Term of Award

Spring 2010

Degree Name

Master of Science in Kinesiology (M.S.)

Document Type and Release Option

Thesis (open access)

Department

Department of Health and Kinesiology

Committee Chair

Daniel Czech

Committee Member 1

Noah Gentner

Committee Member 2

Sarah Carson

Abstract

Generation Z is the up and rising youth of our time. Its members are said to be those born after 2000 until the year 2025. Research has shown that each generation is different due to the events they experience in their lifetime. Although Generation Z is young, it is important to begin understanding their characteristics. Due to the high participation rate and benefits of youth sports, the following research study chose to examine a sample of Generation Z athlete's in sport in order to identify ways of keeping them involved. The focus of the study was placed on understanding youth's ideas of a great coach due to the impact that the coach can have on the young athlete's experience. Therefore, the purpose of the study was to examine the preferred coaching styles of Generation Z athletes from a semi-structured qualitative perspective. After analyzing the data, four themes emerged: does not yell and remains calm, caring and encouraging, knowledgeable of sport, and involves team in decision making. In congruence with past research, it is evident that over the years youth have showed a desire for a democratic style of coaching which is comprised of positive interactions and feedback. Coaches may be able to use this research to adapt their leadership qualities to the preferences of their athletes. By making such adjustments, it may lead to a more enjoyable and enhancing environment for youth.

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