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Volume 32 (2024): Issue 4 (Aug 2024)

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Volume 36 (2024): Issue 3 (Aug 2024)

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Acute Effects of Cadence-Controlled Walking on Cognition and Vascular Function in Physically Inactive Older Adults: A Randomized Crossover Study

Peixuan Zheng, Hayley V. MacDonald, Mark T. Richardson, Kaiwen Man, Ian M. McDonough, and Elroy J. Aguiar

Background: Cadence-controlled walking may be a desirable approach for older adults to self-monitor exercise intensity and achieve physical activity guidelines. We examined the acute effects of cadence-controlled walking on cognition and vascular function in physically inactive older adults. Methods: In a randomized crossover design, 26 participants (65% females, 67.8 ± 11.3 years) underwent 30-min acute exercise (walking at 100 steps/min) and control (sitting) conditions. We measured cognition, central blood pressure (BP), and arterial stiffness before, and immediately, after each condition. Results: We observed significant Time × Condition interactions in the Flanker Inhibitory Control and Attention (Flanker) test and Dimensional Change Card Sort (DCCS) test scores, and in central systolic BP, central pulse pressure, and carotid to femoral pulse wave velocity (p < .05). The Flanker and DCCS scores significantly increased after walking (d = 0.4 and 0.5, respectively), but not after sitting. Central systolic BP, central pulse pressure, and carotid to femoral pulse wave velocity significantly increased after sitting but remained unchanged after acute walking (d = 0.4–0.2), with p-values < .05. After walking, significant correlations were observed between DCCS and diastolic BP and central pulse pressure change scores and change scores in central pulse wave velocity, Flanker, and DCCS (r s = −0.45 to −0.52). Conclusion: These findings suggest that a single bout of cadence-controlled walking elicited an immediate improvement in cognition and might have mitigated increases in arterial stiffness and central BP observed in the seated control condition. Further research is needed to examine the association between cognition and vascular function following acute exercise compared to control conditions. Significance: Our findings may have practical implications for developing daily physical activity recommendations for improving the cognitive health for successful aging.

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Athletic Performance Decline Over the Life Span: Cross-Sectional and Longitudinal Analyses of Elite and Masters Track-and-Field Data

Brandon Pfeifer, W. Bradley Nelson, and Robert D. Hyldahl

Purpose : Loss of muscle power has a significant impact on mobility in geriatric populations, so this study sought to determine the extent and time course of performance decline in power-centric events throughout the life span via retrospective analyses of masters and elite track-and-field data. Methods : Four track-and-field events were selected based on maximal power output: the 100-m dash, long jump, high jump, and triple jump. Elite and masters athlete data were gathered from the World Masters Outdoor Championships and the International Amateur Athletic Federation World Athletics Championships (17,945 individual results). Data were analyzed by fitting individual and group results to quadratic and linear models. Results : Average age of peak performance in all events was 27.8 (0.8) years for men and 28.3 (0.8) years for women. Athlete performance decline best matched a linear model for the 5 years following peak performance (mean R 2  = .68 [.20]) and for ages 35–60, but best matched a quadratic model for ages 60–90 and 35–90 (mean R 2  = .75 [.12]). The average rate of decline for the masters data ages 35–60 ranged from 0.55% per year for men’s 100-m dash to 1.04% per year for women’s long jump. A significant age × sex interaction existed between men and women, with men declining faster throughout life in all events except the 100-m dash. Conclusions : Performance decline begins in the early 30s and is linear through middle age. This pattern of decline provides a basis for further research on power-decline pathophysiology and preventive measures starting in the 30s.

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A Change-Point Method to Detect Meaningful Change in Return-to-Sport Progression in Athletes

Kate K. Yung, Ben Teune, Clare L. Ardern, Fabio R. Serpiello, and Sam Robertson

Purpose: To explore how the change-point method can be used to analyze complex longitudinal data and detect when meaningful changes (change points) have occurred during rehabilitation. Method: This design is a prospective single-case observational study of a football player in a professional club who sustained an acute lower-limb muscle injury during high-speed running in training. The rehabilitation program was entirely completed in the football club under the supervision of the club’s medical team. Four wellness metrics and 5 running-performance metrics were collected before the injury and until the player returned to play. Results: Data were collected over 130 days. In the univariate analysis, the change points for stress, sleep, mood, and soreness were located on days 30, 47, 50, and 50, respectively. The change points for total distance, acceleration, maximum speed, deceleration, and high-speed running were located on days 32, 34, 37, 41, and 41, respectively. The multivariate analysis resulted in a single change point for the wellness metrics and running-performance metrics, on days 50 and 67, respectively. Conclusions: The univariate approach provided information regarding the sequence and time point of the change points. The multivariate approach provided a common change point for multiple metrics, information that would benefit clinicians to have a broad overview of the changes in the rehabilitation process. Clinicians may consider the change-point method to integrate and visualize data from multiple sources to evaluate athletes’ progression along the return-to-sport continuum.

