WP3 Final

Jared Klein

12/7/13

UW 1020

Studying the relationship dynamics between Players and Coaches, and how that correlates to success on the field and off the field.

            In only a few months the world will converge in Brazil to watch thirty two countries battle it out to see which country will prove to be the best at the world’s most popular game. Among the thirty plus countries will be a French contingent that embarrassed themselves and their country four years ago. It was at that time the BBC ran a story “World Cup 2010: France stars ‘may boycott match.’” The story talks about the short comings and antics of the former French national team manager Raymond Domenech, who created a feud within his own team causing “Les Bleus” (the nickname of the French National team) into a situation that disgraced their country. At the time Domenech chose to send home one of his strikers Nicolas Anelka after he verbally abused the striker’s play and substituted him in France’s second group match of the tournament. The result was a series of conflicts within the French locker room, a large scale investigation by the French Football Federation, and intervention by the French government under the watch of then French president Nicolas Sarkozy. The rift between the players and the coach led to a mutiny where the French captain, Patrice Evra, was getting into screaming matches with trainers, and the French sports minister was putting out quotes like “The government has had to intervene as the reputation at France is at stake in this case,” and “I told them [the players] they could no longer be heroes for our children. They have destroyed the dreams of their countrymen, their friends and supporters.” In the end, Domenech would lose his job as the French team left South Africa having done a major disservice to their country (FIFA).

The story presented interesting questions in my mind: how could a team filled with talented players and tactically competent managers perform so poorly and feud so publically? How exactly do such intimate details like the manager not speaking to his star player find its way into an article? What would have caused a team of around twenty individuals to boycott a game while in their country’s colors?  What I believe is the answer to these question stems from the player-coach relationship dynamic. Players need more than just talent and tactics, they need the trust and confidence of their coaches in order to perform at high levels. The dynamic a coach has with a player not only influences player performance and team success, but, as we will later see from incidents like the Jerry Sandusky trial scandal, it also has a profound impact on the players outside the game in their everyday lives.

Thus, the purpose of this research is to examine the relationship dynamics that develop between a coach and his or her players, as well as how these relationships correlate to either success on the field and in life, or failure on the field of play and thus damaging to a player’s growth outside of the game. Using critical analysis of multimedia videos, podcasts, journal articles, and scholarly writings that relate to my question, I’ve developed three types of “dynamics” by looking at these mediums through anthropological, sociological, and psychological disciplines. These disciplines were essential to the development of what I believe are three common relationship dynamics: the role model dynamic, the abusive dynamic, and the equals dynamic The writing in this paper is rhetorically oriented towards more anthropological and ethnographic perspectives. How I determined each dynamic’s relevance to my research will be explained at the beginning of every section of this writing. In each section I discuss what each dynamic is and their correlation to success on and off the field using rhetorical and ethnographic writings to go along with scholarly writings. Furthermore, allow me to define “dynamics” as the type or a characterization of the common forms of relationships that are developed between coaches and players

The Role Model Dynamic

           

            The role model dynamic itself is when a player looks up to a coach as a mentor. The player respects and values the coach to a point where he or she is following every command and learning about the game from the coach without questioning the coach’s authority, or challenging the teams’ hierarchy. Meanwhile, the coach is leading by example, being a positive influence in the life of an athlete in order to get the best possible performance out of the athlete. These characteristics sometimes result in athlete’s viewing their coach’s as a father or mother figure where the athlete strives to impress and adopt some of the coach’s characteristics that will make them successful in both the game and in life.  

