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Leapetswe Malete - Michigan State University. Lansing, MI, US

Leapetswe Malete

Associate Professor of Kinesiology | Michigan State University


Leps Malete is an associate professor and coordinator of global initiatives in the Department of Kinesiology.


Leps Malete is an associate professor and coordinator of global initiatives in the Department of Kinesiology. His research interests are youth psychosocial development through sport and physical activity, self-efficacy and athletic performance, and the role of physical activity and nutrition on youth health outcomes. He is specifically interested in the international, cross-cultural applications of this research to less-served populations in the U.S. and sub-Saharan Africa. He is principal investigator of projects on positive youth development through sport and youth development outcomes in Botswana, Ghana, Tanzania and the greater Lansing area. He is a leader in international education and partnerships and has served as a sport psychology consultant for national teams, national sport federations, clubs and individual athletes in Botswana.

Areas of Expertise (6)


Physical Activity and Health

Motivational processes

Youth Sport

International and Comparative Education

Youth Development

Education (2)

Michigan State University: PhD, Sport Psychology 2000

University of Botswana: BA, Humanities 1990

News (1)

Youth sports institute celebrates 40 years with major research conference

MSU Today  


The conference will conclude on Saturday, Dec. 1 with a look at the next 40 years of youth sports moderated by Gould and featuring MSU faculty members Al Smith, Karl Erickson and Leps Malete.

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Journal Articles (3)

Advancing Youth Sport Scholarship: Selected Directions and Considerations

Kinesiology Review

Alan L. Smith, Karl Erickson and Leapetswe Malete

2019 Youth sport research has expanded considerably since the founding of the Michigan State University Institute for the Study of Youth Sports in 1978. This research has resulted in meaningful advancements in knowledge and proved enormously valuable in both safeguarding athlete well-being and fostering positive sport experiences. There are still knowledge gaps in the scholarly literature that have important implications for youth sport participants and programs. Hopefully, the quantity and quality of the scholarly literature on youth sport will continue to expand in response to broader societal changes and scientific advances. This paper addresses the future of youth sport scholarship, focusing on 3 selected areas of promise. The first pertains to positive youth development work, including efforts tied to fostering economic opportunity among young people. The second pertains to youth sport as a domain for addressing public health, an emerging area with respect to physical activity promotion, injury surveillance, physical well-being, and mental health. Finally, the paper addresses implications of the Fourth Industrial Revolution for youth sport and how this might shape scholarship over the coming decades. Pursuing these areas of research while attending to important opportunities for and challenges to the promotion of developmentally appropriate youth sport experiences is expected to meaningfully contribute to knowledge and, ultimately, the well-being of young athletes.

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Coaching Efficacy, Player Perceptions of Coaches’ Leadership Styles, and Team Performance in Premier League Soccer

Research Quarterly for Exercise and Sport

Lesika Keatlholetswe & Leapetswe Malete

2019 The coaching competency research has demonstrated the role of coaching efficacy and coaching behaviors on various athlete outcomes. However, athlete perceptions of these relationships and how they affect performance are less understood. Purpose: This study examined if coaching efficacy is predictive of player perceptions of coaches’ leadership styles, team atmosphere, and team performance in a soccer season. Method: Fifteen male premier league soccer coaches (Mage = 45.27, SD = 6.07) and 226 players (Mage = 25.66, SD = 3.96) from Botswana participated in the study. All participants completed a background information questionnaire. Coaches completed the Coaching Efficacy Scale. Players rated their coaches’ leadership styles using the Revised Leadership Scale for Sports as well as team atmosphere. Team performance was based on position in the league log and player ratings of the teams’ performance. Results: Findings showed that coaches’ self-ratings on technique efficacy predicted player perceptions of the coaches’ use of all six leadership styles. Game strategy efficacy predicted higher team atmosphere and team performance. Motivation efficacy was not significantly associated with player perceptions of the coaches’ use of any of the leadership styles, while character building efficacy was negatively associated with the various leadership styles. Conclusion: Findings provide support to previous research evidence linking higher coaching efficacy, leadership styles, and team outcomes. The study expands the emergent research within the coaching competency literature that examines player perceptions of coaches’ behaviors and leadership styles.

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Results from Botswana’s 2018 Report Card on Physical Activity for Children and Youth

Journal of Physical Activity and Health

Dawn M. Tladi, Malebogo Monnaatsie, Sheila Shaibu, Gaonyadiwe Sinombe, Gaonyadiwe G. Mokone, Lesego Gabaitiri, Leapetswe Malete and Hubona Omphile

2018 Physical inactivity is now the fourth leading risk factor of mortality globally.1 However, very little is known about physical activity (PA) among school-aged Botswana children. Physical education (PE) in Botswana public schools is offered as an optional subject2 and thus many children and youth do not get much PA opportunity through PE. Also, only a handful of private schools in Botswana includes mandatory PE in their curricula. There is a glaring absence of data on the amount of moderate-to vigorous-intensity PA (MVPA; ≥60 minutes/day) among children and youth in Botswana. This absence of data is a concern given that MVPA is associated with health. The purpose of this paper was to summarize the results of the 2018 Botswana’s Report Card (Figure 1). Grades were based on the best available evidence. Sources included both peer-reviewed literature and gray literature such as government and nongovernment reports.

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