. Traditionally, these assessments were commonly performed in laboratory settings using expensive and importable equipment such as isokinetic dynamometers. More recently, however, the isometric midthigh pull (IMTP) has become increasingly used as a strength profiling tool in elite sport settings, 16 , 17
Dean Norris, David Joyce, Jason Siegler, James Clock and Ric Lovell
Kitrina Douglas and David Carless
The dominant narrative within the literature on elite sport is characterised by a total focus on performance. Scholars in other areas have noted how although alternatives to the dominant narrative exist they are often silenced and fail to reach the public domain. Drawing on interviews with seven women professional tournament golfers, we explored the narratives women use to make sense of their experiences in elite sport. We present three narratives which illustrate the existence of alternatives to the dominant performance narrative among Europe’s most outstanding women golfers. Two alternatives are identified: a discovery narrative and a relational narrative. These findings suggest that diverse routes to success are possible in women’s professional sport. We discuss the educational and social implications of the alternative narratives in an effort to encourage discussion and debate among athletes, administrators, coaches, sports psychologists, and educators.
Karen P. DePauw
Physical activity and sport are integral aspects of the human life-cycle of girls and women including girls and women with disabilities. Girls and women with disabilities actively seek physical activity and have become increasingly more visible and active participants in sport opportunities ranging from organized physical activity programs to recreational pursuits and elite sport competitions. To date, the researchers have focused on the influence of sport (and physical activity) upon girls and women with disabilities, thereby leaving the influence of girls and women with disabilities on sport as a social institution as a new frontier for critical feminist analysis.
Transgender people are increasingly tolerated, and sometimes even actively celebrated, within contemporary Western popular culture. However, despite the broader political movement against gender-based discrimination, transgender people’s participation in élite sport remains contentious. Although American transgender professional tennis player Renee Richards drew attention to transgender athletes as early as the mid-1970s, even major sports organizations such as the International Olympic Committee (IOC) struggle to formulate fair and consistent gender policies. This article discusses the specific case of transgender players in men’s netball in New Zealand, a somewhat uniquely gendered sport, as a means of understanding emerging issues surrounding transgender athletes’ participation in sport more broadly.
Ina Garthe and Ronald J. Maughan
In elite sport, where opponents are evenly matched, small factors can determine the outcome of sporting contests. Not all athletes know the value of making wise nutrition choices, but anything that might give a competitive edge, including dietary supplements, can seem attractive. Between 40% and 100% of athletes typically use supplements, depending on the type of sport, level of competition, and the definition of supplements. However, unless the athlete has a nutrient deficiency, supplementation may not improve performance and may have a detrimental effect on both performance and health. Dietary supplements are classified as a subcategory of food, so manufacturers are not required to provide evidence of product safety and efficacy, nor obtain approval from regulatory bodies before marketing supplements. This creates the potential for health risks, and serious adverse effects have been reported from the use of some dietary supplements. Athletes who compete in sports under an anti-doping code must also realize that supplement use exposes them to a risk of ingesting banned substances or precursors of prohibited substances. Government systems of regulations do not include specific laboratory testing for banned substances according to the WADA list, so a separate regulatory framework to evaluate supplements for their risk of provoking a failed doping test is needed. In the high-performance culture typical of elite sport, athletes may use supplements regardless of possible risks. A discussion around medical, physiological, cultural, and ethical questions may be warranted to ensure that the athlete has the information needed to make an informed choice.
Robert J. Schinke, Alain P. Gauthier, Nicole G. Dubuc and Troy Crowder
The study of adaptation in elite sport delineates the adjustment strategies of amateur and professional athletes during career transitions (e.g., promotion, relocation). Fiske (2004) recently identified 5 core motives as the vehicles to adaptation: belonging, understanding, controlling, self-enhancement, and trusting. The goal was to verify and contextualize these core motives with 2 respondent groups of professional athletes from the National Hockey League. The groups consisted of those experiencing rookie adaptation and veteran adaptation. A total of 58 athletes were divided into groups representing the Canadian mainstream, Canadian Aboriginal culture, and Europe. There were 175 newspaper articles that were retrieved using online and library resources. The similarities and discrepancies in and across groups provides insight into this hard-to-reach population.
Liam A. Slack, Ian W. Maynard, Joanne Butt and Peter Olusoga
The present study evaluated the effectiveness of a Mental Toughness Education and Training Program (MTETP) in elite football officiating. The MTETP consisted of four individual and two group-based workshops designed to develop mental toughness (MT) and enhance performance in three English Football League (EFL) referees. Adopting a single-subject, multiple-baseline-across-participants design, MT and referee-assessor reports were evaluated. Self and coach-ratings of MT highlighted an instant and continued improvement in all three referees during the intervention phases. Performance reports of all referees improved throughout the intervention phases compared with the baseline phase. Social validation data indicated that an array of strategies within the MTETP facilitated MT development. Discussions acknowledge theoretical and practical implications relating to the continued progression of MT interventions in elite sport.
Michael Hutchison, Paul Comper, Lynda Mainwaring and Doug Richards
The baseline / postconcussion neuropsychological (NP) assessment model has been shown to be of clinical value and currently contributes significant information in sport concussion evaluation. Computerized NP batteries are now widely used in elite sport environments and are rapidly becoming more commonly utilized at the community level. With the growth of computerized NP testing, it is important to identify and understand unique characteristics with respect to baseline NP performance. The Automated Neuropsychological Assessment Metrics (ANAM) is a library of computerized NP tests designed to detect speed and accuracy of attention, memory, and thinking ability. This article describes baseline ANAM test scores in a sample of Canadian university athletes and explores the following two factors: (a) performance differences between male and female student-athletes using ANAM tests and (b) the relationship between self-reported history of concussion and baseline NP performance.
Lawrence R. Brawley, Albert V. Carron and W. Neil Widmeyer
Gross and Martin (1952), and Escovar and Sim (1974), proposed group resistance to disruption (GRD) as an alternative conception of cohesion, but the GRD/cohesion relationship has not been empirically examined. In Study 1, this relationship was examined using an extreme-groups design. It was a priori predicted that elite athletes perceiving high team cohesion would also perceive high GRD. The prediction was supported for three of four aspects of cohesion assessed by the Group Environment Questionnaire. Study 2 methodologically extended Study 1 and examined the GRD/cohesion relationship comparatively across physical activity groups. Elite sport, recreational sport, and fitness class groups were assessed. Participants extreme in GRD were predicted on the basis of their cohesion scores. Results indicated that the form and extent of the GRD/cohesion relationship was moderated by group type. In both studies, group task cohesion was positively related to GRD for all samples. The studies represent the first demonstration of this important but neglected relationship.
Louise M. Burke and David B. Pyne
Bicarbonate loading is a popular ergogenic aid used primarily by athletes in short-duration, high-intensity sporting events and competitions. Controlled experimental trials have shown that small (worthwhile) benefits can obtained from acute doses of bicarbonate taken before exercise. Gastrointestinal problems encountered by some athletes limit the widespread use of this practice, however. The transfer of positive research findings to the competitive environment has proved problematic for some individuals. More recent applications involve serial ingestion of bicarbonate over several days before competition or during high-intensity training sessions over a few weeks. A number of research questions need to be addressed to enhance applications of bicarbonate loading in the elite sport environment. This commentary examines some of research and practical issues of bicarbonate loading used to enhance both training and competitive performance.