Sport Development Lab
The mission of the Sport Development Lab (SDL) is to asssit sport organizations to improve their capacity to deliver high quality sport programs, systems, and events, while providing valuable research experience to sport management students. Under the direction of Dr. B. Christine Green, the Sport Development Lab worked with local, national, and international sport organizations on a variety of projects impacting youth sport, elite sport, and the services that support them.
SDL researchers continue to conduct research on sports officials in Texas and Australia to determine the best ways to retain qualified referees and umpires, particularly in the face of the abuse heaped upon them by spectators and others associated with the game. The Lab has also been active in improving youth sport contexts in Central Texas. Dr. Matt Bowers' phenomenological analysis of formal and informal sport among pre-adolescent boys won an award from the U.S. Play Coalition. Ph.D. student Yen-Chun Lin and her team continued their work with a local swim league, conducting a post-season assessment. Randall Griffiths (Ph.D. graduate) worked with a youth sport club in New Braunfels to improve their recruitment and retention programs for parents coaching youth sport. Most yourth sport clubs depend heavily on parents to fill their coaching positions. This work identified the sometimes conflicting roles and values of parent and coach as a key barrier to retainng parents as youth sport coaches.