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Ian W. Maynard, Brian Hemmings and Lawrence Warwick-Evans

The primary aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of a somatic intervention technique. Subjects (N = 17) completed a modified version of the Competitive State Anxiety Inventory 2 (CSAI-2), which assessed both intensity and direction (debilitative-facilitative) of state anxiety within one hour of a soccer league match. During the match, player performances were evaluated using intraindividual criteria. Subjects were then allocated to control (n = 8) and experimental (n = 9) groups on the basis of their somatic anxiety intensity and direction scores. Following an 8-week intervention, subjects were again assessed during a second soccer match. A series of twoway analyses of variance with one repeated measure revealed significant interactions for cognitive anxiety intensity, somatic anxiety intensity, and somatic anxiety direction. This study provided further support for the “matching hypotheses” in that a compatible treatment proved most effective in reducing the targeted anxiety.

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Kai C. Bormann, Paul Schulte-Coerne, Mathias Diebig and Jens Rowold

The goal of this study is to examine the effects of coaches’ transformational leadership on player performance. To advance existing research, we examine (a) effects on individual and team performance and (b) consider joint moderating effects of players’ win orientation and teams’ competitive performance on the leadership– individual performance link. In a three-source sample from German handball teams, we collected data on 336 players and 30 coaches and teams. Results showed positive main effects of transformational leadership’s facet of articulating a vision (AV) on team and individual performance and negative main effects of providing an appropriate model (PAM) on team performance. With regard to moderating effects, AV increased and PAM decreased individual performance when both moderators were low, and intellectual stimulation had a positive effect when both were high. This study expands insights into the potential and limitation of transformational leadership with a strong focus on the role of situational contingencies.

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Andrea Nicolò, Ilenia Bazzucchi and Massimo Sacchetti

Purpose:

To verify the accuracy of predicting performance in the severe-intensity domain by means of end-test power output (EP) and the work performed above EP (WEP) obtained from a 3-min all-out test in competitive cyclists.

Methods:

Ten welltrained cyclists performed a ramp incremental test and a 3-min all-out familiarization test. Subsequently, they performed a 3-min all-out experimental test to obtain EP and WEP and a 10-min time trial (TT). The actual 10-min-TT mean power output was then compared with the power output predicted as P = WEP/T lim + EP, where T lim corresponds to 600 s. The ramp-test peak power output (PPO) was compared with PPO predicted as PPO=EP+2WEP S, where S represents the ramp slope (0.5 W/s).

Results:

The actual (347 ± 30 W) and predicted (376 ± 48 W) 10-min TT mean power output were correlated (r = .87, P = .001) but significantly different (P < .01). The coefficient of variation (CV) between the predicted and actual performance was 5.6% ± 4.4%. The error of prediction was positively correlated to EP (r = .80, P = .005) and negatively correlated to WEP (r = –.71, P = .021). No significant difference was found between the 10-min-TT mean power output and EP (351 ± 53 W). The actual (438 ± 30 W) and predicted (472 ± 41 W) ramp PPO were correlated (r = .88, P < .001) but significantly different (P < .001). The CV between the predicted and actual PPO was 5.2% ± 3%. The error of prediction was positively correlated to EP (r = .63, P = .051).

Conclusions:

EP and WEP obtained from a 3-min all-out test overestimate severe-intensity performance in competitive cyclists.

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Rebecca T. Viner, Margaret Harris, Jackie R. Berning and Nanna L. Meyer

The purpose of this study was to assess energy availability (EA) and dietary patterns of 10 adult (29–49 years) male (n = 6) and female (n = 4) competitive (USA Cycling Category: Pro, n = 2; 1–4, n = 8) endurance cyclists (5 road, 5 off-road), with lower than expected bone mineral density (BMD; Z score < 0) across a season. Energy intake (EI) and exercise energy expenditure during preseason (PS), competition (C), and off-season (OS) were estimated from 3-day dietary records, completed once per month, across a cycling season. BMD was measured by DXA at 0 months/5 months/10 months. The Three-Factor Eating Questionnaire (TFEQ) was used to assess cognitive dietary restraint. Seventy percent of participants had low EA [(LEA); < 30 kcal·kg fat-free mass (FFM)−1·day−1] during PS, 90% during C, and 80% during OS (range: 3–37 kcal·kg FFM−1·day−1). Ninety percent of cyclists had LEA during ≥ 1 training period, and 70% had LEA across the season. Seventy percent of cyclists were identified as restrained eaters who consciously restrict EI as a means of weight control. Mean daily carbohydrate intake was below sport nutrition recommendations during each training period (PS: 3.9 ± 1.1 g·kg−1·day−1, p < .001; C: 4.3 ± 1.4 g·kg−1·day−1, p = .005; OS: 3.7 ± 1.4 g·kg−1·day−1, p = .01). There were no differences in EA and EI·kg−1 between male and female cyclists and road and off-road cyclists. Low EI, and specifically low carbohydrate intake, appears to be the main contributor to chronic LEA in these cyclists. Adult male and female competitive road and off-road cyclists in the United States may be at risk for long-term LEA. Further studies are needed to explore strategies to prevent and monitor long-term LEA in these athletes.

