Leadership within football

Leadership can be viewed in different ways depending on what type of leader you are.There are leaders all over the world from businesses to Football clubs (Which professional clubs are) and many more. Professional and grass roots football clubs have leaders throughout their clubs from managers and coaches to owners and directors. Being a leader means you will have to have a lot of qualities including some of these :

  • Knowledge of the sport
  • Enthusiasm to work and succeed
  • The ability to motivate
  • Ability to adapt to different situations
  • Communication skills

Barrow (1977) defined leadership as “the behavioural process of influencing individuals and groups towards set goals” (p.232). This definition is important because it defines leaders as wanting to be successful and this applies to every leader within elite and grass roots level. One retired leader who has had great success is Sir Alex Ferguson. Throughout his career he has showed different qualities which made him so successful in the management role at Manchester United. The documentary he did on BBC is a a great watch because you understand how he managed his players and how he approached different situations and it has gave me understanding on how to take this into my coaching practice.

My leadership qualities

The University of Central Lancashire has gave me the chance to gain more qualities as a leader this is through more coaching practice. When I started UCLAN back in 2014 I only had minimal qualities as a leader this is due to lack of experience in the specific area’s needed. Through voluntary coaching with schools and local football clubs I have gained more understanding of what is needed to be a good leader. I have gained more experience through time and this has helped me develop as a leader and as a coach. One quality which I have gained is being able to motivate participants and this allows them to take full advantage of the coaching session which is in place. An example of this is at my last coaching session there was a young boy who didn’t look like he was enjoying the session (walking around the football pitch), so I thought about a different game and made him the vocal point so before the his team could score a goal he had to touch the ball 5 times, this motivated him to get more involved and motivated the his team to pass the ball to him. My communication skills have become more knowledgeable to the participants that I am coaching for instance I know how to communicate to different types of players that I coach because I know how they play and what motivates them and how they will react to my coaching techniques. I have endured more qualities as a coach and I hope to gain more qualities during my time at Uclan as a tend to keep volunteering and gain more experience.


Barrow, J. (1977). The variables of leadership. A review and conceptual framework. Academy of Management Review, 2, 231-251.


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