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Performance Profiling and Construct Validity

Jo Doyle and Gaynor Parfitt

This study attempted to assess the construct validity of the performance profile technique (Butler, 1989) within elite track and field athletics. Twelve elite (senior international honors) athletes (5 male, 7 female: mean age = 21.2, SD = 1.81) completed their profile on five occasions across winter training and the indoor season. Support for the construct validity of the profile was identified by a reduction in profile areas of perceived need (F (4, 44) = 11.77, p < .05) which was congruent with the observed increase in performance (F (4, 44) = 26.30, p < .05) as athletes progressed from winter training to the peak of the competitive indoor season. Trend analyses also identified that areas of perceived need in profile constructs, which were classified as most important to performance, showed a greater and more rapid reduction across the five occasions compared to the least important constructs. However, the results raise some concern over the usefulness of the profile for detecting subtle but important changes in performance and perceived need.

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The Development of a Model for the Provision of Psychological Support to a National Squad

Lew Hardy and Gaynor Parfitt

The aim of this paper is to describe and appraise two different models used for providing sport psychology support services to the British Amateur Gymnastics Association over the last 6 years. In the first phase, the sport psychologists assumed the traditional role of experts who evaluated performers’ needs and then prescribed educational psychological skills training programs according to the sport psychologists’ perceptions of individual needs. This approach contained both educational and monitoring elements. The second phase adopted a consultancy approach in which the coach, performer, and sport psychologist were all assumed to bring expert knowledge to bear on any problem. In this approach, the sport psychologists responded to the expressed needs of performers and coaches, assuming diverse roles. According to the sport psychologists, this second model was more difficult to operate than the first model. However, consultant evaluation data and consultant opinion suggested the second model operated more successfully than the first.

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Exploring Affective Responses to Different Exercise Intensities in Low-Active Young Adolescents

Kate Stych and Gaynor Parfitt

Adolescence provides a significant opportunity to influence attitudes toward activity. It has been proposed that affective responses are the first link in the hypothesized exercise intensity-affect-adherence chain. The aim of this study was to explore young low-active adolescents’ affective responses to different exercise intensities using quantitative and qualitative methodologies. Participants completed 15 min of exercise at four exercise intensities: three set in relation to the participants’ ventilatory threshold (above, at, and below) and one self-selected. Affective valence was measured before, during, and after exercise, and participants were interviewed about their responses. Patterns in affective responses in quantitative data support tenets of the dual-mode theory. Qualitative data were presented as four narrative stories, and dominant themes associated with affective responses were identified. Consideration of individual preferences in the prescription of exercise, prescribing exercise set below the ventilatory threshold, or encouraging adolescents to self-select exercise intensity could positively influence adolescents’ exercise experiences.

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Imagery Use and Affective Responses During Exercise: An Examination of Cerebral Hemodynamics Using Near-Infrared Spectroscopy

Gavin Tempest and Gaynor Parfitt

Imagery, as a cognitive strategy, can improve affective responses during moderate-intensity exercise. The effects of imagery at higher intensities of exercise have not been examined. Further, the effect of imagery use and activity in the frontal cortex during exercise is unknown. Using a crossover design (imagery and control), activity of the frontal cortex (reflected by changes in cerebral hemodynamics using near-infrared spectroscopy) and affective responses were measured during exercise at intensities 5% above the ventilatory threshold (VT) and the respiratory compensation point (RCP). Results indicated that imagery use influenced activity of the frontal cortex and was associated with a more positive affective response at intensities above VT, but not RCP to exhaustion (p < .05). These findings provide direct neurophysiological evidence of imagery use and activity in the frontal cortex during exercise at intensities above VT that positively impact affective responses.

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Acute Affective Responses to Prescribed and Self-Selected Exercise Intensities in Young Adolescent Boys and Girls

Kate E. Sheppard and Gaynor Parfitt

This study examined the patterning of acute affective responses to prescribed and self-selected exercise intensities in a young adolescent population. Twenty-two young adolescents (13.3 ± .33 years) completed a maximal exercise test to identify ventilatory threshold (VT). Participants then completed two prescribed intensities (one set above and one below the VT) and a self-selected intensity. Pre-, during, and postexercise affective valence was measured. Results revealed that during exercise, affective valence assessed by the Feeling Scale (FS) remained positive in the self-selected and low-intensity conditions but declined in the high-intensity condition. Postexercise FS responses rebounded to preexercise levels, eradicating divergent trends that occurred during exercise.

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A Quantitative Analysis and Qualitative Explanation of the Individual Differences in Affective Responses to Prescribed and Self-Selected Exercise Intensities

Elaine A. Rose and Gaynor Parfitt

Using a mixed-method approach, the aim of this study was to explore affective responses to exercise at intensities below-lactate threshold (LT), at-LT, and above-LT to test the proposals of the dual-mode model (Ekkekakis, 2003). These intensities were also contrasted with a self-selected intensity. Further, the factors that influenced the generation of those affective responses were explored. Nineteen women completed 20 min of treadmill exercise at each intensity. Affective valence and activation were measured, pre-, during and postexercise. Afterward, participants were asked why they had felt the way they had during each intensity. Results supported hypotheses showing affect to be least positive during the above-LT condition and most positive during the self-selected and below-LT conditions. Individual differences were greatest in the below-LT and at-LT conditions. Qualitative results showed that factors relating to perceptions of ability, interpretation of exercise intensity, exercise outcomes, focus of concentration, and perceptions of control influenced the affective response and contributed to the individual differences shown in the quantitative data.

