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Stephen Harvey and Shane Pill

Research commentary suggests the utilization of Tactical Games Models (TGMs) only exists in isolated instances, particularly where teachers demonstrate true fidelity to these models. In contrast, many academics have adopted TGMs into their courses. Consequently, the purpose of this study was to investigate reasons for this disparity. Participants were 44 academics and 80 physical education teachers. Results showed that academics provided a myriad of reasons why teachers may not use TGMs, although all agreed on the need for increased teacher professional development in TGMs. Physical education teachers’ outlined that numerous competing versions of TGMs was confusing and they required more hands-on examples of TGMs. Results further highlighted disparities between academics and teachers’ conceptual understanding and pedagogical applications of TGMs. There is a critical need to create improved connections between academics and physical education teachers, which could be achieved through the extended examination of the micropedagogies of teachers practice in TGMs.

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Daniel Memmert and Stephen Harvey

The purpose of this article is to discuss some concerns with the Game Performance Assessment Instrument (GPAI). This review of the GPAI includes five perceived problems with the GPAI scoring and coding system: (1) calculation of individual and overall game performance indices, (2) use of game involvement versus game performance index to analyze game performance, (3) observer reliability, (4) nonlinearity, and (5) usefulness of action. In this article, we suggest a reexamination of the GPAI scoring and coding system that will lead to more efficient use of this game performance instrument. Some of the suggested modifications can be implemented quickly, whereas others need further research.

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Stephen Harvey and Brendon Hyndman

Purpose: To date, there have been limited investigations relating to physical education (PE) professionals’ engagement in the use of Twitter. Consequently, the aim of the study was to investigate the reasons PE professionals use Twitter, with questions underpinned by Casey, Goodyear, and Armour’s three-level conceptual classification framework of Pedagogies of Technology. Method: The application of Leximancer text mining software was uniquely employed to text mine the survey data to determine the key themes and concepts. Results: It was discovered that PE professionals perceived the Twitter platform to be highly valuable to connect with others in the profession, learn from others, and share ideas (both within schools and more broadly) via a convenient, usable form of technology. Discussion/Conclusions: Understanding the reasons PE professionals use Twitter can provide a broader understanding for those contemplating the utilization of this platform and inform future Twitter/social media research directions for the field of PE.

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Stephen Harvey, Chris Rissel and Mirjam Pijnappels

Falls among older adults remain a significant public health issue. Bicycling positively influences falls risk factors including reduced balance, muscle weakness, and low self-perceived confidence in maintaining balance. However, this association has not been systematically examined. We recruited 107 community-dwelling participants aged 65 years and older in the Netherlands to determine the relationship between bicycling and falls risk factors. Participants completed three questionnaires on cycling behavior and balance confidence, and also undertook five falls-related physical performance tasks encompassing tests of balance, strength, gait, and endurance. On average, current bicyclists showed significantly better scores in all physical tasks and confidence compared with nonriders ranging from a 10% difference in 6-m walk time to a 141% difference in single-leg balance time (all ps = .01). Type of bike used and duration of bicycling displayed varied associations (.01 < ps < .79). Our findings suggest that bicycle riding warrants further prospective investigation for fall prevention and active aging.

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Stephen Harvey, John William Baird Lyle and Bob Muir

A defining element of coaching expertise is characterised by the coach’s ability to make decisions. Recent literature has explored the potential of Naturalistic Decision Making (NDM) as a useful framework for research into coaches’ in situ decision making behaviour. The purpose of this paper was to investigate whether the NDM paradigm offered a valid mechanism for exploring three high performance coaches’ decision-making behaviour in competition and training settings. The approach comprised three phases: 1) existing literature was synthesised to develop a conceptual framework of decision-making cues to guide and shape the exploration of empirical data; 2) data were generated from stimulated recall procedures to populate the framework; 3) existing theory was combined with empirical evidence to generate a set of concepts that offer explanations for the coaches’ decision-making behaviour. Findings revealed that NDM offered a suitable framework to apply to coaches’ decision-making behaviour. This behaviour was guided by the emergence of a slow, interactive script that evolves through a process of pattern recognition and/or problem framing. This revealed ‘key attractors’ that formed the initial catalyst and the potential necessity for the coach to make a decision through the breaching of a ‘threshold’. These were the critical factors for coaches’ interventions.

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Paul Kinnerk, Stephen Harvey, Philip Kearney, Ciaran MacDonncha and Mark Lyons

Game Based Approaches (GBAs) have been advocated as pedagogies that positively impact athletes’ personal and social development, decision-making, tactical awareness and physical fitness. Despite the growing support for GBAs in the academic literature, evidence is currently lacking regarding the application of GBAs across different sports and developmental levels. Accordingly, the present study aimed to investigate Gaelic football coaches’ self-reported practice activities and session sequencing and assess how these aligned with benchmarks outlined in the GBA academic literature. In addition, coaches’ practice activities were examined as a function of developmental level (academy/developmental/senior) and time of the season (pre/peak). Responses to an online survey, completed by 150 practicing inter-county Gaelic football coaches, were analysed. During pre-season, coaches estimated spending the majority of time in Training Form activities (e.g., isolated fitness, technical skill), whereas they predominately utilised Playing Form activities (e.g., modified games) during peak-season. Coaches reported utilising Training Form activities in the first half of their coaching session before progressing to game like activities in the second half of the session. Few differences were noted across developmental levels. Further education with Gaelic football coaches is required to ensure a more sophisticated conceptual understanding and application of GBAs in coaches’ practice.

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Stephen Harvey, Megan L. Smith, Yang Song, David Robertson, Renee Brown and Lindsey R. Smith

The Tactical Games Model (TGM) prefaces the cognitive components of physical education (PE), which has implications for physical activity (PA) accumulation. PA recommendations suggest students reach 50% moderate-vigorous physical activity (MVPA). However, this criterion does not indicate the contribution from vigorous physical activity (VPA). Consequently, this study investigated: a) the effects of TGM delivery on MVPA/VPA and, b) gender/school level differences. Participants were 78 seventh and 96 fourth/fifth grade coeducational PE students from two different schools. Two teachers taught 24 (middle) and 30 (elementary) level one TGM basketball lessons. Students wore Actigraph GT3× triaxial accelerometers. Data were analyzed using four one-way ANOVAs. Middle school boys had significantly higher MVPA/VPA (34.04/22.37%) than girls (25.14/15.47%). Elementary school boys had significantly higher MVPA/VPA (29.73/18.33%) than girls (23.03/14.33%). While TGM lessons provide a context where students can accumulate VPA consistent with national PA recommendations, teachers need to modify lesson activities to enable equitable PA participation.