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A. Brian Nielsen and Larry Beauchamp

There has been some support for the notion that the analytical skills of prospective physical education teachers can be improved through systematic training (Armstrong, 1986; Beveridge & Gangstead, 1988). The ultimate pedagogical objective of such analysis is the provision of meaningful feedback to the learner (Hoffman, 1977). The purpose of this study was to determine the effect of training in conceptual kinesiology on the feedback patterns of students engaged in physical education teacher preparation. Prior to and after 32 hours of instruction in kinesiological concepts, subjects (N=48) viewed several videotaped performances of a familiar and a novel skill and responded by providing corrective feedback as they would if the learners were present. Analysis of pretest/posttest differences indicated a significant increase in the corrective, accurate trial-specific feedback provided for both skills. Further analysis revealed that gender, major/minor status, and high school volleyball team experience were not related to feedback provision. However, feedback patterns were related to entry level and achievement level during the training course. It was concluded that training in conceptual kinesiology can enhance feedback-provision patterns during professional preparation.

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John G.H. Dunn and A. Brian Nielsen

To fully understand why athletes experience anxiety in specific competitive situations, the psychological dimensions upon which threat perceptions are based must also be understood. No studies to date have been designed primarily to facilitate direct cross-sport comparisons of the constructs. The purposes of this study were (a) to identify the psychological dimensions upon which athletes in ice hockey and soccer base threat perceptions towards specific anxiety-inducing game situations, and (b) to determine whether athletes from these sports held similar threat perceptions towards parallel cross-sport situations. Seventy-one athletes rated the degree of similarity of threat perceptions across 15 sport-specific game situations. A multidimensional scaling analysis revealed similar three-dimensional solutions for each sport. However, certain distinct between-sport differences were also observed. Furthermore, the perceptions of threat towards certain situations were found to be multidimensional. The implications these findings have for competitive-anxiety research are discussed.

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Laurie A. Malone, A. Brian Nielsen and Robert D. Steadward

Success in free throw (FT) shooting is typically less in wheelchair basketball than in stand-up competition, but little is known about the actual nature of the shots in either setting. The outcome of a FT is typically classified as a dichotomous outcome of hit (score) or miss. However, ball pattern at the basket actually occurs along a continuum ranging from perfect hit to clean miss. The purposes of this investigation were to provide a technique for describing the FT outcome beyond the traditional dichotomous outcome and to employ it to determine the characteristics of FT shooting during an elite wheelchair basketball competition for males. FT statistics and schematic diagrams for 116 participants were recorded at the Sixth Gold Cup World Wheelchair Basketball Championship. Results reflected typical success rates of FT shooting and revealed that short shots comprised the most prominent type of misses. The instrument developed for recording schematic diagrams was an effective way to determine and describe shot outcome profiles that reflect particular trends in FT shooting.

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E. Jane Watkinson, Sean A. Dwyer and A. Brian Nielsen

Inclusion in activity at recess can have important implications for the health and for the physical, social, and cognitive development of children, according to play theorists (Pellegrini, 1995). This study examined whether children described their decisions (and those of fictitious others) to engage in recess activities in achievement terms consistent with expectancy-value theory (Eccles, Wigfield & Schiefele, 1998). Ten Grade 3 children with different patterns of recess engagement did confirm that attainment, interest, utility, and cost values were salient to decisions to participate. Children distinguished among value components, and confirmed that expectancies and values contributed to activity choices, providing support for the conceptualization of recess as an achievement setting in which expectancy-value theory applies.