Leading Ladies: How Leadership Development Transformed Women’s Sport Teams


Due to the significant time commitments of practice, competition, and academics, few university student-athletes are offered comprehensive leadership development to hone skills essential to current and post-college success, skills such as teamwork, communication, critical thinking, problem-solving skills, and self-confidence. This preliminary study details the implementation of a leadership development program for student-athletes at a large university in the southeastern United States and examines the effectiveness of this initiative on academic and athletic outcomes. Our findings demonstrate that leadership development training, particularly when reinforced with team-specific leadership coaching, can produce significant positive benefits for student-athletes. In addition, the study also found the greatest gains amongst women athletes, illustrating the importance of customized, gender-specific leadership development.


Matthew Ohlson
Associate Professor / Director, Leadership, School Counseling & Sport Management / Taylor Leadership Institute, University of North Florida, Florida, United States

Elizabeth Gregg
Chair and Associate Professor, Leadership, School Counseling, and Sport Management, University of North Florida

Amanda Blakewood-Pascale
Assistant Professor, Higher Education Administration, Leadership, School Counseling, and Sport Management, University of North Florida


Presentation Type

Poster Session


2023 Special Focus—The Impact of Professional Sport on Community


Female Student-Athletes, Leadership Development, Sports Leadership, Coaching, Life Skills

Digital Media


Leading Ladies (pptx)


Leading Ladies (mp4)