This study presents the case of Steve, an adolescent competitive springboard diver. This diver, referred by his coach, received the Mindfulness-Acceptance-Commitment (MAC) approach for performance enhancement. The MAC protocol, originally written for an adult population, was used in modified form (under consultation from the authors) to ensure appropriateness for an adolescent population. Conducted in nine individual sessions, the intervention targeted abilities in attention and value-driven behavior to enhance focus, poise, and overall diving performance. Self-report measures of mindfulness and flow, along with objective measures of diving performance were collected pre- and postintervention. Results indicated increases in mindful awareness, mindful attention, experiential acceptance, flow, and diving performance from pre- to postintervention. This case supports the applicability of the MAC protocol with an adolescent athlete population.
Doris I. Miller and Carolyn F. Munro
A linear and angular momentum analysis was conducted on Greg Louganis' forward and reverse 3-m springboard takeoffs performed during National Sports Festival V in Colorado Springs, and differences among dives were examined. At initial contact with the board, his horizontal velocity approximated 0.5 m/s across all dives analyzed. In the forward 3.5 somersaults pike, the horizontal velocity subsequently increased in magnitude until the latter half of recoil. By contrast, in the forward and reverse dives and reverse 2.5 somersaults, horizontal velocity displayed an initial reduction followed by an increase to the final value of 0.8 to 1.2 m/s. His vertical velocities at touchdown (−4.3 to −4.5 m/s) increased to 5.0 to 6.0 m/s during the takeoff, with the final upward velocity being related to the type of dive performed. At initial contact, Louganis’ total body angular momentum with respect to his center of gravity was negligible. By the end of the takeoff, it had increased to 18 kg-m-m/s for the forward dive straight and was three and four times that magnitude for his reverse 2.5 and forward 3.5 somersaults pike, respectively. Between 80 and 90% of the total angular momentum at the end of the takeoff was due to the segment remote contributions. The importance of the upper extremities in developing somersaulting angular momentum was shown by the fact that they were responsible for between 30 and 43% of the final angular momentum in all but the forward dive straight.
Frédéric Lemaître, Mario Bedu and Jean Coudert
Pulmonary function was measured in 48 air divers (age range: 8–38 yr) and 56 control participants (age range: 8–34 yr). Static lung volumes, dynamic lung volumes and flows, and the pulmonary diffusing capacity for carbon monoxide were measured twice, 29 months apart. At both times the adult divers (>18 yr) had higher forced vital capacity, forced expiratory volume in 1 s and maximal expiratory flow rate at 50%, as well as lower pulmonary diffusing capacity for carbon monoxide, than did the adult controls. Whatever the age, mean annual changes in these parameters did not differ between groups. Our results indicate that there were no significant changes in pulmonary function in the young (8–12 yr), adolescent, or adult divers compared with healthy controls over the 29-month period. The mean annual changes in forced expiratory flow and volume, however, were negatively correlated with number of years of diving experience in adult divers and with maximal diving depth in adolescent (13–18 yr) divers (p < .05 and p < .001, respectively). Deep diving during the teenage years coupled with years of recreational diving might increase the risk of airway obstruction.
Jessica R. Edler, Kenneth E. Games, Lindsey E. Eberman and Leamor Kahanov
The tibial plateau is a critical load-bearing surface in humans. Although tibial plateau fractures represent only 1% of all fractures, proper management by all members of the health care team, including athletic trainers, physicians, and physical therapists, is required for successful patient outcomes. A 14-year-old national-level competitive female diver injured her right knee during the precompetition warm-up period. Upon evaluation by an athletic trainer, the patient was referred for imaging and examination by a physician. She was seen by an orthopedic surgeon for consultation. The patient elected for a surgical repair of the tibial plateau fracture. Following surgery she underwent an 11-week comprehensive therapeutic exercise program with athletic trainers and physical therapists. The patient’s return-to-play progression included dry land activities, platform diving, 1-m springboard diving, and 3-m springboard diving. The patient has successfully returned to competitive diving. Proper identification of tibial fractures can be difficult considering their low occurrence in youth and their similar clinical presentation to more common youth injuries such as anterior cruciate ligament ruptures. Clinicians providing immediate on-site medical care should be thorough in their clinical exam including palpation and axial loading of the joint.
