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Weidong Li, Amelia M. Lee and Melinda A. Solmon

This study was designed to explore the relationships among individuals’ dispositional ability conceptions, intrinsic motivation, experience, perceived competence, persistence, and performance. Participants practiced a novel task, completed surveys before instruction and after practicing the task, and completed a skill test. The results indicated that participants with higher levels of entity ability conceptions were likely to exert less effort and be less intrinsically motivated during practice. Participants with more experience were likely to feel more competent before and after practice. Perceived competence, incremental ability conceptions, and performance were positive predictors of intrinsic motivation. The results suggest that providing students opportunities to experience a variety of activities and creating an environment in which students can feel competent, believe in the efficacy of effort, and experience success could foster intrinsic motivation to actively engage in activities.

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JoEllen M. Sefton and Kenneth A. Games

Colleges and universities increasingly face pressure to take the lead in solving complex problems. Developing and sustaining interdisciplinary research centers that collaborate with community partners can be an effective method of approaching complex challenges. We use the example of interdisciplinary research centers designed to specifically work with tactical athlete organizations (e.g., military, police, fire) as one example of how research centers can be developed and produce important outcomes. A 10-step process is outlined for finding partners, executing projects, and growing research centers which are mutually beneficial to the partner organization and the academic institution. With vision, commitment, and persistence, interdisciplinary research centers can solve complex problems and have meaningful impacts in the community.

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Delia D. Douglas and Katherine M. Jamieson

Researchers have illustrated how this post–Civil Rights period is marked by significant changes to the organization and implementation of systems of racial stratification and expressions of racialized hostility. Consonant with the persistence of racial inequality is the notion that “race” is no longer relevant. In this context, we consider print media accounts of Nancy Lopez’s participation in 14 tournaments between June and October 2002. The Lopez Farewell Tour signaled the end of her 26-year career on the Ladies Professional Golf Association tour. We suggest that representations of Lopez are linked to new strategies of racialization that strengthen white racial power and privilege. We argue that the popularity of Nancy Lopez, a light-skinned Latina, was not simply evidence of a move towards color-blindness; rather, it was illustrative of the ways in which discourses of whiteness are communicated through their articulation with formations of gender, social class, and heterosexuality.

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Catherine D. Ennis

As typically taught, sport-based, multiactivity approaches to physical education provide students with few opportunities to increase their skill, fitness, or understanding. Alternative curriculum models, such as Sport Education, Teaching Games for Understanding, and Fitness for Life, represent a second generation of models that build on strong statements of democratic, student-centered practice in physical education. In the What Goes Around section of the paper, I discuss the U.S. perspective on the origins of alternative physical education curriculum models introduced in the early and mid-20th century as a response to sport and exercise programs of the times. Today, with the help of physical educators, scholars are conducting research to test new curricular alternatives or prototypes to provide evidence-based support for these models. Yet, the multiactivity, sport-based curriculum continues to dominate in most U.S. physical education classes. I discuss reasons for this dogged persistence and propose reforms to disrupt this pervasive pattern in the future.

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Glyn C. Roberts, Douglas A. Kleiber and Joan L. Duda

This study investigated the relationship of sport participation to perceived competence. Perceived competence is considered to be an important determinant of achievement motivation and behavior. Male and female fourth and fifth graders (N = 143) were given Harter's (Note 1) Perceived Competence Scales and were interviewed to determine their involvement in organized sport activities. Further, the children were asked to give their perceptions of competence relative to teammates, general attributions about sport outcomes, and their persistence and expectancies of future success. The results revealed that participants in organized sports were higher in perceived competence, were more persistent, and had higher expectations of future success. The causal attributions of participant children were ability oriented and generally supported the perceived competence findings. The results are consistent with the statement that perceived competence in physical skills has an important influence on the participation and motivation of children in sport contexts.

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Katrien Fransen, Norbert Vanbeselaere, Bert De Cuyper, Pete Coffee, Matthew J. Slater and Filip Boen

Research on the effect of athlete leadership on precursors of team performance such as team confidence is sparse. To explore the underlying mechanisms of how athlete leaders impact their team’s confidence, an online survey was completed by 2,867 players and coaches from nine different team sports in Flanders (Belgium). We distinguished between two types of team confidence: collective efficacy, assessed by the CEQS subscales of effort, persistence, preparation, and unity; and team outcome confidence, measured by the ability subscale. The results demonstrated that the perceived quality of athlete leaders was positively related to participants’ team outcome confidence. The present findings are the first in sport settings to highlight the potential value of collective efficacy and team identification as underlying processes. Because high-quality leaders strengthen team members’ identification with the team, the current study also provides initial evidence for the applicability of the identity based leadership approach in sport settings.

