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Darren J. Burgess and Geraldine A. Naughton

Traditional talent development pathways for adolescents in team sports follow talent identification procedures based on subjective games ratings and isolated athletic assessment. Most talent development models are exclusive rather than inclusive in nature. Subsequently, talent identification may result in discontentment, premature stratification, or dropout from team sports. Understanding the multidimensional differences among the requirements of adolescent and elite adult athletes could provide more realistic goals for potential talented players. Coach education should include adolescent development, and rewards for team success at the adolescent level should reflect the needs of long-term player development. Effective talent development needs to incorporate physical and psychological maturity, the relative age effect, objective measures of game sense, and athletic prowess. The influences of media and culture on the individual, and the competing time demands between various competitions for player training time should be monitored and mediated where appropriate. Despite the complexity, talent development is a worthy investment in professional team sport.

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Patrick H.F. Baillie and Steven J. Danish

Transition out of a career in sports has been suggested as being a difficult and disruptive process for many athletes. An early and enduring identification, familiarity, and preference for the role of athlete may cause its loss to be a significant stressor for the elite, Olympic, or professional athlete. The purpose of this paper is to describe the various aspects of the career transition process in sports, beginning with early identification with the role of athlete and continuing through retirement from active participation in competitive sports. Athletes are often poorly prepared for the off-time event of leaving sports, and traditional theories of retirement may not be suitable. People associated with athletes (coaches, peers, management, family members, and sport psychologists) and athletes themselves need to be aware of the potential for difficulty during their career transition.

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Margaret M. Coleman and Murray Mitchell

The purpose of this study was to develop a strategy to assess two facets of the supervisory responsibilities of Cooperating Teachers (CTs): (a) what CTs choose to observe during a lesson when preparing to offer comments to a student teacher and (b) what CTs choose to bring to the attention of student teachers after observing a lesson. The purpose also was to determine the usefulness of the strategy in discriminating among CTs that may have different preparation backgrounds for supervisory duties. Eighteen elementary level CTs participated by individually watching a videotaped lesson, preparing a written critique, and responding to interviews regarding the supervision of a student teacher. Results support the strategy used as a viable means for identifying selected supervisory abilities of CTs, facilitating the identification of discernible similarities and differences among CTs, and discriminating between two groups of CTs with different backgrounds.

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Lori M. Cox, Christopher D. Lantz and Jerry L. Mayhew

Early identification of potentially harmful eating patterns is critical in the effective remediation of such behaviors. The purpose of this investigation was to examine the degree lo which various factors including gender, family history, and athletic status predict disordered eating behavior; social physique anxiety and percent body fat were added as potential predictor variables. The eating behaviors of student-athletes and nonathlete students were also compared. One hundred eighty undergraduate students (males = 49, females =131) provided demographic information and completed the Eating Attitudes Test (EAT) and the Social Physique Anxiety Scale (SPAS). Stepwise multiple-regression analysis indicated that social physique anxiety, gender, and body fat (%Fat) combined to predict 34% of disordered eating behaviors: EAT = 0.921 SPA - 1.05 %Fat + 10.95 Gender (1 = M. 2 = F) - 17.82 (R 2 = .34, SE = 4.68). A one-way ANOVA comparing ihe eating behaviors of athletes and nonathletes revealed no significant difference between these groups.

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Jim Taylor

The objective of this article is to reply to Dr. Albert Ellis’s application of his rational emotive behavioral therapy (REBT) paradigm to the issue of exercise and sport avoidance. This article begins with a consideration of why people avoid exercise and sport participation and an identification of what needs to be modified for people to initiate and adhere to exercise and sport programs. Then, in reponse to Dr. Ellis’s discussion, some of the key elements of his proposed program are reviewed. Additionally, some of his techniques are reinterpreted in a manner with which exercise/sport psychologists may be more familiar. Also, some suggestions are offered to enhance the impact of REBT to exercise and sport avoidance.

