Coaches' Perceptions of Adolescent Team Resilience: Examining Resilient Moments in Sporting Events Using the Critical Incident Technique

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Organization Development & Change (D.O.D.C.)


Organization Development

First Advisor

Steven Cady (Committee Chair)

Second Advisor

Jari Willing (Committee Member)

Third Advisor

Truit Gray (Committee Member)

Fourth Advisor

Timothy Brackenbury (Other)


In a constantly volatile and uncertain world, the demand for individuals, teams, and organizations to be resilient continues to grow. While there is significant research on the resilience of youth and adolescents as individuals, there is scarce research on teams of adolescents, particularly in the context of team sport. These team experiences with challenges and adversities can be transformative experiences for the team however little is known about the experience itself at this point. Through a phenomenological approach, coaches' perceptions of resilient moments in adolescents in team sports were examined. The research uncovered the following themes that occur before and during the resilient moment: coaching practices, purposeful focus, leaderful cohesion, disciplined culture, fundamental skills, efficacy, player emotions. The themes of the coaching practices described as a pause and reset and acknowledging the challenge occurred only during the resilient moment itself. Finally, the theme of learning emerged as a coaching practice that is underutilized at the high school team level but could prove to be extremely beneficial to teams desiring to develop their resilience potential. These findings and the corresponding conceptual framework proposed in this dissertation provide opportunities for future research on how it can transfer to other fields and provides insight into how coaches of high school sports teams can develop the resilience potential of their teams.