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Daniel Gould, John Giannini, Vikki Krane and Ken Hodge

The present investigation was designed to develop a profile of the coaching education background and self-perceived coaching education needs of elite U.S. amateur sport coaches. In all, 130 national team, Pan American, and/or Olympic coaches representing more than 30 U.S. Olympic structure sports were surveyed. Results revealed that the coaches were extremely interested in coaching education workshops and seminars, initiating mentor coach programs for potential elite coaches, and participating in a variety of coaching science courses. Few consistent differences were found between the various categories of coaches (individual vs. team sport, open vs. closed sport, experienced vs. inexperienced, male vs. female, and physical education degree vs. non physical education degree) in terms of their coaching education background and needs. Implications for university based coaching education efforts are discussed.

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Kristi A. Allain

Curling was perhaps once the sport the least associated with discipline and athleticism, instead having a reputation for drinking and smoking, an ethos prizing conviviality over competition, and a structure enabling amateurs to compete at the highest levels. However, during the gold-medal-winning performance of Team Brad Jacobs, a group of muscular young Canadian men, at the 2014 Winter Olympics, the public and media began celebrating changes in the sport that were already well under way. As curling enters a new era of rationalized training, fitness, and professionalization, this paper draws on interviews with older male curlers in two mid-size Canadian cities, and Ratele’s work on tradition, to ask what has been lost. Participants often embraced curling’s new emphasis on physical fitness. However, they also worried about the diminishing traditions of sociability, sportsmanship, and accessibility within the sport.

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Lew Hardy and Gaynor Parfitt

The aim of this paper is to describe and appraise two different models used for providing sport psychology support services to the British Amateur Gymnastics Association over the last 6 years. In the first phase, the sport psychologists assumed the traditional role of experts who evaluated performers’ needs and then prescribed educational psychological skills training programs according to the sport psychologists’ perceptions of individual needs. This approach contained both educational and monitoring elements. The second phase adopted a consultancy approach in which the coach, performer, and sport psychologist were all assumed to bring expert knowledge to bear on any problem. In this approach, the sport psychologists responded to the expressed needs of performers and coaches, assuming diverse roles. According to the sport psychologists, this second model was more difficult to operate than the first model. However, consultant evaluation data and consultant opinion suggested the second model operated more successfully than the first.

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Michael A. Messner and Michela Musto

Huge numbers of children participate in sports. However, kids and sports are rarely seen, much less systematically studied by sport sociologists. Our survey of the past decade of three major sport sociology journals illustrates a dearth of scholarly research on children and sport. While noting the few exceptions, we observe that sport studies scholars have placed a disproportionate amount of emphasis on studying sport media, and elite amateur, college, and professional athletes and sport organizations, while largely conceding the terrain of children’s sports to journalists and to a handful of scholars whose work is not grounded in sport sociology. We probe this paradox, speculating why sport scholars focus so little on such a large and important object of study in sport studies. We end by outlining a handful of important scholarly questions for sport scholars, focusing especially on key questions in the burgeoning sociological and interdisciplinary fields of children and youth, bodies and health, and intersectional analyses of social inequality.

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Judy Liao and Pirkko Markula

In November 2010, the US media reported that basketball player Diana Taurasi tested positive for a banned substance while playing in Turkey. In this study, we explore the media coverage of Taurasi’s positive drug test from a Deleuzian perspective. We consider the media coverage as an assemblage (Deleuze & Guattari, 1987; Malins, 2004) to analyze how Taurasi’s drug using body is articulated with the elite female sporting body in the coverage of her doping incident (Markula, 2004; Wise, 2011). Our analysis demonstrates that Taurasi’s position as a professional basketball player in the US dominated the discussion to legitimize her exoneration of banned substance use. In addition, Turkey, its “amateur” sport and poor drug control procedure, was located to the periphery to normalize a certain type of professionalism, doping control, and body as the desirable elements of sporting practice.

