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.
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.
Patrick R. Thomas and Gerard J. Fogarty
Individual differences in cognitive preferences were examined in analyzing the effects of imagery and self-talk training on the psychological skills and performance levels of amateur golfers. Thirty-two men and women participated in a series of four counterbalanced training workshops and activities conducted over 2 months at two golf clubs. A repeated measures MANOVA revealed significant improvement on five psychological and psychomotor skills measured by the Golf Performance Survey: negative emotions and cognitions, mental preparation, automaticity, putting skill, and seeking improvement. Participants’ responses to the Sport Imagery Questionnaire and ratings of their imagery and self-talk techniques increased significantly after training. Players also lowered their handicaps and performed significantly better on a Golf Skills Test after training. Imagery and self-talk training benefits were not linked to participants’ cognitive preferences. The cognitive flexibility displayed by these golfers signals the need for more research on processing preferences and has implications for practitioners working with athletes.
Alison J. Doherty and Albert V. Carron
Understanding the experiences of volunteers in amateur sport organizations is critical to their effective management of these nonprofit organizations. The purpose of this study was to explore cohesion in volunteer sport executive committees. Members (n = 117) of sport executive committees or boards completed a questionnaire that assessed perceptions of cohesion, individual satisfaction, effort, intent to quit, committee effectiveness, and a variety of individual (gender, committee, role, tenure) and organizational (committee, size, gender composition, frequency and length of meetings) variables. Task cohesion was found to be stronger than social cohesion. Only committee size was found to be associated with perceptions of cohesiveness; members of smaller committees perceived less social cohesion than members of medium and larger committees. Task and social cohesion predicted volunteer satisfaction and perceived committee effectiveness, while volunteer effort and intent to remain with the committee were predicted by task cohesion. The results are discussed in terms of their implication for theory and practice.
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.
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.
Lisa M. Kikulis, Trevor Slack and Bob Hinings
The theoretical rationale underpinning this study was that decision making structures are tightly coupled to the core values of organizations and thus have a high impact on organizational design change. Taking a fine-grained approach to the analysis of decision making, the purpose of this study was to determine whether amateur sport organizations have shifted away from the dominant paradigm of volunteer-led decision making in favor of professional staff authority and autonomy over strategic decisions. Data from a population of 36 Canadian national sport organizations were used to show that changes in decision making have occurred. However, the shift in control from volunteers to professionals has not been established. In addition, change in decision making varied according to the direction of change, the decision making dimension, and the decision topic.
Over the past two decades, policy analysis has developed as a collection of formal methods to enhance policy design and implementation. Interpretive and critical methods for policy analysis have recently been advocated as a way to clarify the parameters of policy problems and thereby improve policy formulation and implementation. The heuristic basis for interpretive and critical policy analysis is consistent with contemporary findings in the psychology of decision making. Formal methods for interpretive and critical policy analysis are elaborated and illustrated via application to the drafting of the U.S. Amateur Sports Act (PL 95-606). It is shown that the methods illumine decision processes that have caused sport development to become subordinate to the administrative rationalization of American Olympic sport governance.
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.
Philip R. Hayes, Kjell van Paridon, Duncan N. French, Kevin Thomas and Dan A. Gordon
The aim of this study was to develop a laboratory-based treadmill simulation of the on-course physiological demands of an 18-hole round of golf and to identify the underlying physiological responses.
Eight amateur golfers completed a round of golf during which heart rate (HR), steps taken, and global positioning system (GPS) data were assessed. The GPS data were used to create a simulated discontinuous round on a treadmill. Steps taken and HR were recorded during the simulated round.
During the on-course round, players covered a mean (±SD) of 8,251 ± 450 m, taking 12,766 ± 1,530 steps. The mean exercise intensity during the on-course round was 31.4 ± 9.3% of age-predicted heart rate reserve (%HRR) or 55.6 ± 4.4% of age-predicted maximum HR (%HRmax). There were no significant differences between the simulated round and the on-course round for %HRR (P = .537) or %HR max (P = .561) over the entire round or for each individual hole. Furthermore, there were no significant differences between the two rounds for steps taken. Typical error values for steps taken, HR, %HRmax, and %HRR were 1,083 steps, ±7.6 b·min-1, ±4.5%, and ±8.1%, respectively.
Overall, the simulated round of golf successfully recreated the demands of an on-course round. This simulated round could be used as a research tool to assess the extent of fatigue during a round of golf or the impact of various interventions on golfers.