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Journal of Sport Pedagogy and Research


The purpose of this study was to determine the coaching style preferences of Division II and III female collegiate volleyball athletes. Five hundred and nine female student-athletes from 41 colleges/universities expressed their preferences using the Revised Leadership Scale for Sport (RLSS) (Zhang et al., 1997). The preference version of the RLSS included six behavior dimensions: autocratic, democratic, positive feedback, situational consideration, social support, and training and instruction behaviors. Descriptive statistics were used to determine training and instruction behaviors and situational consideration were the most preferred coaching styles for all athletes. Autocratic was the least preferred coaching style. Independent t tests and ANOVA were used to address whether gender of the coach, athlete’s gender preference of the coach, division of the university, and/or athlete’s year in school affected the coaching style preference. The results showed that across all the independent variables investigated, athletes most preferred training and instruction and situational consideration coaching styles and least preferred the autocratic style. The only difference for any demographic was that athletes with female coaches preferred social support and positive feedback more than athletes with male coaches.