Paule-Koba co-edits new journal filling gap in athlete-development research

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By Rachel Szabo

Athletes are more than just athletes; they are individuals who face personal and professional issues. This idea sparked the creation of JADE, the Journal of Athlete Development and Experience.

Dr. Amanda Paule-Koba, associate professor of sport management at Bowling Green State University, and her colleague at the University of Arkansas, Dr. Sarah Stokowski, assistant professor of recreation and sport management, co-edit the journal. JADE’s goal is to focus on empirical research that gives new voice and insight to the athletic experience from a variety of perspectives and methodologies.

It was noticing a gap in the current sport-management journals for athlete-development research that inspired the two to “fix” it.

“We wanted to publish and promote research in an open-access format that prioritized athletes over profits,” Paule-Koba said. “We were also adamant that the journal be open-access so anyone could access it. We want this research to be used by practitioners to improve the experiences and lives of the athletes they work with.”

After sending out a call for papers to their colleagues, the pair selected the papers that best aligned with the journal’s mission, and sent them to a board of reviewers comprising national and international academics and practitioners representing broad research interests. 

“The most rewarding part was publishing our first issue and seeing the response to it,” Paule-Koba said. “It’s been amazing.”

JADE is the latest in Paule-Koba’s research efforts. She has co-written two textbooks, more than 25 peer-reviewed articles and 10 book chapters. She gave credit to several BGSU teams for their support for the JADE venture, including University Libraries and the School of Human Movement, Sport and Leisure Studies in the College of Education and Human Development. Emily Gattozzi, coordinator of scholarly publishing at University Libraries; Dr. Ray Schneider, HMSLS director; and EDHD Dean Dawn Shinew were key among these groups. 

“They all jumped right on board when I came to them with the idea for this journal and seeking support,” Paule-Koba said. “This would not be a reality if there were not so many innovative and talented people at BGSU.” 

Some JADE themes come from Paule-Koba’s experiences in teaching sport management for the University, specifically, athlete development and higher education. These topics fit nicely with some of the topics she has covered with her classes, she said. 

Future JADE topics may include nutrition, healthy eating and disordered eating; substance use and abuse; career development for elite and professional athletes; and race, gender, identity, culture and sports.

The JADE collaboration led Stokowski and Paule-Koba to partner with the Professional Association of Athlete Development Specialists (PAAD), a collection of athlete-development specialists from leagues across the world. PAADS’s global partners include the National Football League, Major League Baseball and the Women's Sports Foundation.

The first issue of JADE is available online.

Follow journal updates on Twitter at @JADE_Research.