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Brendan T. O’ Keeffe, Ciaran MacDonncha, Kwok Ng and Alan E. Donnelly

Purpose: To examine the prevalence of and approaches to monitoring health-related physical fitness (HRPF) in secondary school-based physical education programs. Methods: Physical education teachers (N = 327; 56.6% females) from 235 secondary schools (33.1% of national total) in the Republic of Ireland completed a survey designed specifically for the purposes of this study. Results: HRPF tests were used by 95.3% of teachers. A significant decline in the testing frequency was observed from the junior grades (age 13–15 years) to the senior grades (age 16–18 years) (p < .001). Just over half (51.7%) of the teachers discarded the test results after a single use. Less than one third of the teachers indicated that they shared the test results with the students’ parents. The vast majority (87.0%) of the teachers agreed that the development of a digital platform would facilitate monitoring test results over time. Conclusions: HRPF testing is highly prevalent in secondary schools. More actions are needed to ensure that teachers use pedagogically sound student-centered approaches toward monitoring HRPF, with a focus on learning that may lead to more positive testing experiences for students. Consideration should be given to the development of digital platforms to facilitate monitoring and reporting HRPF.

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Shelby J. Martin and Timothy Anderson

Despite elevated risk of eating pathology (EP) among athletes, utilization of EP-treatment among athletes is low. Factors that may inhibit EP-help-seeking among athletes include perceived social stigma, self-stigma, and perfectionism. Heightened stigma associated with EP and sport climates may be exacerbated by negative perfectionism characteristic of athletes and decrease intentions to seek help for EP. We tested the following moderated-mediation model among a sample of collegiate athletes (N = 201) via online questionnaires: EP indirectly relates to EP help-seeking intentions through perceived and self-stigma and these relations are conditional on negative perfectionism. EP help-seeking intentions were negatively associated with EP severity, stigma, and negative perfectionism. EP was related to eating-specific help-seeking intentions through perceived social stigma, influencing self-stigma, but this was not moderated by negative perfectionism. Targeting mental-health treatment stigma among athletes may reduce risk of untreated EP among collegiate athletes.

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Jan Haut, Freya Gassmann, Eike Emrich, Tim Meyer and Christian Pierdzioch

It is often claimed that elite sport success increases national pride as well as the international prestige of a country. To scrutinize this broad-shed assumption, we draw on data from an online survey carried out around the Rio 2016 Olympics, including questions on success, national identity and attitudes towards other countries and athletes. Exploratory analyses of open questions reveal that successful athletes celebrated at home are often ignored abroad. A country’s international image is rather shaped by negative perceptions regarding doping or unfairness. Statistical analyses of standardized questions support previous findings on the reception of sport events, such as the strong connection of national pride and desire for elite sport success. However, there is also strong indication for shared international standards of sportsmanship.

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Christopher A. DiCesare, Adam W. Kiefer, Scott Bonnette and Gregory D. Myer

Context: Laboratory-based biomechanical analyses of sport-relevant movements such as landing and cutting have classically been used to quantify kinematic and kinetic factors in the context of injury risk, which are then used to inform targeted interventions designed to improve risky movement patterns during sport. However, the noncontextual nature of standard assessments presents challenges for assessing sport-relevant skill transfer. Objective: To examine injury-risk biomechanical differences exhibited by athletes during a jump-landing task performed as part of both a standard biomechanical assessment and a simulated, sport-specific virtual reality (VR)-based assessment. Design: Observational study. Setting: Medical center laboratory. Participants: Twenty-two female adolescent soccer athletes (age = 16.0 [1.4] y, height = 165.6 [4.9] cm, and weight = 60.2 [11.4] kg). Interventions: The landing performance was analyzed for a drop vertical jump task and a VR-based, soccer-specific corner-kick scenario in which the athletes were required to jump to head a virtual soccer ball and land. Main Outcome Measures: Hip, knee, and ankle joint kinematic differences in the frontal and sagittal planes. Results: Athletes exhibited reduced hip and ankle flexion, hip abduction, and frontal plane ankle excursion during landing in realistic sport scenario compared with the standard drop vertical jump task. Conclusion: VR-based assessments can provide a sport-specific context in which to assess biomechanical deficits that predispose athletes for lower-extremity injury and offer a promising approach to better evaluate skill transfer to sport that can guide future injury prevention efforts.

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Emily Kroshus, Sara P.D. Chrisman, Jeffrey J. Milroy and Christine M. Baugh

Purpose: Assess whether athletes with a prior concussion diagnosis are more likely to continue play with a possible concussion. Additionally, explore whether reasons for concussion under-reporting are different among athletes with a prior concussion when compared to other athletes. Methods: Cross-sectional survey of 328 collegiate athletes. Results: Athletes with a prior concussion diagnosis had significantly greater relative risk of continuing play while symptomatic of a possible concussion during their most recent season compared to athletes without prior concussion diagnosis. Significant differences exist in the reasons that athletes provided for not reporting by history of concussion. Conclusions: Findings suggest that learning may have occurred as a result of the prior diagnosis; however, this learning did not appear to result in safer reporting behavior. Additional research is necessary to clarify why athletes who have been previously diagnosed with a concussion are more likely to continue playing while experiencing concussion symptoms.

