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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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Conor D. Osborough, Carl J. Payton and Daniel J. Daly

The purpose of this study was to determine the relationships between swimming speed (SS), stroke length (SL), and stroke frequency (SF) for competitive single-arm amputee front crawl swimmers and assess their relationships with anthropometric characteristics. Thirteen highly trained swimmers (3 male, 10 female) were filmed underwater from a lateral view during seven increasingly faster 25-m front crawl trials. Increases in SS (above 75% of maximum SS) were achieved by a 5% increase in SF, which coincided with a 2% decrease in SL. At SSmax, interswimmer correlations showed that SF was significantly related to SS (r = .72; p < .01) whereas SL was not. Moderate but nonsignificant correlations suggested that faster swimmers did not necessarily use longer and slower strokes to swim at a common submaximal speed when compared with their slower counterparts. No correlations existed between SL and any anthropometric characteristics. Biacromial breadth, shoulder girth, and upper-arm length all significantly correlated with the SF used at SSmax. These findings imply that as a consequence of being deprived of an important propelling limb, at fast swimming speeds SF is more important than SL in influencing the performance outcome of these single-arm amputee swimmers.

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James W. Adie, Joan L. Duda and Nikos Ntoumanis

Grounded in the 2 × 2 achievement goal framework (Elliot & McGregor, 2001), the purpose of this study was to investigate the temporal relationships between achievement goals, competition appraisals and indices of psychological and emotional welfare among elite adolescent soccer players. A subsidiary aim was to ascertain the mediational role of competition appraisals in explaining the potential achievement goal and well-/ill-being relationships. Ninety-one boys (mean age = 13.82 years) involved in an elite soccer program completed multisection questionnaires capturing the targeted variables. Measures were obtained on five occasions across two competitive seasons. Multilevel regression analyses revealed that MAp goals positively, and MAv goals negatively, predicted within-person changes in well-being over two seasons. PAp goal adoption was positively associated to within-person changes in negative affect. PAv goals corresponded negatively to between-person mean differences in positive affect. The results of the indirect effects showed challenge appraisals accounted for within-person associations between a MAp goal focus and well- and ill-being over time. The present findings provide only partial support for the utility of the 2 × 2 achievement goal framework in predicting young athletes’ psychological and emotional functioning in an elite youth sport setting.

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Nathan J. Crockett and Michelle A. Sandrey

Context:

Few studies have evaluated the long-term effects of prophylactic ankle-brace use during a sport season.

Objective:

To determine the effects of prophylactic ankle-brace use during a high school basketball season on dynamic postural control and functional tests.

Design:

Prospective repeated-measures design.

Setting:

High school athletic facility.

Participants:

21 healthy high school basketball athletes (13 girls, 8 boys).

Interventions:

The order of testing was randomized using the Star Excursion Balance Test (SEBT) for posteromedial (PM), medial (M), and anteromedial (AM) directions and 3 functional tests (FT) consisting of the single-leg crossover hop, single-leg vertical jump, and the single-leg 6-m hop for time at pre-, mid-, and postseason. After pretesting, the ankle brace was worn on both limbs during the entire 16-wk competitive basketball season.

Main Outcome Measures:

SEBT for PM, M, and AM and 3 single-leg FTs.

Results:

Dynamic postural control using the SEBT and the 3 FTs improved over time, notably from pretest to posttest. The left limb was different from the right limb during the single-leg vertical jump. Effect sizes were large for pretest to posttest for the 3 SEBT directions and 2 of the 3 FTs.

Conclusions:

The 16-wk basketball prophylactic ankle-brace intervention significantly improved dynamic postural control and single-limb FTs over time.

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Alistair P. Murphy, Rob Duffield, Aaron Kellett and Machar Reid

Purpose:

High-performance tennis environments aim to prepare athletes for competitive demands through simulated-match scenarios and drills. With a dearth of direct comparisons between training and tournament demands, the current investigation compared the perceptual and technical characteristics of training drills, simulated match play, and tournament matches.

