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Robin S. Vealey, Robin Cooley, Emma Nilsson, Carly Block and Nick Galli

The purpose of this study was to examine the types and perceived usefulness of questionnaires used by consultants in applied intervention work with athletes in 2003 and 2017, as well as to understand consultants’ perceptions of the advantages, limitations, and needs regarding the use of questionnaires in consulting. Sport psychology consultants in 2003 (n=96) and 2017 (n=106) completed a questionnaire that included Likert-scale questions as well as open-ended questions. The percentage of consultants who used questionnaires decreased from 83% in 2003 to 67% in 2017. Consultants in 2003 rated questionnaires as more useful than consultants in 2017, although the specific questionnaires used by consultants did not change extensively over the 14-year period. Advantages in using questionnaires included efficiency, structure of assessment, consensual validation, and credibility, while limitations included lack of relevance, undermining of athlete-consultant relationship, interpretive problems, and cost and lack of access.

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Brice T. Cleland and Sheila Schindler-Ivens

Background: Prior work indicates that pedaling-related brain activation is lower in people with stroke than in controls. We asked whether this observation could be explained by between-group differences in volitional motor commands and pedaling performance. Methods: Individuals with and without stroke performed passive and volitional pedaling while brain activation was recorded with functional magnetic resonance imaging. The passive condition eliminated motor commands to pedal and minimized between-group differences in pedaling performance. Volume, intensity, and laterality of brain activation were compared across conditions and groups. Results: There were no significant effects of condition and no Group × Condition interactions for any measure of brain activation. Only 53% of subjects could minimize muscle activity for passive pedaling. Conclusions: Altered motor commands and pedaling performance are unlikely to account for reduced pedaling-related brain activation poststroke. Instead, this phenomenon may be due to functional or structural brain changes. Passive pedaling can be difficult to achieve and may require inhibition of excitatory descending drive.

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Juliana Hotta Ansai, Larissa Pires de Andrade, Paulo Giusti Rossi, Theresa Helissa Nakagawa, Francisco Assis Carvalho Vale and José Rubens Rebelatto

This study compared performances of timed up and go test subtasks between 40 older people with preserved cognition, 40 with mild cognitive impairment, and 38 with mild Alzheimer’s disease. The assessment consisted of anamneses and timed up and go test subtasks (sit-to-stand, walking forward, turn, walking back, and turn-to-sit). Data were captured by Qualisys Track Manager software and processed by Visual3D software. The MATLAB program was applied to detect and analyze timed up and go test subtasks. All subtasks differentiated people with Alzheimer’s disease and preserved cognition, except the sit-to-stand subtask, which did not distinguish any group. The walking forward subtask differed older people with preserved cognition from mild cognitive impairment, specifically on minimum peak of knee, average value of knee, and hip (pitch axis) during stance phase. The walking back, turn, and turn-to-sit subtasks distinguished subjects with Alzheimer’s disease from mild cognitive impairment. The separated analysis of transition and walking subtasks is important in identifying mobility patterns among cognitive profiles.

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Carol A. Boliek, Reyhaneh Bakhtiari, Lauren Pedersen, Julia R. Esch and Jacqueline Cummine

We examined whether or not coherence between chest wall intercostal and oblique muscles changed as a function of lung volume excursion, alveolar pressure, and muscular demand. We also assessed the effects of acute expiratory threshold loading (ETL) on chest wall muscular control. A total of 15 healthy adults (7 males; average age = 28 years) completed maximum performance and ETL tasks. Chest wall surface electromyographic and kinematic recordings were made. Participants also performed a session of acute ETL. We showed that corticomuscular control of the chest wall varied as a function of lung volume excursion and muscular effort. Acute ETL had some effect on respiratory kinematics but not coherence.

