Most high school students have the opportunity to participate in athletic programs during a transformative time in their personal and academic development. Very little qualitative research examines how former high school athletes perceive these experiences after they graduate. In this descriptive, exploratory study, former athletes viewed their participation as a key experience that continues to affect them positively two to five years later. During semi-structured interviews, they spoke of having developed and maintained new capacities for leadership, greater personal accountability, and healthier overall lifestyle choices. They also learned how to relate to others, both on and off the athletic field in more authentic and caring ways, and thus how to establish and maintain lasting relationships. Many of these outcomes echo aspects of self-concept and character development as described in the literature. Although athletic coaches' behaviors were described as both positive and negative, participants were generally able to overcome the negative aspects. Especially when budget cuts threaten many non-academic and extra-curricular offerings, the results of this small and geographically limited study point to the need to further explore how high school athletics may have lasting positive effects on participants.
|Commitee:||Rambo, Heidimarie, Williams, Claire|
|School:||Saint Mary's College of California|
|School Location:||United States -- California|
|Source:||DAI-A 76/08(E), Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Sports Management, Educational evaluation, Educational leadership|
|Keywords:||Athletics, Education, High school, Secondary|
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