1st Edition

Leadership in Sports Coaching A Social Identity Approach

By Paul Cummins, Ian O'Boyle, Tony Cassidy Copyright 2018
    158 Pages 29 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    158 Pages 29 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    The professionalisation of sports coaching has demanded higher standards of leadership in order to improve performance and effectiveness. This book focuses on leadership in sports coaching, exploring key concepts and principles underpinned by a presentation of new empirical research. Placing social identity theory at its centre – a theory not previously applied to sports coaching – this book provides students and researchers with a powerful tool for understanding the complex social dynamic that is the coaching process.

    Its chapters cover all the central aspects of sports coaching, including leadership style, measuring effectiveness, motivation, confidence and team self-esteem. Chapters explore different coaching environments to investigate the extent to which social identity impacts on coaching and leadership. A ground-breaking contribution to this field of research, this book demonstrates the significance of social identity theory in sport for athletes, coaches and leaders.

    Leadership in Sports Coaching: A social identity approach is an illuminating read for any student or researcher with an interest in coaching theory, coaching practice, sport psychology, sport leadership or sport management.

    1. Introduction

    2. Coaching Effectiveness and Leadership: A Theoretical Perspective

    3. A Social Identity Theory of Leadership

    4. Developing a Social Identity Measure for Leadership in Sport Coaching

    5. The Effects of Social Identity on Coaching Competence, Sport Motivation and Sport Confidence

    6. Analysis of Social Identity on Coach Evaluations, Sport Motivation and Sport Confidence

    Across a Large Athlete Sample

    7. Synthesizing the Theoretical Outcomes of Investigating Social Identity

    8. Research and Practical Implications

    Appendix 1

    Appendix 2

    Appendix 3


    Paul Cummins is managing director of SeaChange Ltd., an organisational development company that focuses on leadership, culture and lean management. Paul has also lectured in performance psychology at the University of Ulster, UK. His research interests include various aspects of leadership in sport, athlete transitions, culture change and social identity, particularly as they apply within the sports coaching context. Within the applied sports setting, Paul is a qualified sport psychologist who has worked with Olympic-level athletes and top coaches seeking to increase their leadership and overall coaching performance.  

    Ian O’Boyle is a senior lecturer in sport and recreation management in the School of Management at the University of South Australia. His research interests relate to the broad topic of leadership and governance in sport and other associated disciplines within the field of sport management. He has previously been affiliated with University of Ulster in the UK and Massey University in New Zealand. He has published widely within sport studies including in leading sport coaching journals.

    Tony Cassidy is professor of child and family health psychology at Ulster University, UK