The purpose of this study was to examine parent-child influences associated with highly competitive gymnastics participation. Athletes (n = 24) responded to self-report measures of perceived parental influences, and the athletes’ parents (n = 39) responded to interview questions regarding the influence of their child’s gymnastics involvement on their own behaviors. Descriptive analyses of gymnasts’ responses revealed that parents (a) frequently attended meets, (b) encouraged their child’s participation extensively, (c) demonstrated positive affect toward their child’s involvement, and (d) held positive beliefs and realistic expectations about their child’s competence. Parents’ responses indicated large time and financial investments as a result of their child’s involvement and indicated that their child’s participation positively influenced such behaviors as (a) attendance at gymnastics meets, (b) reading sports-related literature, (c) watching sports on television, (d) participating in fitness-related activities, and (e) parenting in general. These findings support theory and research that advocate the reciprocal nature of parent-child socialization effects in sport.
Maureen R. Weiss and Carl T. Hayashi
Ralph L. Pim
The purpose of this paper is to examine the values-based competitive sport program at the United States Military Academy (West Point), and to determine if the components of character and leadership development were associated with team success. Strategies employed at West Point to develop cultures that produced leaders of character and teams of significance were reviewed. Major points of emphasis in the competitive sport program included (i) teaching values through sport, (ii) identifying and defining core values, (iii) developing warrior athletes of character, (iv) building teams and cultures of significance, (v) reinforcing values through recognition, and (vi) assessing character and leader development of athletes and teams. Characteristics and specific behaviors of great leaders and teams were identified. A rubric for assessing character and leader development in sport and a survey evaluating the competitive sport experience on the desired learning outcomes of the West Point Cadet Leader Development System were presented. Results indicated that competitive sports programs built on values encouraged and developed behaviors that produced success both on and off the field. Subsequent investigations are recommended to identify how character and leadership development can be integrated into the coaching process and applied in civilian secondary schools and institutions of higher learning.
John M. Giannini, Robert S. Weinberg and Allen J. Jackson
This study investigated the effects of different goal and feedback conditions on performance of a basketball shooting task and a more complex one-on-one offensive basketball task. Subjects (N= 1(D) were matched, based on pretest performance, into one of five conditions: competitive goal, cooperative goal, mastery goal, "do your best" with feedback, and "do your best" without feedback. Subjects also responded to questionnaires to allow an assessment of the strength of mastery, competitive, and social goal orientations, which reflected personal achievement goals held before goal-setting instructions were offered. Results indicated that the competitive goal group performed significantly better than the do-your-best-without-feedback group in one-on-one posttest trials. No other between-group performance differences were significant. Subjects' goal orientations were not related to performance in the competitive and cooperative goal conditions, but significant relationships were found for mastery goal group subjects. The results are discussed in terms of Locke's theory of goal setting as well as achievement motivation research on goal orientations, and future directions for research are offered.
Thomas Muehlbauer, Christian Schindler and Stefan Panzer
This study assessed the effect of time spent in several race sectors (S) on finishing time and determined the variance in distribution of skating time and in total race time for official 1000-m sprint races conducted during a competitive season.
Total race and sector times for the first 200 m (S1) and the following two 400-m laps (S2 and S3) of 34 female and 31 male elite speed skaters performed during a series of World Cup Meetings were analyzed.
Overall, skaters started fast, reached their peak in S2, and slowed down in S3, irrespective of race category considered (eg, rank of athlete, number of race, altitude of rink, starting lane). Regression analyses revealed that spending a shorter fraction of time in the last (women in S3: B = 239.1; P < .0001; men in S3: B = 201.5; P < .0001) but not in the first (women in S1: B = -313.1; P < .0001; men in S1: B = -345.6; P < .0001) race sector is associated with a short total race time. Upper- compared with lower-ranked skaters varied less in competition-to-competition sector and total race times (women: 0.02 to 0.33 vs 0.02 to 0.51; men: 0.01 to 0.15 vs 0.02 to 0.57).
This study confirmed that skaters adopted a fast start pacing strategy during official 1000-m sprint races. However, analyses indicate that shortening time in the closing but not in the starting sector is beneficial for finishing fast. In addition, findings suggest that lower-ranked skaters should concentrate training on lowering their competition-to-competition variability in sector times.
Angela Tate, Shana Harrington, Melissa Buness, Susan Murray, Caitlin Trout and Corinne Meisel
Youth- through masters-level competitive swimmers incur significant shoulder pain. Risk factors associated with shoulder pain include high swimming yardage, a lack of cross-training, decreased shoulder strength and reduced core endurance, and limited posterior shoulder and pectoral length. Since training, swimming exposure, and physical-performance measures have all been associated with shoulder pain, the methods used to train swimmers may influence the development of shoulder pain, yet studies delineating training methods are lacking.
