Centering relationships in a competitive sports environment

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Claire Newman (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site:
Michael Hemphill

Abstract: The purpose of this study was to investigate the implementation of and experience with a Restorative Youth Sports (RYS) model in a competitive soccer environment. Sport can be a fertile ground for youth to develop life skills that can have considerable value in adult life (Martinek & Lee, 2012). Although an entire field of research has been dedicated to the examination of the purposeful integration of life skills into sport, the competitive sports environment has continued to be unexplored. It is delicate balance for coaches to prioritize life skill development with performance outcomes. RYS has been proposed as such a model to equally foster personal and social responsibility and youth empowerment with player development. This study took an in-depth look at the implementation, facilitation, and player experience within an RYS environment. Three questions guided the research: 1) How does the research develop and facilitate a RYS model into a competitive sports team? 2) What is the experience in a RYS competitive soccer team? 3) In what ways, if any, do participants’ think through and learn inside the RYS program? How do they think about elements of the program outside of the program into other areas of their lives? Through a case study (Yin, 2009) and self-study approach (LaBoskey, 2004), these questions were explored with an u14 girls’ competitive soccer team across an entire season. Various sources were collected including semi-structured interviews, focus groups, a self-reflective journal, critical-friend discussions, field-notes, RP Observe, TPSR Implementation Checklists, and artifact analysis to triangulate the findings. The research supported the growth of the coach who facilitated the RYS environment, supported the fidelity of implementation, and highlighted how RYS fostered a spectrum of transfer across players. The themes that emerged from the case study supported Jacobs and Wright’s (2018) conceptual framework of bridging the transfer of life skills from sport to other contexts through an in-depth look at program implementation, student learning, cognitive connections, and near and far transfer. These findings contribute to the scholarship of RYS and SBYD and the practical implementation and experience of centering relationships in a competitive sports environment.

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 2023
Restorative Youth Sports, Sport Based Youth Development, Teaching Personal and Social Responsibility, Transfer
Soccer for girls $x Social aspects
Responsibility $x Study and teaching
Youth development

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