This essay examines the evolution of highly organized youth sports in the United States. Through an examination of both secondary and primary source material, an analysis is made of children's participation in sport from the turn of the twentieth century to the present day. Particular attention is paid to the types of sports programs established for children as well as the various discussions involving the supposed benefits and negative aspects of youth sports. Included is information on Progressive Reformers, youth sport programs outside of educational institutions, and guidelines, reports, assessments, and scholarly evaluation of children and their involvement in sport.
What I seek to achieve in this article is an exploration of how some of the distilled and assembled principles of behavior can be applied to human goals, aspirations, and performance writ large. I look to do this through an analysis of various areas of application, although the primary framework upon which I erect this discourse is my own autobiographical progress in science. My grounding in formal research was derived from motor learning and control and it then developed into an examination of all human interaction with technical systems under the general title human factors/ergonomics. In showing an indissoluble link between the foundations of motor control and the technological mediation of human factors and ergonomics, I hope to inform and inspire their consideration of the greater aspirations for all of kinesiological science. In terms of specifics, I discuss the work my laboratory has produced over a number of decades on issues such as driving, fight, and other human-augmenting technologies, with a special focus on performance under stress and high workload conditions. To conclude, I discuss, dispute, and finally dispense with the proposition that science and purpose (proximal understanding and ultimate meaning) can be dissociated. I hope to demonstrate why the foregoing principles and their ubiquitous application mean that science in general bears a heavy, if unacknowledged burden with respect to the current failings, especially of Western society.
Kathleen A. Martin Ginis
Over the past decade, researchers have faced increasing pressure to bridge the gap between the generation of new knowledge and the translation of that knowledge into applications and products that can benefit society. SCI Action Canada is an example of a community-university partnership approach to bridging the research generation-knowledge translation gap. It is an alliance of 30 community-based organizations and university-based researchers working together to increase physical activity participation among people living with a spinal cord injury (SCI). This paper provides an overview of activities undertaken by SCI Action Canada, presented within the framework of key principles of effective knowledge translation. Recommendations are made for the cultivation of successful community-university partnerships to develop, evaluate, and implement physical activity innovations.
Jason P. Shurley and Janice S. Todd
In recent years there has been a significant increase in the scrutiny of head trauma in football. This attention is due largely to a host of studies that have been highly publicized and linked the repetitive head trauma in football to late-life neurological impairment. Scientists and physicians familiar with boxing have been aware of such impairment, resulting from repeated head impacts, for more than 80 years. Few, however, made the connection between the similarity of head impacts in boxing and football until recent decades. This article examines the medical and scientific literature related to head trauma in both boxing and football, paying particular attention to the different emphases of that research. Further, the literature is used to trace the understanding of sport-related chronic head trauma as well as how that understanding has prompted reform efforts in each sport. Finally, in light of the current understanding of the long-term sequelae of repetitive head trauma, some consideration is given to what football administrators can learn from the reform efforts in boxing.
Tiffany Myers Schieffer and Katherine Thomas Thomas
Increasing physical activity among children and adolescents continues to be a public health priority (Glickman et al., 2012), with a focus on evidence-based physical activity in school settings. While individual studies report benefits from school-based physical activity interventions, no data-based analysis of these interventions has been published. This meta-analysis examined the outcomes of 12 school-based interventions that reported data from both treatment and intervention groups. The design of each study was unique; including one or more of 19 dependent variables representing physical activity, knowledge, body composition, and cardiovascular measures, and one or more component of the Coordinated School Health Model (CSHM). Generally the benefits from the intervention were small and not significant; health knowledge was the exception. Interventions including more components of the CSHM and interventions of greater duration (e.g., more minutes) were associated with enhanced outcomes and explained 89% of the variance. Weaknesses in the design and analysis of some interventions were inappropriate experimental unit (individual rather than school), multiple analyses on the same data without correction (e.g., Bonferroni), multiple publications of the same data, and the inclusion of all students regardless of whether the student needed to increase physical activity/ftness or reduce body mass/fat.