Leadership: Athletes and Coaches in Sport

Authors: Dr. Sharon P. Misasi*, Dr. Gary Morin and Lauren Kwasnowski

Dr. Sharon P. Misasi is a Professor of Exercise Science at Southern Connecticut State University. Dr. Gary Morin is a Professor of Exercise Science, Assistant Athletic Trainer and Program Director of the Athletic Training Education Program. Lauren Kwasnowski is a Research assistant for this study, undergraduate student in the Allied Health Program at the University of Connecticut and a member/captain of the UCONN Division I Lacrosse team.

*Corresponding Author:
Sharon P. Misasi PhD, AT.
Southern Connecticut State University
501 Crescent Street
PE 002B
New Haven CT 06515
misasis1@southernct.edu

ABSTRACT
This study investigated the interpersonal aspects and perceptions of the coach-athlete relationship as it pertains to collegiate athletes at Division I and II universities and athletes and coaches of different genders. Electronic surveys were emailed to 50 NCAA Division I and 50 Division II head coaches in the Northeast. Coaches were requested to respond to the survey and email the athlete survey to their respective athletes. These surveys were completed by both coaches and athletes: Coach-Athlete Relationship Questionnaire (CART-Q), Leadership Scale for Sports (LSS). The final instrument, Coaching Behavior Scale for Sports (CBS-S), was completed by only the athletes. There were no significant differences found with the CART-Q. The LSS illustrated several areas of significances in the categories of Training, Democratic Behavior, Autocratic Behavior and Social Support. Although there was no significance found in Positive Feedback there was an interesting finding in that female coaches felt they were less likely to provide positive feedback than their male counterparts. The CBS-S has subscales which include: physical training and planning, technical skills, mental preparation, competition strategies, personal rapport and negative personal rapport. Statistical significance was found in the following subscales: competition strategies, personal rapport and negative personal rapport. The coach is a meaningful person in the lives of athletes and the role they play is vital in the athlete’s sport experience. Our results indicate that the level of competitive division appears to play a role in how athletes perceive their coaches and how coaches perceive themselves. In addition, gender differences among coaches’ affect responses of the athletes and the coaches. Leadership is not a simple process. There is no one way to lead and what works for one may not work for all. Therefore, the best one can do is get to know their athletes and work hard to understand their goals, motivations and needs.

KEYWORDS: Coaching, Effective Leadership, Successful Leadership

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An Investigation into Factors that Contribute to the Perception of Disparities between Academic Achievement and Athletic Participation in High School Student-Athletes

Submitted by Dr. Kechia Seabrooks Rowles*(1)
(1)Athletic Coordinator for Rockdale County Public Schools in Conyers, Ga.

*Corresponding Author
Dr. Kechia Seabrooks Rowles
United States Sports Academy
85 Fox Glove Drive
Covington, GA 30016
krowles@rockdale.k12.ga.us

ABSTRACT
The purpose of this study was to analyze and compare various factors that contribute to the attitudes and perceptions held by public high school student- athletes towards academic achievement. During the 2014-2015 academic year, 323 student-athletes completed a 110 question survey packet that included, the Non Cognitive Questionnaire (NCQ), the Athletic Identity Measure Scale (AIMS), the Student Athletic Motivation Survey and Questionnaire (SAMSAQ), the Student-Athlete Role Conflict Scale and the Sport Commitment Model (SCM), providing information about different aspects of the academic achievement and athletic participation relationship, including level of educational aspirations and academic self-concept, the internal struggle between the student and athlete identity complexes, and motivational drives of student-athletes. Student Participation was strictly voluntary and contingent upon the willingness of coaches and parental consent. Student-athletes generally viewed themselves as student-athletes and believed it is worth the effort to achieve athletic success but not at the expense of their academic performance. Analysis showed that gender may play a statistically significant role in student-athletes’ perception of academic performance and athletic participation while grade level, age and race were less meaningful. The researcher hopes these findings may encourage further research, and potentially aid parents, coaches, counselors and teachers in assisting student athletes with maintaining a balance between academics and athletics.
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Kinematic Analysis of the Slap Hitting Technique in Division I Softball Players

Submitted by Robin Lund1, Ph.D.*, Travis Ficklin2, Ph.D.* Mr. Johnathan Faga3*, Ms. Cassie Reilly-Boccia4*

1* Assistant Professor of Physical Education at University of Northern Iowa, Cedar Falls, IA 50614

2* Assistant Professor of Physical Education at University of Northern Iowa, Cedar Falls, IA 50614

3* B.A. in Movement and Exercise Science from the University of Northern Iowa.

4* Director of Research and Development at Athletes Warehouse in Pleasantville, NY.

