Serialised Dissertation Pt. 7 – Results and Analysis Pt.3 – Outside Influences?

Here’s Part 7 of my dissertation breakdown, which is the final analysis piece and picks up some of the other notable findings of the interviews and research, covering other areas that could have an impact on Leadership development.

Be sure to check back each week for more information!


Background of Players

It is worth noting that several the coaches referenced a need for consideration of the background of your players when identifying strategies for developing leadership and life skills. In the first instance, there is the thought of characteristics you value and why, for example CB3 spoke around coming from a working-class city and so as a club there is a greater value on hard work:

“I think probably our club might be a little bit more of an emphasis on trying to work hard and outwork your opposition, I think as a, as a working-class club and City if the players are going to play on the first team, whether they’ve got bags of ability or not, if they leave everything out on the pitch that will sort of get fans excited. So, I guess that probably is not an over reliance, but probably a bigger emphasis on that aspect of the game than anything else.”

Moreover, as players could be coming from very diverse backgrounds, where some maybe very difficult, whilst other maybe more fortunate in means such as family support, transport, or money available to them. To give an example of this, JB8 spoke about the change in challenges when he moved from one country to another, losing challenges such as player being late and gaining challenges such as players who couldn’t care for themselves:

“Yeah, you’re big, big change when I came to Norway to actually not have to worry about those little things anymore. Yeah, buses ran on time, there’s a timetable for everything. It’s very easy to predict what time things are going to be. Pitches had timetables so the people before you on it didn’t think they could just stay on. It was a big breath of fresh air, but then they also new challenges presented themselves because everything’s so easy and simple. The kids almost need to be spoon fed every single piece of information. Yeah, it becomes. You’ve gone into a really, really babies and they don’t have the ability to look after themselves. They don’t have the responsibility by the age of 16. To feed themselves to clothe themselves to look after themselves. They don’t understand what’s why sleep is in important that that was something that I found out particularly in Norway was it’s a very, very fortunate wealthy culture, those that they didn’t realize how easy they had it at times so then you had to actually push them in another way?”

And within teams, the influence of family can be both positive and negative. CB3 gave an example of a very supportive family network which made work with one player easier for all the coaches, however SW6 gave an example of a

“Look at a perfect example. We’ve got a kid I’m not going to name him. But he’s one of the age groups. And every time he falls over, mom’s out the chair.


You know he’s not listening to us. You know, he’s listening to his mom or dad. And soon as the game’s finished, Mom’s got a big bag, a cotton wool she’s wrapping him in it and all that and I’m thinking this kid’s not going to grow you’re smothering this boy. And we’ve had we’ve had to have a conversation.


She’s a worrier. She’d worry if there’s nothing to worry about Right? And so that’s got to transcend to the kid, so, the kids like a bag, we’ve got a Scottish saying, ‘he’s a bag of jaggies’, a bag of he’s a bag of nettles, now, he is a good footballer, but he just needs to chill and relax.”

Background of Coaches

Taking the factors of player background on board, CF5 suggested that his own behaviour, biases, and background are then an influence on the players he works with because of where they are and where they come from:

“I think for myself as well, the role model work will be around the behaviours that I show for them as well. So, a lot of the boys that we have come from a demographic, our boys are from inner city, but often they are from single parent, lower economic backgrounds. And, and often they lack that male figure in their life. They get that through football, because of the context of the game as well, and predominantly being male coaches in the academy.”

The influences of coaches cannot be understated and in fact PB1 and CB3 both referenced a generational change, in-line with coach education which they believe has brought about different consideration for developing leadership in players in academies. PB1 noted a change in himself and his delivery style, as well as an acknowledgement that some historical practice of ‘tough love’ by coaches could, in the modern world be seen as bullying:

“Like years ago, you know, like when you’re done your A Licence, it was all command. You had, you had to show the FA instructors that you knew this way. What would happen, and there was that many variables, but it had to be black and white then. Yeah, it was it was a command style. And that that was it. And that’s when I was younger when I was when I was working with [Player 1], that’s the way I coached it wasn’t until later on until the youth mods came in a place where you where you have different you know, you get guided discoveries in your trial and error and that, changed so much change so much.


And I think they’ll take the way society is now, I think, maybe years ago, it was a coach and a command and giving it, you know, dictating, but now I think players respond to their own peers, more than they would respond to it to the coach. And I think I think what I think what you got would be difficult, what you’re going to find now, as well as sometimes if you’re on at players too much, could that be classed as a, like a little bit bullying as well?”

CB3 continued those thoughts with the following:

“It’d be interesting to look at, like the demographic of the project you’ve interviewed. And whether that would be the same within older coaches or coaches that might have a little bit of a different approach, because I don’t know what your interviews have been like. But I presume you’ve probably got like some, maybe younger coaches who’ve been through the likes of the FA Youth awards and whatever else, you’re a little bit more open to holistic development, compared to maybe some coaches who get a little bit too wrapped up in ‘Let’s win the game on a Sunday’. And I wonder what the differences would be in terms of developing leadership through coaching.


That might be something that we’re missing out on, based on the fact that we’re all sort of similar coaches, with similar experiences, but listen, I don’t know who you’ve interviewed, and I don’t know whether this is relevant, but that’s just a thought that I had when you are speaking.”


Within the field of coaching backgrounds, the issue of captaincy also drew an interesting conflict with the group as some coaches noted that they work without a matchday captain as, for example, CB3 felt that it could be ‘labelling’ and that defining one player as the leader could in essence deter others from doing so – however other coaches felt that the armband was useful tool in drawing leadership behaviours from individual players as the majority of players and coaches recognise what is meant by a traditional ‘captain’ and can play to those assumptions and characteristics.

The next feature will discuss and break down our findings across this paper.

Don’t Stop Here

More To Explore

Serialised Dissertation Pt. 8 – Discussion

Here’s Part 8 of my dissertation breakdown, which begins to review what we’ve looked at so far. Be sure to check back next week for the final instalment! DISCUSSION TRAITS AND CHARACTERISTICS In interesting element within these strategies is to