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Linda Schirmeister-Gess
Do players on a top 25 nationally ranked NCAA Division III womens soccer team, as
determined by the 2015 season, have more Grit, based upon Duckworths Grit scale, than those
on teams who did not finish in the top 25?

Abstract
Schirmeister-Gess, Linda ,October 2015.
Do players on a top 25 nationally ranked NCAA Division III womens soccer team, as
determined by the 2015 season, have more Grit, based upon Duckworths Grit scale, than those
on teams who did not finish in the top 25?
Skills for sport, skills for life, is a concept embodied throughout most of American society. No
more so is it obvious than in the college sporting system. Especially at the Division III level and
mentality. The pursuit of excellence both academically and athletically is one of the core values
of the division III philosophy. And while graduation rates, GPAs and employment rates out of
college can be a measure of academic success, we look to investigate the measure of athletic
success. By embracing the NCAA end of season rankings as a bench mark, this research looks to
investigate and identify psychological commonalities and differences between athletically
successful programs and those who are less so. Embracing Duckworths frame work of Grit, this
research will look to compare and contrast the levels of grittiness of players on top 25 nationally
ranked teams, and those that are not. (Duckworth et al, 2007). The results of this investigation
look to play a large part in recruiting strategies for teams that hope to become more successful as
well as developmental programs in focusing on developing Grit in players already on the team.

Table of contents
Page
Abstract....2
Chapter 1: Introduction.4
Purpose of this study 4
Theoretical frame work.5
Research question.6
Limitations6
Key terms..7
Chapter 2: Literature review 9
NCAA...9
Success11
Factors influencing success.13
Motivation...14
Grit .17
Research Question .....20
Chapter 3: Method
Research participants..21
Research procedure.22
Data Analysis..22
References .28

Chapter 1 :Introduction
Sporting endeavors havr long been a feature of society. Sporting Victories and losses are
dominant features of many childrens up bringings, and are foundational features of their
personal lives. Within American society, large emphasizes is put upon the sporting world of
College athletics. This system is intended to facilitate an environment of high academic learning
and high athletics prowess. The environment created is intended to help teach life lessons ,as
well as prepare the youth for the world they face upon graduation. Being a student-athlete in an
NCAA program is a remarkable achievement, that not all can attain.
Purpose of this study
In 2014 there were a total of 19,086 male and female NCAA sponsored athletic programs. With
the NCAA divided into 3 divisions, 4,105 of those teams were DIII womens sports teams. 97.3
% of institutions carried a womens soccer team, totaling 437 division III womens soccer teams.
(NCAA,2014). At the end of every season, a final ranking is released, measuring the success of
each of those teams; based upon factors such as wins and losses, strength of schedule and how
far into the national tournament the team is able to proceed. This culminates in an identification
of a top 25 list of teams; The best 25 DIII womens soccer teams in the county. And while this is
the promised ground that each team is striving to, only 25 will make it. What is the
differentiating factor between those teams that are ranked at the end of the season and those that
are not? What makes a DIII womens soccer team more likely to be successful than another
team? This is what this research will set out to investigate. With players all around the world,
investing more money than ever, in youth sports and preparation to be able to compete at the
college level, is the determining factor for their future success related to something already

internal to them or something more external? Coaches are spending more of their institutions
money than ever in attempting to recruit the best players, and facilitate an environment that is
most likely to lead to success. Research is needed into what players are truly the difference
makers in a program, and what is causing a program to be successful , in order for coaches to
replicate their recruitment and their development and in turn, the programs success.
Theoretical frame work
Using Duckworths (2007) framework, I will look to investigate whether Grit is that
differentiating and common factor between predicting the success of a DIII womens soccer and
those unable to reach the heights of the top 25. The purpose of this is to establish whether
coaches can increase their likelihood of success by recruiting player with more grit, or
implementing strategies to increase grit among their players. With job security, budget money,
institutional investment, and emotional highs and lows relying on the success of a team, this is a
highly significant area of investigation.
The overall purpose of this study will be to investigate if players on a top 25 nationally ranked
NCAA Division III womens soccer team, as determined by the 2015 season, have more Grit,
based upon Duckworths Grit scale, than those on teams who did not finish in the top 25? The
psychological construct will be operationalized by utilizing Duckworths Grit scale (Duckworth
et al, 2007). The definition of Grit as perseverance towards a long term goal (Duckworth ,2007)
will be utilized and implemented through the grit scale measurement. Grit will be the
independent variable. The dependent variable will be looking at the success of the NCAA
division III womens soccer teams. I will be utilizing the NCAA final season rankings. This is
the measuring stick to decide the teams that make the national tournament, and accepted across

