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Darda Sales and Laura Misener

This study examined para swimmers’ athlete development experiences from the perspectives and reflections of athletes, and parents of athletes, with a focus on the constraints and challenges experienced. Guided by interpretive phenomenological analysis, 12 participants engaged in the interview process (seven parents and five athletes). Five themes were identified: fundamental skill development, personal connection, coaching, classification, and connecting with others “like me.” Through a discussion of the differences in development experiences between the participants in this study and the current literature on athlete development, the authors highlight areas of concern in applying a non-para-specific athlete development model to para swimmers. This study identifies several areas of consideration in the future design of a para athlete development framework or model.

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Scott McLean, Hugo A. Kerhervé, Nicholas Stevens, and Paul M. Salmon

Purpose: The broad aim of sport-science research is to enhance the performance of coaches and athletes. Despite decades of such research, it is well documented that sport-science research lacks empirical evidence, and critics have questioned its scientific methods. Moreover, many have pointed to a research–practice gap, whereby the work undertaken by researchers is not readily applied by practitioners. The aim of this study was to use a systems thinking analysis method, causal loop diagrams, to understand the systemic issues that interact to influence the quality of sport-science research. Methods: A group model-building process was utilized to develop the causal loop diagram based on data obtained from relevant peer-reviewed literature and subject-matter experts. Results: The findings demonstrate the panoply of systemic influences associated with sport-science research, including the existence of silos, a focus on quantitative research, archaic practices, and an academic system that is incongruous with what it actually purports to achieve. Conclusions: The emergent outcome of the interacting components is the creation of an underperforming sport-science research system, as indicated by a lack of ecological validity, translation to practice, and, ultimately, a research–practice gap.

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Janet A. Lawson, Jennifer Turnnidge, and Amy E. Latimer-Cheung

Nonformal learning opportunities, such as accessing text-based online resources, are an important means of developing parasport coaches’ knowledge of how to coach. However, the focus of such resources, as well as their quality and quantity, are unknown. Using an adapted version of Lefebvre, Evans, Turnnidge, Gainforth, and Côté’s taxonomy of coach development programs, the authors explored and cataloged text-based online resources for parasport coaches identified through a broad Internet search. In addition, the technical quality of these resources was evaluated. After cataloguing and evaluating 136 resources, professional knowledge domains, specifically pedagogy and planning, were identified as the most commonly targeted domains of focus. The least frequently cited professional domains of focus were maltreatment, movement fundamentals, and preventative health and health promotion. Limited resources addressed interpersonal and intrapersonal domains of focus. Resource quality varied greatly, but the overall quality was low indicating that increasing the technical quality of online resources should be prioritized in the future.

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Ruben Vist Hagen, Håvard Lorås, Hermundur Sigmundsson, and Monika Haga

Purpose: Physical education (PE) teachers’ assessments are often based on continuous observations of pupils. As certain psychological factors may mediate pupils’ learning behaviors relevant to the PE context, they may also influence academic achievement in PE. Thus, this study’s aim was to explore the association between pupil-related psychological factors and academic achievement in PE. Methods: Eighty-nine boys and 111 girls (12–16 years old) in lower secondary school participated in this study, responding to a questionnaire containing previously validated scales measuring pupils’ grit, mindset, self-perceptions, and situational motivation. The pupils’ final grade in PE was collected at the end of the school year. Results: A multiple regression model significantly explained 33% of the variance in grade. The self-perception domains—scholastic competence, athletic competence, and physical appearance—acted as unique predictors, explaining a small portion of the variance in academic achievement. Discussion/conclusion: These results support the importance of positive self-perceptions in relation to academic achievement in PE.

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Jorge Zamarripa, René Rodríguez-Medellín, and Fernándo Otero-Saborido

Purpose: To test a structural equations model that analyzes the effects from satisfaction and frustration of the basic psychological needs on motivation types and the same effects on engagement and disaffection in physical education class, and to validate invariance among gender groups. Method: The participants were 1,470 fifth- and sixth-grade students from elementary schools in the metropolitan area of Monterrey, Nuevo León, Mexico. Results: The model showed satisfactory data fit. The results underscore the importance of fulfilling basic psychological needs to generate both autonomous motivation and engagement, as well as to prevent amotivation and disaffection in the students, regardless of sex. Discussion/Conclusion: The findings were discussed and are deemed consistent with other studies, sustaining the idea of basic psychological needs universality as set forth by the self-determination theory.

