|TITLE||High School Athletic Participation and Its Connection to Effective Student Leadership Skill Development|
School of Doctoral Studies
University of Phoenix
Unpublished doctoral dissertation: February 2019
The purpose of the study was to understand the relationship between the advancement of leadership skills and the participation in high school athletics as well as to determine the extent to which participation in athletics contributes to the development of leadership skills among high school student athletes.
The site of this study was a high school in central New Mexico, an urban community of close to 600,000 inhabitants where the researcher has taught and practiced sports medicine for a decade. In the 2017-2018 school year, there were 641 students enrolled, and 404 competed and participated in an athletic program. Participants (N=102) provided demographic information, grade point averages (from student records), and completed the Student version of the Leadership Practices Inventory. There were 53 women and 49 men in the sample, all between 14-18 years of age. Thirty-five participated in more than one sport, 21 in soccer only, 12 in volleyball only and the others distributed in other sports. Thirty-two indicated that they participated at the varsity and club level, 24 indicated that they participated at the Varsity and JV level, 21 who indicated that they participated at the Varsity level only, which left the remaining 25 students to participate between JV, Club only and Varsity, JV and Club. Thirty-one participated in two years of high school athletics, 30 students indicated they had participated for three years, leaving 21 who participated for four years, and 19 who only participated for a single year.
Multiple regression analysis showed that none of the independent variables (sport, level, years of participation and GPA) did not influence the frequency that student athletes engaged in any of the five leadership practices.
The author summarizes:
After analyzing and reviewing the data from the multivariate multiple regression, it was clear that there was no significant relationship between participation in high school athletics and the development of leadership skills. This indicates that if a student participates in sports, this does not increase the likelihood of that individual’s development of leadership skills. Students who participate in sports are not more likely to develop leadership skills simply from participating in high school athletics (p. 66).