BOOK REVIEW: Organizational Behavior in Sport Management: An Applied Approach to Understanding People and Groups

Authors: Chenghao Ma

School of Humanities and Social Science, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Shenzhen, China

Corresponding Author:

Chenghao Ma
2001 Longxiang Blvd.,
Shenzhen, China 518172
machenghao@cuhk.edu.cn

Chenghao Ma is now at the School of Humanities and Social Science, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Shenzhen.

BOOK REVIEW: Organizational Behavior in Sport Management: An Applied Approach to Understanding People and Groups

Barnhill, C. R., Smith N. L., & Oja, B. D. (2021). Organizational behavior in sport management: An applied approach to understanding people and groups. Palgrave Macmillan.

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2024-02-07T08:36:27-06:00February 9th, 2024|Book Reveiws, Sports Management|Comments Off on BOOK REVIEW: Organizational Behavior in Sport Management: An Applied Approach to Understanding People and Groups

Analysis of Factors Influencing the College Choice Decisions of NCAA Division I International Student-Athletes

Authors: Bryan Romsa1, Katelyn Romsa 2, Jon Lim3, and Agatha Ampaire4

1Associate Professor of Sport Management, South Dakota State University, Brookings, SD. USA
2Associate Professor of Counseling and Human Development, South Dakota State University, Brookings, SD. USA
3Associate Professor of Sport Management, Minnesota State University, Mankato, MN. USA
4 Career Education Coordinator, South Dakota State University, Brookings, SD. USA.

Corresponding Author:

Jon Lim, EdD
Associate Professor, Sports Management
Minnesota State University, Mankato
1400 Highland Center
Mankato, MN 56001
Phone:507-389-5231
Jon.Lim@msnu.edu

Bryan Romsa, EdD is an Associate Professor of Sport Management at South Dakota State University in Brookings, SD. His research interests include recruitment and retention of NCAA student-athletes and sport exit planning of NCAA student-athletes.

Katelyn Romsa, EdD is an Associate Professor of Counseling and Human Development with an emphasis on the Administration of Student Affairs at South Dakota State University in Brookings, SD. Her research interests include recruitment and retention of college students and supervision models to maximize student success.

Jon Lim, EdD is an Associate Professor of Sport Management at Minnesota State University in Mankato, MN. His research interests include technology use in education and college choice decisions of NCAA athletes.

Agatha Ampaire, PhD is the Career Education Coordinator at South Dakota State University in Brookings, SD.

Analysis of Factors Influencing the College Choice Decisions of NCAA Division I International Student-Athletes

ABSTRACT

To examine the factors influencing the college choice decisions of NCAA Division I International Student-Athletes, one on one in-depth interviews were conducted with eight international student-athletes (n=8) representing different countries, at a Division 1 university in the Midwest region of the USA. Interview questions were developed using the Student-Athlete College Choice Profile Survey (SACCPS) and were formulated to maximize the depth and breadth of interviewee responses. Results indicated that the head coach, availability of the academic major, and the availability of scholarships were the top reasons for choice of school. Seven of the participants did not visit the school prior to their decision but heavily relied on the coach, other international athletes, and internet searches. Taking time to build relationships with and provide information to international student-athletes maybe paramount to their recruitment.


Key Words: college athletics, coaching, recruiting,

INTRODUCTION

There is a general increase in the number of international student-athletes who participate in intercollegiate sports in the USA (Abbey-Pinegar, 2010; Chepyator-Thomson et al., 2016). This is partly because of the increased competitiveness of college athletics and the rising stakes; winning has become very important for schools (Weston, 2006). Recruiting and training of high caliber international athletes is seen as fundamental to the success of sports teams (Falcous & Maguire, 2005). Recruiting internationally is particularly important for smaller mid-major NCAA schools because they are more likely to be out competed for domestic talent by top tier institutions. International student-athletes are recruited using a variety of methods, prominent among the methods being professional contacts within the country of origin, and recruitment at international events, which leads to competition for the elite international students. Most of international student-athletes come from specific countries, hence the terminology ‘talent pipeline’ has been used to describe the sourcing of the athletes (Pierce et al., 2010). Additionally, recently there has been a recent reduction (Zong & Batalova, 2018) in the general number of international students who are choosing to come to the USA which could impact the available pool of international student-athletes. Therefore, understanding factors that influence international student-athletes’ school choice is important, and athletics can be a tool in attracting and retaining international students.

To gain a holistic understanding of international students’ college choice, we examined the literature on reasons why international student-athletes chose to come to the USA, and their experiences and adjustment to their new environment. The reasons why the athletes are interested in coming to the USA may influence the school options and opportunities available to them, while experiences of other international athletes could be an influential factor in choice of school.

