Factors That Contribute to Talent Development in Elite Female Track and Field Athletes

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Title: Factors That Contribute to Talent Development in Elite Female Track and Field Athletes
Author: Gore, Diana Henderson
Advisors: Dr. Edwin Lindsay, Committee Member
Dr. Aram Attarian, Committee Member
Dr. Laura Burton, Committee Chair
Abstract: Women's involvement in sport has skyrocketed over the past thirty years, and the number of competitive elite female athletes is on the rise. Between 1972 and 1992, women's participation in the Olympic Games increased by 130 percent. The number of team sports offered for collegiate athletes has increased from slightly over 2 per school in 1972 to 8.32 teams in 2004. With this increase in the number of elite female athletes participating in sports it is important to explore what factors contribute to their talent development. The purpose of this study was to investigate the four factors of lived body, lived time, lived space and lived relations further by developing and administering a survey to elite female track and field athletes at the collegiate level. The study sought to reach a better understanding of how outside commitments, access to particular services/facilities and teammate roles affect athletic talent development. The survey instrument was drafted based on the conceptual foundations established in Burton's (2002) qualitative research, current literature on the topic and consultation of experts in the field. The survey instrument was tested for validity and reliability using a sample population of track and field athletes. The refined survey was distributed to elite female track and field athletes at twenty-six of the top Division I track and field programs. An elite level was assigned to each participant based on her track and field achievements. Based on the elite female track and field population in this sample, outside commitments do not have an effect on the athletes' development or performance. Access to facilities and services was important to all the athletes, regardless of elite level. Teammates were viewed as supporters, motivators and training partners by the athlete at all three elite levels, with the role of training partner considered to be the most important role. The small sample size made it difficult to complete in-depth statistical analysis.
Date: 2004-11-03
Degree: MS
Discipline: Parks, Recreation and Tourism Management
URI: http://www.lib.ncsu.edu/resolver/1840.16/1491


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