A phenomenological examination of peer leadership exhibited by Division I football captains

by Schorr, Erin Marie.

Abstract (Summary)
Patrick Pauken, Advisor The rationale for this study was to discover the peer leadership effect Division I football captains had on the remainder of their team by examining the phenomenological experiences of the captains and their teammates. Through interviews and a focus group, leadership practices were connected to the captains and their formal roles within the structure of the team, but were not limited to these title-bearing leaders. Dependent upon factors such as age, playing experience and personality of a studentathlete, peer leadership extended beyond the verbal and visible demonstrations by the captains and was exhibited by various members of the team. Attributes relating to consistency and work ethic were more highly valued than sheer athletic talent. Additionally, misuse of talent was a key area where respect was lost. These values moved beyond the field and into the world of academics. Those who worked in the classroom for their marks, whatever they may be, were more likely to earn respect than those who did not apply their efforts away from the field. Furthermore, the study suggests, the title ‘captain’ serves more of an external purpose of prestige and tradition than an internal end-all leadership function in this setting. A suggestion of the research findings is the formal role may not have the same importance within the team structure that it once had. If this is true, the role of captain serves a public function of team representation and gives leadership accessibility to those who have earned it, whether or not they bear the title of captain. iv I would like to dedicate this document to my parents, Theodore and Donna Schorr, who have always not so quietly pushed me to never settle for ‘sour grapes’. Thank for your support during the times when I was convinced I would never finish this project and for distracting me when I needed to take a break. If you are reading this, then I did it and you two are the fuel behind my success! The joke was always I would not make it past thirteen … well, I did and look at what I have accomplished! Daddy, I spent so many car rides crying all the way home after basketball practice when I was younger because I did not understand, or appreciate, the competitive work ethic you instilled in me - without those tears I would not have believed in myself to finish this. Mama, you have listened to me babble for twenty-three years, and now when I need the words to tell ‘yunz’ how you have shaped me, I am speechless. v
Bibliographical Information:


School:Bowling Green State University

School Location:USA - Ohio

Source Type:Master's Thesis

Keywords:leadership college athletes football players


Date of Publication:

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