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Daniela Mattos, Joshua Kuhl, John P. Scholz and Mark L. Latash

The concept of motor equivalent combinations of arm muscles, or M-modes, was investigated during reaching to insert a pointer into a cylindrical target with and without an elbow perturbation. Five M-modes across 15 arm/scapula muscles were identified by principal component analysis with factor extraction. The relationship between small changes in the M-modes and changes in the position/orientation of the pointer were investigated by linear regression analyses. The results revealed a motor equivalent organization of the M-modes for perturbed compared with nonperturbed reaches, both with respect to hand position and orientation, especially in the first 100-ms postperturbation. Similar findings were obtained for motor equivalence computed based on changes in the joint configuration, although the kinematically defined motor equivalence was stronger for pointer orientation. The results support the hypothesis that the nervous system organizes muscles into M-modes and flexibly scales M-mode activation to preserve stable values of variables directly related to performance success.

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Christopher M. Janelle, Charles H. Hillman, Ross J. Apparies, Nicholas P. Murray, Launi Meili, Elizabeth A. Fallon and Bradley D. Hatfield

The purpose of this study was to examine whether variability in gaze behavior and cortical activation would differentiate expert (n = 12) and nonexpert (n = 13) small-bore rifle shooters. Spectral-activity and eye-movement data were collected concurrently during the course of a regulation indoor sequence of 40 shots from the standing position. Experts exhibited significantly superior shooting performance, as well as a significantly longer quiet eye period preceding shot execution than did nonexperts. Additionally, expertise interacted with hemispheric activation levels: Experts demonstrated a significant increase in left-hemisphere alpha and beta power, accompanied by a reduction in right-hemisphere alpha and beta power, during the preparatory period just prior to the shot. Nonexperts exhibited similar hemispheric asymmetry, but to a lesser extent than did experts. Findings suggest systematic expertise-related differences in ocular and cortical activity during the preparatory phase leading up to the trigger pull that reflects more optimal organization of the neural structures needed to achieve high-level performance.

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C. Jessie Jones and Janie Clark

Because of the recognized value of exercise for older adults, senior fitness programs have been developed in various facilities throughout the United States and in many other countries. However, there appears to be a shortage of professionally trained senior fitness specialists to develop and instruct such programs. A number of professional health and fitness organizations/associations and individual entrepreneurs have developed training programs leading to some type of certification. However, because there are no published curriculum standards to guide the development of these training programs, they often lack components essential for teaching students how to instruct safe and effective classes for senior participants. Curriculum Standards to Prepare Senior Fitness Instructors, developed by a national coalition, were presented at the 1995 International Conference on Aging and Physical Activity in Colorado. This project was undertaken not to promote national certification or licensing but, rather, to help educators plan training programs. Input from the conferees was synthesized into the standards, which are provided in this paper.

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John R. Biggan, Forest Melton, Michael A. Horvat, Mark Ricard, David Keller and Christopher T. Ray

The understanding of prefrail and nonfrail older adults’ postural control with and without increased environmental and cognitive stress is imperative to the development of targeted interventions to decrease fall risk within these populations. Thirty-eight individuals participated in this study. Postural control testing included the Sensory Organization Test (SOT) on a NeuroCom EquiTest. Cognitive and environmental load testing was performed during Condition 6 of the SOT. Though there were no group differences on composite equilibrium score (p = .06), the cognitive task (Stroop task) impaired equilibrium scores more than the auditory or visual distracter tasks (p < .05 and p < .01) for both groups. These results suggest that both prefrail and nonfrail older adults’ postural control is reduced in demanding environments. Given these findings, the need for multimodal exercise interventions to target both physical and cognitive factors is apparent.

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Andrew Cruickshank, Dave Collins and Sue Minten

Stimulated by growing interest in the organizational and performance leadership components of Olympic success, sport psychology researchers have identified performance director–led culture change as a process of particular theoretical and applied significance. To build on initial work in this area and develop practically meaningful understanding, a pragmatic research philosophy and grounded theory methodology were engaged to uncover culture change best practice from the perspective of newly appointed performance directors. Delivered in complex and contested settings, results revealed that the optimal change process consisted of an initial evaluation, planning, and impact phase adjoined to the immediate and enduring management of a multidirectional perception- and power-based social system. As the first inquiry of its kind, these findings provide a foundation for the continued theoretical development of culture change in Olympic sport performance teams and a first model on which applied practice can be based.

