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Yang Liu, Senlin Chen and Xiangli Gu

Purpose: The study purpose was to examine performance differences in physical education among learners from two middle schools from two different states. Methods: Performance in physical education was represented by attitude toward physical education, knowledge of physical activity and fitness, and active living behaviors (i.e., physical activity and sedentary behavior). The sixth, seventh, and eighth graders of a midwestern state school (n = 397) and a deep southern state school (n = 350) completed the surveys (N = 747). Results: The authors observed statistically significant school differences in physical activity and fitness knowledge and physical activity behavior (favoring the deep southern state school), and in attitude and sedentary behavior (favoring the midwestern state school). The authors also found stronger associations between attitude and physical activity (but weaker associations between attitude and sedentary behavior) among the deep southern state school students than the midwestern state school students. Conclusion: These observed performance differences and their pedagogical ramifications are discussed in relation to sociodemographic and environmental factors.

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Andreas M. Kasper, S. Andy Sparks, Matthew Hooks, Matthew Skeer, Benjamin Webb, Houman Nia, James P. Morton and Graeme L. Close

Rugby is characterized by frequent high-intensity collisions, resulting in muscle soreness. Players consequently seek strategies to reduce soreness and accelerate recovery, with an emerging method being cannabidiol (CBD), despite anti-doping risks. The prevalence and rationale for CBD use in rugby has not been explored; therefore, we recruited professional male players to complete a survey on CBD. Goodness of fit chi-square (χ2) was used to assess CBD use between codes and player position. Effects of age on use were determined using χ2 tests of independence. Twenty-five teams provided 517 player responses. While the majority of players had never used CBD (p < .001, V = 0.24), 26% had either used it (18%) or were still using it (8%). Significantly more CBD use was observed in rugby union compared with rugby league (p = .004, V = 0.13), but player position was not a factor (p = .760, V = 0.013). CBD use increased with players’ age (p < .001, V = 0.28), with mean use reaching 41% in the players aged 28 years and older category (p < .0001). The players using CBD primarily used the Internet (73%) or another teammate (61%) to obtain information, with only 16% consulting a nutritionist. The main reasons for CBD use were improving recovery/pain (80%) and sleep (78%), with 68% of players reporting a perceived benefit. These data highlight the need for immediate education on the risks of CBD, as well as the need to explore the claims regarding pain and sleep.

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Benjamin J. Narang, Greg Atkinson, Javier T. Gonzalez and James A. Betts

The analysis of time series data is common in nutrition and metabolism research for quantifying the physiological responses to various stimuli. The reduction of many data from a time series into a summary statistic(s) can help quantify and communicate the overall response in a more straightforward way and in line with a specific hypothesis. Nevertheless, many summary statistics have been selected by various researchers, and some approaches are still complex. The time-intensive nature of such calculations can be a burden for especially large data sets and may, therefore, introduce computational errors, which are difficult to recognize and correct. In this short commentary, the authors introduce a newly developed tool that automates many of the processes commonly used by researchers for discrete time series analysis, with particular emphasis on how the tool may be implemented within nutrition and exercise science research.

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Brendon P. Hyndman and Stephen Harvey

Purpose: Limited research has been conducted relating to the use of social media during health and physical education teacher education. The aim of this study was to investigate preservice teachers’ perceptions of the value of using Twitter for health and physical education teacher education. Methods: Preservice teachers completed a qualitatively designed survey. Thematic analyses were conducted via Computer Assisted Qualitative Data Analysis Software, aligned to self-determination theory. Results: Twitter was perceived to be valuable for the following motivational components: (a) autonomy (choice over professional development, latest ideas, and learning flexibility), (b) relatedness (enhancing communication, tailored collaborations, and receiving practical support), and (c) competence (transferring ideas to classes, increasing technological competence, and keeping ahead of other teachers). Yet there were concerns due to Twitter’s public exposure to undesired Twitter users (relatedness) and how to navigate the platform (competence). Discussion/Conclusions: The study provides guidance to health and physical education teacher education providers on how digital learning via Twitter can meet preservice teachers’ learning needs.

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Jozo Grgic, Sandro Venier and Pavle Mikulic

Purpose: To compare the acute effects of caffeine and placebo ingestion with a control condition (ie, no supplementation) on vertical jump performance. Methods: The sample for this study consisted of 26 recreationally trained men. Following the familiarization visit, the subjects were randomized in a double-blind manner to 3 main conditions: placebo, caffeine, and control. Caffeine was administered in the form of a gelatin capsule in the dose of 6 mg·kg body weight−1. Placebo was also administered in the form of a gelatin capsule containing 6 mg·kg−1 of dextrose. Vertical jump performance was assessed using a countermovement jump performed on a force platform. Analyzed outcomes were vertical jump height and maximal power output. Results: For vertical jump height, significant differences were observed between placebo and control conditions (g = 0.13; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.03–0.24; +2.5%), caffeine and control conditions (g = 0.31; 95% CI, 0.17–0.50; +6.6%), and caffeine and placebo conditions (g = 0.19; 95% CI, 0.06–0.34; +4.0%). For maximal power output, no significant main effect of condition (P = .638) was found. Conclusions: Ingesting a placebo or caffeine may enhance countermovement jump performance compared with the control condition, with the effects of caffeine versus control appearing to be greater than the effects of placebo versus control. In addition, caffeine was ergogenic for countermovement jump height compared with placebo. Even though caffeine and placebo ingestion improved vertical jump height, no significant effects of condition were found on maximal power output generated during takeoff.

