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Simon Roberts and Paul Potrac

To develop our understanding about how learning theory can help to make sense of and inform the facilitation of player learning, this article presents a fictitious discussion, which takes place following a postgraduate sports coaching lecture on learning theories, pedagogy and practice. Following the lecture, Coach Educator (CE) joins two group members for a coffee to listen to their thoughts, experiences, and coaching practices in relation to pertinent player learning theory. Behaviourist Coach (BC) discusses his approach to coaching and how he has come to coach in this way; and his practices that conform to behaviourist learning theory. When BC has finished sharing his views and practices, CE then invites the other student to contribute to the discussion. Constructivist Coach (CC) recognises that his philosophical beliefs about the facilitation of player learning are vastly different to those of BC. As such, CC decides to share his approach to coaching, which aligns itself with constructivist learning theory. It is hoped that this dialogue will not only further theorise the facilitation of player learning, but do so in a way that helps coaching practitioners make the connection between learning theory and coaching practice.

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Simon Roberts, Grant Trewartha, and Keith Stokes

Purpose:

To assess the validity of a digitizing time–motion-analysis method for field-based sports and compare this with a notational-analysis method using rugby-union match play.

Method:

Five calibrated video cameras were located around a rugby pitch, and 1 subject completed prescribed movements within each camera’s view. Running speeds were measured using photocell timing gates. Two experienced operators digitized video data (operator 1 on 2 occasions) to allow 2-dimensional reconstruction of the prescribed movements.

Results:

Accuracy for total distance calculated was within 2.1% of the measured distance. For intraoperator and interoperator reliability, calculated distances were within 0.5% and 0.9%, respectively. Calculated speed was within 8.0% of measured photocell speed with intraoperator and interoperator reliability of 3.4% and 6.0%, respectively. For the method comparison, two 20-minute periods of rugby match play were analyzed for 5 players using the digitizing method and a notational time–motion method. For the 20-minute periods, overall mean absolute differences between methods for percentage time spent and distances covered performing different activities were 3.5% and 198.1 ± 138.1 m, respectively. Total number of changes in activity per 20 minutes were 184 ± 24 versus 458 ± 48, and work-to-rest ratios, 10.0%:90.0% and 7.3%:92.7% for notational and digitizing methods, respectively.

Conclusion:

The digitizing method is accurate and reliable for gaining detailed information on work profiles of field-sport participants and provides applied researchers richer data output than the conventional notational method.

Open access

Robert J. Lake and Simon J. Eaves

Increasingly, sport has become an important lens through which to examine the historical influences of, and issues related to, transnational interactions and exchanges, yet the term “transnational” remains beset with disagreement regarding its precise meaning and definition. Commonly, transnational approaches to the historical study of sport provide opportunities to reach beyond “the nation,” whereby the nation–state is not positioned, necessarily, as the central category of analysis in discussions of cultural exchange between or across nations and borders. In such analyses, nonstate actors—essentially, those working outside of government influence—can move from the periphery to the center of focus. Challenging the dominant narrative of much historical research into globalization in sport that has tended to dwell on the negative, transnational approaches, as evidenced in this collection, offer new opportunities to consider positive, progressive, and co-operative aspects inherent to the connections and exchanges examined.

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Samuel Wood, David Richardson, and Simon Roberts

Consideration of a learners’ biography is deemed to impact on their engagement with formal education and their connection with, and perceived relevance of, educational course content. It is considered equally important to understand coaches who enrol on formal coach learning in sport—their motivations, beliefs, values, existing knowledge, and previous life experiences. This research explored the individual biographies of eight neophyte cycling coaches over an 18-month period following the successful completion of a national governing body coach award. Following 23 formal semistructured interviews and 26 unstructured interviews, deductive thematic narrative analysis revealed three different typologies of coach: the “performance coach”; the “parent-coach”; and the “community coach.” Although the subjective details of the life stories varied according to their idiosyncratic perspective, all participants’ stories broadly followed one of these three identifiable narratives. Identifying different “typologies” of cycling coaches’ answers calls from coach developers to account for the specific backgrounds of coaches’ practices. It is hoped this research will begin the process of developing more personalised approaches to coach education.

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Simon J. Roberts and Stuart J. Fairclough

The common practice of annually age grouping children in education, likely done under the assumption of similarly aged children sharing similar abilities and learner characteristics, may actually undermine equity and fairness in student assessments. This strategy has received criticism for (dis) advantaging those older children born closer to the “cut off” date for entry into an academic year and for promoting the existence of relative age effects (RAEs). This paper explores the possibility that RAEs may be prevalent in the end-of-year attainment levels of junior high school physical education (PE) students. The PE end-of-year attainment scores were collected from 582 students in grades 7, 8 and 9 (aged 11–14 years) in the United Kingdom (UK). The results from a one-way analysis of variance (ANOVA) indicated a significant main effect for month of birth (p = .001) and gender (p = .001). Follow up interviews with heads of PE (HoPE) revealed a lack of awareness of RAEs and inconsiderate assessment strategies, which deviated from the requirements of the formal curriculum. The implications of RAEs in school PE assessment and possible recommendations are discussed.

