Conflict in sport : a case of competitive ice hockey and constructive conflict
Van Muyen, Steven
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The purpose of this study was to better understand the experience of conflict management among a male university ice hockey team and how constructive conflict processes may foster an athlete’s perceived performance, personal growth, and leadership development. The research question asked, “what constructive conflict processes foster leadership development, personal growth, and performance among a competitive male university ice hockey team?” Semi-structured interviews were conducted with seven participants from a single Canadian male university hockey team. Qualitative thematic analysis revealed that open, honest, and shared communication as a constructive conflict process fostered the perceived performance, personal growth, and leadership development of the team. Specifically, performance was perceived as benefiting from an increase in team connections and confidence, athletes experienced personal growth by gaining the ability to be deliberate in conflict with increased selflessness, and members of the team learned how to lead by example during conflict.
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