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Ian D. Boardley and Maria Kavussanu

A sport-specific measure of moral disengagement was developed in 2 studies. In Study 1, a 59-item questionnaire was developed and tested with 308 athletes from 5 team sports. A series of confirmatory factor analyses (CFA) testing different models suggested the model that best fitted the data had 6 first-order factors that could be represented by 1 second-order factor. Study 2 involved 305 athletes from the same 5 sports. CFA confirmed the 6-factor, second-order structure for the final 32-item measure. Results from Study 2 supported the construct validity of the scale, providing evidence for the factorial, concurrent, convergent, and discriminant validity. The Moral Disengagement in Sport Scale (MDSS) is proposed as a valid and reliable measure of moral disengagement for use in the sport context.

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Louise Croft, Suzanne Dybrus, John Lenton and Victoria Goosey-Tolfrey

Purpose:

To examine the physiological profiles of wheelchair basketball and tennis and specifically to: (a) identify if there are differences in the physiological profiles of wheelchair basketball and tennis players of a similar playing standard, (b) to determine whether the competitive physiological demands of these sports differed (c) and to explore the relationship between the blood lactate [Bla] response to exercise and to identify the sport specific heart rate (HR) training zones.

Methods:

Six elite athletes (4 male, 2 female) from each sport performed a submaximal and VO2 peak test in their sport specific wheelchair. Heart rate, VO2, and [Bla] were measured. Heart rate was monitored during international competitions and VO2 was calculated from this using linear regression equations. Individual HR training zones were identified from the [Bla–] profile and time spent within these zones was calculated for each match.

Results:

Despite no differences in the laboratory assessment of HRpeak, the VO2peak was higher for the basketball players when compared with the tennis players (2.98 ± 0.91 vs 2.06 ± 0.71; P = .08). Average match HR (163 ± 11 vs 146 ± 16 beats-min–1; P = .06) and average VO2 (2.26 ± 0.06 vs 1.36 ± 0.42 L-min-1; P = .02) were higher during actual playing time of basketball when compared with whole tennis play. Consequently, differences in the time spent in the different training zones within and between the two sports existed (P < .05).

Conclusions:

Wheelchair basketball requires predominately high-intensity training, whereas tennis training requires training across the exercise intensity spectrum.

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Laura Capranica and Mindy L. Millard-Stafford

A prevailing theory (and practical application) is that elite performance requires early childhood skill development and training across various domains, including sport. Debate continues whether children specializing early (ie, training/competition in a single sport) have true advantage compared with those who sample various sports early and specialize in a single sport later (adolescence). Retrospective data and case studies suggest either model yields elite status depending upon the sport category (ie, situational: ball games, martial arts, fencing; quantitative: track and feld, swimming, skiing; or qualitative: gymnastics, diving, figure skating). However, potential risks of early specialization include greater attrition and adverse physical/emotional health outcomes. With the advent of the IOC Youth Olympic Games, increased emphasis on global youth competition has unknown implications but also represents a potential platform for investigation. Modification of youth competition formats should be based upon multidisciplinary research on psycho-physiological responses, and technical-tactical behaviors during competition. The assumption that a simple scaled-down approach of adult competitions facilitates the development of technical/tactical skills of youth athletes is not necessarily substantiated with field-based research. Relatively little evidence exists regarding the long-term effects of rigorous training and competitive schedules on children in specific sports. It is clear that more prospective studies are needed to understand the training dose that optimally develops adaptations in youth without inducing dropout, overtraining syndrome, and/or injury. Such an approach should be sport specific as well as gender based. Until such evidence exists, coaches and sport administrators will continue to rely upon their sport-specific dogma to influence programmatic development of our most vulnerable population.

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Geraldine Naughton and John Carlson

This study examined the changes in the physiological profile of children engaged in organized sporting activity compared to a group of normally active children. Eight children (mean age 11.4 yrs) from each of four popular sports in Australia (badminton, basketball, netball, and tennis) and an equal number of nontraining children were monitored over a 12-week season. Very few differences occurred between the sporting groups and the control group. No change was reported between groups in peak oxygen uptake at the start and completion of the season. Changes occurring within each group did not consistently reflect any sport-specific characteristics over the season. Flexibility improved significantly, with an average gain of 3.76 cm in all groups except basketball players, who gained only 0.69 cm for the 12 weeks. Anaerobic power demonstrated significant improvement only within those sporting groups whose training specifically included explosive based activity. It is suggested that the active nature of the control children and use of only 12 weeks of data collection could have contributed to the limited physiological differences observed between active sporting and nonsporting children.

