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David J. Collins, Loel Collins, and Tom Willmott

In a recent paper in ISCJ, Ojala and Thorpe offered a culturally based observation that questions the role and application of coaching in action sports. Their critique is focused on the action sport of snowboarding which, despite its’ comparatively recent inclusion in the Olympics, retains a different, almost collaborative rather than competitive culture more akin to other action sports such as skateboarding and surfing. Ojala and Thorpe then present Problem Based Learning (PBL) as the solution to many of these perceived ills, describing the positive characteristics of the approach and promoting its cultural fit with action sport environments and performers. In this paper we offer a different perspective, which questions the veracity of the data presented and the unquestioningly positive view of PBL as the answer. Our alternative, data-driven perspective suggests that action sport athletes are increasingly positive, or even desirous of good coaching, of which PBL is a possible approach; suitable for some athletes some of the time.

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Stacy Winter and David J. Collins

Although the field of applied sport psychology has developed, it faces further challenges on its way toward gaining greater professional status. The following principal criteria of professionalism are proposed as a test of such status: (a) provides an important public service, (b) has a knowledge-base underpinning, (c) has organizational regulation, (d) has a distinct ethical dimension, and (e) has professional autonomy. This article undertakes to explore the nature of implications for practice and the extent to which the suggested principal criteria justify a distinctive applied sport psychology profession. In doing so, we hope to stimulate debate on these and other issues in order that an even greater professionalization of our applied discipline may emerge.

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Arth R.R. Pahwa, Dylan J. Miller, Jeremy B. Caplan, and David F. Collins

This study was designed to assess the effects of acute exercise on performance of a paired associate learning (PAL) test, an operationalization of hippocampal-dependent associative memory. Participants performed a PAL test and then ran on a treadmill (exercise group, n = 52) or solved Sudoku puzzles (control group, n = 54). Participants returned 2, 5, or 8 hr later to perform a second, different, PAL test. PAL scores for the control group did not change over time. Similarly, scores on tests taken 2 and 5 hr after exercise were not different from baseline or control data. Scores on tests taken 8 hr after exercise, however, fell significantly below baseline (by 8.6%) and control (by 9.8%) scores. These data demonstrate that acute exercise can negatively affect the encoding and retrieval of new information even hours after the exercise bout, which should be a consideration when designing exercise programs to enhance, and not hinder, learning.

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David R. Lubans, Philip J. Morgan, Robin Callister, and Clare E. Collins

The purpose of this study was to examine the relationship between pedometer step counts and estimated VO2max as determined by a submaximal exercise test. Participants (N = 115; 65 girls, 50 boys) wore pedometers for five days and completed the Queen’s College Step Test (QCST). Based on these results participants were classified as HIGH, MOD, or LOW cardiorespiratory fitness. Boys accumulated more steps per day (p < .05) than girls (12,766 ± 4,923 versus 10,887 ± 2,656). The relationship between estimated VO2max and mean steps/day was moderate (r = .34, p < .01). Participants classified as having HIGH fitness levels accumulated more steps/day than LOW-fit adolescents (p < .05). The results from this study suggest that estimated VO2max as determined by a submaximal exercise test is moderately associated with mean steps/day in adolescents.

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Alyssa Evans, Gavin Q. Collins, Parker G. Rosquist, Noelle J. Tuttle, Steven J. Morrin, James B. Tracy, A. Jake Merrell, William F. Christensen, David T. Fullwood, Anton E. Bowden, and Matthew K. Seeley

Background: Physical activity and corresponding energy expenditure can improve health in various ways. Existing methods to directly measure energy expenditure are currently limited to laboratory settings and/or expensive instrumentation. The purpose of this study was to evaluate accuracy of energy expenditure characterization, during walking and running, using demographic data, as well as data collected via an accelerometer and novel piezoresponsive foam sensors. Methods: 30 individuals (14 females; mass = 67 ± 10 kg; height = 1.74 ± 0.08 m; age = 23 ± 3 yrs) walked and ran at five speeds (1.34, 2.23, 2.68, 3.13, and 3.58 m/s) on a force-instrumented treadmill while wearing a metabolic analyzer and standardized athletic shoes instrumented with an accelerometer, and four novel nanocomposite piezoresponsive force sensors. Various predictive models, including demographic data and data derived from the accelerometer and force sensors, were evaluated for each gait speed. Results: The predictive models varied in ability to accurately characterize energy expenditure. For walking, the most accurate model included acceleration and body weight, and resulted in an average absolute error of 0.07 ± 0.03 kcal/min. For running, the most accurate model included sensor and acceleration data, and resulted in an average absolute error of 0.45 ± 0.14 kcal/min. Conclusions: When combined with acceleration data and body weight, the novel foam sensors can be used to inexpensively and accurately measure walking and running energy expenditure. This can be done at various speeds, outside of a traditional research laboratory. These results have application within a wide range of diverse contexts.