Different coaching styles have a direct result on the physical and mental health of athletes they coach.

This has always been known in the sports community, but there have been some interesting papers (such as this one BJSM 2017) that try to quantify the impact of different coaching styles on athlete performance and wellness.

This study found a positive correlation between more of a dictatorship type style of leadership and more time missed from practice, more overuse injuries, poorer performance, and poor trust in head coaches.

They also found a positive correlation between more of a transformative type style of leadership and more adherence to practice, less overuse injuries, better performance, and better trust in head coaches.

I think studies like this and others combined with the current landscape of youth sports like gymnastics is incredibly eye opening.

There has been much discussion of the role of parents, coaches, and athletes interacting to get the most out of training, competition, and long-term career health.

I was asked by Aaron Koz to have a podcast chat on how these things all tie together, and what it means for coaches. We discuss

  • How different coaching styles impact athlete performance
  • Why certain coaches act with ego, stubbornness, or callousness towards athlete complaints
  • Why it’s a minority of coaches acting immorally, now a majorty
  • How to help change the culture of coaching with empathy, accountability, and education
  • The path that I took to change my coaching style
  • What it means for the future of gymnastics and other sports

How Coaching Styles Impact Athlete Performance and Health

Hope it helps!

– Dave

Dr. Dave Tilley DPT, SCS, CSCS