Author ORCID Identifier

Date Available


Year of Publication


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Document Type

Master's Thesis




Kinesiology and Health Promotion

First Advisor

Dr. Marc Cormier


Cohesion is a central element in group dynamics that contributes to a team’s functioning and performance. Most of the cohesion research to date has focused on the dynamic within interacting sport teams (i.e., football, basketball, soccer) but has looked past coacting teams (i.e., golf, tennis, cross-country running). While interacting sports command worldwide popularity, a significant portion of student athletes compete in coacting sports and represent the bulk of NCAA affiliated participants on the world stage at the Olympics. Thus, with such status on the world stage of competition, the investigation of coacting sports is justified. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to identify and explain athlete experiences and perceptions of cohesion in a coacting sport such as golf. A case study design was used along with semi-structured open-ended interview format to investigate the topic with six Division I women’s collegiate golfers. Results revealed two higher-order categories which were called team development, and athlete experiences and perceptions. Despite participants unique differences in sporting experience, there were several common themes that emerged, including players acknowledgement that cohesion was a necessary element of team performance, that the strength of interpersonal relationships and positive team dynamic made participants feel an improvement in performance potential, and that intrateam competition and a poorly regulated environment would deteriorate individual and team performance and wellbeing. Moreso, participants discussed their perception of the role team members and coaches fill in contributing to a positive or negative team atmosphere, and how this inevitably influences the prevailing dynamic of intrateam competition and its impact on performance outcomes. Findings from this study provide a greater understanding of the athlete interpretation of cohesion and expand the body of literature on coacting sports generally.

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)