Take for instance Mike Zimmer. Coach Zimmer is an interesting man. He is shown in HBO’s Hard Knocks: Training Camp with the Cincinnati Bengals, a show going behind the scenes to document how the Bengals prepare for the NFL season, as a somewhat easy going guy. The defensive coordinator of the Cincinnati Bengals is always in shorts and a black Bengals jacket while either wandering the around the field commenting and joking with his players, or sitting in a chair or golf cart staring upwards into the sky with his legs crossed, hands cupped behind his head. The man doesn’t look threatening nor does he look all that serious. He certainly doesn’t look as strong or as intimidating as his players do particularly his cornerback Adam “Pacman” Jones whose appearance masks that fact that the veteran defensive back has been involved in numerous crimes. Domestic violence, and involvement with a fight and shooting at a Las Vegas strip club, “Pacman” has a history of violence that nearly resulted in his exit from football forever. Lucky for Jones, Coach Zimmer took a chance on him and the two different personalities became an unlikely duo that put Jones’s life on the rebound. In the HBO documentary, Pacman is quoted saying of Zimmer “Coach Zim is my father I’ve never had. He don’t take no [crap] from nobody. When you got a guy like that, in the back of your head, you’re thinking, ‘I don’t want to let myself down, I don’t want to let that guy down.’” Zimmer enjoys Adam Jones as well stating “I love taking guys that people say can’t play,” Zimmer said. “The Adam Jones’, the Terence Newman’s of the world, the Vontaze Burfict’s. We all have a chip on our shoulder,” (“Bengals”).  Zimmer is the penultimate players coach and his relationship with Adam “Pacman” Jones perfectly represents the role model dynamic.

Mike Zimmer talking with Adam “Pacman” Jones. Take note of the body language.

            I developed the category “role model” dynamic from a social behavior research executed by Hunhyuk Choi and Jinyoung Huh of Dankook University along with Seongkwan Cho of Florida State University entitled “The association between the perceived coach-athlete relationship and athletes’ basic psychological needs.” The research includes a sample of 328 collegiate athletes from three universities in Korea. Each athlete was asked questions about their perceived relationship with their coach. The philosophy behind these questions stem from what the writers call CAR and BPN. CAR is Coach-Athlete Relationship while BPN stands for basic psychological needs. The question posed by the writers: does the CAR satisfy the athlete’s basic psychological needs? To answer this, Choi, Huh, and Cho split BPN into three categories: commitment, closeness, and complementarity, and developed questions in each category that analyzed a player’s commitment to the game and the coach, how close the player was to that coach, and if they thought the CAR brought out the best in themselves [athletes]. The following is an excerpt from the published article:

            “In line with the findings of previous researchers, the CAR was strongly related to athletes’ BPN. As proposed by Mageau and Vallerand in their motivational model of the CAR, athletes’ motivation was influenced by coaches through athletes’ BPN. In other words, the more athletes held positive and favorable perceptions of their relationships with coaches, the greater was their satisfaction in terms of BPN”

            The excerpt and the scholarly article establish that the athlete has basic psychological needs, but how does this relate to the development of the role-model dynamic within this writing? Because Coaches, as pointed out by Choi, Huh, and Cho, are responsible for fulfilling BPN of athletes from the sports perspective (Hunhyuk). Take into account the following video where a Scottish soccer coach is hounding his team for their lack of effort. Pay attention to the body language and the lethargic looks on the players’ faces. Also note a small segment of the video from the forty second mark to the end where the coach exhibits a negative behavior that rubs off on one of his players.

The last part of the video is important where the player accuses one of his teammates of playing poorly, then justifies his attitude based on his coach’s attitude and actions. It is clear in this video that the CAR isn’t positive and the BPN of the players is not being fulfilled (Hunhyuk). The players don’t feel committed to the coach or the game, they don’t feel close to one another or the coach, and it’s clear from the scenario at the end of the video that the coach’s personality doesn’t compliment that of his players which, in turn, leads to minimal success on the field.

            The role model dynamic doesn’t exist just to impact a player’s performance. The idea of mentorship is vital to the dynamic, especially in adolescents who are beginning to grow and understand the world. The following excerpt from Stewart Vella and Trevor Crowe both of the University of Wollongong in Australia explore sport pedagogy and how the role model dynamic impacts the development of a young athlete:

            “Transformational leadership and the quality of the coach–athlete relationship may work synergistically to influence positive athlete outcomes within youth sports. Importantly, coaches who practice within the youth sport context are able to facilitate positive developmental outcomes from both team success and team failure by taking advantage of naturally occurring teachable moments. The best way to take advantage of these may be to engage in intellectual stimulation, individual consideration, and positive role modelling, in addition to facilitating positive, developmentally appropriate coach–athlete relationships. Future coach education programs should incorporate relevant interpersonal and intrapersonal skills that allow youth sports coaches to engage in these behaviors.”