Methods:

Data were collected from 18 high-performance junior tennis players (gender: 10 male, 8 female; age 16 ± 1.1 y) during 6 ± 2 drill-based training sessions, 5 ± 2 simulated match-play sessions, and 5 ± 3 tournament matches from each participant. Tournament matches were further distinguished by win or loss and against seeded or nonseeded opponents. Notational analysis of stroke and error rates, winners, and serves, along with rating of perceived physical exertion (RPE) and mental exertion was measured postsession.

Results:

Repeated-measures analyses of variance and effect-size analysis revealed that training sessions were significantly shorter in duration than tournament matches (P < .05, d = 1.18). RPEs during training and simulated matchplay sessions were lower than in tournaments (P > .05; d = 1.26, d = 1.05, respectively). Mental exertion in training was lower than in both simulated match play and tournaments (P > .05; d = 1.10, d = 0.86, respectively). Stroke rates during tournaments exceeded those observed in training (P < .05, d = 3.41) and simulated-match-play (P < .05, d = 1.22) sessions. Furthermore, the serve was used more during tournaments than simulated match play (P < .05, d = 4.28), while errors and winners were similar independent of setting (P > .05, d < 0.80).

Conclusions:

Training in the form of drills or simulated match play appeared to inadequately replicate tournament demands in this cohort of players. Coaches should be mindful of match demands to best prescribe sessions of relevant duration, as well as internal (RPE) and technical (stroke rate) load, to aid tournament preparation.

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Tai T. Tran, Lina Lundgren, Josh Secomb, Oliver R.L. Farley, G. Gregory Haff, Robert U. Newton, Sophia Nimphius and Jeremy M. Sheppard

The purpose of this study was to develop and evaluate a drop-and-stick (DS) test method and to assess dynamic postural control in senior elite (SE), junior elite (JE), and junior development (JD) surfers. Nine SE, 22 JE, and 17 JD competitive surfers participated in a single testing session. The athletes completed 5 drop-and-stick trials barefoot from a predetermined box height (0.5 m). The lowest and highest time-to-stabilization (TTS) trials were discarded, and the average of the remaining trials was used for analysis. The SE group demonstrated excellent single-measures repeatability (ICC = .90) for TTS, whereas the JE and JD demonstrated good single-measures repeatability (ICC .82 and .88, respectively). In regard to relative peak landing force (rPLF), SE demonstrated poor single-measures reliability compared with JE and JD groups. Furthermore, TTS for the SE (0.69 ± 0.13 s) group was significantly (P = .04) lower than the JD (0.85 ± 0.25 s). There were no significant (P = .41) differences in the TTS between SE (0.69 ± 0.13 s) and JE (0.75 ± 0.16 s) groups or between the JE and JD groups (P = .09). rPLF for the SE (2.7 ± 0.4 body mass; BM) group was significantly lower than the JE (3.8 ± 1.3 BM) and JD (4.0 ± 1.1 BM), with no significant (P = .63) difference between the JE and JD groups. A possible benchmark approach for practitioners would be to use TTS and rPLF as a qualitative measure of dynamic postural control using a reference scale to discriminate among groups.

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Ali Al-Yaaribi, Maria Kavussanu and Christopher Ring

teammate behavior may be less likely to experience anxiety during competition because such behavior may help to buffer competitive stress. In contrast, antisocial teammate behaviors, such as expressing frustration after a teammate’s poor play, criticizing, swearing, and arguing with teammates, may lead the

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Eric M. Martin, Martha E. Ewing and Daniel Gould

Significant social agents are thought to play a vital role in youth development (Brustad, Babkes, & Smith, 2001). The United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) commissioned a nationwide survey to examine the effect significant social agents had on youth sport behavior. In Phase I, initial data were collected and results were published in the Journal of Coaching Education (2011). The results of the previous analyses were largely descriptive, and further analyses were desired. Therefore, the current study (Phase II) is a secondary but more in-depth data analysis of the initial data collected by the USADA. Phase II analyses (n = 3379, Mage = 12.23, SD = 2.78) revealed that youth sport coaches have the greatest positive influence on youth followed closely by parents, but all of the significant social agents, to different extents, were seen as more positive than negative by youth. Results varied by developmental level, gender, and competitive level. Results, limitations, and practical implications are discussed.