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Responses to Physical Exertion in Active and Inactive Males and Females

Gaynor Parfitt, David Markland, and Colin Holmes

An experiment is presented that investigates the relationship between gender, exercise history, and psychological affect during and after exercising at different workloads. High-active and low-active subjects reported their psychological affect in the last 30 s of and 5 min after exercising at 60 and 90% VO2max workloads. Results indicated that high-active subjects (both males and females) were significantly more positive in the 90% workload condition than were the low-active group, but there was no difference between the groups in the 60% workload condition (p < .001). These results suggest that psychological affect in exercise settings is influenced by exercise history, workload, and time when self-reported affect is requested.

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Patterning of Affective Responses During a Graded Exercise Test in Children and Adolescents

Charlotte C. Benjamin, Alex Rowlands, and Gaynor Parfitt

Past studies have shown the patterning of affective responses during a graded exercise test (GXT) in adult and male adolescent populations, but none have explored the patterns in adolescent girls or younger children. This study explored the patterning of affective responses during a GXT in adolescents and younger children. Forty-nine children (21 male and 28 female) aged between 8–14 years (10.8 ± 1.8 years) completed a GXT. Ventilatory threshold (VT) was identified. At the end of each incremental step, participants reported affective valence. Results revealed that affective valence assessed by the Feeling Scale (FS) significantly declined from the onset of exercise until the point of VT in the younger children, but remained relatively stable in the adolescents. Exercise above the VT brought about significant declines in affective valence regardless of age or sex, but the decrease was significantly greater in adolescents. Results suggest it may be preferable to prescribe lower exercise intensities (below VT) for children, compared with adolescents, to ensure a positive affective response.

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Relationships Between Model-Predicted and Actual Match-Play Exercise-Intensity Performance in Professional Australian Footballers During a Preseason Training Macrocycle

Stuart R. Graham, Stuart Cormack, Gaynor Parfitt, and Roger Eston

Purpose: To assess and compare the validity of internal and external Australian football (AF) training-load measures for predicting preseason variation of match-play exercise intensity (MEI sim/min) using a variable dose–response model. Methods: A total of 21 professional male AF players completed an 18-wk preseason macrocycle. Preseason internal training load was quntified using the session rating-of-perceived-exertion method (sRPE) and external load from satellite (as distance [Dist] and high-speed distance [HS Dist]) and accelerometer (Player Load [PL]) data. Using a training-impulse (TRIMPs) calculation, external load expressed in arbitrary units was represented as TRIMPsDist, TRIMPsHSDist, and TRIMPsPL. Preseason training load and MEI sim/min data were applied to a variable dose–response model, which provided estimates of MEI sim/min. Model estimates of MEI sim/min were correlated with actual measures from each match-play drill performed during the preseason macrocycle. Magnitude-based inferences (effect size [90% confidence interval]) were calculated to determine practical differences in the precision of MEI sim/min estimates using each of the internal- and external-load inputs. Results: Estimates of MEI sim/min demonstrated very large and large associations with actual MEI sim/min with models constructed from external and internal training inputs (r [90% confidence interval]; TRIMPsDist .73 [.72–.74], TRIMPsPL .72 [.71–.73], and sRPESkills .67 [.56–.78]). There were trivial differences in the precision of MEI sim/min estimates between models constructed from TRIMPsDist and TRIMPsPL and between internal input methods. Conclusions: Variable dose-response models from multiple training-load inputs can predict the within-individual variation of MEI sim/min across an entire preseason macrocycle. Models informed by external training inputs (TRIMPsDist and TRIMPsPL) exhibited predictive power comparable to those of sRPESkills models.

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A Perceptually-regulated Exercise Test Predicts Peak Oxygen Uptake in Older Active Adults

Ashleigh E. Smith, Roger G. Eston, Belinda Norton, and Gaynor Parfitt

Peak oxygen uptake (V̇O2peak) is reliably predicted in young and middle-aged adults using a submaximal perceptually-regulated exercise test (PRET). It is unknown whether older adults can use a PRET to accurately predict V̇O2peak. In this study, the validity of a treadmill-based PRET to predict V̇O2peak was assessed in 24 participants (65.2 ± 3.9 years, 11 males). The PRET required a change in speed or incline corresponding to ratings of perceived exertion (RPE) 9, 11, 13, and 15. Extrapolation of submaximal V̇O2 from the PRET to RPE endpoints 19 and 20 and age-predicted HRmax were compared with measured V̇O2peak. The V̇O2 extrapolated to both RPE19 and 20 over-predicted V̇O2peak (p < .001). However, extrapolating V̇O2 to age-predicted HRmax accurately predicted V̇O2peak (r = .84). Results indicate older adults can use a PRET to predict V̇O2peak by extrapolating V̇O2 from submaximal intensities to an age-predicted HRmax.