college sports as the official final rankings. While the notion and definition of success has been
explored in various other research, (Aghazadeh, Kyei,2009, Mata, Da Silva Gomes,2013 ) this
investigation will look specifically at the sporting success, as shown by wins and losses against
the top teams in the country by utilizing the NCAA end of season ranking. Moderating variables
that must be taken into consideration are the facilities, funding and previous results of a program.
These could impact the type of ability of player that is recruited to a team, and therefore plays on
the team. However, with Grit being an internal factor, players who are grittier may be more
likely attracted to certain types of programs than those who are less gritty. Additionally the
coaching approach, formations and style of play implemented could also be seen as a moderating
variable. How a player reacts to those, positively or negatively, will once again be a result of
their level of grittiness . Duckworths research however strongly argues that Grit is a far greater
predictor to success than talent, and utilizing her previous research will therefore aid in assisting
to account for these extraneous variables.
Research question
The research question for this study will be; Do players on a top 25 nationally ranked NCAA
Division III womens soccer team, as determined by the 2015 season, have more Grit, based
upon Duckworths Grit scale, than those on teams who did not finish in the top 25?
Limitations
A limitation of this research is that it will look very specifically at a female population of DIII
athletes. While this specificity will help for generalization purposes to that specific population,
the results will be difficult to extrapolate to other population variables; Such as gender, Sport and
NCAA division. While some research has indicated there is no significant gender differences

between the relationship of grit and sporting endeavors,( Ali, Rahaman,2012), this too utilized a
very specific audience of fencers, making it difficult to generalize the findings. Additionally,
generalizing the findings to any factors outside of the NCAA structure will also be difficult, due
to the population being investigated in this research. Additionally, while the variable of success
is clearly defined and operationalized, it must be noted that not all institutions would adhere to
this being the defining or only definition of success and that some might embody a more holistic
approach. (Jenny, Hushman, 2014). Further recommendations of this study would also be to
replicate it over a prolonged period of time, to ensure validity and reliability in the replication of
the results. Additionally access to the student-athlete population will be difficult. While an
online approach will be helpful in cost effectiveness and time efficiency, encouraging student
athletes to send back questionnaire may be difficult without incentive. Furthermore, there is the
chance that some of the player fall below the age of 17 and therefore additional adult consent
would be required. Accessing the email address of all players on an NCAA top 25 team will also
be difficult, so gaining permission and access from the school will be essential. Again, this may
reduce the amount of information gathered. Additionally it must be considered that there is a
chance that a limited number of questionnaires from certain teams may be returned, while
numerous from another, therefore making it difficult to make comparison between teams and
specific rankings. A further limitation of this is that coaches who I personally know, may be
more likely to advise there players to participate in this study , and therefore provide a sample
bias.
Key terms
NCAA- National Collegiate Athletic association

Top 25 rankings- as determined by the following factors after the 2015 soccer season
Primary Criteria (not listed in priority order)

Win-loss percentage against Division III opponents


Division III head-to-head competition
Results versus common Division III opponents
Results versus ranked Division III teams
Division III Strength-of-schedule

Secondary Criteria (not listed in priority order)

Non-Division III win-loss percentage


Results versus common non-Division III opponents
Non-Division III Strength-of-schedule

Grit- The ability to preserve and have passion towards long term- goals ( Duckworth et al
(2007)
Success- for the purposes of this study we will utilize a top 25 ranking via the NCAA end of
season rankings as the definition of success of a division III womens soccer team
Division III- (or DIII) is a division of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) of
the United States. The division consists of colleges and universities that choose not to offer
athletically related financial aid (athletic scholarships) to their student-athletes.

