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Andrew A. Dingley, David B. Pyne and Brendan Burkett

Purpose:

To characterize relationships between propulsion, anthropometry, and performance in Paralympic swimming.

Methods:

A cross-sectional study of swimmers (13 male, 15 female) age 20.5 ± 4.4 y was conducted. Subject locomotor categorizations were no physical disability (n = 8, classes S13–S14) and low-severity (n = 11, classes S9–S10) or midseverity disability (n = 9, classes S6–S8). Full anthropometric profiles estimated muscle mass and body fat, a bilateral swim-bench ergometer quantified upper-body power production, and 100-m time trials quantified swimming performance.

Results:

Correlations between ergometer mean power and swimming performance increased with degree of physical disability (low-severity male r = .65, ±0.56, and female r = .68, ±0.64; midseverity, r = .87, ±0.41, and r = .79, ±0.75). The female midseverity group showed nearperfect (positive) relationships for taller swimmers’ (with a greater muscle mass and longer arm span) swimming faster, while for female no- and low-severity-disability groups, greater muscle mass was associated with slower velocity (r = .78, ±0.43, and r = .65, ±0.66). This was supported with lighter females (with less frontal surface area) in the low-severity group being faster (r = .94, ±0.24). In a gender contrast, low-severity males with less muscle mass (r = -.64, ±0.56), high skinfolds (r = .78, ±0.43), a longer arm span (r = .58, ±0.60) or smaller frontal surface area (r = -.93, ±0.19) were detrimental to swimming-velocity production.

Conclusion:

Low-severity male and midseverity female Paralympic swimmers should be encouraged to develop muscle mass and upper-body power to enhance swimming performance. The generalized anthropometric measures appear to be a secondary consideration for coaches.

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Kris Beattie, Brian P. Carson, Mark Lyons and Ian C. Kenny

Maximum- and reactive-strength qualities both have important roles in athletic movements and sporting performance. Very little research has investigated the relationship between maximum strength and reactive strength. The aim of this study was to investigate the relationship between maximum-strength (isometric midthigh-pull peak force [IMTP PF]) and reactive-strength (drop-jump reactive-strength index [DJ-RSI]) variables at 0.3-m, 0.4-m, 0.5-m, and 0.6-m box heights. A secondary aim was to investigate the between- and within-group differences in reactive-strength characteristics between relatively stronger athletes (n = 11) and weaker athletes (n = 11). Forty-five college athletes across various sports were recruited to participate in the study (age, 23.7 ± 4.0 y; mass, 87.5 ± 16.1 kg; height, 1.80 ± 0.08 m). Pearson correlation results showed that there was a moderate association (r = .302–.431) between maximum-strength variables (absolute, relative, and allometric scaled PF) and RSI at 0.3, 0.4, 0.5 and 0.6 m (P ≤ .05). In addition, 2-tailed independent-samples t tests showed that the RSIs for relatively stronger athletes (49.59 ± 2.57 N/kg) were significantly larger than those of weaker athletes (33.06 ± 2.76 N/kg) at 0.4 m (Cohen d = 1.02), 0.5 m (d = 1.21), and 0.6 m (d = 1.39) (P ≤ .05). Weaker athletes also demonstrated significant decrements in RSI as eccentric stretch loads increased at 0.3-m through 0.6-m box heights, whereas stronger athletes were able to maintain their reactive-strength ability. This research highlights that in specific sporting scenarios, when there are high eccentric stretch loads and fast stretch-shortening-cycle demands, athletes’ reactive-strength ability may be dictated by their relative maximal strength, specifically eccentric strength.

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Freja Gheysen, Karel Herman and Delfien Van Dyck

environmental factors and PA will be present in older adults with lower cognitive functioning than in their counterparts with higher cognitive functioning. So, the first aim of this study was to examine whether the relationship between neighborhood environmental factors and PA is moderated by overall cognitive

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Philip E. Martin and Gary D. Heise

Archery instructors believe that force distribution (FD) between the hand and bow grip can have a considerable effect on arrow flight, but there is no empirical support for this speculation. This study examined FD on the bow grip in experienced archers and explored the possible relationships between FD, performance, and fatigue. FD was quantified for 15 experienced archers (8 highly skilled [HS] and 7 less skilled [LS]) using 15 unobtrusive force sensors as each archer completed 72 shots. Arrow position relative to the target center, estimated net moments and moment arms about vertical and horizontal axes through the grip, and shot-to-shot variability in the estimated moments and moment arms were computed for three blocks of six shots. Results demonstrated that (a) estimated moments and moment arms were not consistently related to observed vertical or horizontal deviations in arrow position, (b) there were no systematic differences in FD between HS and LS archers, (c) fatigue had no quantifiable effect on FD, and (d) HS archers displayed less shot-to-shot variability in vertical FD than LS archers, but similar variability horizontally. Results did not support the above-noted common belief of archery instructors.

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Alex Stacoff, Jachen Denoth, Xaver Kaelin and Edgar Stuessi

Shock attenuation of the impact peak and overpronation are both considered important in running shoe design. A number of investigations indicate that both of these factors are related to various running injuries. These indications are mostly empirical or based on statistics and often show a lack of arguments to relate external measurements to internal loading of joints or muscles. The purpose of this paper is to present some relationships between impact peak, pronation, and forces at the subtalar joint and on muscles (which are in tension in pronation) during touchdown in rearfoot running. The calculations show that the material properties of the shoe sole (altered from Shore A20 to A50) largely influence the rearfoot movements during touchdown (increase in pronation velocity from 7 to 25 rad/s) and increase to some extent the muscle forces on the medial side (600 to 850 N) of the subtalar joint. In comparison, the impact peak (1550 to 1600 N) and the ankle joint forces (2500 to 2700 N) change very little. Hence, running shoe design should be focused more on the control of the rearfoot movement during touchdown and less on pure shock attenuation.

