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Life Skill Development in Ontario High School Sport Rob Williamson Dr. Tanya Forneris School of Human Kinetics


Purpose of Research   Research has shown that both physical and psychological health benefits accrue from regular participation in sport.

  However, mere participation does not cause these benefits, as there is “nothing about sport itself that is magical” (Hodge & Danish, 1999).

  It is important that youth receive proper coaching and an environment allowing them to thrive.

  The purpose of this research was to better understand positive youth development in high school sport within Ontario.   Parent Questionnaire   Coach Questionnaire   Athlete Questionnaire


Life Skill Development in Ontario High School Sport

Parent Questionnaire


Parent Demographics Total Percent

Count

Male

25.4%

36

Female

74.6%

106

Level of Education High School

11.3%

College

26.8%

University - Bachelor

49.3%

University - Master University Doctorate Other(s)

9.2% 0.7% 2.8%


Experience Coaching & Officiating in Sport Are you currently involved in coaching?

Are you currently an official/referee?

Yes (3.7%)

Yes (21.0%)

No (96.3)

No (79.0%)

Have you ever been involved as an official/referee, coach, or volunteer with school sport or community sport?

Yes (70.1%) No (29.9%)


Participation in High School Sport

Yes (72.5%) No (27.5%)

50.0% 45.0% 40.0% 35.0% 30.0% 25.0% 20.0% 15.0% 10.0% 5.0% 0.0%


I Feel that MY Past Participation in High School Sport Helped me Learn to... 3.3

Set and Attain Goals Win at All Costs

1.85

Develop Concentration

3.29

Have Self-Control

3.29

Effectively Communicate

3.24

Be Organized

3.22

Perform Under Pressure

3.28 1

1.5

2

2.5

3

3.5

Scale: 1 Totally Disagree; 2 Disagree; 3 Agree; 4 Totally Agree

4


Child’s Participation in High School Sport

Is your child currently participating in high school sport?

Yes (80.4%) No (19.6%)

I believe that participating in high school sport has helped my child to learn how to ... Perform Under Pressure

Mean score out of 4 3.33

Be Organized

3.25

Be a Leader

3.32

Effectively Communicate

3.21

Have Self-Control

3.29

Develop Concentration

3.22

Win at All Costs

1.89

Set and Attain Goals

3.20

Scale: 1 Totally Disagree; 2 Disagree; 3 Agree; 4 Totally Agree


Parent Past Development VS Child Development 3.3

Set and Attain Goals 1.85

Win at All Costs Develop Concentration

3.29

Have Self-Control

3.29

Effectively Communicate

3.24

Be Organized

3.22 3.28

Perform Under Pressure 1

1.5

2

2.5

3

3.5

Scale: 1 Totally Disagree; 2 Disagree; 3 Agree; 4 Totally Agree

Child Parent


Additional Life Skills Learned Through Sport

Balance School & Sport

Mean Score out of 4 3.44

Be Compassionate

3.11

Play Fair

3.37

Develop Sportsmanship

3.48

Cheat

1.20

Develop Integrity

3.22

Persevere

3.31

Self Sacrifice

3.11

Be Aggressive

2.36

Be Loyal

3.27

Be a Team Player

3.53

Be Honest

3.24

Be Responsible

3.36

Develop Respect

3.38

Scale: 1 Totally Disagree; 2 Disagree; 3 Agree; 4 Totally Agree Highlighted Scores indicate lowest (under 1.5) and highest scores (over 3.5)


Take Home Message   In the past, parents who participated in high school sport believe that their experience helped them develop life skills.

  Today, parents believe that their children are

developing important life skills through their participation in high school sport.


Has High School Sport Helped your Child Perform Better Academically?

Yes (65.3%)

No (34.7%)

“My son is not as good a student, and yet with a gruelling schedule of football and academics, he is performing at an 85% to 90% on his grade 12 university level courses. Without the discipline of football, I believe he would be performing in the high 70s.” 