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Anna-Marie C. Jaeschke, Michael L. Sachs and Kristen D. Dieffenbach

Ultramarathon running entails coping with unanticipated environmental circumstances and intense physical and psychological fatigue; a sport in which the role of mental toughness can be crucial. This research focused on semistructured interviews with 12 ultramarathon runners who volunteered to discuss their perceptions of mental toughness. The data allowed researchers to gather a multidimensional view of mental toughness from ultramarathon runners’ experiences and perspective in addition to providing a snapshot of the challenges and demands ultrarunners face, as well as ethical concerns associated with athletes pushing themselves beyond their limits. Central themes included: perseverance/persistence, overcoming adversity, perspective, life experience, psychological skills use, and camaraderie in the ultra community. A deeper understanding of mental toughness obtained from a sample of ultramarathon runners can inform consultants working to improve quality or consistency of performance, and become aware of ethical concerns of encouraging athletes to exceed perceptual or actual limitations.

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Alison L. Smith, Nikos Ntoumanis, Joan L. Duda and Maarten Vansteenkiste

Developing upon cross-sectional research (Smith, Ntoumanis, & Duda, 2007) supporting the self-concordance model (Sheldon & Elliot, 1999) as a framework for contextual goal striving, the current study investigated the assumptions of the model in relation to season-long goal striving in sport. The study additionally examined the role of coping strategies in the persistence of goal-directed effort. Structural equation modeling analysis with a sample of 97 British athletes indicated that start-of-season autonomous goal motives were linked to midseason effort, which subsequently predicted end-of-season goal attainment. Attainment was positively related to changes in psychological need satisfaction, which, in turn, predicted changes in emotional well-being. In a second model, autonomous and controlled motives positively predicted task- and disengagement-oriented coping strategies, respectively. In turn, these strategies were differentially associated with effort. The findings provide support for contextual adaptations of the self-concordance model and demonstrate the role of coping strategies in the goal striving process.

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Ruth L. Chimenti, Sara A. Scholtes and Linda R. Van Dillen

Many risk factors have been identified as contributing to the development or persistence of low back pain (LBP). However, the juxtaposition of both high and low levels of physical activity being associated with LBP reflects the complexity of the relationship between a risk factor and LBP. Moreover, not everyone with an identified risk factor, such as a movement pattern of increased lumbopelvic rotation, has LBP.

Objective:

The purpose of this study was to examine differences in activity level and movement patterns between people with and people without chronic or recurrent LBP who participate in rotation-related sports.

Design Case:

Case-control study.

Setting:

University laboratory environment.

Participants:

52 people with chronic or recurrent LBP and 25 people without LBP who all play a rotation-related sport.

Main Outcome Measures:

Participants completed self-report measures including the Baecke Habitual Activity Questionnaire and a questionnaire on rotation-related sports. A 3-dimensional motion-capture system was used to collect movement-pattern variables during 2 lower-limb-movement tests.

Results:

Compared with people without LBP, people with LBP reported a greater difference between the sport subscore and an average work and leisure composite subscore on the Baecke Habitual Activity Questionnaire (F = 6.55, P = .01). There were no differences between groups in either rotation-related-sport participation or movement-pattern variables demonstrated during 2 lower-limb-movement tests (P > .05 for all comparisons).

Conclusions:

People with and people without LBP who regularly play a rotation-related sport differed in the amount and nature of activity participation but not in movement-pattern variables. An imbalance between level of activity during sport and daily functions may contribute to the development or persistence of LBP in people who play a rotation-related sport.

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Gail M. Dummer, Martha E. Ewing, Rochelle V. Habeck and Sara R. Overton

The attributions of 147 athletes with cerebral palsy who participated in the 1985 National Cerebral Palsy/Les Autres Games were investigated following competition relative to their reactions to objectively and subjectively defined success or failure. Attributions were the dependent variable in a 2 × 2 (More-Disabled/Less-Disabled × Win/Loss) MANOVA. Attributions were also analyzed in a 2 × 4 (More-Disabled/Less-Disabled × Satisfied/Dissatisfied, Winner/Loser) MANOVA designed to determine the influence of perceived success or failure upon causal explanations of performance. There were no significant differences in the use of attributions by gender; however, there were differences in the use of attributions across disability classifications. Disabled winners used both internal and external explanations to a greater degree than losers, which was inconsistent with previous literature. Previous results linking persistence in sport to the use of internal and stable attributions were supported. Subjective outcome, defined in terms of satisfaction with performance, was a more powerful explanation of achievement behavior for the disabled athletes in this study than objective outcome. Satisfaction was associated with demonstration of positive qualities such as using the right strategy and ability, with realistic assessment of ability, and with enjoying competition.