ABSTRACT

The purpose of this study was to provide a kinematic description of the phase parameters of the slap hitting technique and the interrelationships that may exist in Division I softball players.  Video data were collected for all swings during a 15-game softball tournament in which six NCAA Division I teams played.  A high-speed video camera filming at 300 Hz was located along the third base line recording every pitch.  Only data from trials in which a slap swing attempt was made were kept, resulting in 200 trials.  Three phases were identified; preparatory step, wind-up and swing.  The duration of each phase (tPREP, tWIND-UP and tSWING, s) as well as the duration of the entire technique (tTOTAL, s), the forward velocity of the hips (vHIP, m/s) during the wind-up phase and the velocity of the bat at contact (vBAT, m/s) were obtained for each trial.  Descriptive statistics were calculated for each of the variables and Pearson product moment correlations were used to examine the relationships among the variables.  Several significant relationships were identified (p<0.05).  The duration of the preparatory step phase has a direct effect on vHIP and vBAT.  The duration of the wind-up and swing phases appear to be related to the timing of each individual trial and do not appear to play a role in vHIP and vBAT.  Coaches should consider the role of the preparatory step phase on vHIP and vBAT when coaching different techniques such as the soft slap and the power slap.

Key words: softball, kinematic, slap hitting. Continue reading

Effect of Mental Training on the Performance of College Age Distance Runners

Submitted by Michael P. Spino1*, William F. Straub2*

1* Sports Administration, Kinesiology and Health, Georgia State University, Atlanta, GA 30303

2*Department of Psychology, Tompkins Cortland Community College, Dryden, NY 13053
wstraub7314@gmail.com

Michael P. Spino was born in New Jersey but has spent most of his adult years working in Atlanta, Georgia. He is an excellent track coach having coached at Georgia Tech and Life University. His teams have won many state and national championships. Recently he earned his doctoral degree at Lille2 University, Lille, France. Presently, he is teaching part-time at Georgia State University in Atlanta.

William F. Straub was born in Catskill, New York. He is a retired professor of kinesiology and sport psychology. He has published extensively in scholarly journals and now has a small private practice in sport psychology. He is a USOC certified sport psychology consultant. He received his PhD degree from the University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI and a Master’s degree in clinical psychology from the new School for Social Research in NYC.

ABSTRACT

The purpose was to determine if Event Rehearsal Imagery (ERI) and Internal guided Imagery with Distractions (IGID) resulted in improvements in the running performance of college students. The participants (N = 74) were students at Kenyatta University in Nairobi, Kenya. Cooper’s 12 min run test was used to assess running performance. Following 8-weeks of training, findings indicated that there was a statistically significant difference (0.05 level) in running performance between the Event Rehearsal Imagery (n = 29), Event Rehearsal Imagery with Distractions (n = 16) and the Control group (n = 29). Overall, there was a significant mean difference in running among male (n = 47) and female (n = 27 participants).

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Differences in Collegiate Athlete Nutrition Knowledge as Determined by Athlete Characteristics

Submitted by Allisha M. Weeden, Janette Olsen, John M. Batacan, Teri Peterson

Allisha M. Weeden is an Assistant Professor in the Dietetic Programs at Idaho State University.  Janette Olsen is an Assistant Professor in Health Education at Idaho State University.  John M. Batacan is an Assistant Professor in Health Education at Idaho State University.  Teri Peterson is an Assistant Professor in the College of Business at Idaho State University.

ABSTRACT

PURPOSE:  To identify nutrition knowledge based on collegiate sport, where nutrition knowledge was lacking, and specific nutrition related concerns of collegiate athletes.

METHODS: The cross-sectional study evaluated responses to a 65-item written questionnaire.   Participants (n=174; female=88, male=86) competed in 13 different NCAA sanctioned sports.  Nutrition knowledge scores calculated from the number of nutrition knowledge questions correct then converted to a percent from the number of questions correctly answered.  Frequencies, Chi-square, and t-tests were used to report and compare nutrition knowledge scores.

RESULTS: The mean nutrition knowledge score of participants was 56.4% ± 13.4%.  Higher nutrition knowledge scores were associated with completion of a collegiate nutrition course (p = 0.015), participation in individual sports (p = 0.043), and citation of healthcare professionals as the primary source of nutrition information (p = 0.008).  Forty-two percent reported nutrition concerns related to what and how to eat healthy.

CONCLUSIONS:  Collegiate athletes lacked nutrition knowledge and expressed concerns surrounding what and how to eat healthy.  Completion of a collegiate level nutrition course may benefit collegiate athletes, especially those that do not have access to a Registered Dietitian (RD).

APPLICATIONS IN SPORT: Collegiate athletes, athletic departments, and even universities all benefit from successful sports teams.  Nutrition can be a big part of success and the use of a RD to educate athletes ensures appropriate nutrition knowledge is provided.  For universities with financial constraints collegiate level nutrition courses and small group cooking classes taught by an RD may still benefit collegiate athletes.

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