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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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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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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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S. Jill Black and Maureen R. Weiss

Based on Barter's competence motivation theory, this study examined the relationships between perceived coaching behaviors and (a) perceptions of ability and (b) motivation in competitive age-group swimmers. Male and female athletes (N=312) assessed their coaches' behaviors and their own ability and motivation using self-report measures. Multivariate analyses indicated that significant relationships were found for males, females, 12–14-year-olds, and 15-18-year-olds. Variables contributing most importantly to the relationships differed depending upon gender and age group. In general, coaches who were perceived as giving more frequent information following desirable performances, and more frequent encouragement combined with information following undesirable performances, were associated with athletes who perceived higher levels of success, competence, enjoyment, and preference for optimally challenging activities. These results indicate that young athletes' self-perceptions and motivation are significantly related to the quantity and quality of coaching feedback they receive for performance successes and errors.

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Naomi Fejgin

Longitudinal data from a nationally representative sample of 10th graders (National Educational Longitudinal Study of 1988 First Follow-Up) were used to assess the net effect of athletic participation on student outcomes after controlling for student background and 8th-grade measures of the dependent variables. The analyses show positive effects of sport participation on grades, self-concept, locus of control, and educational aspirations, and a negative effect on discipline problems. Analysis also shows that athletic participation is unequally distributed across gender and socioeconomic groups: Males, students from higher socioeconomic levels, students attending private and smaller schools, and those with previous experience in school and private sport teams are more engaged in high school competitive sport.

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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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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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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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Tara K. Scanlan and Michael W. Passer

The purpose of this field study was to examine the effects of game win-loss and margin of victory or defeat on postgame attributions. Male competitive soccer players (N= 160) were asked to attribute causality for their teams' win or loss and for their individual performance during the game to the internal factors of ability and effort and to the external factors of opponent difficulty and luck. It was proposed that, in sport, self-esteem protecting biases could be constrained by the emphasis placed on internal causal determinants of performance, and by situational norms which limit the acceptability of external attributions. In accordance with these contentions, the findings showed that although winning players attributed greater causality to internal factors than did losers, losing players still assessed internal attributes to be the most important determinants of game outcome and personal performance. Further, losers were not more external in their causal ascriptions than winners. The margin of victory or defeat did not affect players' causal attributions or their judgments of how much ability, effort, difficulty with the opponent, and luck they personally had in the game. The margin of outcome did impact players' judgments regarding how much of these attributes their team had demonstrated during the game.

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Daniel Gould, Linda Petlichkoff, Jeff Simons and Mel Vevera

This study examined whether linear or curvilinear (inverted-U) relationships exist between Competitive State Anxiety Inventory-2 subscale scores and pistol shooting performance in a paradigm that addressed previous design, methodological, and data analysis problems. Officers (N = 39) from the University of Illinois Police Training Institute served as subjects and participated in a pistol shooting competition. Each subject shot on five separate occasions, immediately after completing the CSAI-2 (Martens, Burton, Vealey, Bump, & Smith, 1983), a multidimensional measure of state anxiety. It was predicted that cognitive state anxiety would be more related to performance than would somatic state anxiety. However, relationships between both types of anxiety and performance were predicted to support inverted-U as opposed to linear relationships. Self-confidence was predicted to be positively related to performance. Results were analyzed using the intraindividual analysis procedures recommended by Sonstroem and Bernardo (1982) and showed that cognitive anxiety was not related to performance, somatic anxiety was related to performance in a curvilinear (inverted-U) fashion, and confidence was negatively related to performance.