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Derek A. Swain

The present study involved three in-depth interviews with 10 informants who had voluntarily withdrawn from hockey, horse racing, football, and racquet-ball. The personal histories of the informants were examined for diversity and commonality of experience. A synthesized description of career change experience was written as a general story, identifying a sequence of experiential units that reflect the shifts in focus within the common experience. The general story indicated that withdrawal from sport was not simply an event but a process that began soon after the athletes became engaged in their career. This study supports and extends a model proposed by Schlossberg (1984) which attempts to account for diversity in the experience of transitions. The model is considered helpful in developing an understanding of the process of a transitional experience such as retirement from sport, considering the context in which the experience takes place, the meaning it has for the individual, and how it changes over time.

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Russell R. Pate, Marsha Dowda, William H. Brown, Jonathan Mitchell and Cheryl Addy

Background:

It is known that children are more physically active outdoors than indoors. However, few previous studies have observed the time course for physical activity as young children transition from indoor to outdoor activities.

Methods:

Participants were 3- to 5-year-old children enrolled in the Children’s Activity and Movement in Preschool Study (CHAMPS). Trained observers used the Observational System for Recording Physical Activity in Children-Preschool Version (OSRAC-P) to record children’s physical activity levels over 20 minutes in outdoor settings. The 20-minute outdoor observational period began immediately following the transition from indoors to outdoors.

Results:

Children’s activity levels were moderately high at the time of transition and declined over the 20-minute observation period. Different patterns, however, were observed for boys and girls. Overall, boys were more active than girls. Boys’ activity levels declined in a linear fashion over the 20-minute period, while girls’ activity levels increased slightly, decreased, and then increased slightly again.

Conclusions:

These data indicate that physical activity levels decline with increased duration of outdoor play. The frequency and duration of outdoor play should be investigated for the purpose of optimizing physical activity levels.

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Vincent Ochieng Onywera, Kristi B. Adamo, Andrew W. Sheel, Judith N. Waudo, Michael Kipsugut Boit and Mark S. Tremblay

Background:

Comparable data to examine the physical activity (PA) transition in African countries such as Kenya are lacking.

Methods:

We assessed PA levels from urban (UKEN) and rural (RKEN) environments to examine any evidence of a PA transition. Nine- to twelve-year-old children participated in the study: n = 96 and n = 73 children from UKEN and RKEN, respectively. Pedometers were used to estimate children’s daily step count. Parental perception regarding their child’s PA patterns was collected via questionnaire (n = 172).

Results:

RKEN children were more physically active than their UKEN counterparts with a mean average steps per day (± SE) of 14,700 ± 521 vs. 11,717 ± 561 (P < .0001) for RKEN vs. UKEN children respectively. 62.5% of the UKEN children spent 0 hours per week playing screen games compared with 13.1% of UKEN children who spent more than 11 hours per week playing screen games. Seventy percent of UKEN and 34% of RKEN parents reported being more active during childhood than their children respectively.

Conclusions:

Results of this study are indicative of a PA transition in Kenya. Further research is needed to gather national data on the PA patterns of Kenyan children to minimize the likelihood of a public health problem due to physical inactivity.

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Jacquelyn Cuneen

Sport management was acknowledged early in its formative years as an academic area with great potential for success in the academy. Due largely to the efforts of members of the North American Society for Sport Management (NASSM), sport management quickly became entrenched in academe and is starting to be recognized as an academic area of merit. It is important to manage our overall program excellence as we move from “potential” to “merit” if sport management is to thrive as an academic discipline and profession. It is particularly important to mange our merit since our transition phase occurs amidst many changes and challenges (e.g., the student as consumer; under-representation of National Association for Sport and Physical Education/NASSM Approved Programs; under-recognition of sport management teaching excellence, and diminishing service roles and interests within industry and academe). The purpose of this essay is to posit approaches through which sport management’s educational programs might maintain their well-earned meritorious reputations amid shifting academic and social cultures. This essay is the text of the 2003 Dr. Earle F. Zeigler Lecture presented on May 30 at the 18th Annual Meeting of NASSM in Ithaca, New York.

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Larry Weber, Thomas M. Sherman and Carmen Tegano

Does early admission for scholarship athletes increase their chances of academic success? The findings from this 2-year study suggest that student athletes with low admission qualifications who participated in a summer transition program achieved higher grade point averages, more secure athletic and academic eligibility, and greater potential to graduate than similar student athletes not participating in the transition program.