Chapter 2: Literature review


Looking to investigate success in a sporting arena has many factors that must be taken into
consideration. They will be explored in this review of the literature, with emphasizes put on why
certain concepts were chosen to be operationalized for this investigation. These factors include
the level of play (college ), defining success, factors that influence success, defining and
exploring motivation and defining and applying the concept of grit.
NCAA

The NCAA is the National Collegiate Athletic Association. It is seen as the elite sporting ground
for athletes between the ages of 18- mid-twenties, during their college time. The NCAA has a
core mission and commitment that is then divided into 3 divisions, each with a more intentional
focus and shared commitment and beliefs. The Association - through its member institutions,
conferences and national office staff - shares a belief in and commitment to:

The collegiate model of athletics in which students participate as an avocation, balancing


their academic, social and athletics experiences.

The highest levels of integrity and sportsmanship.

The pursuit of excellence in both academics and athletics.

The supporting role that intercollegiate athletics plays in the higher education mission and in
enhancing the sense of community and strengthening the identity of member institutions.

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An inclusive culture that fosters equitable participation for student-athletes and career
opportunities for coaches and administrators from diverse backgrounds.

Respect for institutional autonomy and philosophical differences.

Presidential leadership of intercollegiate athletics at the campus, conference and national


levels.

Retrieved from : http://www.ncaa.org/about/ncaa-core-values


This research will specifically look at the Division III NCAA model. More than 170,000
student-athletes at 444 institutions make up Division III, the largest NCAA division both in
number of participants and number of schools (NCAA,2015). However, there is a sincere lack
of research into this specific population. Most research has been undertaken focusing on the
money generating divisions (I and II), where scholarships are permitted. It is therefore vital, that
as the largest population of student athletes participate at this level that more research is done in
order to advance the environment that they are in. NCAA division III minimizes the conflicts
between athletics and academics and helps student-athletes progress toward graduation through
shorter practice and playing seasons and regional competition that reduces time away from
academic studies. This indicates that less time is spent with athletes developing their skill set
and their on the field abilities, than at any other level. When looking towards increasing the
likelihood of success of a Division III womens soccer team, it is therefore even more pivotal to
look at factors that are not necessarily skill or talent related. Furthermore, a central principle of
NCAA division III sports is that no institution Shall award financial aid to any student on the
basis of athletics leadership, ability, participation or performance; . This combined with the 18th
value of Support student-athletes in their efforts to reach high levels of athletics performance,

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which may include opportunities for participation in national championships,. Lends directly to
the value of this research. With a push for success in the sporting environment, without the
incentive of financial assistance or the external motivation of it, it is essential for coaches to look
at and recruit players that have an additional differentiating factor that could lend to their
success. With such limited time provided to develop a players skill and on the field
performance, combined with the lack of financial incentive to play , while still keeping success
and playing on the national championship showground as an incentive, it is vital for coaches to
investigate and Illuminate the factors that differentiate the top players from others.
Success
The NCAA promotes the ideology of the student-athlete. In which a holistic approach is
emphasized in the development of the person; both the student and the athlete. (NCAA,2014) .
Jenny & Hushman (2014), took this idea and investigated how to define success within an
NCAA program. They defined the approaches to success, into two different categories; the
holistic one and the traditional one. The humanistic coaching philosophy involves a
collaborative coach/athlete process which considers individual athlete differences, abilities, and
goals, with the long-term aim of developing a self-confident and self-regulated athlete Opposite
of the traditional model where success is determined by wins or losses, within the humanistic
approach winning is redefined so that the process is emphasized and achievement of individual
athlete goals indicates success. During their research, similar to this investigation, the definition
of success emerged as a primary theme. Findings suggest that while the NCAA espouses to
holistic development of the student-athlete, it is hard to separate athletic outcome measures as at
least a portion of the definition of success for coaches working within this setting. This
research will be looking at the NCAA model for success, which while it embodies a holistic

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approach, utilizes principles from the traditional approach in defining success. Looking at the
results, in order to determine if the process was a success, will be the intended assessment of this
research. Utilizing the NCAA top 25 ranking system as a way of determining success may at
firsthand look like a very traditional approach. However it is not. It is embracing the ideal as set
forth by Jenny & Hushman (2014) that the wins and losses are merely a part of the overall
success and a way to evaluate if the holistic process has been well applied.
With wins and losses being such a vital part of the definition of success, utilizing the final
NCAA top 25 ranking as the standard bearer is appropriate for this investigation. The top 25 is
established utilizing the following criteria ;
Primary Criteria (not listed in priority order)

