Based on game reasoning theory (Shields & Bredemeier, 2001) and related research, the present study aimed at describing young elite athletes’ perceptions of rules compliance and transgression in competitive settings, as well as the underlying reasons for these actions. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 10 young elite athletes. The qualitative analysis showed that respect and transgression of rules in competitive settings were perceived to depend upon the athletes’ individual characteristics (e.g., desire to win), their social environment (e.g., coach’s pressure, team norms), sports values and virtues (e.g., fair play, the effort ethic), and modern sports rewards (e.g., media recognition, financial rewards). These results confirmed and expanded game reasoning theory and illustrated moral disengagement mechanisms (Bandura et al., 1996) in the sport domain.
Thierry Long, Nathalie Pantaléon, Gérard Bruant and Fabienne d’Arripe-Longueville
Paul J. McCarthy and Marc V. Jones
This focus group study examined the sources of enjoyment and nonenjoyment among younger and older English children in the sampling years of sport participation (ages 7–12). Concurrent inductive and deductive content analysis revealed that, consistent with previous research, younger and older children reported sources of enjoyment such as perceived competence, social involvement and friendships, psychosocial support, and a mastery-oriented learning environment. Nonenjoyment sources included inappropriate psychosocial support, increasing competitive orientation, negative feedback and reinforcement, injuries, pain, and demonstrating a lack of competence. Differences between younger and older children’s sources of enjoyment and nonenjoyment also emerged. Younger children reported movement sensations as a source of enjoyment and punishment for skill errors and low informational support as nonenjoyment sources. Older children reported social recognition of competence, encouragement, excitement, and challenge as sources of enjoyment with rivalry, overtraining, and high standards as sources of nonenjoyment. These differences underscore the importance of tailoring youth sport in the sampling years to the needs of the child.
Dawn K. Wilson, Suzanne Domel Baxter, Caroline Guinn, Russell R. Pate and Kerry McIver
Qualitative methods were used to better understand how to obtain interviewer-administered recalls of physical activity from children.
Subjects were 24 third- and fifth-grade children from 1 school in Columbia, South Carolina. Cognitive interviews targeted different retention intervals (about the same or previous school day). Round 1’s protocols used an open format and had 4 phases (obtain free recall, review free recall, obtain details, review details). Round 2’s protocols used a chronological format and had 3 phases (obtain free recall, obtain details, review details). Trained coders identified discrepancies across interview phases in children’s recalls of physical activity at physical education (PE) and recess. Based on the school’s schedule, children’s reports of PE and recess were classified as omissions (scheduled but unreported) or intrusions (unscheduled but reported).
Across interview phases, there were numerous discrepancies for Round 1 (regardless of grade, sex, or retention interval) but few discrepancies for Round 2. For Rounds 1 and 2, respectively, 0% and 0% of children omitted PE, while 33% and 0% intruded PE; 44% and 56% of children omitted recess, while 33% and 0% intruded recess.
Results provide important information for facilitating interviewer-administered recalls of physical activity with elementary-age children.
Claudia Meyer, Susan Williams, Frances Batchelor and Keith Hill
The aim was to identify barriers and opportunities facing community health physiotherapists in delivering a home-based balance exercise program to address mild balance dysfunction and, secondly, to understand the perspectives of older people in adopting this program.
Focus groups, written surveys, and data recording sheets were used with nine older people and five physiotherapists. Focus groups were audio taped, transcribed, and coded independently by two researchers.
Thematic content analysis was undertaken. Emerging themes were: engaging in preventive health (various benefits, enhancing independence); adoption of strategies (acceptable design and implementation feasibility); exercising in context (convenience, practicality, and safety); and broader implementation issues (program design, proactive health messages, and a solid evidence base).
The views of older people and physiotherapists were sought to understand the adoption of a previously successful home-based program for mild balance dysfunction. Understanding the unique context and circumstances for individuals and organizations will enhance adoption.
Lee F. Monaghan
This article explores men’s talk about physical activity, weight, health and slimming. Drawing from qualitative data from men whom medicine might label overweight or obese, it outlines various ideal typical ways of orienting to the idea that physical activity promotes “healthy” weight loss before exploring the most critical display of perspective: justifiable resistance and defiance. This gendered mode of accountability comprises numerous themes. These range from the inefficiency of physical activity in promoting weight loss to resisting imposed discipline. Theoretically and politically, these data are read as a situationally fitting and meaningful response to “symbolic violence” in a field of “masculine domination” (Bourdieu 2001)—that is, a society in which fatness is routinely discredited as feminine and feminizing filth by institutions that are publicly reinforcing and amplifying fatphobic norms or sizism.