“I chose "no" but sometimes it's yes, but the no refers to the amount of time at practice and the amount of school missed as a result of being on a team sport.” 
 “I think the involvement in high school sports has increased my child’s focus and self confidence which has translated into better marks. It has also made the high school experience all that much better, which I think also helps in academic performance.”



Are there any other Skills your Child has Developed Through High School Sport? “My daughter plays rep hockey, but playing high school sports has allowed her to develop confidence in other skills she was unaware of.” “Coaching - he is able to coach and mentor others.” “Respect for teachers and their volunteer efforts.”
 “He has developed skills for dealing with stress and is able to make good choices in what he wants.”


Life Skill Development in Ontario High School Sport

Coach Questionnaire


Coach Demographics Total Percent

Count

Male

65.6%

221

Female

34.4%

116

Male Female


Level of Education

High School (2.4%) College (3%) University - Bachelor (77.4%) University - Master (16%) University - Doctorate (0%) Other(s) - (1.2%)


Past Participation in High School Sport

Yes (95.2%) No (4.8%)

70.0% 60.0% 50.0% 40.0% 30.0% 20.0% 10.0% 0.0%


I Feel That My Past Participation in High School Sport Helped Me Learn To...

3.51

Set and Attain Goals 1.96

Win at All Costs

3.45

Develop Concentration Skills Have Self-Control

3.51

Effectively Communicate with Others

3.48

Be Organized

3.46

Perform Under Pressure

3.46 1

1.5

2

2.5

3

3.5

Scale: 1 Totally Disagree; 2 Disagree; 3 Agree; 4 Totally Agree

4


Similarities – Parents & Coaches   Like parents, coaches believe that their high school sport experience helped them develop a variety of life skills.


Coaching Experience How many years of experience do you have as a coach?

I am just starting (2.6%) 1 (2.3%) 2-5 (19.3%) 6-9 (20.6%) 10+ (55.2%)

100.0% 80.0% 60.0% 40.0% 20.0% 0.0% One Sport

Two Sports

Three Sports


High School Sports you are Coaching during the Current Academic Year (2011–2012)

30.0% 25.0% 20.0% 15.0% 10.0% 5.0% 0.0%


Breakdown of Time by Week Hours spent on administration Weeks

Percent

>5
 5
to
9
 10
to
14
 15
to
19
 20+


19.8%
 53.4%
 15.8%
 9.5%
 1.5%


Hours spent in practice

Hours spent in competitions Weeks

Percent

>5
 5
to
9
 10
to
14
 15
to
19
 20+


4.8%
 66.3%
 19.8%
 7.5%
 1.6%


Weeks

Percent

>5
 5
to
9
 10
to
14
 15
to
19
 20+


3.9%
 31.9%
 32.3%
 23.6%
 8.3%



Take Home Message   Over 60% are coaching at least 2 sports and over 20 % coaching a 3 sports throughout the school year.

  The majority of coaches report spending an average of 10-14 weeks coaching each sport in which they are involved.

  Generally coaches spend 5-9 hours per week doing

administrative tasks related to their sport, 5-9 hours in competition and 5-14 hours in practice.

Therefore, on average coaches devote anywhere from 15 to 30 hours in coaching related activities per week.


During the coaching career have you completed a certification? (e.g., NCCP) Yes

During the last 12 months have you attended a coaches clinic conference or seminar?

