The main purpose of this study was to gain a better understanding of highly influential players in elite soccer. Semistructured interviews were conducted with 10 elite coaches to determine their perceptions of the characteristics, emergence, and impact of highly influential players. The interview guide was anchored in coaching literature and leadership theory, and after the interview data in this frame were explored, these athletes were labeled cultural architects. The results of the analysis revealed 3 general dimensions of cultural architects in elite teams: (a) personal characteristics, which include elements related to their achievements on the soccer pitch, mind-set, and collective orientation; (b) relationship to the coach, which includes integrity and trust; and (c) intrateam facilitator, which includes their impact as a task-team and social-team influencer. The results represent original findings identifying the characteristics of cultural architects in soccer that are most likely transferable to many other team sports.
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Line D. Danielsen, Rune Giske, Derek M. Peters and Rune Høigaard
Joseph Peters, Ian Rice and Tyson Bull
This pilot study investigated the relationship between personal and wheelchair factors on skin pressures at the ischial tuberosity in wheelchair basketball players. Seventeen wheelchair basketball players (7 male and 10 female) were evaluated during static and dynamic propulsive conditions while peak pressure index and peak pressure gradient were recorded with an interface pressure mat. The results showed that greater seat dump angles and backrest heights were negatively associated with the peak pressure index. Therapeutic cushion use was moderately associated with a reduced peak pressure gradient. Higher-class players used chair configurations associated with augmented pressure; however, classification status alone was not associated with pressure magnitude. Body mass index was negatively correlated with the static peak pressure gradient at levels approaching significance (p < .10). In conclusion, greater seat dump angles and backrest heights may provide pressure relief, whereas greater body mass index and therapeutic cushion use may reduce pressure gradients.
Wojciech Jedziniak, Piotr Lesiakowski and Teresa Zwierko
The authors investigated the dynamics of saccadic parameters during a stationary oculomotor target task in amputee soccer players (n = 16), able-bodied soccer players (n = 16), and nonathletic control subjects (n = 16). Eye movements during the visual-search tasks were recorded binocularly using a mobile eye-tracking system, and the gaze parameters were analyzed (fixation duration, saccade duration, saccade amplitude, saccade average acceleration, saccade peak deceleration, saccade average velocity, and ocular mobility index). The average saccade acceleration in the amputee soccer players was significantly lower than in the able-bodied players (p = .021). Other saccade characteristics in disabled athletes were comparable to those of the able-bodied groups. Moreover, the able-bodied soccer players presented faster saccadic parameters than nonathletes in terms of saccade acceleration (p = .002), deceleration (p = .015), and velocity (p = .009). The modification of oculomotor functions may result from extensive practice and participation in ball games. The authors’ hypothesis that oculomotor functions in amputee soccer players may be impaired was not fully confirmed.
Stewart Cotterill, Richard Cheetham and Katrien Fransen
The aim of this study was to explore the lived experiences of the coach in relation to the perceived function of captains in professional rugby union. Participants were 8 elite male rugby coaches purposely sampled for this study. Participants were interviewed individually to gain an understanding of their experiences and perceptions of the role of the captain. The data were thematically analyzed using interpretative phenomenological analysis. Ten superordinate themes emerged in the study: types of captain, captain development, challenges, captains role, off-field responsibilities, nature of the job, selection, cultural architects, coach–captain relationship, and key attributes. Results suggest that coaches view the captain as an extension of their authority in the team, leadership groups are increasingly important to support captains, and the criteria for the selection of captains are still vague. As a result, future research should explore the development of specific evidence-based approaches to captain selection and development.
Jordan D. Herbison, Luc J. Martin and Mustafa Sarkar
Adversity is viewed as both an inevitable and an important experience for elite athletes. The purpose of this study was to explore elite athletes’ perceptions of the experiences and characteristics that helped them overcome a shared sport-specific adversity. Semistructured interviews were conducted with 12 professional athletes (M age = 27.25, SD = 3.28 yr) who had progressed to careers in the National Hockey League (NHL) despite not being selected in the annual amateur entry draft. Participants discussed their long-term objectives of playing in the NHL, previous experiences with adversity, certain psychological characteristics that facilitated their progression (e.g., competitiveness, passion, confidence), and the significance of social support as key factors that helped them overcome the initial and subsequent adversities associated with being unselected during the amateur entry draft. Practical implications and proposed avenues for future research are discussed in the context of the study’s limitations.
