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Maithe Cardoso de Araújo and Kathrin A.M. Mießen

The aim of this study was to investigate the evolution of competitiveness in elite women’s soccer, comparing the goal difference mean between the first FIFA Women’s World Cup (W1991) and FIFA Women’s World Cup 2011 (W2011), twenty years later. Analogous Men’s World Cups (M1990 and M2010) and the first one (M1930) were analyzed for comparative purposes. A total of 192 matches were taken into account and their final result was obtained through official match reports. The overall goal difference (GD) was 1.6, with GD of one occurring 44.3%. Percentage of matches finished with a GD of more than three was 30.7% in W1991 and only 6.3% in W2011. Mean of GD in W2011 was significantly lower than in W1991 (1.38 ± 1.10 vs. 2.81 ± 1.96, U = 226.0, z = -3.085, p = .002), while between M1990 and M2010 it did not differ statistically (1.21 ± 1.05 vs. 1.23 ± 1.23, U = 1639.5, z = -0.146, p = .884). In contrast to the comparisons to W1991, differences between W2011 and M2010 as well as M1990 were not significant. However, GD in W2011 was significantly lower than in the M1930. The results demonstrated that elite women’s soccer has shown a notorious development with regard to the competitiveness, approaching the status already achieved by men. This fast progress represents new challenges for the sports sciences and football associations.

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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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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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Edward McAuley and Vanee V. Tammen

The present study was designed to assess the effects of subjective and objective competitive outcomes on intrinsic motivation following completion of a one-on-one basketball jump-shooting competition. Researchers all too often operationalize competitive outcomes in terms of winning and losing, and neglect to examine performance from the subjective perspective of the individual. The intrinsic motivation of winners and losers and individuals high and low in perceived success were compared by employing a multidimensional measure of intrinsic motivation. Results indicated that both winners and high success individuals displayed significantly greater intrinsic motivation than losers and low. success individuals, respectively. However, multivariate analyses of variance demonstrated significant differences only between the perceived success groups when intrinsic motivation was examined at a multidimensional level. Specifically, high success individuals perceived themselves as trying; harder, being more competent, and enjoying' the activity "more. These findings are discussed from a cognitive evaluation perspective that: focuses on the role played by self-perception of events in relation to motivational processes.

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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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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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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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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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Bruce D. Hale and Adam Whitehouse

This study attempted to manipulate an athlete’s facilitative or debilitative appraisal (direction; Jones, 1995) of competitive anxiety through imagery-based interventions in order to study the effects on subsequent anxiety intensity (heart rate and CSAI-2) and direction (CSAI-2D; Jones & Swain, 1992). In a within-subjects’ design, 24 experienced soccer players were relaxed via progressive relaxation audiotape and then randomly underwent an imagery-based video- and audiotaped manipulation of their appraisal of taking a hypothetical gamewinning penalty kick under either a “pressure” or “challenge” appraisal emphasis. There was no significant effect for heart rate. A repeated measures MANOVA for CSAI-2 and CSAI-2D scores revealed that for both intensity and direction scores the challenge condition produced less cognitive anxiety, less somatic anxiety, and more self-confidence (all p < .001) than the pressure situation. This finding suggests that a challenge appraisal manipulation taught by applied sport psychologists might benefit athletes’ performance.

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Lynne Evans, Leigh Jones and Richard Mullen

The purpose of the present study was to explore the use of imagery by an elite rugby union football player and to examine the effects of an imagery intervention in a practical performance environment. The study took place over a 14-week period of the competitive season. Data collection comprised semi-structured interviews, diaries, and the Sport Imagery Questionnaire. The findings suggested that the participant primarily used cognitive specific and cognitive general imagery. Post-intervention, the participant reported greater clarity; detail; control over his anxiety, activation, and motivation levels; an improvement in his ability to generate confidence in his playing ability prior to games; and more structure to his imagery use. The study highlighted the importance of individualizing imagery interventions to meet the specific needs of different athletes.