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Vikki Krane, Jennifer Waldron, Jennifer Michalenok and Julie Stiles-Shipley

A feminist cultural studies framework was employed to better understand the relationships among body image, eating, and exercise in female exercisers and athletes. Participants (N=18) engaged in focus group interviews regarding their ideal body image, eating and exercise patterns, and feelings associated with eating and exercising. The athlete interviews also included questions concerning their coach, performance issues, and comfort with their uniforms. Results revealed that most of the women in this study desired an unrealistic ideal body: a toned body with minimal fat. The exercisers emphasized being toned, yet they also avoided too much muscularity. These women constantly were balancing their physical activity and eating: if they exercised, they gave themselves permission to eat and if they ate too much, they punished themselves with exercise. The athletes’ ideal body was dependent upon the social context. Their body satisfaction and concomitant mental states and self-presentation varied depending upon whether the athletes were considering their bodies as athletes or as culturally female.

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Brian C. Focht and Heather A. Hausenblas

The primary purpose of the present study was to examine psychological responses of 50 young women following single episodes of aerobic exercise (AE) performed in a naturalistic exercise setting and quiet rest (QR). Given the salience of self-presentational qualities in a naturalistic exercise setting, a secondary purpose was to examine whether psychological responses to acute exercise varied as a function of social physique anxiety (SPA). The dependent measures of state anxiety, positive engagement, revitalization, tranquility, and physical exhaustion were assessed immediately prior to and then at 5 and 30 minutes following each condition. It was found that (a) AE and QR were associated with decreases in state anxiety and increases in tranquility; (b) AE was associated with increases in positive engagement and revitalization; and (c) these changes did not vary as a function of SPA level.

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Bernadette Woods and Joanne Thatcher

The purpose of this study was to conduct a qualitative exploration of the substitute role in an attempt to uncover detailed understanding of soccer players’ experiences. Twenty soccer substitutes were individually interviewed. Inductive content analysis revealed that they experienced mainly negative organizational, person and competitive factors as substitutes, with fewer positive experiences. Organizational factors were: receiving short notice, segregation, poor coach communication, inactivity and restricted preparation. Person factors were: dissatisfaction with status, self-presentation and impression motivation concerns, reduced control over performance and coach’s decisions, reduced motivation to prepare, negative emotions and elevated state anxiety. Positive responses were: role acceptance, remaining focused, enthusiastic and confident and performing well. Sport psychologists, team-mates and coaches should be aware of these experiences and how they can help substitutes cope with their role.

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Annelore Deprez, Peter Mechant and Tim Hoebeke

Literature states that incorporating social media as a journalistic tool in news reporting generates opportunities for journalists to not only dialogue with the audience but also to publish, to seek information, and to profile themselves or their organizations. This study broadens the empirical data on the journalistic use of social media, more specifically Twitter, by sports journalists in Flanders. A multimethod research approach was used to examine the content of tweets, the followings, and the profiles of the sports journalists. Results show that almost half of the sports journalists have a Twitter account, just over a third of them actively post tweets, and Twitter serves predominantly as an information source to learn more about athletes and their teams. Journalists also publish and communicate on Twitter and to a lesser extent use Twitter to interact with their audience. The study also reveals that Twitter is rarely used as a profiling tool for self-presentation.

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Kevin Hull and Norman P. Lewis

The rising popularity of Twitter and the concurrent decline in audience size for local television sportscasts has fueled concern that the new medium is displacing traditional broadcasters. A model is offered that identifies the salient latent constructs that make Twitter a more attractive medium for connected fans in ways that transcend Twitter’s obvious advantage in timeliness. Issues relating to Twitter’s brevity, the public–private blending of athletes, parasocial interaction between users and who they follow, community building, homophily, and self-presentation are all addressed. The model offers propositions that can be tested by future research and provides guidance to broadcasters willing to adapt to what Twitter offers. Understanding why Twitter engages sports fans in a manner unlike that of previous technologies offers application for sports broadcasters trying to maintain audience share, as well as guidance for researchers seeking to explain the allure of the 140-character medium.

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Larry Lauer

Many athletes struggle with lack of confidence, especially in adverse situations. They lack the belief to use their overlearned skills, trust in their training, or just plain “go for it” and as a result become tight and hesitant in their performance. Coaches often struggle to help these athletes despite their expertise in teaching their sport. Unfortunately, coaches are not always equipped to deal with the psychological dynamics that create decrements in confidence, including perfectionistic thinking, self-presentation concerns, self-handicapping, and in general, harmful patterns of thinking. This article will describe the patterns of thinking that are troublesome for sustaining high confidence in pressure situations, and important principles and strategies for enhancing the confidence of athletes’ in and out of competition. Often, helping athletes deal with their lack of confidence comes down to focusing on controllable aspects of preparation and performance, developing new patterns of thinking, challenging old, negative habits, and accepting that doubts are normal for the high-achieving athlete. The objective will be to provide coach educators an opportunity to expand their own knowledge of coaching athletes to include confidence and composure.

