Does natural leadership exists in elite youth football?

Gerco van Dalfsen (First author), Jo van Hoecke, Hans Westerbeek

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


This study assesses the evolutionary leadership theory and the natural leadership instrument of Van Vugt and Ahuja (2011) in the context of youth elite football. The Evolutionary Leadership Theory is a comprehensive new way of looking at leadership that suggests environmental pressures influence the choice of who becomes the leader. The results revealed that the concept of natural leadership, as measured using the six natural leaders questionnaire, cannot be applied to the context of youth football. The preliminary data showed that natural leadership in youth sport requires a more basic framework of leadership consisting of communication, resources and focus on competition.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)500-516
JournalInternational journal of sport management
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2016


  • natural leadership
  • youth
  • football


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