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Fred Brouns, Mikael Fogelholm, Gerrit van Hall, Anton Wagenmakers and Wim H.M. Saris

This study tested the hypothesis that a 3-week oral lactate supplementation affects postexercise blood lactate disappearance in untrained male subjects. Fifteen men were randomly assigned to either a lactate supplementation (n = 8) or a placebo (n = 7) treatment. During the treatment period they drank an oral lactate or a maltodextrin (placebo) supplement twice a day. The lactate drink contained 10 g of lactate as calcium, sodium, and potassium salts. Blood lactate concentrations were studied before, during, and immediately after three exercise tests, both pre-and posttreatment. Peak lactate values for placebo (PL) or lactate (L) treatment groups during different tests were as follows: Test 1 PL, 13.49 ± 3.71; L, 13.70 ± 1.90; Test 2 PL, 12.64 ± 2.32; L, 12.00 ± 2.23; Test 3 PL, 12.29 ± 2.92; L, 11.35 ± 1.38 and were reached 3 min postexercise. The decrease in blood lactate during the long (30- to 45-min) recovery periods amounted to @ 10 mmol/L. Blood lactate changes were highly reproducible. However, a 3-week oral lactate supplementation did not result in differences in lactate disappearance. This study does not support the hypothesis that regular oral lactate intake at rest enhances the removal of lactate during and following exercise, that is, not with the given lactate load and supplementation period.

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Micah Gross, Kathrin Bieri, Hans Hoppeler, Barbara Norman and Michael Vogt

Introduction:

Supplementation with beta-alanine may have positive effects on severe-intensity, intermittent, and isometric strength-endurance performance. These could be advantageous for competitive alpine skiers, whose races last 45 to 150 s, require metabolic power above the aerobic maximum, and involve isometric muscle work. Further, beta-alanine supplementation affects the muscle force-frequency relationship, which could influence explosiveness. We explored the effects of beta-alanine on explosive jump performance, severe exercise energy metabolism, and severe-intensity ski-like performance.

Methods:

Nine male elite alpine skiers consumed 4.8 g/d beta-alanine or placebo for 5 weeks in a double-blind fashion. Before and after, they performed countermovement jumps (CMJ), a 90-s cycling bout at 110% VO2max (CLT), and a maximal 90-s box jump test (BJ90).

Results:

Beta-alanine improved maximal (+7 ± 3%, d = 0.9) and mean CMJ power (+7 ± 2%, d = 0.7), tended to reduce oxygen deficit (-3 ± 8%, p = .06) and lactate accumulation (-12 ± 31%) and enhance aerobic energy contribution (+1.3 ± 2.9%, p = .07) in the CLT, and improved performance in the last third of BJ90 (+7 ± 4%, p = .02). These effects were not observed with placebo.

Conclusions:

Beta-alanine supplementation improved explosive and repeated jump performance in elite alpine skiers. Enhanced muscle contractility could possibly explain improved explosive and repeated jump performance. Increased aerobic energy production could possibly help explain repeated jump performance as well.

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Daniel Gould, Robert C. Eklund and Susan A. Jackson

This study involved extensive interviews with all 20 members of the 1988 U.S. Olympic Wrestling Team about their performances in the Seoul Olympics. Qualitative research methodology and analyses were employed to acquire and preserve rich representations of these experiences. Mental preparation strategies, precompetitive cognition, and affect were examined by having the wrestlers respond to a series of questions about their all-time best match, worst Olympic match, and most crucial Olympic match. Considerable consistency was found across wrestlers’ responses regarding all-time best and worst Olympic matches whereas striking differences were found between the best and worst matches. For example, before best matches, wrestlers followed mental preparation plans and routines and were extremely confident, totally focused, and optimally aroused. They also focused on clear tactical strategies. Before worst matches, wrestlers were not confident, had inappropriate feeling states and experienced many task-irrelevant and negative thoughts, and deviated from preparation plans. These results are consistent with other research with Olympic athletes and suggest that precompetitive states play a critical role in competitive performance.

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Daniel Gould, Robert C. Eklund and Susan A. Jackson

This is second in a series of articles reporting on a study involving interviews with all 20 members of the 1988 U.S. Olympic Wrestling Team regarding their performances in the Seoul Olympics. Qualitative research methodology and analyses were employed and the results of the analyses of thoughts and affect occurring during competition were examined. The wrestlers responded to a series of questions about their all-time best match, worst Olympic match, and most crucial Olympic match. Considerable consistency was found across wrestler responses regarding best and worst matches whereas striking differences were found between best and worst matches. During best matches, wrestlers were extremely confident, totally focused, and optimally aroused. They also focused on clear tactical strategies. During worst matches, the wrestlers were not confident, had inappropriate feeling states, experienced many task-irrelevant and negative thoughts, and either deviated from strategic plans or made poor strategy choices. These results are consistent with other research on Olympic athletes and with peak performance, peak experience, and flow research.

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Jacquelyn Paige Pope and Craig Hall

This study tested the degree to which coaches’ basic psychological need fulfillment and identity prominence were associated with their positive affect, commitment, and intentions to persist. In total, 413 coaches with an average of 14 years’ experience served as participants and completed an online survey that included six sections: Demographics, basic psychological needs, identity prominence, positive affect, commitment, and intentions to persist. The present study findings provide initial support for the links from coaches’ basic psychological needs and identity prominence to their positive affect and commitment. In contrast, the findings did not provide support for the relationship between coaches’ basic psychological need fulfillment and their intentions to persist or the association between their identity prominence and intentions to persist. The results offer an explanation of the mechanisms that may play a role in facilitating coaches’ optimal functioning.

