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Andrew C. Fry, William J. Kraemer, James M. Lynch and Jason M. Barnes

Objective:

To report a joint-centered mechanism of performance decrements caused by overtraining.

Design:

Case study.

Setting:

Laboratory-induced overtraining.

Participants:

Eleven weight-trained men, 1 (subject A) with overload injury of the knees.

Intervention:

High-intensity squat resistance-exercise overtraining for 2 weeks.

Outcome Measures:

1RM lower-body strength, isokinetic and isometric knee-extension strength, and stimulated isometric knee-extension strength.

Results:

Subject A’s 1RM strength decreased 40.3 kg, and the other overtrained subjects (OT) exhibited significant (P < .05) 1RM decrements (x = –9.3 kg). Isokinetic knee-extension strength decreased for all subjects. For the OT group, voluntary isometric knee-extension strength did not change and stimulated isometric knee-extension strength decreased. Subject A exhibited increased values for both these variables.

Discussion:

These data indicate that muscle strength was attenuated for subject A only during dynamic activity. It is theorized that subject A exhibited a joint-centered overtraining syndrome, with afferent inhibition from the affected joints impairing dynamic strength.

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Laura Cousens and Martha L. Barnes

The social embeddedness of economic interaction has emerged at the forefront of economic sociology over the last 15 years. In the context of sport, however, little research has been undertaken to enhance our understanding of how the socialized context surrounding sport organizers, local governments, and corporate sponsors impact decisions affecting sport delivery. Therefore, the purpose of this case study is to explore the social embeddedness of decision makers in sport organizations and the local government that shape sport delivery in one community. An embedded perspective of economic interactions considers the continuity of relationships that generate particular behaviors, norms, and expectations. In-depth interviews with the leaders of this community’s sport organizations and the members of its local government were undertaken to gain insight into the nature of how decisions pertaining to sport delivery were shaped and constrained by the social context in which they were bounded. The results of this research suggest that the informal interaction among community leaders in sport and politics served to inhibit change in the way sport programs were delivered in this community. Further, taken for granted assumptions of city leaders about the type, number, and quality of sports delivered to the residents resulted in fewer opportunities for sport participation, despite an awareness of the limitations of the existing programs.

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Makayla Hipke and Frauke Hachtmann

This study used a case-study approach to develop an understanding of how social-media strategy is developed and deployed in Big Ten Conference athletic departments and to explore the issues associated with it. Based on in-depth interviews with department officials, the following 6 themes emerged: connecting with target audiences, varied approaches in coordination of postings, athletic communications as content gatekeepers, desire to incorporate sponsors and generate revenue, focusing on building fan loyalty through engagement, and challenges of negativity and metrics. The social-media strategy in Big Ten Conference athletic departments appears to be driven by athletic communications/sports information departments as opposed to marketing departments. The greatest benefit of social media has been the ease of engagement and instantaneous connection between fans and the teams they love, which can lead to building greater loyalty to a team. Some of the challenges departments face include having to deal with the reality of crises and negative attention around programs more quickly than with traditional media and to measure social-media success accurately.

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Kimberly Fasczewski and Diane Gill

Multiple Sclerosis (MS) affects 2.1 million people world-wide. There is no cure but an expanding body of research suggests that physical activity can have a positive impact on the symptoms of MS. This case study was designed as a view into the life experiences of one woman’s journey with MS as a competitive athlete, focusing on how psychological skills aid her in conquering her challenges. The participant was a 51-year old competitive mountain bike racer who was diagnosed with MS as a teenager. A postpositivist approach using a series of in-depth, conversational interviews explored the role athletics has played in her life and specifically in helping her live with MS. The interviews focused on the psychological skills the participant used to deal with her sport and MS. Results suggest that resilience, resulting from self-efficacy, goal setting, and a positive outlook, is the key to her success, and that her participation in athletics strengthens those positive characteristics. Findings may be helpful to both sport psychology and medical professionals who work with individuals with MS.

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Edson Filho, Lael Gershgoren, Itay Basevitch, Robert Schinke and Gershon Tenenbaum

The present study was an initial attempt to capture and describe instances of shared mental models within a team from the point of view of the team captain. Specifically, the purpose of this study was to describe a range of perceived and shared behaviors aimed at facilitating the overall performance of a college volleyball team from the perspective of the team captain. This behavioral focus is congruent with the need for documenting observable task and team-related coordination mechanisms. Symbolic interactionism, via the use of systematic observations, documental analysis, and semistructured open-ended interviews, was used to gather data from the participant in the form of a case study. Data were analyzed using Braun and Clarke’s (2006) theoretical thematic analysis based on categories derived from Eccles and Tenenbaum’s (2004) Conceptual Framework of Coordination in Sport Teams. Results indicated that the player’s actions were perceived as enhancing proactive information sharing within her team. Therefore, it is suggested that team leaders possess important objective and symbolic roles in the promotion of shared mental models. These results are further discussed in relation to current knowledge of shared mental models in sports. Limitations and directions for future research are outlined.

