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Adam J. Zemski, Elizabeth M. Broad and Gary J. Slater

Body composition in elite rugby union athletes is routinely assessed using surface anthropometry, which can be utilized to provide estimates of absolute body composition using regression equations. This study aims to assess the ability of available skinfold equations to estimate body composition in elite rugby union athletes who have unique physique traits and divergent ethnicity. The development of sport-specific and ethnicity-sensitive equations was also pursued. Forty-three male international Australian rugby union athletes of Caucasian and Polynesian descent underwent surface anthropometry and dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA) assessment. Body fat percent (BF%) was estimated using five previously developed equations and compared to DXA measures. Novel sport and ethnicity-sensitive prediction equations were developed using forward selection multiple regression analysis. Existing skinfold equations provided unsatisfactory estimates of BF% in elite rugby union athletes, with all equations demonstrating a 95% prediction interval in excess of 5%. The equations tended to underestimate BF% at low levels of adiposity, whilst overestimating BF% at higher levels of adiposity, regardless of ethnicity. The novel equations created explained a similar amount of variance to those previously developed (Caucasians 75%, Polynesians 90%). The use of skinfold equations, including the created equations, cannot be supported to estimate absolute body composition. Until a population-specific equation is established that can be validated to precisely estimate body composition, it is advocated to use a proven method, such as DXA, when absolute measures of lean and fat mass are desired, and raw anthropometry data routinely to derive an estimate of body composition change.

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Donna Beshgetoor, Jeanne F. Nichols and Inah Rego

The focus of this prospective, observational study was to determine the effect of sport-specific training and calcium intake on bone mineral density (BMD) in female master cyclists, runners and non-athletes. Thirty women (12 cyclists, 9 runners, 9 controls), mean age of 49.6 ±7.9 years, were assessed at baseline and 18 months for calcium intake (4-day records), current exercise activity (recall questionnaire), and BMD of the lumbar spine and hip (DXA). A three (cyclists, runners, controls) by two (0 and 18 months) repeated measures ANOVA demonstrated a significant interaction effect of sport and time at the femoral neck (p < .04). Tukey post hoc analysis indicated that the BMD of the femur was maintained in cyclists and runners but declined in controls (p < .05). A significant time effect was noted in BMD at the lumbar spine (p < .001) and the trochanter (p < .003). BMD of the lumbar spine was maintained in runners but declined in cyclists (p < .007) and in controls (p < .03), while trochanteric BMD declined in all groups (p < .01). No significant interaction effect of sport and dietary calcium intake was noted for BMD at any site.

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Diane L. Gill and David A. Dzewaltowski

In this exploratory investigation of competitive orientations, intercollegiate athletes from a highly competitive Division I program and nonathletes from the same university completed Gill’s Sport Orientation Questionnaire (SOQ) which assesses competitiveness, win and goal orientation; Vealey’s Competitive Orientation Inventory (COI) which assesses the relative importance of performing well (performance) and winning (outcome) in competitive sports; and Helmreich and Spence’s Work and Family Orientation Questionnaire (WOFO), a general achievement orientation measure. A Gender × Athlete/Nonathlete MANOVA yielded both gender and athlete/nonathlete main effects and no interaction. The gender difference was most evident for competitiveness scores, with males scoring higher than females on competitiveness and win orientation. Athletes scored higher than nonathletes on most measures, but especially so on the sport-specific competitiveness score. Athletes also placed more emphasis on performance and less on outcome than nonathletes did. A secondary analysis compared the eight athletic teams and revealed considerable variation among teams. Generally the team differences were not gender differences but seemed to reflect the competitive structure of the activity.

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Deborah L. Feltz and Eugene W. Brown

Harter's (1979) perceived competence subscale was modified to specifically apply to soccer in order to compare young soccer players' general self-esteem, perceived physical competence, and perceived soccer competence scores in predicting players' actual soccer ability. Young soccer players (N = 217), 8 to 13 years of age, were tested on five soccer skill tests. Players also completed Harter's (1979) Perceived Competence Scale for Children and our perceived soccer competence subscale. We hypothesized that perceived soccer competence would have high internal consistency and would be a better predictor of soccer ability than either perceived physical competence or general self-esteem. Results indicated that the perceived soccer competence subscale had the highest internal consistency reliability coefficient, and that it was also slightly more predictive of soccer ability than perceived physical competence as indicated by multivariate multiple regression analysis and canonical correlation analysis. Future studies investigating perceived competence as a motivational variable in specific youth sports may find the sport-specific perceived competence measure to provide additional information to Harter's questionnaire.

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Louise Davis and Sophia Jowett

The present preliminary study aimed to develop and examine the psychometric properties of a new sport-specific self-report instrument designed to assess athletes’ and coaches’ attachment styles. The development and initial validation comprised three main phases. In Phase 1, a pool of items was generated based on pre-existing self-report attachment instruments, modified to reflect a coach and an athlete’s style of attachment. In Phase 2, the content validity of the items was assessed by a panel of experts. A final scale was developed and administered to 405 coaches and 298 athletes (N = 703 participants). In Phase 3, confirmatory factor analysis of the obtained data was conducted to determine the final items of the Coach-Athlete Attachment Scale (CAAS). Confirmatory factor analysis revealed acceptable goodness of ft indexes for a 3-first order factor model as well as a 2-first order factor model for both the athlete and the coach data, respectively. A secure attachment style positively predicted relationship satisfaction, while an insecure attachment style was a negative predictor of relationship satisfaction. The CAAS revealed initial psychometric properties of content, factorial, and predictive validity, as well as reliability.

