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Phillip Ward, Murray F. Mitchell, Hal A. Lawson, and Hans van der Mars

The physical education teacher education (PETE) faculty charged with oversight and delivery of initial teacher licensure programs confront several challenges. Some necessitate responses to revised and new standards, while others can be reframed as timely opportunities for improvement and innovation, whether in response to or in anticipation of rapid, dramatic societal change. Six examples of challenges as opportunities are discussed in this chapter: (a) the need to determine the skills, essential knowledge, values, and sensitivities for work practices in the schools of the future; (b) the dual priority for evidence-based practices in PETE and in school programs; (c) PETE faculty members’ obligations to adapt their pedagogical practices and revise preservice programs in concert with expert, veteran teachers from schools with exemplary programs; (d) manifest needs to make choices among competing, evidence-supported physical education program models; (e) needs and opportunities to redesign PETE programs, especially those located in kinesiology departments; and (f) emergent policy imperatives to demonstrate the value-added effects, both short- and long-term, on tomorrow’s teachers.

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Elanor E. Cormack and Jamie Gillman

There are few studies examining coaches’ awareness of their role in developing performance under pressure. This study has explored the application of implicit and explicit learning theory for skill execution under pressure through the understanding of coaches. Seven curling coaches who teach adult novices were interviewed using a semistructured approach. Interpretative phenomenological analysis was used to explore their experiences and beliefs around skill acquisition and pressure. Key factors that emerged from the analysis were the coaches’ lack of awareness of their role in developing skill execution under pressure and the importance of coach education in creating that awareness. The recognition of the pressure that players will face in games and the potential for implicit techniques to be employed by the coaches demonstrated positive prospects for the application of implicit/explicit skill acquisition theory. The coaches’ experiences highlighted aspects unique to curling that will need to be considered in progressing the study’s findings. The distinction between skill setup and execution was also raised by coaches and requires further study to identify whether it impacts the effectiveness of building robust skills and the resulting coaching advice. The study provides recommendations for application of the theory and suggestions for future research.

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Edgar Schwarz, Liam D. Harper, Rob Duffield, Robert McCunn, Andrew Govus, Sabrina Skorski, and Hugh H.K. Fullagar

Purpose: To examine practitioners’, coaches’, and athletes’ perceptions of evidence-based practice (EBP) in professional sport in Australia. Methods: One hundred thirty-eight participants (practitioners n = 67, coaches n = 39, and athletes n = 32) in various professional sports in Australia each completed a group-specific online questionnaire. Questions focused on perceptions of research, the contribution of participants’ own experience in implementing knowledge to practice, sources, and barriers for accessing and implementing EBP, preferred methods of feedback, and the required qualities of practitioners. Results: All practitioners reported using EBP, while most coaches and athletes believed that EBP contributes to individual performance and preparation (>85%). Practitioners’ preferred EBP information sources were “peer-reviewed journals” and “other practitioners within their sport,” while athlete sources were “practitioners within their sport” and “other athletes within their sport.” As primary barriers to accessing and implementing research, practitioners highlighted “time constraints,” “poor research translation,” and “nonapplicable research.” Practitioners ranked “informal conversation” as their most valued method of providing feedback; however, coaches prefer feedback from “scheduled meetings,” “online reports,” or “shared database.” Both athletes and coaches value “excellent knowledge of the sport,” “experience,” and “communication skills” in practitioners disseminating EBP. Conclusion: Practitioners, coaches, and athletes believe in the importance of EBP to their profession, although practitioners reported several barriers to accessing and implementing research as part of EBP. Athletes place a high value on experienced practitioners who have excellent knowledge of the sport and communication skills. Collectively, these findings can be used to further stakeholder understanding regarding EBP and the role of research to positively influence athlete health.