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Semyon Slobounov, William Kraemer, Wayne Sebastianelli, Robert Simon, and Shannon Poole

The primary purpose of this paper was to demonstrate how modem motion tracking technologies, i.e., the Hock of Birds, and computer visualization graphics may be used in a clinical setting. The idea that joint injury reduces proprioception was investigated, and data for injured subjects were compared to data for noninjured subjects (subjects in all experiments were college students). Two experiments showed that there were no significant losses in joint position sense in knee-injured subjects, and both injured and noninjured groups visually overestimated knee movements. However, injured subjects showed no significant differences when visual reproduction data were compared with actual movement data. In addition, these data indicated that injured subjects may have greater potential for apprehension than noninjured subjects, at least in terms of visual estimation of movement ranges. This is an idea that needs further testing.

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Robert J. Lake, Simon J. Eaves, and Bob Nicholson

Anglo-American relations in tennis are a fascinating subject, particularly in the period of the late-19th/early-20th century, during which on- and off-court developments reflected and indicated broader societal shifts, as the US gradually replaced Britain as the world’s leading industrialized nation. This paper aims to discuss how Anglo-American relations in lawn tennis shifted throughout this period, from when lawn tennis was “invented” in Britain to the onset of the Great War, and to contextualize these developments in the light of shifting broader cultural relations more generally between both nations, alongside developments within sport and tennis more specifically. The following aspects are examined: attitudes toward the relative standards of both American and British players from correspondents of both nations in terms of their overall rank and possibilities of success; and, attitudes from tennis officials toward the formal organization of competitions between players of both nations.

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Simon P. Roberts, Keith A. Stokes, Lee Weston, and Grant Trewartha

Purpose:

This study presents an exercise protocol utilizing movement patterns specific to rugby union forward and assesses the reproducibility of scores from this test.

Methods:

After habituation, eight participants (mean ± SD: age = 21 ± 3 y, height = 180 ± 4 cm, body mass = 83.9 ± 3.9 kg) performed the Bath University Rugby Shuttle Test (BURST) on two occasions, 1 wk apart. The protocol comprised 16 × 315-s cycles (4 × 21-min blocks) of 20-m shuttles of walking and cruising with 10-m jogs, with simulated scrummaging, rucking, or mauling exercises and standing rests. In the last minute of every 315-s cycle, a timed Performance Test was carried out, involving carrying a tackle bag and an agility sprint with a ball, followed by a 25-s recovery and a 15-m sprint.

Results:

Participants traveled 7078 m, spending 79.8 and 20.2% of time in low- and high-intensity activity, respectively. The coefficients of variation (CV) between trials 1 and 2 for mean time on the Performance Test (17.78 ± 0.71 vs 17.58 ± 0.79 s) and 15-m sprint (2.69 ± 0.15 vs 2.69 ± 0.15 s) were 1.3 and 0.9%, respectively. There was a CV of 2.2% between trials 1 and 2 for mean heart rate (160 ± 5 vs 158 ± 5 beats⋅min−1) and 14.4% for blood lactate (4.41 ± 1.22 vs 4.68 ± 1.68 mmol⋅L−1).

Conclusion:

Results suggest that measures of rugby union-specifc high-intensity exercise performed during the BURST were reproducible over two trials in habituated participants.

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Semyon Slobounov, Robert Simon, Richard Tutwiler, and Matthew Rearick

The question regarding the invariant movement properties the central nervous system may organize to accomplish different motor task demands as reflected in EEG remains unsolved. Surprisingly, no systematic electrocortical research in humans has related movement preparation with different movement distance, although this area has been widely investigated in the field of motor control. This study examined whether the amplitude of discrete wrist movements influences the various EEG components both in time and frequency domains. Time-domain averaging techniques and Morlet wavelet transforms of EEG single trials were applied in order to extract three components [BP(0), Nl, and LPS] of movement related potentials (MRP) and to quantify changes in oscillatory activity of the movement-induced EEG waveforms accompanying 20, 40, and 60° unilateral wrist flexion movements. The experimental manipulations induced systematic changes in BP(0) and Nl amplitude along the midline (Fz, Cz, and Pz) with 20° movement showing the most negativity and 60° the least. The dominant energy within a 30-50 frequency cluster from bilateral precentral (C3, Cz, C4), frontal (F3, Fz, F4), and parietal (P3, Pz, P4) areas with maximum at vertex (Cz) also appeared to be sensitive to movement amplitude with the least power observed during 60° wrist flexion. This suggests that movement amplitude may be a controllable variable that is highly related with task-specific cortical activation primarily at frontocentral areas as reflected in EEG.

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Colin J. Lewis, Simon J. Roberts, Hazel Andrews, and Rebecca Sawiuk

Creative nonfiction writing is the literary technique employed in this article to explore insights and assist our understanding of an “alleged” sexual assault in a sport coach education environment. Creative nonfiction employs various narrative tools—characters, setting, figurative language, sequences of events, plot, sub-plot, and dialogue—designed to render the sensitive and controversial elements of sexual assault significant. Readers are, therefore, invited to engage with Stacey’s Story and reflect on the actions of both the perpetrator(s) and the victim. While there are risks associated with the sharing of stories, especially those which are considered dangerous, it is envisaged that Stacey’s Story will be viewed as an opportunity to develop more critical responses and advance our understanding of gender-based violence in sport.