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Stephen D. Mellalieu, Sheldon Hanton and Graham Jones

The purpose of this study was to extend the work of Jones and Hanton (2001) by examining differences in affective states of performers who reported facilitating or debilitating interpretations of symptoms associated with precompetitive anxiety. Competitive athletes (N = 229) completed state and trait versions of the CSAI-2 (Martens, Burton, Vealey, Bump, & Smith, 1990), including intensity and direction subscales (Jones & Swain, 1992) and an exploratory measure of precompetitive affective responses in preparation and competition. “Facilitators” reported significantly greater positive labeling of affective experiences than “debilitators,” while cognitive interpretations of symptoms were reported to change with regard to preparation for and actual performance. The findings further support the need to examine the labeling and measurement of precompetitive affective states.

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Christine M. Salinas, Frank M. Webbe and Trent T. Devore

We administered neurocognitive batteries to 49 youth soccer athletes (9–15 yr), who were selected from competitive soccer teams in Central Florida. We collected observational data on soccer heading, self-reported soccer heading, as well as demographics, including school, medical, and soccer history. Both the frequency and intensity of heading the ball in soccer was low in comparison with adolescents and adults. In our sample, the vast majority of soccer headings were of low to moderate intensity and direct (i.e., the incoming flight of the ball was perpendicular to the forehead). Age significantly correlated with frequent heading. Parents were reliable observers of their children’s soccer heading behavior and other at-risk behaviors during games. The majority of soccer headings were direct rather than flicks. Almost half of our participants reported headache and one-fourth reported dizziness after instances of heading the ball. Frequency of soccer heading was not related to neuropsychological score data.

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Benjamin James and David Collins

A qualitative investigation was conducted to identify sources of stress and the self-presentational mechanism that may underpin them during competition. Twenty athletes described factors they perceived as stressful during competition. Content analysis revealed eight general sources of stress, including significant others, competitive anxiety and doubts, perceived readiness, and the nature of the competition (e.g., importance). Two thirds (67.3%) of all stress sources appeared to heighten the athletes’ need to present themselves in a favorable way to the audience. Factors that increased perceived likelihood of poor personal performance lowered the athletes’ ability to convey a desired image to their audience. Social evaluation and self-presentation was also identified as a general source of stress in its own right. These findings suggest that (a) these athletes were sensitive about the impressions people form of them during competition, and (b) stress responses maybe triggered by factors that primarily influence the self-presentational implications of performance.

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Janet L. Starkes and Fran Allard

Volleyball players and nonplayers were compared for speed and accuracy of performance in a task involving detection of the presence of a volleyball in rapidly presented slides of a volleyball situation. Slides depicted both game and nongame situations, and subjects performed the task in both noncompetitive and competitive conditions. For all subjects, game information was perceived more quickly and accurately than nongame information. In competition all subjects showed decreased perceptual accuracy and no change in criterion, supporting the Easterbrook (1959) notion of perceptual narrowing with stress. Very large accompanying increases in response speed, however, suggested that competition may induce adoption of a particular speed-accuracy trade-off. Cognitive flexibility in the adoption of particular speed-accuracy trade-offs is discussed with reference to volleyball.

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Ronald J. Maughan, Phillip Watson, Gethin H. Evans, Nicholas Broad and Susan M. Shirreffs

Fluid balance and sweat electrolyte losses were measured in the players and substitutes engaged in an English Premier League Reserve competitive football match played at an ambient temperature of 6–8 °C (relative humidity 50–60%). Intake of water and/or sports drink and urine output were recorded, and sweat composition was estimated from absorbent swabs applied to 4 skin sites for the duration of the game. Body mass was recorded before and after the game. Data were obtained for 22 players (age 21 y, height 180 cm, mass 78 kg) and 9 substitutes (17 y, 181 cm, 72 kg). All were male. Two of the players were dismissed during the game, and none of the substitutes played any part in the game. Mean ± SD sweat loss of players amounted to 1.68 ± 0.40 L, and mean fluid intake was 0.84 ± 0.47 L (n = 20), with no difference between teams. Corresponding values for substitutes, none of whom played in the match, were 0.40 ± 0.24 L and 0.78 ± 0.46 L (n = 9). Prematch urine osmolality was 678 ± 344 mOsm/kg: 11 of the 31 players provided samples with an osmolality of more than 900 mOsm/kg. Sweat sodium concentration was 62 ± 13 mmol/L, and total sweat sodium loss during the game was 2.4 ± 0.8 g. These descriptive data show a large individual variability in hydration status, sweat losses, and drinking behaviors in a competitive football match played in a cool environment, highlighting the need for individualized assessment of hydration status to optimize fluid-replacement strategies.