Reasons International Student-Athletes Come to the USA

Researchers have classified the reasons that international students give for leaving their home countries into Push and Pull factors. Push factors are undesirable conditions in their country which force the students to seek greener pastures elsewhere, while Pull factors are the attributes of another country which the students find attractive (Chepyator-Thomson et al., 2016; Lee, 2010; Li & Bray, 2007). Many international student-athletes are willing to leave their home country for better opportunities and better economic prospects offered by the USA, to experience a different culture, to obtain an education while also improving their athleticism (Love & Kim, 2011). However, before the Push and Pull factors come into play, the recruiters have to be aware of the student-athlete’s abilities or the student has to be aware of the opportunities available, thus familiarity with the USA system and other social ties such as recommendation from friends or former international athletes plays an important role (Mazzarol & Soutar, 2002).

Adjustment to College and Experiences of International Student-Athletes

Chepyator-Thomson et al. (2016) found that most basketball players were recruited from English speaking countries. Pierce et al. (2011) posited that student-athletes from culturally similar countries to the USA were less likely to experience cultural shock and to adjust readily than other international student-athletes. International student-athletes may also struggle to commit to their teams if they are worried about their academic performance so as not to lose their athletic standing and scholarships (Sato et al., 2011). Additionally, international student- athletes may experience discrimination from teammates and often find it difficult to fit in because of cultural differences (Sato et al., 2018). They may also experience stress as a result of a combination of factors (Arturo, 2014). However, in a study of international student-athlete satisfaction, the athletes expressed overall satisfaction with the dimensions measuring satisfaction, including academic support services, personal treatment, team social contribution and medical support (Trendafilova et al., 2010).

Purpose of the Study

The purpose of this study was to examine the factors influencing the college choice decisions of NCAA Division I International Student-Athletes. Some researchers such as Judson et al. (2005) and Kankey and Quarterman (2007) have studied the college choices of international student-athletes, however, in a comprehensive review of extant literature, Pauline (2010) noted that most of the studies on school choice by student-athletes utilized questionnaires. The present study seeks to expand the understanding of  International student-athletes’ university choice by utilizing in-depth interviews to elicit more detailed information and provide explanation that cannot be captured using questionnaires.

THEORETICAL FRAMEWORK

The conceptual framework for this investigation was guided by a decision-making model developed by Hossler and Gallagher (1987). Hossler and Gallagher’s model is composed of three stages that individuals progress through during the college selection process (predisposition, search, and choice). During the predisposition stage, the athlete decides what path they want to pursue, in this case, they decide if they would like to play within or outside their home country. The search stage is when students weigh their options, they may contact universities of interest, or they evaluate offers they may have received from recruiters. In the choice stage the student has decided to pursue specific options, the student may submit applications to select universities and start working on the immigration process. Interviewers utilized this framework to explain the factors influencing the college choice decisions of international student-athletes.

METHODS

Participants

The participants of this study included eight international student-athletes (6 women and 2 men) who were 18 years or older and participated in golf (n=3) and swimming (n=5) from a FCS Mid-Major Division I, land-grant institution in the Upper Midwest. Participants included 2 freshman, 1 sophomore, 4 juniors, and 1 senior. Purposive sampling was used to select the international student-athletes from the sports with the highest representation of international student-athletes on the roster, which were swimming and golf, respectively. A brief description of these participants is listed in Table 1.

Research Design

This research study utilized a qualitative, phenomenological design to allow for a deeper understanding of the real-life experiences of international student-athletes to explore the factors influencing their college choice when coming to the USA. A phenomenological study was chosen to describe the meaning of the lived experiences for the several individuals who shared a similar concept or phenomenon (Creswell, 2018; Patton, 2015).

Interview Questions

Twenty interview questions were developed using the Student-Athlete College Choice Profile Survey (SACCPS). The interview questions were formulated to maximize the depth and breadth of interviewee responses (Patton, 2015). Student-athletes were purposively chosen to represent the proportion of international student-athletes at the school (i.e. students were chosen from the sports with the highest representation of international student-athletes, which were swimming and golf respectively).

The interviews were conducted using a semi-structed format (Gall et al. 2007). Core questions were the same across participants, but the interviewer varied additional questions depending on responses. Reflective listening and minimal encouragers were used to maximize participant responses and increase the depth of interview content. Allowing slight variations to accommodate the appropriate context and flow of the interview, the interview questions included. Student’s major, country of origin, if the student had athletic opportunities at other institutions what were the reasons that the student selected to attend at this particular institution, and if the student had transferred, what were reasons for transferring to the institution were examined. Also explored were the impacts on the student’s decision of several factors; the head coach and coaching staff, location of the school, the student’s family, the athletic facilities, the degree programs available, the campus visit, the size and location of the university and community, campus life outside of athletics, the academic support services for athletes, the opportunity to compete, knowledge of other international student-athletes, and availability of scholarships. We sought to address three main research questions: (a) Which factor that had the biggest influence on your college choice decision? (b) What advice would you give an international student-athlete trying to decide which institution to compete for in the USA? (c) What do you wish you would have considered before making your college choice decision.

