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Jo Batey and Helen Owton

Maintaining involvement in sport and exercise activities is a challenge for mothers with young children. This study therefore qualitatively explores the experiences of 7 mothers who have managed to remain physically active in team sports exploring how the team environment might meet their psychological needs. We analyze the results through Self-Determination Theory (SDT). Semistructured interviews were thematically analyzed to reveal the following themes: perceived benefits of sport, perceived benefits of being part of a team, needing time out from being a mother, social support and empowerment and self-determination. Feelings of competence, autonomy and relatedness were interwoven to these themes thus demonstrating the applicability of SDT to this domain.

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Emily Kroshus and J.D. DeFreese

Athlete burnout is an important psychological health concern that may be influenced by coach behaviors. Participants were 933 collegiate soccer coaches who described their utilization of burnout prevention strategies. Deductive content analysis was used to categorize and interpret responses. The most frequently endorsed prevention strategies involved managing/limiting physical stressors. Reducing nonsport stressors and promoting autonomy and relatedness were also endorsed. Motivational climate changes and secondary prevention strategies were infrequently reported. These findings can help inform the design of educational programming to ensure that all coaches are aware of the range of ways in which they can help prevent athlete burnout.

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Clifford J. Mallett

The coach is central to the development of expertise in sport (Bloom, 1985) and is subsequently key to facilitating adaptive forms of motivation to enhance the quality of sport performance (Mallett & Hanrahan, 2004). In designing optimal training environments that are sensitive to the underlying motives of athletes, the coach requires an in-depth understanding of motivation. This paper reports on the application of self-determination theory (SDT; Deci & Ryan, 1985; Ryan & Deci, 2000) to coaching elite athletes. Specifically, the application of SDT to designing an autonomy-supportive motivational climate is outlined, which was used in preparing Australia’s two men’s relay teams for the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens.

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Ken Hodge, Chris Lonsdale and Susan A. Jackson

In this exploratory study, we examined hypothesized antecedents (basic psychological needs) and consequences (dispositional flow) of athlete engagement (AE); plus the extent to which AE mediated the relationship between basic needs and flow. Structural equation modeling with a sample of 201 elite Canadian athletes (60.20% female, mean age = 22.92 years) showed that needs satisfaction (particularly competence & autonomy) predicted athlete engagement (30% explained variance); and needs satisfaction and athlete engagement predicted dispositional flow (68% explained variance). AE partially mediated the relationship between needs satisfaction and flow. Practical suggestions are offered for needs-supportive coaching programs designed to increase both AE and flow.

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Richard Winsley

Adults’ cardiac autonomic regulation during exercise and in relation to peak oxygen uptake is well understood, however the situation in children is sparsely documented. Heart rate variability (HRV) analysis provides a non-invasive tool to research sympathovagal balance. A predominance of parasympathetic mediated modulation is characterized by a greater degree of HRV and vice versa. The available data indicate the child’s response to be similar to that observed in adults; heart rate increase arises through withdrawal of parasympathetic modulation with ensuing increase in sympathetic modulation; aerobic training increases HRV and a positive correlation between peak oxygen uptake and a parasympathetic preponderance.

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Nicolas Olivier, Renaud Legrand, Jacques Rogez, FX Gamelin, Serge Berthoin and Thierry Weissland

Objective:

To analyze the consequences on heart rate variability (HRV) of a hospitalization period due to surgery of the knee in sportsmen.

Patients:

Ten soccer players who had undergone knee surgery took part in this study.

Design:

HRV was measured before and after hospitalization within a 7-day interval.

Results:

After the hospitalization phase, heart rate at rest increased significantly (3 beats/minute). A significant decrease of 7% in the cardiac inter beat interval (R-R interval), P < 0.05 and a 66% decrease in total power spectral density: −66%, P < 0.05 were observed. The disturbance of the autonomic nervous system could be due to a variation in cardiac vagal activity resulting in a 64% decrease in the high frequencies (P < 0.05). This variation was not associated with a modification in normalized markers (LFn.u., HFn.u.) and LF/HF ratio (P > 0.05).

