Academic journal article The Sport Journal

The Mentoring Role of High School Girls' Basketball Coaches in the Collegiate Recruiting Process

Academic journal article The Sport Journal

The Mentoring Role of High School Girls' Basketball Coaches in the Collegiate Recruiting Process

Article excerpt

INTRODUCTION

The opportunities for high school girls' basketball players to obtain college scholarships are plentiful and competitive. Eleven thousand college scholarships are available across the United States for young female athletes. As specialized teachers, coaches of student-athletes have a tremendous chance to influence and to change the lives of the individual under their charge (Nasir & Hand, 2008). According to the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), of the females who attend college, roughly 50,000 initially attend as or become student-athletes (2009b). For the student-athlete who attempts to use athleticism as a mechanism to garner assistance for college, the pressure to perform at high levels is a daily fact of life (Lawrence, Harrison, & Stone, 2009).

Lough (2001) examined the coaches' role as mentors at the college level and how that interaction often drives a career choice by a graduating college student. The role mentors played in the study was significant. Issues such as developing relationships, understanding communication anomalies, and providing visible and connected examples of role models were key components driving college athletes to make significant career choices (Lough, 2001). However, no study could be found that addressed the objectives of this study, namely, the mentoring role of high school girls' basketball coaches in the collegiate recruiting process.

PURPOSE AND OBJECTIVES

This study examined Louisiana girls' high school basketball coaches' perceptions of the mentoring relationship between aspiring basketball players and arguably the person with the most potential to assist the athlete during her collegiate recruiting process: Her high school coach. The objectives were to describe: (1) the coaches' personal and demographic characteristics; (2) the coaches' estimates of the collegiate athletic opportunities afforded to their female basketball players; (3) the coaches' knowledge of academic standards and recruiting requirements for entry into collegiate athletics into the two primary organizations for collegiate basketball, the NCAA and National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA); (4) the coaches' perceptions of their role as mentor for their female high school athletes; (5) the coaches' perceptions regarding the collegiate environment that student-athletes may encounter; and (6) the coaches' perception regarding whether additional training is needed to strengthen the coaches' knowledge of collegiate recruiting rules.

THEORETICAL/CONCEPTUAL FRAMEWORK

Kram's mentor role theory (1985) provided the framework for this study. Kram indicated that mentoring involved a relationship that enriches individual progress and growth. She indicated that mentoring is comprised of either psychosocial or career components. The psychosocial functions build competence, effectiveness, and identity in the professional roles of mentors and mentees in areas such as role modeling, acceptance, confirmation, friendship, and counseling (Kram, 1985). Kram delineated four sub-areas within the career/professional aspect of the relationship: Exposure and visibility; sponsorship; protection; and coaching. Kram maintained that the relationship increased in benefit to the mentee as the mentor provided more of these functions. Mentoring is not a rigid relationship--mentors may be partially or completely meeting the mentor's needs (Ragins & Cotton, 1999). Mentoring may have a delayed rather than immediate impact and the benefits may be realized over an extended period of time (Kram).

Ragins and Kram (2007) addressed the necessity of more research into the area of the "rising star" effect in a mentor-mentee relationship. In this study, we examined the recruitable athlete who is, in fact, the "rising star" the high school coach mentors on a periodic basis. With the evolved framework of Ragins and Kram (2007) firmly in mind, we examined the perception that the mentor (coach) has in terms of what he or she should be providing to the mentee. …

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