University of Technology Sydney

96310 Leading and Managing in High Performance Sport

Warning: The information on this page is indicative. The subject outline for a particular session, location and mode of offering is the authoritative source of all information about the subject for that offering. Required texts, recommended texts and references in particular are likely to change. Students will be provided with a subject outline once they enrol in the subject.

Subject handbook information prior to 2024 is available in the Archives.

UTS: Health
Credit points: 6 cp
Result type: Grade and marks

There are course requisites for this subject. See access conditions.


This subject examines the competencies necessary to effectively lead others in elite sporting environments. Core components include self-awareness around communication and leadership style, managing relationships with others and cultural considerations in high performance sport. Students also explore organisational leadership models and how they apply in athlete preparation, staff development and sports performance. Developing leadership skills in others (athletes and staff) are also discussed, with particular reference to the co-development of personal wellbeing and excellence. Students engage in a self-reflection process, to better understand their own traits, and explore how these individual traits might influence their personal leadership within a range of different high performance sport environments.

Subject learning objectives (SLOs)

Upon successful completion of this subject students should be able to:
A. Reflect and evaluate on personal leadership strengths, values and objectives; develop a personal leadership framework that informs individual practice.
B. Understand and apply boundaries of ethical practices and why strong values, integrity and expert leadership is necessary in the high performance sport environment.
C. Demonstrate advanced communication skills and ask meaningful questions to effectively manage relationships and lead others.
D. Demonstrate professional cultural competency in diverse social and cultural high performance sport settings, with a particular focus on Australian Indigenous ways of knowing, being and doing.
E. Develop the skills required to cultivate the co-development of personal well-being and excellence to enhance high performing teams and organisations
F. Critically appraise organisational leadership models within the context of high performance sport.

Course intended learning outcomes (CILOs)

This subject also contributes specifically to the following graduate attributes:

  • Expertly lead change that delivers the highest quality athlete care across sport populations and program settings within multidisciplinary high performance sport environments. (1.1)
  • Adapt to an extensive array of stakeholder circumstances and integrate evidence to empower optimal and sustainable sport, exercise and health outcomes for service users. (1.2)
  • Expertly solve problems by applying advanced methodologies of sport, exercise and health interventions in a logical and systematic manner; and the ability to document decisions appropriately. (2.2)
  • Demonstrate expert judgement, legal responsibility and ethical accountability to practise within the ethical boundaries of high performance sport professions and in accordance with professional practice, governance and privacy obligations to uphold ethical practice and the values of sporting excellence, fairness and athlete safety and wellbeing. (3.1)
  • Expertly apply high-quality knowledge and technical and non-technical skills within sport, exercise and health professions to contribute to the safe development of specialist and non-specialist audiences. (4.1)
  • Demonstrate holistic collaboration with key stakeholders to expertly design, deliver and interpret safe, effective and evidence-based high performance sports interventions for service users in an inclusive and non-discriminatory manner. (5.1)
  • Expertly communicate with key stakeholders and adapt to challenging, complex and diverse industry contexts to create positive and professional relationships in a high performance sport environment. (5.2)
  • Practise sensitively and to communicate effectively with a diverse range of stakeholders in diverse social and cultural settings, and in particular Australian Indigenous ways of knowing, being and doing. (6.1)

Teaching and learning strategies

This subject incorporates a range of activities that will interactively engage students with the content so that they can develop skills in a variety of ways. Four online modules will form the foundations of the subject.

Teaching and learning strategies will assist students to develop self-reflection and leadership skills, as well as encourage them to apply these concepts in common high performance sport environments and situations. Additionally, students will undertake activities that are designed to enable them to learn through discovery.

Students will be required to prepare for collaborative activities and engage with other students and teachers via the online platform (Canvas) and live (Zoom) online sessions. Using these mediums, the class will interact weekly with the subject coordinator and peers on topics and activities related to each week’s topic of focus. Students will be required to communicate information and demonstrate their understanding in a variety of formats, including written and verbal forms, often incorporating technology via online tools.

Assessment tasks are designed to enable students to demonstrate what they can do with what they have learned.

Content (topics)

Module 0: Introduction to leadership

  • What is leadership?
  • Competencies of leadership: management of attention, meaning, trust and self
  • Why is it important in high performance sport?