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Patricia S. Miller and Gretchen A. Kerr

This study examined the role experimentation of university student athletes using in-depth interviews. The results revealed participants’ role experimentation was limited to three spheres: athletic, academic, and social. Participants’ exploration of and commitment to roles revealed a two-stage model of identity formation. The first stage, Over-Identification with the Athlete Role, revealed a singular focus on athletics that persisted throughout much of the participants’ university careers. The second stage, Deferred Role Experimentation, reflected an increased investment in academic and social roles in the participants’ upper years. Results were consistent with previous findings of an athletic identity among intercollegiate student-athletes (Brewer, Van Raalte, & Linder, 1993), but supported Perna, Zaichkowsky, and Bocknek’s (1996) suggestion that identity foreclosure may have been overgeneralized.

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Jürgen Beckmann and Michael Kellmann

In this paper we discuss some of the factors sport psychologists should consider before administering questionnaires or other formal assessment instruments to athletes. To be used effectively, assessment instruments need to be (a) reliable and valid for the individual athlete or sport group in question, (b) seen as useful by the athlete(s) completing the instrument, and be (c) completed honestly by the athlete(s). Additional objectives sport psychologists should strive to achieve include a clear identification of the purpose of the assessment instrument, the commitment of athlete and coach to the assessment process, and the maintenance of a clear channel of communication with coaches and athletes throughout the period of psychological assessment, training, feedback, evaluation, and adjustment.

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Jean Côté, John H. Salmela and Storm Russell

An expert system approach (Buchanan et al., 1983) was used to identify and conceptualize the knowledge of 17 Canadian expert high-performance gymnastic coaches. By using a qualitative research methodology based on the traditions of cognitive anthropology and grounded theory, the first two stages of the knowledge acquisition process for building an expert system (identification and conceptualization) were examined. Open-ended questions and various questioning methods were used to unveil, explore, and probe important information (Patton, 1990; Spradley, 1979) about various coaching situations. All coaches’ interviews were transcribed verbatim, and the unstructured qualitative data were inductively analyzed following the procedures and techniques of grounded theory (Côté, Salmela, Baria, & Russell, 1993; Glaser & Strauss, 1967; Strauss & Corbin, 1990). This article provides the underlying methodological framework used for the entire project. Details about the coaches studied and the methodological framework used to collect and analyze the data are presented.

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Camilla J. Knight and Nicholas L. Holt

The purposes of this study were to identify the strategies parents use to be able to support their children’s involvement in competitive tennis and identify additional assistance parents require to better facilitate their children’s involvement in tennis. Interviews were conducted with 41 parents of junior players in the United States. Data analysis led to the identification of 4 strategies parents used to be able to support to their children: spouses working together, interacting with other parents, selecting an appropriate coach, and researching information. Five areas where parents required additional assistance were also identified. These were understanding and negotiating player progression, education on behaving and encouraging players at tournaments, evaluating and selecting coaches, identifying and accessing financial support, and managing and maintaining schooling. These findings indicated that parents “surrounded themselves with support” to facilitate their children’s involvement in tennis but required additional information regarding specific aspects of tennis parenting.

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Áine MacNamara, Angela Button and Dave Collins

Given the complexity of the talent development process, it seems likely that a range of psychological factors underpin an athlete’s ability to translate potential into top-class performance. Therefore, the purpose of part one of this two-part investigation was to explore the attributes that facilitate the successful development of athletes from initial involvement to achieving and maintaining world-class status. Seven elite athletes and a parent of each of these athletes were interviewed regarding their own (their son’s/daughter’s) development in sport. Data were content analyzed using a grounded theory approach. Although sporting achievement was conceptualized as being multidimensional, psychological factors were highlighted as the key determinants of those who emerged as talented and maintained excellence. Accordingly, we suggest that talent identification and development programs should place greater emphasis on the advancement and application of psychological behaviors at an early stage to optimize both the development and performance of athletes.