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Logan T. Markwell, Andrew J. Strick, and Jared M. Porter

Sports, along with nearly all facets of life, have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The National Basketball Association quickly adopted a unique method to finish the 2019–2020 regular season and playoffs. The entire league quarantined for months in what was known as the “NBA bubble” where games were played in spectator-less arenas. During this time, increases in shooting accuracy were reported, suggesting that free throws and field goals were made at record-breaking levels. This study examined differences in free throw shooting accuracy with and without spectators. Archival data were retrieved and analyzed to evaluate the potential differences. Free throw shooting accuracy with and without spectators were examined in multiple analyses. Our examination revealed free throw percentages were significantly greater in spectator-less arenas compared with the 2018 and 2019 seasons with spectators. Changes of the environmental characteristics, due to spectator-less arenas, were likely contributors to the improved free throw phenomenon reported in this study.

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Alexandra Stribing, Adam Pennell, Emily N. Gilbert, Lauren J. Lieberman, and Ali Brian

Individuals with visual impairments (VI) trend toward lower motor competence when compared with peers without VI. Various forms of perception often affects motor competence. Thus, it is important to explore factors that influence forms of perception and their differential effects on motor competence for those with VI. Therefore, the purposes of this study were to explore and describe the differential effects of age, gender, and degree of vision on self-perceptions, parents’ perceptions, metaperceptions, and locomotor skills, and to examine potential associations among all variables with actual locomotor competence for adolescents with VI. Adolescents with VI completed two questionnaires and the Test of Gross Motor Development-Third Edition. Parents completed a parent perception questionnaire. Mann–Whitney U and Kruskal–Wallis H analyses showed no differential effects for gender or age on any dependent measures. Degree of vision affected locomotor skills, but not any other factor. Spearman rho correlations showed significant associations among locomotor and self-perceptions, degree of vision and locomotor, and metaperceptions with parents’ perceptions. Adolescents reported relatively high self-perceptions and metaperceptions; however, their actual locomotor competence and parents’ perceptions were relatively low. Findings may help situate future intervention strategies targeting parents supporting their children’s locomotor skills through self-perceptions.

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Paul Bernard Rukavina

The deleterious effects of weight bias in physical activity spaces for children, adolescents, and adults are well documented. Different types of weight bias occur, and they interact at multiple levels within a person’s ecology, from the messaging of often unattainable sociocultural thin/muscular ideals and physical inequities (e.g., equipment not appropriate for body shapes and sizes) to interpersonal and public discriminatory comments. However, the most damaging is the internalization and application of negative weight-bias stereotypes by those with overweight and obesity to themselves. An imperative for social justice is now; there is great need to advocate for, provide support for, and design inclusive physical activity spaces to reduce weight bias so that all individuals feel welcome, accept their bodies, and are empowered to live a healthy, active lifestyle. To make this a reality, an interdisciplinary and preventive approach is needed to understand bias and how to minimize it in our spaces.

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Panteleimon Ekkekakis and Nicholas B. Tiller

Dishman challenged kinesiologists to seek a compromise between “the ideal physiological prescription and a manageable behavioral prescription.” High-intensity interval training (HIIT) is the first exercise modality that has been claimed to meet this challenge, combining substantial benefits for fitness and health with pleasure and enjoyment. If true, these claims may revolutionize the science and practice of exercise. In this paper, four claims are critically appraised: (a) HIIT lowers the risk of mortality more than moderate-intensity continuous exercise, (b) HIIT doubles endurance performance after only 15 min of training over 2 weeks, (c) 1 min of HIIT is equivalent to 45 min of moderate-intensity continuous exercise, and (d) HIIT is more pleasant and enjoyable than moderate-intensity continuous exercise. The evidence for these claims appears questionable. Kinesiology should heed the principle endorsed by Hume, Laplace, and Sagan, namely that extraordinary claims should be supported by commensurate evidence.

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Rachel E. Bollaert, C. Danielle Jones, Petra Silic, and Robert W. Motl

This study examined levels of depression and anxiety symptoms (Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale scores), and self-reported (Godin Leisure-Time Exercise Questionnaire), and accelerometer-measured physical activity in older adults with multiple sclerosis (n = 40) compared with age- and sex-matched healthy controls (n = 40). We observed differences in depression, anxiety, and physical activity between groups and further observed that minutes/day of moderate to vigorous physical activity partially accounted for group differences in depression scores. We provide preliminary support for research examining approaches for increasing moderate to vigorous physical activity and possibly reducing depression symptoms in older adults with multiple sclerosis.

