Leadership Styles and Sex of Coaches: What do Athletes Prefer?

By Danielle N. Grenier and Susan E. Mason.

Published by The Sport Collection

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

What factors contribute to an athlete’s preferred coaching style? We investigated students’ preferred coaching styles using a two-part questionnaire. The first part included ten biographical informational questions. The second part consisted of the 38 questions that make up the Leadership Scale for Sports (Cellandurai & Saleh, 1978). The results of this study support the hypothesis that men and women both prefer male coaches over female coaches. Participants were asked the sex of their favorite coaches, of those they had previously worked with, and what sex coach they would prefer to work with. The data revealed that men who claimed their favorite coach had been a woman still preferred to be coached by a male coach. Men who stated that their favorite coach had been a man also preferred a male coach. Although a large majority of women who had a male coach as their favorite coach preferred to be coached by a man, women who claimed their favorite coach was a woman preferred female coaches. Finally, while women showed a stronger coaching-style preference than men, both men and women preferred a democratic coaching style over a more autocratic coaching style.

Keywords: College Athletes, Leadership Style, Sex of Coach

The International Journal of Sport and Society, Volume 1, Issue 3, pp.161-172. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 684.485KB).

Danielle N. Grenier

Alumna, Psychology Department, Niagara University, Lewisburg, NY, USA

Dr. Susan E. Mason

Professor, Department of Psychology, Niagara University, Lewisburg, NY, USA

Dr. Susan Mason holds a Ph.D. in experimental psychology from the Georgia Institute of Technology. She is currently a professor of psychology and director of the Gerontology Center at Niagara University in Lewiston, New York, USA.