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Elizabeth M. Mullin

Homophobia and heterosexism in women’s collegiate athletics has been predominantly researched using qualitatively methodology (e.g., Blinde & Taub, 1992; Kauer & Krane, 2006; Krane 1996, 1997; Krane & Barber, 2003). Few researchers have examined the heterosexist attitudes from a quantitative perspective and few with a sport—specific questionnaire. The researcher examined whether on-going evidence of reliability and validity for the Heterosexist Attitudes in Sport—Lesbian scale (Mullin, 2013) questionnaire would be demonstrated. Female collegiate athletes (N = 239) from the mid-Atlantic region completed the HAS-L as well as a battery of questionnaires. Approximately 4 weeks later, participants completed the HAS-L again. The HAS-L was significantly related with the Attitudes toward Lesbians subscale of the Attitudes toward Lesbians and Gay Males—Short scale (Herek & McLemore, 2011) and other identified correlates of heterosexism, suggesting evidence of some criterion-related and convergent validity. Internal consistency and test-retest estimates ranged from .50–85 and .64–.91, respectively. The findings demonstrate good evidence of reliability and validity for the Cognitive/Affective subscale of the HAS-L. More research is necessary to better examine the behavioral subscales. Future researchers should consider making revisions of the Avoidance of the Lesbian Label subscale to achieve acceptable levels of reliability and validity.

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António J. Figueiredo, Manuel J. Coelho e Silva, Sean P. Cumming and Robert M. Malina

The purpose of the study was to compare the anthropometric, functional and sport-specific skill characteristics and goal orientations of male youth soccer players at the extremes of height and skeletal maturity in two competitive age groups, 11–12 and 13–14 years. The shortest and tallest players, and least and most skeletally mature players (n = 8 per group) within each age group were compared on chronological age; skeletal age (Fels method); pubertal status (pubic hair); size, proportions and adiposity; four functional capacities; four soccer-specific skills; and task and ego orientation. The tallest players were older chronologically, advanced in maturity (skeletal, pubertal) and heavier, and had relatively longer legs than the shortest players in each age group. At 11–12 years, the most mature players were chronologically younger but advanced in pubertal status, taller and heavier with more adiposity. At 13–14 years, the most mature players were taller, heavier and advanced in pubertal status but did not differ in chronological age compared with the least mature players. Players at the extremes of height and skeletal maturity differed in speed and power (tallest > shortest; most mature > lest mature), but did not differ consistently in aerobic endurance and in soccer-specific skills. Results suggested that size and strength discrepancies among youth players were not a major advantage or disadvantage to performance. By inference, coaches and sport administrators may need to provide opportunities for or perhaps protect smaller, skilled players during the adolescent years.

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Frankie Tan, Ted Polglaze, Gregory Cox, Brian Dawson, Iñigo Mujika and Sally Clark

This study investigated the effects of sodium bicarbonate (NaHCO3) ingestion on simulated water polo match performance. Twelve elite players from the Australian National Women’s Water Polo Squad (age 23.7 ± 3.0 yr, height 1.73 ± 0.05 m, body mass 75.7 ± 8.0 kg) participated in the study. In a randomized cross-over double-blind design, players ingested 0.3 g/kg of NaHCO3 or placebo 90 min before performing a 59-min match-simulation test (MST) that included 56 × 10-m maximal-sprint swims as the performance measure. Capillary blood samples were obtained preingestion, pre- and post-warm-up, and after each quarter of the MST. Preexercise ingestion of NaHCO3 was effective in enhancing extracellular pH from baseline levels of 7.41; ±0.01 (M; ±90% confidence limits) to 7.49; ±0.01 and bicarbonate levels from 24.4; ±0.3 to 28.5; ±0.5 mmol/L. The percentage difference in mean sprint times between trials showed no substantial effects of NaHCO3 (0.4; ±1.0, effect size = 0.09; ±0.23; p = .51). These findings are contrary to those of previous NaHCO3 studies on simulated team-sport performance, but this investigation is unique in that it examined highly trained athletes performing sport-specific tasks. In conclusion, water polo players should not expect substantial enhancement in intermittent-sprint performance from NaHCO3 supplementation.

