Just a quick post, conscious I haven’t posted in a while…

Whilst teaching last week on the EJU level 4 performance coach award i had a very interesting discussion with one of the classes. The session as part of the talent development pathways in Judo module and the lecture was based upon the work of Bruner et al., (2009) who traced the origins of talent development.

Anyway the discussion was based around sports performance being personality led in countries where there is a lack of structure. For example, in English rugby they win under Sir Clive Woodward but not after this, English Cricket win the Ashes under Simon Timson but have failed to reach the same level since. We can carry this over to judo – Roy Inman’s female athletes in the 80’s and 90’s, Ronaldo Veitia with the Cuban woman may show a similar trend. Of course there are many examples and examples of people who have successfully handed over the reigns, such as Mark Earle handing over to Luke Preston at Camberley.

The discussion that followed was very interesting, one of the students pointed out that all of the judo examples I gave – Danial Lascau, Mark Earle, Don Werner, Ronaldo Veitia and many more were all autocratic in nature. He suggested that actually and autocratic leadership was required.

This has led me to reflect on my own leadership within the full-time training group at Anglia Ruskin. I am very democratic in my leadership, I include the athletes and other coaches in most of the decisions. Of course I can be autocratic, once we have decided as a group what the training will be then that is what we’re doing! Turn up late you’ll know it! Miss sessions, you’ll know it! Don’t train hard…. you get the idea…. but generally I am democratic in nature.

So this leads me to question whether i need to be more autocratic or whether a mix is a healthy thing….. Fox (2006) suggests the style of coaching is irrelevant and dependant upon the leader and the group, he suggests the important element is that the leader has control with his/her style….

Please comment if you have an opinion…..


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