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Diane L. Gill, David A. Dzewaltowski and Thomas E. Deeter

The validity of the recently developed Sport Orientation Questionnaire (SOQ), a multidimensional measure of sport achievement orientation, was investigated with both high school and university students. Specifically, we examined the correlations of SOQ scores with other measures of competitiveness and general achievement orientation and we compared the relative abilities of SOQ scores and other achievement measures to discriminate participants and nonpar-ticipants in competitive sports, noncompetitive sports, and nonsport activities. The findings obtained with both high school and university students provided convergent and divergent evidence for the validity of the SOQ. SOQ scores were highly correlated with other competitiveness measures, moderately correlated with general achievement measures, and uncorrelated with competitive anxiety and social desirability. Competitiveness scores were the strongest discriminators between competitive sport participants and nonpar-ticipants, but SOQ scores were weaker discriminators for noncompetitive achievement choices. The findings confirm the value of a multidimensional, sport-specific achievement measure and provide good evidence for the validity of the Sport Orientation Questionnaire.

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Dave W. Robinson and Bruce L. Howe

The purposes of this study were to (a) determine the nature and extent of appraisal variable/affect relationships in a youth sport achievement setting, (b) assess gender differences in these relationships, and (c) evaluate the applicability of Werner's (1985) attributional theory of achievement motivation and emotion to the domain of youth sport. After participating in a 6-week competitive team sport program, subjects (N=746) were measured on (a) perceived performance, (b) causal attributions and dimensionality, and (c) general, self-related, and other-related affective reactions to performance outcome. Canonical correlation and regression analyses revealed significant appraisal variable/affect relationships, which were similar across the gender groups. Weiner's model received partial support but there were inconsistencies in terms of the model's overall fit. The need for a more elaborate sport-specific model of the antecedents of affect (vis-à-vis Vallerand, 1987) is stressed, and recommendations for future research are briefly outlined.

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John G.H. Dunn and A. Brian Nielsen

To fully understand why athletes experience anxiety in specific competitive situations, the psychological dimensions upon which threat perceptions are based must also be understood. No studies to date have been designed primarily to facilitate direct cross-sport comparisons of the constructs. The purposes of this study were (a) to identify the psychological dimensions upon which athletes in ice hockey and soccer base threat perceptions towards specific anxiety-inducing game situations, and (b) to determine whether athletes from these sports held similar threat perceptions towards parallel cross-sport situations. Seventy-one athletes rated the degree of similarity of threat perceptions across 15 sport-specific game situations. A multidimensional scaling analysis revealed similar three-dimensional solutions for each sport. However, certain distinct between-sport differences were also observed. Furthermore, the perceptions of threat towards certain situations were found to be multidimensional. The implications these findings have for competitive-anxiety research are discussed.

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Kate R. Barrett, Kathleen Williams, Jill McLester and Sara Ljungkvist

Developmental sequences for the vertical cradle were hypothesized and tested using a prelongitudinal screening technique to determine comprehensiveness and developmental accuracy. Fifty-one 10- to 13-year-old children were videotaped as they ran and cradled over a flat surface. A total of 150 trials were categorized for seven components: basic rhythm, hand and arm action, stick position, top hand grip, stick head and top arm action, position of hands, and bottom arm and hand action. Lack of developmental variability occurred for the basic rhythm, hand and arm action, and hand position components. For the stick position component, more younger children were classified at the highest level than older children. The developmental sequence for the stick head and top arm component was comprehensive and age related. The role various constraints play in hypothesizing sequences of sport specific skills needs to be considered along with the quality and amount of instruction.

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Thomas A. Bergandi, Marsha G. Shryock and Thomas G. Titus

The purpose of this study was to develop and validate a sport-specific version of Nideffer’s (1976a) Test of Attentional and Interpersonal Style (TAIS), specifically in regard to the sport of basketball. Collegiate basketball players (N = 43) participated in the research, 20 males and 23 females. The subjects were administered two instruments, the original TAIS and the Basketball Concentration Survey (BCS). The items contained in the BCS were a conversion of the 59 pertinent items contained in the original. The instruments were administered early in the season and the results were correlated with nine seasonal performance variables ranging from field-goal percentage to total number of steals. The results show the BCS to have significant reliability as well as significantly accounting for performance variability. The BCS had highly significant correlations with seven of the nine performance variables.

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Laura Capranica and Mindy L. Millard-Stafford

A prevailing theory (and practical application) is that elite performance requires early childhood skill development and training across various domains, including sport. Debate continues whether children specializing early (ie, training/competition in a single sport) have true advantage compared with those who sample various sports early and specialize in a single sport later (adolescence). Retrospective data and case studies suggest either model yields elite status depending upon the sport category (ie, situational: ball games, martial arts, fencing; quantitative: track and feld, swimming, skiing; or qualitative: gymnastics, diving, figure skating). However, potential risks of early specialization include greater attrition and adverse physical/emotional health outcomes. With the advent of the IOC Youth Olympic Games, increased emphasis on global youth competition has unknown implications but also represents a potential platform for investigation. Modification of youth competition formats should be based upon multidisciplinary research on psycho-physiological responses, and technical-tactical behaviors during competition. The assumption that a simple scaled-down approach of adult competitions facilitates the development of technical/tactical skills of youth athletes is not necessarily substantiated with field-based research. Relatively little evidence exists regarding the long-term effects of rigorous training and competitive schedules on children in specific sports. It is clear that more prospective studies are needed to understand the training dose that optimally develops adaptations in youth without inducing dropout, overtraining syndrome, and/or injury. Such an approach should be sport specific as well as gender based. Until such evidence exists, coaches and sport administrators will continue to rely upon their sport-specific dogma to influence programmatic development of our most vulnerable population.