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Charles J. Hardy, Evelyn G. Hall and Perry H. Prestholdt

Two experiments are reported that investigate the mediational role of social influence in the self-perception of exertion. In Experiment 1, subjects performed three 15-min trials on a cycle ergometer at 25%, 50%, and 75% VO2max, both in the presence of another performer (a coactor) and alone. The results indicated that subjects reported lower RPEs when performing with another, particularly at the moderate (50%) intensity. In Experiment 2, subjects performed one 15-min trial at 50% of VO2max, both alone and in the presence of another performer (coactor) exhibiting nonverbal "cues" that the work was either extremely easy or extremely difficult. The results indicated that subjects exposed to the low-intensity cue information reported lower RPEs than when performing alone. Mo significant differences were noted for those subjects exposed to the high-intensity cue information. These findings are discussed in terms of a self-presentational analysis. That such effects were evidenced without physiological responses (VO2, VE, HR) accompanying them supports the notion that psychological variables can play a significant role in the self-perception of exertion. These results, however, are limited to untrained individuals exercising at moderate intensities.

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Ann-Marie Knowles, Ailsa Niven and Samantha Fawkner

Background:

Quantitative research has suggested that the decline in physical activity levels for adolescent girls is most marked during the transition from primary school to secondary school yet understanding the contributing factors for this decline may be advanced through qualitative research methods to gain an individual perspective of the girls’ school transition experience.

Methods:

This study explored factors related to the decrease in physical activity behavior in 14 adolescent girls (mean age = 13.6 ± 0.3 years) during the transition between primary and secondary school through the use of narrative interviews and interpretative phenomenological analysis.

Results:

The findings suggested that a change in the environment was central to understanding the decline in physical activity levels since primary school.

Conclusions:

During secondary school, a positive environment can be created by ensuring a choice of activities in Physical Education lessons; allowing a girls-only environment, to reduce the focus on competence and competition, and recognizing the importance of social support. These could enhance self-perceptions, reduce self-presentational concerns, increase enjoyment, and subsequently reduce the decrease in physical activity behavior during this key transitional period.

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Ian W. Ford and Sandy Gordon

A two-part study was used to survey sport trainers and athletic therapists on both the frequency and significance of emotions and behaviors displayed by athletes during treatment and the importance of psychological techniques in injury management. A questionnaire, developed from a preliminary study with experienced sport trainers (Part 1), was mailed to sport trainers in Australia and New Zealand and athletic therapists in Canada(Part 2). Responses from Australian (n = 53), New Zealand (n = 11), and Canadian (n = 32) participants suggested that (a) wanting to return to play too soon, anxiety and frustration, noncompliance, and denial were experienced frequently by injured athletes during rehabilitation and significantly hindered effective recovery; (b) psychological skills training and learning to deal with psychological responses to injury would facilitate more effective treatment; and (c) athletes' self-presentation styles influence the support and attention received from trainers/therapists. Findings suggest that the applied sport psychology content of professional training programs for sport trainers and athletic therapists should be extended.

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Alan L. Smith, Sarah Ullrich-French, Eddie Walker II and Kimberly S. Hurley

The purpose of this study was to (a) describe peer relationship profiles of youth sport participants and (b) assess the motivational salience of these profiles by examining profile group differences on sport motivation-related variables. Youth sport camp participants (N = 243) ages 10 to 14 years (M = 11.8, SD = 1.2) completed a multisection questionnaire that contained sport-contextualized measures of perceived friendship quality (positive, conflict), perceived peer acceptance, perceived competence, enjoyment, anxiety, self-presentational concerns, and self-determined motivation. The positive friendship quality, friendship conflict, and peer acceptance responses were cluster-analyzed, yielding five peer relationship profiles that were consistent with expectations based on previous research (i.e., Seidman et al., 1999). Profile differences were obtained for all motivation-related variables and were in theoretically consistent directions. Those young athletes categorized in more adaptive peer relationship profiles had more adaptive motivation-related responses. The findings support theoretical perspectives on social relationships and motivation as well as the efficacy of a person-centered approach to the examination of peer relationships in sport.