This study utilizes structuration theory to reveal how volunteer coaches in an all-female youth sport program describe barriers and agency to their organizational mission of athlete empowerment. The dataset in this ethnographic case study comes from volunteer coaching experiences within two youth sport teams. Ethnographic data included field notes from four volunteer coaches, collaborative interviews, archival organizational documents, as well as athlete and parent interviews. A qualitative analysis, informed by structuration theory, revealed specific legitimate, dominant, and symbolic structures that enabled and constrained volunteer and youth athlete empowerment within the teams. The analysis also revealed a process of mirroring empowerment, a novel theoretical concept, which describes how athletes reflected back their own empowerment to empower volunteer coaches. Theoretical and practical implications of the findings are discussed.
- motivation barriers
- volunteer retention
- volunteering in sport
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Social Sciences (miscellaneous)