 

The excerpt indicates that coaches can “facilitate positive developmental outcomes from both team success and failure by taking advantage of naturally occurring teachable moments,” meaning that life lessons can be learned through sports at a young age. Basic sentiments like sharing the ball, or working together as a team help teach life skills to kids. This is all facilitated by the role model dynamic. Keep in mind, as we’ll see in the video at the end of the section, that these lessons and skills are not exclusive to adolescents as players from all levels from college to professionals all learn from coaches. A fundamental element of thinking of the coach as a mentor (Vella).

The rewards of a positive role model dynamic CAR are perfectly visible in the following video about one of the greatest college basketball coaches of all time: Mike Krzyzewski. Perhaps the best way to analyze and understand the role-model dynamic is through the players themselves which is the case with this particular video. The clip is about Krzyzewski as a coach and a mentor where both his former players and NBA stars talk about the profound impacts Coach K has had on each of their lives thorough the CAR and role-model dynamic (Coach K). Pay special attention to what the players say and the looks on their faces. More often than not there faces are very serious and they use key words such as role-model, mentor, father-figure, personable, and other similar words that are consistent with the key idea behind the relationship dynamic. 

 

Equals Dynamic

            The role model dynamic suggests that players will look up to the coach as a strong emotional leader who represents something a player strives to be. This sort of idea is muddled within the realm of the equals dynamic. The general premise behind this dynamic is that a view is held, either by the player, the coach, or both, that suggest that the two people are equal with the team’s chain of command. What happens in these cases is the player’s role in the team from a sporting level to a team chemistry level is changed either by the player or with the coach. The idea of the changing and the elevating of roles is a common concept for this dynamic and is important for understanding the development of the dynamic.

            I developed the equals dynamic for this writing based on psychological research from a Wilfrid Laurier University publication in an academic journal called The Sport Psychologist, and through several biographies and news articles. The Wilfrid Laurier research discusses an athlete’s perception of his or her role on a sports team and how players accept these roles. How these roles are accepted by players “a) is a practical concern of coaches and athletes as evidenced by anecdotal reports in popular media. b) Represents a complex construct that potentially has important relationships with other group (conformity) and individual variables/theories (attitude change).”  In simpler terms, how an athlete perceives his or her role on a team affects that players attitude and how they conform to the team. The perception a player develops of a role according to the journal article comes from a four different perspectives: “First, an egoist perspective is one in which individuals accept their responsibilities to receive rewards or avoid punishments. Second, a conformer perspective pertains to individuals who accept a responsibility because of desires to match societal norms and/or perceptions that the expectation is reasonable. Third, individuals who accept a responsibility out of a sense of personal obligation are termed reformers. Finally, a reflector perspective is one in which individuals assess expectations and judge their acceptance of them based on whether the expectations are principled and coincide with personal values.” These ideas are imperative to a player developing a CAR based around the two players being equal

Take for instance one of the greatest coaches in all of sports: Phil Jackson. Phil Jackson, or “The Zen Master” as some (myself included) like to call him, coached perhaps two of the greatest players to ever play the game of basketball in Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant (Phil: Kobe). Coincidentally, both players had some of the biggest egos in basketball, but Jackson’s relationship with Kobe Bryant in particular better illustrates the negative aspects of the dynamic in question. In his 2004 memoir The Last Season: A Team in Search of Its Soul, Jackson recounted a scenario where he had gone to the Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak at told him “I won’t coach this team next year if he is still here. He won’t listen to anyone. I’ve had it with this kid.” Indeed early in his career, Kobe Bryant had clashed with Phil Jackson and even at one point, as Phil Jackson recounted in a later memoir Eleven Rings: The Soul of Success, completely disregarded his coach’s strategies refusing to participate in the Jackson renowned triangle offense. Instead, Kobe attempted to win games on his own becoming a sort of lone wolf in Phil Jackson’s system (Phil Jackson).