Module 1: Leading self

  • Assessment of individual traits and tendencies
  • Self-discovery: bias awareness, emotional IQ, motivational drivers and self-regulation
  • Awareness and development of your communication style
  • Mindful practice to support individual health and performance
  • Maintaining wellbeing to deliver excellence
  • Developing a personal leadership framework

Module 2: Leading others

  • What makes a great leader?
  • The science of leadership
  • Leadership skills: creating trust and navigating conflict
  • Communication strategies
  • Ethical behaviour
  • Managing key relationships

Module 3: Cultural aspects in high performance sport

  • Understanding the cultural landscape of sport
  • Systemic inequality in sport and society: ethnicity, gender & sexuality
  • Indigenous Australians in sport: ways of knowing, being and doing
  • Diversity in high performing teams
  • Cultural (mis)alignment of staffing and athlete groups

Module 4: Organizational leadership

  • What makes a great team?
  • Drivers of high performing teams
  • Optimising teams within teams
  • Dysfunctions of a team: vulnerability-based trust, conflict and accountability
  • What makes a great organisation?
  • Creating a high performance culture
  • Leading through change
  • Fostering leadership in others


Assessment task 1: Understanding yourself and finding your purpose


The intent of the task is for students to develop an understanding their own values, dominant traits, and behaviors. Then explore how this influences their personal leadership approach and purpose.


This assessment task addresses subject learning objective(s):


This assessment task contributes to the development of graduate attribute(s):

1.1, 2.2 and 4.1

Type: Reflection
Groupwork: Individual
Weight: 20%

Part I: 750 words

Part II: 2 x 2-min audio recordings

Assessment task 2: Critical conversations


The intent of this task is to provide students with an opportunity to practice navigating critical conversations, and to understand their own communication style during high-pressure situations.


This assessment task addresses subject learning objective(s):

A, B, C, D and E

This assessment task contributes to the development of graduate attribute(s):

1.2, 3.1, 4.1, 5.1, 5.2 and 6.1

Type: Exercises
Groupwork: Group, individually assessed
Weight: 20%

Part I: 60-min in course hurdle task.

Part II: 30-min live Zoom role play

Part III: Student scoring sheet (1-2 pages)

Assessment task 3: Recognition of culture


The intent of this assessment is to engage on discussions around different cultural aspects in sport. The activities will allow students to reflect upon their own background experiences as well as learn from other people’s perspectives, with a particular focus on Australian Indigenous ways.


This assessment task addresses subject learning objective(s):

A, B, C, D and E

This assessment task contributes to the development of graduate attribute(s):

1.2, 3.1, 4.1, 5.1, 5.2 and 6.1

Type: Reflection
Groupwork: Individual
Weight: 20%

12 x online posts (4 submitted), Part I: 2 page critical reflection, Part II: 3 page question responses and critical reflection

Assessment task 4: Organisational analysis in high performance sport


The intent of this assessment task is for students to develop the skills required to understand organisational structure and culture while identifying key relationships. Then combined with an understanding of their own personal leadership framework, develop strategies to successfully lead within an organisation.


This assessment task addresses subject learning objective(s):

A, B, D, E and F

This assessment task contributes to the development of graduate attribute(s):

1.1, 1.2, 2.2, 3.1, 4.1, 5.1 and 5.2

Type: Presentation
Groupwork: Individual
Weight: 40%

Part I: 1-page executive summary

Part II: 10 min presentation + 5min questions

Other resources

UTS Student Centre
Building 10

Monday to Friday: 9am - 5pm
Tel: 1300 ASK UTS (1300 275 887)

Details for student centres:

For other resources/ information refer to the Faculty of Health website ( and Canvas at:

UTS Library
The Library has a wide range of resources, facilities and services to support you including textbooks, subject readings, health literature databases, workshops and bookable study rooms. There is also a team of librarians to help you with your questions available via online chat, phone and in person. W:, Facebook: utslibrary, Twitter: @utslibrary Tel: (02) 9514 3666.

Improve your academic and English language skills
Marks for all assessment tasks such as assignments and examinations are given not only for what you write but also for how you write. If you would like the opportunity to improve your academic and English language skills, make an appointment with the HELPS (Higher Education Language & Presentation Support) Service in Student Services.

HELPS (Higher Education Language & Presentation Support)
HELPS provides assistance with English language proficiency and academic language. Students who need to develop their written and/or spoken English should make use of the free services offered by HELPS, including academic language workshops, vacation intensive courses, drop-in consultations, individual appointments and Conversations@UTS ( HELPS staff are also available for drop-in consultations at the UTS Library. Phone (02) 9514 9733.

Please see for additional information on other resources provided to students by UTS.

The Accessibility and Financial Assistance Service
The Accessibility Service can support students with disabilities, medical or mental health conditions, including temporary injuries (e.g., broken limbs). The Accessibility Service works with Academic Liaison Officers in each Faculty to provide ‘reasonable adjustments’ such as exam provisions, assistive technology, requests and strategies for managing your studies alongside your health condition. If you’re unsure whether you need assistance, we recommend getting in touch early and we can provide advice on how our service can assist you. Make an appointment with an Accessibility Consultant (AC) on +61 2 9514 1177 or

The Financial Assistance Service can assist you with financial aspects of life at university, including Centrelink information, tax returns and budgeting, interest-free student loans and grants to assist with course-related costs. Check eligibility and apply online and make an appointment on +61 2 9514 1177 or