Carol Knerr

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts


Leadership Studies


Athletics is a significant area where leadership can be observed and studied. Through my experience in athletics up to the college level, I have noticed that coaches coach differently depending on if they are coaching male or female athletes. For example, I have noticed that coaches of male sports teams sometimes yell, scream, and directly insult their players in order to motivate them. This technique seems to work for the men but generally might not be as successful for female athletes. This is simply an observation that is not backed up by research. Some research has been done on different issues about gender and athletics. This research Is discussed in the Literature Review section. However, there has not been a significant amount of research conducted on the needs male and female athletes have of their coaches, and what coaching styles are effective for each particular gender. Many coaches are always looking for ways in which they can improve at their job. Discovering certain coaching styles which are effective for athletes based on their gender is one way a coach can improve. If the coach is more in tune with the needs of his/her athletes, the athletes are more likely to receive a coaching style that they prefer. For this reason, I decided to conduct research to identify the needs that athletes have of their coaches based on the athletes' gender. Furthermore, I conducted a survey that was designed to measure some of the components in Chelladurai's Multidimensional Model of Sport Leadership. The results allowed me to evaluate the usefullness of the model.

In order to review the literature, I first look at and evaluate the empirical research and the prescriptive research related to gender, coaching and leadership. Then I review the one piece of literature that is the most closely related to the topic at hand. Finally, I discuss leadership theories that relate to the literature on gender and athletics.