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Benoît Lenzen, Catherine Theunissen and Marc Cloes

This exploratory study aimed to investigate elements involved in decision making in team handball live situations and to provide coaches and educators with teaching recommendations. The study was positioned within the framework of the situated action paradigm of which two aspects were of particular interest for this project: (a) the relationship between planning and action, and (b) the perception-action coordination. We used qualitative methods that linked (a) video observation of six female elite players’ actions during two championship matches and (b) self-confrontation interviews. Players’ verbalizations reflected that their decision making included the following: (a) perception (visual, auditory, tactile, proprioceptive), (b) knowledge (concepts, teammates and opponents’ characteristics, experience), (c) expectations (opponents and teammates’ intentions), and (d) contextual elements (score, power play, players on the field, match difficulty). Findings were discussed in terms of teaching implications.

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Suzanne Malia Lawrence, C. Keith Harrison and Jeff Stone

Perceptual confirmation paradigm (PCP) rooted in social psychology, can be implemented to frame sport science research questions (Stone, Perry, & Darley, 1997). Public perception of college athletes’ lives has been scarcely investigated in the sport sciences (Keels, 2005) using the PCP to prime stereotypes. The purpose of this study was to prime stereotypes about a day in the life of a college athlete by using qualitative inquiry to assess college students’ (N = 87) perceptions. Participants provided written responses about a day in the life of a college athlete. Two different college athlete targets were used “Tyrone Walker” (n = 44) and “Erik Walker” (n = 43). Four major themes and one minor theme emerged which are descriptive of the participants’ perceptions. Findings were related to the leadership responsibilities of sport management practitioners in higher education. Future research inquiries and relevant suggestions were articulated for sport management scholars in the 21st century.

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Matthew T. Bowers and B. Christine Green

Youth sport participation often provides the most salient forum for connecting sport with local communities. In this phenomenological examination of preteen youth sport participants, we consider the experiences and attendant meanings derived from participation in both organized and unstructured youth sport settings within a community. Phenomenology offers a paradigm for understanding youth sport participation, not in terms of the dialectical differences between the settings, but in terms of how the experiences in the different settings inform one another in the creation of meanings for participants. The analysis reveals that playing in unstructured settings actually changes the way participants think about their experiences playing organized sports (and vice versa) with both settings providing meaningful experiences capable of connecting participants to the community. Therefore, taxonomically separating the experiences engendered in the organized and unstructured settings creates a false dichotomy that fails to account for the important meanings to emerge from their synthesis.

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Dan Benardot

Athletes are influenced by coaches, other athletes, media, parents, the national sport governing body, members of the sports medicine team, and the athlete's own desire for success. It is impossible, therefore, for one member of the sports medicine team to unilaterally determine workable solutions that enhance performance and diminish health problems in an athlete. A focus on ensuring that the athlete can perform to the best of her ability is a key to encouraging discussion between the nutritionist, athlete, and coach. Using the assumption that health and top athletic performance are compatible, this focus on performance provides a discussion point that all parties can agree to and, if approached properly, also fulfills the nutritionist's goal of achieving optimal nutritional status. Membership on the sports medicine team mandates that the nutritionist know the paradigms and health risks associated with the sport and develop assessment and feedback procedures specific to the athlete's needs.

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Jay R. Hoffman

American football is the most popular sport in the United States. Its popularity is likely related to the intense, fast-paced, physical style of play. The importance of strength and conditioning to success in football has been long understood. In fact, the strength and conditioning profession in North America can take its roots from American football. However, only recently has scientific study confirmed the positive relationships between strength, speed, and power to success in this sport. Although strength and conditioning are integral to every American football program, the collaboration with sport scientists has not been as fruitful. Only limited studies are available examining the physiological effects of actual competition and physiological adaptations or maladaptations during a season of competition. Most studies on American football have primarily focused on physical performance characteristics of these athletes and how various training paradigms can be used to improve performance.

