Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


School of Hospitality, Sport and Recreation Management


Emeka Anaza

David Shonk

Alyssa Bosley


The goal of this study was to explore how the athletic trainer and coach relationship impacts the social support provided to Division I intercollegiate student—athletes. Through a qualitative-case study design, eleven participants were recruited and interviewed for the study. Criterion for inclusion included all NCAA sports at the university. This included males and females in various years of school and sport. After the completion of data analysis, four main themes were developed. These themes included social support, positive impact, negative impact, and unforeseen findings. Seven of the eleven student—athletes reported feeling that there was a direct relationship between the athletic trainer and coach and the social support received. This filled the gap in the literature and provided a basis for future research. The findings show how a positive communicative relationship allows for student—athletes to not only receive more social support but to create more enjoyable experiences. The research highlighted the importance of social support in the lives of student—athletes as it influenced both physical and mental well-being. Athletic departments should understand the impact the athletic trainer and coach relationship has not only on student—athletes but the dynamic of an athletic team or department. Future considerations should include prioritizing effective communication and making social support a topic of discussion within athletics.



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.