The Importance of Transformational Leadership in the Quest for Group Cohesion: The Case of a University Level Varsity Football Program

Allison Tovell, François Gravelle

Year: 2009 Volume: 3 Issue: b

Pages: 18-34

Abstract: The purpose of this study was to systematically analyze and describe the behaviors (coach athlete interactions) of university level football coaches, to compare these findings to other studies and to analyze these results in light of transformational leadership. The Arizona State University Observation Instrument (ASUOI), a systematic observation instrument consisting of 14 behavior categories, was used to compile data on the interactions of seven members of the coaching staff. Event recording was used to collect the data of each coach being observed during practice sessions, these sessions were videotaped to determine the interactions between the athletes and the coaches. Segments of the practices were classified as warm-up, group and team. Analysis of the data revealed that the warm-up segment differed significantly from the group and team segments. Instruction was the behavior with the highest percentage in both the group and team segments of practice. Looking at the entire practice, instruction was also the highest occurring behavior – it had the greatest percentage and rpm than any other behavior category. Praise and hustle were also two of the highest occurring behaviors. There was a strong correlation between this study and other studies using the ASUOI and the Coaching Behavior Recording Form (CBRF) in regards to instruction being the highest occurring behavior category. It was concluded that a systematic effort was made by members of the coaching staff to adhere to transformational leadership strategies.