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Robert J. Rotella and Mi Mi Murray

Homophobia has been an issue of concern in the world of sport for decades. It has had a negative impact on the world of athletes, coaches, and sport psychology consultants. Both heterosexuals and homosexuals are affected. Homophobia has kept some from striving for excellence while interfering with and hindering some who pursued success in sport. Specialists in sport psychology who claim to care about the development of human potential in sport must be concerned about the impact of homophobia. An honest look at attitudes, beliefs, and values is a necessary step forward if change is to occur. A move in the direction of healthy acceptance of differing sexual preferences is suggested, along with an effective philosophy for doing so. A wish list for the future is included.

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Connie L. Blakemore, H. Gill Hilton, Joyce M. Harrison, Tracy L. Pellett and James Gresh

Mastery learning is an instructional strategy that embraces the philosophy that almost any student can learn what is being taught given sufficient time and help. Through Bloom’s group-based, teacher-paced model, 71 seventh-grade boys were taught basketball skills. Students in two treatment groups (mastery and nonmastery) and a control group were compared on the performance of psychomotor skills in isolation and in a competitive game situation before, midway through, and following their training. Students in the mastery group were not taught new skills until 80% had mastered the present skills. The mastery group performed significantly better on isolated skills than did the nonmastery and control groups. There was no significant difference between groups in the performance of skills in a competitive game situation.

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Martin E. Block and Timothy D. Davis

Traditional motor development programs for preschool children with disabilities usually utilize a behavior-analytic approach in which children are given specific training and instruction on identified IEP objectives. While this approach has its merits in terms of time-on-task and focus on critical IEP objectives, it is not consistent with current developmentally appropriate philosophies in early childhood education. One of the newer techniques suggested by early childhood educators as a “best practice” in educating young children is an activity-based or play-based approach. Children still have individually determined goals and objectives, but these goals and objectives are “embedded” in a variety of child-directed play activities. The teacher acts as a facilitator, encouraging the child to practice individual goals while exploring the environment. The purpose of this article is to introduce the concept of activity-based intervention and provide examples of how it can be implemented within a motor development/physical education context for preschool children with disabilities.

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Emily A. Roper, Douglas J. Molnar and Craig A. Wrisberg

In the sport, physical activity, and aging literature, much attention has been given to the importance of physical activity and sport involvement for the elderly. Most of the literature, however, has focused on the continuity of physical activity among older adults. The purpose of this study was to extend the understanding of older sport participants by conducting a case study of Max Springer, a male, White master runner (88 years old). We assumed that continuity in sport would represent a primary adaptive strategy for coping with the aging process. In addition to two in-depth interviews with Max, the authors interviewed various other “participants” regarding their perceptions of Max as an older runner. From deductive analysis of the interview material, the following themes emerged as figural to Max’s experience as an older runner: tradition of always being physically active, I’m not an athlete, being of senior age, meaning and philosophy of running, and significance of social support.

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Daniel Gould, Dana K. Voelker and Katherine Griffes

To gain an in depth understanding of the youth leadership development process in sport, qualitative interviews were conducted with high school coaches (6 males; 4 females) known for cultivating leadership in their captains. Hierarchical content analyses revealed that all of the coaches reported proactive approaches toward teaching leadership through sport. However, based on the principles noted in the positive youth development literature, these coaches could do more to enhance their leadership development practices (e.g., empowering captains by more often involving them in important decision-making). Leadership philosophies, specific leadership training strategies, as well as the biggest challenges and mistakes when working with their captains are reported. Directions for future research and structuring captain training programs are discussed.

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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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Dallas Branch Jr.

Intercollegiate athletics has come under increasing scrutiny. Questions of leadership and the NCAA’s Presidents’ Commission reflect new levels of exposure and commitment to clean the athletic house. The problem of defining the academic/athletic balance in big-time college sports has polarized faculty, administrators, and athletic leaders at many colleges and universities. The purpose of this study was to examine athletic director and selected assistant perceptions of leader behavior to determine whether their perceptions contributed significantly to the prediction of intercollegiate organizational effectiveness. Findings indicate that effective athletic organizations have leaders who are more predisposed to goal and task accomplishment than to developing good interpersonal relationships with their subordinates. Contemporary leadership theory and management philosophy suggests that organizations that can accomplish both are most effective. Athletic directors may want to adjust their leadership behaviors to meet the managerial demands of today’s intercollegiate athletic program.

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P. Stanley Brassie

In 1987 the National Association for Sport and Physical Education (NASPE) appointed a task force to develop undergraduate and graduate curricular guidelines for institutions preparing sport management professionals. The undergraduate guidelines address the three components of a sport management curriculum: (a) the foundational areas of study comprising full courses in business management, marketing, economics, accounting, finance, and computer science; (b) the application areas of study composed of sport foundations (e.g., sport sociology, sport psychology, sport history /philosophy, women in sport), sport law, sport economics, sport marketing/promotion, and sport administration; and (c) the field experiences including practical and internships. The graduate guidelines build upon the undergraduate preparation and include (a) two required courses in research methods and a project or thesis; (b) advanced application electives in sport law, sport economics, sport marketing/promotion, sport administration, facility design, and event management; and (c) the field experiences of practical and internships.

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Maureen R. Weiss

Psychological skills and methods that can be applied to working with children and adolescents in sport are examined from a theory-to-practice as well as a practice-to-theory approach. In addition to an emphasis on the reciprocal nature of theory and practice, the philosophy adopted in this paper includes a focus on personal development rather than performance, and a multidisciplinary or integrated sport science approach to understanding children’s experiences in the physical domain. The types of psychological skills discussed are self-perceptions, motivation, positive attitude, coping with stress, and moral development. Psychological methods include environmental influences such as physical practice methods, coach and parent education, communication styles, and modeling; and individual control strategies in the form of goal setting, relaxation, and mental imagery. Numerous anecdotal stories based on the author’s experiences working with children and adolescents are used to support the major philosophical themes advanced in this paper.

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Gary Byrne and Tania Cassidy

In 2012 Pat Lam was dismissed (‘sacked’) as head coach of the Auckland Blues, a professional rugby union team in New Zealand. Within months of his sacking Lam had become the head coach of Connacht Rugby; an improving, but midlower table, professional provincial team in the west of Ireland. The purpose of this ‘best practice’ article is twofold. First, to illustrate how Lam used his dismissal (‘sacking’) from the Auckland Blues as a pivotal opportunity to learn, and develop, as a coach. Specifically his imperative that there needed to be clarity and communication of his coaching philosophy, and his quest for alignment between coach and organisation and his ‘belief triad’ (culture, leadership, the game). Second, in an effort to be more than a catalogue of ‘best practice’ strategies, we use the theoretical concept of ‘interruption’ to explain how disruption, disintegration and arresting problematic coaching situations, such as being dismissed as a head coach, can be instrumental in the development of, and learning by, the coach. In outlining Lam’s ‘best practice’ we draw on primary and secondary data sources, which document his stories of redemption and supports Gould’s (2016) case for greater integration of quality coaching stories into sport coaching scholarship.