The purpose of the current study was to develop, implement, and evaluate a season-long athlete leadership development program. Participants were 27 female varsity athletes who participated in four leadership workshops throughout the season, each 1 hr in duration. All of the participants completed inventories measuring leadership behaviors, cohesion, communication, athlete satisfaction, and peer motivational climate. Overall, the results showed significant differences in regards to leadership behaviors, athlete satisfaction, and peer motivational climate from pre- to postintervention. Further, follow-up focus groups were also conducted to assess the social validity of the leadership development program. These focus groups revealed important insight into program structure, influence of the program, leadership challenges, and suggestions for future improvements. These findings provide researchers, sport psychology consultants, and coaches with important information regarding the effectiveness of this athlete leadership development program in targeting human and social capital development.
Ashley M. Duguay, Todd M. Loughead, and Krista J. Munroe-Chandler
Ashley M. Duguay, Todd M. Loughead, and James M. Cook
The study of athlete leadership has gained momentum over the past decade and is now recognized as a vital component of sport teams ( Loughead, 2017 ). This increased attention has not only provided insight into the important associations between athlete leadership and a range of individual and team
Philip D. Imholte, Jedediah E. Blanton, and Michelle M. McAlarnen
research on athlete leadership ( Gould, Voelker, & Blanton, 2012 ). Recognizing this imbalance, Loughead, Hardy, and Eys ( 2006 ) initiated a series of studies on athlete leadership. Their results indicated that both team captains and other teammates contributed to team leadership. Although captains (i
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.
Diana J.E. Vincer and Todd M. Loughead
This study examined the influence of athlete leadership behaviors on perceptions of team cohesion. The participants were 312 athletes from 25 varsity and club level teams. Each participant completed the Group Environment Questionnaire (Carron, Widmeyer, & Brawley, 1985) that assessed cohesion and the Leadership Scale for Sports (Chelladurai & Saleh, 1980) that assessed athlete leadership behaviors. Overall, it was found that individual perceptions of Training and Instruction, and Social Support positively influenced all four dimensions of cohesion (ATG-T, ATG-S, GI—T, GI-S). Furthermore, Autocratic Behavior was negatively associated with the four dimensions of cohesion. Finally, Democratic Behavior was positively related to ATG-T. These findings provide researchers, sport psychology consultants, athletes, and coaches with some initial evidence that it is important to foster the development of athlete leader behaviors to influence the team environment.
Scott Pierce, Jedediah Blanton, and Daniel Gould
SPPs and a state high school sporting body. Second, we outline the case of creating, developing, and launching an online course for high school student-athlete leadership development. We conclude with lessons learned and practical recommendations for SPPs who can use community engagement as a means to
Fernando Santos, Leisha Strachan, Daniel Gould, Paulo Pereira, and Cláudia Machado
Researchers have attempted to understand the underlying mechanisms of athlete leadership in high-performance-sport settings ( Fransen, Decroos, Broek, & Boen, 2016 ; Fransen et al., 2017 ). In fact, high-performance sport has been considered a context conducive to several positive outcomes such as
Lewis Whales, Stephen Frawley, Adam Cohen, and Natalia Nikolova
During the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, Australian professional sport leagues were impacted by temporary league shutdowns. One example is the Suncorp Super Netball, the world’s premier netball competition. This commentary paper explores the Suncorp Super Netball league shutdown from the perspective of the players. Our commentary has emerged from an ongoing ethnographic study supported by interviews with two players (a representative on the players association and a club captain) conducted during the league shutdown. Such a shutdown was the first in the history of the league, and it required an unprecedented response, coordinated by interdependent stakeholders. The authors outlined the importance of stakeholder communication in effectively navigating this extraordinary situation. In addition, the authors discussed the usefulness of technology-as-context for teamwork and leadership, given the limitations on physical interaction and geographical separation. In conclusion, the authors proposed recommendations for sport practitioners and potential research directions resulting from the coronavirus-related league shutdown.
Effective leadership in sport at the elite level can make the difference between success and failure. However, although the importance of leadership is acknowledged there is little published evidence regarding how the required skills could or should be developed. The current case study reports the implementation of a leadership development program with elite professional cricketers. The intervention itself was focused at three levels: (a) captaincy development, (b) leadership skill development, and (c) personal growth and leadership development. Program effectiveness was determined through the feedback provided by the individual players on the program, the reflections of the sport psychology consultant, and feedback from the professional staff. Evaluation and reflection of the program suggest that a formal development program can be both beneficial and impactful in enhancing the leadership capabilities of elite players.
Matt Hoffmann, Todd Loughead, and Jeffrey Caron
Using a qualitative case-study design, the purpose of the present study was to explore the experiences of a former exemplary peer athlete mentor (i.e., Nick [a pseudonym]). Data from 3 interviews (totaling 4 hr, 50 min) with Nick were analyzed using thematic narrative analysis. Nick indicated that mentoring played a key role in an athlete’s ability to rise to elite sport. He noted that he was motivated to mentor his protégés for their benefit but also for the shared gains associated with mentorship—the latter of which suggested he was involved in relational mentoring relationships. He further described having an unwavering belief in his protégés and a deep allegiance to them. Finally, Nick shared his views on the complexity of the “mentoring identity” that he had, to some extent, adopted. The findings provide novel insights into why, and to some degree how, athletes may serve as peer mentors.