From commanding to serving athletes: Nurturing the coachathlete relationship Academic Article uri icon


  • As one of the emerging themes in research on sport management leadership, servant leadership focuses on facilitating individual growth and moral development. The present study tested a hypothesized research model that demonstrates support for the effects of a head coach's servant leadership on athletes' ethical development and team outcome confidence through the quality that characterizes the coachathlete relationship. We recruited 347 student-athletes of football teams and men's basketball teams who play under the Division I system of the US National Collegiate Athletic Association. Whereas the quality of the coachathlete relationship partially mediated the association between servant leadership and ethical development, it fully mediated the paths from servant leadership to team outcome confidence. This study provides empirical support for the positive influence of servant leadership behaviors and advances an improved understanding of the role played by the aforementioned relationship quality in coaching leadership research.

published proceedings

  • International Journal of Sports Science & Coaching

author list (cited authors)

  • Kim, M., Kim, Y., & Won, D.

citation count

  • 5

complete list of authors

  • Kim, Minjung||Kim, Yukyoum||Won, Doyeon

publication date

  • December 2018