Date of Award


Degree Name



Graduate School of Professional Psychology

First Advisor

Steve Portenga

First Committee Member

Mark Laird


Leadership, student athletes


Leadership is an important aspect of life. Without leadership chaos might ensue. From politics to parenting, an essential part of the world at large deals with leaders. To be a great and effective leader is difficult; a bigger challenge comes when trying to teach someone else how to do the same. Leadership’s critical role in our world makes it vitally important to facilitate the development of the multifaceted skills involved. Students are put into leadership positions every day without training or guidance on how to lead effectively. A high school sports captain, for example, is nominated by teammates or coaches, thus placed in a compromising position: choosing whether to be a friend or a leader but not both. Therefore, developing a leadership program for student athletes is of supreme importance. Ultimately, this need for an intentional leadership development program prompted the authors to develop the Student-Athlete Leadership Team (SALT) and a corresponding manual for mentors. Each athletic season the student athletes in SALT are taught Kouzes and Posner’s (2007) Five Practices of Exemplary Leadership. Kouzes and Posner (2007) suggested that collective abilities and skills encompass characteristics of effective leaders who move followers to work towards a common goal. The Five Practices of Exemplary Leadership are (a) Model the Way, (b) Inspire a Shared Vision, (c) Challenge the Process, (d) Enable Others to Act, and (e) Encourage the Heart.


85 pages

Included in

Psychology Commons