Effects of coaching leadership styles on teaching styles in student instructors

Stefan Koehn, Andrea J. Cameron

Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstract


Effective leadership is an important aspect in various instructional situations. Leadership in the sport and educational literature has been identified as essential for coaches and physical education (PE) teachers (Chelladurai & Carron, 1983; Silva Gimbert, & Nolan, 2000). In a study with educators who fulfill the dual role of coaches and PE teachers, Hardin (1999) found that coach-teachers displayed different pedagogical characteristics in teaching and coaching, and that coach-teachers applied instructions more frequently in a coaching than in a PE teaching context. Before gaining field experience, pre-service PE teachers generally have developed leadership behaviors in a sport and coaching context. The purpose of this study was to examine the influence of leadership styles on preservice student instructors’ use of Mosston and Ashworth’s (2002) in anticipation of their early field experience. The sample consisted of 70 University sport and exercise students, who completed the Leadership Styles in Sport (LSS; Chelladurai & Saleh, 1980) and a teaching style questionnaire (Mosston & Ashworth, 2002) based on sport-specific examples (Curtner-Smith, Todorovich, McCaughtry, & Lacon, 2001), including command, practice, reciprocal, self-check, inclusion, guided discovery, divergent discovery, and learner initiated teaching styles. Participants reported on how often they would use each style in class before they went on field experience. The mean age of the sample (males = 46; females = 24) was 18.57 years (SD = 1.74). All participants had previous coaching experience for an average of 1.87 years (SD = 1.88). Multiple regressions with teaching styles as criterion variables and leadership styles (democratic behavior, autocratic behavior, instruction, social support, and positive feedback) as predictor variables showed no significant predictions for command, practice, and guided discovery styles. The most frequent significant leadership styles’ predictor was instructions for reciprocal (b = .384; p< .01), self-check (b = .299; p< .05), divergent discovery (b = .372; p< .01), and learner initiated (b = .312; p< .05) styles. In addition, social support was a significant predictor of inclusion style, b = .233, p< .05. In conclusion, two leadership styles that are commonly used in sports coaching were reported to be used in a teaching context. Practitioners and educators in PE should take student instructors’ previous experience into consideration when designing the curriculum for ongoing PE teachers. Particularly, previous experiences in leadership styles, acquired in a coaching context, would provide valuable experiences for the PE context.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages1
Publication statusPublished - 2013
Event13th World Congress of the International Society of Sport Psychology - Beijing, China
Duration: 21 Jul 201326 Jul 2013


Conference13th World Congress of the International Society of Sport Psychology


  • Leadership
  • Democratic behavior
  • Autocratic behavior


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