In a recent article, Harwood, Hardy, and Swain (2000) presented what they termed a critical analysis of the conceptualization and measurement of achievement goals in sport. The purpose of the present article is to challenge their interpretation of achievement goal theory and to question many of their subsequent recommendations. Specifically, the present response will focus on Harwood et al.’s (a) interpretation of Nicholls’ personal theories of achievement; (b) their contention that task involvement cannot exist in competitive sport; (c) the proposed tripartite conceptualization of goal involvement states; (d) their understanding of the relationship between the way an individual conceptualizes ability and the foundation of dispositional goal orientations; and (e) their criticisms of the way dispositional goal orientations have been measured in sport. Theoretical frameworks are always a work in progress. To this end, we concur with the spirit of Harwood et al.’s article which implies that our conceptual models should be continuously questioned, tested, and extended. However, we believe their interpretation and recommendations do little to enhance our conceptual understanding of achievement goal theory in sport.
Darren C. Treasure, Joan L. Duda, Howard K. Hall, Glyn C. Roberts, Carol Ames and Martin L. Maehr
Eric Emmanuel Coris, Stephen Walz, Jeff Konin and Michele Pescasio
Heat illness is the third leading cause of death in athletics and a leading cause of morbidity and mortality in exercising athletes. Once faced with a case of heat related illness, severe or mild, the health care professional is often faced with the question of when to reactivate the athlete for competitive sport. Resuming activity without modifying risk factors could lead to recurrence of heat related illness of similar or greater severity. Also, having had heat illness in and of itself may be a risk factor for future heat related illness. The decision to return the athlete and the process of risk reduction is complex and requires input from all of the components of the team. Involving the entire sports medicine team often allows for the safest, most successful return to play strategy. Care must be taken once the athlete does begin to return to activity to allow for re-acclimatization to exercise in the heat prior to resumption particularly following a long convalescent period after more severe heat related illness.
A. Craig Fisher and Elizabeth F. Zwart
Athletes' self-reported perceptions of and responses to anxiety-eliciting situations were probed for the purposes of describing athletes' anxiety profiles. Intrapersonal variables were used to explain the individual differences evident in the data. College male basketball athletes (N = 40) were administered the following four paper-and-pencil inventories: S-R inventory of anxiousness in basketball, similarity of basketball situations, Sport Competition Anxiety Test (competitive trait anxiety), and personal assessment questionnaire (perceived success and ability). Anxiety factors (outcome uncertainty, outcome certainty, ego threat) were deciphered through principal components analysis. Athletes' anxiety responses varied partially with their perceptions of the situations, congruent with the tenets of the interactional model of behavior. Through individual differences analysis, athletes' anxiety responses across all basketball situations were labeled ego threat, outcome certainty/uncertainty, and anticipation. In a multivariate sense, intrapersonal variables (perceived success and ability, and competitive trait anxiety) accounted for 47% of the anxiety response variance. Outcome and efficacy expectations bear direct relevance to the comprehension of competitive sport anxiety.
Barbara A. Brown
The high attrition rates observed among young athletes, particularly adolescents, have been attributed to and studied primarily as outcomes of negative aspects of the organization and administration of competitive youth sport. The present study extends this research by examining withdrawal from competitive sport roles in the broader context of the role constellation and lifestyle of adolescent girls. A conceptual framework was developed to examine the process of withdrawal from the role of competitive age group swimmer. It was hypothesized that withdrawal is influenced by six categories of factors: (a) the salience of gender-role stereotypes; (b) the diversity and salience of the opportunity set; (c) the degree of social support from significant others for the sport role; (d) the extent to which the athlete role is perceived as central to personal identity; (e) the extent to which positive and negative outcomes are associated with sport involvement; and (f) the degree of commitment to the athlete role. Survey data were collected from 211 former swimmers and 193 currently involved age group swimmers in Ontario, Canada. It was concluded that a combination of factors from a variety of sources interact to influence the role transition.
