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Leadership in Sport

One of the most important aspects of leadership is for the coach to enhance athlete performance:

“pursuit of excellence is characterised by progressive increases in physical, mental, and emotional capabilities, which, in turn, lead to performance increments”

Sport excellence very much depends on the leadership skills and the way the coach behave, but how can a coach facilitate this?

The coach involvement in the practice stage is an area, where the pursuit of excellence can be facilitated. Here the coach can sharpen the athletes’ skills and work effectively, with his abilities and beliefs.

The further process continues in the performance stage, where the coach facilitates, plan and helps the athletes’ to concentrate and focus on the task. However the transition form an easy-going to a dedicated athlete - the leadership behaviour that helps this transition - has not fully been proven.

You can read more about the creation of winning mentality in soccer here

One study from Charbonneau, Barling, and Kelloway (2001) found that transformational leadership enhance intrinsic motivation and Vallée and Bloom (2005) also found interesting aspects of transformational leadership, related to inspirational motivation, idealised influence, and intellectual stimulation.

Great leadership and coach behavior are essential in the pursuit of sport excellence, aimed at:

transforming both the person in terms of personal attributes (e.g., ability, self-efficacy, self-interest, and competitiveness) and the situation in terms of vision and goals.”

Still research and investigation is needed to further clearance of the relationship between leadership and sport excellence.


If you are not resided internationally we refer to the domestic site of mental træning here, where you can read an abundant amount of sports related and performance enhancing articles.

All with the main purpose of developing crucial mental performance skills. Written by

Henrik Andersen

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