Perspectives of mentoring: The Black female student-athlete


The purpose of this study was to understand Black female collegiate athletes' perception of mentors and the characteristics of their current mentors. Understanding their definition of a mentor and the persons whom fulfill the psychosocial and career mentor roles will provide insight on the mentor-mentee relationship. In addition, the researchers found it necessary to ascertain the persons whom fulfill the athletic mentor role due to the collegiate athletic status. This study is approached from a critical feminist lens, utilizing a qualitative questionnaire to capture and analyze the voice and perceptions of the Black female athletes (n=38) from two Division I universities. Critical race theory and Black feminist thought were employed to capture the " multiple jeopardies" of the Black female athlete, thus recognizing race, or racism, and gender, or sexism, are at the fore of their daily experiences. The findings revealed Black female athletes' definitions of a mentor were characterized by the traditional mentor qualities such as a guide, a supporter, and a role model. Further analysis indicated the women had three distinctly different persons to fulfill each mentor dimension to include: career/academic support, psychosocial support, and athletic support. However, the characteristics of those persons who fulfilled each dimension were family members, with greater influence by the coach on the athletic support dimension. Based on the findings it would benefit administrators to recognize these characteristics and persons of influence when providing support services and developmental programs for the Black female collegiate athlete. © 2010.

Document Type





African American, Mentor, NCAA, Student development

Publication Date


Journal Title

Sport Management Review