This study explored how student-athletes at UNC-Wilmington (UNCW) used Twitter to help save their swimming and diving teams from being eliminated. Both a series of interviews and a content analysis of 1,775 tweets by 25 athletes were conducted. The results suggest that athletes and advocates can use Twitter to raise awareness about their cause. The UNCW athletes’ goal to demonstrate community support by alerting as many people as possible through social media was achieved through tweeting consistently, becoming opinion leaders in the two-step flow of information, and using weak ties to get followers of other accounts to rally behind their cause. Limitations and directions for future research are also discussed.
Pamela S. Highlen and Bonnie B. Bennett
Elite wrestlers (n = 39) and divers (n = 44), representing open- and closed-skill sports, respectively, completed a survey assessing psychological factors associated with training and competition. Of particular interest were factors distinguishing qualifiers from nonqualifiers within and between each sport type. Discriminant analyses and t-tests revealed that as expected self-confidence and concentration distinguished qualifiers from nonqualifiers in both sport groups. Also, as predicted, use of imagery differentiated only the qualifying from the nonqualifying divers. Self-talk items also distinguished the two diving groups on more items than they differentiated the wrestlers. However, when all elite divers were compared with their wrestling counterparts, no differences were found for the imagery scale and self-talk frequency, instruction, and praise items. Anticipatory anxiety patterns for divers and wrestlers were different, with successful divers and less successful wrestlers reporting higher precompetition levels of anxiety. During competition nonqualifiers across sport type reported higher anxiety. Implications for a sport-specific typology of psychological characteristics are discussed.
Jill L. McNitt-Gray
available to facilitate learning. In acrobatic sports, such as diving and gymnastics, fear can be a limiting factor. Creation of a safe environment where technique modifications can be explored, developed, and mastered can facilitate the learning process. For example, learning new skills often benefits from
Karen H. Weiller, Catriona T. Higgs and Scott B. Martin
Sports are omnipresent in American society; available for viewing 24 hours a day and can constitute much of everyday life and conversation. Researchers have indicated that men and women relate to sport differently (Gantz & Wenner, 1991). Evidence shows males outnumber females in sport viewership, and in the past much of the sport programming to which we are exposed caters specifically to men. The purpose of the present study was to explore issues related to audience perception of the 1996 Olympic Games. Participants (125 males and 92 females) ranging from 18 to 40 years of age were administered a gender specific version of the Audience Perception Questionnaires (APQ) following viewing video segments of men’s and women’s competitions (i.e., basketball, gymnastics, swimming and diving, and volleyball). The two versions of the APQ were developed from current literature, and by employing a delphi technique to validate the APQ. Factor analyses resulted in four underlying media perception dimensions: Commentary Coverage, Gender Marking and Stereotyping, Hierarchy of Naming, and Verbal Descriptors. Results revealed perceptions of male and female athletes by the public are influenced to a great degree by gender.
Daniel Tan, Brian Dawson and Peter Peeling
This study aimed to quantify the hemolytic responses of elite female football (soccer) players during a typical weekly training session.
Ten elite female football players (7 field players [FPs] and 3 goalkeepers [GKs]) were recruited from the Australian National Women’s Premier League and asked to provide a venous blood sample 30 min before and at the immediate conclusion of a typical weekly training session. During this training session, the players’ movement patterns were monitored via a 5-Hz global positioning system. The blood samples collected during the training session were analyzed for iron status via serum ferritin (SF) analysis, and the hemolytic response to training, via serum free hemoglobin (Hb) and haptoglobin (Hp) measurement.
50% of the participants screened were found to have a compromised iron stores (SF <35 μg/L). Furthermore, the posttraining serum free Hb levels were significantly elevated (P = .011), and the serum Hp levels were significantly decreased (P = .005), with no significant differences recorded between the FPs and GKs. However, the overall distance covered and the movement speed were significantly greater in the FPs.
The increases in free Hb and decreases in Hp levels provide evidence that a typical team-sport training session may result in significant hemolysis. This hemolysis may primarily be a result of running-based movements in FPs and/or the plyometric movements in GKs, such as diving and tackling.
Angela Lumpkin, Judy Favor and Lacole McPherson
While the number of high school girls’ teams has dramatically increased since Title IX, the number of female head coaches has not. In the 10 most popular high school sports in 2011-2012, only three (volleyball, swimming and diving, and competitive spirit squads) had more than 44% female head coaches. The purpose of this study was to investigate whether females or males are coaching high school girls’ sport teams and whether female coaches are attaining head coaching positions in the most popular high school girls’ sports. Additionally, the study sought to understand better why males and females choose to become head coaches of high school girls’ sport teams and what factors might cause head high school girls’ coaches to resign from coaching. In the 21–30 age group, there were more female than male head coaches of girls’ teams, but after age 40, male head coaches vastly outnumbered female head coaches. Of the coaches with 12 or more years of experience, only 33% were females. Time away from family, player issues, inadequate compensation, and time away from other activities were the top reasons high school coaches might resign.
