Understanding how the human body responds to unexpected force perturbations during quiet sitting is important to the science of motor behavior and the design of neuroprostheses for sitting posture. In this study, the performance characteristics of the neck and trunk in healthy individuals were assessed by measuring the kinematic responses to sudden, unexpected force perturbations applied to the thorax. Perturbations were applied in eight horizontal directions. It was hypothesized that displacement of the trunk, settling time and steady-state error would increase when the perturbation direction was diagonal (i.e., anterior-lateral or posterior-lateral) due to the increased complexity of asymmetrical muscle responses. Perturbation forces were applied manually. The neck and trunk responded in a synchronized manner in which all joints achieved peak displacement simultaneously then returned directly to equilibrium. Displacement in the direction of perturbation and perpendicular to the direction of perturbation were both significantly greater in response to diagonal perturbations (p < .001). The center of mass returned to equilibrium in 3.64 ± 1.42 s after the onset of perturbation. Our results suggest that the trunk sometimes behaves like an underdamped oscillator and is not controlled by simple stiffness when subjected to loads of approximately 200 N. The results of this study are intended to be used to develop a neuroprosthesis for artificial control of trunk stability in individuals with spinal cord injury.
T. Adam Thrasher, Vivian W. Sin, Kei Masani, Albert H. Vette, B. Cathy Craven and Milos R. Popovic
Maureen R. Weiss and Carl T. Hayashi
The purpose of this study was to examine parent-child influences associated with highly competitive gymnastics participation. Athletes (n = 24) responded to self-report measures of perceived parental influences, and the athletes’ parents (n = 39) responded to interview questions regarding the influence of their child’s gymnastics involvement on their own behaviors. Descriptive analyses of gymnasts’ responses revealed that parents (a) frequently attended meets, (b) encouraged their child’s participation extensively, (c) demonstrated positive affect toward their child’s involvement, and (d) held positive beliefs and realistic expectations about their child’s competence. Parents’ responses indicated large time and financial investments as a result of their child’s involvement and indicated that their child’s participation positively influenced such behaviors as (a) attendance at gymnastics meets, (b) reading sports-related literature, (c) watching sports on television, (d) participating in fitness-related activities, and (e) parenting in general. These findings support theory and research that advocate the reciprocal nature of parent-child socialization effects in sport.
John J. Nicholas, Margaret Reidy and Denise M. Oleske
In order to supplement the literature that describes individual injuries of the shoulder, carpal tunnel, and back in golfers, we administered a survey to demonstrate the incidence of golfers' injuries and describe the most frequent types. A questionnaire was administered to 1,790 members of the New York State Golf Association (amateur) under age 21. Three hundred sixty-eight players responded. Half of those responding had been struck by a golf ball at least on one occasion (47.6%), and 23% of the injuries were to the head or neck. Male golfers were 2.66 times more likely to be struck by a golf ball than females. Women and golfers with a higher handicap were at an increased risk for upper extremity problems, whereas younger and overweight golfers were more likely to have golf-related back problems. We concluded that golf is associated with a significant morbidity. Repetitious trunk and upper limb motions probably contribute to musculoskeletal disorders. However, an unexpectedly high incidence of trauma from projectile golf balls leads to the conclusion that no amount of stretching or muscular exercise is as important as increased alertness by golfers to decrease this hazard.
Gershon Tenenbaum, Michael Lloyd, Grace Pretty and Yuri L. Hanin
A study was carried out to examine the ability of equestrians to accurately report precompetition emotions and thoughts across varying time delays (3,7, and 14 days) after competition. Forty male and female dressage riders were randomly divided into two equal groups: participants who watched their videotaped precompetition routine before responding to the items, and participants who visualized the precompetition routine without any external aid. Each rider completed several questionnaires which measured emotions, items related to horses, and an open-ended question on thoughts and emotions at that moment. After a delay of 3,7, and 14 days, the riders were asked to respond to the same questions after imagining themselves preparing for the competition. Repeated-measures MANOVA indicate that though some decrease in emotional intensity was noted for some emotions in the retrospective report, the stability of reporting precompetition emotions was very high in all delay periods. The horse related items were reported particularly accurately. Watching the videotape did not improve the accuracy of the report. Content analysis, however, indicated that when measurement consisted of free report, many emotions and thoughts were added or omitted in the delayed modes. Ericsson and Simon’s (1980, 1984) verbal reports and protocol analysis conceptualization is used to elaborate upon these results.
Christian Cook, C. Martyn Beaven, Liam P. Kilduff and Scott Drawer
This study aimed to determine whether caffeine ingestion would increase the workload voluntarily chosen by athletes in a limited-sleep state.
In a double-blind, crossover study, 16 professional rugby players ingested either a placebo or 4 mg/kg caffeine 1 hr before exercise. Athletes classified themselves into nondeprived (8 hr+) or sleep-deprived states (6 hr or less). Exercise comprised 4 sets of bench press, squats, and bent rows at 85% 1-repetition maximum. Athletes were asked to perform as many repetitions on each set as possible without failure. Saliva was collected before administration of placebo or caffeine and again before and immediately after exercise and assayed for testosterone and cortisol.
