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UK Coaching Team
Self-care and development

Understanding Models of Leadership

Adopting specific leadership models can improve the experience for everyone involved. Developed with Simon Padley, use this resource, one of a series of three, to enhance your knowledge of models of leadership

Research into coaching effectiveness has recently explored how leadership models in environments outside of sport could be applied into a sporting context to improve both the participant experience and the ability of the coach to help successfully facilitate long-term objectives.

The common leadership terms discussed in Understanding Leadership Approaches can be largely defined by the leadership behaviours the coach adopts and the values that underpin their choice of actions.

Leadership styles will often focus more on either values or behaviours. Where they are led by behaviours, the leader will try to stay consistent to routines and approaches with a sense of rhythm and pattern to their practice. This may mean that sessions fit into a set format with clear expectations of player behaviours. Where leadership is based more on a set of values, leaders may adapt their behaviours to remain consistent to a primary value. For example, if a leader values courage, then he may change his delivery style to allow players to make more decisions, take risks, and even experience conflict.


An autocratic leader will choose behaviours that allow the leader to maintain group control, as their primary value is to ensure they retain decision-making power and achieve the task as efficiently as possible. This may be highly effective in risky environments e.g. outdoor and adventurous activities. This style focuses on leadership behaviours predominantly, as the consistency of style allows the retention of control.

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UK Coaching Team