Gardner, D. E., Shields, D. L., Bredemeier, B. J., & Bostrom, A. (1996). The relationship between perceived coaching behaviors and team cohesion among baseball and softball players. Sport Psychologist, 10, 367-381.

The relationship between perceived leadership behaviors and team cohesion in high school and junior college baseball and softball teams was researched.

Athletes (N = 307) representing 23 teams, responded to the Leadership Scale for Sports (LSS) and the Group Environment Questionnaire (GEQ). Correlation and multivariate analyses indicated significant relationships between perceived leader behaviors and team cohesion.

Coaches who were perceived as high in training and instruction, democratic behavior, social support, and positive feedback, and low in autocratic behavior, had teams that were more cohesive. There were significant differences between genders and athletes at the two school levels in their perceptions of coaching behaviors and team cohesion, though these demographic variables did not significantly moderate the leadership-cohesion relationship.

Implication. The way a group of athletes functions together is related to coaching behaviors. To promote team spirit and cohesion the following coaching behaviors are important:

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