Sports Metaphors as a Motivational Leadership Strategy
Academic Leadership - Online Journal,
Vol. 6 No. 4 (2005): Vol-6-Issue-4-April-2005
“Metaphors are useful linguistic structures that have helped theorists and practitioners generate ideas,
concepts, models, and theories for describing, examining, and understanding phenomena in
education” (Bredeson 1985, 29). Although metaphors come in many themes (war/military, machine, art,
music, religious/spiritual), sports metaphors lend themselves to educational leadership because they
emphasize “team spirit” and “team play” and players have the latitude to make “autonomous
decision(s) so as to further the team’s overall goal” (Oberlechner and Mayer-Schonberger, 2006, 167).
In a collaborative vein, sports metaphors stream “…information flows [that] are much less hierarchical:
facts, suggestions, and demands are regularly mixed” (167).