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Fraser Carson and Remco C. J. Polman

The aim of this case study was to investigate the emotional factors and coping strategies used by a professional rugby union player during rehabilitation from anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injury. A dominant (qualitative) - less dominant (quantitative) mixed methodological approach was established concurrent with the athlete’s rehabilitation. Twice monthly interviews and a self-report diary were completed throughout the rehabilitation process. Six questionnaires were used to assess specific aspects of injury rehabilitation identified from previous literature, including emotional response, coping, social support, and perceived autonomy. Content analysis of each phase of the rehabilitation process established 34 higher-order themes split into two general dimensions: Influential Emotions or Coping Strategies. Findings highlight the benefit of problem-focused coping to improve autonomy and confidence. A sequential movement through a series of emotions (shock, depression, relief, encouragement, and confidence building) was also identified.

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Jillian Ward, Carol Wilkinson, Susan Vincent Graser and Keven A. Prusak

This study examined the effects of increased autonomy on (a) self-determination and (b) physical activity levels. Seventh- and eighth-grade girls (N = 122) in four classes participated in two fitness units (one allowing choice of activities, the other no-choice). The order of the units was counterbalanced, so that two classes participated in the choice unit first, and the other two participated in the no-choice unit first. The abridged Situational Intrinsic Motivation Scale (SIMS) was administered after each unit. Pedometers were used to measure step counts during both units. Overall, self-determination was higher in the choice unit. The repeated measures analysis also indicated that girls who experienced the choice unit first, and then were denied the opportunity to make choices had the lowest levels of self-determination. The results provide empirical support for the theoretical prediction that increased autonomy yields higher levels of self-determination.

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Suzete Chiviacowsky and Helena Thofehrn Lessa

Granting learners autonomy over certain aspects of the practice context—for example, by providing them with the opportunity to choose when to receive augmented feedback or observe a model—has been consistently shown to facilitate the acquisition of motor skills in several populations. However, studies investigating the provision of autonomy support to older adults remain scarce. The purpose of the present experiment was to investigate the effects of providing choice over feedback on motor learning in older adults. Participants were divided into two groups, choice and no-choice, and practiced 36 trials of a linear positioning task. Before each block of six trials, participants from the choice group were given the choice to control, or not, when to receive feedback in the block. No-choice group participants received feedback according to the same schedule as their choice group counterparts, but they could not choose when to receive it. Two days later, participants of both groups performed retention and transfer tests. The choice group demonstrated lower absolute error scores during transfer compared with the no-choice group. The findings reinforce outcomes of previous autonomy support studies and provide the first evidence that choice over feedback can enhance the learning of motor skills in older adults.

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Anne Cox and Lavon Williams

Research illustrates the positive roles of perceived competence, autonomy, and mastery climate and the negative role of performance climate in student motivation in physical education. Less research has examined perceptions of relationships within this setting (i.e., perceived teacher support and relatedness) and their role in student motivation. The purpose of this study was to test the mediating roles of perceived competence, autonomy, and relatedness in the relationship between social contextual factors and motivation in physical education students (N = 508). Results from structural equation modeling showed that perceived competence, autonomy, and relatedness partially mediated the relationship between perceived teacher support and self-determined motivation and that mastery climate related directly to self-determined motivation. The results highlight the importance of perceived teacher support, mastery climate, and relatedness to motivation in physical education.

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Sachi Ikudome, Kou Kou, Kisho Ogasa, Shiro Mori and Hiroki Nakamoto

studies have shown that practice schedules incorporating some degree of self-control, or autonomy, can positively impact the acquisition of motor skills. Specifically, the learning of motor skills is facilitated if learners are allowed to make choices about the timing of delivery of extrinsic feedback (e

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Daniel A. Boullosa, Laurinda Abreu, Fábio Y. Nakamura, Víctor E. Muñoz, Eduardo Domínguez and Anthony S. Leicht

Purpose:

The purpose of this study was to evaluate changes in autonomic control of heart rate (HR) and fitness in a group of elite soccer players during the preseason.

Methods:

Eight professional male soccer players competing in the Spanish First Division were evaluated in July (wk 1) and September (wk 8) with night-time HR variability (HRV) over 4 different days, ultra-short-term HR recovery (HRR) during a small-sided-games session, Yo-Yo Intermittent Recovery test level 1 (Yo-Yo IR1), and a field test for determination of maximum aerobic speed.