Applying the research from Wilfrid Laurier, we can determine that Kobe held a reflector perspective where he determined his own role based on his own expectations and personal values.  Kobe at the time, according to Jackson’s memoir, viewed himself as the best player on that Lakers squad and thus the alpha male of the organization. Because of all this, in Kobe’s mind he was not subject to his coach’s request and resulted in a conflict that challenged Jackson’s authority as the head coach of the team. Thus, Kobe elevated his role on the team and demonstrated why a player’s perspective of his or her role on a team is relevant to the hierarchy of the team.

Consider the following clip taken from the Seth Davis show, a popular basketball related show in the Los Angeles area. From the 35 second mark to about the 6 minute mark Seth Davis interviews Phil Jackson who elaborates on Kobe’s mindset early in his career and describes the characteristics of a NED. Note the discussion of the alpha males at the 1:15 mark and the individual goals and mindset at 3:25.

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The Equals dynamic is unique in that this principle idea of perception of roles and change of roles can be split the dynamic into two subcategories: negative scenarios and positive ones. The relationship dynamic between Kobe and Phil Jackson demonstrates NED or negative equals dynamic. While Kobe-Jackson demonstrates how destructive a CAR can be when the player believes he is on the same level as a coach, there are scenarios where a coach recognizes a player as an equal. This sort of sub category of the equals dynamic is the positive equals’ dynamic or PED. Take for example Ryan Giggs.  Giggs is a legendary midfielder for the English premier league team Manchester United. At 40 years old, Ryan Giggs is the veteran leader for his club having played for over 20 years with Manchester United. His high soccer IQ and experience made him a prime candidate to take up a new role with the soccer club. The following youtube video is from a fairly recent news cycle from UK based Sky Sports HD which discusses Ryan Giggs’s new role with Manchester United.

The concept of a player-coach is fundamentally what the PED is: a player that is on the same level as the coach whose authority is recognized by both people. To Ryan Giggs he is virtually on the same level as the Manchester United manager David Moyes. In return, Moyes views Giggs as more of a colleague than simply one of his players. The result is a cohesive and efficient relationship, but not necessarily a successful one.

            In fact, the correlation between NED and PED to the success of a team is virtually non-existent. Take into account that when Phil Jackson joined the Lakers the duo of Bryant-Jackson, along with the multitude of stars on the team, won three consecutive championships. It wasn’t until the 2004 NBA Finals when things fell apart which resulted in Kobe forcing out super star center Shaquille O’Neal. Meanwhile, the Ryan Giggs and David Moyes PED hasn’t resulted in an sort of success, granted it has only been a few months, but as of this writing Manchester United are in 8th place in the Premier League behind the likes of rivals Arsenal, Chelsea, Manchester City, Liverpool, Everton, Newcastle United, and Southampton. This Manchester United roster is the same one that dominated and won the League title the year before by a hefty margin.

            Nevertheless, while the success in the game isn’t necessarily correlated to whether the CAR is NED or PED, there are some profound positive impacts in the everyday lives in both Bryant’s and Giggs’s stories. For instance, Bryant’s relationship with Phil Jackson has improved tremendously where Kobe’s mindset and demeanor has changed (Phil: Kobe). The result has been a father-son relationship between the two men as indicated in the previous video, to go along with two more championship rings. Meanwhile, Giggs’s CAR with Moyes has also resulted in positive changes. Moyes even looks to Giggs as a teacher sometimes in cases regarding soccer (Cruise).

The Abusive Dynamic

            While the other two CAR dynamics have at least a few elements that create benefits and positive outcomes in certain scenarios. This is something the abusive CAR dynamic distinctly lacks. This is not a surprise given the definition of abuse which is “to treat in a harmful, injurious, or offensive way” according to dictionary.com. Thus, the abusive dynamic is when a coach or player harasses the other resulting in significant negative repercussions for the victim of the abuse and, in some cases, the coach. Such abuses vary in many forms from sexual, verbal, and physical. Abuse is all too common within the realm of sports and the coach-athlete relationship despite there being no benefit or improvement to a player’s game; when a CAR becomes abusive; all that occurs is damage to the player, damage to the team, damage to the coach and damage to the lively hoods of almost everyone involved.

