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Amanda J. Visek, Heather Mannix, Avinash Chandran, Sean D. Cleary, Karen A. McDonnell and Loretta DiPietro

Colloquial conjecture asserts perceptions of difference in what is more or less important to youth athletes based on binary categorization, such as sex (girls vs. boys), age (younger vs. older), and level of competitive play (recreational vs. travel). The fun integration theory’s FUN MAPS, which identify 11 fun-factors comprised of 81 fun-determinants, offers a robust framework from which to test these conceptions related to fun. Therefore, the purposes of this study were to scientifically explore: (a) the extent to which soccer players’ prioritization of the 11 fun-factors and 81 fun-determinants were consistent with the gender differences hypothesis or the gender similarities hypothesis, and (b) how their fun priorities evolved as a function of their age and level of play. Players’ (n = 141) data were selected from the larger database that originally informed the conceptualization of the fun integration theory’s FUN MAPS. Following selection, innovative pattern match displays and go-zone displays were produced to identify discrete points of consensus and discordance between groups. Regardless of sex, age, or level of play, results indicated extraordinarily high consensus among the players’ reported importance of the fun-factors (r = .90–.97) and fun-determinants (r = .92–.93), which were consistently grouped within strata of primary, secondary, and tertiary importance. Overall, results were consistent with the gender similarities hypothesis, thereby providing the first data to dispel common conceptions about what is most fun with respect to sex, in addition to age and level of play, in a sample of youth soccer players.

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Jeffrey Martin

The overarching purpose of the current article was to examine the status of sport psychology as a profession in 4 ways. First, the author characterizes the profession of sport psychology as an illusion because there is so little demand for sport psychology services and because there are so few full-time practicing sport psychologists. Second, paradoxically, it appears that many people assume that applied sport psychology is a healthy and viable profession, so the author comments on why this is the case. Sidestepping the lack of jobs does a disservice to graduate students who believe they can easily become practicing sport psychologists. Third, it is clear that few athletes or teams want to pay for sport psychology services, so some reasons why this is the case are presented. Fourth, the author speculates about the future of the sport psychology profession, followed by some recommendations that would rectify his claim that the field’s relative silence on this issue does a disservice to students.

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Rachel Vaccaro and Ted M. Butryn

Individuals suffering from mental illness face challenges that are related to stigma and lack of education that are often reinforced by the media. Specifically, the elite athletic culture is not conducive for athletes who suffer from mental illness because there is at times a belief that mental illnesses are less prevalent in elite sport. Even though incidence of mental illness in elite athletes has gained more prominence in the popular media, there is still a lack of research in this area. Specifically, there is limited research regarding media representations of athletes who suffer from mental illness. To address this gap in the literature, an ethnographic content analysis (ECA) was done to examine Suzy Favor Hamilton’s open discussion of bipolar disorder surrounding the release of her new memoir, Fast Girl: A Life Spent Running From Madness. ECA yielded one overarching theme with three supporting sub-themes. Results indicated that even though Favor Hamilton’s book worked to spread awareness, the media attention surrounding the book release represented omission of mental illness in the environment of athletics. Overall, sports culture provides an environment that is not often willing to accept that mental illnesses exist in athletes.

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Karen S. Meaney and Sonya L. Armstrong

Bullying in any context adversely affects individuals and organizations. Although bullying is typically conceived of as an issue specific to children in schoolyards, adult bullying is widespread, and the literature on workplace bullying continues to emerge as a scholarly focus. More specifically, academic bullying in higher-education institutions has been identified as an area of particular interest. Considerable literature exists that addresses definitions, characteristics, and effects of faculty bullying; however, the literature is scant regarding effective practice and policy that explicitly aim to prevent academic bullying. Furthermore, although this is a topic often discussed informally on university campuses, it does not appear to be addressed explicitly in formalized institutional policies. In this manuscript, the authors provide the findings of the initial stages of a content analysis aimed at exploring extant policy at public doctoral-granting universities. Implications and recommendations for policy development based on the results of this policy review are provided.

