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Rachel A. Van Woezik, Colin D. McLaren, Jean Côté, Karl Erickson, Barbi Law, Denyse Lafrance Horning, Bettina Callary, and Mark W. Bruner

In an ever-evolving society, sport coaches are presented with a number of avenues through which they can acquire and refine their coaching knowledge. The purpose of this research was to replicate and extend past research to gain an up-to-date understanding of how coaches are presently gaining knowledge. This was done through a constructive replication using a sequential explanatory mixed-method design. Study 1 included 798 coaches who completed an online questionnaire detailing their use of 16 sources of coaching knowledge. Coaches’ top three most used sources were interacting with coaches, learning by doing, and observing others. In contrast, the top three most preferred sources were observing others, interacting with coaches, and having a mentor. To contextualize these findings, Study 2 used a qualitative design in which 14 coaches were interviewed to understand their experiences with different knowledge sources. Five distinct narrative types were identified: recent elite athletes, parent coaches, coach developers, teacher coaches, and experienced coaches. Coaches reported engaging in more social and unstructured learning experiences, and the reasons for their preferences appeared to differ based on lifestyle and perceived barriers. Collectively, these findings highlight how coaches gain knowledge and why they prefer certain sources over others.

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Austin J. Kulp and Xihe Zhu

Background/Purpose: Before school exercise programs (BSEPs) give students time for breakfast and add time to their daily physical activity. However, the effects of BSEP on physical fitness and academic achievement in the classroom remain unclear. The purpose of this study is to examine the effects of BSEP on cardiorespiratory fitness and academic performance among fourth- and fifth-grade students. Method: A retrospective case-controlled design was used in this study. Fourth and fifth graders (N = 84) were participants, half signed up for BSEP that met once a week for 10 weeks. A retrospectively case-controlled comparison group was generated from the classmates of those in BSEP in the same school. All students took PACER and statewide academic performance assessments. Multivariate analysis of covariance for student cardiorespiratory fitness, and mathematics and reading, were conducted, adjusting for pretest performances. Analysis/Results: There were improvements for both groups in academic performances and cardiorespiratory fitness. The cardiorespiratory fitness and reading test improvements were greater in the BSEP group than those in the comparison group, controlling for their pretests. However, there was no significant difference in student mathematics test performances. Conclusion: Students in BSEP group benefited from participating in the program with greater improvement in cardiorespiratory and reading test performances than the comparison group. These findings suggested that providing a BSEP once a week for 45 min may be beneficial to fourth and fifth graders.

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A. Rui Gomes, Alexandre Gonçalves, Catarina Morais, Clara Simães, and Rui Resende

According to the Leadership Efficacy Model, leadership efficacy depends on leaders’ tendency to make linear relationships between leadership philosophy, practice, and criteria (i.e., congruence of leadership cycles). Moreover, efficacy increases if coaches make these linear relationships by using the optimal leadership profile and by considering the antecedent factors of leadership (characteristics of the leader, team members, and organizational conditions; i.e., favorability of conditions for leadership). This study compared the perceptions of athletes and their coaches regarding leadership cycles, and tested the moderator role of optimal leadership profile and leadership favorability in the relationship between leadership cycles and leadership efficacy. This study included 92 football athletes (ages less than 17 and 19 years) and respective coaches (n = 5). The evaluation protocol included measures of leadership cycles, leadership styles, leadership favorability, and sport performance perception. Athletes and coaches agreed on coaches’ need to increase their practice and criteria, but athletes also considered that coaches should better clarify their philosophy. Regression analyses confirmed that leadership congruency predicts higher perceptions of team performance in athletes. Moreover, optimal leadership profile and higher leadership favorability were associated with higher team and individual performance. However, these two factors did not moderate the relationship between leadership congruency and efficacy.

