Transformational Leadership Theory and the Characteristics of Holistic Coaching in Sports

Evan Flanagan, University of Rhode Island


For this study I developed two hypotheses. The first is that the four characteristics of Transformational Leadership Theory could represent a guideline for holistic coaching in sports because as of now, there is only a definition not a set of characteristics. These characteristics of the theory are Individualized Consideration, Intellectual Stimulation, Inspirational Motivation, and Idealized Influence. The second being that Transformational Leadership would relate more to holistic coaching than Transactional Leadership. In order to do this, I surveyed 25 athletes from various athletic teams at the University of Rhode Island. I also interviewed five coaches of various athletic teams at the same university. The results of the study mostly supported the hypotheses proposed. Three out of four of the characteristics were found to have a significant relation with holistic coaching. The only one to not be significant was Idealized Influence and the most significant was Intellectual Stimulation. The other hypothesis was completely supported by the data saying the highly rated holistic coaches did not use Transactional Leadership tactics in their coaching style but instead used Transformational Leadership.

Subject Area


Recommended Citation

Evan Flanagan, "Transformational Leadership Theory and the Characteristics of Holistic Coaching in Sports" (2019). Dissertations and Master's Theses (Campus Access). Paper AAI13813331.