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Jay Coakley

This article tells the story of the sociology of sport over the last 4 decades. In the process, it identifies key developments and trends in the field, the questions and topics that have shaped research and the production of knowledge about sports as social phenomena, the challenges currently facing the sociology of sport, and what may happen to the field over the next 40 years.

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Timothy D. Lee and Heather Carnahan

The authors reflect on the dire state of motor learning at the time of Brooks’s book and consider reasons why research was resurrected in the 1980s and flourished in the ensuing years. In so doing, they provide an overview of the various research topics that have been studied, discuss the influence of motor learning on other fields of study, and consider the future of motor learning research both within and outside the academic study of kinesiology.

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Nicole Farnsworth, Bryan Holtzman, Lauren McCall, Kristin E. Whitney, Meghan Keating, Laura Moretti, Bridget Quinn, Donna Duffy, and Kathryn E. Ackerman

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Siobhan B. Mitchell, Anne M. Haase, and Sean P. Cumming

Experiences of puberty and how individuals adapt to puberty may be integral to success in ballet; however, there is a paucity of current research in this area. This study explores the lived experiences of nine professional ballet dancers to capture the journey of negotiating puberty in a ballet context. An interpretative phenomenological analysis approach was employed with semistructured interviews utilized to gather rich, descriptive accounts from nine professional ballet dancers from the United Kingdom and United States. Lived experiences were characterized by conflict and struggle, coming to terms with physical changes and possessing grit and grace in order to successfully negotiate puberty, and to succeed and survive in professional ballet. Accepting physical and esthetic strengths and weaknesses and learning how to adapt or how to compensate for weaknesses was described as pivotal. Factors such as social support, the timing and extent of pubertal changes, dance teacher behaviors, and the ballet training context influenced the extent to which dancers experienced conflict and struggle and how easily they were able to come to terms with their adult physique. Further research is needed to explore the implications of maturing and developing within the context of ballet training and to develop strategies to better facilitate healthy development in ballet.

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Gavin Thomas, Jaime Guinan, and Győző Molnár

Strength and conditioning (S&C) has become a chief part of athletes’ physiological preparation. Despite S&C’s growing presence across sports, women coaches have been generally marginalized and underrepresented. This study explores female S&C coaches’ experiences and coping mechanisms in a male-dominated industry. Semi-structured interviews with 15 female S&C coaches were conducted. The main themes identified from interview data are organizational politics, impression management, and humor. The findings suggest that women S&C coaches are often in subservient positions and have to adopt some traditional, male-generated subcultural practices to fit in. They carefully manage their coaching front stage to generate an impression that is expected and accepted in the given milieu. In their efforts to fit in, women often find themselves in a multiplicity of power matrices that involve a continuous negotiation of gender identity, internal politics, and sexist banter.

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Jeffrey Cisyk and Pascal Courty

Although stadium giveaways are the most common type of promotion used in Major League Baseball to increase demand, most teams supply fewer giveaway items than there are tickets sold. This study argues that giveaway availability is a major component of teams’ promotion strategies and has been largely overlooked in the literature. The authors document the choice of giveaway availability across all Major League Baseball teams over an 8-year period and demonstrate that attendance increases with giveaway availability up to the point where there are enough giveaway items to serve 40% of a stadium’s capacity. Roughly two thirds of teams set giveaway availability in a fashion that is consistent with the standard price discrimination rationale for promotions found in the economic and marketing literatures. The remaining teams exhibit levels of high availability, indicating an additional investment into fan lifetime value, which is corroborated by these teams’ unique fan relationships.

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Takashi Shimazaki, Hiroaki Taniguchi, and Masao Kikkawa

A coach’s nonverbal communication (NC) plays a central role in the construction of the coach–athlete relationship. Moreover, perceived NC and its effect on communication ability and coaching evaluation may differ according to the athletes’ demographics. This study explored the impact of perceived NC on coaching evaluation and overall communication among different genders and age groups. The study recruited 233 athletes from five high schools and seven university teams in Japan. The coaches’ NC, communication ability, and coaching evaluations were assessed. Negative and positive NC directly influenced coaching evaluation in female athletes. Specifically, negative NC directly impacted coaching evaluation in high school athletes, whereas positive NC directly influenced coaching evaluation in university athletes. Positive NC consistently influenced communication ability regardless of demographics. The findings promote talent development and team management in the coaching context.

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Brian M. Mills

This paper outlines the centrality of market structures in positioning Sport Management and in driving the institutional boundaries that guide most research in the field. I synthesize past work related to competition policy to center an approach to developing an impactful Sport Management literature, broadly speaking. Beginning with a description of industrial organizational lessons for Sport Management research, I exhibit how this frame provides additional scholarly substance to the trajectory of Sport Management as a discipline at the nexus of management, policy, and sport. Although this disciplinary framing is necessarily grounded in the economic structure of sport, and lessons from the Sports Economics literature, I do not argue for a supremacy or exclusivity of economics research. Rather, I propose that framing the discipline in the context of policy and market power allows for a more legitimized and inclusive area of social science that does not sacrifice its managerial roots.