Data Collection

 Data was collected from International student-athletes at a mid-major, NCAA Division I university in the Upper Midwest. Collaboration with the athletic department was used to recruit participants. The principal investigator of this study has developed an ongoing relationship with the athletic department (e.g., coaches, athletic director, administration). From this relationship, the principal investigator has become more knowledgeable and passionate about the choice of student-athlete populations, leading to this research project. Establishing trust and building a strong connection with athletics was instrumental in receiving permission and support from the coaching staff who assisted with recruiting participants. Participants were informed that the study was voluntary and that their withdrawal from the study at any time was allowed as there were no known risks or direct benefits for participating in this study.

The interview participants were briefed about the objective and procedures of the study and assured of anonymity as well as their right to withdraw from the study at any time without penalty. The interviews which lasted 30-45 minutes were conducted in person in a one-on-one setting in a private room and were digitally recorded using audio only. Field notes were also taken during the interviews. Participants were recruited through purposive convenience sampling by the researchers via telephone call, email, text, or in-person. Additionally, the researchers collaborated with the Athletics department at the institution (administrators, coaches, student-athletes) to recruit participants.

Data Analysis

In order to avoid research bias in this study and to ascertain the quality and rigor of the data analysis, the researchers of this study conducted an inductive analysis to understand and identify general patterns, or categories (Patton, 2015). All audio files were transcribed verbatim thematic analysis was used by the researchers to analyze the data. Open coding (Maxwell, 2013) was first achieved by segmenting the data into meaningful expressions or themes based on participant responses. They identified key phrases used by participants in their responses to the open-ended questions. Once themes were identified, analytic triangulation took place where the principal investigator, worked with two peer debriefers to enhance the accuracy of the findings (Creswell, 2018). Each peer debriefer individually identified key phrases and themes that emerged from data. Then each peer debriefer shared their findings with the principle investigator whereby they collectively discussed and identified the themes and their meaning. This process added trustworthiness to the findings and prevented researcher bias by allowing the researchers the opportunity to critically evaluate their themes and make minor modifications to them as they jointly determined was appropriate (Ritchie et al., 2013). Member checking was used to validate interviews by sharing a brief summary of the interview with the research participants (Singer, 2008).

RESULTS

Responses were examined, interpreted, and analyzed from eight male and female, international student-athletes (n=8) representing different countries, at a mid-size Division 1 university in the Midwest region of the USA to examine the factors influencing their college choice decision. Two major themes were found (a) the role of the institution and (b) the role of athletics. Each theme is categorized into extrinsic and intrinsic factors. Extrinsic factors meaning external, coming or operating from the institution or athletics. Intrinsic factors meaning internal, belonging or lying from within the student-athlete.

Role of Institution

Extrinsic factors

Prioritizing academics was paramount from all eight the participants in the study. All students interviewed knew the academic major they wanted to pursue in college, which made this institution attractive given that it offered their major of their interest. One participant did not take an offer from a different university because their desired major was not available. The academic majors represented by the participants in the study included Biotechnology, Business Economics, Exercise Science (Pre-athletic training), Hospitality management with minors in Management leadership and French, Sport and Recreation Management.

Scholarship offerings was important in the college choice decision to seven of the participants in the study, with some stating that it influenced them the most. One participant stated that without the scholarship they would not be able to afford to come to the USA for school and athletics. They said, “that was the biggest factor I think because from where I’m from at least our exchange rate is very bad. So, for me it was actually just all about the money basically….. it was one of my highest offers so that was a big thing and also that the tuition in general was a little lower than most other schools.” Another participant stated, “Other schools offered me a scholarship, but this institution offered me the biggest…….So for me, the scholarship was something I really needed.” Similarly stated, “Other schools were all quite similar in degree and the swimming program. So, when the end of May came around the scholarship made a big difference. If I could get more money I would go to that school.”

Touring the institution and athletic program through internet searches mattered to seven of the participants, who did not visit the school prior to their decision. Only one participant had a campus visit. Having the coach verbalize what they saw on the internet mattered to one of the participants. They mentioned, “I didn’t come to visit. The coach showed me everything by internet, but I didn’t come to visit at all. I just came straight from my first semester. I got here like 5 days before start school and then like a small window before that. I trusted him [the coach].” The location of the school was not a major factor in the student’s college choice. Some of the students did not know much about the location and size while others looked it up.

Intrinsic factors

Academic support mattered to seven of the eight participants. Access to academic support services was an important factor in their choice consideration. One participant stated, “It was important for me to like be able to get help in math which the academic advisor told me right away that they had math tutors and everything.” Another participant similarly stated, “I really liked the fact that like my academics would be supported a lot on top of athletics.”

