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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.

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Tsz Lun (Alan) Chu and Trent A. Petrie

Time and access to teams may be limited for sport psychology professionals, particularly those working in the college sport setting. Thus, learning how to intervene with teams and individual athletes within short, defined timeframes becomes essential for working effectively in this environment. In this article, using de Shazer’s solution-focused brief therapy along with Weinberg and Williams’s steps of psychological skills training, the authors describe the development and implementation of a brief intervention under time-limited circumstances (15 days, 15 min/day) through a preseason training program with a National Collegiate Athletic Association Division I women’s volleyball team. Then, they present data and evaluations based on the Athletic Coping Skills Inventory-28 and athlete feedback, which support program effectiveness. They further reflect on the program strengths (e.g., individualization) and challenges (e.g., limited coach involvement) to provide recommendations for intervening briefly, yet systematically and effectively, to maximize athletes’ psychological skills under constraints.

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Lukas Stenzel, Melissa Röcken, Simon Borgmann, and Oliver Stoll

The present case study describes the content and implementation of a blended psychological skills training, consisting of an app and workshops, with a group of athletes (N = 44) from a Bundesliga soccer academy in Germany. In a pre–post design, athletes completed different questionnaires at two measurement points. There was a significant increase in concentration and self-efficacy and more frequent recovery after the intervention. However, athletes showed equal competition anxiety levels and more frequent stress after the intervention. The app’s training time was brief (M = 14.36 min, SD = 18.17 min) over 9 weeks and did not moderate the intervention’s effects. A comparison between active users and nonusers indicates that the results found were due to the workshops. The qualitative feedback indicates that motivational functions should be added to a psychological skills training app and time slots should be created in athletes’ demanding schedules to ensure high user engagement.

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Sara Hagenah, Julianne A. Wenner, Kimberly Tucker, Tyler Johnson, Hannah Calvert, and Lindsey Turner

Purpose: Physical education teachers often report feeling isolated due to being the only specialist in a building. Professional learning communities (PLCs) are spaces where individuals who hold shared goals come together to build connections, allowing educators to feel connected, valued, and empowered. The authors sought to explore the shared values created by a PLC and the process through which that value emerged. Method: The authors facilitated a PLC for eight physical education teachers within one midsized school district and collected interview and meeting audio data to explore the process and outcomes of the PLC. Results: Coding using a Value Creation Framework revealed themes of building common ground, support for big and small problems of practice, and an increased connection with other school faculty. Discussion: Teachers were able to build a supportive network where ideas could be traded, partner support was provided, and problems of practice were discussed.