Conclusion:

In sportsmen, a hospitalization period led to an increase in resting heart rate and was associated with a disturbance of the autonomic nervous system.

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Nicholas L. Holt, Katherine A. Tamminen, Danielle E. Black, James L. Mandigo and Kenneth R. Fox

The purpose of this study was to examine parenting styles and associated parenting practices in youth sport. Following a season-long period of fieldwork, primary data were collected via interviews with 56 parents and supplemented by interviews with 34 of their female children. Data analysis was guided by Grolnick's (2003) theory of parenting styles. Analyses produced five findings: (1) Autonomy-supportive parents provided appropriate structure for their children and allowed them to be involved in decision making. These parents were also able to read their children's mood and reported open bidirectional communication. (2) Controlling parents did not support their children's autonomy, were not sensitive to their children's mood, and tended to report more closed modes of communication. (3) In some families, there were inconsistencies between the styles employed by the mother and father. (4) Some parenting practices varied across different situations. (5) Children had some reciprocal influences on their parents' behaviors. These findings reveal information about the multiple social interactions associated with youth sport parenting.

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Sung Hyeon Cheon, Johnmarshall Reeve and Yong-Gwan Song

Intervention-induced gains in need satisfaction decrease PE students’ amotivation. The present study adopted a dual-process model to test whether an intervention could also decrease need frustration and hence provide a second supplemental source to further decrease students’ PE amotivation. Using an experimental, longitudinal research design, 19 experienced PE teachers (9 experimental, 10 control) and their 1,017 students participated in an intervention program to help teachers become both more autonomy supportive and less controlling. Multilevel repeated measures analyses showed that students of teachers in the experimental group reported greater T2, T3, and T4 perceived autonomy support, need satisfaction, and engagement and lesser T2, T3, and T4 perceived teacher control, need frustration, and amotivation than did students of teachers in the control group. Multilevel structural equation modeling analyses confirmed the hypothesized dual-process model in which both intervention-induced increases in need satisfaction and intervention-induced decreases need frustration decreased students’ end-of-semester amotivation. We discuss the theoretical and practical implications of this new finding on the dual antecedents of diminished amotivation.

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Geneviève Rail

This study tested the relationship between perceived role characteristics and role satisfaction among sport executives. It also investigated the relative importance of role characteristics and individual variables in the prediction of role satisfaction. Measures of perceived role characteristics and role satisfaction were obtained through content analysis of interviews with 60 executives involved in Quebec amateur sport federations. Demographic data were gathered by questionnaire. Results indicated positive correlations between perceived role characteristics and role satisfaction. As demonstrated by multiple regression analysis, the selected individual characteristics (age and marital status) were not predictive of role satisfaction. Use of competence, autonomy, role significance, and recognition were found to be the four major determinants of role satisfaction within the voluntary sport associations.

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Stephanie M. Mazerolle, Ashley Goodman and William A. Pitney

Context:

Social support, autonomy, and job satisfaction are among the factors influencing female athletic trainers' decisions to remain in the National Collegiate Athletic Association Division I (NCAA D-I) setting, but the male perspective has not been documented.

Objective:

Identify factors that affect male athletic trainers' decisions to remain in the NCAA D-I setting.

Design:

Qualitative study. Participants: 11 male athletictrainers who averaged 6 ± 6 years of NCAA D-I clinical experience, 66 ± 10 working hours per week during the traditional sport season, and 34 ± 5 years of age.

Data collection and analysis:

In-depth, semistructured interviews. Two researchers followed the steps of a grounded theory study and analyzed data independently.

Results:

Two main persistence themes emerged from the data: (1) D-I atmosphere and (2) workplace environment.

Conclusions:

Our findings suggest that male athletic trainers remain in the NCAA D-I setting because of satisfaction with their employment, which includes a competitive atmosphere, strong coworker relationships, and support from their supervisors.