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Sara Hagenah, Julianne A. Wenner, Kimberly Tucker, Tyler Johnson, Hannah Calvert, and Lindsey Turner

Purpose: Physical education teachers often report feeling isolated due to being the only specialist in a building. Professional learning communities (PLCs) are spaces where individuals who hold shared goals come together to build connections, allowing educators to feel connected, valued, and empowered. The authors sought to explore the shared values created by a PLC and the process through which that value emerged. Method: The authors facilitated a PLC for eight physical education teachers within one midsized school district and collected interview and meeting audio data to explore the process and outcomes of the PLC. Results: Coding using a Value Creation Framework revealed themes of building common ground, support for big and small problems of practice, and an increased connection with other school faculty. Discussion: Teachers were able to build a supportive network where ideas could be traded, partner support was provided, and problems of practice were discussed.

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Yaohui He, Phillip Ward, Xiaozan Wang, and Guang Yang

Purpose: To examine the relationships among demographic variables, common content knowledge (CCK), and specialized content knowledge (SCK) of Chinese physical education teachers in teaching soccer. Methods: One hundred twenty-nine physical education teachers’ CCK was assessed using 27 multiple choice questions, and SCK was assessed using content maps using an SCK index score. The data were analyzed using descriptive statistics, and multiple regression analyses were conducted to determine the relationships to demographic variables as predictors of CCK and SCK. A Spearman test assessed the associations between variables. Results: For CCK, 88.4% of the teachers scored at or above 60% correct in the test. The teacher’s gender (β = 0.22, t = −2.53, p < .05) and the number of soccer workshops attended (β = 0.33, t = 2.96, p < .001) significantly predicted CCK. About 92.2% of the teachers had an SCK index score of <2.9. The number of soccer workshops attended (β = 0.31, t = 2.74, p < .05) and teaching rank significantly predicted the SCK score. There was no relationship found between CCK and SCK. Conclusions: For these participants, their preservice education and their professional development did not serve them well in teaching CCK and SCK.

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Collin A. Webster, Jongho Moon, Hayes Bennett, and Stephen Griffin

This study examined the implementation and effectiveness of a comprehensive school physical activity program (CSPAP)-informed, 15-week physical education secondary methods course, adapted from its previous in-person format to be completely online for fall 2020 during the COVID-19 pandemic. The participants were 15 preservice physical education teachers (PPETs) and three course instructors. Each PPET taught six virtual physical education lessons to middle and high school students learning at home. Multiple data sources including focus groups, individual interviews, and course artifacts were analyzed to address research questions centered on the fidelity of course delivery, adaptations made to the course during implementation, and the PPETs’ approach to lesson planning and teaching. The findings showed a high level of implementation fidelity, and few adaptations were made to the course. Three themes were identified with respect to the PPETs’ pedagogical approach: personalization, inquiry-based instruction, and resilience. This study provides a case example of trying to prepare PPETs for professional roles in the COVID era.

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Paul Ritsche, Thomas Bernhard, Ralf Roth, Eric Lichtenstein, Martin Keller, Sabrina Zingg, Martino V. Franchi, and Oliver Faude

Purpose: Hamstring muscle architecture may be associated with sprint performance and the risk of sustaining a muscle injury, both of which increase during puberty. In this study, we investigated the m. biceps femoris long head (BFlh) cross-sectional area (ACSA), fascicle length (FL) and pennation angle (PA), and sprint performance as well as their relationship in under 13 to 15 youth soccer players. Methods: We measured 85 players in under-13 (n = 29, age = 12.5 [0.1] y, height = 155.3 [6.2] cm, weight = 43.9 [7.6] kg), under-14 (n = 25, age = 13.5 [0.3] y, height = 160.6 [7.7] cm, weight = 47.0 [6.8] kg), and under-15 (n = 31, age = 14.4 [0.3] y, height = 170.0 [7.7] cm, weight = 58.1 [8.8] kg) teams. We used ultrasound to measure BFlh ACSA, FL and PA, and sprint tests to assess 10- and 30-m sprint time, maximal velocity  (vmax), and maximal acceleration (αmax). We calculated Pearson r to assess the relationship between sprint ability and architectural parameters. Results: All muscle architectural parameters increased from the under-13 to the under-15 age group (BFlh ACSA = 37%, BFlh FL = 11%, BFlh PA = 8%). All sprint performance parameters improved from the under-13 to under-15 age categories (30-m time = 7%, 10-m time = 4%, vmax = 9%, αmax = 7%). The BFlh ACSA was correlated with 30-m sprint time (r = −.61 (95% compatibility interval [CI] [−.73, −.45]) and vmax (r = .61, 95% CI [.45, .72]). A combination of BFlh ACSA and age best predicted 30-m time (R² = .47 [.33, .62]) and 10-m time (R² = .23 [.08, .38]). Conclusions: Muscle architectural as well as sprint performance parameters increase from the under-13 to under-15 age groups. Even though we found correlations for all assessed architectural parameters, BFlh ACSA was best related to the assessed sprint parameters.