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Yuri Hanin and Pasi Syrjä

Individual patterns of positive–negative affect (PNA) were studied in 46 ice hockey players, ages 15–17 years. Recall idiographic scaling following the methodology of the individual zones of optimal functioning (IZOF) model was used to identify subjective emotional experiences related to each player’s successful and unsuccessful game performance. Individual zones for each emotion were then estimated using Borg’s Category Ratio (CR-10) scale. Different positive and negative emotions were functionally facilitating (20.5%), debilitating (25.3%), or both (54.2%). Significant differences were revealed only at intra- and interindividual but not at the group level. Optimal and nonoptimal zones for different emotions in different players were also individual. The data support and extend Hanin’s IZOF model to the content and intensity of PNA in ice hockey. Implications for the development of sports-specific scales, idiographic assessments, and application of the IZOF model in team sports are suggested.

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Maximilian Pelka, Alexander Ferrauti, Tim Meyer, Mark Pfeiffer and Michael Kellmann

A recovery process with optimal prerequisites that is interrupted is termed disrupted recovery. Whether this process has an influence on performance-related factors needs to be investigated. Therefore, the aim of this study was to examine how a short disturbance of a recovery phase is assessed and whether subsequent repeated-sprint performance is affected by it. A quasi-experimental 2 × 2-factor crossover design with 34 sport-science undergraduate students (age 20.3 ± 2.1 y) was applied. Factors were the type of intervention (power nap vs systematic breathing; between-subjects) and the experimental condition (disturbed vs nondisturbed break; within-subject). Repeated-sprint performance was measured through 6 × 4-s sprint protocols (with 20-s breaks) before and after a 25-min recovery break on 2 test days. Subjective evaluation of the interventions was measured through the Short Recovery and Stress Scale and a manipulation check assessing whether participants experienced the recovery phase as efficacious and pleasant. Regarding the objective data, no significant difference between sprint performances in terms of average peak velocity (m/s) on the treadmill was found. The manipulation check revealed that disturbed conditions were rated significantly lower than regular conditions in terms of appreciation, t 31 = 3.09, P = .01. Short disturbances of recovery do not seem to affect subsequent performance; nevertheless, participants assessed disturbed conditions more negatively than regular conditions. In essence, the findings indicate a negligible role of short interruptions on an objective level. Subjectively, they affected the performance-related assessment of the participants and should be treated with caution.

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Collin Webster, Diana Mîndrilă and Glenn Weaver

Little research has examined mechanisms leading to the utilization of compulsory physical education content in future contexts. This study tested a model in which motivation to be in physical education class functions as a predisposition influencing perceptions of teacher communication of content relevance, perceptions of course relevance to one’s personal life, affect for physical education and intentions to apply class content in the future. High school students (N = 636) enrolled in compulsory physical education classes completed questionnaires assessing each of these variables. Exploratory and confirmatory factor analyses indicated the questionnaire items were adequate indicators of the five constructs. Structural equation modeling with diagonally weighted least squares estimation supported the hypothesized model. The results suggest that continued use of knowledge and skills learned in physical education might hinge on teachers making physical education appealing to students and communicating how class content connects with students’ personal interests.

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Carolina Lundqvist and Fredrik Sandin

This study examined subjective (SWB), psychological (PWB) and social well-being (Social WB) at a global and sport contextual level among ten elite orienteers (6 women and 4 men, median age = 20.4, range 18–30) by employing semistructured interviews. Athletes described SWB as an interplay of satisfaction with life, sport experiences and perceived health combined with experienced enjoyment and happiness in both ordinary life and sport. SWB and PWB interacted, and important psychological functioning among the elite athletes included, among other things, abilities to adopt value-driven behaviors, be part of functional relationships, and to self-regulate one’s autonomy. The ability to organize and combine ordinary life with elite sport, and the use of strategies to protect the self during setbacks was also emphasized. For a comprehensive theoretical understanding of well-being applicable to elite athletes, the need for a holistic view considering both global and sport-specific aspects of WB is discussed.

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Shaea A. Alkahtani, Nuala M. Byrne, Andrew P. Hills and Neil A. King

Purpose:

Compensatory responses may attenuate the effectiveness of exercise training in weight management. The aim of this study was to compare the effect of moderate- and high-intensity interval training on eating behavior compensation.

Methods:

Using a crossover design, 10 overweight and obese men participated in 4-week moderate (MIIT) and high (HIIT) intensity interval training. MIIT consisted of 5-min cycling stages at ±20% of mechanical work at 45%VO2peak, and HIIT consisted of alternate 30-s work at 90%VO2peak and 30-s rests, for 30 to 45 min. Assessments included a constant-load exercise test at 45%VO2peak for 45 min followed by 60-min recovery. Appetite sensations were measured during the exercise test using a Visual Analog Scale. Food preferences (liking and wanting) were assessed using a computer-based paradigm, and this paradigm uses 20 photographic food stimuli varying along two dimensions, fat (high or low) and taste (sweet or nonsweet). An ad libitum test meal was provided after the constant-load exercise test.

Results:

Exerciseinduced hunger and desire to eat decreased after HIIT, and the difference between MIIT and HIIT in desire to eat approached significance (p = .07). Exercise-induced liking for high-fat nonsweet food tended to increase after MIIT and decreased after HIIT (p = .09). Fat intake decreased by 16% after HIIT, and increased by 38% after MIIT, with the difference between MIIT and HIIT approaching significance (p = .07).

Conclusions:

This study provides evidence that energy intake compensation differs between MIIT and HIIT.