Elaine Tor, David L. Pease and Kevin A. Ball
The swimming start is highly influential to overall competition performance. Therefore, it is paramount to develop reliable methods to perform accurate biomechanical analysis of start performance for training and research. The Wetplate Analysis System is a custom-made force plate system developed by the Australian Institute of Sport—Aquatic Testing, Training and Research Unit (AIS ATTRU). This sophisticated system combines both force data and 2D digitization to measure a number of kinetic and kinematic parameter values in an attempt to evaluate start performance. Fourteen elite swimmers performed two maximal effort dives (performance was defined as time from start signal to 15 m) over two separate testing sessions. Intraclass correlation coefficients (ICC) were used to determine each parameter’s reliability. The kinetic parameters all had ICC greater than 0.9 except the time of peak vertical force (0.742). This may have been due to variations in movement initiation after the starting signal between trials. The kinematic and time parameters also had ICC greater than 0.9 apart from for the time of maximum depth (0.719). This parameter was lower due to the swimmers varying their depth between trials. Based on the high ICC scores for all parameters, the Wetplate Analysis System is suitable for biomechanical analysis of swimming starts.
Ian C. Jones and Doris L. Miller
The running forward springboard approaches of 20 divers on the U.S. senior national diving team were analyzed using planar video analysis and accelerometer output; the purpose was to investigate kinematic responses of the springboard tip and divers' lower extremities to alterations in fulcrum setting. Divers executed jump takeoffs from a 1-m springboard with the fulcrum at their preferred setting as well as 0.144 m (two fulcrum numbers) forward and 0.144 m back from that location. Potential advantages of setting the fulcrum back further from the tip (as opposed to closer) included greater downward board tip vertical velocity at the beginning of takeoff, more time to generate angular momentum, and increased vertical velocity going into flight. However, setting the fulcrum further back required the diver to achieve longer hurdle flight durations and to reverse downward motion from a more flexed knee position. Accelerometer output in the absence of video was not beneficial as a means of providing immediate performance feedback for coaching purposes.
Bryan E. Denham
Drawing on data gathered from high-school seniors in the 2008 Monitoring the Future Study of American Youth (N = 2,063), this research examined the explanatory effects of competitive sports participation on alcohol consumption and marijuana use using race and noncompetitive exercise frequency as controls. Among males, competitive sports included baseball, basketball, football, soccer, track and field, and weightlifting, and among females, sports included softball, basketball, soccer, swimming and diving, track and field, and volleyball. White males reported greater alcohol consumption than Black and Hispanic respondents, with competitors in baseball, football and weightlifting consuming alcohol more frequently. The use of marijuana did not depend on race, but baseball players and weightlifters reported significantly more use. Among females, race differences did not emerge in ordinal regression models testing effects on alcohol consumption, but participants in every sport reported drinking alcohol more frequently. White female athletes also appeared to smoke marijuana more frequently. Overall, results suggested comparably strong effects for female sport environments while male behaviors varied by race, noncompetitive exercise frequency, and sports competition. Limitations of the study and recommendations for future research are offered.
Katherine A. Beals and Amanda K. Hill
The purpose of this study was to examine the prevalence of disordered eating (DE), menstrual dysfunction (MD), and low bone mineral density (BMD) among US collegiate athletes (n = 112) representing 7 different sports (diving, swimming, x-country, track, tennis, field hockey, and softball) and determine differences in prevalence existed between athletes participating in lean-build (LB) and non-lean build (NLB) sports. DE and MD were assessed by a health, weight, dieting, and menstrual history questionnaire. Spinal BMD was determined via dual energy x-ray absorptiometry. Twenty-eight athletes met the criteria for DE, twenty-nine for MD, and two athletes had low BMDs (using a Z score below −2.0). Ten athletes met the criteria for two disorders (one with disordered eating and low BMD and nine with disordered eating and menstrual dysfunction), while only one athlete met the criteria for all three disorders. Using a Z score below −1.0, two additional athletes met the criteria for all three disorders and three more athletes met the criteria for a combination of two disorders. With the exception of MD, which was significantly more prevalent among LB vs. NLB sports (P = 0.053), there were no differences between the groups in the prevalence of individual disorders or combinations of disorders. These data indicate that the combined prevalence of DE, MD, and low BMD among collegiate athletes is small; however, a significant number suffer from individual disorders of the Triad.