Dissertations and Theses @ UNI


Open Access Thesis


Basketball coaches--Psychology; College sports--Psychological aspects; Leadership; Academic theses;


The purpose of this study was to examine perceived leadership behaviors of National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division I and II men's basketball head coaches. Specifically, this study examined the training and instruction, social support, and positive feedback behaviors as assessed using the Leadership Scale for Sport (LSS) (Chelladurai & Saleh, 1980). A secondary purpose was to examine potential relationships between these behaviors, win/loss percentages, and head coaching experience. Based on path-goal theory, it was hypothesized that the scores for the training and instruction, social support, and positive feedback behaviors would be high, and there would be a positive relationship between all three leader behaviors and winning percentage as well as a positive relationship between winning percentage and number of years coached. The sample comprised of the 96 returned responses of the 225 randomly-selected NCAA Division I and Division II head men's basketball coaches. The mean years of coaching experience was 11.7 years (SD= 9.6) with a self-reported win/loss percentage of 58.4% (SD= 13.4%). Results indicated that training and instruction, social support, and positive feedback were behaviors self-reported as being used between 50 and 100% of the time. Correlation results revealed no significant relationship between perceptions of leadership behavior and the number of years as a head coach (p > .05) or win/loss percentage (p > .05). Correlation results did reveal a significant positive relationship (r = .36,p < .001) between number of years as a head coach and overall winning percentage, indicating that years as a head coach was associated with a higher winning percentage. Findings suggest that men's basketball coaches do perceive that they frequently use the leadership behaviors of positive feedback, training and instruction, and social support, which supports the path-goal theory of leadership. The use of the path-goal theory in sport is an area that certainly needs to be looked into further as the present study found that directive and supportive behaviors are present in the leadership behaviors of coaches. Future research should also examine other team and individual sports.

Year of Submission


Degree Name

Master of Arts


School of Health, Physical Education, and Leisure Services

First Advisor

Mickey G. Mack

Second Advisor

Carol L. Phillips

Third Advisor

Jennifer Jo Waldron


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Date Original


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1 PDF file (62 leaves)



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