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Carol R. Glass, Claire A. Spears, Rokas Perskaudas and Keith A. Kaufman

College is a stressful time for many students, including student-athletes, who may benefit from mindfulness interventions focusing on present-moment awareness and nonjudgmental acceptance. Mindful sport performance enhancement (MSPE) has shown promise in previous open trials for promoting both athlete well-being and psychological factors related to sport performance, and this first randomized controlled trial of MSPE was conducted with mixed-sport groups of 52 NCAA Division III student-athletes. Each of the six sessions included educational, discussion-based, experiential, and home practice components, with meditation exercises progressing from sedentary mindfulness to mindfulness in motion. Whereas wait-list controls showed significant increases in depressive symptoms, those who received MSPE evidenced non-significant reductions in depressive symptoms over the course of treatment. Furthermore, once controls had also received MSPE, treatment completers (the 41% who attended at least five of six MSPE sessions) demonstrated significant increases in flow, trait mindfulness, satisfaction with life, and self-rated sport performance, along with reductions in worry, with medium to large effect sizes. There were no significant changes for treatment completers from post-treatment to 6-month follow-up, suggesting that improvements were maintained over time.

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Alessandro Quartiroli, Edward F. Etzel, Sharon M. Knight and Rebecca A. Zakrajsek

Experienced and senior sport psychology practitioners achieved longevity in effective professional practice by embracing sustainable approaches to their profession, assumed to be influenced by their positive professional quality of life. The aim of this study was to gain insight into how these practitioners defined and attended to their profession-specific quality of life. Utilizing Consensual Qualitative Research method, researchers examined the perceptions and meanings that 20 internationally located practitioners attributed to their Sport Psychology-Professional Quality of Life (SP-PQL). Findings revealed a view of SP-PQL that encompassed five domains: (a) the lived experience of SP-PQL, (b) the nature of the SP profession, (c) SP-PQL as an ongoing journey, (d) deliberate engagement in the SP profession, and (e) the interconnection between the personal and the professional. These practitioners recognized the importance of a positive SP-PQL as a foundation for a positive, effective, and long-lasting career in the field.

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Christian A. Clermont, Lauren C. Benson, W. Brent Edwards, Blayne A. Hettinga and Reed Ferber

The purpose of this study was to use wearable technology data to quantify alterations in subject-specific running patterns throughout a marathon race and to determine if runners could be clustered into subgroups based on similar trends in running gait alterations throughout the marathon. Using a wearable sensor, data were collected for cadence, braking, bounce, pelvic rotation, pelvic drop, and ground contact time for 27 runners. A composite index was calculated based on the “typical” data (4–14 km) for each runner and evaluated for 14 individual 2-km sections thereafter to detect “atypical” data (ie, higher indices). A cluster analysis assigned all runners to a subgroup based on similar trends in running alterations. Results indicated that the indices became significantly higher starting at 20 to 22 km. Cluster 1 exhibited lower indices than cluster 2 throughout the marathon, and the only significant difference in characteristics between clusters was that cluster 1 had a lower age–grade performance score than cluster 2. In summary, this study presented a novel method to investigate the effects of fatigue on running biomechanics using wearable technology in a real-world setting. Recreational runners with higher age–grade performance scores had less atypical running patterns throughout the marathon compared with runners with lower age–grade performance scores.

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Emily Kroshus, Jessica Wagner, David L. Wyrick and Brian Hainline

This study sought to determine whether completion of the National Collegiate Athletic Association’s “Supporting Student-Athlete Mental Wellness” online module for coaches increased mental health literacy, reduced stigma, and increased intentions to: 1) communicate proactively with team members about the importance of mental health care seeking, and 2) respond appropriately to support an athlete believed to be struggling with a mental health issue. College head coaches completed pre-test surveys (n = 969) and immediate post-test surveys (n = 347, completion rate = 36%). Module completion was associated with increased mental health literacy, decreased stigma about help seeking and increased intentions to engage in culture setting communication. These findings suggest that the online module is a good start for coach education about mental health; however, additional modifications may be warranted to the extent coach referral to sports medicine staff or provision of emotional support to student-athletes struggling with mental health concerns are considered desired behaviors.

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Cherice N. Hughes-Oliver, Kathryn A. Harrison, D.S. Blaise Williams III and Robin M. Queen

In healthy individuals, symmetrical lower-extremity movement is often assumed and calculated using discrete points during various tasks. However, measuring overall movement patterns using methods such as statistical parametric mapping (SPM) may allow for better interpretation of human movement. This study demonstrated the ability of SPM to assess interlimb differences in lower-extremity movement during 2 example tasks: running and landing. Three-dimensional motion analysis was used to determine sagittal and frontal plane lower-extremity joint angles in (1) young and older individuals during running and (2) patients with anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction and uninjured control athletes during landing. Interlimb differences within each group were compared using SPM and paired t tests on peak discrete angles. No differences between limbs were found between young and older runners using SPM. Peak ankle eversion and plantar flexion angles differed between limbs in young and older runners. Sagittal plane hip angle varied between limbs in uninjured control athletes. Frontal plane ankle angle and sagittal plane knee and hip angles differed between limbs in patients with anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction using SPM and discrete analysis. These data suggest that SPM can be useful to determine clinically meaningful interlimb differences during running and landing in multiple populations.

