Wendy O’Brien, Tracy Taylor, Clare Hanlon, and Kristine Toohey
Professional team male-dominated sports have been built on masculine values; however, these values are challenged by the increasing number of women athletes entering this workplace. In this research, we explore the suitability and gender appropriateness of existing management processes and practices through three women’s professional and semiprofessional leagues. Drawing on a feminist perspective of continuum of care, players (n = 36) and organizational representatives (n = 28) were interviewed to gain insights into how athletes and organizations contend with their rapidly evolving workplaces. Framed around the values of affirmation, empowerment, and belonging, the continuum of care contrasts players’ everyday experiences of care with how organizations administer care. The research contributes through application of the feminist continuum of care. We present considerations for the management of female professional athletes in ways that are careful and an alternative value system that is affirmative, inclusive, and empowering.
Gregg Twietmeyer and Tyler G. Johnson
Meritocracy continues to dominate conventional thinking in the postmodern West. Yet, recently, an increasing number of critics have highlighted how meritocracy has gone wrong. One such critic is Daniel Markovits, author of The Meritocracy Trap. In this article, we highlight the major themes of Markovits’s book, identify how the ideology of meritocracy has infiltrated kinesiology and sport, and then propose how to reconceptualize and redirect kinesiology toward a more humane and morally sound discipline, which can avoid the pitfalls of the meritocracy trap. Most notably, we propose that kinesiology should (a) recognize the frailty and temporality of humans, (b) embrace the wide middle of human skill performance capabilities, (c) value mid-level jobs and occupations such as physical education teaching and YMCA and/or city recreation department positions, and (d) redefine what counts as success.
Zsófia Pálya, Bálint Petró, and Rita M. Kiss
Background: Balancing performance can be affected by regular and high-level athletic training, which has not been fully explored in synchronized ice skaters. This study aimed to analyze the dynamic balancing performance by assessing the principal and compensatory movements performed during the sudden provocation tests and evaluating the parameters that characterize the platform’s motion. Method: Twelve young female synchronized ice skaters and 12 female age-matched controls participated. Sudden provocation tests were completed three times in bipedal stance and in single-leg stances, and sport-specific fatigue session was inserted between the repetitions. Results: Significantly more time was necessary to recover balance for both groups after the fatiguing sessions (p < .05). Interestingly, skaters performed less effectively in the simplest condition (bipedal stance) than the control group (p < .05). The principal component analysis showed that the first principal movement was the same for both groups. The skater group used the upper body and arms more often to compensate, while the control group’s recovery strategy consisted mainly of abduction of the elevated leg. The damping ratio and the relative variance of the first principal movement showed a negative correlation (p < .05), suggesting that those with superior balancing effectiveness recruited more compensatory movements.
Katherine Q. Scott-Andrews, Rebecca E. Hasson, Alison L. Miller, Thomas J. Templin, and Leah E. Robinson
This study examines the associations of physical activity and gross motor skills in parent–child dyads. Parent–child dyads (N = 61, 84% mothers, children aged 8–11 years) participated in this study. Anthropometrics were self-reported through Qualtrics. Physical activity was assessed using accelerometers. Motor skills were measured through four skills: catch, kick, throw, and jump. These skills were assessed using process (i.e., performance criteria of the Test of Gross Motor Development-3) and product (i.e., catch percentage and jump distance) measures. A complete motor skill score was computed by standardizing both process and product scores and summing them. Correlation coefficients and ordinary least square regressions were computed to examine the associations of physical activity and motor skills. Parents’ and children’s moderate to vigorous physical activity were significantly associated (β = 0.30 ± 0.11; p = .008). Parents’ and children’s motor skills were significantly associated (β = 0.46 ± 0.18; p = .012). Understanding parent determinants can support effective interventions targeting children’s low physical activity levels and improving motor competence. Our results highlight the importance of parents’ physical activity and motor skills, which are significantly associated with those of their children. These parent factors may be a key consideration for effective family-based physical activity interventions.
