An expert system approach (Buchanan et al., 1983) was used to identify and conceptualize the knowledge of 17 Canadian expert high-performance gymnastic coaches. By using a qualitative research methodology based on the traditions of cognitive anthropology and grounded theory, the first two stages of the knowledge acquisition process for building an expert system (identification and conceptualization) were examined. Open-ended questions and various questioning methods were used to unveil, explore, and probe important information (Patton, 1990; Spradley, 1979) about various coaching situations. All coaches’ interviews were transcribed verbatim, and the unstructured qualitative data were inductively analyzed following the procedures and techniques of grounded theory (Côté, Salmela, Baria, & Russell, 1993; Glaser & Strauss, 1967; Strauss & Corbin, 1990). This article provides the underlying methodological framework used for the entire project. Details about the coaches studied and the methodological framework used to collect and analyze the data are presented.
Jean Côté, John H. Salmela, and Storm Russell
Jean Côté, John H. Salmela, and Storm Russell
The purpose of this study is to report the knowledge used in training and competition by 17 expert high-performance gymnastic coaches. A qualitative research methodology was used to collect and inductively analyze the data. The knowledge elicited for the competition component was categorized as competition site, competition floor, and trial competitions. These categories indicated that the coaches are minimally involved with the gymnasts in competition. The knowledge of the coaches elicited within the training component were categorized as coach involvement in training, intervention style, technical skills, mental skills, and simulation. Properties of these categories that were extensively discussed by the expert coaches, such as teaching progressions, being supportive, and helping athletes to deal with stress, are consistent with the literature on coaching and on sport psychology. Other aspects considered important in the sport psychology literature, such as developing concentration skills, were not discussed as thoroughly by the expert coaches.
Jean Côté, John Saimela, Pierre Trudel, Abderrahim Baria, and Storm Russell
An expert system approach (Buchanan et al., 1983) was used to identify and conceptualize the knowledge of 17 Canadian expert high-performance gymnastic coaches. The knowledge elicitation process consisted of open-ended questions and various questioning methods to unveil, explore, and prove important information (Patton, 1987; Spradley, 1979) about coaching. All coaches’ interviews were transcribed verbatim, and the unstructured qualitative data were inductively analyzed following the procedures and techniques of grounded theory (Strauss & Corbin, 1990). The inductive analysis process allowed the meaning units of the interview transcripts to be regrouped into properties, categories, and components. The components emerging from the analysis consisted of (a) competition, (b) training, (c) organization, (d) coach’s personal characteristics, (e) gymnast’s personal characteristics and level of development, and (f) contextual factors. These components were further developed into a model representing coaches’ knowledge.
Jean Côté, John H. Salmela, Abderrahim Baria, and Storm J. Russell
In the last several years there has been an increase in the amount of qualitative research using in-depth interviews and comprehensive content analyses in sport psychology. However, no explicit method has been provided to deal with the large amount of unstructured data. This article provides common guidelines for organizing and interpreting unstructured data. Two main operations are suggested and discussed: first, coding meaningful text segments, or creating tags, and second, regrouping similar text segments, or creating categories. Furthermore, software programs for the microcomputer are presented as a way to facilitate the organization and interpretation of qualitative data.
Tali Bar-Or, Oded Bar-Or, Heather Waters, Arif Hirji, and Storm Russell
Although portable heart rate (HR) monitors are commonly used to assess energy expenditure, little is known about their suitability for preschoolers. To validate the Polar Vantage XL monitor (XL), the HRs of twenty-seven 3- to 5-year-old girls and boys were measured using the XL and ECG simultaneously. During rest, values for both methods were virtually identical (ECG = 97.3 ± 7.5, XL = 97.9 ±7.2, r = .99 for lying, and ECG = 111.1 ± 16.5, XL = 110.4± 16.3 for sitting). XL nonsignificantly underestimated HR during 1–2 min of non-steady-state cycling (ECG = 142.7 ± 11.0, XL = 140.2 ± 11.5, r = .93) and significantly overestimated it during recovery (ECG = 112.4 ± 12.8, XL = 118.0 ± 12.3, r = .92). To assess social acceptability of wearing the XL, twenty-three 3- to 5-year-old girls and boys were observed twice for 60–90 min. Approximately 90% of the time, their responses were rated as enthusiastic/positive or agreed. Only 3–5% of children refused to wear the XL. In conclusion, the XL is highly valid and socially acceptable, when used with 3- to 5-year-old children.
Cora Lynn Craig, Lise Gauvin, Sue Cragg, Peter T. Katzmarzyk, Thomas Stephens, Storm J. Russell, Lloyd Bentz, and Louise Potvin
The health benefits of physical activity are substantial; however, the lifetime and environmental determinants of sedentary living are poorly understood. The purpose of this article is to outline the conceptual background and methods of the Physical Activity Longitudinal Study (PALS), a follow-up study of a population- and place-based cohort. A secondary purpose is to report on the success of follow-up procedures.
A rationale for conducting a 20-y follow-up of a nationally representative population- and place-based cohort is developed based on the extant literature dealing with socio-environmental determinants of health and on current advancements in thinking about the determinants of involvement in physical activity. Then, methods of the 2002-04 PALS (n = 2511, nonresponse = 29.8%) that began with the 1981 Canada Fitness Survey are described. Descriptive data pertaining to the success of follow-up procedures are outlined.
There is general consensus around the relevance of examining lifetime and environmental determinants of physical activity involvement. Longitudinal data represent one source of information for disentangling the relative importance of these determinants. Examination of PALS follow-up data show that there was no selection bias for key individual- (physical activity, other lifestyle, health) and area-level (median income, housing) variables, although fewer respondents than nonrespondents smoked or were underweight at baseline. Some demographic groups were under- or over-represented among the eligible cohort, but not among participants.
The social epidemiological perspective emerging from PALS should help policymakers and public health practitioners make strides in changing socio-environmental factors to curb sedentary lifestyles and promote population health.