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Jolan Kegelaers, Paul Wylleman, I. (Belle) N.A. van Bree, Francesco Wessels, and Raôul R.D. Oudejans

Coaching in elite sports can be a highly volatile and stressful profession. Nevertheless, limited knowledge is available on how coach stressors impact elite-level coaches’ mental health. The present study therefore aimed to assess the self-perceived impact of coach stressors on coaches’ mental health, in terms of psychological and social well-being, as well as the prevalence of symptoms of a number of common mental disorders. Furthermore, the role of resilience was examined as a potential protective resource against mental health issues in coaches. Data were collected cross-sectionally, using an online survey with 119 elite-level coaches from the Netherlands and Belgium. Results showed that, although coach stressors were commonly experienced, the self-perceived impact on mental health was low to moderate. Nevertheless, symptoms of common mental disorders were prevalent within the coaches, ranging from 39% for depression/anxiety to 19% for distress and adverse alcohol use. Furthermore, organizational stressors were found to be a positive predictor for symptoms of depression/anxiety, whereas resilience was a negative predictor. The results highlight the need for more research and attention to the mental health of coaches in elite sports.

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Tom O. Mitchell, Adam Gledhill, Ross Shand, Martin A. Littlewood, Lewis Charnock, and Kevin Till

There is an increasing awareness of the importance of the environment in academy players’ development, yet limited research has investigated players’ perceptions of their talent development environments (TDEs). This study focused on academy soccer players’ perceptions of their TDE and compared perceptions across the English soccer academy categorization (CAT) system. A total of 136 U.K.-based male soccer players (M age = 17.7, SD = 1.03 years) representing all four categories (1 = highest to 4 = lowest) of soccer academies aligned to professional soccer clubs completed the TDE Questionnaire-5 (TDEQ-5). The players within the CAT1 academies had significantly more positive perceptions of their support network (p = .01) and holistic quality preparation (p = .03) than their CAT3 counterparts. Across CAT2–CAT3, holistic quality preparation was the least positively perceived subscale within the TDEQ-5, suggesting the need for additional coach education in this area. Soccer academies should consider how they ensure that all areas of their service are associated with optimal TDEs by offering a well-communicated and holistic development experience for their players to enhance effective personal and player development. The findings may have implications for player experience and associated progression rates of lower categorized soccer academies.

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Seamus Kelly and Niall O’Regan

This article explores how the 2020 edition of the Union of European Football Association’s (UEFA) Coaching Convention impacts coach education in the Football Association of Ireland (FAI), a member of the UEFA. First, this article provides a brief history of the UEFA Coaching Convention and it’s historical benefits. Second, the UEFA Coaching Convention’s principles and practices of adult learning and reality-based learning are identified, along with the national association’s responsibilities for their implementation. Third, we outline the four main changes to the 2020 UEFA Coaching Convention, and fourth, following an overview of coach education in the FAI, we identify how the FAI’s Coach Education Department adopts a constructivist, learner-centered approach when implementing the UEFA adult learning and reality-based learning principles. Fifth, we discuss some of the implemented and planned coach education initiatives in the FAI and provide an overview of the FAI’s redeveloped coach education pathway, which was launched in August 2020 for implementation from 2021 to 2025. The article concludes with an overview of the future of coach education in the FAI and suggestions for further research.

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Deborah S. Baxter and Oleg A. Sinelnikov

Purpose: The purpose of this study was to explore the extent of changes taking place within the context, structure, and culture of university physical education teacher education programs facilitating high-stakes educative Teacher Performance Assessment policy. Method: Utilizing a multiple-case study design framed by analytical dualism, eight physical education teacher education faculty from eight different programs who had direct involvement in the high-stakes educative Teacher Performance Assessment process were investigated. Data from semi-structured individual interviews, focus group interviews, and documents were interpretively analyzed. Results: Faculty reacted in three distinct ways to the process of change: prevailers, conceders, or exceeders. The process appeared to be based upon an implementation continuum from isolation to internalization. Discussion/Conclusions: University programs have a responsibility to prepare effective physical education teachers who use the best practices for teaching. It is imperative for physical education teacher education faculty to reflect upon the impetus and impact of changes made to their programs.

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Weidong Li, Lian Ma, Ping Xiang, and Yan Tang

Purpose: The purpose of this study was to review and evaluate the quality of fidelity of implementation (FOI) reported in experimental research in physical education pedagogy published in the Research Quarterly for Exercise and Sport and the Journal of Teaching in Physical Education using a five-component conceptual framework. Methods: Thirty-five intervention studies were coded using a five-item FOI checklist with indicators. For each of the five items, frequencies and percentages were calculated. Results: Authors of intervention studies reported components of FOI including (a) 35 studies assessing program adherence, (b) eight studies assessing dosage/program durations, (c) 30 studies assessing program delivery quality, (d) eight studies assessing participant responses to program interventions, and (e) 19 studies assessing program differentiation. The most frequently reported FOI components were program adherence, program delivery quality, and program differentiation. Conclusions: Researchers have begun to realize the critical importance of FOI in intervention research. Most researchers selected certain FOI components to assess and report at their own discretion. Researchers may need to pay more attention to FOI. The five-component conceptual framework is one method for doing this assessment.

