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Tara Edwards, Lew Hardy, Kieran Kingston and Dan Gould

Structured in-depth interviews explored the catastrophic experiences of eight elite performers. Participants responded to questions concerning an event in which they felt they had experienced an uncharacteristic but very noticeable drop in their performance, a “performance catastrophe.” Inductive and deductive analyses were employed to provide a clear representation of the data. This paper reports on how the dimensions emerging from the hierarchical content analysis changed from prior to the catastrophic drop in performance, during the drop, and after the drop (in terms of any recovery). Two emerging higher order dimensions, “sudden, substantial drop in performance” and “performance continued to deteriorate” provide support for one of the fundamental underpinnings of the catastrophe model (Hardy, 1990, 1996a, 1996b); that is, performance decrements do not follow a smooth and continuous path. The paper examines the implications of the findings with respect to applied practice and future research.

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James P. Corcoran, Lehigh University and Deborah L. Feltz

A formative evaluation was conducted of the Chemical Health Education and Coaching (CHEC) program sponsored by the Youth Sports Institute at Michigan State University. The degree to which high school athletic coaches (a) became knowledgeable about chemical health and (b) were confident in their ability to apply that knowledge to their team were the two primary concerns of this study. Two hundred eighteen high school athletic coaches comprised the experimental and control groups to whom identical pretest and posttest instruments were administered. The CHEC program consisted of three 1-hr sessions. The subjects were asked to respond to one questionnaire that assessed both their knowledge and confidence in that knowledge and their ability to use it with their athletes. The results indicated that the coaches who were exposed to CHEC were more knowledgeable and more confident than control coaches.

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Susan K. Kovar and Virginia Overdorf

In this study we examined the influences of graduate training, job characteristics, and collegial support on scholarly productivity across gender. A survey was distributed to 425 graduates from 13 major United States research institutions and 117 responded. Publication rate was predicted by the amount of research support from colleagues, the number of colleagues publishing one or more refereed articles per year, and the number of research projects the respondent (as a doctoral student) was involved in with the major professor. Differences were found in professors’ responses to rejected articles, with females significantly less likely to resubmit a rejected article. Therefore, it appears important to participate in many projects with one’s major professor while in graduate school, affiliate with a productive, supportive faculty, and to rewrite and resubmit rejected articles.

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John S.W. Spinda, Daniel L. Wann and Michael Sollitto

In this case study analysis, we explored the motives for playing Strat-O-Matic Baseball (SOMB), a baseball simulation played as a board game or online, from the perspective of the uses-and-gratifications theory. In phase I of the study, SOMB manager narratives (N = 50) were analyzed for motive statements. In phase II, an online survey asked SOMB managers (N = 222) to respond to motive items as well as four measures of Major League Baseball (MLB) and SOMB identification. Overall, eight motives for playing SOMB emerged from the 64-item pool of motive items. These eight motives were nostalgia, knowledge acquisition, social bonding, enjoyment, vicarious achievement, game aesthetics, convenience, and escape. Our findings suggest these motives predicted measures of MLB and SOMB identification in significantly different ways. Theoretical implications, future research, limitations, and discussion questions are presented in this analysis.

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Wendy White Morrow and P. Chelladurai

A successful national sport organization, Synchro Canada, was described in terms of three structural characteristics (formalization, centralization, and complexity) and five processes (activities to ensure resources, work flow, control, identification, and homeostatic activities) based on evidence from documents and, to a limited extent, from interviews. Eighty-five subjects from four constituent groups (administrators, judges, coaches, and athletes) responded to a questionnaire that assessed their perceptions regarding the contributions of the selected organizational characteristics to Synchro Canada's overall effectiveness. The analyses showed that the organization's structures and processes were consistent with the literature in organization theory. From an overall perspective, the respondents perceived the structural and process characteristics as contributing to overall effectiveness. However, the coaches as a subgroup viewed the dimensions of activities to ensure resources, control activities, and centralization as detracting from effectiveness.

