Inter coach and athlete coach relationships: an ethnographic study of leadership behaviour and its affects on team cohesion in a semi professional Rugby League team
University of Wales Institute, Cardiff
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The purpose of this investigation was to provide an in depth understanding of the coaching behaviour adopted within a team environment in a semi professional Rugby League Team playing in National League Two in Britain. Through the sociological analysis of coaching behaviour exhibited within a coaching hierarchy, this study aimed to generate a better understanding of the processes and features that must be considered when adopting coaching practice. An ethnographic study was combined with a detailed coach profile of the coaching staff at the club; Further examination was undertaken using a comprehensive questionnaire, used to gather information relating to the effectiveness of the leadership over the period of study. Specific areas of investigation were the leadership style adopted by the coaching staff,analysed in terms of the coaches own perceptions and how they were perceived by their athletes, the effectiveness of relationships between both the members of the coaching staff and their athletes on a one to one basis and an assessment of the efficiency of the coaching structure in place at the club. The observations of player, coach and team reaction to behaviour adopted provided useful and interesting results that may help coaching practitioners in determining their own coaching approach. Using three key frameworks, based on Leadership style, Interpersonal constructs ('the forming of individual relationships within the team) and Organisational effectiveness, the behaviour of members of the coaching hierarchy was assessed, located and evaluated. The findings of the study suggest that leadership style has an important impact on determining the effectiveness of relationships, that achieving organisational effectiveness is key to operating successfully and that in order to create a successful team the development of interpersonal relationships can be extremely rewarding when the other two features exhibit deficiencies. The study found that adjusting certain behaviours to correspond with the theory outlined in the theoretical frameworks investigated would undoubtedly lead to more effective results in terms of productive coaching and positive interpersonal relationships.
MA Sports Development and Coaching
- Masters Degrees (Sport) 
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