Laetitia Jeancolas, Lauriane Rat-Fischer, J. Kevin O’Regan, and Jacqueline Fagard
Infants start to use a spoon for self-feeding at the end of the first year of life, but usually do not use unfamiliar tools to solve problems before the age of 2 years. We investigated to what extent 18-month-old infants who are familiar with using a spoon for self-feeding are able to generalize this tool-use ability to retrieve a distant object. We tested 46 infants with different retrieval tasks, varying the tool (rake or spoon) and the target (toy or food). The tasks were presented in a priori descending order of difficulty: rake–toy condition, then either spoon–toy or rake–food, and finally spoon–food. Then, the same conditions were presented in reverse order to assess the transfer abilities from the easiest condition to the most difficult retrieval task. Spontaneously, 18-month-old infants performed the retrieval tasks better with the familiar tool, the easiest task being when the spoon was associated with food. Moreover, the transfer results show that being able to use a familiar tool in an unusual context seems necessary and sufficient for subsequent transfer to an unfamiliar tool in the unusual context, and that early and repetitive training of self-feeding with a spoon plays a positive role in later tool use.
Maarten A. Immink
Kim Tolentino, Tucker Readdy, and Johannes Raabe
Workaholism (i.e., working excessively and compulsively) is associated with negative physical, psychological, and social consequences. Researchers have previously examined antecedents of workaholism, but the experiences of sport coaches have not yet been investigated. This study explored (a) differences in National Collegiate Athletic Association Division I coaches’ workaholism, as well as need satisfaction and frustration based on gender, coaching role, gender of athletes coached, age, and years of coaching experience; and (b) how coaches’ perceptions of their three basic psychological needs are associated with tendencies to work excessively and compulsively. A total of 873 National Collegiate Athletic Association Division I coaches participated in the research. Data analyses revealed significant differences in participants’ workaholism as well as need satisfaction and frustration. Structural equation modeling indicated a significant relationship between reported levels of workaholism and perceptions of the three needs. Findings illustrate the importance of basic psychological needs in preventing coaches’ workaholism and maintain optimal functioning.
Yvette L. Figueroa and Emily A. Roper
Women’s involvement in sport has been replete with challenges at all levels. In a similar vein, women in strength and conditioning (S&C) encounter workplace challenges at all levels. Given the lack of representation of women in S&C, it is important to delve into the potential contributing factors. The aim of this study was to gain a deeper understanding of women’s experiences in S&C. A total of 19 female S&C coaches at the collegiate level participated in our study. Participants were interviewed individually by both investigators via Zoom video calls using a semistructured interview guide. An overwhelming interest in participation among female S&C coaches allowed for interviews to be performed past the stage of saturation. Career experience among participants ranged from 4 to 26 years (M = 12.87 years). Results uncovered five central themes: (a) entrance into the S&C field and navigating a male-dominated culture, (b) appearance and presentation, (c) pressure to hire women, (d) support community and mentorship, and (e) family. Despite the perceived barriers described by these women, all participants stressed the love and passion each has for their career. The implications of this study are vital for administrators and athletic directors to advocate for greater representation of women in S&C and associated leadership positions.
Somayeh Bahrami, Behrouz Abdoli, Alireza Farsi, Mahin Aghdaei, and Thomas Simpson
Research has shown that large visual illusions and an external focus of attention can improve novice’s motor learning. However, the combined effects of these approaches and the underlying mechanisms have yet to be studied. Therefore, the present study examined the effects of a large visual illusion and an external focus on the learning of a dart throwing task in novices and measured the perceptual mechanisms underpinning learning using quiet eye. Forty novice participants were randomly divided into four groups: large visual illusion, external focus of attention, combined large visual illusion and external focus of attention, and control group. The study consisted of a pretest, a practice phase, an immediate retention test, a 24-hr retention test, and a transfer test. Results revealed that all groups increased throwing accuracy and quiet eye duration from pretest to immediate retention. In the immediate retention, 24-hr retention, and transfer test, large visual illusion had greater accuracy and longer quiet eye duration than the control group. In addition, there were no significant differences between the visual illusion and external focus groups for throwing accuracy and quiet eye duration. The findings suggest that combining large visual illusion and external focus can independently improve motor learning but combining these manipulations does not have additive benefits.