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Can You Tell Who Scores? An Assessment of the Recognition of Affective States Based on the Nonverbal Behavior of Amateur Tennis Players in Competitive Matches

Julian Fritsch, Kirstin Seiler, Matthias Wagner, Chris Englert, and Darko Jekauc

The purpose of the present study was to assess whether the recognition of tennis players’ affective state associated with their nonverbal behavior would be influenced by (a) the importance of the situation, (b) the point outcome, and (c) the tennis expertise of the observer. Two hundred sixty-nine participants (M age = 30.51 years; 116 female; 79 tennis club members) watched video excerpts showing the nonverbal behavior of amateur tennis players during competitive matches immediately after the end of a rally and were asked to estimate whether the player had just won or lost the point. Results indicate that the recognition rates were higher for situations closer to the end of a game, closer to the end of a set, and with a tighter score during a game. Moreover, recognition rates were higher for lost than for won points, while the tennis expertise of participants had no influence on the recognition rates.

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Digest

Kim Gammage, Jeff Caron, Alyson Crozier, Alison Ede, Christopher Hill, Matt Hoffman, Sascha Leisterer, Sean Locke, Desi McEwan, Kathleen Mellano, Eva Pila, and Matthew Stork

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Volume 45 (2023): Issue 2 (Apr 2023)

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A Methodological Checklist for Studies of Pleasure and Enjoyment Responses to High-Intensity Interval Training: Part I. Participants and Measures

Panteleimon Ekkekakis, Mark E. Hartman, and Matthew A. Ladwig

For decades, the exercise psychology research literature echoed the conclusion that exercise makes most people feel better, with no clear evidence that this “feel-better effect” is moderated by intensity. An overhaul of the methodological approach subsequently showed that high-intensity exercise is experienced as unpleasant, and the “feel-better effect,” although possible, is conditional and therefore not as robust or prevalent as initially thought. Recently, several studies investigating high-intensity interval training (HIIT) have concluded that HIIT is pleasant and enjoyable, despite the high intensity. Considering that HIIT is emerging as an option in physical activity recommendations and exercise prescription guidelines, in part due to these claims, a methodological checklist is presented to aid researchers, peer reviewers, editors, and other readers in critically appraising studies examining the effects of HIIT on affect and enjoyment. This first part addresses the characteristics and number of participants, as well as the selection of measures of affect and enjoyment.

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A Methodological Checklist for Studies of Pleasure and Enjoyment Responses to High-Intensity Interval Training: Part II. Intensity, Timing of Assessments, Data Modeling, and Interpretation

Panteleimon Ekkekakis, Mark E. Hartman, and Matthew A. Ladwig

Recent studies have concluded that high-intensity interval training should be seen as a “viable alternative” to, and may be more enjoyable than, moderate-intensity continuous exercise. If true, these claims have the potential to revolutionize the science and practice of exercise, establishing high-intensity interval training as not only a physiologically effective exercise modality but also a potentially sustainable one. However, these claims stand in contrast to voluminous evidence according to which high levels of exercise intensity are typically experienced as less pleasant than moderate levels. To help researchers, peer reviewers, editors, and critical readers appreciate possible reasons for the apparently conflicting results, we present a checklist that identifies crucial methodological elements in studies investigating the effects of high-intensity interval training on affect and enjoyment. This second installment covers how “high-intensity” and “moderate-intensity” experimental conditions are defined, the timing of assessments of affect, the modeling of affective responses, and data interpretation.

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Affective Responses to Increasing- and Decreasing-Intensity Resistance Training Protocols

Jasmin C. Hutchinson, Leighton Jones, Panteleimon Ekkekakis, Boris Cheval, Ralf Brand, Gabrielle M. Salvatore, Samantha Adler, and Yan Luo

This study compared the effects of an increasing-intensity (UP) and a decreasing-intensity (DOWN) resistance training protocol on affective responses across six training sessions. Novice participants (M age 43.5 ± 13.7 years) were randomly assigned to UP (n = 18) or DOWN (n = 17) resistance training groups. Linear mixed-effects models showed that the evolution of affective valence within each training session was significantly moderated by the group (b = −0.45, p ≤ .001), with participants in the UP group reporting a decline in pleasure during each session (b = −0.82) and the DOWN group reporting an improvement (b = 0.97; ps < .001). Remembered pleasure was significantly higher in the DOWN group compared to the UP group (b = 0.57, p = .004). These findings indicate that a pattern of decreasing intensity throughout a resistance exercise session can elicit more positive affective responses and retrospective affective evaluations of resistance training.

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Evaluating the Feasibility, Acceptability, and Engagement of an mHealth Physical Activity Intervention for Adults With Spinal Cord Injury Who Walk: A Randomized Controlled Trial

Sarah V.C. Lawrason and Kathleen A. Martin Ginis

The purpose of this study was to test a partnered, self-determination theory–informed mobile health intervention called SCI Step Together, using an 8-week randomized controlled trial design. The aim of SCI Step Together is to increase the quantity and quality of physical activity (PA) among adults with spinal cord injury (SCI) who walk. The SCI Step Together program provides PA modules and PA self-monitoring tools and facilitates peer and health coach support. Process, resource, management, and scientific feasibility were assessed, and participants completed questionnaires at baseline, mid-, and postintervention to assess determinants and outcomes of PA. Interviews were conducted to evaluate acceptability. Results suggest that the program demonstrated good feasibility, acceptability, and engagement. The intervention group (n = 11) had greater fulfillment of basic psychological needs and knowledge (p = .05) than the control group (n = 9). There were no significant interaction effects for other outcomes. The SCI Step Together program is feasible and acceptable and efficacious for improving some psychosocial variables. Results may inform SCI mobile health programs.

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Digest

Kim Gammage, Jeff Caron, Alyson Crozier, Alison Ede, Matt Hoffman, Christopher Hill, Sascha Leisterer, Sean Locke, Desi McEwan, Kathleen Mellano, Eva Pila, and Matthew Stork

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Volume 45 (2023): Issue 1 (Feb 2023)

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Evaluating the “Optimal Competition Parenting Workshop” Using the RE-AIM Framework: A 4-Year Organizational-Level Intervention in British Junior Tennis

Sam N. Thrower, Christopher M. Spray, and Chris G. Harwood

The purpose of the current study was to utilize the RE-AIM (i.e., reach, effectiveness, adoption, implementation, and maintenance) framework to evaluate the national-level scale-out of the Lawn Tennis Association’s “Optimal Competition Parenting Workshop” (OCPW) across a 4-year period. During 2018, 65 workshops were run across the United Kingdom, 1,043 parents registered, and 933 parents attended. Adopting a quasi-experimental design, multilevel analyses revealed significant increases in parents’ (n = 130) task goal orientation and competition tennis parenting efficacy, as well as significant decreases in ego goal orientation and unpleasant emotions. Children’s perceptions of both mother- and father-initiated ego-involving motivational climate and their own ego goal orientation significantly decreased across time. From 2019 to 2021, a further 64 workshops were delivered to 1,110 parents with no significant differences in parents’ satisfaction, enjoyment, instructor evaluation, or transfer intention over time when compared against workshop evaluations in 2018. Overall, the OCPW represents a well-received, practical, and effective brief intervention for enhancing parental involvement in junior tennis.