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Roberto Ferriz, Alejandro Jiménez-Loaisa, David González-Cutre, María Romero-Elías, and Vicente J. Beltrán-Carrillo

Purpose: Adolescents’ and parents’ experiences within a multidimensional school-based physical activity intervention grounded on self-determination theory were explored. Method: Qualitative data from 29 adolescents (aged 15–17 years) and three parents on behalf of the total students’ families were collected via participant observation (research diary), semistructured interviews, and focus groups. Results: Adolescents perceived that the application of motivational strategies, based on self-determination theory, satisfied their basic psychological needs for autonomy, competence and relatedness, favored self-determined motivation, and gave rise to adaptive consequences (improved physical activity knowledge, creation of affective bonds, and increased leisure-time physical activity). These results were supported by the information reported by the students’ parents. Discussion/Conclusions: The findings support the implementation of self-determination theory-based multidimensional interventions to promote adolescents’ physical activity participation. This study also presents several motivational strategies which could be useful for the design and implementation of future school-based physical activity interventions.

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Alex G. Shaw, Sungwon Chae, Danielle E. Levitt, Jonathan L. Nicholson, Jakob L. Vingren, and David W. Hill

Purpose: Many athletes report consuming alcohol the day before their event, which might negatively affect their performance. However, the effects of previous-day alcohol ingestion on performance are equivocal, in part, due to no standardization of alcohol dose in previous studies. The purpose of this study was to examine the impact of a standardized previous-day alcohol dose and its corresponding impact on morning-after muscular strength, muscular power, and muscular fatigue in a short-duration test and on performance of severe-intensity exercise. Methods: On 2 occasions, 12 recreationally active individuals reported to the Applied Physiology Laboratory in the evening and ingested a beverage containing either 1.09 g ethanol·kg−1 fat-free body mass (ALC condition) or water (PLA condition). The following morning, they completed a hangover symptom questionnaire, vertical jumps, isometric midthigh pulls, biceps curls, and a constant-power cycle ergometer test to exhaustion. The responses from ALC and PLA were compared using paired-means t tests. Results: Time to exhaustion in the cycle ergometer tests was less (P = .03) in the ALC condition (181 [39] s vs 203 [34] s; –11%, Cohen d = 0.61). There was no difference in performance in vertical jump test, isometric midthigh pulls, and biceps curls tests between the ALC and PLA conditions. Conclusions: Previous-day alcohol consumption significantly reduces morning-after performance of severe-intensity exercise. Practitioners should educate their athletes, especially those whose events rely on anaerobic capacity and/or a rapid response of the aerobic pathways, of the adverse effect of previous-day alcohol consumption on performance.

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Sebastian Sitko, Rafel Cirer-Sastre, Francisco Corbi, and Isaac López-Laval

Purpose: To examine the ability of a multivariate model to predict maximal oxygen consumption (VO2max) using performance data from a 5-minute maximal test (5MT). Methods: Forty-six road cyclists (age 38 [9] y, height 177 [9] cm, weight 71.4 [8.6] kg, VO2max 61.13 [9.05] mL/kg/min) completed a graded exercise test to assess VO2max and power output. After a 72-hour rest, they performed a test that included a 5-minute maximal bout. Performance variables in each test were modeled in 2 independent equations, using Bayesian general linear regressions to predict VO2max. Stepwise selection was then used to identify the minimal subset of parameters with the best predictive power for each model. Results: Five-minute relative power output was the best explanatory variable to predict VO2max in the model from the graded exercise test (R 2 95% credibility interval, .81–.88) and when using data from the 5MT (R 2 95% credibility interval, .61–.77). Accordingly, VO2max could be predicted with a 5MT using the equation VO2max = 16.6 + (8.87 × 5-min relative power output). Conclusions: Road cycling VO2max can be predicted in cyclists through a single-variable equation that includes relative power obtained during a 5MT. Coaches, cyclists, and scientists may benefit from the reduction of laboratory assessments performed on athletes due to this finding.

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Jasmien Dumortier, An Mariman, Jan Boone, Liesbeth Delesie, Els Tobback, Dirk Vogelaers, and Jan G. Bourgois

Purpose: This study aimed to determine the influencing factors of potential differences in sleep architecture between elite (EG) and nonelite (NEG) female artistic gymnasts. Methods: Twelve EG (15.1 [1.5] y old) and 10 NEG (15.3 [1.8] y old) underwent a nocturnal polysomnography after a regular training day (5.8 [0.8] h vs 2.6 [0.7] h), and, on a separate test day, they performed an incremental treadmill test after a rest day in order to determine physical fitness status. A multiple linear regression assessed the predictive value of training and fitness parameters toward the different sleep phases. Total sleep time and sleep efficiency (proportion of time effectively asleep to time in bed), as well as percentage of nonrapid eye movement sleep phase 1 (NREM1) and 2 (NREM2), slow wave sleep (SWS), and rapid eye movement sleep (REM), during a single night were compared between EG and NEG using an independent-samples t test. Results: Peak oxygen uptake influenced NREM1 (β = 1.035, P = .033), while amount of weekly training hours predicted SWS (β = 1.897, P = .032). No differences were documented between EG and NEG in total sleep time and sleep efficiency. SWS was higher in EG (36.9% [11.4%]) compared with NEG (25.9% [8.3%], P = .020), compensated by a lower proportion of NREM2 (38.7% [10.2%] vs 48.4% [6.5%], P = .017), without differences in NREM1 and REM. Conclusions: The proportion of SWS was only predicted by weekly training hours and not by training hours the day of the polysomnography or physical fitness, while NREM1 was linked with fitness level. Sleep efficiency did not differ between EG and NEG, but in EG, more SWS and less NREM2 were identified.