Aditi Mankad, Sandy Gordon and Karen Wallman
Psychological trauma associated with long-term injury can cause athletes to experience intense stress-like symptoms and considerable negative affect (e.g., Tracey, 2003; Udry, 1997). Due to the nature of competitive sport, however, it is thought that injured athletes inhibit these emotions to the detriment of their physical health. The present study examined Pennebaker’s (1989) emotional disclosure paradigm within a sporting context. It was hypothesized that writing about a traumatic injury would reduce athletes’ mood disturbance and stress during rehabilitation. Further, it was believed that these changes would correspond with an increase in immune expression from pre- to postintervention. Elite injured athletes (N = 9) rehabilitating from anterior cruciate ligament surgery participated in the 3-day writing intervention, consisting of 3 X 20 min writing sessions, during which athletes disclosed negative emotions associated with their injury and rehabilitation experiences. Measures were taken at six time-points (T1-T6), with pre- and postintervention phases lasting for 4 weeks each. Measures consisted of psychological stress (intrusion and avoidance), total mood disturbance, and relative cell-counts/µL for circulating T-cells (CD4/8) and NK cells (CD16/56). Repeated-measures ANOVAs showed a signifcant main effect of time for intrusion, F(5, 70) = 5.83, p =.001, η2 = .29 and avoidance, F(5, 70) = 5.73, p =.002, η2 = 0.29 subscales; mood disturbance, F(5, 70) = 3.71, p= 0.005, η2 = 0.21; and CD4+, F(5, 65) = 2.39, p= 0.048, η2 = .16. Subsequent linear contrasts provided further evidence of significant prepost differences among the stress, mood state, and immune variables. These results suggest that the written disclosure intervention has potential psycho-immunological benefits for athletes rehabilitating from long-term injury.
James S. Hogg, James G. Hopker and Alexis R. Mauger
The novel self-paced maximal-oxygen-uptake (VO2max) test (SPV) may be a more suitable alternative to traditional maximal tests for elite athletes due to the ability to self-regulate pace. This study aimed to examine whether the SPV can be administered on a motorized treadmill.
Fourteen highly trained male distance runners performed a standard graded exercise test (GXT), an incline-based SPV (SPVincline), and a speed-based SPV (SPVspeed). The GXT included a plateau-verification stage. Both SPV protocols included 5 × 2-min stages (and a plateau-verification stage) and allowed for self-pacing based on fixed increments of rating of perceived exertion: 11, 13, 15, 17, and 20. The participants varied their speed and incline on the treadmill by moving between different marked zones in which the tester would then adjust the intensity.
There was no significant difference (P = .319, ES = 0.21) in the VO2max achieved in the SPVspeed (67.6 ± 3.6 mL · kg−1 · min−1, 95%CI = 65.6–69.7 mL · kg−1 · min−1) compared with that achieved in the GXT (68.6 ± 6.0 mL · kg−1 · min−1, 95%CI = 65.1–72.1 mL · kg−1 · min−1). Participants achieved a significantly higher VO2max in the SPVincline (70.6 ± 4.3 mL · kg−1 · min−1, 95%CI = 68.1–73.0 mL · kg−1 · min−1) than in either the GXT (P = .027, ES = 0.39) or SPVspeed (P = .001, ES = 0.76).
The SPVspeed protocol produces VO2max values similar to those obtained in the GXT and may represent a more appropriate and athlete-friendly test that is more oriented toward the variable speed found in competitive sport.
Kevin McCurdy and John Walker
Context: Within each hamstring muscle, there are segments with separate nerve innervation. However, a better understanding of activation levels within these regions during resistance exercise could lead to region-specific training for improved performance and injury prevention. Objective: To compare muscle activation levels within regions of the hamstrings during various resistance exercises. Design: Within-subjects repeated measures. Setting: Biomechanics laboratory. Participants: Eighteen young adult females with previous competitive sport participation and resistance training experience. Intervention: One set of 3 repetitions with an 8RM load on the bilateral squat, modified single-leg squat, stiff-legged dead lift, and leg curl (LC). Main Outcome Measures: Normalized surface electromyography of 4 hamstring regions (proximal-medial, proximal-lateral, distal-medial, and distal-lateral). Results: For LC only, electromyography measures for the proximal-lateral location were significantly lower than for the distal-lateral, t 18 = 5.6, P < .001, and proximal-medial, t 18 = 2.4, P = .01 locations for concentric contractions. Similar results were observed for eccentric contractions. No other exercises revealed regional activation differences. When comparing the pooled proximal (medial and lateral) region across exercises, the LC demonstrated significantly greater activation than the modified single-leg squat, t 18 = 5.20, P < .001, stiff-legged dead lift, t 18 = 7.311, P < .001, and bilateral squat, F 3,54 = 49.8, P < .001. Similar significantly greater levels were also found during the LC for the pooled distal, medial, and lateral regions. In addition, the modified single-leg squat electromyography was significantly greater at all regions in comparison with the stiff-legged dead lift and bilateral squat. Conclusions: The data did not reveal consistent regional differences within the different exercises included in this study. However, the data indicate that the LC produces the highest hamstring activation in all regions across exercises. Inclusion of single-joint knee-flexion exercises would appear to be most beneficial for hamstrings development in a resistance-training program.
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