No

During the last 12 months, how many times did you attend a coach specific‌ Clinic / Workshop Conference / Seminar Other

1

2-5

6-9

10+

83

29

0

0

62

19

1

0

20

15

1

2


I Believe that Participating in High School Sport has Helped Students Learn how to ... Life Skills

Mean Scores out of 4

Perform Under Pressure

3.48


Be Organized

3.48


Be a Leader

3.55


Effectively Communicate with Others

3.51


Have Self-Control

3.49


Develop Concentration Skills

3.47


Win at All Costs

1.96


Set and Attain Goals

3.55


Scale: 1 Totally Disagree; 2 Disagree; 3 Agree; 4 Totally Agree Highlighted scores indicate high scores above 3.5


Coach Perceptions of their Past Development vs Perceptions of Student Development 3.55

Set and Attain Goals 1.96

Win at All Costs Develop Concentration Skills

3.47

Have Self-Control

3.49

Effectively Communicate with Others

3.51

Be Organized

3.48

Perform Under Pressure

3.48

Student Coach

1

1.5

2

2.5

3

3.5

4

Scale:1 Totally Disagree; 2 Disagree; 3 Agree; 4 Totally Agree


Additional Life Skills Life Skills

Mean Score out of 4

Persevere

3.56


Self Sacrifice

3.29


Be Aggressive

2.79


Be Loyal

3.37


Be a Team Player

3.6


Be Honest

3.33


Be Responsible

3.52


Develop Respect

3.53


Scale: 1 Totally Disagree; 2 Disagree; 3 Agree; 4 Totally Agree Highlighted scores indicate high scores above 3.5


Take Home Message   Coaches past experience in sport regarding life skills is similar to their perceptions of the life skills student-athletes are currently developing in high school sport.

  Coaches particularly believe that skills such as leadership, communication, goal setting, perseverance, teamwork, responsibility & respect are being developed.


Does High School Sport Help Students Perform Better Academically? “School sports inspire learning and creates connections so that students can experience success on many levels.” “In general the academic students will do well no matter what. For the at-risk student the sport might give the student a chance to find Yes (87.9%) No (12.1%) something to keep them at school - but the reality is it takes great demands on their academic time and with tournaments etc. during the day they often struggle even more in the academics.” “Students who participate in high school sport learn essential skills surrounding time management, which are key to success at any level of academic endeavor. In addition, students recognize that in order to continue participating in athletics their grades must be satisfactory this is a motivator for many.”


Effect of Being a Teacher-Coach on Job Satisfaction? Yes, positively (94.5%) Yes, negatively (0.7%) No effect (4.8%)

“I get so much enjoyment from giving back what was given to me! All of the previous skills and attributes that student's develop, I was able to develop in myself and continue to do so, as an athlete and a coach.”

“Students see that I care about community and about them therefore they are able to make a connection with me as a person. Students who struggle often need a connection with a teacher to be successful.” “The relationships you develop on the playing field have an even more lasting effect than those in the classroom. I love teaching, but it wouldn't be the same if I didn't coach.”


Does being a Coach Allow You to Create Better Relationships with your Students?

Yes (97.3%) No (0.3%) No effect (2.4%)

“Get a better understanding of students. Students get to make more of a connection with you as well.”

“Seeing my students in the context of sports, whether coaching or watching them, has allowed me to develop rapport with them. This has made classroom management easier, because students know who I am outside of the classroom and they tell their friends and it makes life better in the classroom.” “Definitely. I think it has helped the most in terms of communication as well as understanding the many diverse backgrounds that each student brings to the class.”


Dual Role as Teacher-Coach Teacher = Better Coach? Yes (86.1%) No (6.3%)

“You can use strategies for behaviour management that you would use at practice in the classroom. I am happy when I am participating in sport... this will carry over to the classroom.”

No effect (7.6%)

“Good coaches are very good teachers of the sport they coach. Understanding the teaching process is a huge part of coaching, learning to break down skills and strategies and then develop methods of teaching athletes and teams to maximize their performance is a truly rewarding experience.”