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Judy Dale and Robert S. Weinberg

The literature on burnout has concentrated on the human service and helping professions, although recently some researchers have investigated the burnout phenomenon in sport. The present investigation focused on high school and college head coaches to determine if burnout is related to leadership style. Subjects (N=302) were high school coaches from Texas and college coaches from the Southwest and Southeast Conferences. Coaches completed the Maslach Burnout Inventory (MBI), Leader Behavior Description Questionnaire (LBDQ), Social Desirability Scale (SDS), and a demographic data sheet. A MANOVA indicated a significant relationship between burnout and leadership style in four of the six subscales of the MBI. Specificially, coaches who displayed a consideration style of leadership behavior scored significantly higher in the frequency and intensity dimensions of the emotional exhaustion and depersonalization subscales. In addition, a significant gender difference revealed that male coaches scored higher in both the frequency and intensity dimensions of the depersonalization subscales. Results are discussed in terms of leadership theory, and practical implications are offered for reducing burnout in coaches.

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Pedro Morouço, Kari L. Keskinen, João Paulo Vilas-Boas and Ricardo Jorge Fernandes

The purpose of the current study was to identify the relationships between competitive performance and tether forces according to distance swam, in the four strokes, and to analyze if relative values of force production are better determinants of swimming performance than absolute values. The subjects (n = 32) performed a 30 s tethered swimming all-out effort. The competitive swimming velocities were obtained in the distances 50, 100 and 200 m using official chronometric values of competitions within 25 days after testing protocol. Mean force and velocity (50 m event) show significant correlations for front crawl (r = .92, p < .01), backstroke (r = .81, p < .05), breaststroke (r = .94, p < .01) and butterfly (r = .92, p < .01). The data suggests that absolute values of force production are more associated to competitive performance than relative values (normalized to body mass). Tethered swimming test seems to be a reliable protocol to evaluate the swimmer stroking force production and a helpful estimator of competitive performance in short distance competitive events.

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Robert Weinberg, Allen Jackson and Kathleen Kolodny

The purpose of the present investigation was to assess the relationship between exercise, massage, and positive mood enhancement. Subjects were students in physical education classes including swimming, jogging, tennis, and racquetball, with each separate activity comprising a level of the primary independent treatment variable. In addition, subjects from other classes made up a control rest condition and a massage treatment condition resulting in a one-way design. All subjects completed the profile of mood states, state anxiety, and an activation checklist just prior to and immediately after 30 minutes of activity. Instructors in the classes agreed not to schedule any competitions between students but rather just let them play or exercise. Subjects in the control rest condition read or rested for 30 minutes, while in the massage treatment condition a certified massage therapist gave a 30-min Swedish massage. Results indicated that the running and massage conditions consistently produced positive mood enhancement with significant decreases in tension, confusion, fatigue, anxiety, depression, and anger while maintaining high levels of vigor, which is representative of positive mental health. None of the other experimental activity conditions significantly influenced the dependent variables. Practical applications of the use of massage both before and after competition and exercise are discussed, and future directions for research are offered.

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Jennifer Y. Mak and Chong Kim

Leadership development is important for society, and participating in athletics and student organizations has provided opportunities for young adults to develop and display leadership qualities (Dobosz & Beaty, 1999; Knoppers, 2011; Todd & Kent, 2004; Williams, Roberts, & Bosselman, 2011). The empirical research examining the leadership development through athletics and student organizations involvement has, unfortunately, been limited. Thus, the purpose of this study was to identify and investigate the relationship among gender, athletic involvement, and student organization involvement in relation to transformational leadership skills. Stratified random sampling and the Salant and Dillman (1994) survey methodology procedure were adopted for data collection. Data were collected from 992 college students (493 females and 495 males) in a Mid-Atlantic university. The Transformational Leadership Scale (Hellriegel & Slocum, 2004) was used as the instrument to measure the variables. Descriptive statistics and factorial ANOVA were used for data analysis. Results showed significant differences existed among gender, athletic involvement, and student organization involvement in relation to transformational leadership skills. Females, athletes, and student officers received significantly higher scores than males, nonathletes and nonstudent officers in transformational leadership.

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Judith A. Bischoff, Sharon Ann Plowman and Lawrence Lindenman

The purpose of this study was to determine the relationship between teacher fitness and teacher/student interaction in the classroom. Eighteen experienced high school teachers volunteered as subjects. Subjects were divided into high-fit (HF) and low-fit (LF) categories by comparison with norms for their age and sex in sit-ups, sit-and-reach, percent body fat, and maximal aerobic power. Teacher/student classroom interaction was evaluated by coding audiotapes with the verbal portion of Cheffers’ Adaptation of Flanders’ Interaction Analysis System (CAFIAS). It was revealed that HF teachers spent less time asking questions and more time giving directions than LF teachers. Teachers initiated talk more in the morning, especially on Monday, and students talked more in the afternoon, especially on Friday. Students initiated more talk in the afternoon and were more unpredictable and noncontent oriented in both their initiated and responding behavior in the afternoon. There were no significant interactions between fitness level, day, and time. The current evidence does not support the hypothesis that physically fit teachers are clearly distinguishable from unfit teachers in terms of teacher/student interaction.