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Jason R. Themanson, Alivia Hay, Lucas Sieving, and Brad E. Sheese

This study investigated the relationships among neural activity related to pitch stimuli and task feedback, self-regulatory control, and task-performance measures in expert and novice baseball players. The participants had their event-related brain potentials recorded while they completed a computerized task assessing whether thrown pitches were balls or strikes and received feedback on the accuracy of their responses following each pitch. The results indicated that college players exhibited significantly larger medial frontal negativities to pitch stimuli, as well as smaller reward positivities and larger frontocentral positivities in response to negative feedback, compared with novices. Furthermore, significant relationships were present between college players’ neural activity related to both pitches and feedback and their task performance and self-regulatory behavior. These relationships were not present for novices. These findings suggest that players efficiently associate the information received in their feedback to their self-regulatory processing of the task and, ultimately, their task performance.

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Lisa Musculus, Jurek Bäder, Lukas Sander, and Tobias Vogt

Decision making is an important prerequisite of soccer expertise. Beyond expertise, considering the effects of environmental constraints on decision-making processes could help specify existing theories. To address this gap, expert and nonexpert soccer players were enrolled to test how environmental constraints affect decision-making processes. Environmental constraints were experimentally manipulated: Opponent pressure was implemented by presenting a close opponent player in soccer scenes, time constraint was implemented by providing short time intervals for making the decision, and first-person perspective was implemented by using 360° videos. The experts outperformed the nonexperts, and the results showed significant main effects of time constraint and opponent pressure, but not perspective. The players’ option and decision quality improved under the time constraint but were negatively affected by opponent pressure. The negative effects of opponent pressure were especially true under limited time and in third-person perspective. The results, alternative manipulations, and implications of environmental effects are discussed for decision-making research.

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Nicole T. Gabana, Jeffrey B. Ruser, Mariya A. Yukhymenko-Lescroart, and Jenelle N. Gilbert

A holistic, multicultural approach to student-athlete mental health, well-being, and performance promotes the consideration of spiritual and religious identities in counseling and consultation. Preliminary research supports the interconnectedness of spirituality, religiosity, and gratitude in athletes; thus, this study sought to replicate Gabana, D’Addario, Luzzeri, and Soendergaard's study (2020) and extend the literature by examining a larger, independently sampled, more diverse data set and multiple types of gratitude. National Collegiate Athletic Association Division I–III student-athletes (N = 596) were surveyed to better understand how religious and spiritual identity related to trait, general-state, and sport-state gratitude. Results supported past research; athletes who self-identified as being both spiritual and religious reported greater dispositional (trait) gratitude than those who self-identified as spiritual/nonreligious or nonspiritual/nonreligious. Between group differences were not found when comparing general-state and sport-state gratitude. Findings strengthen and extend the understanding of spirituality, religion, and gratitude in sport. Limitations, practical implications, and future directions are discussed.

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Matthew A. Ladwig, Christopher N. Sciamanna, Brandon J. Auer, Tamara K. Oser, Jonathan G. Stine, and Jennifer P. Agans

Background: Few Americans accumulate enough physical activity (PA) to realize its benefits. Understanding how and why individuals use their discretionary time for different forms of PA could help identify and rectify issues that drive individuals away from certain physical activities, and leverage successful strategies to increase participation in others. Methods: The authors analyzed approximately 30 years of changes in PA behavior by intensity, type, and mode, using data from the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System. Results: Since 1988, the proportions of adults most frequently engaging in exercise, sport, or lifestyle physical activity have changed noticeably. The most apparent changes from 1988 to 2017 were the proportions most frequently engaging in Exercise and Sport. In addition, the proportion of time reportedly spent in vigorous-intensity PA decreased over time, particularly among male respondents. Moreover, the proportion of Americans reporting an “Other” PA mode increased substantially, suggesting a growing need for a greater variety of easily accessible options for adult PA. Conclusions: Over time, a smaller proportion of American adults reported participating in sport and exercise modalities and reported engaging more frequently in low-intensity physical activities.

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James E. Kaishian and Regina M. Kaishian

The physical impacts of overtraining, sport specification, and burnout are well documented in the literature; however, the state of the student-athlete’s (SA’s) mental health is something that needs to be investigated more comprehensively. Literature on SA mental health has gained prevalence within the last 5 years. The combination of pressure from sport and academics, as well as the stigmatization of clinical mental health treatment, can have a significant effect on the SA’s psyche. This review explores the prevalence of mental health conditions (MHCs) in high school and collegiate SAs. This includes signs and symptoms of mental health diagnoses to include substance- and alcohol-related addictive disorders and risk factors of such. A systematic review of the CINAHL, ERIC, SPORTDiscus, APA PsycINFO, and Rehabilitation & Sports Medicine resource databases was conducted. The initial search yielded 855 results. Following double screening, 22 studies were included, all of which were deemed medium to high quality. The findings indicate an alarming presence of MHCs ranging from risk factors of alcohol use and major depressive disorders among SAs. There was a high prevalence of mental health issues among SAs who are Black, Indigenous, people of color (BIPOC), and Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer (LGBTQ). In most cases, participation in competitive athletics (varsity) did not contribute to additional MHCs for SAs. Sport psychologists should play a role in mental health programming within athletic departments. Athletic departments should develop proactive, targeted strategies to address MHCs for SAs.

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Lee Smith, Shahina Pardhan, Trish Gorely, Yvonne Barnett, Louis Jacob, Guillermo F. López-Sánchez, Mark A. Tully, Nicola Veronese, Jae Il Shin, and Ai Koyanagi

The authors investigated the association between vision impairment and physical activity among older adults from low- and middle-income countries. Visual acuity was measured using the tumbling ElogMAR chart, and vision impairment was defined as visual acuity worse than 6/18 (0.48 logMAR) in the better seeing eye. Physical activity was assessed by the Global Physical Activity Questionnaire. Multivariable logistic regression and meta-analysis were conducted to assess associations. The sample included 34,129 individuals aged 50–114 years (mean [SD] age 62.4 [16.0] years; 47.9% male). After adjustment for confounders, near vision impairment was not significantly associated with low physical activity, but far vision impairment showed a significant association (odds ratio = 1.32; 95% confidence interval [1.17, 1.49], I 2 = 0.0%). Far vision impairment was dose-dependently associated with low physical activity (e.g., severe [<6/10] vs. no [≥6/12] far vision impairment; odds ratio = 1.80; 95% confidence interval [1.03, 3.15]). Interventions to address low levels of physical activity in the visually impaired in low- and middle-income countries should target those with far vision impairment.

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Anna Tirkkonen, Jenni Kulmala, Tuomo Hänninen, Timo Törmäkangas, Anna Stigsdotter Neely, and Sarianna Sipilä

Walking is a complex task requiring the interplay of neuromuscular, sensory, and cognitive functions. Owing to the age-related decline in cognitive and physical functions, walking may be compromised in older adults, for cognitive functions, especially poor performance in executive functions, is associated with slow walking speed. Hence, the aim of this study was to investigate the associations between different subdomains of executive functions and physical functions and whether the associations found differ between men and women. Multiple linear regression analysis was performed on data collected from 314 community-dwelling older adults who did not meet physical activity guidelines but had intact cognition. Our results showed that, while executive functions were associated with gait and lower extremity functioning, the associations depended partly on the executive process measured and the nature of the physical task. Moreover, the associations did not differ between the sexes.