How to Effectively Manage Coach, Parent, and Player Relationships

Submitted by: Shelley L. Holden, Ed.D1*, Brooke E. Forester, Ph.D2*, Christopher M. Keshock, Ph.D3*, Steven F. Pugh, Ph.D.

1* Associate Professor of Health, University of South Alabama, Mobile, Ala.

2* Assistant Professor of Health, University of South Alabama, Mobile, Ala.

3* Associate Professor of Health, University of South Alabama, Mobile, Ala.

4* Professor of Health, University of South Alabama, Mobile, Ala.

Shelley Holden  is an associate professor in the Health, Physical Education, and Leisure Studies Department at the University of South Alabama in Mobile, Ala.


Youth sports are an integral part of the culture in the United States and directly impact the lives of many children and adolescents. Parents play a major role in a child’s athletic development and are members of the athletic triangle.  The athletic triangle consists of the coach, athlete, and parent and the relationships within this triad can have significant impact on the psychological development of the child (6, 23. 27). The following article aims to provide a general overview of the athletic triangle in the context of youth and high school sports with a focus on the role of effective communication for optimal athletic success.

Keywords: coaching, athletic triangle

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Physiological and Psychological Effects of Testosterone on Sport Performance: A Critical Review of Literature

Submitted by: Mr. P.J. Vanny1*, Dr. Jordan Moon2*.

1* P.J. Vanni, M.S., NSCA-CPT

2* MusclePharm Sports Science Center Research Institute Director, Distance Learning Faculty member, Department of Sports Exercise Science, United States Sports Academy. 

P.J. Vanni is a third year Sports Management Doctorate Student at the United States Sports Academy, an Independent Distributor for Advocare Nutrition Company, and is also a faculty member in the Health and Physical Education Department at The Haverford School in Haverford, PA.

Dr. Jordan Moon is the MusclePharm Sports Science Center Research Institute Director, as well as a Distance Learning Faculty member for the Department of Sports Exercise Science at The United States Sports Academy. 


The emergence of testosterone (Te) use in sports has increased drastically since its inception, spawning a “cat and mouse game” between athletes and regulating bodies.  Once a means for detection is developed, scientists are developing new forms or compounds of Te which are undetected by current testing or mask increased Te in some way to make the testing inefficient.

Athletes that can improve their level of play through supraphysiological doses of Te are willing to risk getting caught because they believe the pros outweigh the cons (20).  If an athlete can avoid getting caught using Te, the benefits to their performance can include notoriety, increased individual and possibly team success, and increased salaries.

The endocrinology of Te release is based on homeostatic regulations.  A human will release Te based on the need to grow as during infancy and puberty, and based on exercise demands explained in the proceeding research. Increasing the amount of Te in the body will have an increased effect on the already potent and beneficial outcomes of natural Te.

As you will see in this review, the effects of Te use in athletes can improve their physical strength, stature, and possibly performance.  Much research has proven the effects of Te doping on an individual, whether they are an athlete or not; although, these benefits do not ensure success in certain sports.  This review will discuss the endocrinology and origins of Te, the physiology behind how Te works, the effects, the relationships of these effects to sports, the ethics of Te use in sports, and the relationship between Te and sports related skills.

Keywords: testosterone, supraphysiological doses, Te Continue reading

How to Achieve Team Cohesion through Competition in Sport: An Organizational Model

Submitted by Jay K. Smith1*

1* Battalion Executive Officer, 3-13 IN BN, 193rd IN BDE, Fort Jackson, South Carolina