Shamsi S. Monfared, Gershon Tenenbaum, Jonathan R. Folstein and K. Anders Ericsson
This study examined attention allocation in 30 marksmen categorized into 3 skill levels ranging from expert to novice. Each shooter performed 336 shooting trials. Half of the trials were performed under an occluded-vision condition and the rest under regular, unoccluded conditions. Immediately after completion of a random subset of shots (96 trials), shooters estimated the actual location of each shot, and on a random subset of trials (48 trials), shooters gave retrospective verbal reports. A mixed 3 × 2 factorial analysis of variance revealed that the expert marksmen performed and estimated their shots more accurately than the intermediate and novice marksmen, the intermediates performed like the experts under the full-vision condition and like novices under the occluded-vision condition, and the experts reported attending more to nonvisual information while they estimated their shots than did the novices. The findings advance our understanding of the mechanisms mediating expertise.
Mickaël Campo, Diane Mackie, Stéphane Champely, Marie-Françoise Lacassagne, Julien Pellet and Benoit Louvet
This research studied the influence of multiple social identities on the emotions that athletes felt toward their teammates/partners and opponents. Athletes (N = 714) from individual and team-based sports reported their identification both as athletes of the sport and as athletes of their club before reporting their precompetitive emotions. The results showed that these multiple social identities influenced precompetitive emotions toward different targets, with higher levels of sport identification associated with increased positive and decreased negative emotions toward opponents and higher levels of club identification associated with increased positive and decreased negative emotions toward teammates/partners, although increased club identification was also associated with more positive emotions toward opponents. These findings extend intergroup emotions theory by showing its suitability and applicability to face-to-face task-oriented teams in sport. Particularly, they highlight the importance of investigating the simultaneous level of multiple social identities, rather than only a dichotomic self-categorization, on group-based emotions experienced toward multiple targets.
Maja Zamoscinska, Irene R. Faber and Dirk Büsch
Clinical Scenario: Reduced bone mineral density (BMD) is a serious condition in older adults. The mild form, osteopenia, is often a precursor of osteoporosis. Osteoporosis is a pathological condition and a global health problem as it is one of the most common diseases in developed countries. Finding solutions for prevention and therapy should be prioritized. Therefore, the critically appraised topic focuses on strength training as a treatment to counteract a further decline in BMD in older adults. Clinical Question: Is strength training beneficial in increasing BMD in older people with osteopenia or osteoporosis? Summary of Key Findings: Four of the 5 reviewed studies with the highest evidence showed a significant increase in lumbar spine BMD after strength training interventions in comparison with control groups. The fifth study confirmed the maintenance of lumbar spine density due to conducted exercises. Moreover, 3 reviewed studies revealed increasing BMD at the femoral neck after strength training when compared with controls, which appeared significant in 2 of them. Clinical Bottom Line: The findings indicate that strength training has a significant positive influence on BMD in older women (ie, postmenopausal) with osteoporosis or osteopenia. However, it is not recommended to only rely on strength training as the increase of BMD may not appear fast enough to reach the minimal desired values. A combination of strength training and supplements/medication seems most adequate. Generalization of the findings to older men with reduced BMD should be done with caution due to the lack of studies. Strength of Recommendation: There is grade B of recommendation to support the validity of strength training for older women in postmenopausal phase with reduced BMD.
Sitong Guo, Andrew C. Billings and James C. Abdallah
This study investigated how LeBron James’s free-agency decision in 2018 influences sport fans’ image impressions of him with in-groups (Cleveland Cavaliers) and out-groups (all other NBA teams) compared. In the months preceding James’s free-agency decision, an experimental design was employed to ask self-ascribed fans of LeBron James how they felt about 4 possible free-agency destinations: the Cleveland Cavaliers, the Houston Rockets, the Golden State Warriors, and his eventual selection, the Los Angeles Lakers. A total of 189 U.S. fans of LeBron James were recruited for the study. Results indicate that James’s image became worse (in terms of mean scores) for every out-group condition, while being slightly improved if opting to remain in the in-group; however, images were significantly different from other out-groups in the scenario in which LeBron James opted to join the Golden State Warriors—the Cavaliers most immediate rival at the time.