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Daniel Gould, Suzanne Tuffey, Eileen Udry and James Loehr

This study reports results from the first phase of a large-scale research project designed to examine burnout in competitive junior tennis players. Thirty junior tennis burnout and 32 comparison players, identified by U.S. Tennis Association personnel, voluntarily completed a battery of psychological assessments. A series of discriminant function analyses and univariate t-tests revealed that burned out, as contrasted to comparison players, had significantly: (a) higher burnout scores; (b) less input into training; (c) were more likely to have played high school tennis; (d) more likely played up in age division; (e) practiced fewer days; (f) were lower in external motivation; (g) were higher in amotivation; (h) reported being more withdrawn; (i) differed on a variety of perfectionism subscales; (j) were less likely to use planning coping strategies; and (k) were lower on positive interpretation and growth coping. It was concluded that in addition to a variety of personal and situational predictors of burnout, perfectionism plays a particularly important role.

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Vikki Krane

Two studies were designed to test the validity of the Mental Readiness Form (MRF; Murphy, Greenspan, Jowdy, and Tammen, 1989) with collegiate athletes. In Study 1, male and female athletes completed the CSAI-2 and the original or a modified MRF within 60 minutes prior to competition. In Study 2, subjects completed two forms of the MRF with slightly different anchor terms, the CSAI-2, trait anxiety measures, and a social desirability scale. Overall, results indicated moderate to strong correlations between corresponding CSAI-2 subscales and MRF items, supporting its concurrent validity. The intercorrelations among MRF items were high, but were similar to the intercorrelations among CSAI-2 subscales. Correlations with trait anxiety also supported the concurrent validity of the MRF. None of the MRF scales or the CSAI-2 were significantly correlated with social desirability. The preliminary analyses in these studies provide initial support for the MRF as a measure of competitive anxiety when expediency is an important concern.

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Peter R.E. Crocker and Thomas R. Graham

This study evaluated patterns of coping, relationships between coping and negative and positive affect, and gender differences in coping and affect in competitive athletes. A sample of 235 female and male athletes reported recent stressful performance situations and indicated appraisals related to performance goals, coping, and affective responses. Lack of goal attainment (goal incongruence) was used as a measure of stress. Group means for coping indicated that athletes primarily used strategies such as increasing effort, planning, suppressing competing activities, active coping, and self-blame. Females used higher levels of seeking social support for emotional reasons and increasing effort to manage goal frustration. Males experienced higher levels of positive affect. For positive affect, regression analysis found a significant five-variable solution (R 2 = .31). For negative affect, there was also a significant five-variable solution (R 2 = .38). The gender differences were not congruent with views that males would use higher levels of problem-focused coping.

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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.

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Richard R Albrecht and Deborah L. Feltz

The Test of Attentional and Interpersonal Style (TAIS) was developed as an objective measure by which an individual's attentional predisposition could be identified and used to predict performance on a variety of tasks. The present study had three purposes: (a) to construct a baseball/softball batting (B-TAIS) version of each TAIS attentional subscale, (b) to compare TAIS and B-TAIS reliability, and (c) to compare TAIS and B-TAIS validity. Both instruments were administered to 29 intercollegiate baseball and softball players. The B-TAIS demonstrated slightly higher test-restest reliability on five of the six attentional subscales and was higher than the TAIS in internal consistency on all subscales. Batting performance was positively related to all B-TAIS subscales assessing effective attentional deployment and negatively related to all subscales assessing ineffective attention. Significant positive correlations also existed between B-TAIS ineffective subscale scores and competitive trait anxiety. However, these relationships were not found with the general TAIS.

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Stephen J. Thomas, Kathleen A. Swanik, Charles “Buz” Swanik, Kellie C. Huxel and John D. Kelly IV

Context:

Pathologies such as anterior instability and impingement are common in baseball and have been linked to decreases in internal rotation (IR) and concurrent increases in external rotation (ER). In addition, alterations to scapular position have been identified in this population, but the chronology of these adaptations is uncertain.

Objectives:

To determine whether there is a change in range of motion and scapular position after a single baseball season.

Design:

Prospective cohort.

Setting:

High school.

Participants:

19 high school baseball players (age 16.6 ± 0.8 y, mass 78.6 ± 12.0 kg, height 180.3 ± 6.2 cm).

Interventions:

Subjects were measured for all dependent variables at preseason and postseason.

Main Outcome Measures:

Participants were measured for glenohumeral (GH) IR and ER with the scapula stabilized. Total GH range of motion was calculated as the sum of IR and ER. Scapular upward rotation was measured at 0°, 60°, 90°, and 120° of GH abduction in the scapular plane, and scapular protraction, at 0°, hands on hips, and 90° of GH abduction.

Results:

Overall, the dominant arm had significantly less GH IR (11.4°, P = .005) and significantly more ER (4.7°, P = .001) than the nondominant arm. Total motion in the dominant arm was significantly less than in the nondominant arm (6.7°, P = .001). Scapular upward rotation in the dominant arm significantly increased at 0° (2.4°, P = .002) and significantly decreased at 90° (3.2°, P = .001) and 120° (3.2°, P < .001) of abduction from preseason to postseason. Scapular protraction in the nondominant arm significantly decreased at 45° (0.32 cm, P = .017) and 90° (0.33 cm, P = .006) from preseason to postseason.

