About U.S. Sports Academy

This author has not yet filled in any details.
So far U.S. Sports Academy has created 773 blog entries.

The Relationship between Emotional Intelligence, Leadership Styles, and Burnout in NCAA Coaches

Authors: Luna Ugrenovic, M.S., West Virginia University, Kimberly Shaffer, Ph.D., Barry   University, Nataniel Boiangin, Ph.D., Barry University

Corresponding Author:
Luna Ugrenovic, M.S.
478 Harding Avenue Apt. 4
Morgantown, WV, USA, 26505

Luna Ugrenovic is a first-year Ph.D. student at West Virginia University (WVU) studying Sport, Exercise, and Performance Psychology concurrently with Master’s in Clinical Mental Health Counseling. She is also a graduate teaching assistant and mental performance consultant trainee working with the WVU DI rowing team as well as WVU law school. 

The Relationship between Emotional Intelligence, Leadership Styles, and Burnout in NCAA Coaches


Burnout in coaches has been a concerning issue for many years. It can lead to a host of medical, psychological, emotional and performance-related issues. One of the many factors that correlates with burnout is emotional intelligence (EI; 22). Additionally, research supports various leadership styles that correlate with perceived burnout in different ways (32). The present study aimed to investigate the relationships between EI, leadership styles, and perceived burnout as well as the moderating role of leadership styles on the relationship between EI and perceived burnout in NCAA coaches. The full range leadership model (2) was used in this study and proposes that there are transformational, transactional, and passive-avoidant leadership styles. A total of 244 (n = 140 male, n = 103 female, n = 1 undisclosed) coaches participated from across all three NCAA divisions. Represented sports were field/cross country, basketball, lacrosse, soccer, swimming, volleyball, and a variety of others. Consistent with previous research, the results indicated a significant moderate negative relationship between EI and perceived burnout (r = -.38, p = .000) as well as a significant weak negative relationship between transformational leadership style and perceived burnout (r = -.24, p = .000). Additionally, there was a significant weak positive relationship between passive-avoidant leadership style and perceived burnout (r = .25, p = .000). Furthermore, passive-avoidant leadership style showed a negative moderating effect on the relationship between EI and perceived burnout, accounting for 20% of the variance in perceived burnout. This means that passive-avoidant leadership weakened the negative relationship between EI and perceived burnout. Thus, coaches who are predominately passive-avoidant leaders may be more likely to experience burnout symptoms despite their high EI. Consequently, the results underline the importance of developing strong leadership competences as well as EI in NCAA coaches to decrease or even prevent burnout.  

2020-03-04T11:00:03-06:00March 27th, 2020|Research, Sports Coaching|Comments Off on The Relationship between Emotional Intelligence, Leadership Styles, and Burnout in NCAA Coaches

Mental Toughness in Coaching: A Functional Definition Determined by Elite Coaches

Authors: William Steffen1, Conrad Woolsey2, Ronald Quinn3, Brandon Spradley4  

Affiliations: 1Wingate University, 2University of Western States, 3Xavier University, 4United States Sports Academy  

Corresponding Author:
Dr. Brandon Spradley
Chair of Sports Management
United States Sports Academy
One Academy Drive
Daphne, Alabama 36526

Dr. Bill Steffen is an Assistant Professor of Sport Science at Wingate University and serves as the Chair of the United Soccer Coaches Ethics Committee and a Senior National Staff Coach. Dr. Steffen won two NCAA National Championships in women’s soccer while coaching at the University of North Carolina and has 28 years of NCAA coaching experience, in addition to playing professional soccer for five years.

Dr. Conrad Woolsey is the Director of Sport and Performance Psychology at the University of Western States. As a nationally recognized expert in the field of sport and performance psychology he is a Certified Mental Performance Consultant (CMPC) through the Association for Applied Sport Psychology (AASP) and a member of the United States Olympic Committee (USOC) Sport Psychology Registry.

Dr. Ronald Quinn is the Director of MEd in Coaching Education & Athlete Development at Xavier University. Dr. Quinn is considered a leading authority in youth soccer and coaching education presenting at prestigious national and international conferences.

Dr. Brandon Spradley is the Chair of Sports Management and an Associate Professor at the United States Sports Academy.  Dr. Spradley was a four-time NCAA regional qualifier and a two-time NCAA national qualifier in track and field running on nationally ranked relay teams for The University of Alabama.

Mental Toughness in Coaching   


Researchers have explored the mental toughness that is associated with elite athletes as a concept relating to specific activities and sports; however, there is limited research concerning mental toughness among elite coaches. This study expanded previous research by investigating elite coaches’ (N=22) perspectives of what attributes were most important for defining mental toughness in coaching. Results of coaching focus groups interviews yielded several themes which were incorporated into a definition of mental toughness of a coach. Mental toughness of a coach is a complex interaction of several characteristics: (1) a determined mindset; (2) resiliency; (3) confidence; and (4) a strong belief in the coach’s system, processes, and actions; all of these characteristics result in consistent behaviors and emotional responses. Coaches were asked to list attributes that they felt were descriptive of the ideal mentally tough coach. Their list included confident, resilient, consistent, positive spirit, energetic, passionate, optimistic, adaptable, possessing inner strength, and patient. These attributes were discussed in consideration of coaches’ rationale for these choices. Examining mental toughness can positively assist coaches seeking to become the best they can be.

