Leadership in Sport
Articles and Videos
When we look at leaders in any endeavor, we often see their success critically defined by their leadership philosophy, and when it comes to sport coaches it is exactly the same. Having a defined coaching philosophy is key to effective coaching (and leadership), but the process of developing and understanding your own philosophy is often sidelined. When your team relies on your performance as a coach as much as they do on technical execution for achieving a winning outcome, this process is a priority.
Dedicated to his profession, four-time Olympic coach, now Program Director, Dr. Cam Kiosoglous focuses his commitment to build the depth of alignment between coaching research and coaching in practice through Drexel University’s Master of Science in Sport Coaching Leadership.
Can a coach coach themself? It’s an interesting question to ponder. While the role of a coach is to constantly work with their athletes and team to develop and improve, and we know that coaches by nature and role can be excellent at developing others, what about when developing themselves?
Having the capability to lead plays a critical role in this effectiveness, so how do we actually develop leadership across diverse populations, ensuring to include those who may be reticent or hesitant to take on a leadership role? Jacqueline Mueller, a leadership expert renowned for bridging the gap between theory and practice acknowledges there’s no effective ‘cookie-cutter’ approach for teaching leadership, but simply put she says, “I try to invite participants to reflect on themselves and to find a way of leading that works for them.”
Captain or leadership group, how can you determine what the right structure for your team is? Who should be appointed as the leader and, what exactly does the person in the leadership role do? These were some of the critical leadership questions we unpacked in our recent open webinar, ‘Choosing Captains and Leadership Development Within Your Team’.
The faces occupying each Zoom square on Athlete Assessments’ first Client Collective were distinguished by their choice of beverage – Eastern Time in the United States saw clients sharing their happy hour with us, water bottles for those on Mountain Time, Pacific and Central Time, in the UK it’s a late night cup of tea and comparatively, time zones in Australia saw clients reaching for their morning latte.
What keeps Dr. Steven Estes, Professor of Leisure and Sport Management at Middle Tennessee State University engaged, looking for new challenges and delivering dynamic content to develop leaders for our community?? That question evolved in my mind the more we delved into Steve’s philosophy on leadership – developed over a career spanning over four decades. Experience has seen him guide students in the classroom as a tenured professor, high-performance sport gave him the opportunity to compete at international events as part of the US rowing team, he continues to be a pivotal member and was twice president of the National Association for Kinesiology in Higher Education (NAKHE), a leadership lecturer in residence at the United States military training academy, and part of teams tackling grueling physical challenges.
We are incredibly proud and excited with the news we recently received from the Australian Institute of Training and Development (AITD). Each year they preside over the national Excellence Awards and Athlete Assessments have just been announced as one of eight finalists in the Best Leadership Development Program Award. Prior winners range from large corporations and Australian household brands such as Coles, Blackmores Institute, Volkswagen Group, Government departments and top Universities, so it is truly an honor to be named a Finalist now and we have our fingers crossed for the winner announcement later this year.
I recall interviewing an NBA coach while he was visiting Australia – he was promoting the NBA by way of conducting basketball coaching workshops and I was facilitating the one in our local area. I asked him the question, “What players have you coached who still stand out for you and why?”
Leadership is not anchored to a nominal position or the domain of the select few within a team, according to Sarah Leberman, Professor of Leadership at Massey University, New Zealand. Also a Fulbright Scholar and the author of highly significant research on leadership, Leberman specialises in applying the knowledge surrounding leadership to the sport space and in particular women and girls.
Every year thousands of students graduate college, but we’d argue, they don’t all graduate with as many employable skills as student-athletes. The National Center for Education statistics records that in 2018, some 2.9 million students graduated college but, according to the NCAA, only 2% of college students are student-athletes. This makes student-athletes a rare commodity.
Mary Whipple, who won three Olympic Medals, two Gold and one Silver, plus five World Championships, knows exactly how to achieve extraordinary results. As coxswain to the serially successful USA Women’s Rowing Eight, she was responsible for leading, understanding and ultimately driving her team across the line in first position, multiple times. Now,
When you visit University of Louisiana’s campus and see the new athletic facilities, a testament to the University’s investment in recent years, you’d understandably be impressed with their focus on the physical side of development. But, you would be misled. What you quickly learn, when you dig a little deeper, is that they are committed to a holistic approach to development across the entire Athletic Department.
Leadership can be a complicated topic. There are literally thousands of well-meaning books and even more articles dedicated to demystifying what leadership is and how to be an effective leader. We know there are different ways to lead and many examples of varying styles and philosophies of leadership. Knowing how to be a leader can be confusing because even though new models of leadership are spoken about, at the same time, we see more traditional styles being enacted within politics, business and sport. To say it is confusing is an understatement.
Here’s two statistics you’re sure to be interested in. 98% of coaches surveyed believe that having an effective team captain positively impacts their teams’ winning percentage. No surprise there. But what may surprise you is that the same research into Leadership Development in College Sport found just 37% of coaches believed their captains were prepared to handle the responsibilities and challenges of leadership.
By Bo Hanson, 4x Olympian and Coaching Consultant In elite sport, leveraging the 0.1% improvements in your team is not only important, it’s essential. At the Performing Stage of Team Development, the concept of building character is an
Recently we saw a great article in the Harvard Business Review Blog Network by Monique Valcour, titled “You Can’t Be a Great Manager If You’re Not a Good Coach”. We thought it would be useful to discuss how this topic can be adapted for Sports Management Leadership.
In 2011, the Mission Queensland Firebirds won the ANZ Championship, going undefeated and breaking numerous records during the season. In 2013, Senior Coach Roselee Jencke, and Performance Coach Tracey Robinson are making history again with three of their players
Being a team captain means having an important leadership role in the team. Often, teams have more than the standard captain and vice-captain duo, with a senior group of leaders appointed to steer the team from within. It is no surprise that research into sport teams’ success emphasizes the importance of the role of Team Captain.