The Transactional Leadership Style in Athletic Team

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In order for an organization to be prosperous, its head needs to have leadership skills and be enthusiastic to apply them. Authentic leaders are an essential part of effective business practice. That is why training programs are dedicated to management and assist managers in acquiring leadership skills for the organization’s development. Leadership theories are an explanation of how to create an atmosphere conducive to the organization of work. They focus on traits and behaviors that people can practice to enhance their administration capabilities.

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The function of leadership is to create more leaders who can inspire subordinates to work effectively and efficiently. Managers are obligated to support the people they lead to new heights, supporting them to grow and develop. Transactional leaders concentrate on relationships with employees; they explain to subordinates the requirements of their roles and duties. At the same time, they increase work efficiency through a system of rewards and penalties that promote productivity. Thus, in sports teams, it is essential to evaluate the leader’s influence on the formation of sportsmanship and identify the principal features of an effective manager.

Theory of the Transactional Leadership

Transactional leadership is a more structured approach to supervision in which athletes seek motivation from their leaders through a combination of punishment and rewards. For example, subordinates can be penalized if they do not perform the task properly. On the contrary, the reward can be received by employers who perform their duties correctly and on time (Wahyuni, et al., 2020). It is believed that the primary motivation for transactional leadership is the subordinate’s interests. In this type of leadership, there is an exchange process that should positively influence the behavior of athletes.

For example, footballers always receive bonuses for goals and titles. In the context of sport, active monitoring of athletes’ competencies, and actions and taking corrective motions if necessary are seen as the basis for regular training (Wahyuni, et al., 2020). Similarly, mentors who praise and acknowledge when athletes perform properly are seen as an essential basis for building their self-confidence. It acts as an invaluable barometer that enables them to know if they are meeting the expectations of their trainers.

The transactional leadership style can increase operational efficiency and can also benefit the team as a whole. When players are motivated enough, their performance usually improves or provides for better outcomes. Football mentors are an excellent example of transaction leaders; they motivate their players by rewarding them for successful games. At the same time, they achieve such a high level of loyalty that their subordinates are willing to risk everything, injure, but achieve the task set by the leader. Leadership in professional football requires an emphasis on communication, particularly the motivation of athletes by the coach to achieve the team’s desired aims (Gomes, et al., 2020).

Due to this level of cognitive interaction, meaningful relationships begin to emerge. Players’ self-efficacy, self-esteem, and subsequent results depend on the level and type of motivation they receive from their trainer.

The Influence of Leaders on Subordinates

A sports team is a variety of small social groups. In the example of the United States Men’s National Soccer Team, it can be explained that a sports team has a division of labor and a principal purpose (Loughead, et al., 2016). As a result, in addition to functional and social connections, relations related to subordination appear in the club. Thus, the transaction leader can practice the system of incentives and punishments to support players in achieving their goals. According to the theory of transaction leadership, members are presumed to meet the rules and expectations of the team. As a result, the players may be rewarded or punished for their performance (Loughead, et al., 2016).

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However, if athletes win the match, they receive honors and bonuses, and losing can lead to penalties. Players often become incredibly motivated to serve an assignment, even if it takes a lot of effort to achieve the aim.

The influence of the leader on subordinates in the sports team during transactional leadership can be active and passive. Active management involves controlling the successes of athletes, their form, and their willingness to participate in the match. Also, the trainer can take measures to improve the athlete’s achievement. As for the passive influence, it concerns the observation of the performance of work, in the case of a sports team. Moreover, the passive and active leadership of the coach are combined, so he observes in order to assess the situation and take actions to increase the result (Gomes, et al., 2020). Thus, the leader’s influence on subordinates is that the trainer provides explanations and instructions to improve the athlete’s skills, and the player tries to perform them. However, provided that the professional receives a reward for obeying the advice of the coach, the efficiency of work increases. Furthermore, it serves to establish communication in the team and mutual understanding between the players and the mentor.

In fact, in order for a trainer to be comprehended by athletes, he must have leadership skills. For example, coaches can praise players for effective training. This recognition motivates the athlete and assesses whether he adheres to the team’s expectations. If fines are imposed on a member, he will attempt to develop his playing talents and obtain approval (Gomes, et al., 2020). Otherwise, if the trainer does not have leadership abilities, the athletes will not make much effort to achieve the result due to a lack of motivation.

Hence, a leader who practices a transactional approach has a significant impact on the team. It is through the mechanisms of punishment and bonuses that athletes serve his instructions. Ultimately, the authority of the leader and his power over the formation of the team’s strategy can influence the players to victory. Therefore, the method of transactional leadership enables players to quickly conclude that the trainer has more knowledge and skills to prepare subordinates. Accordingly, it is the duty of the players to comprehend the advice and comply with all the requirements of the manager.

Thus, the application of such a leadership model admits athletes to adopt the teacher’s knowledge. At the same time, the strategy presents it possible to establish a transparent and understandable hierarchical structure with the division of responsibilities (Gomes, et al., 2020). Therefore, under such situations, the implementation and observance of the rules lead to the success and evaluation of each player’s work. That is, it can be argued that in a sports team, the introduction of a transactional leadership model is the proper decision.

The Role and Effectiveness of Transformational and transactional Leadership

Transactional and transformational leadership should not be seen as two opposed approaches to leadership, as the second style can only be created based on the first. Transformation leadership presupposes more than the charisma of a leader, as transformative conductors persuade members to believe in their abilities, imagine a better future for the organization, and put it into practice. It can be said that transformational leadership within the company includes several points.