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Iván Peña-González, José M. Sarabia, Alba Roldan, Agustín Manresa-Rocamora, and Manuel Moya-Ramón

In regular football, the players’ selection process involves an objective assessment based on their anthropometric and physical performance. However, available literature focused on players’ selection process in cerebral palsy (CP) football is scarce. Purpose: To describe the anthropometrical and physical performance profiles of the International Spanish CP footballers and to compare them with the remaining CP football players from the national competition. Method: A total of 75 CP football players from the Spanish CP Football National Competition (classified into the 3 existing classes: football class [FT] 1 = 38; FT2 = 29; FT3 = 8) participated in the study. Participants were divided into 2 groups: selected players (n = 15) and nonselected players (n = 60) for the national team. Anthropometrical data and physical performance (countermovement jump, 20-m sprint, modified agility T-test [MAT], and dribbling test) were collected. Results: There were significant differences in the 20-m sprint, MAT, and dribbling for the total sample and in MAT and dribbling for FT2 and FT3 classes between selected players and nonselected players (P < .05), but there were no differences for FT1. The MAT and dribbling showed a positive correlation and a high percentage of player selection prediction. Conclusion: Change-of-direction ability (ie, MAT) and dribbling skills are important when performing the selection process, as they allow the evaluation of important aspects of the game, but they may also provide the technical staff with an idea of the functionality and the physical performance of the players in each sport class.

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Satoshi Aikawa and Hideaki Takai

Athletes believe imagery is essential for high-quality performance. It is essential to identify what type of imagery significantly contributes to performance. The purpose of this study was to examine the relationship between imagery ability and gymnastics performance, as well as self-efficacy and thoughts during competitions that are related to performance. Fifty-two gymnasts were recruited for this study. Participants were measured for imagery ability, self-efficacy, thoughts during competitions, and performance. Results indicated that skill imagery significantly predicts worry and disengagement in a negative manner, and mastery imagery is positively related to self-efficacy. Moreover, goal imagery has a significant positive relationship to self-efficacy, disengagement, confidence, and performance. In conclusion, the ability to easily image an ideal performance, such as the success of one’s performance or the image of a perfect performance, might increase confidence in the competition and lead to the success of the performance.

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José María González-Ravé, Francisco Hermosilla, Fernando González-Mohíno, Arturo Casado, and David B. Pyne

A well-planned periodized approach allows swimmers to achieve peak performance at the major national and international competitions. Purpose: To identify the main characteristics of endurance training for highly trained swimmers described by the training intensity distribution (TID), volume, and periodization models. Methods: The electronic databases Scopus, PubMed, and Web of Science were searched using a comprehensive list of relevant terms. Studies that investigated the effect of the periodization of training in swimming, with the training load (volume, TID) and periodization reported, were included in the systematic review. Results: A total of 3487 studies were identified, and after removal of duplicates and elimination of papers based on title and abstract screening, 17 articles remained.  A further 8 articles were excluded after full text review, leaving a final total of 9 studies in the systematic review. The evidence levels were 1b for intervention studies (n = 3) and 2b for (observational) retrospective studies (n = 6). The sprint swimmers typically followed a polarized and threshold TID, the middle-distance swimmers followed a threshold and pyramidal TID, and the long-distance swimmers primarily followed a pyramidal TID. The periodization model identified in the majority of studies selected is characterized by wave-like cycles in units like mesocycles to promote physiological adaptations and skill acquisition. Conclusions: Highly trained swimmers follow a training volume and TID based on their primary event. There is a need for further experimental studies on the effects of block and reverse periodization models on swimming performance. Although observational studies of training have limited evidence, it is unclear whether a different training/periodization approach would yield better results.