Win-loss percentage against Division III opponents

Division III head-to-head competition

Results versus common Division III opponents

Results versus ranked Division III teams

Division III Strength-of-schedule

Secondary Criteria (not listed in priority order)

Non-Division III win-loss percentage

Results versus common non-Division III opponents

Non-Division III Strength-of-schedule

NCAA pre-Championship manual

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Factors influencing success


Mata and Da Silva Gomes (2013) also investigated this idea of success within the NCAA
construct. They did so investigating another very important variable for consideration; the
influence of the player-coach relationship. Their research found that winning teams evaluated
their coaches' vision, inspiration, technical instruction, positive feedback, and active
management more positively than non-winning teams and that their satisfaction with coaches'
strategies increased over time. It therefore suggested that while some may attribute these facets
of the coach-player relationship to success, the reverse relationship was in fact discovered; That
a player deemed their relationship better, due to success. Sports success was associated with
athletes' positive evaluation of coaches' leadership, satisfaction with coaches' strategy, and higher
perceived goal attainment. This lends strongly to the need to investigate the differentiating
factors and commonalities among successful teams and those less successful, in order to
establish what is influences and advances a teams likelihood of success.
Mata and Da Silva (2013) are an example of many who have identified and attempted to measure
the influence of various facets on a players performance and a teams outcomes. Cote and
Gilbert (2009) summarize that; the quest to understand coaching expertise and effectiveness has
guided many other studies, In their review of the coaching science published between 1970 and
2001, Gilbert and Trudel compiled and discussed 610 articles on coaching. A recent update of
this annotated bibliography shows that 872 articles have now been published between 1970 and
2008 . An examination of the articles from this database suggests that at least 113 of these
articles focus explicitly on coaching expertise or effectiveness. However even with this much
time and an abundance of resources they found that Despite nearly 35 years of research and
discussion, there still remains a lack of precision in terminology and approach, and a singular

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failure to relate effectiveness and expertise literature to any conceptual understanding of the
coaching process This suggests that while coaching approaches and leadership approaches, as
well as effectiveness of coaching tactics and technical knowledge may have some influence on
outcomes, there is a lack of research into combining this with an investigation into what kind of
player it is being prescribed to. If a player is psychologically tougher than another, are they more
likely to be successful in a certain type of leadership style or coaching style? Investigating the
grittiness of players on successful teams, will hopefully shed more light on these concepts, and
certainly presents further variables to combine and investigate in future research.
Van Yperen & Duda, (1999) reaffirmed what previous studies had also shown, that the key
factors effecting success in soccer players, was the attribution of their success of failure. If a
player attributed their success to themselves, they were more likely to work hard and continue to
improve than those who blamed external factors. Additionally, the influence of the coach and
parents , was only seen as significant based on the players interpretation of their effect. If a
player thought the coach and parents were supportive and believed that they could improve, they
too believed it and were more likely to work hard and in turn improve. Once again, this study
shows that while external variables may be present in the effecting success in a sporting
environment, it is the internal motivation and psychological constructs of the player that make
them positively or negatively significant.
Motivation
The old idea that hard work beats talent, when talent doesnt work hard is something that has
baffled coaches in the sporting environment for years; especially at the college level, where
coaches are constantly looking to recruit the best players, who will most likely lead them to

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success. Often times, the talented players are recruited, and never perform at the college level, or
fulfill their potential. The motivation to continue to work hard, and improve, and learn from
mistakes is vital to the success of an athlete. Motivation is therefore a key factor. Intrinsic and
extrinsic factors have become the groundwork at identifying the types of motivation a person
lends themselves to. Gagn and Deci, (2005) compared and contrasted the various theories
surrounding the two arenas of motivation. By Differentiating extrinsic motivation into types
that differ in their degree of autonomy led to self-determination theory, which has received
widespread attention in the education, health care, and sport domains .