Coach = Better Teacher? Yes (86.1%) No (6.3%) No effect (7.6%)


Coach & Parent Perceptions of Student Development 3.55

Set and Attain Goals 1.96

Win at All Costs Develop Concentration

3.47

Have Self-Control

3.49

Effectively Communicate

3.51

Coach Parent

3.55

Be a Leader Be Organized

3.48

Perform Under Pressure

3.48 1

1.5

2

2.5

3

3.5

4


Coach & Parent Perceptions of Student Development Develop Respect

3.53

Be Responsible

3.52 3.33

Be Honest

3.6

Be a Team Player

Coach

3.37

Be Loyal

Parent

2.79

Be Aggressive

3.29

Self Sacrifice

3.56

Persevere 1

1.5

2

2.5

3

3.5

4


Life Skill Development in Ontario High School Sport

Student Questionnaire


Demographics All Respondents

Percent

Count

Male

43.2%

120

Female

56.8%

158

Grade

Percent

9 10 11 12 13+

22.1% 21.0% 19.9% 24.5% 2.5%

Athletic Status

Percent

Count

Athletes Non-Athletes

68.7% 21.4%

193 60


Developmental Assets Athletes Non-Athletes (N=178-181) (N=57)

I‌

Mean out of 4

Stand up for what I believe in

Mean out of 4

3.34 2.91 Feel in control of my life and future 3.16 2.89 Feel good about myself 3.21 2.86 Avoid things that are dangerous or unhealthy 3.18 3.07 Enjoy reading or being read to 2.81 2.68 Build friendships with other people 3.44 2.98 Care about school 3.45 3.18 Do my homework 3.22 2.95 Stay away from tobacco, alcohol & drugs 3.54 3.21 Enjoy learning 3.15 2.79 Express my feelings in proper ways 3.07 2.70 Feel good about my future 3.24 2.63 Scale: 1 Rarely; 2 A little; 3 Quite a Bit; 4 Almost Always; RED means significant difference.


Developmental Assets Athletes (N=170-172)

Non-Athletes (N=57)

Mean out of 4

Mean out of 4

Deal with frustration in positive ways

2.80

2.63

Overcome challenges in positive ways

3.06

2.81

Think it is important to help other people

3.51

3.42

Plan ahead and make good choices

3.18

2.98

Resist bad influences

3.37

3.18

Resolve conflicts without anyone getting hurt Take responsibility for what I do

3.23 3.05 3.37

3.02 2.68 3.25

Tell the truth even when it is not easy

3.13

2.93

Accept people who are different from me

3.56

3.51

Feel safe at school

3.49

3.19

I‌

Feel valued and appreciated by others

Scale: 1 Rarely; 2 A Little; 3 Quite a Bit; 4Almost Always; RED means significant difference.


Developmental Assets Athletes (N=154-156)

Non-Athletes (N=57)

Mean out of 4

Mean out of 4

Developing a sense of purpose in my life

3.32 3.35

3.02 3.05

Encouraged to try new things that are good

3.38

2.96

Helping to make my community better

2.95

2.51

Developing good health habits

3.27

3.09

Encouraged to help others

3.32

3.07

Trying to help solve social problems

3.04

2.79

Given useful roles and responsibilities

3.27

2.93

Developing respect for other people

3.47

3.21

Eager to do well in school and other activities

3.66

3.33

Sensitive to the needs and feelings of others

3.28

3.33

I AM‌ Actively engaged in learning new things

Scale: 1 Rarely; 2 A Little; 3 Quite a Bit; 4 Almost Always; RED means significant difference.


Developmental Assets Athletes (N=156-158)

Non-Athletes (N=56-57)

Mean out of 4

Mean out of 4

Friends who set good examples for me

3.20

2.93

A school that gives students clear rules

3.32

3.25

Adults who are good role models for me

3.42

3.28

A school that cares about youth

3.30

3.05

Teachers who urge me to develop and achieve

3.32

3.19

Support from adults other than my parents

3.31

3.09

A school that enforces rules fairly

3.00

2.96

I HAVE‌

Scale: 1 Rarely; 2 A Little; 3 Quite a Bit; 4 Almost Always; RED means significant difference.


