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Volume 16 (2023): Issue 4 (Dec 2023)

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Female Physiology–Endocrinology: Education Is Lacking and Innovation Is Needed!

Anthony C. Hackney and Kirsty J. Elliott-Sale

Throughout their lifespans, women undergo unique endocrinological changes relative to their reproductive hormones. The influence of how the female sex steroid hormones have nonreproductive actions is a trending topic of great interest in the exercise–sports sciences, especially among women of reproductive age. Herein, we present several key points on our perspective for moving the study of this topic forward in the future. These are (a) encouraging researchers to pursue high-quality research on female physiology–endocrinology in the exercise–sports science setting, (b) the need for exercise–sports science educational curriculums at the university level to embrace the study of female physiology–endocrinology area, and (c) the need for innovation in the study of this topic. As such, we propose using research design models involving supraphysiological hormonal states in vivo, that is, pregnancy and in vitro fertilization treatment, to gain new insights on sex steroid hormonal actions in women. Herein, we provide the rationale for our recommendations as well as a brief physiological overview of these clinical states. We acknowledge, exercise sports sciences need more studies on women! But there is a need to “think outside the box” on this topic, and we encourage researchers to be unconventional, be bold, think creatively, and contemplate whether these supraphysiological hormonal states might give them insightful information on female physiology and ovarian sex steroid hormones actions.

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Girls, Women, and Female Athletes in Sport Psychology: A Decade-Long Review of the Literature

Alex Murata, Cailie S. McGuire, Madison Robertson, Mia KurtzFavero, Jennifer T. Coletti, Philip B. Simpson, Ella Pierone, Luc J. Martin, and Jean Côté

The underrepresentation of female research participants, women, and girls has been highlighted as an issue of concern within a variety of research areas and disciplines across academia. More specifically, this lack of visibility has contributed to widening knowledge gaps regarding these populations while also perpetuating and strengthening existing inequities. Given these concerns, the purpose of this review was to explore whether similar imbalances could exist within the sport psychology literature and, if so, what future research projects might be completed to rectify these issues. To do so, all articles (n = 3,005) published between the years of 2011 and 2021 in five journals of sport psychology were assessed. Following an analysis of the relevant studies collected, it was found that more articles including all boys, men, and male athletes (n = 343) were published within this time frame compared with articles including exclusively girls, women, and female athletes (n = 155). Additionally, it also appeared that research working with girls, women, and female athletes was lacking: (a) in recreational sport, (b) at both young and older ages, and (c) within team sport contexts. Further, most of the studies assessed often conflated participant sex- and gender-descriptive terminology. As such, it is highly encouraged that researchers in sport psychology make greater strides to conduct purposeful and targeted research focusing on girls, women, and female athlete participants and their specific issues over the coming years.

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Kinesiology’s Passport to Success: Transcending Parallel Trenches, Nurturing Active Open-Mindedness, and Learning From the Octopus

David K. Wiggins

This essay is based on the premise that kinesiology has evolved into a field made up of disparate subdisciplinary areas contributing to fragmentation and lack of common goals and objectives since the publication of Franklin M. Henry’s famous 1964 essay “Physical Education: An Academic Discipline.” As it now stands, there is much evidence of significant disparity between kinesiology’s creed and its practice, with the field failing to fulfill its promise of an integrationist approach to the study of human movement. In order to rectify this situation, steps should be taken to encourage individuals in the field to cross subdisciplinary boundaries, practice what psychologist Jonathan Baron has referred to as “active open-mindedness,” and take seriously the cues provided in the books by Rafe Sagarin, Learning from the Octopus: How Secrets from Nature Can Help Us Fight Terrorist Attacks, Natural Disasters, and Diseases, and Sy Montgomery, The Soul of an Octopus: A Surprising Exploration Into the Wonders of Consciousness. One specific recommendation is for academicians in kinesiology to prepare students to become polymaths, a term describing individuals with a thorough knowledge of one subject and broad understanding of many others.

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Mastering Motor Skills: The Contributions of Motor Learning and Motor Development to the Growth and Maturation of Kinesiology

David I. Anderson

This paper traces the evolution of scholarship in motor learning and development over the last ∼100 years, with a focus on contributions by Fellows from the National Academy of Kinesiology (NAK). It begins with a brief discussion of the centrality of motor skillfulness in kinesiology, followed by a discussion of the appropriate label for the study of motor learning and development. The bulk of the paper focuses on the important events and milestones in the field and an examination of the most influential frameworks and models that NAK Fellows have put forward to guide research. The final section looks at future prospects and challenges for the field. Two key findings emerge: (a) Considerable overlap exists in the theoretical frameworks, conceptual models, empirical questions, research methodologies, and practical applications that dominate scholarship in motor learning and development, and (b) NAK Fellows have made enormous contributions to the field.

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Anti-Racism in Sport Organizations

Krystina B. Sarff

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Authenticity Negotiation: How Elite Athletes (Re)Present Themselves as Personal Brands

Nataliya Bredikhina, Thilo Kunkel, and Ravi Kudesia

Projecting authenticity is crucial for athletes engaged in personal branding. Prior scholarship has emphasized the “frontstage” of authenticity: what tactics athletes use to present themselves and how audiences perceive such tactics. But it has not yet examined the “backstage”: why athletes pursue authenticity and the strategic considerations involved in such ongoing self-presentations. Using a constructivist grounded theory that draws on interviews with 30 elite athletes engaged in personal branding, we unpack these backstage processes, which are not straightforward but entail an ongoing cycle of authenticity negotiation. Our model of authenticity negotiation identifies conflicting authenticity demands and constraints imposed by various actors, which athletes attempt to resolve over time using a range of authenticity management tactics. By modeling the backstage processes in authenticity negotiation, our research integrates, contextualizes, and suggests extensions to the existing frontstage work on authenticity. It offers guidance to athletes and practitioners on managing athlete brands and stakeholder collaborations.

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Graduate Education From Physical Education to Kinesiology: Preparing the Next Generation

Diane L. Gill

In line with the 2023 conference theme, I first honor the past, then move to the present, and offer my views on embracing the future. In doing so, my theme is connection. That is, we need to hang together and connect with our professionals, our communities, and the public, as well as with each other. From our beginning in the late 1800s through much of our history, we were connected through physical education, but since the 1960s we have shifted away from physical education to disciplinary specializations and lost connections. Graduate programs, especially PhD programs, focus on preparing researchers in specialized areas. Although we no longer focus on physical education, we do have strong professional connections to the allied health areas. By strengthening our connections with our professionals and the public, we can make important contributions to the health and well-being of our communities and larger society and embrace the future.

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The Olympics That Never Happened: Denver ‘76 and the Politics of Growth

Craig M. Crow

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Sport Management: Lessons From Yesterday, Applications for Today, Thoughts on Tomorrow

Donna L. Pastore

Sport management programs continue to expand and be a popular major in institutions of higher education. The aim of this article is to share the contributions made by National Academy of Kinesiology fellows to the growth of sport management. A brief background of sport management is presented followed by an overview of each fellow’s unique contributions. More specifically, lessons learned from our first three fellows in sport management and contributions made by current members are highlighted. Next, a discussion of the current status and critical issues facing sport management is presented. The concluding section includes scholars’ thoughts and directions for future scholarship in sport management.