The combination of extrinsic motivation and intrinsic motivation highlights the importance of a
variety of factors that go into determining the likelihood of a person success or not in various
domains. Utilizing this as ground work into investigating the commonalities and differences
between successful DIII womens soccer teams and those less successful is key.
Bandura (1977) researched the idea and connection between motivation and success explained
such differences and similarities by exploring the idea of self-efficacy. People, who believed that

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they could successfully perform a task, were more likely to do so (efficacy expectation) and that
that behavior would therefore lead to a successful outcome (outcome expectation) would also be
more likely to succeed. Various factors were deemed to contribute to such psychological stand
points such as; previous accomplishments, vicarious experience, verbal persuasion and emotional
arousal. Banduras research therefore opens up the doorway to people investigating the idea that
internal factors had a huge contributing effective on outcomes. Seligman and Schulman, (1986)
took a slightly more negative approach to explaining situations of success or failure. They looked
at the internal idea of explanatory styles as a predictor of outcomes. Pessimists, who assumed
that bad things would happen and that there was nothing that they could do about it, were more
likely to be faced with such results. This internal level of learned helplessness (Seligman, 1975)
was correlated directly to outcomes. Once again affirming that internal factors of motivation and
psychological approaches had a huge influence on the success and failure of people in various
environments. However, one of the major consistent drawbacks of the previous research was the
lack of an established and measurable scale that could be implemented for further research and
application.
Bandura (1977), Seligman(1975) and Gagn and Deci, (2005) works all combined to indicate
some commonalities. Intrinsic or internal motivation is related to the individual and their
perceptions. It related to their interest and enjoyment of a task and if they are inherently
autonomous in their motivation. While extrinsic factors also had influence on motivation and
action, it was in fact the internal process that were the most significant and impactful .Gagne and
Deci (2005) combined numerous theories to indicate that external motivation is related to
contingencies of reward and punishment and while this had an influence on peoples actions
and in turn their success or not, it was deemed to be short lasting and less impactful than internal

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factors. So while factors such as winning and losing a game may influence athletes, or the threat
of punishment or reward for doing poorly or well, may have some effect on results for a team,
the more impactful variable is that of an internal nature. This was reaffirmed by Barkoukis et al
(2014), who found that physical education grades, over a three year term went up significantly
when a student had high autonomous motivation. The time frame of three years , is similar to a
college soccer players career of four years, which suggests that in physical activity related
ventures such as soccer, improvement and successes is related to autonomous and internal
factors, more so than external variables.
Grit
Duckworth et al (2007) established a relationship between psychological aspects and success.
The research found that the achievement of difficult goals entails not only talent but also the
sustained and focused application of talent over time. Grit was therefore defined as the ability to
persevere and have passion towards long term goals. Utilizing previous research into factors that
effected internal motivation of people Duckworth et al (2007) set about establishing a scale that
combined to identify factors that previous scales had not.
We reviewed several published self-report measures but failed to find any that met all
four of our criteria. The only stand-alone measure of perseverance we found, the
Perseverance Scale for Children (Lufi & Cohen, 1987), is not face valid for adults. The
Passion Scale (Vallerand et al., 2003) assesses commitment to a subjectively important
activity but not perseverance of effort. The tenacity scale used by Baum and Locke
(2004) and derived from Gartner, Gatewood, and Shaver (1991) was developed for
entrepreneurs and is not face valid for adolescents. Similarly, the Career Advancement

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Ambition Scale (DesRochers & Dahir, 2000) refers to attitudes toward ones profession
and firm. Cassidy and Lynn (1989) developed a need for achievement questionnaire
that taps work ethic and desire for excellence, which are consonant with the construct of
grit, but also several irrelevant qualities such as the needs for money, domination of
others, superiority over competitors, and social status. Finally, the goal commitment scale
by Hollenbeck, Williams, and Klein (1989) assesses state-level, not trait-level, goal
commitment.(Duckworth et al 2007 pg 1089).
Having identified these issues with previous scales, a 12 point Grit scale, based on a self-report
questionnaire was established. The scale is broken down in two main areas of questioning;
Consistency of Interests and perseverance of effort. The first six questions;
(1)I often set a goal but later choose to pursue a different one, (2)New ideas and new projects
sometimes distract me from previous ones (3) I become interested in new pursuits every few
months (4)My interests change from year to year (5) I have been obsessed with a certain idea or
project for a short time but later lost interest (6) I have difficulty maintaining my focus on
projects that take more than a few months to complete all fall into the first category.
And the other six fall into the latter;
(7) I have achieved a goal that took years of work (8) I have overcome setbacks to conquer an
important challenge(9) I finish whatever I begin (10) Setbacks dont discourage me (11) I am a
hard worker (12) I am diligent.
The effectiveness of this scale and applicability across many forums was reaffirmed by
further research under taken by Reed (2014) and Von Culin, Tsukayama, Duckworth (2014).
the personality trait of grit, defined as the tendency to pursue long-term goals with sustained

