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.
Stephen D. Mosher
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Régis Lobjois, Nicolas Benguigui and Jean Bertsch
This study examined the effect of tennis playing on the coincidence timing (CT) of older adults. Young, younger-old and older-old (20–30, 60–69, and 70–79 years old, respectively) tennis players and nonplayers were asked to synchronize a simple response (pressing a button) with the arrival of a moving stimulus at a target. Results showed that the older tennis players responded with a slight bias similar to that of the young players. Two experiments were conducted to determine whether the elimination of age effects through tennis playing was a result of maintaining basic perceptuomotor and perceptual processes or of some possible compensation strategy. The results revealed that the age-related increase in the visuomotor delay was significantly correlated with CT performance in older nonplayers but not in older tennis players. These results suggest that playing tennis is beneficial to older adults, insofar as they remained as accurate as younger ones despite less efficient perceptuomotor processes. This supports the compensation hypothesis.
Sam Minner, Greg Prater and Allan Beane
Preservice teachers from a special education undergraduate training program and inservice teachers working in special education classrooms read a descriptive vignette of a hypothetical placement meeting. All subjects were asked to assume that they felt the child being discussed needed adapted physical education, but that no person in their local school district was trained to provide such services. In short, a “professional dilemma” was devised. After reading the vignette, subjects responded to several questions that assessed their willingness to recommend that the student be provided with the necessary service and the potential impact of this recommendation. Results indicated that both groups were willing to recommend the service but that the inservice group was more fearful of negative repercussions.
Margaret M. Coleman and Murray Mitchell
The purpose of this study was to develop a strategy to assess two facets of the supervisory responsibilities of Cooperating Teachers (CTs): (a) what CTs choose to observe during a lesson when preparing to offer comments to a student teacher and (b) what CTs choose to bring to the attention of student teachers after observing a lesson. The purpose also was to determine the usefulness of the strategy in discriminating among CTs that may have different preparation backgrounds for supervisory duties. Eighteen elementary level CTs participated by individually watching a videotaped lesson, preparing a written critique, and responding to interviews regarding the supervision of a student teacher. Results support the strategy used as a viable means for identifying selected supervisory abilities of CTs, facilitating the identification of discernible similarities and differences among CTs, and discriminating between two groups of CTs with different backgrounds.
Murray F. Mitchell
The purpose of this study was to determine why and how a sample of physical education teacher education (PETE) scholars manage to be productive publishers. Authors or coauthors of four or more articles in the Journal of Teaching in Physical Education (JTPE) through the 1980s (N = 24) responded to a mail questionnaire on why they write, why they choose to write for JTPE, what they believe to be true about themselves or their approach to writing, and any situational factors that have led to their publication success. Authors described personal motives such as publishing to meet a curiosity drive, for the enjoyment of the process, to facilitate learning, and to lead toward promotion and raises. Facilitators of the process included having access to colleagues and mentors and having a personal commitment to pursue publication. These findings are discussed with regard to insights available for administrators and novice faculty members.