Patti Millar - MA in Applied Health Sciences (Sport Management)

Faculty of Applied Health Sciences

Patti Millar - MA in Applied Health Sciences (Sport Management)

My research focuses on the off-the-field performance and development of Canadian sport managers and examining to what extent training programs influence the individual performance of sport managers and the overall performance of their national sport organizations (NSO).

Within sport, a tremendous amount of time and effort is committed to the on-the-field performance of athletes and coaches, while neglecting the off-the-field performance and development of sport managers. My interest in this specific area of research derived from this imbalance between the on-the-field and off-the-field components of Canadian sport. From the beginning of my thesis research, I wanted to highlight the importance and need for on-going training opportunities for Canadian sport managers in order to create a cycle of organizational high performance.

The data collection for this research project stemmed from a strong partnership with the facilitators of True Sport’s Risk Management Workshop (RMW). Participants completed a survey prior to the RMW, immediately after the RMW, and three months after the RMW that evaluated their understanding and applicability (learning) of the training content, their individual performance, and their organization’s performance. Data was also collected on motivation to transfer, training design, and organizational climate in order to thoroughly evaluate the transfer of training process.

The results point to the need for continual workforce development within Canadian sport organizations. Investing in the human resources of NSOs plays an important role in improving individual and organizational performance, something that is consistently strived for in the Canadian sport system.

This study was driven by a practical gap in the Canadian sport system and the results demonstrate that training opportunities are required in order to create a mentality of continual development and build a focus on the off-the-field components of performance in Canadian sport.

In September 2010, I had the opportunity to present at the European Association for Sport Management conference in Prague, CZE. Not only did I have an amazing time exploring Prague, but this conference also made me realize the importance and potential for sport-related research, both nationally and internationally.

The expertise in the Department of Sport Management was a major factor in my decision to pursue graduate studies at Brock University. The wealth of practical and research experience of the Faculty members is what ultimately attracted me to the program. After reviewing my Supervisor’s research interests, and the course and thesis requirement guidelines, I knew that I would be able to shape my Master’s experience around my areas of interest.

Following the completion of my MA, I will be starting doctorate studies at The University of Western Ontario. The knowledge that I have gained and experiences that I have had at Brock University have inspired me and instilled a passion towards research and teaching that I hope to carry over into my doctorate studies.

My advice to someone considering graduate studies at Brock would be to connect with members of the Faculty and past graduate students. The graduate program at Brock allows for a very individualized experienced, but it is the student’s responsibility to shape that experience. Don’t hesitate to ask questions and let your interests guide your research project. The environment within the Department of Sport Management is very supportive and I would strongly recommend Brock to anyone considering graduate studies.