Coach leadership behaviour and team cohesion in a university netball team
University of Wales Institute Cardiff
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The purpose of the current longitudinal study was to investigate team cohesion in a female University netball team, specifically in relation to coach leadership behaviour. The participants included three female players (Mean age: 20, Standard Deviation: 1) and a female coach (Age: 31). Semi-structured interviews were used over a nine week period during the competitive British Universities and Colleges (BUCS) season. The analyses indicated that player and coach perception of team cohesion was high and maintained throughout the respective time period. Emerging themes indicated that awareness and attainment of a common goal, adopting a task and social-focus, and the perceived existence of a relationship between performance and cohesion all contributed to the high levels of cohesion that were experienced by players and the coach. In addition, an important relationship between coach and players was reported and leadership behaviour varied with time. Players generally preferred high levels of training and instruction and democratic style in coach behaviour. Additionally, differences were apparent between the coach and players; the players suggested that they needed direction and focus from the coach throughout the three time phases, whereas the coach believed she was being pushed out of the group due to the high levels of cohesion present within the team during the second time phase. The current study highlighted a number of important conceptual aspects that have been consistent across the cohesion literature and important for applied practitioners alike in order to develop and maintain cohesion over time.
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