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Lee Phillip McGinnis and James W. Gentry

The golf industry is currently undergoing a “churning effect” whereby players are leaving nearly as quickly as they enter; this effect is especially prevalent among women. We examine interviews from male and female golf professionals, as well as transcripts from interviews with female participants of various playing levels and experience, in order to determine the reasons women not only leave golf, but more importantly, why they stay. Our data indicate that once golfers have become hooked on the game, interpersonal and structural constraints have more influence on participation than intrapersonal constraints, whereas women new to golf face intrapersonal constraints (mainly related to ability) and structural constraints (but ones somewhat different from frequent participants). We suggest strategies that might reduce the intrapersonal (helping new players of both sexes achieve a minimal level of mastery), interpersonal (development of a more gender neutral environment to reduce the likelihood of “differentness” being noted), and structural (provision of child care facilities at the course, reducing the 18-hole mentality) constraints.

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David Phillips, James C. Hannon and Darla M. Castelli

The effect of an acute bout of physical activity on academic performance in school-based settings is under researched. The purpose of this study was to examine associations between a single, vigorous (70–85%) bout of physical activity completed during physical education on standardized mathematics test performance among 72, eighth grade students at a school in the Southwestern United States. Students received both a physical activity and nonactive condition, in a repeated measures design. Academic performance measures were collected at 30 and 45-minutes post condition. It was hypothesized that students would have greater gains in mathematics test scores post physical activity condition compared with post nonactive condition. Results reported students achieved 11–22% higher math scores at 30 minutes post physical activity condition compared with other time points (45 minutes post PA, 30 and 45 minutes post sedentary) (F(1, 68) = 14.42, p < .001, d = .90). Findings suggest that physical activity may facilitate academic performance in math.

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Anthony N. Turner, Conor Buttigieg, Geoff Marshall, Angelo Noto, James Phillips and Liam Kilduff

Session rating of perceived exertion (sRPE) is known to significantly relate to heart-rate (HR) -based methods of quantifying internal training load (TL) in a variety of sports. However, to date this has not been investigated in fencing and was therefore the aim of this study. TL was calculated by multiplying the sRPE with exercise duration and through HR-based methods calculated using Banister and Edwards TRIMP. Seven male elite foil fencers (mean ± SD age 22.3 ± 1.6 y, height 181.3 ± 6.5 cm, body mass 77.7 ± 7.6 kg) were monitored over the period of 1 competitive season. The sRPE and HR of 67 training sessions and 3 competitions (87 poule bouts and 12 knockout rounds) were recorded and analyzed. Correlation analysis was used to determine any relationships between sRPE- and HR-based methods, accounting for individual variation, mode of training (footwork drills vs sparring sessions), and stage of competition (poules vs knockouts). Across 2 footwork sessions, sRPE and Banister and Edwards TRIMP were found to be reliable, with coefficient of variation values of 6.0%, 5.2%, and 4.5%, respectively. Significant correlations with sRPE for individual fencers (r = .84–.98) and across mode of exercise (r = .73–.85) and competition stages (r = .82–.92) were found with HR-based measures. sRPE is a simple and valuable tool coaches can use to quantify TL in fencing.

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Samuel T. Howe, Phillip M. Bellinger, Matthew W. Driller, Cecilia M. Shing and James W. Fell