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Martin M. Perline and G. Clayton Stoldt

The purpose of this paper was to measure the change in competitive balance for women’s basketball as a conference merges and changes its membership. Specifically, we surveyed the changes in competitive balance as the Gateway Collegiate Athletic Conference was merged into the Missouri Valley Conference (MVC). While competitive balance may not have been the primary reason for the merger, it tended to increase fan interest and was, therefore, considered desirable by member institutions. Three measures of competitive balance were used, producing mixed results. However, there was arguably a more competitive balance after the merger, because there tended to be more predictably perennial winners and losers in the Gateway than the MVC.

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Ashley M. Duguay, Todd M. Loughead and James M. Cook

) in four competitive female youth soccer teams. In line with the two gaps discussed in our overview of the athlete-leadership literature, we forwarded two hypotheses. First, while we expected each team’s athlete-leadership network to reflect a shared process, we hypothesized that their degree of

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Per-Ludvik Kjendlie and Robert Keig Stallman

The aims of this study were to compare drag in swimming children and adults, quantify technique using the technique drag index (TDI), and use the Froude number (Fr) to study whether children or adults reach hull speed at maximal velocity (v max). Active and passive drag was measured by the perturbation method and a velocity decay method, respectively, including 9 children aged 11.7 ± 0.8 and 13 adults aged 21.4 ± 3.7. The children had significantly lower active (k AD) and passive drag factor (k PD) compared with the adults. TDI (k AD/k PD) could not detect any differences in swimming technique between the two groups, owing to the adults swimming maximally at a higher Fr, increasing the wave drag component, and masking the effect of better technique. The children were found not to reach hull speed at v max, and their Fr were 0.37 ± 0.01 vs. the adults 0.42 ± 0.01, indicating adults’ larger wave-making component of resistance at v max compared with children. Fr is proposed as an evaluation tool for competitive swimmers.

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Christopher D. Lantz, Deborah J. Rhea and Karin Mesnier

This study examined the relationships among eating attitudes, exercise identity, and body alienation in ultramarathoners. Eighty-seven competitive ultramarathoners (73 males, 14 females) completed the Eating Attitudes Test–26, Exercise Identity Scale, and Body Alienation Scale as part of their pre-race registration. Correlation coefficients revealed that eating attitudes were positively related to exercise identity (R = 0.31) and injury tolerance (R = 0.43), and that exercise identity was positively related to injury tolerance (R = 0.33). MANOVA further indicated that subjects with high exercise identity reported more eating disorder behaviors [F(2, 80) = 7.73, P < 0.001 J and higher injury tolerance [F (2, 80) = 3.69, P < 0.05] than persons with low exercise identity. Female ultramarathoners scoring high on exercise identity were more likely to report aberrant eating behaviors [F (2, 80) = 3.39, P < 0.05J and higher training intensity levels [F (2, 80) = 3.91, p < 0.02J than were average males and the low- or moderate-exercise identifying females.

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Jeffrey K. H. Vallance, John G. H. Dunn and Janice L. Causgrove Dunn

This study examined the degree to which male youth ice hockey playersʼ (N = 229, M age = 14.15 years; SD = 1.03) perfectionist orientations were associated with anger vulnerability in competition. Perfectionism and trait anger were measured as domain-specific constructs. Athletes were also asked to speculate on the likely intensity of anger responses if they were to commit mistakes in high- and low-criticality situations in competition. Canonical correlation results indicated that heightened perfectionist orientations were associated with heightened competitive trait anger. Cluster analyses produced three clusters of athletes who possessed either low, moderate, or high levels of perfectionism. Significant between-cluster differences on anger responses to mistakes were obtained, with highly perfectionistic athletes anticipating significantly higher levels of anger following mistakes than low and moderately perfectionistic athletes. A significant situation-criticality main effect was also observed, with athletes anticipating higher levels of anger following personal mistakes in high- as opposed to low-criticality situations. Results are discussed within the context of cognitive motivational theories of emotion.