            The development of abusive dynamic for this writing is mostly based off recent sports scandals that involve a player and a coach. However, there is a scholarly premise to the dynamic and the perspective comes Susanne Johansson of the Swedish School of Sport and Health Sciences in Stockholm, Sweden. In her journal article “Coach-athlete sexual relationships: if no means no does yes mean yes?” Ms. Johansson touches on a societal norm when she writes “Coach-athlete romantic relationships and consensual sexual relations are commonly accepted among coaches and athletes, although a growing number of sport organizations discourage or prohibit such relationships. In research, coach-athlete sexual relationships are lumped together with sexual abuse, suggested to harm athletes’ well-being, performance, athletic career and team dynamics, and to inherently constitute an abuse of power, trust and ethics.” It’s true that most anthropological and sociological research on the matter tend to have a bias towards sexual abuse , and it is also true that whenever sex and high level sports are brought together society usually jumps to a conclusion of abuse. Thus, this idea creates a debate that is relevant even outside of sexual abuse: how far is too far for a coach? When does a coach coaching turn into a coach abusing? Where is the line?

 So, why is Johansson’s idea important to the development of the abusive dynamic in this writing? It’s because abuse is a relative term in that multiple people may define abuse the same, but interpret it differently. For instance if a player is pushed by the coach one person may view that as abuse while another believes differently. Thus, since abuse is relative from person to person it’s tough to interpret what actions constitute an abuse in the coach’s mind thus explaining why he or she acts in abusive ways (Johansson).

Of course one of the most popular, recently relevant, and clearly abusive examples of the dynamic comes courtesy of Penn State and their infamous football coach Jerry Sandusky. Aaron Fisher, known within the context of this scandal as victim number one, discusses the event that Sports Illustrated dubbed “the most explosive scandal in the history of college sports,” in the following clip published and executed by ABC news. The brief clip summarizes the Sandusky scandal and adds perspective to what happened mentally and emotionally to Aaron; providing credence to the destructive nature of sexual abuse in a coach-athlete relationship.

            It’s not hard to see that Sandusky crossed a line in the debate posed by Johansson, and judging from the fact that Sandusky, according to Fox News, victimized 20 individuals it’s clear that in his mind his actions weren’t abusive offering up a possible explanation for why he continued to act consistent with the explanation as to why Johansson’s writing is relevant here (“Number”).

            Unfortunately the abusive player-coach dynamic is a popular occurrence.  A google search of abusive coach brings up 9 million plus results from various instances across professional, collegiate, and youth level sports from amateur coaches molesting swimmers (Chuchmach) to a college lacrosse coach making one of her injured players do 250 push-ups (Louisville). One of the more popular ones is with regards to Mike Rice and his treatment of players at Rutgers University particularly Lithuanian forward Gilvydas Biruta. Starting from the 2:20 mark of this clip by ESPN’s Outside the Lines crew, Eric Murdock, the former director of player development for Rutgers, discuss the unrelenting verbal and physical abuse Rice threw at Biruta that caused Biruta to transfer from Rutgers.

            As one can surmise from the clips and stories that the abusive dynamics holds a negative correlation to success. Mike Rice’s coaching style resulted in a 44-51 record over his three years at Rutgers finishing as high as 11th in the Big East conference with no NCAA or NIT tournament bids (“The Official”). In Sandusky’s case, his malfeasance resulted in a hefty prison sentence and NCAA penalties on Penn. State (“Number”).  

Conclusion:

            Research and analysis through psychological, anthropological, and sociological disciplines show the importance of a player’s relationship with his or her coach regarding how to maximize a player’s full potential which then leads to success on and off the field. The role-model, equals, and abusive relationships are all examples of the sort of relationships that are developed between the coach and his or her athlete.

