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Sally A. White

The purpose of this study was to examine the combined effects of task- and ego-orientation on adolescents’ perceptions of the parent-initiated motivational climate and competitive trait anxiety. Participants were 279 male and female adolescents (mean age = 14.41 years) who competed on organized sport teams. Based on a mean split on the two TEOSQ subscales, four goal orientation profile groups were created: high-task/high-ego, high-task/low-ego, high-ego/low-task, and low-task/low-ego. MANOVA results indicated that the high-task/low-ego group perceived that both their mother and father endorsed a learning and enjoyment motivational climate. In contrast, the high-ego/low-task group thought their mother and father valued a climate where success was coupled with low effort. In this group, fathers were perceived to cause worry about making mistakes. This group experienced the highest levels of competitive trait anxiety. For the high-task/high-ego group it was found that fathers emphasized a climate where success was linked to low levels of exerted effort and mothers were perceived to cause worry about making mistakes. However, the high-task/high-ego group also believed that both parents still valued learning and enjoyment in the development of physical skills. Lastly, individuals in the low-task/low-ego group perceived mothers to make them afraid of making mistakes in the learning of skills.

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Mark Kluemper, Tim Uhl and Heath Hazelrigg

Context:

Imbalanced shoulder muscles might cause poor posture in swimmers, which has been implicated as potential cause of injury.

Objective:

To determine whether a training program can reduce forward shoulder posture.

Design:

Prospective pseudorandomized.

Setting:

College swimming pool.

Participants:

39 competitive swimmers (age 16 ± 2 years) divided into an exercise group (n = 24) and a control group (n = 15).

Intervention:

The experimental group performed a partner-stretching program on the anterior shoulder muscles and a strengthening regimen focusing on the posterior shoulder muscles for 6 weeks. The control group participated in normal swim-training activities.

Main Outcome Measures:

Shoulder posture was measured as the distance from the anterior acromion to a wall using a double-square method.

Results:

The experimental group significantly reduced the distance of the acromion from the wall in a resting posture (–9.6 ± 7.3 mm) as compared with the control group (–2.0 ± 6.9 mm).

Conclusions:

A training routine might reduce the forward shoulder posture present in most competitive swimmers.

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Bryan E. Denham

Drawing on data gathered from high-school seniors in the 2008 Monitoring the Future Study of American Youth (N = 2,063), this research examined the explanatory effects of competitive sports participation on alcohol consumption and marijuana use using race and noncompetitive exercise frequency as controls. Among males, competitive sports included baseball, basketball, football, soccer, track and field, and weightlifting, and among females, sports included softball, basketball, soccer, swimming and diving, track and field, and volleyball. White males reported greater alcohol consumption than Black and Hispanic respondents, with competitors in baseball, football and weightlifting consuming alcohol more frequently. The use of marijuana did not depend on race, but baseball players and weightlifters reported significantly more use. Among females, race differences did not emerge in ordinal regression models testing effects on alcohol consumption, but participants in every sport reported drinking alcohol more frequently. White female athletes also appeared to smoke marijuana more frequently. Overall, results suggested comparably strong effects for female sport environments while male behaviors varied by race, noncompetitive exercise frequency, and sports competition. Limitations of the study and recommendations for future research are offered.

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Robert S. Weinberg and Marvin Genuchi

The purpose of the present investigation was to determine the relationship between competitive trait anxiety (CTA), state anxiety, and golf performance in a field setting. Ten low, moderate, and high CTA collegiate golfers (N = 30) performed in a practice round on Day 1 and Day 2 of a competitive tournament. State anxiety results indicated a significant CTA main effect with low CTA subjects displaying lower state anxiety than moderate or high CTA subjects. The competition main effect was also significant, with post hoc tests indicating higher levels of state anxiety during Day 1 and Day 2 than during the practice round. Performance results produced a significant CTA main effect with low CTA subjects displaying higher levels of performance than moderate or high CTA subjects. Correlations between SCAT and state anxiety indicated that SCAT was a good predictor of precompetitive state anxiety. The direction of state anxiety and performance CTA main effects provide support for Oxendine's (1970) contentions that sports requiring fine muscle coordination and precision (e.g., golf) are performed best at low levels of anxiety. Future directions for research are offered.

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Jennifer W. Cuchna, Lauren Welsch, Taylor Meier, Chyrsten L. Regelski and Bonnie Van Lunen

Clinical Question:

Are Nordic hamstring exercises more effective than standardized training in reducing hamstring strain injury rates in competitive soccer players over the course of at least one season?