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Coaches’ Provision of Structure for Players’ Competence Development: Perspectives of Professional Soccer Coaches and Players in Norway

Kevin Nicol and Justine B. Allen

Developing athletes’ actual and perceived competence is critical to enhancing performance and considered central to coaching. According to self-determination theory, the provision of competence-supportive structure is critical for psychological need satisfaction, optimal motivation, and well-being. Coaches use of structure such as providing clear expectations, instructional guidance, and feedback are well-established coaching practices; however, little is known about how, and to what extent, these types of structure support or thwart players’ perceptions of competence, particularly in high-performance contexts. Five head coaches working in the highest soccer league in Norway, and three players from each of the participating head coach’s squads (N = 15) participated in semistructured interviews. Through abductive analysis, we generated five themes: structure to promote competence; coaching for competence development; relatedness support as a foundation for effective structure; freedom within structure is useful; and shared ownership of, and with, structure. The findings provide evidence that professional soccer coaches and players in this study desire and deliver structure. It is provided in an autonomy-supportive way and built on a relatedness supportive foundation. This study contributes new insight into the importance of competence-supportive structure in coaching, which coaches and those supporting the development of coaches may find useful.

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Coaching Psychology in Athletic Bilbao: The Story From Its Beginnings

John O’Neill, Ian Sherwin, and Mark J. Campbell

Athletic Bilbao, also known by its more correct name of Athletic Club, is a professional football club based in Bilbao, in the Basque Country of Spain. Since 1912, it has adhered to its policy of only allowing players from the Basque Country to play for them. This system is known as cantera, from the word for quarry, meaning treating players from the surrounding area as a valuable resource to be extracted and moulded. Despite the self-imposed limitation of this unwritten rule, Athletic Bilbao is one of only three clubs to have never been relegated from LaLiga, along with Real Madrid and Barcelona. Here, we look at how psychology was developed in the club toward developing home-grown players, which became known as La Mirada (“The Gaze” in Spanish). A key perspective of how La Mirada developed over time was to address coaches’ mindsets before those of the players, especially because coaches often felt that their learning was going to be an upward trajectory by relying on what had given them results in other clubs. This Practical Advance paper explores this distinctive journey of psychology with examples from what was themed the lights and shadows of coaches’ and players’ learning development in Athletic Bilbao.

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Dosed Failure Increases Older Adult’s Motivation for an Exergame

Nick Kluft, Jeroen B.J. Smeets, and Katinka van der Kooij

We investigated whether dosed failure motivates older adults to perform more repetitions in an exergame that involves hitting targets with stepping movements. The effect of dosed failure was studied in a within-participants design in which all participants performed this exergame in both a Standard condition, in which one never fails, and in a Dosed Failure condition, in which we introduced about 30% failures. The order of conditions (Standard First or Dosed Failure first) was chosen randomly for each participant. Results showed that participants performed more repetitions in the Dosed Failure condition compared with the Standard condition, while play duration and subjective motivation at the moment of quitting did not differ. This shows that dosed failure motivated older adults to put a greater amount of effort to perform the exercise without affecting play duration or subjective motivation.

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Exploring Recess Policies and Practices in Middle Schools: A School Leadership Perspective

Edward B. Olsen, James D. Wyant, Emi Tsuda, Kyoung Kim, Mia Weiser, Colin Embry, Joseph Di lusto, John Koch, and Mohamed Omar

Purpose: This study explored school administrators’ perceptions and experiences in planning and implementing recess policies and practices in New Jersey middle schools. Method: A total of 168 surveys and 19 semistructured interviews were conducted on school administrators. The survey data were analyzed using descriptive statistics. Semistructured interviews were analyzed using a phronetic iterative approach. Results: Phase 1 results showed that the participants supported and could offer recess. Major barriers included time demands and scheduling conflicts. The results of Phase 2 represented four themes: (a) the importance and benefits of middle school recess, (b) recess operation, (c) issues associated with middle school recess, and (d) resources to improve middle school recess. Conclusions: Professional development, stakeholder input, recess committees, recess plans and schedules, fundraisers/budgets, and laws are critical for planning and implementing recess policies and practices at the middle school level.

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Personal and Social Correlates of Self-Reported Physical Activity in Individuals With a History of Anterior Cruciate Ligament Reconstruction

Rachel R. Kleis, Deirdre Dlugonski, Matthew C. Hoch, Rachel Hogg-Graham, Stacey Slone, and Johanna M. Hoch

Physical activity is negatively impacted after anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injury and subsequent reconstruction. Previous evidence suggests that individuals with a history of ACL reconstruction (ACLR) may experience additional barriers to sport and physical activity participation. The purpose of this study was to identify personal and social factors (physical literacy, social support, and knee function) that are predictive of self-reported physical activity in individuals with a history of ACLR. Bivariate analyses determined that elements of physical literacy and knee function were positively correlated with self-reported physical activity. The final stepwise linear regression model demonstrated that the PLAYself Physical Literacy Self-description subsection accounted for 12.2% of the variance of self-reported physical activity (p = .003). The significant effect of the PLAYself Physical Literacy Self-description remained (p = .002) even when additional demographic covariates (age, time since ACLR, and sex) were added to the model. Findings suggest that physical literacy may be a salient factor to consider for promoting physical activity after ACLR.