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Kelly L. Simonton, Alex C. Garn, and Nicholas Washburn

Purpose: This study evaluated relationships among students’ views of the caring climate, emotions, and engagement in high school physical education (PE) classes utilizing Control-Value Theory of Achievement Emotions. Method: Structural education modeling tested the direct and mediating roles of the caring climate and emotions on engagement in high school PE students (N = 638). Results: The caring climate predicted enjoyment (β = 0.45), boredom (β = −0.44), and shame (β = −0.31), while enjoyment (β = 0.71) and shame (β = 0.12) predicted student engagement, supporting Control-Value Theory of Achievement Emotions assumptions. However, caring climate also predicted student engagement directly, aligning with study hypotheses. Discussion/Conclusion: The findings suggest that a caring climate relates to student emotions and engagement in PE and supports the value of emotions in PE. This highlights the need for training high school PE teachers to facilitate a caring climate in the interest of maximizing optimal student emotions and engagement.

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Kellie Baker

Purpose: Models-Based Practice (MBP) has been suggested as one possible physical education future. However, there are few examples that consider the challenges faced implementing MBP. The purpose of this research is to develop and articulate principles of practice for implementing MBP in physical education teacher education. Method: Self-Study of Teacher Education Practice methodology guided collection of teacher educator and preservice teacher (n = 9) data. Results: Principles of practice are identified: (a) providing opportunities for beginning teachers to analyze their learning about and through MBP provides unique insights into using MBP, (b) experiencing and examining alternatives to MBP provides preservice teachers with opportunities to practice pedagogical decision making, and (c) individual and group meetings support teacher educators and preservice teachers in crystallizing understandings of MBP implementation. Conclusion: The articulation of principles of practice offers insights into how teacher educator practice might be examined, developed, and shared for use by others.

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John Williams and Shane Pill

Purpose: Self-study is used to report Author 1’s attempts at introducing Asian games in teaching a new unit as part of physical education teacher education at an Australian university. Method: Author 1’s diary and reflective journal extracts as well as contemporary and historical documents were our data sources. Critical incidents were identified from Author 1’s accounts and analyzed using the extant literature and figurational sociology. The authors’ documents were analyzed using content analysis. Results: Limited information uncovered about these games in initial unit planning, subsequent searches for this paper and possible misrepresentation of one game, all served to reinforce normative knowledge. Such reinforcement simultaneously obstructs the decolonization of physical education curricula. Conclusion: Eurocentric knowledge appears to prevail as the knowledge that most matters in the physical education context we studied. Over the course of several deliveries of the unit described here, Author 1 experienced a shift in his pedagogy from “telling” students they should do critical pedagogy, to explaining how he does it in his own teaching.

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Julie-Anne Staehli, Luc J. Martin, and Jean Côté

Based on a condition-setting approach derived from organizational psychology, the authors investigated the conditions that university sport coaches considered and implemented prior to a competitive season. Using a collective case study approach, semistructured interviews were conducted at two time points, with five head coaches across different sports. Student-athletes from each team (n = 5) and the high performance director from the institution were also interviewed. The data were analyzed thematically to highlight the relevant conditions for coaches and their individual athletes and were then generalized across teams within the institution. The authors’ results support the utility of the condition-setting approach outlined by Hackman for sport. Specifically, coaches emphasized the need to (a) create a team vision with clear objectives, (b) opt for athletes of best fit, (c) assign team roles and expectations, (d) confirm and allocate necessary resources, and (e) have competent and prepared team coaching. Despite the generalizability of these themes, the authors’ results highlight the need to consider the context, as both the university environment generally and each specific program were bound by unique constraints (e.g., funding). Herein, the authors discuss their findings in relation to the broader literature, propose future directions, and provide practical implications for sport coaches and institutions.

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Mark Kenneally, Arturo Casado, Josu Gomez-Ezeiza, and Jordan Santos-Concejero

Purpose: Optimal training for endurance performance remains a debated topic. In this case study, the training of a world-class middle-/long-distance runner over a year’s duration is presented. Methods: The training is analyzed via 2 methods to define training intensity distribution (TID) (1) by physiological zones and (2) by zones based on race pace. TID was analyzed over the full season, but also over the final 6, 12, and 26 weeks to allow for consideration of periodization/phases of season. The results of both methods are compared. Other training data measured include volume and number of sessions. Results: The average weekly volume for the athlete was 145.8 (24.8) km·wk−1. TID by physiological analysis was polarized for the last 6 weeks of the season but was pyramidal when analyzed over the final 12, 26, and 52 weeks of the season. TID by race-pace analysis was pyramidal across all time points. The athlete finished 12th in the final of the World Championship 5000-m and made the semifinal of the 1500-m. He was ranked in the top 16 in the world for 1500, 5000, and 10,000 m. Conclusion: The results of this study demonstrate a potential flaw with recent work suggesting polarized training as the most effective means to improve endurance performance. Here, different analysis methods produced 2 different types of TID. A polarized distribution was only seen when analyzed by physiological approach, and only during the last 6 weeks of a 52-week season. Longer-term prospective studies relating performance and physiological changes are suggested.