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Diane L. Gill

Two laboratory experiments were conducted to investigate success/failure attributions within competing groups. In both studies, attributions to the own team or to opponents were egocentric in that members of winning teams assigned responsibility for success primarily to their own team whereas members of losing teams assigned responsibility for the loss primarily to the opponents. Within-team attributions, however, revealed a reverse-egocentric pattern. Members of winning teams assigned primary responsibility to their teammates, and losing team members accepted primary responsibility for the loss themselves. Attribution patterns, which were consistent across both studies and for both males and females, were interpreted as reflecting a team-enhancing strategy or norm.

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David Cook, Bruce Gansneder, Robert Rotella, Christopher Malone, Linda Bunker and DeDe Owens

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Mary B. Harris and Debbie Greco

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Geoff Lovell and Mike Lauder

Context:

Anecdotal evidence suggests a relationship between strength imbalances and injury incidence.

Objective:

To examine the relationship between bilateral strength imbalance and incidence of injury.

Participants and Design:

Thirty national- or international-standard flatwater kayakers were classified as noninjured, trunk injured, or upper-limb injured based on the number of days lost from training over the last 6 months. Bilateral strength imbalance was measured using a kayak ergometer, producing data for peak force and force impulse for each side of each stroke. Bilateral strength imbalance was then compared between the noninjured, trunk-injured, and upper-limb-injured groups by means of 2 one-way ANOVAs. No participants reported training days lost through lower-limb injury.

Results:

A significantly elevated bilateral peak-force strength imbalance was observed between the upper-limb-injured and the noninjured groups.

Conclusion:

These data support the existence of a relationship between strength imbalance and incidence of injury.

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Mark R. Beauchamp, Steven R. Bray, Mark A. Eys and Albert V. Carron

The purpose of this study was to examine the relationship between role ambiguity and precompetition state anxiety (A-state). Consistent with multidimensional anxiety theory (Martens, Vealey, & Burton, 1990), it was hypothesized that role ambiguity would be positively related to cognitive but not to somatic A-state. Based on the conceptual model presented by Beauchamp, Bray, Eys, and Carron (2002), role ambiguity in sport was operationalized as a multidimensional construct (i.e., scope of responsibilities, role behaviors, role evaluation, and role consequences) potentially manifested in each of two contexts, offense and defense. Consistent with hypotheses, ambiguity in terms of the scope of offensive role responsibilities predicted cognitive A-state (R 2 = .19). However, contrary to hypotheses, offensive role-consequences ambiguity also predicted somatic A-state (R 2 = .09). Results highlight the importance of using a multidimensional approach to investigate role ambiguity in sport and are discussed in terms of both theory advancement and possible interventions.

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David B. Pyne and Rick L. Sharp

The aquatic sports competitions held during the summer Olympic Games include diving, open-water swimming, pool swimming, synchronized swimming, and water polo. Elite-level performance in each of these sports requires rigorous training and practice to develop the appropriate physiological, biomechanical, artistic, and strategic capabilities specific to each sport. Consequently, the daily training plans of these athletes are quite varied both between and within the sports. Common to all aquatic athletes, however, is that daily training and preparation consumes several hours and involves frequent periods of high-intensity exertion. Nutritional support for this high-level training is a critical element of the preparation of these athletes to ensure the energy and nutrient demands of the training and competition are met. In this article, we introduce the fundamental physical requirements of these sports and specifically explore the energetics of human locomotion in water. Subsequent articles in this issue explore the specific nutritional requirements of each aquatic sport. We hope that such exploration will provide a foundation for future investigation of the roles of optimal nutrition in optimizing performance in the aquatic sports.

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Renee Newcomer Appaneal, Beverly Rockhill Levine, Frank M. Perna and Joni L. Roh

Depression is common among athletes following sport injury, yet few studies have explored the severity of postinjury depression. Among those studies, only one examined gender differences although women in the general population are more likely than men to experience depression. No research to date has used interviews to assess depression despite their standard use among mental health professionals. In a quasi-experimental design, we used a self-report checklist and a clinical interview to compare depression among male and female athletes at 1 week, 1 month, and 3 months postinjury. Results revealed significant effects of group (injured vs. control) and time (since injury), and these effects were different for the two depression measures. We also explored the sensitivity and specificity of the user-rated checklist in identifying severely depressed athletes compared with the interview. Findings underscore the importance of multimodal approaches and clinical judgment when evaluating athletes' postinjury depression symptoms.

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Mark S. Kovacs

Hypohydration is known to impair performance and increases the risk of heat injury. Therefore, the consumption of appropriate fluid volumes before, during, and after tennis play is important to maintain physiological homeostasis and performance. Tennis is a sport that typically has points lasting fewer than ten seconds, with short-to-moderate rest periods between each work bout. This sequence is repeated over hours. Most fuid and hydration research has focused on continuous aerobic exercise, which provides vastly different physiological strain compared with tennis practice and competition. Consequently, practical recommendations on maintaining hydration status for aerobic continuous exercise may not be appropriate for tennis athletes. Tennis players can sweat more than 2.5 L·h−1 and replace fluids at a slower rate during competition than in practice. In warm and hot environments, electrolyte-enhanced fluid should be consumed at greater than >200 mL per changeover and ideally closer to 400 mL per changeover. Tennis scientists, coaches, and players need to individualize hydration protocols to arrive at the optimal hydration strategy.

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Christina Lee

The prediction of sporting performance is clearly important to athletes and coaches. It has been suggested (Bandura, 1977) that one's expectations are more important predictors of behavior than is previous behavior. Evidence to support this covers a number of tasks, including physical strength and sporting activities. The present study, involving 14 girl gymnasts, examines the accuracy of athletes' expectations, their coach's expectations, and their previous competition scores as predictors of competition performance. Athletes' expectations are found to be more accurate estimates than are previous scores, while coach's expectations are more accurate still. A person's expectations seem to be important variables even in sports requiring a high degree of physical skill, and this finding has important implications for sport psychology.

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Richard N. Hinrichs and Scott P. McLean

Swimmers may be placed at a disadvantage when water in a pool is actively circulated during competition. This circulation may produce currents in specific lanes which add to a swimmer’s speed in one direction and subtract from it in the other direction. This article presents a mathematical model of swimming in a lane with a current. It predicts that even small currents can add significantly to a swimmer’s race time. The effects of the current will not equal out over an even number of lengths swum because the swimmer always loses more time swimming against the current than he or she gains from swimming with the current. Mathematical simulations of races of various distances show that the losses in time can range from 100ths of a second in a 100-m sprint to several seconds in the longer distances. Since circulating water may create currents only in specific lanes, some swimmers may be placed at a disadvantage compared to others. A simple solution to the problem of currents is suggested.