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Mathew Yao, Izabella Ludwa, Lauren Corbett, Panagiota Klentrou, Peter Bonsu, Kimberley Gammage and Bareket Falk

Bone properties, reflected by speed of sound (SOS), and physical activity levels were examined in overweight (OW) girls (n = 19) and adolescents (n = 22), in comparison with normal-weight (NW) girls (n = 21) and adolescents (n = 13). Moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA) was higher in NW than in OW in both age groups. Tibial SOS was lower in OW compared with NW in both age groups. MVPA correlated with tibial SOS, once age was partialed out. The results suggest that overweight girls and adolescents are characterized by low tibial SOS, which may be partially attributed to lower physical activity levels.

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Roberta E. Rikli and C. Jessie Jones

This article describes a nationwide study conducted to develop normative performance data for community-residing older adults. The physical parameters assessed are strength, aerobic endurance, flexibility, and agility/balance. Body mass index was also assessed as an estimate of body composition. The sample comprised 7,183 participants from 267 sites in 21 states. Summary data (M, SD, and percentiles) are reported separately for men and women in 5-year age groups. Results reveal a pattern of decline across most age groups on all variables. ANOVA and post hoc comparisons indicated a significant main effect for age on all variables and that most 5-year age-group declines were significant (p < .007). ANOVAs also revealed a significant main effect for gender on all test items (p < .0001): Men scored better on strength, aerobic endurance, and agility/balance; women scored better on flexibility. The data provide information about normal variations within and usual rates of change across age groups, and they provide a database for subsequent evaluation of individual and group performance.

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Charlotte Sanguinetti, Amelia M. Lee and Jack Nelson

The purposes of this study were to determine the stability of estimations of success in masculine, feminine, and gender-neutral motor tasks with subjects of three age groups, and to compare expectancies for success of boys and girls at each of the ages. A total of 90 subjects took part in the study, including 15 males and 15 females randomly selected from the three age groups (grades 1 & 2; grades 6 & 7; and adults). Three activities (football, ballet, and swimming) had been sex-typed in a previous study as masculine, feminine, and neutral, respectively. Subjects were asked to indicate how they would expect to perform on three occasions in all three tasks. Results indicated that all age groups can provide reliable expectations for their success in motor skill acquisition, although the younger children's estimates are slightly less reliable, especially on the first trial. Sex-typing of activities was found to definitely affect the performance estimations in all three age groups. Males' expectancies were higher on the male task and females' expectancies were higher on the female task. The younger children's overall estimates of success were higher than those of the older groups.

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Jason D. Vescovi

The aim of this study was to examine the impact of maximum sprint speed on peak and mean sprint speed during youth female field hockey matches. Two high-level female field hockey teams (U-17, n = 24, and U-21, n = 20) were monitored during a 4-game international test series using global position system technology and tested for maximum sprint speed. Dependent variables were compared using a 3-factor ANOVA (age group, position, and speed classification); effect sizes (Cohen d) and confidence limits were also calculated. Maximum sprint speed was similar between age groups and positions, with faster players having greater speed than slower players (29.3 ± 0.4 vs 27.2 ± 1.1 km/h). Overall, peak match speed in youth female field hockey players reaches approximately 90% of maximum sprint speed. Absolute peak match speed and mean sprint speed during matches were similar among the age groups (except match 1) and positions (except match 2); however, peak match speed was greater for faster players in matches 3 and 4. No differences were observed in the relative proportion for mean sprint speeds for age groups or positions, but slower players consistently displayed similar relative mean sprint speeds by using a greater proportion of their maximum sprint speed.

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Paulo V. Mezzaroba, Marcelo Papoti and Fabiana A. Machado

This study aimed to examine the influence of age and degree of maturity on the comparison and relationship between lactate minimum intensity (LM) and critical speed (CS) throughout childhood and adolescence in swimmers. Forty-six male swimmers aged between 10 and 18 years were divided into three age groups according to pubertal stages and training status. Maximal efforts of 100 and 400 m and the LM protocol with 200 m performances were executed. CS was determined with a 3-distances combination (100, 200, and 400 m). One-way and mixed analysis of variance for repeated measures, Bland-Altman, Pearson correlation, percentage difference, and effect size were used to compare and examine the relationship between variables in each age group. The results revealed that LM and CS had differences in comparison with one another throughout childhood and adolescence in swimmers, because CS clearly underestimated LM in the 10 to 12.6-year age group, while overestimating it in the 15.4 to 18-year age group of swimmers. Thus, coaches and swimmers must be aware of the age-dependency of CS for indices of aerobic endurance measurements in the initial ages of systematized swimming training.

