Individual Development Through Sport
The SLQ has uncovered numerous ways that individuals can develop holistically through involvement in sport. Utilizing contexts in Kenya, the UK, Nicaragua, France, and the US. And, leveraging contexts ranging from youth sport, to college sport, to study abroad experiences, and extraordinary sport experiences, sport has demonstrated a unique ability to bring about change, and even transformation in individual lives. This work has been funded by Leadership Foundations, Texas A&M, AMOS Sport Business School, Hill Country Fellowship, and Youth InterACTIVE.
Here are just a few ways that sport impacts individual development:
• Students who compete in college-level athletics—both club and varsity levels—demonstrate increased capacity for individual growth and development. This is becoming more apparent in club sport, where participants are given important leadership opportunities for building and managing their own sport experiences.
• Mentoring can enhance athlete development, especially for transitioning into and out of college.
• Students who participate in sport-related study abroad experiences report enhanced cultural awareness, increased resilience, and improved connections with their colleagues.
• Participants in the Texas 4000, a 4000-mile bicycle trek from Austin to Anchorage, report a transformative experience through the challenge itself, and the immersive engagement with both the other riders and the host families throughout the trip.
• Participants in sport for development programs in London, Nicaragua, and Kenya report enhanced academic outcomes, improved sense of hope, and increased resilience through their participation in the sport-centric programs.
• Individuals who are refugees can find a place for restarting their lives through sport programs, when appropriately designed and delivered through well-trained individuals.