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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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Kelsey Saizew, M. Blair Evans, Veronica Allan, and Luc J. Martin

The authors explored how sport structure predisposed a team to subgroup formation and influenced athlete interactions and team functioning. A season-long qualitative case study was undertaken with a nationally ranked Canadian track and field team. Semistructured interviews were conducted with coaches (n = 4) and athletes (n = 11) from different event groups (e.g., sprinters, jumpers) at the beginning and at the end of the season. The results highlighted constraints that directly impacted athlete interactions and predisposed the group to subgroup formation (e.g., sport/event type, facility/schedule limitations, team size/change over time). The constraints led to structural divides that impacted interactions but could be overcome through team building, engaging with leaders, and prioritizing communication. These findings underline how structure imposed by the design of sports impacts teammate interactions and how practitioners, coaches, and athletes can manage groups when facing such constraints. The authors describe theoretical and practical implications while also proposing potential future directions.

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Benjamin Noël and Stefanie Klatt

Most studies on offside decision making in soccer have not addressed rather simplistic situational probabilities like the number of players involved in an offside situation. In three studies (one observational and two experimental), the authors tried to assess whether the number of players close to the offside situation can predict the quality of offside decision making. In all three studies, they found that the presence of additional players negatively affected the percentage of correct decisions. The exact relationship between the number of players and the decrease in decision-making performance differed between the studies, though. Importantly, there was a negative influence of the number of players on decision-making quality in Studies 2 and 3, even though the authors tried to add players clearly farther away from the offside line than the relevant pair of players. This points to a crowding effect as a potential explanation for why decision-making quality decreases with an increasing number of players.

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Eugene C. Fitzhugh, Jerry Everett, and Linda Daugherty

Background: School-aged children in the Southeast, compared with other United States of America (US) regions, have significantly lower levels of active transportation to school (ATS). The purpose of this study was to contrast the parental correlates of ATS choice specific to the Southeast with other areas of the US. Methods: This study utilized national data from 2952 households with school-aged children located within a 20-minute walk to a school. Parents reported their children’s ATS behavior and their own ATS beliefs and perceptions. Logistic regression contrasted correlates of parents from the Southeast with other regions. Results: Parents in the Southeast, compared with parents across the US, were significantly less likely to allow their child to take ATS (12.9% vs 33.3%, respectively) (odds ratio [OR] = 0.46; 95% confidence interval [CI] = 0.36–0.59). Specific to the Southeast, parental correlates linked to increases in ATS were Black race/ethnicity (OR = 1.68; 95% CI, 1.31–2.60), being single, (OR = 1.71; 95% CI, 1.15–2.54), and any parental physical activity (P value for trend = .0053). The only correlate associated with a decrease in ATS in the Southeast was heightened safety concerns (eg, traffic speed, safe crossings) (OR = 0.44; 95% CI, 0.23–0.84). Conclusions: Among households with children in the Southeast, ATS interventions that allay parental safety concerns and that promote physical activity among parents might lead to increases in ATS.

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A. Dallaway, J. Hattersley, J. Tallis, D. Renshaw, C. Griffen, and M. Duncan

This study investigated age-related changes in trunk muscle function in healthy men and the moderating effect of physical activity. Twelve older (67.3 ± 6.0 years) and 12 younger (24.7 ± 3.1 years) men performed isokinetic trunk flexion and extension tests across a range of angular velocities (15°/s–180°/s) and contractile modes (concentric and eccentric). For concentric trunk extension, mixed-effects analysis of covariance revealed a significant interaction between Angular velocity × Age group (p = .026) controlling for physical activity. Follow-up univariate analysis of covariance revealed that the younger group produced significantly greater peak torque for all concentric extension conditions. Eccentric trunk strength was somewhat preserved in the older group. Age-related changes in trunk strength were independent of physical activity. The normal loss of trunk muscle strength in older age is muscle- and contractile-mode specific. These findings provide guidance for effective intervention strategies to offset adverse health outcomes related to trunk strength loss in older adults.

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Takahiro Ogawa, Yuki Sueyoshi, Shintaro Taketomi, and Nobumasa Chijiiwa

Age-related sarcopenia and osteoporosis-related fractures are critical health issues. Therefore, this study aimed to assess skeletal muscle mass changes in older patients with vertebral compression fractures undergoing rehabilitation and to evaluate factors associated with muscle increases. This study included 179 patients aged ≥80 years in rehabilitation wards with vertebral compression fractures. Appendicular skeletal muscle index was significantly higher at discharge (5.22 ± 1.04 kg/m2, p < .001) than on admission (5.03 ± 1.00 kg/m2). Multiple logistic regression analysis showed that length of hospital stay was significantly associated with increased skeletal muscle index (odds ratios, 1.020; 95% confidence intervals [1.000, 1.032]), whereas age, sex, body mass index, functional independence measure, protein intake, and exercise therapy duration were not. Participants with vertebral compression fractures aged ≥80 years achieved significantly increased skeletal muscle mass in rehabilitation wards. In addition, length of hospital stay was the factor independently associated with increased skeletal muscle index.