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Derek T. Smith, Tannah Broman, Marcus Rucker, Cecile Sende and Sarah Banner

Effective academic advising in kinesiology is paramount to student success, contribution of the discipline to global health, and preparation of the workforce’s future leaders. Enrollment growth in kinesiology and its curricular breadth impose challenges that are unique from many other academic majors. The American Kinesiology Association convened a preworkshop titled “Advising in Kinesiology: Challenges and Opportunities” in January 2019 to begin dialogue related to advancing effective advising practices in kinesiology. Twenty-six attendees, all of whom were engaged in advising in different roles, participated in presentations and group discussions. This paper summarizes the preworkshop primary findings and offers some best-practice considerations. While it is clear that effective advising is positioned to advance the quality of kinesiology programs and our graduates, there is a dearth of supporting evidence, and addressing this through research is a needed priority.

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Akira Asada and Yong Jae Ko

Sport socialization research has revealed that a community is one of the most influential socializing agents. However, little is known about which aspects of a community promote sport socialization and how it occurs. In the current research, we identified and conceptualized two key factors characterizing sports teams’ fan communities, relative size and entitativity, and discussed how these factors influence sport socialization and its outcomes. First, we developed the model of community influence on sport socialization to depict the effects of relative size and entitativity on people’s perceptions and behaviors at the initial stage of their sport socialization. Second, we proposed the model of community influence on the outcomes of sport socialization, which explains how relative size and entitativity contribute to the outcomes of sport socialization.

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Sophie Knights, Emma Sherry, Mandy Ruddock-Hudson and Paul O’Halloran

The purpose of this research was to explore the experience of transition and life after sport in a group of retired professional athletes. A total of 45 retired athletes from three national football leagues took part in semistructured interviews. Two overarching themes emerged from the data analysis: (a) preparing for transition and planning for retirement and (b) supportive environment. For athletes in this study, four main factors were identified as critical to promoting a positive transition. The nature of the transition also directly affected athletes’ experience of retirement from sport and, thus, their experience of flourishing in life after sport. The majority of participants in this study indicated that they lacked support from their sporting club and governing bodies both during their transition and in retirement. Planning for retirement and preparing for the future positively affected their ability to flourish in retirement. Recommendations for sport managers and athlete support services are provided.

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Philip E. Martin, Mary E. Rudisill, Bradley D. Hatfield, Jared Russell and T. Gilmour Reeve

One of the most important and yet more challenging and stressful tasks completed by a department chair is evaluating faculty. Regardless of its importance, though, department chairs often receive little or no training for this critical task. This paper contains three sections, all of which focus on faculty annual evaluations. The first section discusses a number of recommendations for conducting thorough and meaningful annual evaluations. The second section highlights a real case scenario at Auburn University in which all university departments were tasked with changing their evaluation procedures, criteria, and expectations for faculty performance to better align with the revised strategic goals and mission of the university. The third section highlights an innovative peer-based faculty performance-evaluation system employed in the department of kinesiology at the University of Maryland that is designed to engage all tenure-track faculty in the evaluation process.

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Per G. Svensson, Seungmin Kang and Jae-Pil Ha

The purpose of this study was to examine the influence of shared leadership and organizational capacity on organizational performance and innovative work behavior (IWB) in sport for development and peace. An electronic survey was distributed to 1,120 sport for development and peace practitioners. A total of 215 completed surveys were recorded for a response rate of 19.2%. Structural equation modeling revealed significant relationships between shared leadership and both organizational performance and IWB. In addition, shared leadership fully mediated the relationship between capacity and IWB, and partially mediated the relationship between capacity and organizational performance. Altogether, the results indicate that shared leadership and capacity combined to explain a significant proportion of variance in performance and IWB. The results provide empirical support for the significant role of shared leadership in sport for development and peace. In addition, the significant direct and indirect effects in the tested model highlight the value of examining both capacity and shared leadership.