Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS) in Physical Education: Sports and Recreation Administration


Physical Education, Health and Recreation

First Advisor

Jon Hammermeister

Second Advisor

Chadron Hazelbaker

Third Advisor

Amanda Reedy


"Mental toughness is commonly associated with successful performance in the realm of athletics. However, despite the prevalence of its usage, the concept remains somewhat ambiguous in its definition and practical application. The purpose of this study was to determine the relationship between mental toughness and running performance amongst collegiate distance runners, a population that has yet to be the center of a mental toughness investigation. Of additional interest was to determine how a coach's servant leadership attributes interacts with athletes' mental toughness. Participants (n = 334) were males and females from 64 collegiate track teams from all divisions of the NCAA. Participants completed the Mental Toughness Questionnaire 48 (MTQ48; Clough et al; 2002), the Revised Servant Leadership Profile for Sport (RSLP- S; Hammermeister et al; 2008), and provided their current three- and five-kilometer personal best track times. Additionally, participants that competed in selected five- kilometer events had their race times recorded. Statistical analysis employed the ANOVA, ANCOVA, and Pearson r correlation techniques. Significant differences were discovered in both reported three- and five-kilometer personal best times, with the mentally tough group running faster than the non-mentally tough group. A significant difference was also found on the MTQ48 for the servant leader groups, with athletes that perceived their coaches to be servant leaders being more mentally tough than athletes in the non-servant leader group. Results are discussed in terms of theory, research, and practice"--Document.


Typescript. Vita.