Journal of Human Sport and Exercise

Winning or not winning: The influence on coach-athlete relationships and goal achievement

Rui Trocado Mata, Antonio Rui da Silva Gomes



This study analyzes the relation between sports success and athletes’ perception of coaches’ leadership, athletes’ satisfaction with coaches’ leadership, coach-athlete compatibility, and goal achievement. Sixty-six athletes who qualified for the final Division I play-offs of a professional volleyball championship were grouped into winning (n = 21) and non-winning teams (n = 45). Leadership styles, satisfaction with leadership, coach-athlete compatibility, and goal achievement were evaluated. Analysis of variance with repeated-measures revealed that the winning teams evaluated their coaches’ vision, inspiration, technical coaching, positive feedback, and active management more positively than non-winning teams and that their satisfaction with coaches’ strategies increased over time. A multivariate analysis of variance (MANOVA) indicated that the winning teams’ perceived achievement of personal and team goals was greater than that of the non-winning teams. Sports success was associated with athletes’ positive evaluation of coaches’ leadership, satisfaction with coaches’ strategy, and higher perceived goal attainment.


Leadership; Coaching; satisfaction; Compatibility; Sports performance


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