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Daichi Tomita, Tadashi Suga, Hiromasa Ueno, Yuto Miyake, Takahiro Tanaka, Masafumi Terada, Mitsuo Otsuka, Akinori Nagano and Tadao Isaka

This study examined the relationship between Achilles tendon (AT) length and 100-m sprint time in sprinters. The AT lengths at 3 different portions of the triceps surae muscle in 48 well-trained sprinters were measured using magnetic resonance imaging. The 3 AT lengths were calculated as the distance from the calcaneal tuberosity to the muscle–tendon junction of the soleus, gastrocnemius medialis, and gastrocnemius lateralis, respectively. The absolute 3 AT lengths did not correlate significantly with personal best 100-m sprint time (r = −.023 to .064, all Ps > .05). Furthermore, to minimize the differences in the leg length among participants, the 3 AT lengths were normalized to the shank length, and the relative 3 AT lengths did not correlate significantly with personal best 100-m sprint time (r = .023 to .102, all Ps > .05). Additionally, no significant correlations were observed between the absolute and relative (normalized to body mass) cross-sectional areas of the AT and personal best 100-m sprint time (r = .012 and .084, respectively, both Ps > .05). These findings suggest that the AT morphological variables, including the length, may not be related to superior 100-m sprint time in sprinters.

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Madison C. Chandler, Amanda L. McGowan, Ford Burles, Kyle E. Mathewson, Claire J. Scavuzzo and Matthew B. Pontifex

While compelling evidence indicates that poorer aerobic fitness relates to impairments in retrieving information from hippocampal-dependent memory, there is a paucity of research on how aerobic fitness relates to the acquisition of such relational information. Accordingly, the present investigation examined the association between aerobic fitness and the rate of encoding spatial relational memory—assessed using a maximal oxygen consumption test and a spatial configuration task—in a sample of 152 college-aged adults. The findings from this investigation revealed no association between aerobic fitness and the acquisition of spatial relational memory. These findings have implications for how aerobic fitness is characterized with regard to memory, such that aerobic fitness does not appear to relate to the rate of learning spatial–relational information; however, given previously reported evidence, aerobic fitness may be associated with a greater ability to recall relational information from memory.

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Marlene A. Dixon, B. Christine Green, Arden Anderson and Peter Evans

Adolescent sport participants, particularly girls, continue to drop out of sport at alarmingly high rates, which presents an opportunity for new sport programs to enter the marketplace to better cater to those participants. Starting new sport programs, however, presents significant challenges, including acquiring and mobilizing resources in innovative ways. Using theory in sport development and the resource-based view, the authors examined six emergent sport programs for girls within the United States and United Kingdom to identify the resources obtained and mobilized to create new and distinctive sport opportunities in a crowded marketplace. Following a case study approach, data from site visits and interviews with 137 individuals were analyzed using within- and across-case analysis. The findings reveal the resources needed to grow the programs, the ways in which those resources are attained, and strategies to mobilize resource bundles to maximize sport opportunities by differentiating programs from traditional, mainstream sport opportunities. The findings also highlight the distinctive opportunities and challenges for sport organizers in both top-down and bottom-up sport development systems. This study informs theory in sport development and provides insight for creatively designing and delivering sport opportunities that expand overall sport participation for adolescent girls.

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Jihyun Lee, Seung Ho Chang and Jerred Jolin

The motor and social skill difficulties experienced by many children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) can create challenges when participating in age appropriate physical activity contexts. Although behavioral interventions can increase the general social communicative skills of children with ASD, often the skills targeted are not relevant to physical activity contexts. Thus, this pilot study utilized a movement-based intervention program to support children with ASD in learning both social and movement skills that are relevant to physical activity contexts. Nineteen children with ASD with a mean age of 9.3 (±3.0) years participated in this program for 8 weeks, twice a week, at a recreation center as an afterschool activity. Six object control skills were selected and tested before and after the intervention because these gross motor skills were considered to elicit human interactions and place demands on social skills. Ten social skills were selected, aligned to each program context, taught, and evaluated. This intervention resulted in significant improvements in object-control skills for the participants. Additionally, there were significantly more participants who demonstrated improvements in their performance of the target social skills than who did not demonstrate improvements. These preliminary findings provide support for the feasibility of developing interventions that address social skill deficits in the context of physically active settings for children with ASD.

