Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctorate of Education, Ed.D.


College of Education



First Advisor

Julie McCann, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Robert Voelkel, Ed.D.

Third Advisor

Catherine Beck, Ed.D.


The purpose of this qualitative multiple case study was to gain an in-depth understanding of the perceived benefits and challenges that exist when implementing a Mental Skills Training (MST) program in high school sports, from the perspectives of high school sports coaches. Constructivism theory informed this study’s arguments about the role that the benefits and challenges had on the coaches’ perspectives of MST. For this research, interactions with six high school sports coaches took place through one-on-one virtual interviews and an asynchronous online focus group. The primary research question that guided this study was, “How do high school sports coaches perceive the benefits and challenges of implementing an MST program?” The conversations provided this researcher with an understanding of what the coaches learned from their perceived benefits and challenges of implementing an MST program. Five major themes arose: (a) reasons for implementing MST, (b) structure of MST and topics, (c) perceived effects on athletic performance, (d) perceived effects on life skills, and (e) support. The findings in this study can offer future high school sports coaches with relevant evidence about whether MST programs are a viable method of improving high school athlete performance and life skill development.

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