A prevailing theory (and practical application) is that elite performance requires early childhood skill development and training across various domains, including sport. Debate continues whether children specializing early (ie, training/competition in a single sport) have true advantage compared with those who sample various sports early and specialize in a single sport later (adolescence). Retrospective data and case studies suggest either model yields elite status depending upon the sport category (ie, situational: ball games, martial arts, fencing; quantitative: track and feld, swimming, skiing; or qualitative: gymnastics, diving, figure skating). However, potential risks of early specialization include greater attrition and adverse physical/emotional health outcomes. With the advent of the IOC Youth Olympic Games, increased emphasis on global youth competition has unknown implications but also represents a potential platform for investigation. Modification of youth competition formats should be based upon multidisciplinary research on psycho-physiological responses, and technical-tactical behaviors during competition. The assumption that a simple scaled-down approach of adult competitions facilitates the development of technical/tactical skills of youth athletes is not necessarily substantiated with field-based research. Relatively little evidence exists regarding the long-term effects of rigorous training and competitive schedules on children in specific sports. It is clear that more prospective studies are needed to understand the training dose that optimally develops adaptations in youth without inducing dropout, overtraining syndrome, and/or injury. Such an approach should be sport specific as well as gender based. Until such evidence exists, coaches and sport administrators will continue to rely upon their sport-specific dogma to influence programmatic development of our most vulnerable population.
Laura Capranica and Mindy L. Millard-Stafford
Stephen A. Ingham, Barry W. Fudge and Jamie S. Pringle
This case study observed the training delivered by a 1500-m runner and the physiological and performance change during a 2-y period. A male international 1500-m runner (personal best 3:38.9 min:s, age 26 y, height 1.86 m, body mass 76 kg) completed 6 laboratory tests and 14 monitored training sessions, during 2 training years. Training distribution and volume was ascertained from training diary and spot-check monitoring of heart rate and accelerometry measurements. Testing and training information were discussed with coach and athlete from which training changes were made. In the first training year, low-intensity training was found to be performed above the prescribed level, which was adjusted with training and coach support in y 2 (training zone < 80% of vVO2max, y 1 = 20%; y 2 = 55%). “Tempo” training was also performed at an excessively high intensity (Δ [blood lactate] 5–25 min of tempo run, y 1 = Δ6.7 mM, y 2 = Δ2.5 mM). From y 1 to 2, there was a concomitant increase in the proportion of training in the high-intensity zone of 100 to 130% vVO2max from 7 to 10%. Values for VO2max increased from 72 to 79 mL · kg−1 · min, economy improved from 210 to 206 mL · kg−1 · min, and 1500-m performance time improved from 3:38.9 to 3:32.4 min:s from the beginning of y 1 to the end of y 2. This case shows a modification in training methodology that was coincident with a greater improvement in physiological capability and furtherance in performance improvement.
H. Jan Dordel
Individuals with severe physical and psychomotor modifications after a brain injury need measures of motor training beyond the usual physiotherapy. The effects of an intensive mobility training in the phase of late rehabilitation are reported in two case studies. The coordinative and conditional progresses were controlled by the methods of photographic anthropometry, light-track registration, and bicycle ergometry. Improvements were found in posture and dynamic endurance in correlation with the generally improving motor control. Tests of everyday relevant movements revealed qualitative progresses in the sense of increased motor precision and economy.
Maureen M. Smith
As women age, society assigns stereotypes that suggest that older women are no longer capable of being competent athletes. In considering the experiences of older women in sport from a sociological perspective, this article provides a short summary of works examining older women in masters sport settings, as well as three brief case studies of older women engaged in sport and movement. As American women age, more of them will have experienced organized high school sport (after the passage of Title IX), suggesting that the experiences of older women in sport will take on new dimensions and meanings worthy of exploration.