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Aliaa M. Elabd, Salah-Eldin B. Rasslan, Haytham M Elhafez, Omar M. Elabd, Mohamed A. Behiry and Ahmed I. Elerian

Although current lumbar stabilization exercises are beneficial for chronic mechanical low back pain, further research is recommended focusing on global spinal alignment normalization. This randomized, controlled, blinded trial was conducted to determine the effects of adding cervical posture correction to lumber stabilization on chronic mechanical low back pain. Fifty adult patients (24 males) with chronic mechanical low back pain and forward head posture received 12 weeks treatment of either both programs (group A) or lumbar stabilization (group B). The primary outcome was back pain. The secondary outcomes included the craniovertebral angle, Oswestry Disability Index, C7-S1 sagittal vertical axis, and sagittal intervertebral movements. The multivariate analysis of variance indicated a significant group-by-time interaction (P = .001, partial η 2 = .609). Pain, disability, C7-S1 sagittal vertical axis, and l2-l3 intervertebral rotation were reduced in group A more than B (P = .008, .001, .025, and .001). Craniovertebral angle was increased in A when compared to B (P = .001). However, there were no significant group-by-time interactions for other intervertebral movements. Within-group comparisons were significant for all outcomes except for craniovertebral angle within patients in the control group. Adding cervical posture correction with lumber stabilization for management of chronic low back pain seemed to have better effects than the application of a stabilization program only.

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Kendra Nelson Ferguson, Craig Hall and Alison Divine

The study aimed to determine whether athletes who practice biofeedback are able to self-regulate by reaching resonance frequency and gaining physiological control quicker than if practice time integrates imagery or a rest period. Intervention effectiveness (e.g., intervention length, time spent training) was also explored. Twenty-seven university athletes were assigned to one of three groups: (a) biofeedback (i.e., continuous training), (b) biofeedback/imagery (i.e., interspersed with imagery), and (c) biofeedback/rest (i.e., interspersed with a rest period). Five biofeedback sessions training respiration rate, heart rate variability, and skin conductance were conducted. A repeated-measure analysis of variance showed a significant interaction between groups over time (p ≤ .05) for respiration rate, heart rate variability, and skin conductance, indicating that resonance frequency and physiological control was regained following imagery or a rest period. Postmanipulation check data found intervention length and training time to be sufficient. Combining imagery with biofeedback may optimize management of psychophysiological processes.

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Bart Reynders, Stef Van Puyenbroeck, Eva Ceulemans, Maarten Vansteenkiste and Gert Vande Broek

Building on recent self-determination theory research differentiating controlling coaching into a demanding and domineering approach, this study examined the role of both approaches in athletes’ motivational outcomes when accompanied by autonomy support or structure. Within team-sport athletes (N = 317; mean age = 17.67), four sets of k-means cluster analyses systematically pointed toward a four-cluster solution (e.g., high–high, high–low, low–high, and low–low), regardless of the pair of coaching dimensions used. One of the identified coaching profiles involved coaches who are perceived to combine need-supportive and controlling behaviors (i.e., high–high). Whereas combining need-supportive and domineering behaviors (i.e., high–high) yields lower autonomous motivation and engagement compared with a high need-support profile (i.e., high–low), this is less the case for the combination of need-supportive and demanding behaviors (i.e., high–high). This person-centered approach provides deeper insights into how coaches combine different styles and how some forms of controlling coaching yield a greater cost than others.

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Dan Cason, Minkyo Lee, Jaedeock Lee, In-Sung Yeo and Edward J. Arner

This study examined how the legalization of sports wagering, in association with several factors (i.e., gender, motivations, and fandom), has impacted gambling behavior, interests in sport, and sport-related consumption (e.g., media, ticket sales) using a sample of active gamblers above the age of 21 (N = 58). The findings showed that economic motivation significantly predicted gambling behavior, interests in sports, and sport-related consumption, while fandom did not. People who are motivated by money are more likely to wager on sport and consume sport. However, being a sport fan or not does not impact those variables. Based on the results of the current study, it could be suggested that, since sports wagering was recently legalized, sport organizations should move quickly to attract new and potential market segments (e.g., gamblers).