Take Home Message   Student- Athletes score higher on 40 (of 41) of the developmental assets compared to Non-Athletes.

  On 21 of the 40 the difference was statistically

significant meaning that there are true differences between the athletes and non-athletes.


School Suspension

Athletes Yes No

All Respondents

Percent

Yes No

11.3% 88.7%

Percent

Non-Athletes

12.8% 87.2%

Yes No

Percent

11.3% 88.7%


Barriers (Non-Athletes) When I think about high school sport‌ I think it is difficult and too tiring I do not have the energy to participate I have been more interested in other activities with friends I believe it will have a positive effect on my health I am worried about my looks when I participate I do not believe I have the ability to participate I have a hard time finding transportation I have no sport equipment at home My friends & family do not encourage me to participate My family feels it takes away from academics I have no time because of my busy academic schedule I have no time because of my social and family responsibilities I have no time because of my employment schedule My financial situation prevents me from participating

Mean out of 5 2.64 2.50 3.39 4.09 2.93 2.80 2.89 2.64 2.55 2.27 2.68 3.04 1.82 1.64

Scale: 1 Totally Disagree; 2 Disagree; 3 Neutral; 4 Agree; 5 Totally Agree; Highlighted indicates strongest barriers


School Engagement Athletes (N=142)

Non-Athletes (N=6)

Mean

Mean

I am capable of accomplishing my goals in school

4.38

4.17

I am dedicated to achieving my goals in school

4.36

3.83

I feel capable of success in my school

4.39

4.50

I am determined to achieve my goals in school

4.43

4.33

I am enthusiastic about school

3.77

3.00

I believe I have the skills to be successful in school

4.24

4.50

I am committed to doing well in school

4.35

3.67

I enjoy school

3.81

2.67

I am confident in my abilities

4.12

4.00

I want to work hard to achieve my goals in school

4.32

3.67

Scale: 1 Almost Never; 2 Rarely; 3 Sometimes; 4 Frequently; 5 Almost Always;

RED means significant difference.


Athletic Identity (Athletes Only) Mean I consider myself an athlete. I have many goals related to sport. Most of my friends are athletes. Sport is the most important part of my life. I spend more time thinking about sport than anything else. I need to participate in sport to feel good about myself. Other people see me mainly as an athlete. I feel bad about myself when I do poorly in sport. Sport is the only important thing in my life. I would be very depressed if I were injured and could not compete in sport.

Scale: 1 Strongly Disagree to 7 Strongly Agree; Highlighted responses indicate highest and lowest scores

6.26 5.90 5.42 4.96 4.50 4.65 4.85 5.21 2.98 5.23


Take Home Message   Athletes identify as being an athlete but sport is not the most important aspect of their lives; meaning that high school sport seems to help in developing as a balanced individual.

  Supports the mission of OFSAA


Sport Engagement (Athletes Only) Mean out of 5

I am capable of accomplishing my goals in sport I am dedicated to achieving my goals in sport I feel excited about my sport I feel capable of success in my sport I feel energetic when I participate in my sport I am determined to achieve my goals in sport I am enthusiastic about my sport I believe I have the skills to be successful in my sport I am devoted to my sport I am confident in my abilities I want to work hard to achieve my goals in sport I have fun in my sport

4.25 4.40 4.66 4.38 4.63 4.42 4.66 4.30 4.37 4.23 4.53 4.79

Scale: 1 Almost Never; 2 Rarely; 3 Sometimes; 4 Frequently; 5 Almost Always; Highlighted responses indicate high scores (above 4.5)


Youth Experiences Survey - Sport (Athletes Only) In high school sport. . . I learned about helping others I learned that it is not necessary to like people to work with them I made new friends I got to know people in the community I learned I had a lot in common with people from different backgrounds I learned to have good conversations with my parents/guardians I learned how my emotions and attitude affect others I improved skills for finding information I improved academic skills I improved computer/internet skills I improved creative skills

Mean out of 4

3.26 3.34 3.62 3.14 2.91 2.83 3.09 2.85 2.82 2.39 2.58

Scale: 1 Not at all; 2 A Little, 3 Quite a Bit 4; Yes, Definitely; Highlighted responses indicate high scores (above 3.5)


Youth Experiences Survey – Sport (Athletes Only) In high school sport. . .

