chapter  4
The unifying role of player responsibility in football
WithGeorge K. Doganis, Marios T. Goudas, Paul M. Wright
Pages 11

This chapter posits that the much-neglected concept of personal responsibility in football is a central one in explaining a range of player behaviours related to training and team performance. The concept of responsibility is treated not primarily in relation to moral behaviour, but rather as a willingness to act responsibly, or the willingness to ‘take full ownership’ of one’s behaviour, both in individual and collective settings within the football team. Related motivational concepts are used to provide a tentative explanation of behaviours in football and their relevance to personal or individual responsibility and subsequent football performance. To this effect, insights offered by the Triangle Model of Responsibility, Personal Responsibility Orientation Theory, and the Teaching of Personal and Social Responsibility Model are highlighted. Further, responsibility in football is discussed in relation to concepts such as locus of control, causal attributions, and self-regulation. Next, manifestations of (or lack of) responsibility in football – such as in role development, leadership effectiveness, social loafing, and error correction – are discussed. The approach taken will illustrate that personal responsibility of players in football may be used as a unifying concept and as a starting point in developing a respective theory. Thereafter, subsequent procedures and training practices within football may be developed to enhance player responsibility on and off the pitch.