Results:

Players exhibited a greater HRV and a faster ultra-short-term HRR at wk 8, with the players with a lower HRV at wk 1 exhibiting the greatest improvements at wk 8. However, there were unclear improvements in performance parameters, with maximum HR (HRmax) being reduced over the preseason period. This change in HRmax was correlated with the change in short-term HRV parameters (ρ = 0.829, P = .042). Large correlations were observed among HRV, ultra-short-term HRR, and field performance parameters only at wk 8. Furthermore, the variation (%) of the root-mean-square of successive differences between R-R intervals was increased during the preseason (12.95% ± 15.14% to 29.39% ± 21.93%, P = .013) and significantly correlated (r = .898, P = .006) with Yo-Yo IR1 performance (~2600 ± 786 m) at wk 8.

Conclusions:

The current results support the appropriateness and practicality of night-time HRV and ultra-short-term HRR for evaluation of autonomic adaptations in professional soccer players, despite the unclear improvements in specific field performance parameters.

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Júlio A. Costa, João Brito, Fábio Y. Nakamura, Eduardo M. Oliveira and António N. Rebelo

cardiac autonomic adaptation, 2 , 4 – 6 whereas persistent reduction of these indices is associated to fatigue accumulation. 7 , 8 However, in some cases (eg, endurance sports), the increase in the parasympathetic activity can indicate an excessive overload leading to loss of performance and

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Kimberley J. Bartholomew, Nikos Ntoumanis, Richard M. Ryan and Cecilie Thøgersen-Ntoumani

Research in self-determination theory (Ryan & Deci, 2002) has shown that satisfaction of autonomy, competence, and relatedness needs in sport contexts is associated with enhanced engagement, performance, and well-being. This article outlines the initial development of a multidimensional measure designed to assess psychological need thwarting, an under-studied area of conceptual and practical importance. Study 1 generated a pool of items designed to tap the negative experiential state that occurs when athletes perceive their needs for autonomy, competence, and relatedness to be actively undermined. Study 2 tested the factorial structure of the questionnaire using confirmatory factor analysis. The supported model comprised 3 factors, which represented the hypothesized interrelated dimensions of need thwarting. The model was refined and cross-validated using an independent sample in Study 3. Overall, the psychological need thwarting scale (PNTS) demonstrated good content, factorial, and predictive validity, as well as internal consistency and invariance across gender, sport type, competitive level, and competitive experience. The conceptualization of psychological need thwarting is discussed, and suggestions are made regarding the use of the PNTS in research pertaining to the darker side of sport participation.

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Lydia G. Emm-Collison, Martyn Standage and Fiona B. Gillison

Grounded within self-determination theory (SDT; Deci & Ryan, 2000; Ryan & Deci, in press), three studies were conducted to develop and psychometrically test a measure of adolescents’ perceptions of psychological need support for exercise (viz., for autonomy, competence, and relatedness): the Adolescent Psychological Need Support in Exercise Questionnaire (APNSEQ). In Study 1, 34 items were developed in collaboration with an expert panel. Through categorical confirmatory factor analysis and item response theory, responses from 433 adolescents were used to identify the best fitting and performing items in Study 2. Here, a three-factor nine-item measure showed good fit to the data. In Study 3, responses from an independent sample of 373 adolescents provided further evidence for the nine-item solution as well as for internal consistency, criterion validity, and invariance across gender and social agent (friends, family, and physical education teacher). The APNSEQ was supported as a measure of adolescents’ perceptions of psychological need support within the context of exercise.

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Anne A. Delextrat, Sarah Warner, Sarah Graham and Emma Neupert

Background:

Although Zumba is practiced by millions of people worldwide, there is a paucity of research about its potential benefits. The objective of this study was to investigate the effects of Zumba on physiological and psychological outcomes in healthy women.

Methods:

Cardiovascular fitness, body composition, physical self-perception and psychological well-being were assessed before and immediately after 8 weeks of Zumba performed 3 times weekly (Zumba group, n = 22, age: 26.6 ± 5.4 years old; height: 165.8 ± 7.1 cm) or no intervention (control group, n = 22, age: 27.9 ± 6.0 years old; height: 164.7 ± 6.2 cm). All variables were analyzed by a 2-way (Group × Time) analysis of variance with repeated measures, and a Bonferroni post hoc test. Pearson correlation coefficient assessed the relationship between changes in anthropometric, physiological and psychological variables.

Results:

Zumba provided significant positive changes in maximal aerobic fitness (+3.6%), self-perception of physical strength (+16.3%) and muscular development (+18.6%), greater autonomy (+8.0%), and purpose in life (+4.4%). No significant changes were observed in the control group. In addition, some psychological changes were significantly correlated to body fat at baseline, and changes in fitness.

Conclusions:

These results highlight that Zumba is beneficial to improve fitness and well-being in healthy women, but does not change body composition.