The purpose of this paper is to conceptualize a practical method for coaches of any sport team to improve team performance and cohesion through inter-squad competition and intra-squad cooperation.  While the concept of intra-team competition to improve cohesion and team performance is not new, this paper describes a practical, task driven approach for coaches to use.  For purposes of clarity, American football is the example used to describe this approach.  Although, this task driven competition format can be applied to other sports teams, American football has more distinctive task oriented positions than other sports, thus providing simplicity.  Also, football teams use the most formal off-season competitive scrimmage strategies in which the first team offense and first team defense play each other in order for the coaching staff to assess players and test game schemes.  This widespread tactic is useful for coaches, but it can be argued this creates division with the rest of the team.  In-fighting among the individuals in each squad (i.e. wide receivers, offensive line, etc…) can prevail, and a counter-productive attitude may develop that breaks any cohesive advantage gained as players begin to focus on the amount of playing time they get in relation to their teammates.  However, if coaching staffs adopt a task oriented system in which the squad coaches encourage group success and teamwork, and the coordinator level harnesses the competitive spirit, players will be more likely to encourage each other to become better.  Pre-season scrimmages should not be scored in a traditional, regular season-like format.  Instead, scrimmages should be scored by accumulating points for successful plays executed by any player from a specific squad against any opposing squad with naturally opposing tasks.  This means receivers would be competing two levels up at the Coordinator level, and not among themselves.  Building off past research, this should also diffuse anxiety levels of players since each cohesive group will be focused on building up the less talented players, instead of trying to dominate them for increased playing time.

Keywords: competition, cooperation, group dynamics, motivation, team cohesion Continue reading

Profiling the Mental Characteristics of Sub-Elite Marathon Runners

Submitted by J.E. Coumbe-Lilley1PhD*, K.L Hamstra-Wright. & A. Weidner.

1* Sport Studies, Department of Kinesiology and Nutrition, University of Illinois at Chicago

There has been considerable increase in the number of participants running marathons between 1990 and 2014 with the majority of runners between 23-54 years of age (Running USA, 2015). With the increase in the number of people and the range of abilities running marathons, it is important to the field of sport psychology to understand the preparatory, performance, and recovery needs of this group of athletes. The primary purpose of our institutional review board approved study was to describe the psychological skills profile of sub-elite marathon competitors to understand the important mental qualities leading runners to complete a marathon. The secondary purpose was to draw conclusions for future applied sport psychology intervention research.

Healthy adults participating in an 18-week marathon training program were recruited for the study (N=125; 30M, 95F; 20-70 years of age). Participants received electronic surveys at four time points corresponding with the training program: pre-training, 6 weeks, 12 weeks, and post-training. Participants completed the nine mental skills survey (9MS) (Lesyk, 1998). The 9MS uses 30 items, rated 1-10 with three subscales: Basic (attitude; motivation; goals and commitment; people skills), Preparatory (self-talk; mental imagery), and Performance (dealing with anxiety; dealing with emotions; concentration).

After exclusion of incomplete surveys, 43 (9M, 34F) surveys were analyzed. An analysis of the mean response for the 9MS subscales across each training time point was conducted via t-tests (p<0.05) The results of the analysis demonstrated attitude and goals commitment strengthened from week 6 to week 12. Perceived ability to cope with anxiety and manage emotions decreased from pre-training through post-training. Motivation, self-talk, and imagery were inconsistently rated over time.

Key Words: sub-elite, marathon, profiling, mental skills, pain, coping
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The Experience of Media and Race in the National Football League – An Existential Phenomenological Study

Submitted by David D. Biber 1*, Jocelyn A. Fisher2*, Daniel R. Czech3*, Rebecca Zakrajsek4*, Noah Gentner5*, Trey Burdette6*, Jonathan Metzler7*, Kimberly Coleman8*, Willie Burden9*, & Terrence A. Jordan II10*

1* David D. Biber, Georgia State University, Department of Kinesiology and Health, Atlanta, GA 30303


With over 67% of the current NFL population of African American descent (Lapchick, Costa, Sherrod, & Anjorin, 2012), there is a disparity between sport reporters, with 79% of the radio and television announcers being White and 7% being Black (Lapchick, &, Sherrod, 2011). This study examined the interactions between African American NFL players and veteran NFL reporters from a phenomenological perspective. While using one open-ended question for each population, the data were transcribed and analyzed, and main themes were identified. The players revealed themes of: (1) the players’ view of how media coverage affects the NFL players, (2) the players’ perceptions of media personnel, and (3) the athletes’ perception of black quarterbacks. The analysis of the veteran sport reporters’ interviews exposed three major themes: (1) perceptions of how the media covers the NFL, (2) interrelationships with NFL players, and (3) playing quarterback in the NFL.

Keywords: NFL, Media, Race, radio, television announcers. NFL reporters Continue reading