Michael A. Hemphill and Tom Martinek
Many kinesiology departments engage in partnerships that aim to promote positive youth development through physical activity. These partnerships are often enhanced by mutually beneficial goals and shared decision making between university and community partners. This paper describes how sport has been at the center of two university-community partnerships that have helped to teach life skills to youth. We draw upon our experience working with community partners to illuminate challenges and opportunities for youth-focused partnerships. The programs include an emphasis on sustainability. As kinesiology programs continue to enhance their efforts to partner and support youth development, case studies such as this may help inform our efforts.
Donna L. Goodwin, Joan Krohn and Arvid Kuhnle
This phenomenological case study sought to understand the wheelchair dance experiences of five children (ages 6-14 years) with spina bifida. The experiences of one boy and four girls were captured using the phenomenological methods of semistructured interviews, journals, visual artifacts, and field notes. The perspectives of their parents were also gathered. The dancer data and parent data were analyzed separately, revealing four common themes: unconditional acceptance, a dream comes true, beyond the wheelchair, and a stronger self. The experience of dancing from a wheelchair was interpreted and understood by reflecting upon the concepts of ableism, dualism, and the minded body.
John Mahoney and Stephanie J. Hanrahan
The purpose of this study was to research the experiences of four injured athletes during their rehabilitation from ACL injuries and to examine the potential usefulness of an adapted ACT intervention in addressing individuals’ adherence to rehabilitation protocols and their general psychological well-being. We investigated the usefulness of a brief, 4-session ACT program adapted for educational purposes and presented data as case studies. The case studies suggested that (a) the injured athletes experienced a multitude of private events immediately following injury, throughout their recovery, and when approaching a full return to sport; (b) the injured athletes typically avoided these private events and engaged in emotion-driven behaviors; (c) an adapted ACT approach for educational purposes could be useful on at least a basic level to help injured athletes accept private events, commit to rehabilitation behaviors, and have some certainty about returning to sport; and (d) more could be done to address the needs of injured athletes beyond the structure of our 4-session educational intervention. We concluded that the ACT-based intervention, to a certain extent, educated injured athletes about how to meet the challenges of their recoveries and how to commit to their rehabilitations, as well as to exhibit behaviors that would potentially permit their successful reentries to sport.
Mary E. Rudisill
Over the past 35 years, institutions of higher education have been involved in strategic planning in an attempt to promote their priorities and remain competitive in challenging economic times. Efforts have been made to improve the process and effectiveness of strategic planning over those years. Although strategic planning can be effective, the plan must be created properly and also implemented in an effective manner. Since online learning has become an increasingly important revenue source for many institutions of higher education, as well as an alternative way to provide instruction to students, it is typically included within institutional strategic plans and prioritized for growth. Ensuring that faculty “buy-in” to this goal and strategic priorities requires significant faculty engagement. In this paper, options for implementation and ways to promote engagement are discussed within a case study of how Auburn University kinesiology faculty took part in educational transformation and innovation by connecting to the campus mission.
Chris Button, Stuart Moyle and Keith Davids
There has been no direct attempt to evaluate whether gait performed overground and on a treadmill is the same for lower limb amputees. A multiple case study approach was adopted to explore the degenerate movement behavior displayed by three male amputees. Participants walked overground at a self-selected preferred pace and when this speed was enforced on a treadmill (50 stride cycles per condition). The extremities of motion (i.e., maximum flexion) for the hip and knee joints differed between conditions (0.2–3.8°). For two participants, the temporal asymmetry of gait was reduced on the treadmill. Initial data suggest that research on amputees simulating overground walking on a treadmill might need to be interpreted with some caution.
Brenda Rossow-Kimball and Donna Goodwin
This phenomenological case study examined the leisure experiences of five women with intellectual disabilities (ages 44–60) in two group homes. Using participant observation, artifacts, and semistructured interviews, the nature of the women’s leisure experiences were understood within the conceptual framework of self-determination. Five staff members were also interviewed to further contextualize the women’s leisure experiences. Thematic analysis revealed three main themes: leisure at home, leisure in the community, and leisure with family and friends. Leisure was experienced differently in each group home, largely due to staff-created input into leisure choices. In one group home, leisure was supervised; in the other, independent leisure was encouraged. The study highlights the importance of promoting self-determined leisure for those approaching retirement age.