The role-model dynamic of the coach-athlete relationship where a player looks up to the coach as a sort of mentor is one of the most common forms of CAR. The research done by students of Dankook University indicate that an athlete really values a coach’s ability to relate (closeness), compliment, and commit to the athlete which satisfies an athlete’s basic psychological needs. Thus, satisfaction of an athlete’s BPN leads to maximization of player performance and improvement of a player’s livelihood as demonstrated by Coach K. and “Pacman” Jones.

Unlike the role-model dynamic though, the equal’s and abusive dynamics don’t always correlate to success. Sometimes an equal’s dynamic where a player’s role is elevated in the eyes of a coach can be beneficial to all parties involved, but can also cause chaos in that sometimes the hierarchy of the team can change threating a coach’s authority. Meanwhile, as we’ve clearly seen from the Mike Rice scandal in particular, the abusive dynamic is more poisonous to the success of team which emphasizes the debate posed by Susanne Johansson about where the line is drawn in the mind of a coach.

Works Cited:

“Bengals ‘Hard Knocks’ 2013: Episode Three Recap.” 2013. CBSSports.com. Accessed November 21. http://www.cbssports.com/nfl/eye-on-football/23243160/bengals-hard-knocks-2013-episode-three-recap.

Benson, Alex J., Mark Eys, Mark Surya, Kimberley Dawson, and Margaret Schneider. 2013. “Athletes’ Perceptions of Role Acceptance in Interdependent Sport Teams.” Sport Psychologist 27 (3) (September): 269–280.

Chuchmach, Megan, AVNI PATEL Megan Chuchmach More from Megan » !function{var js, and fjs=d getElementsByTagName;if){js=d createElement;js id=id;js src=“//platform twitter com/widgets js”;fjs parentNode insertBefore;}}; via 20/20. 2011. “ABC News Investigation: USA Swimming Coaches Molested, Secretly Taped Teen Swimmers.” ABC News. March 5. http://abcnews.go.com/Blotter/abc-news-investigation-usa-swimming-coaches-raped-molested/story?id=10322469.

Coach K: Greatest Mentor of All-Time. 2012. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wTmILdzOxYw&feature=youtube_gdata_player.

Cruise, Ian. 2013. “David Moyes Admits Ryan Giggs Will Be His European Teacher”. Text. talkSPORT. July 25. http://talksport.com/football/david-moyes-admits-ryan-giggs-will-be-his-european-teacher-13072552557.

“FIFA World Cup 2010: Why the French Failed- A Story About a Coach.” 2013. Bleacher Report. Accessed November 19. http://bleacherreport.com/articles/409642-why-the-french-failed-a-story-about-a-coach.

“France Stars ‘May Boycott Match.’” 2010. BBC, June 21, sec. World Cup 2010. http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport2/hi/football/world_cup_2010/8752637.stm.

Gould, Daniel, Karen Collins, Larry Lauer, and Yongchul Chung. 2007. “Coaching Life Skills through Football: A Study of Award Winning High School Coaches.” Journal of Applied Sport Psychology 19 (1): 16–37. doi:10.1080/10413200601113786.

Hunhyuk Choi, Seongkwan Cho, and Jinyoung Huh. 2013. “The Association Between the Perceived Coach–Athlete Relationship and Athletes’ Basic Psychological Needs.” Social Behavior & Personality: An International Journal 41 (9) (October): 1547–1556. doi:10.2224/sbp.2013.41.9.1547.

Jerry Sandusky “Victim No. 1” Aaron Fisher Interview 2012: Witness on Triggering Investigation. 2012. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OGFHMbiGqjQ&feature=youtube_gdata_player.

Johansson, Susanne. 2013. “Coach–athlete Sexual Relationships: If No Means No Does Yes Mean Yes?” Sport, Education & Society 18 (5) (September): 678–693. doi:10.1080/13573322.2013.777662.

“Louisville Lacrosse Coach Accused of Abusive Tactics.” 2013. Accessed December 5. http://www.usatoday.com/story/sports/college/lacrosse/2013/10/05/louisville-cardinals-womens-lacrosse-kellie-young/2930285/.

