United States Sports Academy doctoral student Eric Street recently presented on a topic that is near and dear to his heart at the 35th Annual Association of Applied Sport Psychology conference, delivered virtually in October 2020.
Street, the Academy’s latest Student of the Month, made presentation of his research related to his scholarly paper Combat Veteran Emotional Intelligence: Lessons on Performance Under Pressure. The paper looked at the emotional intelligence of American military veterans from World War II, Vietnam, Korea, and other conflicts to study how their decision-making skills under extreme pressure can be applied by coaches in the sport profession.
The research was particularly meaningful to Street, whose grandfather Alex J. Grega was among the American soldiers who stormed the beach at Normandy on D-Day – 6 June 1944. Grega spent 11 months as a Prisoner of War after being captured on the beach.
“I’m just very proud of the study,” Street said. “It is so meaningful to me because of who my grandfather was and because of the other great men I was able to interview. I interviewed one man who served aboard the U.S.S. Indianapolis, another man who fought at Hamburger Hill, and so many other brave men with such amazing stories to tell.
“I wanted to see what lessons those great men could teach us about mental and physical performance under extreme pressure. Obviously, the stress these men felt is much, much more extreme than what a coach faces during a game. But there are some lessons that coaches can learn from these men.”
Street is currently in the dissertation phase of his Academy doctoral degree program. A former collegiate soccer player, Street is writing his dissertation on hooliganism in American soccer, titled The Perception of Hooliganism within NAIA Collegiate Soccer Players.
In addition to his studies, Street has also taught internationally for the Academy in Dubai, where he taught the institution’s post-secondary, non-degree certification courses to soccer administrators there. He is a professor of sport management at Midway (Ky.) University and also works as an agent in the professional soccer field.
“I have nothing but good things to say about the Academy,” Street said. “The Academy has opened so many doors for me and has really shown me the career path I want to follow. The courses are immediately applicable to my day-to-day work, and the professors are always willing to help.”