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Kurtis Pankow, Amber D. Mosewich, and Nicholas L. Holt

The purpose of this study was to examine perceptions of leadership styles in model youth football coaches. Six award-winning youth football coaches participated, and each was interviewed twice. Within a qualitative descriptive framework, deductive analysis was completed to identify the coaches’ leadership styles, using the charismatic, ideological, and pragmatic model of outstanding leadership. Whereas pragmatic leadership behaviors were most frequently identified, all coaches appeared to have mixed leadership styles. Inductive analysis was then used to examine factors that influenced the coaches’ leadership development. Identified themes were role models, networks of coaches, experience and reflection, and formal, nonformal, and informal learning. These were consistent across all the coaches, regardless of leadership style. This study therefore provides new insights into the perceived use of pragmatic behaviors in mixed leadership styles in model youth sport coaches and indicates that similar factors contributed to their leadership development.

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Kurtis Pankow, Amber D. Mosewich, and Nicholas L. Holt

The overall purpose of this study was to explore athletes’ perceptions of pragmatic leadership in award-winning Canadian youth football coaches. Using a qualitative description methodology, semistructured interviews were conducted with 15 men who had been coached by 5 award-winning youth football coaches. The coaches were classified as pragmatic leaders. Participants’ perceptions of the coaches’ leadership were grouped into 3 main themes: individualized consideration, accountability/responsibility, and solving problems by valuing unique contributions. Because leadership is a process of interpersonal influence, on a practical level these themes may account for key features of the coach–athlete relationship that arise from pragmatic leadership.