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Tathyane Krahenbuhl, Ezequiel Moreira Gonçalves, Roseane de Fatima Guimarães, Gil Guerra-Júnior and Antonio de Azevedo Barros-Filho

Purpose:

To examine the influence of participation in competitive sports on bone parameters, as assessed by quantitative ultrasound (QUS) of the phalanges in female adolescents.

Methods:

Female adolescents (n = 329, 13.0–16.7 years old) were classified into handball (n = 55), swimming (n = 49) and control (n = 225) groups. QUS was used to evaluate the amplitude-dependent speed of sound (AD-SoS) and bone transmission time (BTT), and their z-scores (zAD-SoS and zBTT) were calculated. Anthropometric measurements and Tanner’s stages were also obtained.

Results:

Swimmers had higher AD-SoS (2089 ± 43.8 m/s) and zAD-SoS (0.47 ± 0.8) than controls (2060 ± 54.0 m/s; 0.09 ± 1.0; both p ≤ .05) and both groups of athletes had higher BTT (handball: 1.44 ± 0.2 μs; swimming: 1.45 ± 0.2) and zBTT (handball: 0.71 ± 0.8; swimming: 0.72 ± 1.1) than the control group (1.37 ± 0.2 μs; 0.32 ± 0.9; all p ≤ .05). Swimmers had a higher total training time (TTT: 52.5 ± 27.6 months) and frequency of training per week (FT: 5.38 ± 0.1) compared with the handball group (35.9 ± 18.1; 3.32 ±0.8; p ≤ .05). zAD-SoS, BTT and zBTT were positively correlated with FT, while BTT and zBTT showed a positive correlation with TTT.

Conclusions:

Sports practice influences bone parameters and higher bone parameter values are related to the amount of time and frequency of weekly training. The differences in phalangeal QUS parameters are independent of the impact of weight-bearing exercise.

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Martin Buchheit, Yannick Cholley and Philippe Lambert

Purpose:

To examine in elite soccer players after traveling across 6 time zones some psychometric and physiological responses to a competitive camp in the heat.

Methods:

Data from 12 elite professional players (24.6 ± 5.3 y) were analyzed. They participated in an 8-d preseason summer training camp in Asia (heat index 34.9°C ± 2.4°C). Players’ activity was collected during all training sessions and the friendly game using 15-Hz GPS. Perceived training/playing load was estimated using session rating of perceived exertion (RPE) and training/match duration. Psychometric measures of wellness were collected on awakening before, during, and after the camp using simple questionnaires. Heart-rate (HR) response to a submaximal 4-min run (12 km/h) and the ratio between velocity and force-load (accelerometer-derived measure, a marker of neuromuscular efficiency) response to four ~60-m runs (22–24 km/h) were collected before, at the end of, and after the camp.

Results:

After a large increase, the RPE:m/min ratio decreased substantially throughout the camp. There were possible small increases in perceived fatigue and small decreases in subjective sleep quality on the 6th day. There were also likely moderate (~3%) decreases in HR response to the submaximal run, both at the end of and after the camp, which were contemporary to possible small (~8%) and most likely moderate (~19%) improvements in neuromuscular efficiency, respectively.

Conclusions:

Despite transient increases in fatigue and reduced subjective sleep quality by the end of the camp, these elite players showed clear signs of heat acclimatization that were associated with improved cardiovascular fitness and neuromuscular running efficiency.