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zeal and hard work, has been shown to predict achievement in academic, vocational, and
avocational domains. Eskreis-Winkler et al (2014) went further at just not exploring the validity
of the implementation of the scale, but reaffirmed its cross contextual relevance. While
Duckworth et al (2007), established the successful correlation between grit and success across a
variety of environments; including military, spelling bees and college students, Eskreis-Winkler,
also looked at its relevance and replication in areas such as the work place, school and marriage.
In each instance, Grit was the key and must successful attribute among people that determined
their retention and ability to success within a given environment. While each environment has
many other variables, it was key to see that the factor of Grit remained the consistent
determining factor in all of these situations. With Grit being an internal trait that can be
transferable within context, dependent on the presence of both passion and long term goals to
which that passion is attached, is present. Research into the success of a Division III womens
soccer team based on Duckworths predictor of Grit, would therefore be well advised in utilizing
such measurements, due to the presence of several other variables and contributing factors.
Duckworth and Quinn (2009) developed a shorter, and more effective scale derived from
the previous one established. The investigation was undertaking to establish a more efficient grit
scale, in which the two component structure was still utilized, however an 8 point version rather
than a comprehensive 12 point one was introduced. Questions 3,4,7 and 8 were removed. Upon
investigation and testing this scale was shown to have higher validity than the previous scale.
This will therefore be the method of information gathering and evaluation utilized by this current
research. This research will seek to investigate the motivation and psychological constructs that
assist in making a DIII womens soccer team successful in the athletic arena. The corner stone of
this will be to utilize Duckworths (2007) previous research, in establishing an internal

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psychological concept that has shown higher correlation to success in individuals than any other
individual factor. While Cassidy, Lynn (1989) set out to establish a scale that would reliably test
for factors that combine for achievement motivation, it was Duckworths work that was able to
build on this and define the contributing factors and their effect. Additionally Reed (2014)
reaffirmed Duckworths work by comparing her Grit-S scale to 3 other scales that attempted to
correlate exercise behaviors are motivation ; Big five inventory (BFI), Conscientiousness scale
and an industriousness adjective checklist. Again the findings clearly showed that grit provided
the only significant predictive capability for positive exercise behavior scores. As we look at
successful soccer performances, it is fair to say that positive exercise behaviors would be a large
determining factor within this prediction.
Research Question
Based on Duckworths work (Duckworth et al 2007,Duckworth ,Quinn, 2009,Reed,2014) I will
look to investigate if players on a top 25 nationally ranked NCAA Division III womens soccer
team, as determined by the 2015 season, have more Grit, based upon Duckworths Grit scale,
than those on teams who did not finish in the top 25.

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Chapter 3: Method
Research participants
I will be accessing the desired population, Division III womens soccer players, via an online
format. I will identify the head and assistant coach of all the teams ranked in the top 25 and
contact them with the survey, requesting them to forward it on to their team. The online format
lends to high accessibility and ease of access for the participants. Both positives in trying to
ensure a large as possible response rate. The advantages of this approach are; accessibility to a
large sample audience, reduction in investigator bias due to anonymity of results and an
increased time for respondents to respond, without feeling under pressure. (Gratton, Jones,
2010). The draw backs of this approach are that I will have no control over who responds to the
questionnaire. While I may consider added incentives for response rates for teams, rewards such
as vouchers etc, it may in fact add a certain bias to the investigation and research. Additionally
NCAA regulations may be violated by providing such incentives to a population that is purely
athletic based. As we look at Grit; perseverance towards a long term goal it must be noted that
a small bias may occur in people of higher Grit actually being the ones who complete and
respond to the entire questionnaire, due to the very concept we are investigating.
The desired population for my research will be Division III womens soccer players, on teams
that are in the top 25 as ranked by the NCAA and those who are outside of it. The teams that are
not nationally ranked among the top 25 at the end of the season will be identified via the NCAA
list of sanctioned Division III womens soccer teams :
http://web1.ncaa.org/onlineDir/exec2/sponsorship (NCAA,2015).

