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.
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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.”
We recently interviewed Jacqueline Mueller, PhD in Sport Leadership, Lecturer at Loughborough University, London for our article Leadership Learnings from an Award-Winning Lecturer and International Leadership Consultant. We couldn’t fit all the valuable insights and learnings she shared, so we’ve placed them here in an extended Q&A.
If you’re familiar with us at Athlete Assessments, you might know we’re big believers in gender equality and are passionate about equal rights, equal pay, equal opportunity, and equal recognition, not only just for female athletes, but for women in general.
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.
So, you’ve just decided on the leadership role or roles within your team. Now the journey begins! What do you want your leaders to do? How do you expect them to carry out the role? You might have your own ideas and that’s fantastic. Maybe you’ve coached a team with effective leadership, and you know what works. Or perhaps you’d like your athletes to role model someone around them. But, if you’re wondering what effective leadership looks like in sport, I’ll give you a short method that I know works well. It’s crucial to know what’s important, what impacts performance.
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,
After a stellar playing career that included 4 consecutive NCAA Tournament appearances, Kristi Stefanoni, Head Coach of the UMass Softball Program, has solidified her position as a stellar coach with another successful year and being rewarded with the title of 2018 Atlantic 10 Coach of the Year.