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Alan Hreljac, Alan Arata, Reed Ferber, John A. Mercer and Brandi S. Row

Previous research has demonstrated that the preferred transition speed during human locomotion is the speed at which critical levels of ankle angular velocity and acceleration (in the dorsiflexor direction) are reached, leading to the hypothesis that gait transition occurs to alleviate muscular stress on the dorsiflexors. Furthermore, it has been shown that the metabolic cost of running at the preferred transition speed is greater than that of walking at that speed. This increase in energetic cost at gait transition has been hypothesized to occur due to a greater demand being placed on the larger muscles of the lower extremity when gait changes from a walk to a run. This hypothesis was tested by monitoring electromyographic (EMG) activity of the tibialis anterior, medial gastrocnemius, vastus lateralis, biceps femoris, and gluteus maximus while participants (6 M, 3 F) walked at speeds of 70, 80, 90, and 100% of their preferred transition speed, and ran at their preferred transition speed. The EMG activity of the tibialis anterior increased as walking speed increased, then decreased when gait changed to a run at the preferred transition speed. Concurrently, the EMG activity of all other muscles that were monitored increased with increasing walking speed, and at a greater rate when gait changed to a run at the preferred transition speed. The results of this study supported the hypothesis presented.

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Joseph F. Seay, Jeffery M. Haddad, Richard E.A. van Emmerik and Joseph Hamill

Increases in movement variability have previously been observed to be a hallmark property of cooraination changes between coupled oscillators that occur as movement frequency is scaled. Prior research on the walk-run transition in human locomotion has also demonstrated increases in variability around the transition region, supporting predictions of nonequilibrium phase transitions (Diedrich & Warren, 1995). The current study examined the coordinative patterns of both intra- and inter-limb couplings around the walk-run transition using two different temporal manipulations of locomotor velocity as a control parameter in healthy young participants (N = 11). Coordination variability did not increase before the transition. The nature of the change in continuous relative phase variability between gait modes was coupling-specific, and varying the time spent at each velocity did not have an overall effect on gait transition dynamics. Lower extremity inter-limb coordination dynamics were more sensitive to changes in treadmill velocity than intra-limb coordination. The results demonstrate the complexity of segmental coordination change in human locomotion, and question the applicability of dynamical bimanual coordination models to human gait transitions.

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John C. Barnes

It is important for sports administration programs to prepare students for career entry and transition into productive roles within their new jobs upon graduation. However, even the best academic curricula for those entering a profession may be inadequate for preparing students for early success in their careers. Not only do academic curricula lack the ability to train students for problem solving and independent thinking, they lack the ability to provide context, reducing transfer of knowledge to practice. The purpose of this article is to provide instructors in sports administration programs background information related to the transition graduates may face when entering the job market. The underlying assumption is that if instructors better understand the process of job entry and transition, they can better prepare students to embark on their careers. Included are discussions of professional preparation programs, the expectation gap held by new employees, job role transition, and organizational socialization.

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David Lavallee

The purpose of this investigation was to evaluate the effectiveness of a life development intervention on career transition adjustment in retired professional athletes. Intervention (n = 32) and control groups (n = 39) were recruited for this study, both of which contained recently retired male professional soccer players. Data were collected on measures of career termination adjustment and coping with transitions, and the intervention group also participated in a life development intervention package. Results revealed significant postintervention treatment group differences on career transition adjustment in favor of the life development intervention, while significant within-group differences on career transition adjustment over time were also achieved for the intervention group. Results are discussed in relation to the personal and developmental costs of pursuing performance excellence.

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Riley C. Sheehan and Jinger S. Gottschall

Falls are the leading cause of injury for all age groups. However, adults over 65 are at a higher risk, with one-third falling each year. Transitioning between level and hill surfaces poses a greater fall risk than walking on either surface alone. Previous studies found that young adults adopted a cautious gait pattern to mitigate this risk. As older adults typically employ a cautious pattern during level walking, we investigated how they modify their gait pattern to safely transition between surfaces. Twenty adults over the age of 65 transitioned onto and off of a 15° ramp while we recorded kinematics and muscle activity. During the level-to-downhill and uphill-to-level transitions, participants took slower, shorter steps indicative of an exaggerated cautious gait pattern. The older adults also exhibited greater muscle activity during the transitions, which may be due to muscle weakness requiring compensatory strategies to meet the greater demands of the task. However, the slower, shorter steps when transitioning from uphill to level suggest that these compensations may not always be adequate. Thus, it is important to consider the relationship between physical abilities and task demands in evaluating walking terrains that may be excessively difficult or dangerous for older adults.