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Saichon Kloyiam, Sarah Breen, Philip Jakeman, Joe Conway and Yeshayahu Hutzler

The purpose of this study was to describe running economy, soccer specific endurance, and selected kinematic running criteria in soccer players with cerebral palsy (SPCP) and to compare them with values of position-matched players without CP. Fourteen international, male soccer players with cerebral palsy completed the “Yo-Yo” intermittent recovery run level 1 (IRL-1) test to assess soccer-specific endurance and a submaximal running test on a treadmill to determine running economy. The mean IRL-1 distance covered by the SPCP of the Irish CP team was found to be 43–50% below the mean distance attained by position-matched soccer players without disability, while running economy was found to be within the range of that reported for able-bodied athletes. No relationship could be found between the level of CP-ISRA classification and soccer-specific endurance or running economy in this group of elite level SPCP. Though small in number, these data support a further examination of the relationship between CP classification and sport-specific performance.

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Tara K. Scanlan, Paul J. Carpenter, Jeffery P. Simons, Greg W. Schmidt and Bruce Keeler

This article introduces a sport-specific theoretical model of commitment. Sport commitment is defined as a psychological state representing the desire or resolve to continue sport participation. The Sport Commitment Model proposes that sport commitment is determined by sport enjoyment, involvement alternatives, personal investments, social constraints, and involvement opportunities. Greater sport enjoyment, personal investments, social constraints, involvement opportunities, and less attractive involvement alternatives are predicted to lead to higher levels of sport commitment. Constitutive definitions were established for each of the model's components, and questionnaire items were developed. Results from the first empirical test of the model conducted with girls (n = 95) and boys (n = 83) participating in a Little League program showed that the questionnaire items formed reliable scales. Correlational analyses demonstrated that several predictors were related to sport commitment as hypothesized. Stepwise regression findings revealed that sport enjoyment and personal investments were the dominant predictors of commitment for this sample. Together, these two model components accounted for 58% of the sport commitment variance.

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Joan L. Duda

This study examined the relationship between an athlete's goal perspective (i.e., task or ego orientation) and the perceived purpose of sport among male and female high school athletes. The sport-specific measure of task and ego orientation was found to have a stable factor structure and high internal consistency. Factor analysis of the Purpose of Sport Questionnaire revealed seven factors: sport should (a) teach the value of mastery and cooperation, (b) show people how to be physically active for life, (c) make good citizens, (d) make people competitive, (e) help individuals obtain a high status career, (f) enhance self-esteem, and (g) show people how to get ahead and increase their social status. Results indicated that the importance placed on skill mastery and personal improvement in sport (task orientation) positively related to the beliefs that sport should enhance self-esteem and teach people to try their test, cooperate, and be good citizens. Ego orientation was a positive predictor of the view that sport involvement should enhance one's self-esteem and social status.

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Lynne Halley Johnston and Douglas Carroll

Twelve seriously injured athletes were asked to describe the provision of eight functional types of support during their rehabilitation. NUD*IST (Nonnumerical Unstructured Data Indexing Searching and Theorizing) was used to organize the data. Overall, the provision of social support largely matched demand. Emotional and practical forms of support decreased with time, while varieties of informational support were increasingly received and preferred over time. The provision of informational and emotional support appeared to be dictated by four temporally sequential appraisals: injury severity, rehabilitation progress, recovery/readiness to return, and sports performance. Practical support in the form of personal assistance greatly depended upon the visibility of the injury and the mobility of the injured athlete. Physiotherapists, doctors, and other currently or previously injured athletes were most likely to provide informational support requiring expert medical knowledge, whereas coaches provided informational support requiring sport-specific expertise. Friends and family were the main source of emotional and practical support. The situational and temporal context of the provision of support is represented diagrammatically.

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David Docherty and Matthew J. Hodgson

Recently there has been considerable interest and research into the functional significance of postactivation potentiation (PAP) on sport performance. The interest has evolved around the potential for enhancing acute performance or the long-term training effect, typically in the form of complex training. Complex training usually involves performing a weight-training exercise with high loads before executing a plyometric exercise with similar biomechanical demands. Despite a considerable amount of research in the past 10 years it would seem there is still much research to be done to fully determine whether PAP has a functional role and, if so, how to best exploit it. It is clear from the research that there are many factors that need to be considered when attempting to apply PAP to an athlete. It is possible that a well-conceived sport-specific warm-up might be as or more effective in enhancing acute performance and easier to apply in a practical setting. In addition, despite its current popularity, there has not been 1 study that has effectively examined the efficacy of complex training and whether it has any advantage over other forms of training that combine weight training and plyometrics but not in the same training session.