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Caio Victor Sousa, Beat Knechtle and Pantelis Theo Nikolaidis

Purpose: To analyze the performances of 2 ultra-triathletes who competed in ultra-triathlon events (double Iron ultra-triathlon and triple Iron ultra-triathlon) for the past 3 decades. Longitudinal data of the performance development in ultra-triathlon athletes spanning many years are rare. Prediction of age-related performance declines in the different disciplines in triathlon events (swimming, cycling, and running) are needed for race directors to set realistic goals (time limits) for master athletes in these events. Methods: Athletes A and B had 34 and 53 participations in double Iron at 35–55 and 40–69 y of age, respectively, and 26 and 20 participations in triple Iron at 33–51 and 40–61 y of age, respectively. Nonlinear regression analyses were performed with split and overall performance against age. Results: The average declines in performance in triple Iron ultra-triathlon for athlete A were 0.62%/y, 0.19%/y, and 0.98%/y for swimming, cycling, and running, respectively. For athlete B, a positive change was identified for swimming (0.19%/y) and cycling (1.12%/y) but negative change for running (1.34%/y). Conclusion: Running is the discipline with the greatest performance-decline rate for both athletes, in both double and triple Iron distances. The race time limit of double Iron competitions seems too short, making it difficult for master athletes older than 55 y to finish the race within the event regulations.

Open access

Andy J. King, Joshua T. Rowe and Louise M. Burke

The benefits of ingesting exogenous carbohydrate (CHO) during prolonged exercise performance are well established. A recent food technology innovation has seen sodium alginate and pectin included in solutions of multiple transportable CHO, to encapsulate them at pH levels found in the stomach. Marketing claims include enhanced gastric emptying and delivery of CHO to the muscle with less gastrointestinal distress, leading to better sports performance. Emerging literature around such claims was identified by searching electronic databases; inclusion criteria were randomized controlled trials investigating metabolic and/or exercise performance parameters during endurance exercise >1 hr, with CHO hydrogels versus traditional CHO fluids and/or noncaloric hydrogels. Limitations associated with the heterogeneity of exercise protocols and control comparisons are noted. To date, improvements in exercise performance/capacity have not been clearly demonstrated with ingestion of CHO hydrogels above traditional CHO fluids. Studies utilizing isotopic tracers demonstrate similar rates of exogenous CHO oxidation, and subjective ratings of gastrointestinal distress do not appear to be different. Overall, data do not support any metabolic or performance advantages to exogenous CHO delivery in hydrogel form over traditional CHO preparations; although, one study demonstrates a possible glycogen sparing effect. The authors note that the current literature has largely failed to investigate the conditions under which maximal CHO availability is needed; high-performance athletes undertaking prolonged events at high relative and absolute exercise intensities. Although investigations are needed to better target the testimonials provided about CHO hydrogels, current evidence suggests that they are similar in outcome and a benefit to traditional CHO sources.

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Ioannis Syrmpas, Athanasios Papaioannou, Nikolaos Digelidis, Gokce Erturan and Mark Byra

Purpose: This study aimed to test the invariance of perceptions of the Spectrum teaching styles across Turkish and Greek preservice physical education teachers and to examine whether the styles could be classified into two clusters through self-determination theory. Greek (n = 298) and Turkish (n = 300) preservice teachers participated. Method: Cothran, Kulinna, and Ward’s questionnaire based on teachers’ use of and beliefs about teaching styles was used to examine their perceptions of the styles. Results: Confirmatory factor analysis revealed 11 factor indices and parameter estimates, suggesting that the 11-factor model fit the data. Multigroup confirmatory factor analysis established metric measurement invariance across samples. Multigroup confirmatory factor analysis showed that, for all higher-order models, the minimum requirement for invariance factor loading was met. The model comparison revealed that the styles could be categorized into four clusters from less to more autonomy-oriented. Conclusion: These findings might be useful to practitioners who want to use teaching styles in the promotion of students’ motivation in physical education.

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Bernardino J. Sánchez-Alcaraz, Alberto Gómez-Mármol, Alfonso Valero-Valenzuela and Javier Courel-Ibáñez

Purpose: To investigate how a physical activity education program based on the teaching personal and social responsibility (TPSR) model affected disruptive behaviors in teenagers. Method: A total of 338 students (13–15 years old) from the 672 recruited completed a 4-month TPSR-model-based program during their physical education lessons. Disruptive behavior was recorded through systematic observation. Results: The students from the TPSR-model-based group reduced their violent behaviors (physical aggressions, verbal aggressions, interrupting, and total behaviors) after the intervention, whereas the control group remained the same. Conclusions: The TPSR school-based intervention was efficient in improving coexistence in terms of decreasing violent behaviors (physical and verbal aggressions) and undisciplined behaviors (continual interruptions of lessons) in students. The novel approach used to objectively assess emerging behaviors enriched the quality and validity of the quantitative data. Future research should address the use of objective assessment when conducting TPSR-model-based programs.

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Karen Lux Gaudreault, K. Andrew R. Richards, Kelly Simonton and Angela Simonton

Purpose: Building on research surrounding the occupational socialization of physical educators, scholars have begun asking questions about how physical educators are socialized within graduate programs both at the master’s and doctoral levels. As a part of a larger longitudinal investigation, the purpose of this study was to understand how participation in a research-focused masters’ program influenced the socialization of one in-service practitioner and one doctoral student over the 2-year period following degree completion. Method: Data sources included telephone focus group interviews, text message communication, and e-mail discussions. Data were analyzed inductively. Results: The data analysis resulted in the construction of the following themes: (a) developing independence, (b) enhanced theoretical knowledge, and (c) frustration and disenchantment with the profession. Discussion/Conclusion: The results of this study highlight the importance of leadership opportunities for doctoral candidates and beginning teachers, and the significance of relationship building for professional development.