Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Education in Recreation and Sport Management (MEd)

Degree Level



Health, Human Performance and Recreation


Stephen Dittmore

Committee Member

Merry Moiseichik

Second Committee Member

Robert Elbin


Leadership, Sports Psychology


The purpose of this study was to describe the coaching style and leader behavior preferences of softball players. The Leadership Scale for Sports (LSS; Chelladurai & Saleh, 1980) was administered to Division I college softball players and professional softball players from the National Professional Fastpitch league (NPF). Sixty-four softball players completed the Leadership Scale for Sport questionnaire (preference version), 52 Division I college softball players and 12 professional softball players from the NPF. Descriptive statistics revealed that softball players prefer Training and Instruction, Democratic Behavior, and Positive Feedback; players did not prefer Autocratic Behavior or Social Support. Follow-up univariate ANOVAs indicated that Autocratic Behavior was significantly different for Division I college softball players and professional softball players. Pairwise comparisons showed professional softball players significantly preferred Autocratic Behavior to Division I softball players; however, no statistical significance was found when examining coaching style preferences with relation to age and years of experience. Two one-way ANOVAs followed the trend that professional softball players preferred autocratic coaching behavior while Division I college softball players preferred democratic coaching behavior. Thus, female softball players, overall, prefer a democratic coaching style, training and instruction, and positive feedback; however, professional softball athletes significantly prefer autocratic coaching behaviors while Division I college players do not prefer autocratic coaching styles. Age and years of experience were not statistically significant when determining coaching preference, however, a power analysis is needed to reveal the optimal sample size to establish significance.