The first is the idealized influence which means that if a leader-transformer leads the team, he is a role model. For example, such chiefs inspire players to further develop themselves, their team, and their vision (Wahyuni, et al., 2020). The next thing which needs to be mentioned is intellectual stimulation. The leader tries to instill innovation in subordinates, teach them to solve new problems and find approaches to existing tasks. This means that the leader does not explain how to act in a presented situation but tries to explain the course of thought.

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Transformational leadership in sports also includes the encouragement of individual players. To ensure the support of each team member, transformation leaders always remain open to communication. Such a leader can recognize the uniqueness of each player’s contribution to the common purpose. The style of transaction management, due to its characteristics, is also quite effective, especially in sports. This approach provides specific goals, expected results, and the reward that players will receive in the event of a successful game (Gomes, et al., 2020). However, there should be limitations to this type of leadership, for example, in the case of an unstable external and internal team environment.

A transactional leader also correlates achieving goals and rewards, clarifies expectations, and makes promises and resources in exchange for participants’ support. Players are usually rewarded when they are seen working hard to achieve the purposes set by the manager and punished for violating the goals and expectations of the leader. Awards can take the form of higher salaries, incentives, and praise. On the other hand, demotions, and bonus deductions can be used as punishment. It is essential to point out that there is definitely a place for transactional leadership in the world today. The military, police organizations, and sports clubs use this leadership style so that all sections of the organization are consonant (Loughead, et al., 2016). It is also simpler to apply in a crisis, where everyone must know precisely what is required of them and how duty is to be done under tension.

Thus, it can be concluded that transformational leadership is a continuation of the idea of transactional leadership but has several additions, such as idealized influence, individual approach, and intellectual stimulation. In total, these components provide to develop members, exchange knowledge through close interaction and maintain a positive emotional background through enthusiasm. However, these theories can not exist without each other because, over time, it will lead to a loss of efficiency in the organization.

Traits and Characteristics of an Effective Team Leader

From its inception, the sports group as a formal organization has specific and clear tasks, the implementation of which is aimed at both the coach and the entire team. The club can act in this capacity if it is internally organized and have a certain degree of integration. Among the traits and characteristics that a sports team leader should have is foresight. The leader must be able to set goals for the team and explain their significance to others. With the expansion of the organization’s goals, the leader’s duties become more complicated (Loughead, et al., 2016). If he fails to constantly keep athletes informed of their plans and identify opportunities for their implementation, the attitude to work and the moral climate will deteriorate.

Another essential feature is prudence; many things can be judged by how decisions are made at the highest level of the organization. For example, coaches of successful teams tend to spend a lot of time collecting and processing information. Equally important is the ability to appreciate the qualities of their subordinates and do everything to force them to put all their efforts at work (Loughead, et al., 2016). Only such an approach will ensure a good result of the game and profit.

The ability to manage primarily depends on the predictability of the leader’s methods, views, and manner of decision-making. It should be emphasized that if the trainer expects subordinates to contribute to the work, which guarantees them a place in the team and a high salary, this rule must apply to all. Justice in resolving such issues has a significant impact on the moral climate in the company. The last but no less important feature is that the mentor must be able to speak and listen (Wahyuni, et al., 2020). He needs to learn to set and maintain the efficiency of players and determine the style of decision-making. Moreover, the trainer obliges to know how to encourage people and comment on them if essential.

My Vision of Leadership

A leader in an athletic team needs a lot of effort and knowledge, so I would attend special courses to improve my understanding of leadership techniques. At the same time, I would consider the benefits of transactional and transformational leadership in order to apply the most favorable traits to a particular organization. Since the team consists of people, it is crucial to determine the correct approach to strengthen them and achieve victory.

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It appears to me that the central principle of transactional leadership concerning the system of rewards and penalties I would definitely implement. In order for athletes not to waste shape and try to show an expected outcome, they need to be motivated and encouraged (Loughead, et al., 2016). I think that a leader should support efforts, practical education, and achievements. Frequently in sports, this method is constructive and supplies positive results.

However, if I were to practice some features of the transformational leadership theory, I would not apply a hierarchical structure according to which only a trainer should instruct players. The previous experience of professional athletes and their ideas are also valuable for the team’s development in the future. Moreover, applying an individual approach to each player will permit the leader to build relationships in the team on the principle of trust and mutual assistance (Loughead, et al., 2016). In my opinion, this attitude towards athletes will assist the club in becoming competitive. In this way, the most qualified athletes will desire to become its members. Thus, many professional players will attach to my team, who will be interested in winning and receiving bonuses.


Thus, the application of transactional leadership in the field of sports is successful in achieving the goals. Moreover, a significant role is granted to the leader’s influence on the team through a system of rewards and penalties. At the same time, the coach’s ability to describe the purposes to the team and create sensible decisions are the central features of leadership. It is also essential for the trainer to be able to react instantly to changes and establish a new strategy practicing elements of transformational leadership. Therefore, the mentor needs to develop valuable qualities for the club to win.


Gomes, A. R., Albino, A., & Resende, R. (2020). Athletes’ perception of leadership according to their perceptions of goal achievement and sports results. Perceptual and motor skills, 127 (2), 415-431.

Loughead, T. M., & Bloom, G. A. (2016). Coach and athlete leadership in sport. In R. J. Schinke, K. R. McGannon, & B. A. Smith (Eds.), Routledge international handbook of sport psychology (pp. 515-523). Routledge.

Wahyuni, N. P., Purwandari, D. A., & Syah, T. R. (2020). Transactional Leadership, Motivation and Employee Performance. Journal of Multidisciplinary Academic, 3(5), 156-161.

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