To identify in-water and dry-land practices among youth- through masters-level swimmers in the United States (US) and describe the potential effects of training practices on swimmers’ shoulders.
A Web-based survey was developed to identify common training practices in 5 areas: quantification of swimming and dry-land training and in-water techniques such as kicking drills, upper-body stretching, shoulder and core strengthening, and cross-training.
156 swim-team coaches or captains of youth, high school, and college swim teams and 196 masters swimmers participated (N = 352). There was geographic representation from across the US.
Responses indicated diverse training practices. However, most respondents used kicking drills, which may provoke shoulder pain due to prolonged poor positioning. High yardage swum by high school and college teams increases their risk of shoulder tendinopathy. Stretching and strengthening exercises and dosages commonly used were inconsistent with current research recommendations and lacked specificity in terms of addressing typical mobility restrictions and muscle weaknesses described in the swimming literature. Core strengthening and cross-training are frequently performed.
Several areas of in-water and dry-land practice were identified that may put swimmers’ shoulders at risk for injury. Further research regarding the safety and efficacy of training programs is recommended to determine optimal methods of injury prevention and performance enhancement.
Judith Crown and Laurie Heatherington
Two studies examined gender differences in moral reasoning and judgments about competitive athletic encounters. In Study 1, subjects read an open-ended script regarding a competitive athletic encounter between friends which required a decision with achievement related or affiliation related outcomes. They made a decision and reasoned aloud about it in a structured interview. Contrary to Gilligan's (1982) model, men and women were equally likely to use "justice" and "care" considerations in their reasoning, and there were no gender differences in their final decisions. In Study 2, subjects considered the same situation, though the protagonist had already decided between pursuing achievement, pursuing both achievement and affiliation, or pursuing affiliation. Significant effects were found for athletes' gender, as well as for interactions of athletes' gender and decision condition in subjects' ratings of the correctness of the decision and of the consequences it would have for the athletes' relationships. Women regarded the decision as entailing "moral" considerations whereas men did not.
The rehabilitation of 77 competitive athletes with long-term injuries was followed for 2–3 years from the time of the injury with the aim of identifying potential risk factors in rehabilitation. Seven athletes not returning to competitive sport despite favorable physical records were compared with 5 athletes who returned despite unfavorable records and with 65 athletes whose rehabilitation met expectations. Twelve tests were employed on four different occasions. The results suggested that being younger, being female, and having had no previous experience with injury characterized the nonreturning athlete. An insufficient mental plan for rehabilitation and a predominantly negative attitude toward it, as well as restricted social contacts with fellow athletes and a low mood level, appeared to accompany a problematic and prolonged rehabilitation. It was concluded that the nonreturning, long-term injured athlete can be identified as early as the beginning of the rehabilitation process.
This article provides a conceptual model that describes several critical aspects in the development of competitive mental preparation strategies: (a) a complete understanding of the specific needs of the athlete, (b) detailed knowledge of the particular demands of the sport, (c) integration of this information to identify the most critical psychological factors that will affect performance, and (d) a the development of the most effective competitive mental preparation strategies for the specific athlete. This discussion is presented in several stages. First, gaining an in-depth understanding of an athlete with the use of subjective and objective assessment is described. Second, the critical physical, technical, and logistical differences between sports are delineated. Third, the roles that key psychological factors play and what priority they should be given in each sport are discussed. Fourth, strategies that are most suitable to each mental factor within each sport are identified.
Barbara A. Brown
The high attrition rates observed among young athletes, particularly adolescents, have been attributed to and studied primarily as outcomes of negative aspects of the organization and administration of competitive youth sport. The present study extends this research by examining withdrawal from competitive sport roles in the broader context of the role constellation and lifestyle of adolescent girls. A conceptual framework was developed to examine the process of withdrawal from the role of competitive age group swimmer. It was hypothesized that withdrawal is influenced by six categories of factors: (a) the salience of gender-role stereotypes; (b) the diversity and salience of the opportunity set; (c) the degree of social support from significant others for the sport role; (d) the extent to which the athlete role is perceived as central to personal identity; (e) the extent to which positive and negative outcomes are associated with sport involvement; and (f) the degree of commitment to the athlete role. Survey data were collected from 211 former swimmers and 193 currently involved age group swimmers in Ontario, Canada. It was concluded that a combination of factors from a variety of sources interact to influence the role transition.
Ben-El Berkovich, Aliza H. Stark, Alon Eliakim, Dan Nemet and Tali Sinai
a trainer or coach and being currently involved in competitive training. All participants were required to sign informed consent forms before completing study questionnaires. Recruitment was carried out with the help of both the Israeli Judo and Taekwondo Associations, which sent the study