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Phillip Ward, Hal A. Lawson, Hans van der Mars, and Murray F. Mitchell

In this chapter, we examine the system of physical education with a Janus-like perspective. We focus on examining and learning from the past as we anticipate what society, school systems, and the physical education system might look like in the future. Drawing on futuristic scenarios developed for this special journal issue, we ask a timely, pivotal question. What does all of this mean for the future of the field of physical education, including its school programs, teacher education programs, doctoral programs, and salient public policies? The several chapters in this special issue can be viewed as a response to this question—and with a delimited focus on the unique context of the United States. This chapter is structured to provide an overall context for these other contributions. It includes a discussion of relevant theories provided in this special issue and a representative summary of the other articles. Selectivity is apparent and unavoidable in every article, and it can be viewed variously as a strength or limitation.

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Evelia Franco, Ricardo Cuevas, Javier Coterón, and Christopher Spray

Purpose: To examine the role of psychological need thwarting in mediating physical education teachers’ work pressures stemming from school authorities and burnout. Method: A total of 345 physical education teachers (M = 47.46; SD = 8.79) completed some online validated questionnaires. Results: Structural equation modeling first revealed that pressures from school authorities predicted needs thwarting which, in turn, predicted burnout. In a second model, in which burnout was deemed as a multidimensional construct, autonomy and competence thwarting was found to predict both emotional exhaustion and depersonalization. Discussion: These findings suggest that when teachers find themselves pressured by school authorities to act in certain way, they are more likely to feel more exhausted and to adopt more cynical attitudes toward their students due to the thwarting of their basic needs. Practical implications related to school and national policies are discussed. Conclusion: External pressures affect PE teachers’ emotional states and educational policies should address this issue.

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Travis S. Tilman

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Yetsa A. Tuakli-Wosornu, Xiang Li, Kimberly E. Ona Ayala, Yinfei Wu, Michael Amick, and David B. Frumberg

It is known that high-performance sprinters with unilateral and bilateral prosthetic lower limbs run at different speeds using different spatiotemporal strategies. Historically, these athletes still competed together in the same races, but 2018 classification rule revisions saw the separation of these two groups. This study sought to compare Paralympic sprint performance between all-comer (i.e., transfemoral and transtibial) unilateral and bilateral amputee sprinters using a large athlete sample. A retrospective analysis of race speed among Paralympic sprinters between 1996 and 2016 was conducted. In total, 584 published race results from 161 sprinters revealed that unilateral and bilateral lower-extremity amputee sprinters had significantly different race speeds in all three race finals (100 m, p value <.001; 200 m, <.001; 400 m, <.001). All-comer bilateral amputee runners ran faster than their unilateral counterparts; performance differences increased with race distance. These data support current classification criteria in amputee sprinting, which may create more equal competitive fields in the future.

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Joffrey Drigny, Marine Rolland, Robin Pla, Christophe Chesneau, Tess Lebreton, Benjamin Marais, Pierre Outin, Sébastien Moussay, Sébastien Racinais, and Benoit Mauvieux

Purpose: To measure core temperature (T core) in open-water (OW) swimmers during a 25-km competition and identify the predictors of T core drop and hypothermia-related dropouts. Methods: Twenty-four national- and international-level OW swimmers participated in the study. Participants completed a personal questionnaire and a body fat/muscle mass assessment before the race. The average speed was calculated on each lap over a 2500-m course. T core was continuously recorded via an ingestible temperature sensor (e-Celsius, BodyCap). Hypothermia-related dropouts (H group) were compared with finishers (nH group). Results: Average prerace T core was 37.5°C (0.3°C) (N = 21). 7 participants dropped out due to hypothermia (H, n = 7) with a mean T core at dropout of 35.3°C (1.5°C). Multiple logistic regression analysis found that body fat percentage and initial T core were associated with hypothermia (G 2 = 17.26, P < .001). Early T core drop ≤37.1°C at 2500 m was associated with a greater rate of hypothermia-related dropouts (71.4% vs 14.3%, P = .017). Multiple linear regression found that body fat percentage and previous participation were associated with T core drop (F = 4.95, P = .019). There was a positive correlation between the decrease in speed and T core drop (r = .462, P < .001). Conclusions: During an OW 25-km competition at 20°C to 21°C, lower initial T core and lower body fat, as well as premature T core drop, were associated with an increased risk of hypothermia-related dropout. Lower body fat and no previous participation, as well as decrease in swimming speed, were associated with T core drop.