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Laura Martin and Martin Camiré

Coaches have been shown to play key roles in the life-skills development and transfer process. The purpose of the study was to examine coaches’ approaches to teaching life skills and their transfer in youth sport. A multiple case study design was employed. Each case was composed of one coach and at least two of their athletes involved in youth baseball, rugby, soccer, and sailing. The data collection involved pre- and postseason interviews and in-season journaling with coaches, as well as postseason interviews with athletes. The results indicated that the coaches predominantly used implicit approaches, with just over half identified as using some explicit approaches to teach life skills. The coaches discussed several factors that influenced their decisions to use or not use explicit life-skills teaching approaches. The results have implications for future research and applied efforts aimed at maximizing the developmental gains athletes can derive from their participation in sport.

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Gavin Breslin, Tandy Haughey, Wesley O’Brien, Laura Caulfield, Alexa Robertson, and Martin Lawlor

The present study had three aims, to determine: (a) whether providing a curriculum-based mental health awareness program to athletes increased knowledge of mental health and intentions to offer support; (b) whether the program increased resilience and well-being compared to a control group; and (c) the feasibility of the program. A total of 100 participants (M age = 20.78; SD = 2.91; male = 59) either attended the program or were part of a control group. Participants completed questionnaires pre-, post-, and 3-months post-intervention, although there was a low participant return rate for the 3-month follow-up (n = 15). Participants were invited to take part in a focus group to explore program relevance. Knowledge of mental health and intentions to offer support increased for the intervention group, compared to the control. The program with some modification could be integrated into university sport courses to promote mental health awareness.

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Laura A. Garvican, David T. Martin, Sally A. Clark, Walter F. Schmidt, and Christopher J. Gore

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Michelle Walsh, Laura Cartwright, Clare Corish, Sheila Sugrue, and Ruth Wood-Martin

Purpose:

This study examined the body composition, nutritional knowledge, behaviors, attitudes, and educational needs of senior schoolboy rugby players in Ireland.

Methods:

Participants included 203 male rugby players age 15–18 yr competing at Senior School’s Cup level in Leinster, Ireland. Estimation of body composition included measurement of height, weight, and percentage body fat (PBF; using bioelectrical impedance analysis, Tanita BC-418). Nutritional knowledge, behaviors, attitudes, and education needs were assessed by questionnaire.

Results:

The range of PBF was 5.1–25.3%. Sixty-eight percent of the players in this study had a healthy PBF (10–20%), 32 (22%) were classified as underweight (<10% body fat), and 9.7% (n = 14) were overweight. Assessment of nutritional knowledge demonstrated poor knowledge of the foods required for refueling, appropriate use of sports drinks, and the role of protein in muscle formation. Alcohol consumption and dietary supplement use were reported by 87.7% and 64.5%, respectively. A perception that greater body size enhances sport performance did not predict dietary supplement use. Nutritional advice had been previously sought by 121 players from coaches (66.9%), magazines (42.1%), Web sites (38.8%), peers (35.5%), family (28.1%), sport organizations (16.5%), and health professionals (8.2%). Nutritional knowledge was no better in these players, nor did better nutritional knowledge correlate with positive dietary behaviors or attitudes.

Conclusions:

Most players had a healthy PBF. Despite a positive attitude toward nutrition, poor nutritional knowledge and dietary practices were observed in many players. Young athletes’ nutritional knowledge and dietary practices may benefit from appropriate nutritional education.

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Laura N. Desha, Jenny M. Ziviani, Jan M. Nicholson, Graham Martin, and Ross E. Darnell

This study employed ordinal logistic regression analyses to investigate the relationship between American adolescents’ participation in physical activity and depressive symptomatology. Data were drawn from the second Child Development Supplement to the Panel Study of Income Dynamics (CDS II), which was conducted over 2002-2003. Fewer than 60% of adolescents were found to accumulate 60 min of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA) outside of school hours on week or weekend days. Accumulated duration of MVPA was not, however, significantly associated with severity of depressive symptoms for either gender. Males who were not involved in sporting clubs or lessons were more likely than males who were highly involved to experience greater severity of depressive symptoms (OR = 3.24, CI = 1.33, 7.87). Results highlight gender variability in the psychosocial correlates of sporting participation and prompt further investigation of the relevance of current physical activity guidelines for mental health in adolescence.

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Kelly Samara Silva, Daniel Giordani Vasques, Caroline de Oliveira Martins, Laura Ashley Williams, and Adair S. Lopes

Background:

Research has demonstrated that adolescents who actively commute have higher levels of physical activity (PA), which have declined precipitously over the past 30 years. The purpose of this study was to describe the prevalence of active commuting to school; and to identify barriers associated with active commuting.

Methods:

A cross-sectional study was conducted with 1672 students (46.8% boys and 53.2% girls) from 11 to 17 years of age in Caxias do Sul/RS, Brazil. The students were asked to answer questionnaires about active transport, PA, and sedentary behaviors. They also completed a cardiovascular fitness test and body composition measurements. The study used a multivariate Poisson regression analysis.

Results:

A total of 62.5% of students were observed to actively commute and the prevalence ratio (PR) of not actively commuting was associated with the type of school (Private: 2.41; 1.47, 3.95) and the time spent on commuting (>20 min: 1.93; 1.23, 3.03). The associated barriers to passive commuting were distance (3.02; 1.95, 4.71), crime/ danger (2.65; 1.82, 3.85), and traffic (1.75; 1.19, 2.58).

Conclusions:

This study showed that environmental variables were strongly associated with active commuting. However, no alterations in body composition or other behavioral variables were observed after adjustment.

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Torben Pottgiesser, Laura A. Garvican, David T. Martin, Jesse M. Featonby, Christopher J. Gore, and Yorck O. Schumacher

Hemoglobin mass (tHb) is considered to be a main factor for sea-level performance after “live high–train low” (LHTL) altitude training, but little research has focused on the persistence of tHb following cessation of altitude exposure. The aim of the case study was to investigate short-term effects of various hematological measures including tHb upon completion of a simulated altitude camp. Five female cyclists spent 26 nights at simulated altitude (LHTL, 16.6 ± 0.4 h/d, 3000 m in an altitude house) where tHb was measured at baseline, at cessation of the camp, and 9 d thereafter. Venous blood measures (hemoglobin concentration, hematocrit, %reticulocytes, serum erythropoietin, ferritin, lactate dehydrogenase, and haptoglobin) were determined at baseline; on day 21 during LHTL; and at days 2, 5, and 9 after LHTL. Hemoglobin mass increased by 5.5% (90% confidence limits [CL] 2.5 to 8.5%, very likely) after the LHTL training camp. At day 9 after simulated LHTL, tHb decreased by 3.0% (90%CL −5.1 to −1.0%, likely). There was a substantial decrease in serum EPO (−34%, 90%CL −50 to −12%) at 2 d after return to sea level and a rise in ferritin (23%, 90%CL 3 to 46%) coupled with a decrease in %reticulocytes (−23%, 90%CL −34 to −9%) between day 5 and 9 after LHTL. Our findings show that following a hypoxic intervention with a beneficial tHb outcome, there may be a high probability of a rapid tHb decrease upon return to normoxic conditions. This highlights a rapid component in red-cell control and may have implications for the appropriate timing of altitude training in relation to competition.