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.
Per-Ludvik Kjendlie and Robert Keig Stallman
David P. Johns, Koenraad J. Lindner and Karen Wolko
Two components of Gould’s (1987) model for attrition in youth sport appear to lend themselves to sociological analysis and were adopted as theoretical concepts of social exchange theory (Homans, 1961). The constructs were tested and the role of injury was assessed through a questionnaire completed by 76 former female competitive club gymnasts and through semistructured interviews with 10 of these dropouts. Three major findings resulted, with only partial support for the model. The former gymnasts appeared to have a positive perception of their competence as athletes and indicated that the withdrawal had provided them with the desired time for the pursuit of other leisure activities such as hobbies, being with friends and, for the older dropouts, shopping. Injury, even though it was the second most frequent reason for withdrawal, was not seen as a primary cause. The subsumation of achievement and competence as components of social exchange theory provided a plausible framework for the interpretation of the data which demonstrated that the attraction of alternative status cultures was the strongest factor underlying withdrawal.
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.
Mark A. Eys, James Hardy, Albert V. Carron and Mark R. Beauchamp
The general purpose of the present study was to determine if perceptions of team cohesion are related to the interpretation athletes attach to their precompetition anxiety. Specifically examined was the association between athlete perceptions of task cohesiveness (Individual Attractions to the Group– Task, ATG-T, and Group Integration–Task, GI-T) and the degree to which perceptions of the intensity of precompetition anxiety symptoms (cognitive and somatic) were viewed as facilitative versus debilitative. Participants were athletes (N = 392) from the sports of soccer, rugby, and field hockey. Each athlete completed the Group Environment Questionnaire (Carron, Widmeyer, & Brawley, 1985) after a practice session. A directionally modified version of the Competitive State Anxiety Inventory-2 (Martens, Burton, Vealey, Bump, & Smith, 1990) was completed just prior to a competition. Results showed that athletes who perceived their cognitive anxiety as facilitative had higher perceptions of both ATG-T and GI-T, χ2 (2, N = 260) = 8.96, p < .05, than athletes who perceived their cognitive anxiety as debilitative. Also, athletes who perceived their somatic anxiety as facilitative had higher perceptions of GI-T, χ2 (2, N = 249) = 5.85, p < .05.
Raymond C.Z. Cohen, Paul W. Cleary, Simon M. Harrison, Bruce R. Mason and David L. Pease
The purpose of this study was to determine the pitching effects of buoyancy during all competitive swimming strokes—freestyle, backstroke, butterfly, and breaststroke. Laser body scans of national-level athletes and synchronized multiangle swimming footage were used in a novel markerless motion capture process to produce three-dimensional biomechanical models of the swimming athletes. The deforming surface meshes were then used to calculate swimmer center-of-mass (CoM) positions, center-of-buoyancy (CoB) positions, pitch buoyancy torques, and sagittal plane moments of inertia (MoI) throughout each stroke cycle. In all cases the mean buoyancy torque tended to raise the legs and lower the head; however, during part of the butterfly stroke the instantaneous buoyancy torque had the opposite effect. The swimming strokes that use opposing arm and leg strokes (freestyle and backstroke) had smaller variations in CoM positions, CoB positions, and buoyancy torques. Strokes with synchronized left-right arm and leg movement (butterfly and breaststroke) had larger variations in buoyancy torques, which impacts the swimmer’s ability to maintain a horizontal body pitch for these strokes. The methodology outlined in this paper enables the rotational effects of buoyancy to be better understood by swimmers, allowing better control of streamlined horizontal body positioning during swimming to improve performance.
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
Ben-El Berkovich, Alon Eliakim, Dan Nemet, Aliza Hannah Stark and Tali Sinai
Athletes competing in individual sports such as judo are categorized by weight. Before competitions, weight cutting is common. This cross-sectional study was designed to characterize and determine the prevalence of rapid weight loss (RWL) among adolescent judo competitors. Male athletes aged 12- to 17-years old (N = 108) were recruited from local judo teams. Each participant completed a validated questionnaire regarding RWL practices. Anthropometric measurements were also performed. Average age was 14.6 ± 1.6 years and all participants were of normal body mass index (BMI). RWL was practiced by 80% of the athletes before competition, beginning at an average age of 12.5 ± 2.2 years with the highest prevalence (~94%) in the oldest group of judoka (16–17.9 years). Precompetition weight loss duration was 8 ± 5.4 days, with an average weight reduction of 1.5 ± 1.1 kg. The number of weight loss efforts per athlete in the past season was 2.8 ± 2.2. RWL was achieved by increased physical activity (82.6%), skipped meals (56.3%), or fasting at least once (47%). Two-thirds of the athletes indicated that their coaches were the most influential figure in their decision to lose weight before competition. RWL is highly prevalent in adolescent judo competitors. The methods used by these athletes can potentially lead to significant health risks including compromised nutritional status, diminished physical performance and impaired growth and development. It is of great importance to insure that those who guide young adults in weight loss for competitive sports have the knowledge and understanding to make safe recommendations and appropriate decisions regarding achieving specific weight goals.
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.
Dana K. Voelker and Justine J. Reel
figure skating culture that socializes them to desire changing their body weight, shape, size, or appearance to meet performance expectations. In a qualitative interview study, female competitive skaters described immense pressure to meet narrow, often unattainable, and inflexible body ideals. These
Jason R. Karp
To describe and compare training characteristics of the 2004 U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials qualifiers.
All qualifiers (104 men, 151 women) received questionnaires. Ninety-three (37 men, 56 women) responded and were categorized as elite (men <2 hours 15 minutes, women <2 hours 40 minutes) or national class.
Men and women ran 75% and 68% of their weekly training distance, respectively, below marathon race pace. Men trained longer than women (12.2 ± 5.3 vs 8.8 ± 5.6 years), ran more often (8.7 ± 2.8 vs 7.1 ± 2.5 times/wk), and ran farther (145.3 ± 25.6 vs 116.0 ± 26.5 km/wk). Elite women ran more than national-class women (135.8 ± 31.5 vs 111.3 ± 23.3 km/wk). Distances run at specific intensities were similar between sexes. For men and women, respectively, 49% and 31% did not have a coach and 65% and 68% trained alone. Marathon performance correlated to 5-km, 10-km, and half-marathon performance and to years training, average and peak weekly distance, number of weekly runs, and number of runs ≥32 km for women.
Among U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials qualifiers, there is no consensus as to how to prepare for the marathon beyond running at a pace slower than race pace. Weekly training distance seems to influence women’s marathon performance more than it does men’s. Because many of these athletes train alone and without a coach, further research is warranted on the reasons that these athletes train the way they do.