Mean out of 4

I increased my desire to stay in school

3.22

I learned to find ways to reach my goals

3.23

I set goals for myself

3.40

I learned to consider challenges when making future plans

3.19

I observed how others solved problems and learned from them

3.17

I learned to push myself

3.58

I learned to focus my attention

3.38

I put all of my energy into this activity

3.50

I improved athletic or physical skills

3.66

Scale: 1 Not at all; 2 A Little, 3 Quite a Bit 4; Yes, Definitely; Highlighted responses indicate high scores (above 3.5)


Youth Experiences Survey – Sport (Athletes Only) In high school sport. . . I was treated differently because of my gender, ethnicity, disability, or sexual orientation Coaches were controlling and manipulative Coaches or leaders scared me Coaches made personal comments that made me mad Coaches encouraged me to do something I believed morally wrong Teammates made inappropriate sexual comments, jokes, or gestures Teammates got me into drinking alcohol and/or using drugs I got stuck doing more than my fair share There were cliques I became stressed out

Scale: 1 Not at all; 2 A Little, 3 Quite a Bit 4; Yes, Definitely

Mean out of 4

1.50 1.63 1.53 1.64 1.34 1.66 1.38 1.66 1.94 1.89


Take Home Message   Student-athletes believe they are developing a number

of life skills through their high school sport experience.

  They are excited, feel energetic, having fun, working hard to achieve their goals, making new friends, improving their athletic ability, and learning to persevere.


Coach Impact My high school coaches ‌ Accept criticism and feedback from others Deal with winning and losing Work with people I don't like Develop leadership Develop self-confidence Foster social connections Sacrifice to achieve objectives Be a team player Develop a good work ethic Develop sportsmanship Develop a sense of right or wrong Develop responsibility

Mean out of 4

3.25 3.34 3.18 3.40 3.41 3.21 3.22 3.56 3.41 3.54 3.35 3.48

Scale: 1 Totally Disagree; 2 Disagree; 3 Agree;4 Totally Agree; Highlighted responses indicate high scores (above 3.5)


Athletes’ perceptions of how high school sport impacts their academic experience “Participating in high school sport has given me confidence in that I can do well in anything that I do.” 


“It makes me more willing to contribute to my school and be more involved. I feel welcomed and good about myself. I set goals for myself in my sport with helps overall.” 


“Sport was the main reason why I kept going to my classes. A lot of days I had no desire to go to school and the only reason why I kept attending classes was so that I would not get kicked off of the sports teams I was on. Through sport I have developed confidence, met many new friends, and developed a lot of leadership skills.” “High school sport has allowed me to get to know many different people from different grades, and feel like a bit of a mentor to those younger than myself. Sport is what makes school fun in many cases as classes can be tiresome, boring and a lot of work.”


Conclusion   All stakeholders (parents, coaches & student-athletes) perceive high school sport as positive and a context where life skills are being developed.

  For coaches – the dual role of teacher-coach increases job satisfaction and contributes to building positive relationships with students.


Conclusion cont...  

Student-athletes score higher on developmental assets than students not involved in high school sport.

 

Student- athletes appear to be more engaged and enjoy school more as a result of participating in high school sport.

 

High school sport provides more opportunities to experience success within the context of school.

 

High school sport allows for the development of positive relationships, a sense of belonging, and the development of a variety of life skills that will help them succeed in the future.


Thank You Questions & Comments?

Contact Information Dr. Tanya Forneris – tanya.forneris@uottawa.ca Rob Williamson – trumanwilliamson@gmail.com

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