Evan L. Frederick and Ann Pegoraro
The purpose of this commentary is to present the state of sport, social media, and crisis communication research. Existing crisis-communication research involving athletes and coaches; collegiate institutions; teams, leagues, and governing bodies; journalists; and other sport entities are discussed. The commentary concludes with a discussion of directions for future research, including (a) interviewing industry professionals, (b) employing survey design to examine user response, (c) employing experimental design with social media manipulations, (d) validating and developing frameworks, and (e) examining additional social media platforms.
Matthias Hovorka, Peter Leo, Dieter Simon, Clemens Rumpl, and Alfred Nimmerichter
Purpose: The purpose of the current investigation was to retrospectively assess possible differences in physiological performance characteristics between junior cyclists signing a contract with an under-23 (U23) development team versus those failing to sign such a contract. Methods: Twenty-five male junior cyclists (age: 18.1 [0.7] y, stature: 181.9 [6.0] cm, body mass: 69.1 [7.9] kg, peak oxygen uptake: 71.3 [6.2] mL·min−1·kg−1) were assigned to this investigation. Between September and October of the last year in the junior category, each cyclist performed a ramp incremental exercise test to determine certain physiological performance characteristics. Subsequently, participants were divided in 2 groups: (1) those signing a contract with a U23 development team (JUNIORU23) and (2) those failing to sign such a contract (JUNIORNON-U23). Unpaired t tests were used to assess possible between-groups differences in physiological performance characteristics. The level of statistical significance was set at P < .05 two tailed. Results: No significant between-groups differences in submaximal (ie, gas exchange threshold, respiratory compensation point) and maximal physiological performance characteristics (ie, peak work rate, peak oxygen uptake) expressed in absolute values (ie, L·min−1, W) were observed (P > .05). However, significant between-groups differences were observed when physiological performance characteristics were expressed relative to the cyclists’ body weights (P < .05). Conclusions: The current investigation showed that junior cyclists stepping up to a U23 development team might be retrospectively differentiated from junior cyclists not stepping up based on certain physiological performance characteristics, which might inform practitioners and/or federations working with young cyclists during the long-term athletic development process.
Emma J. Kavanagh, Chelsea Litchfield, and Jaquelyn Osborne
While the topic of athlete welfare has gained significant attention in academic literature, to date there has been a primacy placed on physical settings and their ability to augment or thwart the welfare of athletes. The discourse has, therefore, neglected the advent of social media spaces and their potential to have a significant impact on athlete welfare. Social media platforms are now a vital component in the lives of athletes who are increasingly reliant on maintaining an online presence and following. In this commentary, we consider the scope of social media and its potential impact on the welfare of athletes, particularly female athletes. In doing so, we identify and discuss some of the positive health and well-being outcomes associated with increased online communication and self-representation in social media spaces. We examine the scholarship concerning the threats posed by social media spaces, consider power in virtual environments and its impact on welfare, and finally suggest some future directions for scholarship in this field.