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Graig M. Chow, Matthew D. Bird, Stinne Soendergaard and Yanyun Yang

This manuscript seeks to offer insight about how coaches can better address drinking among collegiate student-athletes. Using a mixed-methods design, 519 NCAA coaches reported their attitudes and behaviors toward student-athlete drinking, and responded to open-ended questions about their perceived role, strategies, and challenges to addressing problems in this population. Three dimensions of coaches’ attitudes and behaviors toward student-athlete drinking emerged that were consistent regardless of the players’ or coach’s gender or division: Concerned Communication, Conditional Leniency, and Enforcement. Effective strategies identified by coaches included enforcement of policy, education about consequences of drinking, establishment of quality coach-athlete relationships, and management of athletes’ schedules. Coaches indicated the need to play a role in managing, educating, influencing, and supporting the student-athletes to prevent alcohol misuse. Coaches reported challenges regarding the culture of drinking on college campuses, individual differences (e.g., age) among student-athletes, acceptance and enforcement of the alcohol policy, lack of awareness about student-athletes’ activities, and identification of alcohol misuse.

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Andrew Hammond, Ruth Jeanes, Dawn Penney and Deana Leahy

In this study, semi-structured interviews were conducted with eight Victorian swimming coaches to examine the discourses of disability1 and inclusion that they expressed in relation to their current coaching practices. Analysis specifically pursued links between neoliberalism, ableism, elitism, classification and inclusion in coaching, with the intention of exploring what discourse relations are possible, imaginable and practical within what have been referred to as neoliberal-ableist times. Findings reveal that coaches replicate and reproduce elitist, ableist assumptions about the body and sport. The discussion prompts a consideration of how rationalities and techniques of inclusion are limited under the prevailing political context.

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Noureddin Nakhostin Ansari, Parisa Alaei, Soofia Naghdi, Zahra Fakhari, Shiva Komesh and Jan Dommerholt

Context: There are numerous studies on the benefits of dry needling (DN) for pain relief. No studies exist examining the effects of DN on hamstring flexibility. Objective: To determine the immediate effects of DN on hamstring flexibility in healthy subjects with shortened hamstrings. Design: A single-blinded, pretest–posttest clinical pilot study. Setting: A university physiotherapy clinic. Subjects: A total of 15 healthy subjects (female = 11; age = 23.26 [4.3] y) with shortened hamstrings participated in this study. Intervention: Subjects received a single session of DN. Three locations on the hamstring muscle group were needled, each for 1 minute. Main Outcome Measures: The active knee extension test, muscle compliance, passive peak torque, and stretch tolerance were measured at baseline, immediately, and 15 minutes after DN. Results: There were statistically significant improvements in all outcome measures immediately after DN and at the 15-minute follow-up. The effect sizes for all outcome measures were large (Cohen’s d ≥ 0.8). No serious adverse events were observed with DN. Conclusions: This is the first study that demonstrates the beneficial effects of DN on hamstring flexibility, muscle compliance, and stretch tolerance without added stretching. The beneficial effects of DN should encourage clinicians to use DN as a novel strategy for increasing muscle flexibility.

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Ashley N. Marshall, Alison R. Snyder Valier, Aubrey Yanda and Kenneth C. Lam

Context: There has been an increased interest in understanding how ankle injuries impact patient outcomes; however, it is unknown how the severity of a previous ankle injury influences health-related quality of life (HRQOL). Objective: To determine the impact of a previous ankle injury on current HRQOL in college athletes. Design: Cross-sectional study. Setting: Athletic training clinics. Participants: A total of 270 participants were grouped by the severity of a previous ankle injury (severe = 62, mild = 65, and no injury = 143). Main Outcome Measures: Participants completed the Foot and Ankle Ability Measure (FAAM) and the Short Form 12 (SF-12). Methods: A 2-way analysis of variance with 2 factors (injury group and sex) was used to identify interaction and main effects for the FAAM and SF-12. Results: No interactions were identified between injury group and sex. Significant main effects were observed for injury group, where the severe injury group scored lower than athletes with mild and no injuries on the FAAM activities of daily living, FAAM Global, and SF-12 mental health subscale scores. In addition, a main effect was present for sex in the SF-12 general health, social functioning, and mental health subscales in which females reported significantly lower scores than males. Conclusions: Our findings suggest that a severe ankle injury impacts HRQOL, even after returning back to full participation. In addition, females tended to report lower scores than males for aspects of the SF-12, suggesting that sex should be considered when evaluating HRQOL postinjury. As a result, clinicians should consider asking athletes about their previous injury history, including how much time was lost due to the injury, and should mindful of returning athletes to play before they are physiologically and psychologically ready, as there could be long-term negative effects on the patients’ region-specific function as well as aspects of their HRQOL.

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Juan Andrés Merino-Barrero, Alfonso Valero-Valenzuela, Noelia Belando Pedreño and Javier Fernandez-Río

Purpose: To assess the impact of a sustained Teaching for Personal and Social Responsibility program in Physical Education. Method: There were 72 primary and secondary education students (11–13 years), enrolled in two different schools, and their four teachers were randomly distributed into an experimental group (n = 35) and a nonequivalent group (n = 37) by their schools’ administration. A pre-/posttest, repeated-measures nonequivalent group design was used. The two teachers of the experimental group implemented a Teaching for Personal and Social Responsibility program, whereas the two teachers of the nonequivalent group used Direct Instruction in their classes over four consecutive learning units (29 sessions, 5 months). Results: Students in the experimental group significantly increased their personal and social responsibility (p < .01), self-determined motivation (p < .01), basic psychological needs satisfaction (competence, autonomy, and relatedness; p < .01), sportsmanship (p < .05), and intention to be physically active outside school (p < .05). Conclusion: The Teaching for Personal and Social Responsibility program was more able to increase students’ self-determined motivation and to generate positive psychosocial consequences than the Direct Instruction approach.