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
Bhibha M. Das and Steven J. Petruzzello
The physical inactivity epidemic continues be one of the greatest public health challenges in contemporary society in the United States. The transportation industry is at greater risk of physical inactivity, compared with individuals in other sectors of the workforce. The aim of this study was to use the Nominal Group Technique, a focus group technique, to examine mass transit employees’ perceptions of the barriers to physical activity at their worksite.
Three focus groups (n = 31) were conducted to examine mass transit employees’ perceptions of barriers to physical activity at the worksite.
Salient barriers included (1) changing work schedules, (2) poor weather conditions, and (3) lack of scheduled and timely breaks.
Findings were consistent with previous research demonstrating shift work, poor weather, and lack of breaks can negatively impact mass transit employees’ ability to be physically active. Although physical activity barriers for this population have been consistent for the last 20 years, public health practice and policy have not changed to address these barriers. Future studies should include conducing focus groups stratified by job classification (eg, operators, maintenance, and clerical) along with implementing and evaluating worksite-based physical activity interventions and policy changes.
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.
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.
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.
Leslie Podlog, Sophie M. Banham, Ross Wadey and James C. Hannon
The purpose of this study was to examine athlete experiences and understandings of psychological readiness to return to sport following a serious injury. A focus group and follow-up semistructured interviews were conducted with seven English athletes representing a variety of sports. Three key attributes of readiness were identified including: (a) confidence in returning to sport; (b) realistic expectations of one’s sporting capabilities; and (c) motivation to regain previous performance standards. Numerous precursors such as trust in rehabilitation providers, accepting postinjury limitations, and feeling wanted by significant others were articulated. Results indicate that psychological readiness is a dynamic, psychosocial process comprised of three dimensions that increase athletes’ perceived likelihood of a successful return to sport following injury. Findings are discussed in relation to previous research and practical implications are offered.
Krisha Parker, Daniel Czech, Trey Burdette, Jonathan Stewart, David Biber, Lauren Easton, Caitlyn Pecinovsky, Sarah Carson and Tyler McDaniel
With over 50 million youth athletes participating in some kind of sports in the United States alone, it is important to realize the impact and benefits of playing (Weinberg and Gould, 2011). Physically, sports can help youth improve strength, endurance, weight control, and bone structure (Seefeldt, Ewing & Walk, 1992). Sport participation also benefits youths socially (Seefeldt, Ewing & Walk, 1992) and academically (Fraser-Thomas, Côté & Deakin, 2005). Optimal coaching education and training is a necessity if young athletes are to learn and improve in these aforementioned areas. In order for youth to grow from their sport experience, they need guidance from coaches, parents, and other important figures. Recent research by Jones, Jo and Martin (2007) suggests that more recent generations require a new approach to learning. The purpose of the current study was to qualitatively examine the preferred coaching styles of youth soccer players from Generation Z. After interviewing 10 youth athletes (five male, five female), four main themes emerged for Generation Z’s view of a “great coach.” These themes reflected the desire for a coach that: 1) does not yell and remains calm, 2) is caring and encouraging, 3) has knowledge of the sport, and 4) involves the team in decision making. Future research could include implementing a mixed-methodological approach incorporating the Leadership Scale for Sport (Chelladurai, 1984). Another avenue worthy of investigation is the role that technology plays for Generation Z athletes.
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.
Philippe Romand and Nathalie Pantaléon
The purpose of this study was to attain a deeper understanding of youth coaches’ attitudes toward the display of moral character (e.g., the values they try to teach their players, the concrete means they use to teach game rules, and prosocial norms) and to examine how they make rule abidance compatible with intensive efforts to achieve success. Semistructured interviews were conducted with 16 coaches of adolescent rugby teams. The interviews dealt with how values are taught to players and how rule following is enforced during practice and competition. A lexical analysis (Alceste software) and a thematic analysis were performed on the interview answers. The findings illustrate the complexity of the coaching role—coaches must impart a certain number of rules and ways of acting to their athletes while simultaneously inciting them to a high performance level that can lead players to go overboard in competitive situations.