All eight participants knew other international student-athletes from their home country who came or were going to college in the USA. This knowledge influenced the students’ decision to play in the USA but not necessarily to come to this institution. One participant stated, “A lot of my friends are here…..they have talked and said a lot of good things about stadiums.” Another participant said, “There are a lot of Dutch swimmers that go to the U.S. I knew a few of the people on the Dutch team and that they made like really big progress.” This participant also emphasize how social media has helped spread the world. “Just looking at their social media pages like all the fun things they do. It’s just so different from college at home.”

The influence of campus life was not a top factor but was considered from a residential life perspective. Two of the participants mentioned how their living situation mattered. One participant said, “I looked at the dorms.” Another student said, “I liked that the housing required two years of on campus housing and that it’s easy to get around and everything.” Two participants admitted that even after coming to the campus, they did not look up activities outside of athletics but acknowledged that it would be important later on during their academic and athletic career at the institution.

Role of Athletics

Extrinsic factors

All eight participants mentioned that the coach influenced their college choice decision. One participant stated, “I thought like my connection with the coach here was stronger than the others.” Another participant stated, I had a good feeling with coach…. He just made me more confident about coming here.”

Most of the students did not get to tour the campus, they based their opinion of the athletic facilities on what they were told by the coaches or what they were able to see online. The athletic facility did not influence the Swimmer’s decision, but the presence of an indoor facility positively influenced the three Golfers in the study. One participant said, “Because you got indoor facility like the one here where you have 24-hour access to it and you’ve got a top class pitching green up there and you got all the technology you’ve got other got all the hitting bays. It was as a no brainer basically you know.”

The opportunity to compete mattered to five of the participants. Most of the students had the understanding that they were going to be able to compete and this knowledge factored into their college choice decision. The majority students seemed to have the attitude that competing is what their coming to the USA was about. One stated, “It was very important. I enjoy practice but competing is the main thing that keeps me going.” Another said, “I was told that I would be able to compete a lot….. I didn’t really want to come all this way and have to be left behind when I train every day so that played quite a big part.” Another participant said, “I’ve always wanted to play at the top level. And you know when you play against those schools playing, you are playing as the best players in the world, so you want to see how you compare to them.” “Knowing that you can come to a D-one school compete with the best schools in the country especially at tournaments we play which the top 50 countries. Top 50 programs in the country. That’s how you get better compete with the best one and we’re competing with you guys are playing the next few years. So that made me for sure choose this institution.”

Intrinsic factors

Feeling a sense of belongingness with the team was important to seven the participants. This included aligning with the team’s coaching philosophy and values and/or having a strong connection with the coach and team. Fitting in with the team was important. “Felt like it would be a good fit because the swimming program had what I wanted and with my teammates having the same times [schedule] as me.” Another participant said, “I thought like my connection with the head coach here was stronger than the others. I had a good feeling with the coach…. He just made me more confident about coming here.” Another participant appreciated the friendliness from the coaches, “I found some of the other colleges I spoke to the coaches were a bit harsh. The coaches here were friendly and they more open to hearing what I wanted to contribute to the team and do for the team compared to the other universities. They kind of had their idea of what they wanted me to do and some of that was like.” Another participant similarly said, “The coaches were a lot more open to hearing my side of what I want to do and what I’m looking for.

Speaking highly of the program mattered, too. “They [the coaches] also spoke very well about the program. They gave me a good idea. And they kind of made it sound like everything that I wanted.” Having a similar vision was important. One participant shared, “I’ve talked to. 10 plus coaches and he’s so driven so desired like. There’s one thing that he wants. He’ll go get it even if it’s a team or no team he’ll get the best out of the players.” Caring for the whole student was also mentioned. “Obviously you want to be on a team where you can count on your coach you want to coach I want to help you to grow within your golf game. But I also like in your professional career too.”

Their dream of becoming a successful college athlete mattered to five participants. One participant mentioned the importance of being stretched as an athlete. They said, “At other schools I probably would’ve been the fastest in every event, but I want to be pushed. I want to be left behind.” Another participant stated, “This school offered me the opportunity to keep studying and playing golf.” Thus, the importance of adding athletics to academics was highly important.

RESULTS

Responses were examined, interpreted, and analyzed from eight male and female, international student-athletes (n=8) representing different countries, at a mid-size Division 1 university in the Midwest region of the USA to examine the factors influencing their college choice decision. Two major themes were found (a) the role of the institution and (b) the role of athletics. Each theme is categorized into extrinsic and intrinsic factors. Extrinsic factors meaning external, coming or operating from the institution or athletics. Intrinsic factors meaning internal, belonging or lying from within the student-athlete.