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Robin S. Vealey

The editorial mission of The Sport Psychologist (TSP) emphasizes the development and implementation of knowledge to enhance the practice of sport psychology. A comprehensive review of all articles published in TSP from 1987 to 1992 was conducted to identify significant trends in knowledge development and implementation since the journal was established. One hundred seventy-six articles were examined and classified based on design, method, objective (scientific or professional), subject characteristics, author characteristics, and content area. Trends that were identified from the review include an emphasis on correlational designs, an increase in intervention studies and the use of case designs, and homogeneity of subjects and authors. Three future directions for advances in applied sport psychology are advocated to increase social relevance, enhance creativity, and reconceptualize the traditional paradigm of knowledge development.

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Thomas M. Lundin, Jon W. Feuerbach and Mark D. Grabiner

The purpose of this study was to determine the effect of plantar flexor and dorsiflexor fatigue on postural sway amplitude during unilateral, or one-legged, stance. It was hypothesized that plantar flexor and dorsiflexor fatigue would increase unilateral postural sway amplitude. Eight uninjured male subjects participated in pre- and postfatigue unilateral stability tests. Selected parameters describing medial-lateral (ML) and anterior-posterior (AP) postural sway were measured on a Chattecx Balance System before and after an isokinetic fatigue protocol. The fatigue protocol resulted in a significant increase in ML postural sway amplitude (p < 0.05) and an increase in AP sway amplitude (p = 0.065). Previously, links have been established between increased postural sway amplitude and ankle joint injury. Thus, fatigue of the plantar flexors and dorsiflexors, which increased postural sway amplitude, may render the ankle joint susceptible to injury. Induced ankle muscle fatigue may represent a valid paradigm to study the causes of traumatic ankle joint injury.

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Kimberly A. Bush, Michael B. Edwards, Gareth J. Jones, Jessica L. Hook and Michael L. Armstrong

Recently, scholars of sport management have called for more research aimed at understanding how sport can be leveraged for social change. This interest has contributed to a burgeoning paradigm of sport management research and practice developed around using sport as a catalyst for broader human and community development. In order for sport practitioners to successfully develop, implement, and sustain these programs, integration of development-based theory and concepts are needed in sport management curricula. Service learning is one pedagogical approach for achieving this objective, and is well suited for promoting social change practices among students. This study assesses how participation in a sport-for-development (SFD) service learning project impacted the social consciousness and critical perspectives of sport management students. Results suggest the experience raised student’s awareness of community issues, developed a more holistic perspective on the role of service, and influenced their future careers.

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Michelle R. Zitomer and Donna Goodwin

Qualitative inquiry is increasingly being used in adapted physical activity research, which raises questions about how to best evaluate its quality. This article aims to clarify the distinction between quality criteria (the what) and strategies (the how) in qualitative inquiry. An electronic keyword search was used to identify articles pertaining to quality evaluation published between 1995 and 2012 (n = 204). A five phase systematic review resulted in the identification of 56 articles for detailed review. Data extraction tables were generated and analyzed for commonalities in terminology and meanings. Six flexible criteria for gauging quality were formulated: reflexivity, credibility, resonance, significant contribution, ethics, and coherence. Strategies for achieving the established criteria were also identified. It is suggested that researchers indicate the paradigm under which they are working and guidelines by which they would like readers to evaluate their work as well as what criteria can be absent without affecting the research value.

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Walter Gantz and Lawrence A. Wenner

Employing a uses and gratifications paradigm, we expected that audience experience with televised sports would vary on the basis of fanship, with fans having a qualitatively different, deeper, and more textured set of expectations and responses than nonfans. Fans were expected to respond in similar ways, regardless of gender. Telephone interviews were completed with 707 adults residing in Los Angeles and Indianapolis. Fanship was operationalized using cognitive, affective, and behavioral bases. In this study, fanship made a difference, with fans clearly more invested in the viewing experience. Male and female sports fans reacted and responded in almost identical ways, although men generally were an insignificant shade more involved than women. However, since more males are fans, the televised sports viewing experience in many households may not be shared, even when husbands and wives watch the same TV sports program.