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Iain Greenlees, Richard Buscombe, Richard Thelwell, Tim Holder and Matthew Rimmer

The aim of this study was to examine the impact of a tennis player’s body language and clothing (general vs. sport-specific) on the impressions observers form of them. Forty male tennis players viewed videos of a target tennis player warming up. Each participant viewed the target player displaying one of four combinations of body language and clothing (positive body language/tennis-specific clothing; positive body language/general sportswear; negative body language/tennis-specific clothing; negative body language/general sportswear). After viewing the target player, participants rated their impressions of the model’s episodic states and dispositions and gave their perceptions of the likely outcome of a tennis match with the target player. Analyses of variance revealed that positive body language led to favorable episodic impressions and low outcome expectations. Analysis also indicated that clothing and body language had an interactive effect on dispositional judgments. The study supports the contention that nonverbal communication can influence sporting interactions.

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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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Timothy R. Pineau, Carol R. Glass, Keith A. Kaufman and Darren R. Bernal

The present study explored self- and team-efficacy beliefs in rowers, examining the relations between efficacy beliefs, mindfulness, and flow. Fifty-eight rowers from nine teams completed sport-specific measures of self- and team-efficacy, along with questionnaires assessing mindfulness, flow, sport anxiety, and sport confidence. Self- and team-efficacy were significantly related to mindfulness, dispositional flow, and sport confidence. In addition, both self-efficacy and sport confidence mediated the association between both total mindfulness (and the describe dimension of mindfulness) and the challenge-skill balance dimension of flow. These results provide indirect support for a proposed model, which suggests that mindfulness may positively impact the integral challenge-skill balance aspect of flow in athletes through self-efficacy.

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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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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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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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Gershon Tenenbaum, David Furst and Gilad Welmgarten

Attribution of causality, based on Rotter's (1966) and Weiner's (1979) models, was investigated in a sport setting. The Wingate Sport Achievement Responsibility Scale (WSARS) was developed in order to examine attribution of causality separately for individual and team athletes after successful and unsuccessful events. The scale included feedback from the coach, audience, and teammates. Additional attributions were added in order to examine sport related properties of attributions. In order to examine the distinction between sport-specific attributions and general locus of control (LOG), 69 team athletes and 38 individual athletes were administered the Rotter I-E LOG Scale and the WSARS (Tenenbaum & Weingarten, 1983). Both Rotter's Scale and the WSARS were found to be reliable and valid scales through the probabilistic Rasch Model. Correlational analysis of both scales showed that attribution of causality in team and individual sports were positively related but produced low correlations, which suggests that sport attribution should be examined separately from general LOG. In addition, successful events should be examined separately from unsuccessful events and a distinction should be made between individual and team athletes.

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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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Simon A. Worsnop

The purpose of this article is to examine the application of talent development principles to the coaching of rugby. It will consider the generic and sport specific problems of talent identification and selection, particularly the danger of early selection that poses the dual problems of early disengagement on the one hand and over specialization on the other. The paper will touch upon the various proposed models of athlete development and discuss the ways in which a national governing body of sport can influence player development along the age continuum. The role of the individual coach in developing young players and the importance of coach development and education will also be considered. Understanding the needs of players at different times in their development, and having a clear knowledge of how to improve performance in an efficient, time restrained but also enjoyable manner is a key skill for any coach. However, this skill requires time to grow and many coach education systems do not provide the ongoing support mechanisms that will enable a coach to grow and flourish, resulting in a less than optimal coaching environment.