Role of Institution

Extrinsic factors

Prioritizing academics was paramount from all eight the participants in the study. All students interviewed knew the academic major they wanted to pursue in college, which made this institution attractive given that it offered their major of their interest. One participant did not take an offer from a different university because their desired major was not available. The academic majors represented by the participants in the study included Biotechnology, Business Economics, Exercise Science (Pre-athletic training), Hospitality management with minors in Management leadership and French, Sport and Recreation Management.

Scholarship offerings was important in the college choice decision to seven of the participants in the study, with some stating that it influenced them the most. One participant stated that without the scholarship they would not be able to afford to come to the USA for school and athletics. They said, “that was the biggest factor I think because from where I’m from at least our exchange rate is very bad. So, for me it was actually just all about the money basically….. it was one of my highest offers so that was a big thing and also that the tuition in general was a little lower than most other schools.” Another participant stated, “Other schools offered me a scholarship, but this institution offered me the biggest…….So for me, the scholarship was something I really needed.” Similarly stated, “Other schools were all quite similar in degree and the swimming program. So, when the end of May came around the scholarship made a big difference. If I could get more money I would go to that school.”

Touring the institution and athletic program through internet searches mattered to seven of the participants, who did not visit the school prior to their decision. Only one participant had a campus visit. Having the coach verbalize what they saw on the internet mattered to one of the participants. They mentioned, “I didn’t come to visit. The coach showed me everything by internet, but I didn’t come to visit at all. I just came straight from my first semester. I got here like 5 days before start school and then like a small window before that. I trusted him [the coach].” The location of the school was not a major factor in the student’s college choice. Some of the students did not know much about the location and size while others looked it up.

Intrinsic factors

Academic support mattered to seven of the eight participants. Access to academic support services was an important factor in their choice consideration. One participant stated, “It was important for me to like be able to get help in math which the academic advisor told me right away that they had math tutors and everything.” Another participant similarly stated, “I really liked the fact that like my academics would be supported a lot on top of athletics.”

All eight participants knew other international student-athletes from their home country who came or were going to college in the USA. This knowledge influenced the students’ decision to play in the USA but not necessarily to come to this institution. One participant stated, “A lot of my friends are here…..they have talked and said a lot of good things about stadiums.” Another participant said, “There are a lot of Dutch swimmers that go to the U.S. I knew a few of the people on the Dutch team and that they made like really big progress.” This participant also emphasize how social media has helped spread the world. “Just looking at their social media pages like all the fun things they do. It’s just so different from college at home.”

The influence of campus life was not a top factor but was considered from a residential life perspective. Two of the participants mentioned how their living situation mattered. One participant said, “I looked at the dorms.” Another student said, “I liked that the housing required two years of on campus housing and that it’s easy to get around and everything.” Two participants admitted that even after coming to the campus, they did not look up activities outside of athletics but acknowledged that it would be important later on during their academic and athletic career at the institution.

Role of Athletics

Extrinsic factors

All eight participants mentioned that the coach influenced their college choice decision. One participant stated, “I thought like my connection with the coach here was stronger than the others.” Another participant stated, I had a good feeling with coach…. He just made me more confident about coming here.”

Most of the students did not get to tour the campus, they based their opinion of the athletic facilities on what they were told by the coaches or what they were able to see online. The athletic facility did not influence the Swimmer’s decision, but the presence of an indoor facility positively influenced the three Golfers in the study. One participant said, “Because you got indoor facility like the one here where you have 24-hour access to it and you’ve got a top class pitching green up there and you got all the technology you’ve got other got all the hitting bays. It was as a no brainer basically you know.”

The opportunity to compete mattered to five of the participants. Most of the students had the understanding that they were going to be able to compete and this knowledge factored into their college choice decision. The majority students seemed to have the attitude that competing is what their coming to the USA was about. One stated, “It was very important. I enjoy practice but competing is the main thing that keeps me going.” Another said, “I was told that I would be able to compete a lot….. I didn’t really want to come all this way and have to be left behind when I train every day so that played quite a big part.” Another participant said, “I’ve always wanted to play at the top level. And you know when you play against those schools playing, you are playing as the best players in the world, so you want to see how you compare to them.” “Knowing that you can come to a D-one school compete with the best schools in the country especially at tournaments we play which the top 50 countries. Top 50 programs in the country. That’s how you get better compete with the best one and we’re competing with you guys are playing the next few years. So that made me for sure choose this institution.”

Intrinsic factors

 Feeling a sense of belongingness with the team was important to seven the participants. This included aligning with the team’s coaching philosophy and values and/or having a strong connection with the coach and team. Fitting in with the team was important. “Felt like it would be a good fit because the swimming program had what I wanted and with my teammates having the same times [schedule] as me.” Another participant said, “I thought like my connection with the head coach here was stronger than the others. I had a good feeling with the coach…. He just made me more confident about coming here.” Another participant appreciated the friendliness from the coaches, “I found some of the other colleges I spoke to the coaches were a bit harsh. The coaches here were friendly and they more open to hearing what I wanted to contribute to the team and do for the team compared to the other universities. They kind of had their idea of what they wanted me to do and some of that was like.” Another participant similarly said, “The coaches were a lot more open to hearing my side of what I want to do and what I’m looking for.

