Date of Award

May 2019

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Educational Leadership - Higher Education

Committee Member

William L. Havice

Committee Member

Michelle L. Boettcher

Committee Member

Michael G. Godfrey


The purpose of this study was to understand what leadership skills are gained through participation in National Collegiate Athletic Associate (NCAA) Division I women’s soccer. The population for this study was eight women on the roster of the NCAA Division I women’s soccer team at the research site, a top tier southeastern research institution in the United States during the 2018 soccer season (August- November).

This qualitative research study utilized case study methodology. Semi-structured interviews were used to collect data. The interview transcripts were coded for themes, which were analyzed to further discover what leadership skills were developed through participation in NCAA Division I women’s soccer.

This study revealed leadership skills were developed as a result of participation in NCAA Division I women’s soccer. The analysis yielded six themes:

• Transferable Skills

• Team Roles

• Acknowledging the Complexity of Leadership and Leadership Development

• Difference in Coaching Strategy

• Self-Awareness

• Acknowledging Family Role.

Implications of findings of this study show that leadership development needs to be a focus of the coaching staff, as leadership skills are developed through participation in NCAA Division I women’s soccer. Additionally, ideas for future research studies are discussed.



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