Balancing on a thin line - thoughts from a study of Swedish voluntary leaders in children's football

Year: 2006

Author: Hertting, Krister

Type of paper: Abstract refereed

The voluntary leadership is widespread in the Swedish sport movement. About 600000 people (of 9 million inhabitants) are involved as voluntary leaders. Mostly the leaders are involved with children and youth. The leader is many times the grown up person spending the most time with the children outside school and home. Despite of this fact the football leadership does not require a formal training. Most of the learning is thus informal in the context of the local sport club. The competition is an influential part of the sport. Beside this the leader has a mission from society to foster the children in democratic and social issues. The results are showing that dealing with the tension between competition and social issues is a struggle for ones identity as a leader. It is an act of balancing on a thin line.