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Volume 32 (2024): Issue 4 (Aug 2024)

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Volume 12 (2024): Issue S1 (Aug 2024)

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Volume 21 (2024): Issue 8 (Aug 2024)

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Kim Gammage, Erica Bennett, Matthew Bird, Jordan Blazo, Alyson Crozier, Alison Ede, Matt Hoffman, Seungmin Lee, Sascha Leisterer, Sean Locke, Eva Pila, and Matthew Stork

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Introducing the Task as a Challenge Does Not Mitigate the Negative Effect of Gender Stereotype Threat on Motor Skill Learning in Adolescents

Sara Soltanifar, Rasool Abedanzadeh, Adele Ahmadinezhad, and Seyyed Mohammadreza Mousavi

Gender stereotype threat is a sociocultural variable that has received significant attention over the past two decades. We explored whether presenting a task as a practical and challenging activity would reduce the negative impact of implicit activation of gender stereotype threat on motor learning in adolescent girls. Forty-five adolescent girls (M age ± SD: 13.24 ± 1.06) participated in the study and were asked to throw a tennis ball toward a circular target using their nondominant hand. They were asked to perform five throws as an initial assessment and then were randomly assigned to three groups: IS/CH (i.e., implicit stereotype threat activation and framing the task as a challenge), IS/TH (i.e., implicit stereotype threat activation and framing the task as a threat), and the control (with no instructions). In the IS/CH and IS/TH groups, the participants performed the acquisition phase (five blocks of 10 trials) in the presence of a male evaluator. We used verbal instructions to frame the task as a practical and challenging activity (i.e., learning this task might be a big help in physical education classes in school because it improves throwing skills, and it will help improve control over the nondominant arm which is important in daily activities) and/or threat (i.e., show how good you are on this type of task, and based on your scores, we will be able to measure your natural ability at throwing tasks) before the acquisition phase. One day after the acquisition phase, participants were asked to participate in the retention (10 throws) and transfer tests (10 throws from a distance of 6.5 m). Our findings demonstrated that participants in the control group were able to achieve more effective learning compared with participants in the IS/TH and IS/CH groups. Possible reasons for these results were discussed.

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Relationship Between Motor Competence and Soccer-Specific Skills: A Longitudinal Study With Young Players

Álvaro Fortunato, Celina Gonçalves, and Vítor P. Lopes

The complexity of interactions in team sports requires players to have excellent technical skills. The purpose of this study was to longitudinally investigate the predictive value of motor competence (MC) on soccer-specific skills development. Participants were n = 79 boys, aged between 5.89 and 14.63 years at baseline followed for 3 consecutive years. MC was assessed with Körperkoordination Test für Kinder, and soccer-specific skills were assessed with soccer wall-volley, soccer dribble, juggling, and shuttle run with a ball. Hierarchical linear modeling was used to estimate developmental trajectories of proficiency in soccer-specific skills. The final model shows that soccer-specific skills proficiency significantly improved, and that MC was a significant predictor of this improvement. For every point increase in MC, the change in soccer-specific skills proficiency improved to 0.03 z scores each year. In conclusion, MC is a predictor of specific soccer skills.

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Saccades and Microsaccades Coupling During Free-Throw Shots in Basketball Players

Alessandro Piras, Francesco Del Santo, Andrea Meoni, and Milena Raffi

We investigated the role of saccades and microsaccades when different levels of basketball players were engaged in an ecological free-throw condition. All participants made more correct than incorrect shoots, with a movement time initiation shorter in amateurs than in near-expert groups. Near-experts had more stable gaze fixation than amateurs, with higher microsaccade rate and duration and lower peak velocity. Amateurs showed higher saccade rate, peak velocity, and amplitude than near-experts. The temporal sequence of near-experts’ microsaccade rate increased after the saccade peak; on the contrary, in amateurs, the saccade peak is shown after the decrement in microsaccade rates. The spatiotemporal characteristics of microsaccades and saccades may reflect an optimal sampling method by which the brain discretely acquires visual information and can differentiate between participants who use a fixation before the critical movement time and participants who move their eyes to catch more visual cues to make decisions.

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Physical Activity and Mental Health: A Little Less Conversation, a Lot More Action

Brendon Stubbs, Ruimin Ma, Felipe Schuch, James Mugisha, Simon Rosenbaum, Joseph Firth, and Davy Vancampfort

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Pickleball Participation and the Health and Well-Being of Adults—A Scoping Review

Kim Stroesser, Adam Mulcaster, and David M. Andrews

Background: Pickleball has grown tremendously in recent years, yet little evidence exists regarding pickleball-related injuries. This scoping review extends current work on pickleball participation by identifying positive and negative health effects associated with the sport. We summarize how pickleball impacts the health and well-being of adult participants. Methods: Searches were conducted on MEDLINE, CINAHL, ProQuest Nursing, ERIC, SPORTDiscus, PsycINFO, Scopus, CBCA Complete, Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials, Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, and ProQuest Dissertations and Theses. Selected studies considered aspects of health and/or well-being of adult pickleball participants. Using the population/concept/context framework, participants were healthy, able-bodied adults 18 years of age or over, who had played pickleball at least once. The positive and negative outcomes of pickleball on participants’ health and well-being (concept) within the context of pickleball participation were examined. Full-text articles written in English since 2013 were included. Extracted data were tabulated, and a descriptive summary with thematic analysis was completed. Results: This scoping review comprised 27 articles that met the inclusion criteria. Pickleball is promising as an exercise intervention for all adults, and there is evidence of positive social and psychological effects, and health and fitness benefits to participating in pickleball by older adults. Conclusions: Although we are still in the early stages of studying pickleball, there have been some documented health benefits of using the sport as a physical exercise intervention for adults. More research is needed on the types, prevalence, and severity of pickleball injuries and the sport’s impact on younger players.

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Understanding the Relationship Between Attachment Orientation and Physical Activity Participation: An Exploratory Study

Jessica Hill, Pamela Meredith, Grace Forrester, Julia Shirley, and Sjaan R. Gomersall

Background: Physical inactivity is recognized as a global health challenge. Attachment theory may provide insight into individual physical activity (PA) patterns, informing the development of PA interventions to promote the maintenance of behavior change. This study investigated the associations between attachment orientation and why and how individuals engage in PA. Given the association between attachment and sensory processing, this study also investigated the link between sensory processing and PA participation. Methods: Participants (N = 141) completed an online questionnaire that included the Modified Experiences of Close Relationships Scale and the Highly Sensitive Person Scale. The relationship between attachment orientation and sensory processing patterns, and preference for PA participation were analyzed using 2-sided independent t tests. Results: Attachment avoidance, attachment anxiety, and sensory sensitivity were significantly related to participants’ preference for PA participation in theoretically consistent ways. Avoidantly attached individuals were less likely to participate in PA as a form of social interaction (mean = 8.57, SD = 2.87, P = .005, d = 0.48). Anxiously attached individuals were more likely to participate in PA to support weight management (mean = 37.02, SD = 11.54, P = .01, d = −0.46) or if recommended by a health professional (mean = 43.55, SD = 12.45, P = .039, d = −0.88). Sensory sensitive individuals were more likely to participate in PA alone (mean = 124.11, SD = 19.23, P = .005, d = −0.510), and more likely to prefer light-intensity forms of PA (mean = 133.29, SD = 12.67, F 3,123 = 5.49, P = .001). Conclusions: Findings highlight the potential value of considering an individual’s attachment orientation and sensory processing patterns in the development of PA interventions. This may help to address the challenges of PA participation, by individually tailoring interventions to participants.