The Effect of a New Coaching Staff on Team Culture


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Virginia Tech


This study shows the importance of culture within college athletic teams and how a coaching staff has an effect on the culture of a program. Study participants included twelve individuals who are currently or had once been affiliated with the Virginia Tech Volleyball Program. Each individual answered a series of interview questions to the best of their ability. Each question followed Kotter’s 8-Step Process for Leading Change. Using semi-structured interviews, the information was gathered and sorted into codes and eventually turned into categories, revealing themes. Five themes emerged, which are explained in the findings section. The themes are: building relationships, establishing communication, displaying recognition and reward, dependability and changing culture. This study may be able to give coaching staff a better understanding of what different athletes are saying about the culture of their program and how it can be changed. It is aimed at coaches who believe their culture is hindered. New coaching staffs can understand how important team culture is within college athletics and instill it within their programs. If they do not follow Kotter’s 8-Step Process for Leading Change, their program may not be as successful. Based on the findings, recommendations were made to coaching staff. This can also be used for coaches who are concerned as to why their program is not excelling.