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Daniel G. Baker and Robert U. Newton

Purpose:

To examine the upper body strength, speed, power, and strength-endurance of rugby-league players of different ranks. These data could provide information pertinent to the importance of these factors for different grades of rugby league and for positional groups in those different grades.

Methods:

Sixty rugby-league players, 20 participants each in the elite, national first-division league (NRL), state-based second-division league (SRL), and intracity third-division league (CRL), served as subjects. Maximal upper body strength, power, speed, and muscle endurance were assessed using the bench-press exercise.

Results:

The NRL players were significantly stronger (141.4 ± 15.4 kg) than SRL (126.6 ± 13.1 kg, ES = 1.033) and CRL (108.1 kg ± 11.6, ES = 2.458) and more powerful (NRL = 680 ± 99 W) than SRL (591 ± 72 W, ES = 1.037) and CRL players (521 ± 71 W, ES = 1.867). The differences in speed (NRL = 345 ± 31 W, SRL = 319 ± 29 W, CRL = 303 ± 29 W; ES = 0.884 and 1.409, respectively) and strength-endurance (NRL = 36 ± 7 reps, SRL = 32 reps ± 7, CRL = 24 ± 5 reps; ES = 0.521 and 1.984, respectively) were not as pronounced.

Conclusions:

Of the tests undertaken, maximal strength best describes players who attain NRL ranking. Maximum power and strength-endurance were also strong descriptors of attainment of NRL level. Upper body speed appears less likely to strongly discriminate between players who attain NRL level and those who do not. These results tended to hold true across the different team positional groupings.

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Robert Baker, Lisa Kihl and Matthew Walker

Edited by Jeremy S. Jordan

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Robert Baker, Jennifer Bruening and Lisa Kihl

Edited by Jeremy S. Jordan

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Christopher Atwater, Jered Borup, Robert Baker and Richard E. West

This qualitative case study examined student perceptions of video communication with their instructor in an online research and writing course for sport and recreation graduate students. All students participated in two personalized Skype video calls with the instructor and received two video and text feedback critiques of their written projects. Eight students were interviewed following the course. Despite minor technological and scheduling concerns, students found that their Skype calls helped form a relationship with their instructor and improved their confidence in the course. Students found that video feedback recordings on their written projects were elaborate and friendly, while text feedback comments tended to be more convenient, efficient, and concise. However, all students reported that the advantages of video feedback outweighed the advantages of text. The article concludes with recommendations for future research and for online instructors who wish to effectively blend these forms of communication.

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Karen Danylchuk, Robert Baker, Brenda Pitts and James Zhang

This study examined the perspectives of sport management academicians regarding their experiences supervising international graduate students. Fifteen experts were interviewed and provided their perspectives on practices used in international student involvement—specifically, student identification, recruitment, acceptance, orientation, progress, and retention, and the inherent challenges and benefits. The primary challenges cited by the majority of participants were language and cultural differences in learning; however, all participants concurred that the benefits of supervising international students far outweighed the challenges. These benefits included, but were not limited to, bringing international and global perspectives into the learning environment, which was positive for both students and professors. Findings from this study may provide program administration with insights on key factors affecting the quality of delivery of sport management education to international students. Consequently, high-quality programs can be developed to meet the needs of students from diverse cultural and educational backgrounds.

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Kathy Babiak, Robert Baker, Jennifer Bruening, Matthew Juravich, Lisa Kihl and Marissa Stevenson

Edited by Jeremy S. Jordan

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Kathy Babiak, Robert Baker, Jennifer Bruening, Matthew Juravich and Lisa Kihl

Edited by Jeremy S. Jordan

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Damon Andrew, Robert Baker, Chris Greenwell, Lisa Kihl and Sara Leberman

Edited by Jeremy S. Jordan

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Robert W. Cox, Rodrigo E. Martinez, Russell T. Baker and Lindsay Warren

Context: Range of motion is a component of a physical examination used in the diagnostic and rehabilitative processes. Following ankle injury and/or during research, it is common to measure plantar flexion with a universal goniometer. The ease and availability of digital inclinometers created as applications for smartphones have led to an increase in using this method of range of motion assessment. Smartphone applications have been validated as alternatives to inclinometer measurements in the knee; however, this application has not been validated for plantar flexion in the ankle. Objectives: The purpose of this study was (1) to assess the validity of the Clinometer Smartphone Application™ produced by Plaincode App Development for use in the ankle (ie, plantar flexion) and (2) to assess the validity of the inclinometer procedures used to measure ankle dorsiflexion for measuring ankle plantar flexion. Design: Blinded repeated measures correlational design. Setting: University-based outpatient rehabilitative clinic. Participants: A convenience sample (N = 50) of participants (27 females and 23 males) who reported to the clinic (mean age = 30.48 y). Intervention: Patients were long seated on a plinth, with the knee in terminal extension. Three plantar flexion measurements were taken with a goniometer on each foot by the primary researcher. The primary researcher then conducted 3 blinded measurements with The Clinometer Smartphone Application™ following the same procedure. A second researcher, who was blinded to the goniometer measurements, recorded the inclinometer measurements. After data were collected, a Pearson’s correlation was calculated to determine the validity of the clinometer app compared with goniometry. Main Outcome Measure: Degrees of motion for ankle plantar flexion. Results: Measurements produced using the Clinometer Smartphone Application™ were highly correlated for right foot (r = .92, P < .001), left foot (r = .92, P < .001), and combined (r = .92, P < .001) with goniometer measurements using a plastic universal goniometer. Conclusion: The Clinometer Smartphone Application™ is a valid instrument for measuring plantar flexion of the ankle.

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Robert J. Bonser, Christy L. Hancock, Bethany L. Hansberger, Rick A. Loutsch, Eric K. Stanford, Alli K. Zeigel, Russell T. Baker, James May, Alan Nasypany and Scott Cheatham

Clinical Scenario:

Hamstring tightness is a common condition leading to dysfunctional or restricted movement that is often treated with stretching. Neurodynamics has been proposed as an alternative to stretching by targeting the neural system rather than muscle tissue.

Focused Clinical Question:

In an active population, what is the effect of using neurodynamic sliders compared with stretching on traditional measures of range of motion (ROM)?

Summary of Key Findings:

The authors of a well-designed study found that neurodynamic sliders were more effective than static stretching, while the authors of 2 less-well-designed studies reported no difference with static stretching or that proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation stretching was more effective than neurodynamic sliders.

Clinical Bottom Line:

Evidence exists to support the use of neurodynamic sliders to increase measures of hamstring ROM in patients who present with limited hamstring flexibility; however, the effectiveness of neurodynamic sliders compared with traditional stretching is inconclusive.

Strength of Recommendation:

Grade B evidence exists that neurodynamic sliders perform as well as traditional stretching techniques at increasing measures of hamstring ROM in patients with limited hamstring flexibility.