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Research procedure
I will look to collect my data utilizing an online questionnaire format, the main part of it will
consist of the Grit- S scale ( Duckworth, Quinn, 2007).
Short Grit Scale
Directions for taking the Grit Scale: Please respond to the following 8 items. Be honest there
are no right or wrong answers!
1. New ideas and projects sometimes distract me from previous ones.*

2. Setbacks dont discourage me.

much like me

3. I have been obsessed with a certain idea or project for a short time but later lost
interest.*

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4. I am a hard worker.
Very much like me

5. I often set a goal but later choose to pursue a different one.*

6. I have difficulty maintaining my focus on projects that take more than a few months to
complete.*

7. I finish whatever I begin.

like me

8. I am diligent.

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Scoring:
1. For questions 2, 4, 7 and 8 assign the following points:
5 = Very much like me
4 = Mostly like me
3 = Somewhat like me
2 = Not much like me
1 = Not like me at all
2. For questions 1, 3, 5 and 6 assign the following points:
1 = Very much like me
2 = Mostly like me
3 = Somewhat like me
4 = Not much like me
5 = Not like me at all
Add up all the points and divide by 8. The maximum score on this scale is 5 (extremely gritty),
and
the lowest score on this scale is 1 (not at all gritty)

I will also gather the following information;

How old are you?

What team do you play for?

Academic standing what class are you academically a part of ?

Athletic standing- What class are you athletically a part of?

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Are you a transfer?

Have you ever taken a medical redshirt?

EFC- (estimated financial contribution) what is your EFC according to your financial aid
office?

How many seasons have you played for this coach?

Have you previously been ranked in the top 25 at the end of the season?

Did you win your conference this year?

Was your record over .500?

The results from these surveys will be compiled into groups consisting of players from the same
team, and then into players on a top 25 team v players not. This will allow conclusions to be
drawn by even comparing the placement of a teams level of grittiness within the top 25 than
those outside of it. The results will be evaluated and assess to compare the levels of Grit within a
team, and also compare and contrast it to other teams. The results will lend to providing insight
and explanations into differences of Grit levels between top 25 nationally ranked teams and
others that are also ranked, as well as those outside of the rankings. The additional measures of
weather a team was over .500 or if they won their conference or not will give further points of
data to add to the comparisons between the success of the teams. The level of grittiness of the
players will then be attributed to the teams, along with the characteristics of conference
champions, above .500 records etc. This will allow some conclusions to be drawn in regard to
how deep the level of grittiness transcends into what level of success.

26

Data Analysis
Once the data is collected, the first step will be to code the information to translate it all into
numerical form. The additional questions that I have added that were not on The Grit scale, will
be coded as follows;

Academic standing what class are you academically a part of ?


o 1-Freshman 2-Sophmore 3-Junior 4-senior

Athletic standing- What class are you athletically a part of?

o 1-Freshman 2-Sophmore 3-Junior 4-senior


Are you a transfer?
o 1- no 2 - yes

Have you ever taken a medical redshirt?


o 1- no 2 - yes

Have you previously been ranked in the top 25 at the end of the season?
o 1- no 2 - yes

Did you win your conference this year?


o 1- no 2 - yes

Was your record over .500?


o 1- no 2 - yes

Once the data is collected, utilizing SPSS measures of central tendencies will be looked at to see
a comparison of ranked teams V non ranked teams average Grit scores. Additionally I will look
at some relational measures such as the rate of occurrence. Comparing the occurrence of the
highest level of Grit scores through the entire responding population and seeing how many of

27

those occurred on nationally ranked teams, will shed light on if there are more players with high
levels of Grit on these teams than those who are not ranked. Additionally a Pearson correlation
coefficient will be used to analyze the rank of the team and the average grit score of the players
on that team.

28

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