Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

MA Corporate and Professional Communication


Communication and the Arts


Richard Dool


Sports, Basketball, Leadership, Communication, Coaching, Collegiate basketball, Professional basketball


So you consider yourself a fan of basketball. You have a favorite college team and player as well as a favorite professional team and player. You've been to tons of professional and college basketball games in your lifetime, but have you ever stopped to notice the differences between the two? For example, why do college players foul out of the game after five fouls and pros after six? If a professional player behaves in a negative manner, he gets a fine. If a college player does the same, there's no fine, he gets suspended. Are the punishments equal? If you think hard enough, you'll come up with some things that you never took the time to notice before. Here is one question that I've been wondering for a while. Why are some coaches always so active, excited and in-your-face, while others rarely leave their seat on the bench? What's the difference between the two and does it really matter if a coach is animated or calm and laid back? The following study will investigate these questions and uncover some of the factors leading to a coach's behavior, choices, communication style and leadership. Peters and Austin (1985 p. 326) had this to say about coaching: "Coaching is face-to-face leadership that pulls together people with diverse backgrounds, talents, experiences and interests, encourages them to step up to responsibility and continued achievement, and treats them as full-scale partners and contributors. Coaching is not about memorizing techniques or devising the perfect game plan. It is about really paying attention to people ---really believing them, really caring about them, really involving them."