This study aims to delve into the relationship between athletes' perception of coach's authentic leadership and team efficacy in Chinese Women's Football League (WFL) Division Two teams, and to analyze the potential mediating factors. Employing a quantitative research approach, the study sampled 223 athletes from 28 participating teams in the 2023 National Women's Football League Division Two, systematically collecting data through standardized questionnaire surveys. The findings are as follows:
1. Currently, the overall perception of team authentic leadership and team efficacy among athletes in Chinese Women's Football League Division Two teams is at a moderately high level.
2. Correlation analysis indicates a significant positive correlation between team authentic leadership and various factors of team efficacy.
3. Regression analysis reveals that authentic leadership significantly and positively influences team efficacy, teammate relationships, coach identification, self-efficacy, and team performance.
4. Further mediation analysis unveils that teammate relationships and coach identification play significant parallel and serial mediating roles in the impact of authentic leadership on self-efficacy and team performance.
In this process, the mediating effect of coach identification is found to be significantly stronger than that of teammate relationships, and both the mediating effects of coach identification and teammate relationships are significantly stronger than the serial mediation effect.
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