Faculty Research at Morehead State University

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The focus of this paper encompasses the contemporary teamwork and coaching philosophy in today’s sport setting. The authors compare and contrast the modern philosophy to the beliefs of Golden Age Pirates. Our effort is to determine whether the 17th century pirates’ teamwork and leadership philosophy could still be successfully transitioned and utilized in modern sports today. Could this ancient system, developed in the 17th century, have any value in 21st century teamwork building and coaching? In this paper, the authors first reiterate the modern leadership principles and importance of the leadership role to the critical success of an organization and a sport team. Then, the authors provide the evidences on how ancient pirate crews executed teamwork and achieved efficiency by demonstrating leadership principles and practices of the modern era. To make this depiction more visible and relevant, the life of pirates at sea is illustrated. The authors explain how the code of conduct and philosophy abided by the pirate crews helped them become a highly organized operational unit in order to survive and succeed under harsh conditions. The role of captains and their leadership style are also closely examined. Evidently, the exemplary leadership of the captain was extremely critical to the safety and life of seamen in carrying out motivation, discipline, and reward and punishment. Discussion and analyses of this paper provides evidence to show the practices and principles of 17th century pirates can still help make and build successful sport coaches and leaders in the 21st century.



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