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Richard J. Buning and Heather Gibson

Using the event-travel-career concept, this study examined the trajectory of active-sport-event travel careers through stages of development and the corresponding factors and dimensions perceived to influence career progression in the sport of cycling. In-depth semistructured interviews were conducted with 12 amateur cyclists engaged in lifestyles geared toward active event travel. A grounded theory approach revealed that active event travel careers evolve through a complex progression of 9 core themes and related subthemes. The core themes included the first event, starting out, motivation, temporal, travel style, destination criteria, event types, spatial, and later in life. On the basis of these findings, a 6-stage active-sport-event travel career model is proposed consisting of initiation, introduction, expansion, peak threshold, maintenance, and maturity. From this model, theoretical contributions, suggestions for future research, and practical implications for sport tourism and event management are discussed.

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Allen L. Sack

The purpose of this study was to determine the degree to which college athletes violate NCAA rules regarding amateurism. A second purpose was to look for patterns of relationships in the data that might yield theoretical insights as to the causes of this type of deviance. Surveys were mailed to a population of 3,500 active and retired National Football League players. About one in three, or 1,182 players, returned the survey. It was found that under-the-table payments were fairly common in major football conferences and that such payments have increased considerably in “Sunbelt schools” over the past couple of decades. Black athletes, regardless of the income of their families of origin, were somewhat more likely than whites to have accepted illegal benefits and to see nothing wrong with violating NCAA rules. Black athletes were also far more likely than whites to have been offered illegal benefits by agents. These findings were examined in light of labeling theory.

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Koen Put, Marcus V.C. Baldo, André M. Cravo, Johan Wagemans and Werner F. Helsen

In association football, the flash-lag effect appears to be a viable explanation for erroneous offside decision making. Due to this spatiotemporal illusion, assistant referees (ARs) perceive the player who receives the ball ahead of his real position. In this experiment, a laboratory decision-making task was used to demonstrate that international top-class ARs, compared with amateur soccer players, do not have superior perceptual sensitivity. They clearly modify their decision criterion according to the contextual needs and, therefore, show a higher response bias toward not responding to the stimulus, in particular in the most difficult situations. Thus, international ARs show evidence for response-level compensation, resulting in a specific cost (i.e., more misses), which clearly reflects the use of particular (cognitive) strategies. In summary, it appears that experts in offside decision making can be distinguished from novices more on the cognitive or decision-making level than on the perceptual level.

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Mary D. Walling, Joan L. Duda and Likang Chi

The purpose of this study was to further examine the construct and predictive validity of the Perceived Motivational Climate in Sport Questionnaire or PMCSQ. Young athletes (N = 169, M age = 14.2 ± 1.94 years) on teams competing in an amateur international competition completed questionnaires measuring perceived motivational climate, the degree of worry experienced while participating, and team satisfaction. Results of a confirmatory factor analysis indicated an acceptable fit of the data with the hypothetical measurement model. In terms of the predictive utility of the PMCSQ, perceptions of a mastery climate were positively related to satisfaction with being a member on the team and negatively associated with performance worry. In contrast, perceptions of a performance climate were positively associated with concerns about failing and the adequacy of one's performance and negatively correlated with team satisfaction. Future directions in terms of instrument development and research on motivational climate in the sport setting are presented.

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Michael Maliszewski

Combat oriented sports and activities have come under increasing scrutiny by the media and professional groups. In particular, within the last 5 years boxing has been a primary topic of concern. A variety of medical groups—neurological, pediatric, and general practice—have conducted extensive surveys and provided position policy statements regarding dangers associated with involvement in such an activity. Although the American Psychological Association recently endorsed a position advocating close scrutiny and eventual banning of amateur and professional boxing in 1987, surprisingly no serious review of the literature or empirical studies have been conducted with respect to a psychological evaluation of this sport. This article briefly reviews the evidence supporting the APA position on boxing.