Oh Captain, My Captain, Does Your Team Have Satisfaction?

Su Langdon, Bates College, USA

Theme: Coaching/leadership

Poster Number: 91

Program ID: POS-2

Presentation: October 4, 2013 5:30 pm - 7:00 pm

Room: Napoleon


Leaders often believe they are better at their jobs and more aware of group dynamics than their subjects believe them to be (e.g., Lorimer & Jowett, 2011). Though, there is limited literature on captains as leaders. Further, sport psychology literature is incomplete in regards to the relationship between cohesion and satisfaction. Thus, this study explored relationships between team cohesion and team satisfaction as reported by captains and athletes on collegiate sports teams. Athletes on 56 varsity teams (n=193) at two division III colleges completed surveys concerning team cohesion (Group Environment Questionnaire) and athlete satisfaction (Athlete Satisfaction Questionnaire). Captains on 21 of these teams (n=28) reported their perception of what their teammates would report. Results yielded a surprisingly small number of discrepancies between captains and athletes on most of the cohesion and satisfaction measures. Captains did under predict their teammates’ individual satisfaction levels, and these results held at both the aggregate and individual team level. Task based cohesion, team satisfaction, and individual satisfaction were all moderately to strongly positively correlated for both captains (rs= .70-.83) and athletes (rs= .47-.61), while social cohesion was not correlated with other variables. These correlations held while controlling for winning percentage, which was significantly correlated with team satisfaction. Contradictory to previous findings, both the number of years on the team and athlete role within the team were negatively related to both team and individual satisfaction such that newer members on the team and athletes who did not start reported greater team and individual satisfaction. This suggests that Division III captains know their athletes well and that higher levels of satisfaction can stem from greater task cohesion and vice versa. Future research should examine these relationships in other sport settings. Certainly, greater cohesion, satisfaction, and connections between athlete and leadership are a desirable foundation for lifelong well-being.

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