused on athletes’ general leadership quality. Study 2 comprised 21 sports teams (N = 267 athletes) and focused on athletes’ specific leadership quality as a task, motivational, social, and external leader. The extent to which athletes felt connected with their leader proved to be most predictive for athletes’ perceptions of that leader’s quality on each leadership role. Also at the team level, teams with higher athlete leadership quality were more strongly connected. We conclude that social network analysis constitutes a valuable tool to provide more insight in the attributes of high-quality leadership both at the individual and at the team level.