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Dorothy B. Zakrajsek

This commentary responds to an invitation to discuss sport management from the viewpoint of an administrator. My thoughts are segmented into two streams: (a) the interface of a sports-minded public and sport management and (b) the listing of a few issues and concerns confronting sport management today. The first recognizes the high profile of sport in American society and the rising gross national sport product (GNSP), which have placed sport management programs in the enviable position of visibility and attention. The second plays on several themes: continuing to improve the knowledge and research base, establishing an independent identity while sharing technology within HPER programs, and being sensitive to a growing trend toward more graduate students entering from fields outside sport, leisure, and Wellness.

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Amir A. Mohagheghi, J. Greg Anson, Brian I. Hyland, Louise Parr-Brownlie and Jeffrey R. Wickens

The effect of foreperiod length on reaction time in memorized (MM) and nonmemorized (NM), precued, delayed responses was investigated. Six subjects participated in one long and one short foreperiod schedule testing session. An aiming task, using elbow supination/pronation, in response to a visual stimulus was employed. In the MM condition, target spatial information was available for a fraction of the foreperiod duration. In the NM condition, target information was available continuously until the subject attained the target position. Subjects responded with a significantly longer latency in the long foreperiod schedule. Within each foreperiod schedule, the shortest foreperiod resulted in significantly longer reaction time. However, the absolute value of foreperiod did not have a major effect on reaction time latency. Memorization and nonmemorization conditions did not affect reaction time.

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Yasuhiro Seya and Shuji Mori

We examined simple and choice reaction times (RTs) to a visual target that appears during smooth pursuit. Participants pursued a moving fixation stimulus accurately before a target stimulus was presented either above or below the fixation stimulus. In the simple RT task, the participants responded to the onset of the target as soon as possible. In the choice RT task, they indicated the target position, i.e., above or below the fixation stimulus, as soon and as accurately as possible. The results showed that, in both tasks, the RTs during smooth pursuit at 10°/s were longer than those during stationary fixation, and the RTs decreased as the fixation stimulus velocity further increased to 40°/s. Since pursuit gains (the ratio of eye velocity to fixation stimulus velocity) decreased as the fixation stimulus velocity increased, these results suggest that there is a tradeoff between pursuit accuracy and RT.

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Mark R. Lyberger and Donna L. Pastore

This study examined the self-perceived compliance of health club facility operators with the American with Disabilities Act (ADA). A 112-item survey was developed to assess; awareness of ADA regulations, knowledge of the ADA and disability function, perceptions toward ADA regulations, and self-perceived compliance with ADA regulations. The questionnaire was administered to a random sample (N = 190) of facility operators in Ohio. Because only 45 (23.7%) responded, surveys were sent to the remainder of the facility operators (n = 180), yielding another 5 usable questionnaires. To verify the questionnaire's subscale structure, item-to-total correlations and internal consistency estimates (a) were utilized, and descriptive statistics and correlations were carried out. The findings suggest that low levels of awareness are associated with low to moderate levels of self-perceived compliance, that facility operators are only moderately knowledgeable and generally perceptive of the ADA, and that they are not fully complying with ADA regulations.

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Richard H. Cox and Larry Noble

The purpose of this investigation was to determine the level of preparation of high school head coaches in the state of Kansas and to study the relationship between level of preparation and coaches’ strong beliefs regarding the importance of coaching competencies. Through random sampling procedures, a total of 1,178 high school coaches received a first time mailing of a questionnaire. The return rate after two mailings was 91%. Of the 1,070 head coaches who responded to the survey, 62.5% had either majored or minored in physical education. The correlation between the number of coaching courses taken and the sum of strong belief statement scores was a low but significant .35. ANOVA and MANOVA procedures revealed that coaches who were not formally trained in each competency area exhibited diminished appreciation for the importance of that respective competency.