Cryan researches the use of youth sports to deliver life skills

Mark Cryan, assistant professor of sport and event management, has published an article examining the operation of an after-school youth soccer program for at-risk children.

Mark Cryan, an assistant professor in Elon University’s Department of Sport and Event Management, has co-published an article in The Physical Educator journal, exploring the operation of an Alamance County after-school sports program that he oversaw. Cryan published the article, which appears in the journal’s late winter 2017 edition, with Thomas Martinek, a professor in the Kinesiology Department at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.

Assistant Professor Mark Cryan
Cryan and Martinek’s research measured the benefits the male sixth graders, predominantly Latino, gained from participating in the after-school activity. The program, which employed Elon University students as program staff, used soccer as a vehicle to deliver lessons on life skills such as discipline, self-control and concern for others. The program and the research focused on the Teaching Personal and Social Responsibility (TPSR) model. Martinek is considered a leading authority on the TPSR model, and he has managed programs and researched youth development extensively throughout his UNCG tenure.

Originally published in 1940 by Phi Epsilon Kappa as a quarterly publication for its fraternity members, The Physical Educator is one of the longest-standing journals providing research-based articles relating to physical education, health, recreation and related areas. Phi Epsilon Kappa is a national professional fraternity for individuals engaged in or pursuing careers in physical education, health, recreation, dance, human performance, exercise science, sports medicine and sports management.

Before teaching in academia, Cryan worked in minor league baseball with the Burlington Indians in the Appalachian League and the Fayetteville Generals of the South Atlantic League, and was one of the founders of the summer collegiate Coastal Plain League. The professor authored “Cradle of the Game: Baseball and Ballparks in North Carolina,” a city-by-city history book and travel guide to baseball in the Tar Heel state.