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Iina Antikainen and Rebecca Ellis

Although physical activity interventions have been shown to effectively modify behavior, little research has examined the potential of these interventions for adoption in real-world settings. The purpose of this literature review was to evaluate the external validity of 57 theory-based physical activity interventions using the RE-AIM framework. The physical activity interventions included were more likely to report on issues of internal, rather than external validity and on individual, rather than organizational components of the RE-AIM framework, making the translation of many interventions into practice difficult. Furthermore, most studies included motivated, healthy participants, thus reducing the generalizability of the interventions to real-world settings that provide services to more diverse populations. To determine if a given intervention is feasible and effective in translational research, more information should be reported about the factors that affect external validity.

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Pedro Figueiredo, Ana Silva, António Sampaio, João Paulo Vilas-Boas and Ricardo J. Fernandes

The aim of this study was to evaluate the determinants of front crawl sprint performance of young swimmers using a cluster analysis. 103 swimmers, aged 11- to 13-years old, performed 25-m front crawl swimming at 50-m pace, recorded by two underwater cameras. Swimmers analysis included biomechanics, energetics, coordinative, and anthropometric characteristics. The organization of subjects in meaningful clusters, originated three groups (1.52 ± 0.16, 1.47 ± 0.17 and 1.40 ± 0.15 m/s, for Clusters 1, 2 and 3, respectively) with differences in velocity between Cluster 1 and 2 compared with Cluster 3 (p = .003). Anthropometric variables were the most determinants for clusters solution. Stroke length and stroke index were also considered relevant. In addition, differences between Cluster 1 and the others were also found for critical velocity, stroke rate and intracycle velocity variation (p < .05). It can be concluded that anthropometrics, technique and energetics (swimming efficiency) are determinant domains to young swimmers sprint performance.

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Maureen Lucas and Cynthia J. Heiss

Protein recommendations by some professional organizations for young adults engaged in resistance training (RT) are higher than the recommended dietary allowance (RDA), but recommendations for resistance-training older adults (>50 years old) are not well characterized. Some argue that the current RDA is adequate, but others indicate increased protein needs. Although concerns have been raised about the consequences of high protein intake, protein intake above the RDA in older adults is associated with increased bone-mineral density when calcium intake is adequate and does not appear to compromise renal health in older individuals with normal renal function. Individual protein needs for older adults in RT are likely highly variable according to health and training regimen, but an intake of 1.0–1.3 g · kg−1 · day−1 should adequately and safely meet the needs of older adults engaged in RT, provided that their energy needs are met.

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David W. Eccles and Gershon Tenenbaum

The cognitive properties and processes of teams have not been considered in sport psychology research. These properties and processes extend beyond the sum of the cognitive properties and processes of the constituent members of the team to include factors unique to teams, such as team coordination and communication. A social-cognitive conceptual framework for the study of team coordination and communication is offered, based on research on social cognition and from industrial and organizational psychology. This is followed by a discussion of coordination and communication in expert teams. In addition, an overview of the type of methods that could be used to measure aspects of team coordination and communication in sport is provided. The framework and methods afford hypothesis generation for empirical research on coordination and communication in sport teams, a means to begin examining these constructs in sport, and a theoretical base with which to reconcile the resultant data.

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Kathleen Benjamin, Nancy Edwards and Wenda Caswell

In 2006, the authors conducted a multisite qualitative study in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada to examine organizational and environmental factors that influence physical activity for long-term-care (LTC) residents. The article describes the results of interviews with 9 administrators from nonprofit and for-profit LTC facilities. A content analysis revealed that despite having positive views about the value of physical activity, the administrators encountered challenges related to funding, human resources, and the built (physical) environment. The intersection of staffing issues and challenges in the built environment created less than optimal conditions for physical activity programs. Findings suggest that until there are adequate human and financial resources, it will be difficult to implement evidence-informed physical activity programs for residents in LTC settings in Ontario. A review of provincial LTC standards for physical activity program requirements and the built environment is warranted.