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Melissa Skein, Rob Duffield, Geoffrey M. Minett, Alanna Snape and Alistair Murphy

Purpose:

This study examined the effects of overnight sleep deprivation on recovery after competitive rugby league matches.

Methods:

Eleven male amateur rugby league players played 2 competitive matches, followed by either a normal night’s sleep (~8 h; CONT) or a sleep-deprived night (~0 h; SDEP) in a randomized fashion. Testing was conducted the morning of the match, immediately postmatch, 2 h postmatch, and the next morning (16 h postmatch). Measures included countermovement-jump (CMJ) distance, knee-extensor maximal voluntary contraction (MVC) and voluntary activation (VA), venous-blood creatine kinase (CK) and C-reactive protein (CRP), perceived muscle soreness, and a word–color recognition cognitive-function test. Percent change between postmatch and 16-h postmatch was reported to determine the effect of the intervention the next morning.

Results:

Large effects indicated a greater postmatch to 16-h-postmatch percentage decline in CMJ distance after SDEP than in CONT (P = .10–.16, d = 0.95–1.05). Similarly, the percentage decline in incongruent word–color reaction times was increased in SDEP trials (P = .007, d = 1.75). Measures of MVC did not differ between conditions (P = .40–.75, d = 0.13–0.33), although trends for larger percentage decline in VA were detected in SDEP (P = .19, d = 0.84). Furthermore, large effects indicated higher CK and CRP responses 16 h postmatch in SDEP than in CONT (P = .11–.87, d = 0.80–0.88).

Conclusions:

Sleep deprivation negatively affected recovery after a rugby league match, specifically impairing CMJ distance and cognitive function. Practitioners should promote adequate postmatch sleep patterns or adjust training demands the next day to accommodate the altered physical and cognitive state after sleep deprivation.

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Bruce D. Hale

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Kyle McDonald

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Matthew A. Pain, Chris Harwood and Richard Mullen

The aim of the current study was to facilitate systematic reflection and action to improve the performance environment of a soccer team during a competitive season. Using the Performance Environment Survey (PES; Pain & Harwood, 2007) as a diagnostic instrument, the researcher worked with the coach to collaboratively identify areas in which team preparation and functioning could be improved. Completed by the players and coach after each match, the PES captured feedback around team preparation and performance in the physical, psychological, coaching, social, planning/organizational and environmental domains. Analysis of this feedback provided the stimulus for weekly discussions with the coach. Results suggested that coach and player reflection increased during the study, and the coach reported that the PES data and his reflections on that data were beneficial to managing the performance environment. In areas where change was targeted—in particular the social and the phaysical domains—improvements in team functioning were reported. Team feedback meetings were also perceived as helpful to improving player ownership and cohesiveness.

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Carlos Ayan, Jose Cancela Carral and Carlos Montero

Background:

The relationship between physical activity (PA) and academic performance has been previously studied. However, there is a need to determine if the intensity of the PA performed and its predominant metabolic pathway show any degree of association with the academic achievement.

Methods:

Cross-sectional data were gathered from Spanish young competitive swimmers. Academic achievement was based on individual grades for each student; the PA level was measured by means of the Physical Activity Questionnaire for Adolescents. Swimmers were classified according to the preferential energetic cost of the event in which they competed.

Results:

A total of 254 swimmers finished the study; 62.8% of them were considered moderate active. The statistical analysis showed that the higher the level of PA performed, the better the average grades achieved. This relationship was significant among the girls (P = .04). No significant differences were found regarding the influence of the kind of swimming event. However, taking part in aerobic events proved to have a significant influence on the academic achievement for girls (P = .01).

Conclusion:

The link between academic achievement and PA depends on the intensity in which the PA is performed, as well as on its predominant metabolic pathway. However, such associations seem to be gender-dependent.

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Melvin M. Mark, Manette Mutrie, David R. Brooks and Dorothy V. Harris

The achievement oriented world of sport has been a frequent setting for the study of attributions for success and failure. However, it may be inappropriate to generalize from previous research to attributions made in actual, organized, competitive, individual sports because previous studies suffer from one or more of three characteristics which may limit their generalizability to such settings: previous studies have employed novel tasks, staged the competition for research purposes, or examined attribution about team success or failure. The present research was conducted (a) to avoid these limitations to generalizability, (b) to examine whether competitors who differ in experience or ability make different attributions for success and failure, and (c) to employ an attribution measure that does not rely too much on the researchers' interpretation of the subjects' attributions as past techniques have done. Two studies were conducted examining the attributions made by winners and losers in the second round of organized squash (Study 1) and racquetball (Study 2) tournaments. Subjects reported their attributions on the Causal Dimension Scale developed by Russell (1982). Results indicate no difference between players of different experience/ability levels. In addition, winners and losers did not differ in the locus of causality of their attributions, but winners, relative to losers, made more stable and controllable attributions. Implications of these results were discussed first in terms of the debate over self-serving bias in attributions, and second, in terms of the effects of ability and experience on attributions.