Clinical Bottom Line:

The evidence supports the use of Nordic hamstring exercises to reduce hamstring injury incidence rates over a competitive soccer season. Therefore, progressive Nordic hamstring exercises should be included within some aspect of a practice to prevent the occurrence of hamstring injuries.

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Robert G. McCulloch, Donald A. Bailey, Robert L. Whalen, C. Stuart Houston, Robert A. Faulkner and Bruce R. Craven

This cross-sectional study compared differences in os calcis bone density and distal radius bone mineral content (BMC) among adolescent soccer players, competitive swimmers, and control subjects. Sixty-eight males and females (23 soccer players, 20 swimmers, 25 controls) ages 13 to 17 served as subjects. The results for os calcis trabecular density indicate a trend that may be of clinical significance and that may warrant further study. The swimmers had the lowest os calcis density in both sexes whereas the soccer players had the highest bone density at this weight-bearing site (F=2.54, p<.08). No differences with respect to distal radius BMC were observed among activity groups or between sexes.

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Kristin J. Heumann and Pamela D. Swan

Jumping rope (JR) is known to enhance Os Calcis Stiffness Index (OCSI) in postpubertal girls; however the effects in prepubescent girls are unknown.

Purpose:

Qualitative Ultrasound (QUS) indices were compared between competitive JRs (N = 19) and normally active (NA, N = 18) girls 9–12 years old.

Methods:

Heel QUS, height, weight, percent body fat (bioelectrical impedance), and Tanner Sex Stage (self-report) were measured.

Results:

JR were significantly younger and had less body fat than NA (p < .01). No other between group differences were found. OCSI was not different between groups even after correcting for fat mass (p > 0.3). Broadband attenuation (BUA) was correlated with Tanner stage (R > .40; p = .01).

Conclusion:

QUS of the heel bone is more related to pubertal status than to JR participation in young girls. Prepubertal girls who perform high intensity jumping have similar bone quality measures as normally active girls.

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Deborah L. Feltz, Cathy D. Lirgg and Richard R. Albrecht

Eighteen elite young distance runners were followed over a 5-year period and examined on their perceptions of parental involvement, commitment, anxiety, and sources of worry as these variables pertained to their competitive running. Results showed that the runners received good parental support and possessed a relatively high level of commitment to running, but that both parental involvement and commitment declined over the 5 years. Fathers were seen as being more involved in their children’s running than mothers were. Also, females were somewhat more committed to running than males were. Males and females exhibited similar anxiety scores and these scores did not increase significantly over time. There was no evidence that these runners suffered excessive anxiety.

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Patsy Tremayne and Robert J. Barry

This study investigated cardiac and electrodermal responses in competitive gymnasts differing in levels of trait anxiety and repression. The research strategy was to seek differences in tonic and phasic physiological measures that occurred in association with differences in state and/or trait anxiety levels, and then to investigate whether similar differences were associated with differences in levels of repression. Two task conditions were employed: A resting baseline session was counterbalanced with an imagery session in which subjects were requested to image their current team routine in real time. For half of each session, subjects were instructed to either count (relevant) stimuli or ignore (irrelevant) stimuli. The results established a number of psychophysiological differences between groups differing on state and trait anxiety. Similar differences as a result of repression were not obtained, raising questions about the validity of the construct of “repression” in this context. There were some small effects, however, suggesting that repression may affect components of attentional processing in different situations.

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Michael B. Johnson, William A. Edmonds, Gershon Tenenbaum and Akihito Kamata

A recently introduced probabilistic methodology (Kamata, Tenenbaum, & Hanin, 2002) was implemented in the current study to ascertain the idiosyncratic Individual Affect-related Performance Zones (IAPZs) of four intercollegiate tennis players. The current study advances upon previous empirical works by its use of multiple performance levels, use of athletes’ introspective affective intensity, and recording multiple data points duringcompetition. Results present within- and between-player comparisons, and highlight the dynamic nature of competitive athletic events. A brief discussion regarding the implications of this methodology and the pursuant results for sport psychology consultants is also proffered. Being idiosyncratic in nature, the observations from this study are not intended to generalize across samples, but rather to introduce how knowledge of the systematic and dynamic linkage between an individual’s affect and his or her performance can be uncovered and possibly used with individual athletes to facilitate more consistently optimal performances.