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James Curtis, Philip White and Barry McPherson

This study reports on age-group differences in leisure-time sport and physical activity involvement among a large sample of Canadians interviewed at 2 points during the 1980s. Comparisons are made for 5 age cohorts, for men and women, and without and with multivariate controls. The results contradict the usual finding of an inverse relationship between age and level of physical activity. On measures of (a) activity necessary to produce health benefits and (b) energy expenditure. Canadians over 65 were as active as, or more active than, their younger counterparts, and their activities did not decline over the 7 years between interviews. The extent of change varied by age and across women and men. Among women, increases in involvement were greatest in the middle-aged. Among men, the greatest increase was in the oldest age groups. For both genders, the youngest age cohort showed the smallest change over time, and there was evidence of slight declines in activity levels among young men.

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Michael J. Axe, Thomas C. Windley and Lynn Snyder-Mackler

Objective:

To design interval throwing programs for baseball players other than pitchers from 13 years of age to the college level.

Design:

The authors recorded throws to base, distance of throws, and perceived effort of throws at 4 levels of play. For catchers they also recorded number of throws to the pitcher, number of sprints to first or third base, and time in the squat stance. From these data they designed throwing programs specific to outfielders, infielders, and catchers.

Results:

No significant difference was found between the number of throws and distance of throws for infielders and catchers across all age groups. The mean distance of throws differed significantly between 13-year-olds and all other levels of play.

Conclusion:

The authors devised 1 program for infielders and catchers of all age groups, 1 program for 13-year-old outfielders, and 1 for all other levels.

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Stefan Wagnsson, Magnus Lindwall and Henrik Gustafsson

The purpose of the study was to test longitudinal (2 years across three occasions) associations between sport participation (SP) and self-esteem (SE) across adolescence (10–18 years), addressing the mediating role of perceived sport competence (PSC) from a developmental perspective. Three waves of data were collected from three age cohorts (10–12, 13–15, and 16–18 years) of school-aged youth (N = 1358). The results demonstrate that SP and SE are related across time and that PSC has an important mediating role in this relationship, both from a skill development and a self-enhancement perspective. In the skill development model, the mediating role of PSC was significantly stronger in the youngest cohort whereas the effect of PSC on subsequent SP in the self-enhancement model was significantly stronger in the 13–15 age group compared with the youngest age group.

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Karen Haddad and Patsy Tremayne

The present study investigated the effectiveness of a centering breath on the free throw shooting percentage of young athletes age 10–11 years. A convenience sample was used involving young representative basketball players (juniors who were trialed, selected, and identified as the most talented basketball players in their age group). They consisted of 2 females and 3 males (M = 10 years and 7 months, SD = 6months), from a basketball stadium located in Sydney, Australia. The participants trained at least twice a week and played representative games against other metropolitan associations on the weekends. A single subject multiple-baseline design was used, and through the use of visual inspection the centering breath was shown to be a useful tool for improving all participants’ performance to varying degrees. The findings indicate that it may be advantageous to explore the effectiveness of centering or other psychological skills in a variety of sport skills (closed versus open), and for children of different age groups.

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Bettina Bringolf-Isler, Urs Mäder, Nicole Ruch, Susi Kriemler, Leticia Grize and Charlotte Braun-Fahrländer

Accurately measuring children’s physical activity and their sedentary behavior is challenging. The present study compared 189 parental responses to a questionnaire surveying physical activity and sedentary behavior of children aged 6–14 years, to accelerometer outputs and time activity diaries for the same group. Responses were analyzed taking age, sex and maternal education into account. Correlation coefficients between questionnaire reports and accelerometer-based physical activity across all age groups were acceptable (up to r = .55). Yet, adjustment for age markedly attenuated these associations, suggesting concomitant influences of biological and behavioral processes linked to age. The comparisons of general time indications in the questionnaire with 24h-diary records suggested that parents tended to under- and over-report single activities, possibly due to social desirability. We conclude that physical activity questionnaires need to be designed for specific age groups and be administered in combination with objective measurements.