Date Awarded


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)




Pamela L Eddy

Committee Member

Carol Tieso

Committee Member

Ronald Moses


The top of the lineup is a baseball term that refers to the first few players at bat. In baseball it is a term to be revered as those players are considered exceptional. Baseball, as are many intercollegiate sports, is highly competitive. Therefore, with the high level of competition for a spot, in perspective, these college players are all the top of the lineup. However, at the college level these players have to make many sacrifices, meet challenges other students do not, and juggle to find a balance between being a student and being an athlete in order to allow for a successful college experience. Achievement goal orientation and individual beliefs and traits play a role in how these student athletes manage this task. It is important to determine however, if a particular goal orientation, such as ego orientation, and certain traits, such as narcissism, may be detrimental or beneficial to the college baseball player and how these traits are perceived by the player in the overall college experience. This study sought participants from a Division I baseball team to explore their perceptions and better understand the influence of traits and achievement goal orientation within the culture of the various divisions. Qualitative methodology was used to allow for the opportunity to explore the participants’ perceptions of the phenomena. The participants’ reflections created understanding of the relevance of a focus on hard work and task orientation to achieve success through teamwork. Narcissism as a personal trait was present but either set aside or used to the benefit of the team and its shared goals.



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