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Steffen Greve, Kira Elena Weber, Björn Brandes, and Jessica Maier

Purpose: A previous study about a long-term internship implemented in the Master’s program of eleven physical education preservice teachers showed that the preservice teachers had low performance scores in the area of Instructional Support. These results left many questions unanswered, so the written self-reflections of the preservice teachers were investigated. Method and Results: A quantitative content analysis of their written reflections, based on the dimensions of the Classroom Assessment Scoring System K–3, showed that the participants pay little attention to the domain of Instructional Support. A qualitative content analysis showed that the preservice teachers relied on self-made experiences and the advice given by their mentors from school who pay little attention to Instructional Support. Discussion and Conclusion: Instructional Support should be given a higher priority in the context of long-term internships and in accompanying reflective assignments, especially with regard to differentiation and inclusion of all students.

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Samuel Wood, David Richardson, and Simon Roberts

Consideration of a learners’ biography is deemed to impact on their engagement with formal education and their connection with, and perceived relevance of, educational course content. It is considered equally important to understand coaches who enrol on formal coach learning in sport—their motivations, beliefs, values, existing knowledge, and previous life experiences. This research explored the individual biographies of eight neophyte cycling coaches over an 18-month period following the successful completion of a national governing body coach award. Following 23 formal semistructured interviews and 26 unstructured interviews, deductive thematic narrative analysis revealed three different typologies of coach: the “performance coach”; the “parent-coach”; and the “community coach.” Although the subjective details of the life stories varied according to their idiosyncratic perspective, all participants’ stories broadly followed one of these three identifiable narratives. Identifying different “typologies” of cycling coaches’ answers calls from coach developers to account for the specific backgrounds of coaches’ practices. It is hoped this research will begin the process of developing more personalised approaches to coach education.

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Samuel Mettler, Georgette Lehner, and Gareth Morgan

Compared with adult athletes, rather little is known about supplementation behavior in adolescent athletes. This study’s aim was to determine elite adolescent athletes’ supplement use and sources of information relating thereto. A total of 430 (87%) of 496 questioned athletes returned the anonymized questionnaire. Thereof, 84% consumed at least one weekly supplement and 97% indicated some supplement intake during the previous 4 weeks. On average, 13.3 supplement servings were consumed per week. The 25th, 50th, and 75th percentile was 4.5, 10.5, and 20.0 servings per week, with a maximum of 67. The most prevalent supplements in use were multimineral products (41% of all athletes), multivitamins (34%), Vitamin C (34%), and Vitamin D (33%). Male athletes consumed significantly more Vitamin C and D, sports drinks, protein powder, and recovery products compared with female athletes; whereas, women consumed more iron supplements. The three most important motives for supplement use were recovery support (40%), health maintenance (39%), and performance enhancement (30%). The most frequent answers to the question “who recommended that you use supplements” were family/friends (36%), a physician (27%), and a trainer/coach (25%). The main three information sources about the supplements in use were the persons who recommended the supplementation (56%), the internet (25%), and information provided by supplement suppliers (11%). A positive doping attitude was associated with the consumption of performance enhancing supplements (p = .017). In conclusion, this study among elite adolescent Swiss athletes indicates a widespread and large-scale use of dietary supplements, which was associated with a low level of information quality.

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Rhys J. Thurston, Danielle M. Alexander, and Mathieu Michaud

Learning disabilities and neurodevelopmental disorders are the most prevalent disabilities that affect learning. This paper will provide practical recommendations and observations for coaching athletes with three common learning disabilities (dyslexia, dysgraphia, and dyscalculia) and two neurodevelopmental disorders (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and autism spectrum disorder). Adapted from the literature and in conjunction with previous experiences, the authors provided a range of recommendations for coaches to consider implementing within their practices. The recommendations place an emphasis on the knowledge, strategies, and behaviors of the coach and their role in providing an inclusive, safe, and accessible space for athletes—with or without disabilities—rather than problematizing the disability or the person. Coaches are encouraged to consider their coaching environment (i.e., structure, physical elements, equipment), communication styles (i.e., language, delivery, feedback), and behaviors (e.g., frequent check-ins, review of material). Furthermore, coaches are encouraged to critically reflect on their preconceived biases, assumptions, and experiences with disability and how these play a role in influencing their coaching practices.Considering the prevalence of people with learning disabilities or neurodevelopmental disorders, it is essential for coaches to have access to disability-specific information while remaining cognizant of the needs of the individual when providing an inclusive environment for all.