Speaking highly of the program mattered, too. “They [the coaches] also spoke very well about the program. They gave me a good idea. And they kind of made it sound like everything that I wanted.” Having a similar vision was important. One participant shared, “I’ve talked to. 10 plus coaches and he’s so driven so desired like. There’s one thing that he wants. He’ll go get it even if it’s a team or no team he’ll get the best out of the players.” Caring for the whole student was also mentioned. “Obviously you want to be on a team where you can count on your coach you want to coach I want to help you to grow within your golf game. But I also like in your professional career too.”

Their dream of becoming a successful college athlete mattered to five participants. One participant mentioned the importance of being stretched as an athlete. They said, “At other schools I probably would’ve been the fastest in every event, but I want to be pushed. I want to be left behind.” Another participant stated, “This school offered me the opportunity to keep studying and playing golf.” Thus, the importance of adding athletics to academics was highly important.

DISCUSSION

The study included international student-athletes from different parts of the world; developed and developing countries. None of the students articulated push factors as reasons for coming to the USA, but they did have pull factors, the main one being opportunity to pursue both athletics and academics in college. Only the USA offers opportunity for collegiate athletics opportunities (Love & Kim, 2011). Availability of a scholarship was important, several students mentioned that without it they would not have been able to come to the USA. Some students talked about the differences in currency strengths between their country and the USA as contributing to not being able to afford a USA education, but money (economic opportunity) was not cited as a main reason that athletes came to the USA.

-All the student-athletes were influenced by the coach in making the college choice decision. Because most of them did not get a recruiting visit, their school choice depended on how much they felt that they could relate to and trust the coach as well as the clarity of information received from the coach. Unlike the findings by Mazzarol and Soutar, (2002) recommendations from other international athletes did not play a big role in college choice decision. The information obtained from other international student-athletes helped the students to solidify their interest and as a cautionary tale on what to pay attention to in evaluating schools.

Many of the student-athletes in the study were from countries that were not culturally or geographically similar to the USA. In agreement with Pierce et al. (2011), those students struggled to understand the USA academic grading and athletic system, found the weather to be worse than imagined and struggled with the language. This study did not ascertain whether these students from countries dissimilar to the USA had received advanced warning from other international student-athletes from their countries about these issues. One student voiced the need for international student-athletes to integrate with their American counterparts which is difficult because of feeling that they are different.

LIMITATIONS

The data collection method had the advantage of examining different potential reasons for international student-athletes’ college choice, however, having preset questions even though the interviewer could go off the script to gain further insight narrowed the conversation. It is possible that some reasons were not explored because the interview was directed, and the athlete may have felt that they needed to only speak about what was being asked. When asked if there was anything they wanted to add, most students were hesitant, but some came up with different topics which could be additional reasons for school choice by international student-athletes. A study where the interviewer only asks the athlete to tell their story without directing them could uncover more reasons and shed more light on international student-athlete’s college choice.

CONCLUSIONS

The overarching theme identified in this study is that international student-athletes’ choice of school is motivated by a desire to have a great experience: feel a sense of belongingness with the team, connecting with the head coach and coaches, as well as succeeding academically and athletically.

APPLICATIONS IN SPORT

Results indicated that the head coach, availability of the academic major, and the availability of scholarships were the top reasons for choice of school. Seven of the participants did not visit the school prior to their decision but heavily relied on the coach, other international athletes, and internet searches. Coaches will need to take time to build relationships with international student-athletes they are recruiting and provide information to them from a distance may be paramount to their recruitment.

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12.Love, A., & Kim, S. (2011). Sport labor migration and collegiate sport in the United States: A typology of migrant athletes. Journal of Issues in Intercollegiate Athletics, 4, 90-104.
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14.Patton, M. Q. (2015). Qualitative research & evaluation methods: Integrating theory and practice (4th ed.). Sage Publications.
15.Pauline J. (2010). Factors influencing college selection by NCAA Division I, II, and III Lacrosse players. ICHPER-SD Journal of Research in Health, Physical Education, Recreation, Sport & Dance. 5(2), 62-69.
16.Pierce D., Kaburakis A., & Fielding L. (2010). The new amateurs: The National Collegiate Athletic Association’s application of amateurism in a global sports arena. International Journal of Sport Management, 11(2), 304-327. https://ssrn.com/abstract=1496644
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19.Sato, T., Hodge, S. R., & Burge-Hall, V. (2011). International student–athletes’ academic, athletic, and social experiences at a historically Black university in America. Journal for the Study of Sports and Athletes in Education, 5(1), 45–72. https://doi.org/10.1179/ssa.2011.5.1.45
20.Sato, T., Hodge, S. R., & Eckert, K. (2018). Experiences of International Student-Athletes at a Historically Black University. Journal of International Students, 8(2), 696-723.
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2024-02-02T07:45:38-06:00February 2nd, 2024|Research, Sports Coaching, Sports Management|Comments Off on Analysis of Factors Influencing the College Choice Decisions of NCAA Division I International Student-Athletes

