Susan C. Brown
This study sought to identify significant predictors of success (a) in a graduate program of sport management at a major research institution in the United States and (b) in initial employment success. Regression analysis identified four significant predictors for success in the graduate program. The variables that produced a positive relationship with the dependent variable—final graduate grade point average—were age upon application, number of years of extracurricular activity involvement in undergraduate school, and undergraduate grade point average. The number of years in a full-time position in sport management upon application produced a significant negative relationship. Discriminant analysis was used to identify possible predictors of initial employment success identified as time from graduation to employment in a sport management position. However, no significant predictors were found.
Past youth sports research studies that have had significant practical and theoretical impact were identified. These investigations were characterized by several features: (a) asking questions of practical importance, (b) integrating previous research or theory into the designs, (c) employing adequate methodological procedures and sample sizes, and (d) answering questions through series of interrelated investigations. In contrast, youth sports studies that did not have as much impact did not reflect many of these characteristics. Based on these findings, future directions in youth sports research were identified. It was concluded that if the sport psychologist is to conduct socially significant research that will make contributions to those involved in youth sports, three issues must be addressed. First, critical questions of practical significance must be identified. In an effort to identify these issues the results of a survey on psychological topics of practical significance to youth sport personnel was presented. In addition, beneficial and detrimental aspects of theory testing are outlined as well as the role of strong inference in conducting youth sports research. The second issue addressed is the use of varied types of research in studying youth sports. It is argued that descriptive, evaluation, and systems approach research are all needed and examples of each type of research are presented. The third issue examined is the need for a shift in methodological approaches when conducting youth sports research. Sport psychologists must realize that no single method is always best, and varied as well as innovative methodological procedures must be employed. The need to shift from a linear causation and convenient ANOVA categories model to a multidisciplinary, multivariate, and longitudinal approach is suggested.
Jennifer Cumming, Sanna M. Nordin, Robin Horton and Scott Reynolds
The study investigated the impact of varying combinations of facilitative and debilitative imagery and self-talk (ST) on self-efficacy and performance of a dart-throwing task. Participants (N = 95) were allocated to 1 of 5 groups: (a) facilitative imagery/facilitative ST, (b) facilitative imagery/debilitative ST, (c) debilitative imagery/facilitative ST, (d) debilitative imagery/debilitative ST, or (e) control. Mixed-design ANOVAs revealed that performance, but not self-efficacy, changed over time as a function of the assigned experimental condition. Participants in the debilitative imagery/debilitative ST condition worsened their performance, and participants in the facilitative imagery/facilitative ST condition achieved better scores. These findings demonstrate that a combination of facilitative imagery and ST can enhance performance whereas debilitative imagery and ST can hamper it.
John D. Perry and Jean M. Williams
The purpose of this study was to examine the intensity of competitive trait anxiety and self-confidence and interpret whether these symptoms facilitated or debilitated performance in three distinct skill-level groups in tennis for both males and females. Advanced (n = 50), intermediate (n = 96), and novice (n = 79) tennis players completed a modified Competitive State Anxiety Inventory-2. The three groups did not differ for somatic anxiety intensity, but the novice group reported less cognitive anxiety intensity and the advanced group higher self-confidence levels. Only advanced players reported more facilitative interpretations versus the hypothesized progressive increase across skill level. Males and females did not differ on self-confidence and anxiety intensity, but males reported a more facilitative interpretation of anxiety. Analyses of subjects who reported debilitating effects for cognitive and somatic anxiety revealed higher intensities on both anxiety subscales and lower self-confidence levels. The discussion addresses implications for the practitioner.
Julio Tous-Fajardo, Oliver Gonzalo-Skok, José Luis Arjol-Serrano and Per Tesch
To examine the effects of a novel isoinertial eccentric-overload and vibration training (EVT) paradigm on change-ofdirection (COD) speed and multiple performance tests applicable to soccer.
Twenty-four young male players were assigned to an EVT (n = 12) or conventional combined (CONV, n = 12) group, once weekly for 11 wk. EVT consisted of 2 sets of 6–10 repetitions in 5 specific and 3 complementary exercises. CONV used comparable volume (2 sets of 6–10 reps in 3 sequences of 3 exercises) of conventional combined weight, plyometric, and linear speed exercises. Pre- and postintervention tests included 25-m sprint with 4 × 45° COD every 5th m (V-cut test), 10- and 30-m sprints, repeat-sprint ability, countermovement jump, and hopping (RJ5).
Group comparison showed very likely to likely better performance for EVT in the COD (effect size [ES] = 1.42), 30-m (ES = 0.98), 10-m (ES = 1.17), and average power (ES = 0.69) and jump height (ES = 0.69) during RJ5. There was a large (r = –.55) relationship between the increase in average hopping power and the reduced V-cut time.
As EVT, not CONV, improved not only COD ability but also linear speed and reactive jumping, this “proof-of-principle” study suggests that this novel exercise paradigm performed once weekly could serve as a viable adjunct to improve performance tasks specific to soccer.
David Sherwood, Keith Lohse and Alice Healy
Many research studies have shown the advantage of directing the focus of attention (FOA) externally as opposed to internally. However, it is not clear how the availability of concurrent visual feedback might impact attentional processes as the FOA is shifted between internal, external, relevant, and irrelevant sources of attention. The current experiment varied the FOA by asking the participants to judge joint angles (internal-relevant), respiration (internal-irrelevant), dart release angle (external-relevant), and tone loudness (external-irrelevant) at dart release in which task-intrinsic concurrent visual feedback was available or not. Spatial errors and trial-to-trial variability in the outcome were reduced when vision was available. Spatial errors were greater during internal judgments compared with external judgments particularly when vision was not available and when making judgments about task-relevant factors. A focus on irrelevant factors generally did not affect performance compared with relevant factors. These findings suggest that availability of concurrent visual feedback modulates focus of attention effects in motor control.
Michael A. Khan, Gavin P. Lawrence, Ian M. Franks and Digby Elliott
The purpose of the present study was to establish the contribution of visual feedback in the correction of errors during movement execution (i.e., online) and the utilization of visual feedback from a completed movement in the programming of upcoming trials (i.e., offline). Participants performed 2 dimensional sweeping movements on a digitizing tablet through 1 of 3 targets, which were represented on a video monitor. The movements were performed with and without visual feedback under 4 criterion movement times (150, 250, 350, 450 msec). We analyzed the variability in directional error at 25%, 50%, 75%, and 100% of the distance between the home position and the target. There were significant differences in variability between visual conditions at each movement time. However, in the 150-msec condition, the form of the variability profiles did not differ between visual conditions, suggesting that the contribution of visual feedback was due to offline processes. In the 250-, 350-, and 450-msec conditions, there was evidence for both online and offline control, as the form of the variability profiles differed between the vision and no vision conditions.
Marni J. Simpson, David G. Jenkins, Aaron T. Scanlan and Vincent G. Kelly
ACCEL, decelerations (DECEL), changes of direction (COD), and jumps at different intensities. Quantifying these variables can provide insight into the specific movement demands of indoor court-based team sports, which require players to complete intermittent and repeated multidirectional, explosive
Yuko Kuramatsu, Yuji Yamamoto and Shin-Ichi Izumi
direction. Wurdeman, Huben, and Stergiou ( 2012 ) reported that stability during motion, which was measured by variability in step length or width, depends on the general direction of progression. As a result, it is the anteroposterior direction that is primarily controlled during locomotion. Kuramatsu