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Byron L. Zamboanga, Nathan T. Kearns, Janine V. Olthuis, Heidemarie Blumenthal and Renee M. Cloutier

Drinking games (DGs) participation is prevalent among college-attending emerging adults. Research also suggests that student-athletes play DGs more frequently than non student-athletes, but what motivates student-athletes to participate in DGs is not well understood. Using data from a larger longitudinal study with Division III female athletes, we examined the test-retest reliability and minimal detectable change of the revised 7-factor Motives for Playing Drinking Games (MPDG) measure, and explored how its subscales were related to DGs behavior across two annual timepoints (n = 49). Results indicated that the MPDG shows adequate test-retest reliability over a one year period among student-athletes. Controlling for age and general alcohol consumption, conformity motives were positively associated with DG consumption at timepoint 1, whereas the DG motives of enhancement/thrills and boredom were positively related to DG consumption at timepoint 2. Implications for future research directions on motives for playing DGs and DGs behavior among student-athletes are discussed.

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Monna Arvinen-Barrow, Kelsey DeGrave, Stephen Pack and Brian Hemmings

The purpose of this study was to document the lived experiences of professional cricketers who had encountered a career-ending non-musculoskeletal injury. Three male cricketers each with over nine years of playing experience in professional cricket representing England and Wales participated in retrospective in-depth semi-structured interviews. The Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis revealed that at the time of the injury, the participants were at the “final stretch” of their professional sporting careers and that despite a range of unpleasant reactions to injury, all participants experienced a healthy career transition out of sport. To best prepare athletes for a life outside of sport, ensuring athletes have sufficient plans in motion early on in their careers can reduce external and internal stressors, which if not addressed, can increase sport injury risk and have a negative effect on athletes’ reactions post-injury.

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Niranjan Chakrabhavi and Varadhan SKM

A task involving an instructed finger movement causes involuntary movements in the noninstructed fingers of the hand, also known as finger interdependence. It is associated with both mechanical and neural mechanisms. The current experiment investigated the effect of finger interdependence due to systematic changes of the wrist posture, close to neutral. Eight right-handed healthy human participants performed submaximal cyclic flexion and extension at the metacarpophalangeal joint at 0° neutral, 30° extension, and 30° flexion wrist postures, respectively. The experiment comprised of an instruction to move one of the 4 fingers—index, middle, ring, and little. Movements of the instructed and noninstructed fingers were recorded. Finger interdependence was quantified using enslavement matrix, individuation index, and stationarity index, and it was compared across wrist postures. The authors found that the finger interdependence does not change with changes in wrist posture. Further analysis showed that individuation and stationarity indices were mostly equivalent across wrist postures, and their effects were much smaller than the average differences present among the fingers. The authors conclude that at wrist postures close to neutral, the finger interdependence is not affected by wrist posture.

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Sarah C. Moudy, Neale A. Tillin, Amy R. Sibley and Siobhán Strike

Individuals with unilateral transtibial amputations experience greater work demand and loading on the intact limb compared with the prosthetic limb, placing this limb at a greater risk of knee joint degenerative conditions. It is possible that increased loading on the intact side may occur due to strength deficits and joint absorption mechanics. This study investigated the intact limb mechanics utilized to attenuate load, independent of prosthetic limb contributions and requirements for forward progression, which could provide an indication of deficiencies in the intact limb. Amputee and healthy control participants completed 3 unilateral drop landings from a 30-cm drop height. Joint angles at touchdown; range of motion; coupling angles; peak powers; and negative work of the ankle, knee, and hip were extracted together with isometric quadriceps strength measures. No significant differences were found in the load or movement mechanics (P ≥ .31, g ≤ 0.42), despite deficits in isometric maximum (20%) and explosive (25%) strength (P ≤ .13, g ≥ 0.61) in the intact limb. These results demonstrate that, when the influence from the prosthetic limb and task demand are absent, and despite deficits in strength, the intact limb adopts joint mechanics similar to able-bodied controls to attenuate limb loading.

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Jana L. Fogaca, Jack C. Watson II and Sam J. Zizzi

A fundamental issue in applied sport psychology is the development of competent professionals who can provide effective and ethical services to clients. The current study uses a qualitative longitudinal design to track the development of five novice sport psychology practitioners in their first year of practice. The research team analyzed and integrated data from surveys, interviews, and journals to understand the participants’ experiences and compare them to previous literature on practitioner development. Participants reported increased confidence and flexibility over time, and reduced their perceived anxiety and dependence on supervision. These changes were similar in nature to what has been reported for counseling trainees, but seemed to happen more quickly. These findings highlight important developmental characteristics of first year sport psychology practitioners, which can help graduate programs to tailor their supervision and training to their students’ needs.