Strikes, Pins, Gutter Balls, and…Maps: A Review of the Spatial Geography of NCAA Women’s Bowling

Authors: David F. Zinn

College of Business, Lander University, Greenwood, South Carolina, USA

Corresponding Author:

David F. Zinn
Assistant Professor of Sport Management
Lander University
College of Business
Carnell Learning Center, M54
320 Stanley Ave.
Greenwood, SC 29649
(864) 388-8220
dzinn@lander.edu

David F. Zinn, EdD, currently serves as an Assistant Professor of Sport Management and the NCAA Faculty Athletic Representative at Lander University. A former NCAA Women’s Basketball Coach and Athletic Director, Zinn’s major research interests include global sport, sport geography, sport leadership, and intercollegiate sport.

Strikes, Pins, Gutter Balls, and…Maps: A Review of the Spatial Geography of NCAA Women’s Bowling

ABSTRACT

Purpose

Spatial geography is important to the understanding of any human activity as this field helps to determine where and why specific activities occur and flourish. As proximity to campus and access to sport opportunity are important determinants in college choice, the spatial relationship between campuses and hometowns are important components in the marketing of programs to potential recruits. The intent of this study is to examine the geography of Women’s Bowling, a relatively unstudied and newer NCAA championship sport, in terms of the locations of institutions sponsoring the sport and the relationship with hometowns of student-athletes on current rosters.

Methods

Rosters for women’s bowlers participating in the 2023 season were downloaded from team athletic websites and distances from reported hometowns and campuses were calculated via Google Maps to provide an approximate distance from a student-athlete’s home to the institution for whom they compete. Distances to hometowns were averaged per team and by NCAA division to determine relative distance to campus and states where bowling recruits tended to originate.

Results

Data from the 2023 season indicated that the sport of Women’s Bowling is highly geographical in nature. While bowlers were willing to attend an institution further away from their hometown at the Division I level as compared to Division II and III institutions, most bowlers tend to commit to programs relatively close to their hometowns. Additionally, data suggests that large percentages of these athletes are from areas located in a relatively small section of the USA.

Conclusions

Spatial geography plays an impactful role in both the sponsoring of women’s bowling and in the recruitment of student-athletes into these programs. Data suggests that, with a few exceptions, the further a school is located from the Great Lakes area, the fewer collegiate programs and the fewer potential student-athletes exist. Additionally, participants in the lower levels of NCAA competition tend to commit to schools much closer to their listed hometown than those who play on an NCAA I team.

Applications in Sport

The findings of this study may prove beneficial to administrators considering adding Women’s Bowling to their offerings and to coaches who are looking for prime recruiting areas to develop their teams. Also, as most of these teams are located at smaller colleges and universities, this data may prove beneficial in considering how limited resources might be best allocated.

Keywords: Bowling, Distance, Geography, Location, Spatial

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2024-01-25T11:18:15-06:00January 26th, 2024|Sports Management, Sports Studies|Comments Off on Strikes, Pins, Gutter Balls, and…Maps: A Review of the Spatial Geography of NCAA Women’s Bowling

Line of Efforts: Unity of Purposes for Professionals Working with Elite Athletics

Authors: Matt Moore1, Keegan Atherton2, and Cindy Miller-Aron3

1Department of Family Science and Social Work, Miami University, Oxford, OH, USA
2School of Education and Human Sciences, Campbell University, Buies Creek, NC, USA
3Ascend Consultation in Healthcare, Chicago, IL, USA

Corresponding Author:

Matt Moore, Ph.D., MSW
501 E. High Street
Oxford, OH 45056
moorem28@miamioh.edu
317-771-1397

Matt Moore, Ph.D., MSW, is an Associate Professor and Department Chair for the Department of Family Science and Social Work at Miami University in Oxford, OH. His research interests focus on sport social work, sport for development, and positive youth development through sport.

Keegan Atherton is a BSW student at Campbell University in Buies Creek, NC. He has a decorated military career with the United States Air Force.

Cindy Miller-Aron, LCSW, CGP, FAGPA, works for Ascend Consultation in Chicago, IL. She is several decades of clinical social work experience with an emphasis in sport social work and psychiatric care.

