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Fernando Santos, Nuno Corte-Real, Leonor Regueiras, Leisha Strachan, Cláudia Dias and António Fonseca

Over the last decades positive development (PD) has served as a framework for several investigations within the sport science community. In fact, multiple researchers have analyzed youth coaches’ role in PD. However, there is recent interest in exploring high performance coaching due to the complexity of the coaching practice, the different developmental needs presented by players, and the relevance of PD within this particular environment. The purpose of this study was to understand the perspectives of Portuguese football coaches about the importance of PD in high performance coaching. The participants in the study were ten male Portuguese football coaches who trained athletes between the ages of 16 and 39 years of age. Findings showed that coaches viewed winning and on field performance as top priorities in their coaching philosophy, but recognized the importance of PD. Coaches also envisioned the determinant role youth coaches have in this domain. Coaches conceptualized PD as an overarching framework that could be used across the developmental spectrum to convey a range of PD outcomes in high performance contexts such as teamwork, respect for others and transfer to other life domains. Moving forward, coach education courses should help coaches develop strategies to foster PD.

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Rachel Gurvitch, Bonnie Tjeerdsma Blankenship, Michael W. Metzler and Jacalyn L. Lund

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Kevin S. Spink

This study examined the effects of a cognitive strategy (dissociation) and an analgesic suggestion on the duration and pain ratings of individuals performing a muscular endurance task. Thirty-six individuals were randomly assigned to one of three experimental groups: dissociation group, dissociation/analgesic group, and a control group. Measures of leg-holding times and subjective pain ratings were obtained twice, once before the treatment and once after the treatment. Results indicated that individuals in the dissociation/analgesic group performed significantly better on the posttest than individuals in the dissociation and control groups. No significant differences in reported pain ratings were found between any of the three groups. The findings are discussed in terms of alternative explanations. Future research directions are also provided.

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Yael Netz, Esther Argov and Omri Inbar

A recent study indicated that acute aerobic exercise improves cognitive flexibility in adults. The current study assessed age, habitual physical activity, and physical fitness as moderators of this improvement and examined whether the gains still exist an hour after the exercise session. The alternative-uses test, assessing cognitive flexibility, was administered individually to 20 older (age 63.67 ± 3.55 yr) and 19 young (age 23.9 ± 1.22) women before, immediately after, and an hour after a single moderate aerobic-exercise session. Results indicated significant improvement in cognitive flexibility in the older group immediately after the exercise but a decrease at the 1-hr follow-up. Further analysis indicated that physical fitness accounted for this improvement (R = –.622, p < .01). No such differences were observed in the young group. Further studies are needed to examine the duration of this effect, as well as the role of physical fitness as a moderator of it.

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Shu-Shih Hsieh, Yu-Kai Chang, Chin-Lung Fang and Tsung-Min Hung

The current study examined the effects of acute resistance exercise (RE) on adult males’ attention control. Eighteen younger males (23.9 ± 2.3 years) and 17 older males (66.4 ± 1.2 years) were recruited. Participants underwent a RE session and a reading session in a counterbalanced order. RE protocol required individuals to perform two sets of 10 repetitions of eight exercises using weights set at 70% of 10-repetition maximum. Attention control was assessed by go/no-go SART with intraindividual variability in reaction times (IIV in RT), in addition to reaction time and accuracy, employed as measures of attention control. Results indicated that IIV in RT was smaller following RE sessions than after reading sessions for both age groups. In addition, RTs were shorter after the exercise session. These findings suggest that RE enhances attention control in adult males and that the size of this effect is not moderated by age.

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Steffen Willwacher, Manuel König, Wolfgang Potthast and Gert-Peter Brüggemann

Longitudinal midsole bending stiffness and elasticity are two critical features in the construction of running shoes. Stiff elastic materials (eg, carbon fiber) can be used to alter the midsole bending behavior. The purpose of this study was to investigate the effects of midsole stiffness and elasticity manipulation on metatarsophalangeal (MTP) joint mechanics during running in 19 male subjects at 3.5 m/s. Midsole bending stiffness and elasticity were modified by means of carbon fiber insoles of varying thickness. Stiffening the shoe structures around the MTP joint caused a shift of the point of force application toward the front edge of the shoe-ground interface. Negative work was significantly reduced for the stiffest shoe condition and at the same time a significant increase of positive work at the MTP joint was found. It seems plausible that the increase in positive work originates from the reutilization of elastic energy that was stored inside the passive elastic structures of the shoe and toe flexing muscle tendon units. Further, an increase in midsole longitudinal bending stiffness seems to alter the working conditions and mechanical power generation capacities of the MTP plantar flexing muscle tendon units by changing ground reaction force leverage and MTP angular velocity.

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Viviane Kostrubiec, Régis Soppelsa, Jean-Michel Albaret and Pier-Giorgio Zanone

This study investigates how motor coordination undergoes the passage from a discrete to a continuous movement régime. Participants repeated concatenated discrete movements with each hand such that one hand was lagging the other by a quarter of a cycle (i.e., with a 90° phase difference). As movement frequency increased, the tendency to persist in this relative phase competed with a progressive effect of the interlimb coupling favoring 0° and 180°. In 61% of the participants, a switch from a discrete to a continuous motion régime was accompanied by a shift toward the 0° or 180°. The 0° was more often favored than 180°. The remaining participants sustained a relative phase close to 90° even at the highest movement frequency and proved to be more accurate at the initial lowest frequency. These findings indicate that a priming effect may circumvent the tendency to produce preferred patterns and favor the production of nonpreferred patterns and that initial individual differences affect how motor coordination evolves with changing constraints.

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Darian T. Cheng, Gerome A. Manson, Andrew Kennedy and Luc Tremblay

Cheng et al. (2008) showed that when goal-directed reaching movements are performed with a 2.5 s inter-trial interval (ITI) under a randomized visual feedback schedule, individuals use online visual information on trial n to perform efficient online corrections on trial n + 1 (i.e., “reminiscence” effect). These results persisted even when participants were given knowledge of the up-coming vision condition. In this study, the ITI was extended to 5 s in an attempt to negate any effects of the preceding trial. Results from this study revealed that trials with vision were always more accurate than trials performed without vision, suggesting that individuals relied significantly on online information. Furthermore, aiming precision improved when participants knew the vision condition before each trial. It is thus suggested that the reminiscence effects are not longer evident with a 5 s ITI, which in turn allows prior knowledge of visual feedback to influence the use of online vision.

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N. Genthon and P. Rougier

This study was aimed at assessing the possible relationship between upright and sitting postures in healthy adults. The center of pressure trajectories from the force platform on which the subjects stood or sat were analyzed through a frequency analysis and modeled through the fractional Brownian motion framework. The same type of control process was involved during sitting and upright posture maintenance. Both upright and sitting posture would be controlled by the same mechanical law and/or by the same type of central process. Conversely, these two postures presented different characteristics and a relative independence. Both postures displayed specific biomechanical constraints and involved specific effectors, in particular along the anterior-posterior axis. Thus, performances in these two postures are completely independent in the anterior-posterior axis, whereas they are slightly linked in the medio-lateral axis. Improved trunk functions to improve postural stability have an interest solely to improve lateral stabilization.

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Christy Hancock, Bethany Hansberger, Rick Loutsch, Eric Stanford, Ali Zeigel, Robert Bonser, Russell Baker, Scott Cheatham, James May and Alan M. Nasypany