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Deborah L. Feltz and Eugene W. Brown

Harter's (1979) perceived competence subscale was modified to specifically apply to soccer in order to compare young soccer players' general self-esteem, perceived physical competence, and perceived soccer competence scores in predicting players' actual soccer ability. Young soccer players (N = 217), 8 to 13 years of age, were tested on five soccer skill tests. Players also completed Harter's (1979) Perceived Competence Scale for Children and our perceived soccer competence subscale. We hypothesized that perceived soccer competence would have high internal consistency and would be a better predictor of soccer ability than either perceived physical competence or general self-esteem. Results indicated that the perceived soccer competence subscale had the highest internal consistency reliability coefficient, and that it was also slightly more predictive of soccer ability than perceived physical competence as indicated by multivariate multiple regression analysis and canonical correlation analysis. Future studies investigating perceived competence as a motivational variable in specific youth sports may find the sport-specific perceived competence measure to provide additional information to Harter's questionnaire.

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Winifred A. Witten, Eugene W. Brown, Charles X. Witten and Robert Wells

Fifteen upper level USGF female gymnasts were filmed performing an overgrip giant swing on the uneven parallel bars. Based on judges' evaluations, the top 5 gymnasts were placed into a high-skill group and the bottom 5 gymnasts in a less skilled group. The groups were compared on selected kinematic and kinetic variables in the four quadrants of this skill. There were significant differences (p < .05) between the groups for the peak resultant linear velocity of the ankle and hip. There were also significant differences for several segmental velocities and accelerations (foot, shank, and arm). These differences indicate that the more highly skilled gymnasts were better able to produce faster moving body segments to perform the giant swing with less deviations in form. The faster moving segments were a result of successfully performing a “tap” during Quadrant 2. Gymnasts who were able to extend their hips quickly after clearing the low bar were in a position to accelerate their lower segments during Quadrant 3 by slightly piking at the hips.