Deborah L. Feltz
This investigation contrasted path analysis models for 40 males and 40 females based on the predictions of Feltz's (1982) respecification model of Ban-dura' s (1977) self-efficacy theory in the approach/avoidance of two trials of a modified back dive. The hypothesized (respecified) model proposed that previous related experiences, self-efficacy, and heart rate predicted initial back-diving performance and that previous performance and self-efficacy predicted subsequent performance. The hypothesized model also proposed that self-efficacy mediates the influence of autonomic perception of arousal on performance. Results indicated that males had lower state anxiety and autonomic perception scores than females on the first trial. No differences occurred for back-diving performance, self-efficacy, or heart rate. Path analysis results indicated that the hypothesized model fit the data better for females than for males, though it left much unexplained variance for both males and females. Females showed a reciprocal relationship between self-efficacy and performance, whereas males showed a reciprocal relationship between autonomic perception and heart rate. Previous performance and self-efficacy were strong predictors of subsequent performance for both males and females.
Richard P. Wells, Patrick J. Bishop and Malcolm Stephens
Spinal cord trauma due to head-first collisions is not uncommon in vehicle accidents, shallow water diving, football, or ice hockey. Two approaches to evaluating potential protective devices for ice hockey are described: an evaluative tool based upon an anthropometric test dummy, and a computer simulation of axial head-first collisions. Helmets reduced the peak cervical spine loads during low velocity head-first collisions by up to 8%. It is shown that large thicknesses of appropriate padding are necessary to hold the cervical spine loads to noninjurious levels. A head-first impact of 3.0 m • sec−1 required padding deformations on the order of 94 mm to hold cervical spine loads below 2,000 N.
Martina Navarro, Nelson Miyamoto, John van der Kamp, Edgard Morya, Ronald Ranvaud and Geert J.P. Savelsbergh
We investigated the effects of high pressure on the point of no return or the minimum time required for a kicker to respond to the goalkeeper’s dive in a simulated penalty kick task. The goalkeeper moved to one side with different times available for the participants to direct the ball to the opposite side in low-pressure (acoustically isolated laboratory) and high-pressure situations (with a participative audience). One group of participants showed a significant lengthening of the point of no return under high pressure. With less time available, performance was at chance level. Unexpectedly, in a second group of participants, high pressure caused a qualitative change in which for short times available participants were inclined to aim in the direction of the goalkeeper’s move. The distinct effects of high pressure are discussed within attentional control theory to reflect a decreasing efficiency of the goal-driven attentional system, slowing down performance, and a decreasing effectiveness in inhibiting stimulus-driven behavior.
Previous research has identified specific differences in cognition between experts and novices in problem-solving domains. To address the question of whether similar distinctions exist among springboard divers, six differences in problem representation and four differences in procedural knowledge were studied in elite and nonelite springboard divers. Subjects reported their thoughts immediately following dive performance. Verbal reports were converted into problem representations and production rules. Analysis of the representations and production rules revealed differences between elite and nonelite divers consistent with distinctions found between expert and novice problem-solvers. Elite problem representations contained more higher order concepts than nonelite representations. Moreover, the elite representations were more richly embedded, containing more concepts, features, and interrelations than the nonelite representations. Also, elite divers cited more production rules than nonelite divers. Elite production rules displayed a greater degree of sophistication in discrimination, proceduralization, composition, and strengthening.
John van der Kamp
This study investigated whether soccer penalty-takers can exploit predictive information from the goalkeeper’s actions. Eight low- and seven high-skilled participants kicked balls in a penalty task with the goalkeeper’s action displayed on a large screen. The goalkeeper initiated his dive either before, at or after the ball was struck. The percentage of balls shot to the empty half of the goal was not above chance when the participants could only rely on predictive information. Gaze patterns suggested that the need to fixate the target location to maintain aiming accuracy hindered perceptual anticipation. It is argued that penalty-takers should select a target location in advance of the run-up to the ball and disregard the goalkeeper’s actions.
Semyon M. Slobounov and Karl M. Newell
This study provides a comparative analysis of certain features of upright and inverted stance in collegiate-level competitive gymnastic and diving athletes. A particular focus was the compensatory movement strategies used to maintain inverted stance. The analyses revealed that the motion of the center of pressure was significantly greater in the hand stance as opposed to the upright stance condition. Instability increased over the duration of a 15-s hand stance trial, and it was paralleled by the introduction of a small set of compensatory movement strategies that included enhanced motion at the distal segments of the legs and at the elbow joint. The compensatory movement strategies appeared to be in support of minimizing variability of motion in the head and trunk. The relative contribution of the principal sources of this instability in the hand stance remains to be determined.