Investigating Leadership, Gender, and Coaching Level Using the Revised Leadership for Sports Scale

Paper Type:  Case study
Pages:  7
Wordcount:  1732 Words
Date:  2022-07-06

The aim of this study was to assess the possible differences presence in leadership behaviors. The authors used the Revised Leadership for Sports Scale (RLSS) to determine the differences between male and female coaches in different coaching levels. The study contained two hypotheses. Hypothesis number one was that the response of male and female coaches to the RLSS would be different in overall leadership behaviors. Hypothesis number two was that the contrasts found in the revised leadership for sports scale would occur in three coaching levels, these were, college, high school, and junior high.

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The sample was not random, and it included 162 coaches who had volunteered to participate in the study. Among the 162 coaches, 44 of them were females (accounting for 0.27) whereas male coaches were 118 (accounting for 0.73 of the total). Regarding the coaching level, 38 were at the college level (0.24), 25 were at the junior high level (0.15) whereas 99 were high school coaches (0.61). Although the sample size was good, the main problem was that the distribution of the sample was not uniform. The number of junior high coaches was low whereas the number of high school coaches was very high. It would have been better if there was a larger sample for all the three categories as this would have helped in the data analysis process, more so when analyzing the possible existing interactions and relationship between the gender and the coaching level.

The authors used the Revised Leadership for Sports Scale (RLSS). This instrument was developed in 1996 by Jensen, Zhang, and Mann. There are six leadership behaviors present in the RLSS scale. These include situational consideration, training and instruction, positive feedback, autocratic, social support, and democratic. The scale has sixty statements, and each statement begins with, "In coaching...". A 5-Likert Scale was used and the pre-coded responses were 1=never, 2=seldom, 3=occasionally, 4=often, and 5=always. By using this Likert Scale, an ordinal level dataset was produced. The environment settings where the scales were administered include offices, classrooms, gymnasiums, and practice fields. The authors calculated the internal consistency of every leadership behavior and the results were as follows, 0.69 for situational consideration, 0.84 for training and instruction, 0.70 for autocratic, 0.78 for the positive feedback, 0.66 for democratic, and 0.52 for social support. Nonetheless, the authors did not provide any information concerning the validity of the instrument used (RLSS).

Analysis of the data to establish the differences between the male and female coaches regarding the leadership behaviors was done using MANOVA. This was wrong since the multivariate analysis of variance was inconsistent and incompatible with the type of data collected. MANOVA is mostly used for distributed and quantitative data whereas the RLSS instrument utilized an ordinal Likert Scale. The findings of the analysis established that there were no significant differences between male and female coaches regarding the leadership behaviors. However, when an analysis was conducted for each of the six leadership styles, the findings showed the existence of a significant difference in social support between the male coaches and the female coaches. The analysis also showed that male coaches scored lower compared to the female coaches.

Examination and analysis of data to establish the existing differences between the three coaching levels regarding the general leadership behaviors were done using a MANOVA. The analysis showed significant differences between all the three coaching levels. An individual analysis of the six behaviors was done using an ANOVA. This was wrong since ANOVA is mostly used for data that is not ordinal whereas the data for the RLSS was ordinal. Each of the three coaching levels had a different score on three of the total six behaviors: social support, democratic behaviors, and training and instruction. College and high school coaches were significantly higher in training and instruction compared to Junior high coaches. Additionally, college and high school coaches demonstrated a higher degree of social support compared to Junior high coaches.

Analysis of the data for the existing relationship between the coaching levels and gender regarding leadership behavior was done using a MANOVA. It would have been more prudent had the authors chosen a better statistical analysis tool that would suit the nature of the collected data. The findings of the results showed that there was no significant relationship. It is important to note that the ecological generalizability of the study was significantly high. The coaches received the surveys by mail, answered them and returned them voluntarily. Nevertheless, since the sample was not selected randomly, it would have been impossible to generalize the results beyond the total participants involved in the study. Internal validity was enhanced by asking the respondents to present honest answers. Coaches were assured that their information would remain confidential to make them at ease while filling out the surveys. The study does not mention any other efforts.

The authors stated that the scales were presented in several settings. This could have impacted the internal validity negatively since the focus of the participants might have shifted from completing the scale to completing the paperwork or in coordinating the practice. Moreover, the researchers did not address all the factors that could have had an impact on the internal validity of the study. The level of experience of the coaches would have had a great impact on the responses of the respondents and yet the researchers failed to consider this. Another factor that would have impacted the responses of the coaches is the gender of the athletes. It would not be entirely wrong to make the assumption that female athletes coaches, especially those at the high school and junior high levels, would show more social support compared to those of male athletes. Moreover, the nature of the sport should have been considered as well. There are other coaching styles that are more suitable for team sports (such as soccer) compared to individual sports (such as tennis). Another factor that should have been considered is the population of the school and its socioeconomic levels. It is common to find other schools with better athletes and invest more resources in a specific sport compared to others. Other schools have staff shortages and their sports programs receive fewer funds. All these factors would have influenced the manner in which a coach would have responded to the scale questions.

The researcher would have added a set of questions to find out the personal history and experience of the coaches. This would have minimized internal validity threats. All the additional information would have enabled the researchers to utilize a modified matching system in conducting the results analysis. Potential threats to the internal validity of the study would have been minimized through increasing independent variables such as the gender of the athletes and the level of experience of the coaches. The researchers should also have considered bringing the coaches together in a common setting since this would have minimized the location threat. On most occasions, there are clinics held where coaches get to meet. If the survey was administered in such a clinic, it would have yielded better results. Alternatively, the researchers would have visited individual schools and administered the surveys there. The main benefit of visiting the schools is that the researchers would have gotten a good cross-section of gender, and the level of experience among other things.


Although the study has several merits, there is a need to re-evaluate the methods used. Through obtaining a larger sample size, the researchers would have increased the power of the study. There is also a need to address the many potential threats to the internal validity of the study and ensure that there are eliminated or minimized to an acceptable level. Lastly, the researchers should have provided the data regarding the reliability and validity of the RLSS. The lack of all these factors makes it impossible to assess the meaningfulness of the current study.


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Investigating Leadership, Gender, and Coaching Level Using the Revised Leadership for Sports Scale. (2022, Jul 06). Retrieved from

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