The present study aimed to examine collegiate student-athletesˈpreferences of leadership behaviours in strength and conditioning (S&C) coaching and evaluate differences between athletesˈpreferred leadership behaviours based on participantsˈsex. 145 (male = 80, female = 65) National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division I and II student-athletes aged between 18-25 years, with a mean of 3 (SD = ±1) strength and conditioning sessions per week participated in the study. Participants completed an electronic questionnaire involving the athletesˈ preference version of the Revised Leadership Scale for Strength and Conditioning (RLSSC). Summary statistics revealed that the most preferred behaviour was ˈtraining and instructionˈ, median of 4.5 (IQR = 1.0), and the least preferred was ˈautocraticˈ, median of 2.0 (IQR = 0.5). Similar results were observed for both groups. Males preferred autocratic behaviour more than females (male = 2.5, female = 2.0). Statistically significant difference was identified between groups for autocratic behaviour (p = .001). Effect sizes indicated that the magnitude of differences between groups was small or moderate, with the highest value for autocratic behaviour (d = 0.5). The observation of marginal statistically significant difference aligns with previous research, suggesting sex-related differences. However, small and moderate effect sizes indicate that differences are not practically significant enough to encourage distinct coaching approaches. This study sheds light on the preferences of coaching behaviours among student-athletes in strength and conditioning coaching. The findings emphasise the importance of positive psychosocial behaviours such as training and instruction, positive feedback, situational considerations and social support. While there were slight differences between the sexes, results suggested that both groups valued positive coaching behaviours. These findings provide implications for coaching practice and offer a basis for further research to explore leadership coaching behaviours in strength and conditioning.


Coaching, Coaching Behaviour, Leadership, Coaching Effectiveness, Strength and Conditioning,


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