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Patrick J. Cohn, Robert J. Rotella, and John W. Lloyd

The effects of a cognitive-behavioral intervention on adherence to preshot routines of elite collegiate golfers was evaluated using a multiple baseline (across subjects) design. Three male golfers served as subjects for the assessment of percent of mental and behavioral preshot routines completed for nine holes during baseline and treatment conditions. Players’ shots and putts were videotaped and the tapes were scored to determine the percent of behavioral routines completed. Mental routines were assessed after each round via interview format. In addition, the number of strokes, putts, fairways hit from tee, and greens hit in regulation play for nine holes were also counted. The intervention taught each golfer how to consistently align to the target, make a good decision on each shot, and be totally committed to each shot. It was effective in improving players’ adherence to both mental and behavioral preshot routines. Immediate improvements in performance did not occur. Post-treatment interviews showed that the golfers felt the intervention had a positive effect upon performance.

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Robert W. Meyers, Jon L. Oliver, Michael G. Hughes, Rhodri S. Lloyd, and John B. Cronin

Purpose:

The aim of this study was to examine the influence of age and maturation upon magnitude of asymmetry in the force, stiffness and the spatiotemporal determinants of maximal sprint speed in a large cohort of boys.

Methods:

344 boys between the ages of 11 and 16 years completed an anthropometric assessment and a 35 m sprint test, during which sprint performance was recorded via a ground-level optical measurement system. Maximal sprint velocity, as well as asymmetry in spatiotemporal variables, modeled force and stiffness data were established for each participant. For analysis, participants were grouped into chronological age, maturation and percentile groups.

Results:

The range of mean asymmetry across age groups and variables was 2.3–12.6%. The magnitude of asymmetry in all the sprint variables was not significantly different across age and maturation groups (p > .05), except relative leg stiffness (p < .05). No strong relationships between asymmetry in sprint variables and maximal sprint velocity were evident (rs < .39).

Conclusion:

These results provide a novel benchmark for the expected magnitude of asymmetry in a large cohort of uninjured boys during maximal sprint performance. Asymmetry in sprint performance is largely unaffected by age or maturation and no strong relationships exist between the magnitude of asymmetry and maximal sprint velocity.

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Robert W. Meyers, Jon L. Oliver, Michael G. Hughes, Rhodri S. Lloyd, and John Cronin

The purpose of this study was to examine the reliability of the spatiotemporal determinants of maximal sprinting speed in boys over single and multiple steps. Fifty-four adolescent boys (age = 14.1 ± 0.7 years [range = 12.9–15.7 years]; height = 1.63 ± 0.09 m; body mass = 55.3 ± 13.3 kg; -0.31 ± 0.90 age from Peak Height Velocity (PHV) in years; mean ± s) volunteered to complete a 30 m sprint test on 3 occasions over a 2-week period. Speed, step length, step frequency, contact time, and flight time were assessed via an optical measurement system. Speed and step characteristics were obtained from the single-fastest step and average of the 2 and 4 fastest consecutive steps. Pairwise comparison of consecutive trials revealed the coefficient of variation (CV) for speed was greater in 4-step (CV = 7.3 & 7.5%) compared with 2-step (CV = 4.2 & 4.1%) and 1-step (CV = 4.8 & 4.6%) analysis. The CV of step length, step frequency and contact time ranged from 4.8 to 7.5% for 1-step, 3.8–5.0% for 2-step and 4.2–7.5% for 4-step analyses across all trials. An acceptable degree of reliability was achieved for the spatiotemporal and performance variables assessed in this study. Two-step analysis demonstrated the highest degree of reliability for the key spatiotemporal variables, and therefore may be the most suitable approach to monitor the spatiotemporal characteristics of maximal sprint speed in boys.

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Robert W. Meyers, Jonathan L. Oliver, Michael G. Hughes, John B. Cronin, and Rhodri S. Lloyd

The purpose of this study was to examine the natural development of the mechanical features of sprint performance in relation to maturation within a large cohort of boys. Three hundred and thirty-six boys (11-15 years) were analyzed for sprint performance and maturation. Maximal speed, stride length (SL), stride frequency (SF), flight time (FT) and contact time (CT) were assessed during a 30m sprint. Five maturation groups (G1-5) were established based on age from peak height velocity (PHV) where G1=>2.5years pre-PHV, G2 = 2.49-1.5years pre-PHV, G3 = 1.49-0.5years pre-PHV, G4 = 0.49years pre- to 0.5years post-PHV and G5 = 0.51-1.5years post-PHV. There was no difference in maximal speed between G1, G2 and G3 but those in G4 and G5 were significantly faster (p < .05) than G1-3. Significant increases (p < .05) in SL were observed between groups with advancing maturation, except G4 and G5 (p > .05). SF decreased while CT increased (both p < .05) between G1, G2 and G3, but no further significant changes (p > .05) were observed for either variable between G3, G4 and G5. While G1-3 increased their SL, concomitant decreases in SF and increases in CT prevented them from improving maximal speed. Maximal sprint speed appears to develop around and post-PHV as SF and CT begin to stabilize, with increases in maximal sprint speed in maturing boys being underpinned by increasing SL.