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Michael Wilkinson, Damon Leedale-Brown and Edward M. Winter

Purpose:

We examined the validity and reproducibility of a squash-specifc test designed to assess change-of-direction speed.

Methods:

10 male squash and 10 male association-football and rugby-union players completed the Illinois agility run (IAR) and a squash change-of-direction-speed test (SCODS) on separate days. Tests were repeated after 24 h to assess reproducibility. The best time from three attempts was recorded in each trial.

Results:

Performance times on the IAR (TE 0.27 s, 1.8%, 90% CI 0.21 to 0.37 s; LOA -0.12 s ± 0.74; LPR slope 1, intercept -2.8) and SCODS (TE 0.18 s, 1.5%, 90% CI 0.14 to 0.24 s; LOA 0.05 s ± 0.49; LPR slope 0.95, intercept 0.5) were reproducible. There were no statistically significant differences in performance time between squash (14.75 ± 0.66 s) and nonsquash players (14.79 ± 0.41 s) on the IAR. Squash players (10.90 ± 0.44 s) outperformed nonsquash players (12.20 ± 0.34 s) on the SCODS (P < .01). Squash player rank significantly correlated with SCODS performance time (Spearman’s ρ = 0.77, P < .01), but not IAR performance time (Spearman’s ρ = 0.43, P = .21).

Conclusions:

The results suggest that the SCODS test is a better measure of sport-specific capability than an equivalent nonspecific field test and that it is a valid and reliable tool for talent identification and athlete tracking.

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Neil Armstrong

For ‘The Year that Was—2015’, I have selected 2 papers which review aspects of aerobic training. Studies of pediatric aerobic training generally focus on the effects of constant intensity exercise training (CIET) programs on peak oxygen uptake (VO2). The first paper has been chosen because it provides, for the first time, both a systematic review and a meta-analysis of the efficacy of high-intensity interval training (HIIT) in improving health-related fitness in adolescents. The second paper has been selected because it not only reviews both generic and sport-specific aerobic training studies of young team sport athletes, but also applies the analysis to the design of an evidence-based model of young athlete development. However, the primary reasons for highlighting these reviews is that they expose gaps in our knowledge of youth aerobic trainability, particularly between ‘pure’ and ‘applied’ pediatric sport science. They also identify areas where further research and appropriate data interpretation in relation to chronological age and biological maturation are required.

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Christopher Thomas, Thomas Dos’Santos, Paul A. Jones and Paul Comfort

Purpose:

The purpose of this investigation was to determine the reliability of the 30-15 Intermittent Fitness Test (30-15IFT) in semiprofessional soccer players.

Methods:

Fourteen male semiprofessional soccer players performed the 30-15IFT on 2 occasions separated by 7 d. Reliability was assessed by intraclass correlation coefficient (ICC), typical error of measurement expressed as a coefficient of variation (CV), and smallest worthwhile change (SWC) to determine any significant difference between testing sessions.

Results:

Maximal intermittent running velocity (VIFT) demonstrated good reliability (ICC = .80) for between-sessions reliability. The CV was 2.5% for between-sessions reliability of the 30-15IFT. As the SWC (0.70 km/h) falls within the range in which the individual’s true score is likely to lie (1.0 km/h), the usefulness of the VIFT was rated as marginal. Despite the usefulness of the 30-15IFT being deemed marginal, a change in performance as small as 1.0 km/h (2 stages) in VIFT could be considered substantial or real.

Conclusion:

This study demonstrates that VIFT in the 30-15IFT is reliable, resulting in a reliable assessment of team-sport-specific cardiorespiratory fitness, with changes as small as 1.0 km/h (2 stages) in VIFT considered meaningful.