Exploring the Roles of Mentoring Relationship on Female Student-Athletes’ Career Development

Jin Park – Indiana University-Bloomington
Jiyoung Park – University of Northern Colorado
Antonio Williams – Indiana University-Bloomington
Alan L. Morse – University of Northern Colorado


Previous research has identified a mentoring relationship as one of the most critical supporting factors for women’s career success. While the benefits of a mentoring relationship have been well-documented throughout various disciplines, female student-athletes’ mentoring relationships and career development have not been fully examined. Considering the substantial number of female student-athletes in colleges, it is imperative to explore female student-athletes’ career choice and development. The purpose of this study was to explore the roles of mentoring relationships on female student-athletes’ career development and perceived barriers to mentoring relationships. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with seven female studentathletes in a Division I school. The findings revealed female student-athletes engaged in irregular and informal mentoring relationships and received psychosocial supports from mentors in regard to their careers. The findings also indicated that female student-athletes identified a lack of time as the most significant barrier to mentoring relationships. Findings of this study add to the notion of broaden the understanding of female student-athletes’ mentoring relationships and barriers to mentoring relationships. In addition, findings will be beneficial for advisors, counselors, and coaches to continue to engage in mentoring relationships with female student-athletes.