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Wei Sun, Xiujie Ma, Lin Wang, Cui Zhang, Qipeng Song, Houxin Gu and Dewei Mao

This study aims to investigate the effects of Tai Chi Chuan (TCC) and brisk walking (BW) on balance and training duration for the two exercises to significantly improve balance. A total of 48 elderly women were randomly divided into three groups. The TCC and BW groups completed a 60-min intervention training program with five sessions weekly for 16 weeks. Single-leg standing balance was tested every 4 weeks. Results showed that all the variables with eyes open improved on the eighth week (p < .05) in the TCC group and on the 12th week (p < .01) in the BW group. All variables with eyes closed improved on the 12th week (p < .01) in the TCC group and on the 16th week (p < .05) in the BW group. The results showed that 12 and 16 weeks of TCC and BW, respectively were essential to improve balance with eyes closed among the women aged 60–70 years.

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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.

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Annamari Maaranen, Judy L. Van Raalte and Britton W. Brewer

Flikikammo is a troubling phenomenon in which athletes lose the ability to perform previously automatic backward moving gymnastics skills as a normal part of a routine. To better understand the effects of flikikammo over time, the confidence, perceived pressure, physical well-being, energy, and stress levels of gymnasts (n = 6) and cheerleaders (n = 4) were assessed weekly over 10 weeks. Half of the participants reported experiencing flikikammo at the start of the study, and half served as age, skill level, and sport-matched controls. Athletes with flikikammo indicated that pressure from coaches and higher energy levels were related to more severe flikikammo. For participants under the age of 18, higher levels of life stress positively correlated with flikikammo, but for those over 18, higher life stress was negatively correlated with flikikammo. These findings highlight the complexity of flikikammo and suggest that complex solutions may be needed to address flikikammo issues.

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Anat V. Lubetzky, Bryan D. Hujsak, Gene Fu and Ken Perlin

Postural sway does not differentiate between balance disorders. Head kinematics within a salient, immersive environment could potentially help identifying movement patterns that are unique to vestibular dysfunction. We describe a virtual park scene, where participants are asked to avoid a virtual ball approaching their head, to target dynamic balance and quantify head movement strategy. Sixteen patients with vestibular dysfunction and 16 healthy controls were wearing the Oculus Rift and performed the “park” scene on floor and stability trainers. Significant between-group differences emerged in head path (patients rotated their head sideways more), head acceleration (controls had higher acceleration, especially on translation movements), and peak frequency (controls peaked around the frequency of the ball whereas patients were variable). Those findings demonstrated good to excellent test–retest reliability. There were no significant between-group differences in postural sway parameters. Future studies should establish norms across different levels of balance dysfunction and investigate the underlying mechanism leading to the movement strategy observed.

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Femke van Abswoude, John van der Kamp and Bert Steenbergen

Effective learning methods are essential for motor skill development and participation in children with low motor abilities. Current learning methods predominantly aim to increase declarative knowledge through explicit instructions that necessitate sufficient working memory capacity. This study investigated the roles of declarative knowledge and working memory capacity in explicit motor learning of children with low motor abilities. We studied both acquisition performance (i.e., performance during practice) and learning (i.e., the improvement in performance from pretest to posttest). After practice with explicit instructions, children with low motor abilities showed significant learning, albeit that improvement was relatively small. However, working memory capacity and declarative knowledge did not predict learning. By contrast, working memory capacity and declarative knowledge did predict performance during practice. These findings suggest that explicit instructions enhance motor performance during practice, but that motor learning per se is largely implicit in children with low motor abilities.

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Kai Yan Lui, Patricia Hewston and Nandini Deshpande

During sit-to-stand (STS), the vestibular system is highly stimulated in response to linear acceleration of the head and may play an important role, in addition to vision, for postural control. We examined the effects of aging on visual–vestibular interaction for postural control during STS in 15 young (22.5 ± 1.1 years) and 15 older (73.9 ± 5.3 years) participants. Vestibular information was manipulated using galvanic vestibular stimulation. Vision conditions involved normal (eyes open), suboptimal (blurring goggles), and no (eyes closed) vision. Older participants had significantly greater mediolateral peak-to-peak trunk roll (p = .025) and center of mass displacements (p < .001) than young participants. However, despite having greater mediolateral instability, older participants utilized similar strategies as young participants to overcome sensory perturbations during STS. Overall visual inputs were more dominantly used for mediolateral trunk control during STS than vestibular inputs.