Frances Early and Paula Corcoran
Regular, moderate physical activity reduces the risk of mortality and morbidity; however increasing the physical activity levels of less active people is a public health challenge. This study explores the potential of mass participation physical activity events to engage less active people, through analyzing the accounts of participants in 2 events who identified themselves as low-active before entering.
Seven participants in a sponsored run and 7 in a sponsored walk were interviewed and transcripts were analyzed using grounded theory techniques.
Participants had positive experiences encapsulated in 3 categories: Performing (physical completion of the event culminating in a sense of achievement); Relating (enjoying relationships); Soaking up the Atmosphere (enjoying the event ambience). The way in which these categories were manifested was affected by the event context.
Mass participation events have potential to engage low-active people. The impact of participation resonated with factors that are positively associated with physical activity in other settings, and event characteristics matched key criteria for attracting low-active groups identified through social marketing research. Suggestions are given for how to capitalize on the findings for health promotion.
Rachel Cholerton, Jeff Breckon, Joanne Butt and Helen Quirk
Adults aged 55 and older are least likely to play sport. Despite research suggesting this population experiences physical and psychological benefits when doing so, limited research focuses on older adult sport initiation, especially in “adapted sports” such as walking football. The aim of this study was to explore initiation experiences of walking football players between 55 and 75 years old. Semistructured interviews took place with 17 older adults playing walking football for 6 months minimum (M age = 64). Inductive analysis revealed six higher order themes representing preinitiation influences. Eight further higher order themes were found, relating to positive and negative experiences during initiation. Fundamental influences preinitiation included previous sporting experiences and values and perceptions. Emergent positive experiences during initiation included mental development and social connections. Findings highlight important individual and social influences when initiating walking football, which should be considered when encouraging 55- to 75-year-old adults to play adapted sport. Policy and practice recommendations are discussed.
Amy Baltzell, Nicole Caraballo, Kristen Chipman and Laura Hayden
This study explored how members of a Division I varsity women’s soccer team experienced a 6-week, 12 session mindfulness meditation training for sport (MMTS) program. The coaching staff and entire team participated in the MMTS program. Seven of the team members volunteered to be interviewed after their participation in the MMTS program. Thematic analysis was implemented. Most participants reported difficulty understanding the process of meditation at the start of the MMTS program. Post-MMTS, they reported an enhanced ability to accept and experience a different relationship with their emotions, both on and off the field. They also noted the importance of creating a phrase of care for self and team for cohesion purposes. Enhanced mindfulness, awareness, and acceptance of emotional experiences were attributed directly to the mindfulness training. Participants provided specific recommendations for future sport-focused mindfulness meditation programs.
Sarah Partington, Elizabeth Partington and Steve Olivier
Flow has been described within sport psychology as an optimal state underpinning peak performance. However, the consequences of experiencing flow may not always be beneficial. One negative consequence might be that of contributing to dependence on the activity that interacts with, or is associated with, the flow experience. This study explored the dichotomous consequences of flow, using case studies of big wave surfers. Fifteen elite surfers completed in-depth, semistructured interviews. It seems clear from the results that the surfers experienced positive consequences of flow. However, they also exhibited symptoms of dependence on surfing. It is suggested that there may be an association between the experience of dimensions of flow and the compulsion to engage in an activity. Some specific recommendations for further research into the relationship between flow and exercise dependence are made.
Karin Moesch and Erwin Apitzsch
Psychological Momentum (PM) is commonly referred to in competitive sports, but still has to be considered elusive from a scientific perspective. This study explores coaches’ perception of triggers, strategies and characteristics of PM in female elite handball teams. Semi-structured interviews with nine coaches were evaluated using a qualitative content analysis. The results revealed that positive and negative PM were characterized by factors regarding behavior, cognition, confidence, emotions, and the team. Triggers for positive PM were categorized into confidence, players’ individual factors, team factors, and team-opponent-factors, whereas triggers for negative PM related to coach factors, confidence, external factors, players’ individual factors, and team factors. Moreover, strategies emerged that are considered beneficial for controlling PM. The results are discussed with emphasis on behavioral aspects, confidence, emotions, team factors, and application. Foundations based on this study and recent research lead to the assumption that PM is probably best portrayed in a circular approach.