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Karen A. Smith, Robert J. Naughton, Carl Langan-Evans, and Kiara Lewis

This mixed methods study aimed to investigate weight cutting practices of female taekwon-do athletes internationally and explore their experiences of “making weight.” A survey of weight loss practices and eating behaviors was completed by 103 taekwon-do athletes from 12 countries, which illustrated that 72.5% of athletes engage in both acute and chronic weight loss practices prior to competition and that there were higher levels of disordered eating within this athletic population than nonweight cutting athletes. Semistructured interviews were conducted with five international-level competitors; thematic analysis of the interviews identified that the women in general felt weight cutting was “horrible—but worth it” and the women believed that (a) weight cutting is unpleasant, difficult, and challenging; and (b) weight cutting provides a competitive advantage. The implications of this study are that weight cutting is widespread among high-level competitive female taekwon-do athletes and this is unlikely to change given the perceived advantages. Efforts are needed to make sure that the women are knowledgeable of the risks and are provided with safe and effective means of making weight.

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Mina Milad, Christine Karungi, Abdus Sattar, Victor Musiime, Rashidah Nazzinda, Grace A. McComsey, and Sahera Dirajlal-Fargo

Background: The present study aims to understand the socioeconomic and physical activity impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on children living with perinatally acquired HIV (PHIV) and without HIV (HIV−) in Kampala (Uganda). Methods: The authors included children aged 10–18 years who filled out questionnaires at baseline (2017–2018, prepandemic) and 2 years later (March 2020–January 2021, pandemic) in an observational cohort study at Joint Clinical Research Centre (Kampala). Physical activity energy expenditure was calculated using a youth compendium from the National Collaborative on Childhood Obesity Research. Descriptive and standard test statistics including Kruskal–Wallis were used. Results: One hundred and ninety-eight children from Kampala Uganda were included prepandemic (101 PHIV and 97 HIV−); 131 (71 PHIV and 60 HIV−) had information collected during the pandemic. At baseline, median and interquartile range age was 13 years (11; 15), and 52% were females. During the pandemic, overall weekly physical activity increased by a median of 854 minutes (interquartile range: 270–1890), and energy expenditures increased by 16% in both PHIV and in HIV− (P < .001 for groups overall prepandemic vs pandemic). Conclusions: The authors found in this Ugandan cohort of children that children engaged in more physical activity. Further research is warranted to understand the long-term effects of the pandemic on children’s well-being.

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Satu Kaski, Monna Arvinen-Barrow, Ulla Kinnunen, and Jari Parkkari

The aim of the present study was to identify profiles of elite athlete mental well- and ill-being and study how the profiles (i.e., subgroups of athletes) differed in sport-related demands and resources. A total of 259 Finnish elite athletes (n = 170 active and n = 89 retired) completed quantitative self-report inventories. Through cluster analysis, four profiles of mental well- and ill-being were identified. Profile 1 was overrepresented by retired, older, and male athletes, and characterized by good mental well-being. Profile 2 consisted mainly of active athletes who reported mild risk for alcohol abuse. Profile 3 consisted mainly of women who displayed possible presence of an eating disorder. Profile 4 was typical of young athletes with mental ill-being. The balance between sport-related demands and resources appeared to be the healthiest in Profile 1 and worst in Profile 4. The present findings are beneficial for those who work with and/or provide psychological support to athletes.

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Courtney C. Walton, Kelsey J. Lewis, James Kirby, Rosemary Purcell, Simon M. Rice, and Margaret S. Osborne

This cross-sectional study explored athlete responses to the Compassion Motivation and Action Scales Self-Compassion Scale, examining its relationship with well-being. Athlete (N = 207; mean age 27.9 years) scores were consistent with previous population means. Scores on the Compassion Motivation and Action Scales Self-Compassion Scale did not differ between elite and nonelite athletes, nor did they correlate significantly with trait competitiveness. Significant differences emerged based on athlete well-being state, with athletes categorized as “flourishing” scoring higher on the total score and all subscales of the Compassion Motivation and Action Scales Self-Compassion Scale, as compared with those with “moderate mental health” (Cohen’s ds from 0.58 to 0.92). Furthermore, the distress tolerance subscale significantly mediated the relationship between self-compassion intentions and well-being (indirect path: B = 0.034, p < .001). The results suggest that self-compassionate intentions are not enough, and athletes may need support to tolerate the distress that comes with moving toward one’s own suffering.