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Sports and Leadership

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Distinctive studies have been conducted by in the arena of investigating the relationship between sports and leadership. As performed by Palmer, Burbach, Walls, Barbuto, Burgess, Stough, Downey and Parageorgious, the assessment of the samples have been done in two different techniques. The two methods seem to produce similar result that EI is a chief determinant in sports and leadership. Linking EI with sport environment, literature has revealed that coaches with high levels of EI have been demonstrated to make strong correlations with their subjects. Moreover, it has been argued that coaches who are emotionally intelligent are able to facilitate thinking through non-verbal cues and expressive language. Shamir suggests that such leaders can instill inspirational motivation to the subjects to perform above their prospects by serving them with emotional expressive purpose and meaning. The ability to be able to impact on the behavior of sportsmen and hence influence them to reach high degrees of performance has been considered to be an indicator of a good coach.

The process of leadership is deeply dependent on the ability of the coach to realize the emotional state of sports participants, the capability to induce emotions into the subjects and the aptitude to manage the emotions of athletes accordingly. Research has revealed that emotional intelligence is a key aspect in a person’s ability to be effective socially and is considered in leadership literature as the main factor that determines effective participation in sports and leadership. Researchers’ suggestions have stated that leaders who are able to demonstrate high levels of EI are capable of promoting effectiveness in all levels within the team. In addition, Aditya and House have argued that the extent of a coach/leader’s EI plays a significant role in the effectiveness and quality social relationships with other people. Furthermore, members of a team are able to interact constructively and smoothly if they have appropriate EI capacity. The feeling of group members can be effectively monitored by use of intuition by leaders with developed EI capacity, and can therefore be able to implement the suitable action. Bass depicts such intuition as being able to play a substantial role in efficient leadership and management specifically at higher levels in sport.

Currently, sports participation and leadership is constantly operating within a changing environment, increasingly complex and intensively filled with ambiguity. Intuition in the process of making decision has become imperative in times of change and uncertainty. There are suggestions that emotions and moods are used in intuitive in order to make decision, thus it plays a crucial role in attaining high performance in a sports team. The following activities have been added by George as being essential for efficiency in sports i.e. establishing an action plan of corporate sense of objectives and goals; instilling a sense of appreciation and knowledge for the importance of sporting behavior and activities; developing a tradition of enthusiasm, excitement, trust, co-operation and confidence; enhancing flexibility in making of decisions; and establishment of team identity and maintenance. There is an oblique speculation that the concepts of success that coaches possesses may be applied and be transferable in the field of business. Coaches are constantly believed to bear the responsibility of monitoring individual advancement of athletes and give opinion concerning improvement and development. There is also substantiation that the role of helping and athletes to appreciate and manage their emotions is significant to facilitate achievement in sports. Thus it is vital that sport leaders seek to excel both in interaction and motivation with sports people/athletes in their team. It is also important to adopt a goal-oriented behavior, as well as being able to cope with stressful occurrences.

Therefore it is sensibly credible that sports coaches would be more triumphant in their work through utilization of skills on emotional intelligence. Apparently sports coaches with higher EI level will hold healthy mechanisms to cope and make appropriate decisions when faced with negative situation. If coaches have low EI to be able to recognize and manage their own and collective emotions, anecdotal substantiation, proposed by Mayer, Caruso, and Salovey, advocates that the athlete/sports person may experience low self-esteem and is more probable to disengage from their sport and the team. EI is vital in selection of coaches as they are regarded as key role models and that they influence the behaviors and cognitions of the group.

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