The study of coaching and leadership has advanced considerably since the trait personality approach at the turn of the century. Early theories on coaching/ leadership styles lacked situational specificity, but recent studies have emphasised both personality traits and situational variables, as stated by Jenkins (1995).
The study of leadership is critical to the understanding of sport performance because leadership is instrumental in enhancing the motivational state of the athlete and/ or team (House, 1971). To examine coaching/leadership styles and strategies an understanding of the important concepts and definitions must first be understood.
The NCF's (2000) definition of coaching, "developing people through improving performance", is obviously a rather broad definition, and does not encompass the many dimensions of the coach's behaviour. Barrow (1977) defined leadership, a comparable concept, as "the behavioural process of influencing individuals and groups toward set goals". This is still a broad definition, but considers various dimensions of the coach's leadership behaviour, such as the decision making processes, the techniques they use to motivate individuals, the relationship they establish with the athlete, and the type and frequency they give in response to the individuals performance.
At the centre of any coaches personal reasoning, is the coach's philosophy.
A coaching philosophy is essential for any coach to endorse, because as Martens (1997) stated "your success as a coach will depend more on your coaching philosophy than on any other factor". It is a set of guidelines that govern coach's actions and behaviours, and is the basis on which personal beliefs are made about a whole variety of issues. It encompasses views on; the role of the coach in relation to others; the role of performers in determining their own goals and responsibility in learning; relative importance of the outcome of competition in relation to the performers well being; importance...