Leadership In Athletics: What Defines the Ideal Leader?
Reiter, Benjamin N.
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Leadership is an important aspect of life that is not confined to any particular age group, gender, ethnicity, or social group. It is especially prominent within the world of athletics and plays a vital role in the development of young adults. Members of a sports team are constantly looking to their peers or the coach for a sense of purpose and direction. Therefore, it is helpful to understand what separates a good leader from a poor leader for those participating in high school athletics. In this study, the leadership style of the captains of three high school athletic programs was examined using surveys that contained a ranking questionnaire and a written response questionnaire. The goal of the study is to measure the motivation of the followers (non-captains) to the captains to understand what traits are most envied in a captain. The use of a “dominance” and “prestige” perspective will help us understand what makes someone the ideal leader for a high school athletic program. The data obtained from the ranking questionnaire was analyzed using a Kruskal Wallis test to test for a difference in the responses of the captains and non-captains to the same set of questions. A statistically significant difference in responses indicates that the captains and non-captains do not agree on the question asked. This study found a statistically significant difference in a question centered around consideration of suggestions by the non-captains to the captains for one of the teams that participated.