“Number of Victims in Penn State Abuse Case Doubles | Fox News.” 2013. Accessed December 5. http://www.foxnews.com/us/2011/11/08/number-victims-in-penn-state-sex-abuse-case-doubles/.

OTL: Coach Misconduct At Rutgers. 2013. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0wZ3z0HeLq4&feature=youtube_gdata_player.

“Phil Jackson Views Kobe Bryant ‘like My Son’ | Inside the Lakers.” 2013. Accessed December 5. http://www.insidesocal.com/lakers/2013/11/03/phil-jackson-views-kobe-bryant-like-my-son/.

“Phil: Kobe Like a ‘Son’ to Me.” 2013. Bleacher Report. Accessed November 26. http://bleacherreport.com/articles/1836312-phil-jackson-kobe-bryant-like-a-son-to-him.

“Prosecutor Calls Sandusky a ‘Predatory Pedophile’ – CBS News.” 2013. Accessed December 5. http://www.cbsnews.com/news/prosecutor-calls-sandusky-a-predatory-pedophile/.

Ryan Giggs Real Privilege to Be Offered The Player/Coach Job David Moyes Delighted He Accepted! 2013. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sfWUWrxScm8&feature=youtube_gdata_player.

“The Official Site of Rutgers Men’s Basketball.” 2013. Accessed December 5. http://www.scarletknights.com/basketball-men/.

Thu, Oct 31, and 2013 8:14 Pm Edt 28:33. 2013. The Seth Davis Show: Phil Jackson Pt. 2. Accessed December 5. http://sports.yahoo.com/video/seth-davis-show-phil-jackson-001427891.html.

Vella, Stewart A., Lindsay G. Oades, and Trevor P. Crowe. 2013. “The Relationship between Coach Leadership, the Coach–athlete Relationship, Team Success, and the Positive Developmental Experiences of Adolescent Soccer Players.” Physical Education & Sport Pedagogy 18 (5) (November): 549–561.

 

QN Field Notes 8/29/13 at Work Study Fair. Marvin Center Ballroom.

Jottings:

  • Environment is aesthetically professional both in terms of what people are wearing and in the repeated colors of blue, white, and buff that are visible throughout the ballroom. 
  • Interactions between the two factions of individuals, employers and students, is efficient and formulaic.
  • Employers scan the crowd of job seeking students. When such employers make eye contact the pressure is put on to student to talk with employer even if he or she isn’t interested in the job.
  • Most students are efficient. They move from table to table quickly without spending too much time at one table. 

The scrawny older woman with curly red hair sitting behind a table labeled “Check-In” waved one of the people standing in line over impatiently. She does not greet him nor anyone else in line. She requests a student number, then shoves a name tag in the boy’s hand and waves him on through as she does with everyone else in line. The ballroom is organized into three columns of tables leading from the front of the ballroom to the back where there is one row of employers. The employers sit behind the tables while students seeking jobs weave through crowds of their peers. One girl approaches a representative of DC reads, an organization dedicated to improving literacy rates in the DC area, and inquires about positions within the organization. The employer obliges the girl and at the end of conversation the she hands over a resume. She then moves three tables over and does the exact same thing with a different employer, spending no more than a minute talking the employer. A formulaic pattern is apparent not just with the girl but with all the job seekers in the room. In no more than a minute or two, a student job seeker is given a description of the position available, hands over a resume, then finds another employer in the hall to speak with. The whole process is efficient and allows both factions, the student job seekers and the employers, to interact effectively and with more people. There are also unspoken rules within the fair. One such rule occurs when an employer that isn’t appearing to have much interest from job seekers starts pressuring those seekers to come over to the employer’s table. One such example of this is when I happened to pass by a woman that was no less than eighty years old. I happened to glance in her direction and she looked back at me expectantly. She then proceeded to talk about an editorial position in the history department which I politely declined to interview for. It was clear that the fair was a success to some students but not to others. The one’s that left with hall with numerous papers in their hands usually had smiles on their faces signalling that they were successful in obtaining interviews. The ones that didn’t have smiles and instead had more panic looks about them clearly did not find success at the fair.

Jared Klein