Date of Award


Publication Type

Master Thesis

Degree Name




First Advisor

Munroe, Krista,


Psychology, Developmental.




Presently, there is a trend of increasingly younger athletes entering the Canadian junior hockey system. This new phenomenon, 'fast tracking,' has raised concerns about the players' development (Canadian Hockey Association, 2001). The purpose of this exploratory study was to investigate the cognitive, social, and emotional development of fast tracking and non-fast tracking Major Junior Ontario Hockey League (OHL) players. The study was multifaceted incorporating both quantitative and qualitative methodologies. Phase I was quantitative in nature and utilized a Fast Tracking questionnaire which investigated an OHL player's cognitive, social, and emotional issues such as academics, transitions, social support, and confidence. Participants included current male junior hockey players from the OHL ranging in age from 15--21 years. Of the 375 OHL participants surveyed, 238 successfully completed Phase I. Participants were then divided into two broad categories: fast trackers (n = 209) and non-fast trackers (n = 29). An ANOVA and three MANOVAs were utilized to investigate the four dependent variables (cognitive, social, emotional, and satisfaction) in Phase I. In order to elaborate and confirm Phase I data, Phase II involved focus group interview sessions with rookie players (n = 8) from two OHL teams. Results revealed no significant differences in cognitive, social, and emotional development as well as satisfaction between fast trackers and non-fast trackers. With a greater understanding of the challenges facing junior hockey players, specific recommendations and future research are suggested to ease the transition into all levels of junior hockey and encourage undecided or late developing minor hockey-aged athletes to remain in the minor hockey system. Paper copy at Leddy Library: Theses & Major Papers - Basement, West Bldg. / Call Number: Thesis2002 .B78. Source: Masters Abstracts International, Volume: 41-04, page: 1208. Adviser: Krista Munroe. Thesis (M.H.K.)--University of Windsor (Canada), 2002.