Beta-alanine may benefit short-duration, high-intensity exercise performance. The aim of this randomized double-blind placebo-controlled study was to examine the effects of beta-alanine supplementation on aspects of muscular performance in highly trained cyclists. Sixteen highly trained cyclists (mean ± SD; age = 24 ± 7 yr; mass = 70 ± 7kg; VO2max = 67 ± 4ml·kg−1·min–1) supplemented with either beta-alanine (n = 8, 65 mg·kg−1BM) or a placebo (n = 8; dextrose monohydrate) over 4 weeks. Pre- and postsupplementation cyclists performed a 4-minute maximal cycling test to measure average power and 30 reciprocal maximal isokinetic knee contractions at a fixed angular velocity of 180°·sec−1 to measure average power/repetition, total work done (TWD), and fatigue index (%). Blood pH, lactate (La) and bicarbonate (HCO3 -) concentrations were measured preand postisokinetic testing at baseline and following the supplementation period. Beta-alanine supplementation was 44% likely to increase average power output during the 4-minute cycling time trial when compared with the placebo, although this was not statistically significant (p = .25). Isokinetic average power/repetition was significantly increased post beta-alanine supplementation compared with placebo (beta-alanine: 6.8 ± 9.9W, placebo: –4.3 ± 9.5 W, p = .04, 85% likely benefit), while fatigue index was significantly reduced (p = .03, 95% likely benefit). TWD was 89% likely to be improved following beta-alanine supplementation; however, this was not statistically significant (p = .09). There were no significant differences in blood pH, lactate, and HCO3 between groups (p > .05). Four weeks of beta-alanine supplementation resulted in worthwhile changes in time-trial performance and short-duration muscular force production in highly trained cyclists.

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Ram Haddas, Steven F. Sawyer, Phillip S. Sizer, Toby Brooks, Ming-Chien Chyu and C. Roger James

Introduction:

Recurrent lower back pain (rLBP) and neuromuscular fatigue are independently thought to increase the risk of lower extremity (LE) injury. Volitional preemptive abdominal contraction (VPAC) is thought to improve lumbar spine and pelvis control in individuals with rLBP. The effects of VPAC on fatigued landing performance in individuals with rLBP are unknown.

Objectives:

To determine the effects of VPAC and LE fatigue on landing performance in a rLBP population.

Design:

Cross-sectional pretest-posttest cohort control design.

Setting:

A clinical biomechanics laboratory.

Subjects:

32 rLBP (age 21.2 ± 2.7 y) but without current symptoms and 33 healthy (age 20.9 ± 2.3 y) subjects.

Intervention(s):

(i) Volitional preemptive abdominal contraction using abdominal bracing and (ii) fatigue using submaximal free-weight squat protocol with 15% body weight until task failure was achieved.

Main Outcome Measure(s):

Knee and ankle angles, moments, electromyographic measurements from semitendinosus and vastus medialis muscles, and ground reaction force (GRF) were collected during 0.30 m drop-jump landings.

Results:

The VPAC resulted in significantly earlier muscle onsets across all muscles with and without fatigue in both groups (mean ± SD, 0.063 ± 0.016 s earlier; P ≤ .001). Fatigue significantly delayed semitendinosus muscle onsets (0.033 ± 0.024 s later; P ≤ .001), decreased GRF (P ≤ .001), and altered landing kinematics in a variety of ways. The rLBP group exhibited delayed semitendinosus and vastus medialis muscle onsets (0.031 ± 0.028 s later; P ≤ .001) and 1.8° less knee flexion at initial contact (P ≤ .008).

Conclusion:

The VPAC decreases some of the detrimental effects of fatigue on landing biomechanics and thus may reduce LE injury risk in a rLBP population.

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Mark A. Rogers, James G. Phillips, John L. Bradshaw, Robert lansek and Dean Jones

The basal ganglia (BG) may play a part in motor sequencing. Individuals with Parkinson's disease (PD) may exhibit progressive slowing (sequence effect) during motor sequences such as writing (micrographia) and gait. In the present study, a serial two-way choice reaction time task was employed, in which advance information about each next movement was not provided until the participant began moving, thereby assessing the participant's ability to utilize advance information. Participants were 13 individuals with idiopathic PD and 13 age-matched controls. Both PD subjects and controls showed a significant sequence effect in the absence of advance information, possibly reflecting difficulty in initiating and maintaining movement without external cues. PD subjects and controls both exhibited a sequence effect at moderate levels of advance information. At high levels of advance information, PD subjects showed the effect but controls did not, suggesting that controls, unlike PD subjects, were able to use the extra information to facilitate performance, perhaps reflecting more frontal aspects of impairment in PD.