2020-03-04T09:38:11-06:00March 20th, 2020|Research, Sports Coaching|Comments Off on Mental Toughness in Coaching: A Functional Definition Determined by Elite Coaches

Impactful Corporate Social Responsibility in Major League Baseball

Authors:  Dr. Kelly L. Rhodes

Corresponding Author:
Dr. Kelly L. Rhodes
Department of Communications
Saint Francis University
169 Lakeview Drive
Loretto, PA 15940
(814) 472-3379

Dr. Rhodes is an Associate Professor of Communications and chair of the Communications Department at Saint Francis University.

Impactful Corporate Social Responsibility in Major League Baseball



In an effort to know more about what forces influence Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) decision making, the behaviors of one Major League Baseball team regarding its CSR efforts and the outcomes of those efforts were explored.


A qualitative, single, intrinsic case study methodology was employed. Three sources of data were utilized: annual community reports, newspaper articles, and five personal interviews with purposefully selected members of the organization whose work is related to CSR performance. Institutional Theory was used to provide a foundation for the study.


The results of the study indicate that the organization’s leadership and motivation are significant influences in the direction of CSR efforts, and the organization’s relationship with the community and its approach to implementing initiatives impacts the process. Specifically, it can be seen that the organization’s decision making coincides with Institutional Theory.


The study contributes to the field and this journal by depicting the number of influences on CSR decision making and how understanding those influences allow for more effective impact on communities from the substantial amount of money that teams are spending. The study utilizes Institutional Theory to provide a framework for understanding why and how organizations respond to institutional expectations in their CSR decisions (31).

Applications in Sport

Professional sports will continue to play an important role in society as sport organizations become more like multi-national businesses (8). With the increasing commercialization of sports has come greater scrutiny from both fans and the general public. Sport has to walk a fine line to maintain the traditional elements of the games it plays while increasing its strategic behavior to compete in the business environment of professional sports.

2020-03-04T09:28:14-06:00March 13th, 2020|Sports Management|Comments Off on Impactful Corporate Social Responsibility in Major League Baseball

High Volume Resistance Training and its Effects on Anaerobic Work Capacities Over Time: A Review

Authors: Keith B. Painter, Luis Rodríguez-Castellano, & Michael H. Stone

Corresponding Author:
Luis Rodríguez-Castellano
Department of Sport, Exercise, Recreation, and Kinesiology
Center of Excellence of Sport Science and Coach Education
East Tennessee State University
Johnson City, TN, USA, 37614-1701

Luis Rodríguez-Castellano is a Sports Physiology and Performance Fellow PhD student in East Tennessee State University.

The authors did not claim any funding from any agency for the creation of this manuscript.

High Volume Resistance Training and its Effects on Anaerobic Work Capacities Over Time: A Review


Performing resistance training (RT) may improve physical performance capabilities, with anaerobic work capacity (AWC) being one of the characteristics targeted by coaches and athletes. High volume resistance training (HVRT) is typically prescribed in RT programs with the expectancy of improving AWC. However, much of the research available is unclear concerning the effects of HVRT on AWC over time. Therefore, this review will focus on the longitudinal effects of HVRT on AWC. Searches were conducted on SportDiscus, PubMed, Google Scholar, relevant articles from references of qualifying studies, and by using strategies previously suggested (20). Fourteen studies met the following inclusion criteria: a) peer-reviewed, b) testing of AWC pre- and post-HVRT, c) subjects between the ages of 18-40 years, d) a study of at least 4 weeks in duration, e) the study had to use a RT intervention with a set and repetition scheme of ≥ 3 x 8 or base volume load (bVL) of 24 reps, f) and training had to occur at least twice a week for multiple muscle groups. Contrasting protocols within qualifying studies made it challenging to compare between them. Many studies did not meet our criteria mainly due to lack of required duration and pre- and post-training performance testing. The findings of this review indicate that moderately high-volume load (VL) of 4 ± 1 sets of 12 ± 3 repetitions can improve AWC more efficiently than higher VL protocols while mitigating potential strength losses, especially when enough intra-set rest is provided. Moreover, the various implemented protocols and mixed results make generalizability impractical. Coaches and athletes should use this information with good judgement. Reporting full descriptions of the protocols (ie. VL per day) and the inclusion of performance measurements are warranted for future research to understand the contributions of HVRT to AWC.

2020-02-19T14:44:03-06:00March 6th, 2020|Sports Health & Fitness|Comments Off on High Volume Resistance Training and its Effects on Anaerobic Work Capacities Over Time: A Review

Are NBA Players Paid to Perform in the Clutch?

Authors: Kevin Sigler

Corresponding Author:
Kevin Sigler, PhD
601 College Road
Department of Economics and Finance
Cameron School of Business
UNC Wilmington
Wilmington, NC 28403

Kevin Sigler is Professor of Finance in the Cameron School of Business, UNC Wilmington

Are NBA Players Paid to Perform in the Clutch?


The star players in the National Basketball Association (NBA) are paid extremely well.  In the 2018-19 season there were 60 players in the NBA that were paid $17 million or more for their services.  Stephen Curry was the highest paid at $37.5 million (Table 1).  LeBron James, Chris Paul, and Russell Westbrook tied for second at salaries of $35.7 million (1).  This study examines if the highest 60 paid NBA players are compensated for performing in the clutch.  The research finds that the pay for the sample of highly paid NBA players is related to their field goal percentage and to assists to other players during the last four minutes of close games when the score is within five points.  Their pay is tied significantly to field goal attempts in the last minute of close games as well.  It appears from the results that NBA organizations reward players who at the end of close games make shots, are able to handle the ball, and set up their teammates to score as well as be willing to take shots in the last minute of tightly contested games.

2020-02-19T09:49:46-06:00February 28th, 2020|General|Comments Off on Are NBA Players Paid to Perform in the Clutch?