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Ibai Garcia-Tabar, Aitor Iturricastillo, Julen Castellano, Eduardo L. Cadore, Mikel Izquierdo, and Igor Setuain

Purpose: To develop gender-specific operational equations for prediction of cardiorespiratory fitness in female footballers. Method: Forty-eight semiprofessional female footballers performed an intermittent progressive maximal running test for determination of fixed blood lactate concentration (FBLC) thresholds. Relationships between FBLC thresholds and the physiological responses to submaximal running were examined. Developed equations (n = 48) were compared with equations previously obtained in another investigation performed in males (n = 100). Results: Submaximal velocity associated with 90% maximal heart rate was related to FBLC thresholds (r = .76 to .79; P < .001). Predictive power (R 2 = .82 to .94) of a single blood lactate concentration (BLC) sample measured at 10 or 11.5 km·h−1 was very high. A single BLC sample taken after a 5-minute running bout at 8.5 km·h−1 was related to FBLC thresholds (r = −.71; P < .001). No difference (P = .15) in the regression lines predicting FBLC thresholds from velocity associated with 90% maximal heart rate was observed between the female and male cohorts. However, regressions estimating FBLC thresholds by a single BLC sample were different (P = .002). Conclusions: Velocity associated with 90% maximal heart rate was robustly related to FBLC thresholds and might serve for mass field testing independently of sex. BLC equations accurately predicted FBLC thresholds. However, these equations are gender-specific. This is the first study reporting operational equations to estimate the FBLC thresholds in female footballers. The use of these equations reduces the burden associated with cardiorespiratory testing. Further cross-validation studies are warranted to validate the proposed equations and establish them for mass field testing.

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Shona L. Halson, Renee N. Appaneal, Marijke Welvaert, Nirav Maniar, and Michael K. Drew

Purpose: Psychological stress is reported to be an important contributor to reduced sleep quality and quantity observed in elite athletes. The purpose of this study was to explore the association between psychological stress and sleep and to identify if specific aspects of sleep are disturbed. Methods: One hundred thirty-one elite athletes (mean [SD], male: n = 46, age 25.8 [4.1] y; female: n = 85, age 24.3 [3.9] y) from a range of sports completed a series of questionnaires in a 1-month period approximately 4 months before the 2016 Rio Olympic Games. Questionnaires included the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index; Recovery-Stress Questionnaire; Depression, Anxiety, and Stress Scale (DASS 21); and Perceived Stress Scale (PSS). Results: Regression analysis identified the PSS and DASS stress as the main variables associated with sleep. A PSS score of 6.5 or higher was associated with poor sleep. In addition, a PSS score lower than 6.5 combined with a DASS stress score higher than 4.5 was also associated with poor sleep. Univariate analyses on subcomponents of the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index confirmed that PSS is associated with lower sleep quality (t 99 = 2.40, P = .018), increased sleep disturbances (t 99 = 3.37, P = .001), and increased daytime dysfunction (t 99 = 2.93, P = .004). DASS stress was associated with increased sleep latency (t 94 = 2.73, P = .008), increased sleep disturbances (t 94 = 2.25, P = .027), and increased daytime dysfunction (t 94 = 3.58, P = .001). Conclusions: A higher stress state and higher perceived stress were associated with poorer sleep, in particular increased sleep disturbances and increased daytime dysfunction. Data suggest that relatively low levels of psychological stress are associated with poor sleep in elite athletes.

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ZáNean McClain, Erin Snapp, Daniel W. Tindall, and Jill Anderson