Conclusion:

These data suggest that scapular adaptations may be acquired over a relatively short period (12 wk) in a competitive baseball season. Competitive high school baseball players also presented with significant GH motion differences between their dominant and nondominant arms. Total motion was also significantly less in the dominant arm than in the nondominant arm.

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Magnus Carlsson, Tomas Carlsson, Daniel Hammarström, Christer Malm and Michail Tonkonogi

Purpose:

This study investigated whether there is a correlation between time-trial performance and competitive performance capacity of male and female junior cross-country skiers and sought to explain sex-specific competitive performance capacity through multiple-regression modeling.

Methods:

The International Ski Federation’s (FIS) junior ranking points for distance (FISdist) and sprint (FISsprint) competitions were used as performance parameters. A total of 38 elite junior (age 18.5 ± 1.0 y) cross-country skiers (24 men and 14 women) completed 3 time-trial tests: a 3-km level-running time trial (TTRun), a 2-km moderate uphill (1.2° slope) roller-skiing time trial using the double-poling technique (TTDP), and a 2-km uphill (2.8° slope) roller-skiing time trial using the diagonal-stride technique (TTDiag). The correlations were investigated using Pearson correlation analysis, and regression models were created using multiple-linear-regression analysis.

Results:

For men, FISsprint and FISdist were correlated with the times for TTRun, TTDP, and TTDiag (all P < .001). For women, FISsprint was correlated with the times for TTRun (P < .05), TTDP (P < .01), and TTDiag (P < .01), whereas FISdist was correlated only with the times for TTDP (P < .01) and TTDiag (P < .05). The models developed for FISdist and FISsprint explained 73.9–82.3% of the variance in the performance capacity of male junior cross-country skiers. No statistically valid regression model was found for the women.

Conclusions:

Running and roller-skiing time trials are useful tests for accurately predicting the performance capacity of junior cross-country skiers.

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Carl D. Paton

Purpose:

Aerobic economy is an important factor that affects the performance of competitive cyclists. It has been suggested that placing the foot more anteriorly on the bicycle pedals may improve economy over the traditional foot position by improving pedaling efficiency. The current study examines the effects of changing the anterior-posterior pedal foot position on the physiology and performance of well-trained cyclists.

Methods:

In a crossover study, 10 competitive cyclists completed two maximal incremental and two submaximal tests in either their preferred (control) or a forward (arch) foot position. Maximum oxygen consumption and peak power output were determined from the incremental tests for both foot positions. On two further occasions, cyclists also completed a two-part 60-min submaximal test that required them to maintain a constant power output (equivalent to 60% of their incremental peak power) for 30 min, during which respiratory and blood lactate samples were taken at predetermined intervals. Thereafter, subjects completed a 30-min self-paced maximal effort time trial.

Results:

Relative to the control, the mean changes (±90% confidence limits) in the arch condition were as follows: maximum oxygen consumption, -0.5% (±2.0%); incremental peak power output, -0.8% (±1.3%); steady-state oxygen consumption at 60%, -2.4% (±1.1%); steady-state heart rate 60%, 0.4% (±1.7%); lactate concentration 60%, 8.7% (±14.4%); and mean time trial power, -1.5% (±2.9%).

Conclusions:

We conclude that there was no substantial physiological or performance advantage in this group using an arch-cleat shoe position in comparison with a cyclist’s normal preferred condition.

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Thomas J. Martinek and William B. Karper

The purpose of this study was to describe the operation of teacher expectancy effects within two instructional climates of elementary physical education classes. Specifically, high and low expectancy groups were compared during noncompetitive and competitive instruction in terms of teacher-student interaction and perceived expression of effort. Four alternating experimental phases of instruction were employed. Analysis of the interaction data revealed that low expectancy students received significantly more praise and encouragement during the first (noncompetitive) phase and the fourth (competitive) phase than did high expectancy students. They also received significantly more empathy from their teachers during both competitive phases of instruction. High expectancy students were perceived to exhibit significantly more effort than low expectancy students during all four phases.

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Herbert W. Marsh and Naida D. Peart

The purpose of the present investigation was to examine the differential effects of a competitive and a cooperative fitness program for high school girls on physical fitness and on multidimensional self-concepts. Consistent with the content specificity of self-concept, physical fitness was significantly correlated with self-concept of physical ability (r=.45) but not with any of the other 10 self-concept scales (all r<.ll). Both the competitive and cooperative programs significantly enhanced physical fitness compared to a randomly assigned control group; but the cooperative program also enhanced physical ability self-concept and, to a lesser extent, physical appearance self-concept whereas the competitive program lowered them. The intervention had no significant effects on the other self-concept scales. The results of the study demonstrate the benefits of cooperatively oriented physical fitness programs for girls and the content specificity of multiple dimensions of self-concept.