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Jamie B. Barker and Marc V. Jones

This study reports the effects of a hypnosis intervention on a professional soccer player who reported low self-efficacy and a negative mood state relative to his soccer performance. Pre- and postintervention data were collected via a Soccer Self-Efficacy Questionnaire (SSEQ) that consisted of 10 items relating to good soccer performance, the Trait Sport Confidence Inventory (TSCI), the Positive and Negative Affect Schedule (PANAS), and a Soccer Performance Measure (SPM). An intervention program consisting of eight hypnosis sessions was conducted. These sessions comprised the presentation of ego-strengthening suggestions. Both visual and statistical analysis revealed substantial increases in trait sport confidence, self-efficacy, positive affect, and soccer performance, as well as a substantial decrease in negative affect over the course of the intervention. The findings of this case study suggest that hypnosis can be used to enhance self-efficacy, affect, and sport performance. A number of practical issues are presented surrounding the use of hypnosis in the context of English soccer and with athletes in general.

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Laura Richardson Walton and Kevin D. Williams

An organization’s initial response to a crisis can dictate the tone of its sustained response throughout the crisis, as well as stakeholders’ reactions to the incident. When news of the deaths of professional wrestler Chris Benoit, his wife, and their 7-yr-old son broke, World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) immediately paid tribute to the superstar. A memorial show to Benoit’s career aired as investigators searched the family’s home. The investigation revealed that Benoit murdered his wife and son before taking his own life, resulting in WWE’s retraction of its earlier tributes. Furthermore, the organization had to respond to the swarm of speculation that steroids—and WWE’s lax policy on their use—were to blame. This case study analyzes WWE’s immediate response strategies to their employee’s family’s deaths and the subsequent strategies used on learning that the employee was implicated. Qualitative analysis of corporate documents and official statements seeks to provide direction regarding how similar organizations should respond in the days immediately after tragic events when employees may be implicated.

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Rebecca J. Lloyd and Pierre Trudel

A case study design was used to (a) describe the process and identify the content of the verbal interactions between an eminent mental training consultant and five elite level athletes during ten sessions, and to (b) compare the analyzed sessions with the consultant’s published approach on mental training. The sources of information included the audio recordings of the mental training sessions, the interviews with the consultant, the interviews with the athletes, and two articles published by the consultant. An adapted version of the Flanders’ (1965) Interaction Analysis in the Classroom was used to systematically code the process, and a content analysis was performed on the transcripts of the mental training sessions and interviews. During the sessions, the consultant’s verbal behaviors accounted for 39% of the total coded behaviors leaving 60% for the athletes and 1% for silence. The content analysis revealed that up to 24 topics were addressed in each session (often the athletes would “unload”) where certain issues had a more frequent word count. The analysis of the content and process revealed that the consultant follows an athlete-centered approach that corresponds to the consultant’s published perspective.

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Vikki Krane, Jeannine Snow and Christy A. Greenleaf

The present investigation is a qualitative case study of a former elite gymnast. The social cognitive approach to achievement motivation has been applied to understand and explain the behavior of this gymnast, her coaches, and her parents. The gymnast participated in three unstructured interviews which were grounded in a feminist view of sport and research (cf. Harding, 1991; Krane, 1994). The data analysis resulted in three dimensions: Motivational Climate, Evidence of an Ego Orientation, and Correlates of Ego Involvement. An ego-involved motivational environment was developed and reinforced by the gymnast’s coaches and parents. Her ego-involved goal orientation was revealed through her reliance on social comparison, emphasis on external feedback and rewards, need to demonstrate her superiority, and acting out behaviors in the face of adversity. This gymnast practiced and competed while seriously injured, employed unhealthy eating practices, overtrained, and refused to listen to medical advice in order to continue her quest towards the Olympic team. All of these behaviors are discussed within the framework of goal orientation theory.

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Nancy Clark, Cato Coleman, Kerri Figure, Tom Mailhot and John Zeigler

Every 4 years, rowers from around the world compete in a 50- to 60-day transAtlantic rowing challenge. These ultra-distance rowers require a diet that provides adequate calories, protein, vitamins, minerals, and fluids so they can perform well day after day, minimize fatigue, and stay healthy. Yet, the rowers are confronted with menu planning challenges. The food needs to be lightweight, compact, sturdy, non-spoiling in tropical temperatures, calorie dense, easy to prepare, quick to cook, and good tasting. Financial concerns commonly add another menu planning challenge. The purpose of this case study is to summarize the rowers’ food experiences and to provide guidance for sports nutrition professionals who work with ultra-endurance athletes embarking on a physical challenge with similar food requirements. The article provides food and nutrition recommendations as well as practical considerations for ultra-distance athletes. We describe an 8,000 calorie per day menu planning model that uses food exchanges based on familiar, tasty, and reasonably priced supermarket foods that provide the required nutrients and help contain financial costs.