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Louise Croft, Suzanne Dybrus, John Lenton and Victoria Goosey-Tolfrey

Purpose:

To examine the physiological profiles of wheelchair basketball and tennis and specifically to: (a) identify if there are differences in the physiological profiles of wheelchair basketball and tennis players of a similar playing standard, (b) to determine whether the competitive physiological demands of these sports differed (c) and to explore the relationship between the blood lactate [Bla] response to exercise and to identify the sport specific heart rate (HR) training zones.

Methods:

Six elite athletes (4 male, 2 female) from each sport performed a submaximal and VO2 peak test in their sport specific wheelchair. Heart rate, VO2, and [Bla] were measured. Heart rate was monitored during international competitions and VO2 was calculated from this using linear regression equations. Individual HR training zones were identified from the [Bla–] profile and time spent within these zones was calculated for each match.

Results:

Despite no differences in the laboratory assessment of HRpeak, the VO2peak was higher for the basketball players when compared with the tennis players (2.98 ± 0.91 vs 2.06 ± 0.71; P = .08). Average match HR (163 ± 11 vs 146 ± 16 beats-min–1; P = .06) and average VO2 (2.26 ± 0.06 vs 1.36 ± 0.42 L-min-1; P = .02) were higher during actual playing time of basketball when compared with whole tennis play. Consequently, differences in the time spent in the different training zones within and between the two sports existed (P < .05).

Conclusions:

Wheelchair basketball requires predominately high-intensity training, whereas tennis training requires training across the exercise intensity spectrum.

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Tammie R. Ebert, David T. Martin, Brian Stephens and Robert T. Withers

Purpose:

To quantify the power-output demands of men’s road-cycling stage racing using a direct measure of power output.

Methods:

Power-output data were collected from 207 races over 6 competition years on 31 Australian national male road cyclists. Subjects performed a maximal graded exercise test in the laboratory to determine maximum aerobic-power output, and bicycles were fitted with SRM power meters. Races were described as fl at, hilly, or criterium, and linear mixed modeling was used to compare the races.

Results:

Criterium was the shortest race and displayed the highest mean power output (criterium 262 ± 30 v hilly 203 ± 32 v fl at 188 ± 30 W), percentage total race time above 7.5 W/kg (crite-rium 15.5% ± 4.1% v hilly 3.8% ± 1.7% v fl at 3.5% ± 1.4%) and SD in power output (criterium 250 v hilly 165 v fl at 169 W). Approximately 67%, 80%, and 85% of total race time was spent below 5 W/kg for criterium, hilly and fl at races, respectively. About 70, 40, and 20 sprints above maximum aerobic-power output occurred during criterium, hilly, and fl at races, respectively, with most sprints being 6 to 10 s.

Conclusions:

These data extend previous research documenting the demands of men’s road cycling. Despite the relatively low mean power output, races were characterized by multiple high-intensity surges above maximum aerobic-power output. These data can be used to develop sport-specific interval-training programs that replicate the demands of competition.

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Christopher Thomas, Thomas Dos’Santos, Paul A. Jones and Paul Comfort

Purpose:

The purpose of this investigation was to determine the reliability of the 30-15 Intermittent Fitness Test (30-15IFT) in semiprofessional soccer players.

Methods:

Fourteen male semiprofessional soccer players performed the 30-15IFT on 2 occasions separated by 7 d. Reliability was assessed by intraclass correlation coefficient (ICC), typical error of measurement expressed as a coefficient of variation (CV), and smallest worthwhile change (SWC) to determine any significant difference between testing sessions.

Results:

Maximal intermittent running velocity (VIFT) demonstrated good reliability (ICC = .80) for between-sessions reliability. The CV was 2.5% for between-sessions reliability of the 30-15IFT. As the SWC (0.70 km/h) falls within the range in which the individual’s true score is likely to lie (1.0 km/h), the usefulness of the VIFT was rated as marginal. Despite the usefulness of the 30-15IFT being deemed marginal, a change in performance as small as 1.0 km/h (2 stages) in VIFT could be considered substantial or real.

Conclusion:

This study demonstrates that VIFT in the 30-15IFT is reliable, resulting in a reliable assessment of team-sport-specific cardiorespiratory fitness, with changes as small as 1.0 km/h (2 stages) in VIFT considered meaningful.

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Thomas Paulson and Victoria Goosey-Tolfrey

Despite the growing interest in Paralympic sport, the evidence base for supporting elite wheelchair sport performance remains in its infancy when compared with able-bodied (AB) sport. Subsequently, current practice is often based on theory adapted from AB guidelines, with a heavy reliance on anecdotal evidence and practitioner experience. Many principles in training prescription and performance monitoring with wheelchair athletes are directly transferable from AB practice, including the periodization and tapering of athlete loads around competition, yet considerations for the physiological consequences of an athlete’s impairment and the interface between athlete and equipment are vital when targeting interventions to optimize in-competition performance. Researchers and practitioners are faced with the challenge of identifying and implementing reliable protocols that detect small but meaningful changes in impairment-specific physical capacities and on-court performance. Technologies to profile both linear and rotational on-court performance are an essential component of sport-science support to understand sport-specific movement profiles and prescribe training intensities. In addition, an individualized approach to the prescription of athlete training and optimization of the “wheelchair–user interface” is required, accounting for an athlete’s anthropometrics, sports classification, and positional role on court. In addition to enhancing physical capacities, interventions must focus on the integration of the athlete and his or her equipment, as well as techniques for limiting environmental influence on performance. Taken together, the optimization of wheelchair sport performance requires a multidisciplinary approach based on the individual requirements of each athlete.