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Is there a correlation between coaches leadership styles and injuries in elite football teams?: A study of 36 elite teams in 17 countries
Linköping University, Department of Medical and Health Sciences, Division of Community Medicine. Linköping University, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences. (Football Research Group)
Linköping University, Department of Behavioural Sciences and Learning, Education and Sociology. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences. Linköping University, Department of Medical and Health Sciences, Division of Community Medicine. Linköping University, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences.
Linköping University. (Football Research Group)
UEFA, Switzerland.
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2018 (English)In: British Journal of Sports Medicine, ISSN 0306-3674, E-ISSN 1473-0480, Vol. 52, no 8, p. 527-531Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Background Do coaches’ leadership styles affect injury rates and the availability of players in professional football? Certain types of leadership behaviour may cause stress and have a negative impact on players’ health and well-being.

Aim To investigate the transformational leadership styles of head coaches in elite men’s football and to evaluate the correlation between leadership styles, injury rates and players’ availability.

Methods Medical staff from 36 elite football clubs in 17 European countries produced 77 reports at four postseason meetings with a view to assessing their perception of the type of leadership exhibited by the head coaches of their respective teams using the Global Transformational Leadership scale. At the same time, they also recorded details of individual players’ exposure to football and time-loss injuries.

Results There was a negative correlation between the overall level of transformational leadership and the incidence of severe injuries (rho=−0.248; n=77; p=0.030); high levels of transformational leadership were associated with smaller numbers of severe injuries. Global Transformational Leadership only explained 6% of variation in the incidence of severe injuries (r2=0.062). The incidence of severe injuries was lower at clubs where coaches communicated a clear and positive vision, supported staff members and gave players encouragement and recognition. Players’ attendance rates at training were higher in teams where coaches gave encouragement and recognition to staff members, encouraged innovative thinking, fostered trust and cooperation and acted as role models.

Conclusions There is an association between injury rates and players’ availability and the leadership style of the head coach.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
London, United Kingdom: BMJ Publishing Group Ltd, 2018. Vol. 52, no 8, p. 527-531
Keywords [en]
soccer; injury; football; behaviour; psychology
National Category
Sport and Fitness Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-147566DOI: 10.1136/bjsports-2017-098001ISI: 000429732700012PubMedID: 29056596Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-85044864140OAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-147566DiVA, id: diva2:1201636
Note

Funding Agencies|UEFA; Swedish Football Association; Swedish Research Council for Sport Science

Available from: 2018-04-26 Created: 2018-04-26 Last updated: 2018-06-13Bibliographically approved

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Ekstrand, JanLundqvist, Daniel

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Ekstrand, JanLundqvist, DanielLagerbäck, LarsKarlsson, Jon
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Division of Community MedicineFaculty of Medicine and Health SciencesEducation and SociologyFaculty of Arts and SciencesLinköping University
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