Line of Efforts: Unity of Purposes for Professionals Working with Elite Athletics

ABSTRACT

The purpose of this commentary is to explore how military practices can help provide holistic care for the biopsychosocial well-being of elite athletes. In particular, authors explore how Joint Doctrine related to Lines of Efforts (LOEs) and Human Performance Optimization (HPO) could provide a model of integrated care for elite athletes. The commentary includes an introduction to factors impacting elite athlete mental health, a review of military LOEs, and how these LOEs could support HPO among elite athletes. This includes a discussion on the inter-professional practice and informational diversity needed to support elite athletes both in and away from competition. The authors also discuss the key stakeholders needed to support elite athlete health and well-being, with an emphasis on full collaboration from professionals to transform practice.

Keywords: elite athlete, military, integrated care, health, well-being

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2024-01-19T13:33:18-06:00January 19th, 2024|Sports Studies|Comments Off on Line of Efforts: Unity of Purposes for Professionals Working with Elite Athletics

Sports Performance: A Comparison of Oral Rehydration Solutions on Hydration Biomarkers in Military Personnel

Authors: Reginald B. O’Hara1 and Brenda Moore2

1Chief, Biochemistry Services Division, Department of Clinical Investigation, William Beaumont Army Medical Center, For Bliss, TX, USA.

2 Moore Enterprises, LLC., Independent Research Contractor, Yellow Springs, OH, USA

Correspondence:

Reginald B. O’Hara, PhD, ACSM-EP
William Beaumont Army Medical Center
Department of Clinical Investigation
Building 18509 Highlander Medics Street
El Paso, TX 79918
reginald.b.ohara.civ@health.mil
210-792-1048

Reginald B. O’Hara, Ph.D., is the Chief of the Biochemistry Services Division at William Beaumont Army Medical Center, Department of Clinical Investigation, Fort Bliss, TX. His research interests focus on the clinical pathology of the disease process, human performance, exertional heat stress, and physiological fatigue and recovery in military personnel.

Brenda Moore, Ph.D., nutrition microbiologist, is retired but continues to support her own research contracting business in Yellow Springs Ohio. Dr. Moore worked as a research nutrition microbiologist under an ORISE contract from 2016-2019 in the United States Air Force School of Aerospace Medicine, WPAFB, OH where she conducted research on thermal stress and dehydration in military personnel.

Sports Performance: A Comparison of Oral Rehydration Solutions on Hydration Biomarkers in Military Personnel

ABSTRACT

Purpose: Exertional heat stress is a serious condition, especially for military personnel working in high-heat and humid climates, such as flight maintainers, flight crew, loadmasters, and Special Operations Forces Operators. Hence, this study assessed the effects of military-approved oral rehydration solutions (ORS) in highly fit military personnel while performing a 10-mile run. The ORS tested were Gatorade (G) and CeraSport (CS), with water (W) as the control. Methods: Fifteen “well-trained” participants (13 male, 2 female) (mean± SD: age, height, weight, % body fat, and VO2 max = 28.07 ± 5.0 yrs., 69.79 ± 4.2 in, 174.4 ± 21.53 lbs., 13.7 ± 6.7%, and 52.9 ± 5.0 mL/kg/min, respectively) completed three separate 10-mile treadmill runs, separated by a one-week recovery period. Hydration biomarkers were measured at baseline, post, and 20-minute run pause increments during each 10-mile testing trial run. Study investigators measured the following hydration biomarkers 1) Body weight change (BWC), 2) hematocrit (Hc), 3) exercise heart rate (HR), 4) blood glucose (BG), 5) blood lactate concentration ([BLa¯] b), 6) hemoglobin (Hb), and 7) total urinary output (UO). Results: No statistical difference occurred in the hydration biomarkers, likely due to the large volume (1500 mL) of fluid consumed. While no significant differences in BG were detected between G and CS, both CS and G values were significantly higher than water (p< 0.05) throughout the study. Additionally, blood lactate concentrations ([BLa¯] b) were lower during the last 40 minutes of the study when CS was consumed in comparison to G, approaching significance (p= 0.09) at Time 7 (T7).Conclusions: Outcomes from the present study provide preliminary evidence that consumption of CS in the same volume and time as G results in the preservation of BG values with lower sugar and carbohydrate consumption and without a concurrent rise in blood lactate. The present study showed that although there were no statistical differences in hydration biomarkers, potential differences may be more clearly extricated in future studies conducted in varying environmental conditions, such as higher temperatures and humidity, with a larger sample size, or a more prolonged exercise period.

Keywords: rehydration solutions, biomarkers, physical exertion, sports, military personnel

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2024-01-12T15:29:30-06:00January 12th, 2024|Research, Sports Health & Fitness|Comments Off on Sports Performance: A Comparison of Oral Rehydration Solutions on Hydration Biomarkers in Military Personnel
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