Sleep deprivation produced a very large decrease in total load (p = 1.98 × 10−7). Caffeine ingestion in the nondeprived state resulted in a moderate increase in total load, with a larger effect in the sleep-deprived state, resulting in total load similar to those observed in the nondeprived placebo condition. Eight of the 16 athletes were identified as caffeine responders. Baseline testosterone was higher (p < .05) and cortisol trended lower in non-sleep-deprived athletes. Changes in hormones from predose to preexercise correlated to individual workload responses to caffeine. Testosterone response to exercise increased with caffeine compared with placebo, as did cortisol response.
Caffeine increased voluntary workload in professional athletes, even more so under conditions of self-reported limited sleep. Caffeine may prove worthwhile when athletes are tired, especially in those identified as responders.
Whitney W. Marks, Tiesha R. Martin and Stacy Warner
This case addresses the events leading up to the cancellation of the 2012 New York City Marathon in the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy. The case highlights the importance of making fair and timely decisions. The case is assembled based on newspaper accounts of the circumstances that led to New York City’s Mayor Bloomberg declaring the 2012 marathon would be held and then two days later canceling the event. The facts that were available to Mayor Bloomberg are presented in such a way that students can consider and analyze what they would have done and when, and how this may or may not differ from what actually occurred. Most importantly, the case highlights the decision-making process that many sport and event managers will encounter in the field when a weather-related event occurs in the midst of a planned athletic event. Consequently, the case provides students with an opportunity to critically examine the following: 1) how a sport organization should respond to a crisis; 2) the impact of decision-making on various event stakeholders; 3) the ethics involved in decision-making; and 4) how sport and event managers should respond to public criticism. The case is intended for use in classes focused on event management, sport ethics, and public relations.
Matthew P. Callahan, Craig R. Denegar and Craig A. Segree
Orthotics are commonly prescribed for the treatment of lower extremity injuries secondary to hyperpronation. However, the efficacy of vacuum-molded orthotics has not been established. We assessed the effects of vacuum-molded orthotics on pain and level of function in athletes suffering from plantar fasciitis, medial tibial stress syndrome, or knee pain secondary to hyperpronation. Fourteen athletes assessed their pain and level of function during athletic activity before being fitted for orthotics (Professional Rx, SuperFeet In-Shoe Systems Inc.) and weekly for 7 weeks following break-in. Five athletes (36%) reported complete pain resolution and eight (57%) reported substantial improvement. Eight athletes (57%) reported full return to athletic participation and five (36%) reported substantial improvement in athletic function. One athlete failed to respond to treatment. Results indicate that vacuum-molded orthotics are an effective treatment for lower extremity overuse injuries secondary to hyperpronation.
Britton W. Brewer, Christine L. Buntrock, Nancy S. Diehl and Judy L. Van Raalte
Poster sessions have become a standard feature at sport psychology conferences. Although these sessions are intended to facilitate interaction between presenters and audience members, recent research suggests that the exchange of information in poster sessions is less than optimal (Rienzi & Allen, 1994). This study examined the extent to which authors of poster presentations at a sport psychology conference mailed handouts or manuscripts containing details of their presentations to interested colleagues. Results indicated that authors of only 39% of the posters responded to the requests for written information, and some of those responses were not timely. By failing to provide handouts or manuscripts to interested individuals, poster presenters may impede scientific and applied progress. Presenters are encouraged to honor their ethical and professional obligations to disseminate information on their work to the sport psychology community.
Timothy J.L. Chandler and Alan D. Goldberg
The purpose of this study was to assess the perceived importance (salience) of the role-identity of scholar-athlete to high school students. A total of 1,255 students responded to a questionnaire entitled “A Survey of School Climates.” Males perceived obtaining high grades and achieving athletic success—the academic All-American—as most important, while females perceived getting high grades and being a member of the leading group as their most salient role-identities. The results of this study also suggest several potential sources for adolescent role conflict as well as a research methodology for examining the relationship between the adolescent value structure and indices of academic achievement, personal development, and psychological stress.
Stephen D. Mosher
While contemporary American sport films seem to be targeting the adolescent audience for a message of empowerment, a smaller group of sport films seems to have reached out to the adult audience with the “preposterous” claim that sport allows us opportunities for personal redemption. Through interviews conducted at the Dyersville, Iowa, site of Fields of Dreams, a critical examination of several contemporary adult baseball films, and analysis of the Pete Rose saga, I hope to show that the opportunity for personal redemption is not only possible but in fact is a primary function of all sport. When asked in Field of Dreams by Shoeless Joe Jackson, “Is this heaven?” Ray Kinsella responds, “No, it’s Iowa.” I maintain that the predominant mythos in contemporary sport is that, indeed, it is heaven.