This article analyzes government and quasigovernmental agencies’ use of “planning dictates” in relationships with national sporting organizations (NSOs) in Canada and national governing bodies (NGBs) of sport in the United Kingdom (UK). Attention is drawn to the asymmetries of power contouring elite sport policy developments in both countries that, though unobservable in an empirical sense, nonetheless warrant investigation. The analysis draws on semistructured, in-depth interviews with key personnel in three Canadian NSOs and three UK NGBs in swimming, athletics, and sailing; senior officials at Sport Canada and UK Sport; and sport-policy analysts and academics. Although Canadian NSOs have been subject to such planning dictates for the past 20 to 30 years, the requirement for UK NGBs to comply in this way have only emerged since the mid-1990s. Accordingly, the article concludes with suggestions for further research in the UK.
Derek A. Swain
The present study involved three in-depth interviews with 10 informants who had voluntarily withdrawn from hockey, horse racing, football, and racquet-ball. The personal histories of the informants were examined for diversity and commonality of experience. A synthesized description of career change experience was written as a general story, identifying a sequence of experiential units that reflect the shifts in focus within the common experience. The general story indicated that withdrawal from sport was not simply an event but a process that began soon after the athletes became engaged in their career. This study supports and extends a model proposed by Schlossberg (1984) which attempts to account for diversity in the experience of transitions. The model is considered helpful in developing an understanding of the process of a transitional experience such as retirement from sport, considering the context in which the experience takes place, the meaning it has for the individual, and how it changes over time.
Sara B. Flory and Nate McCaughtry
The purpose of this study was to examine how three PE teachers’ personal biographies before their formal teacher education programs influenced their early careers in urban schools. Using occupational socialization theory and cultural relevance theory, we conducted in-depth interviews and observed early career physical education teachers who did not grow up in urban communities for approximately six weeks each. Data were analyzed using constant comparison. Two major themes emerged as influential in the teachers’ successes and struggles in urban schools, including their exposure to diversity, and family views of culture. These findings suggest that the pre-professional socialization experiences of teachers also include the development of cultural templates, biases, and values, and that many teachers may not accurately or critically reflect on their teaching practices. Further research should examine how PETE programs prepare middle-class teacher candidates for diverse schools.
Kim C. Graber, Amelia Mays Woods and Jamie A. O’Connor
In 2004, Congress passed the Child Nutrition and WIC Reauthorization Act that requires schools to implement a wellness plan. Grounded in Ecological Systems Theory (EST) (Bronfenbrenner, 1977, 1979), the purpose of this study was to explore the impact of the legislation, discover what measures have been taken to enact the legislation, gauge how the legislation has impacted the work environment of physical educators, and better understand EST in relation to the legislation at the level of the microsystem. In total, 51 individuals participated in in-depth interviews that were triangulated and inductively/deductively coded. The results indicate that (a) principals and physical education teachers had limited knowledge of the plan, (b) school nutrition programs profited more than physical education, (c) physical education is becoming less marginalized, (d) physical education teachers missed an opportunity to use the legislation for program improvement, and (e) individuals at different levels of the system need to interact.
Jean Côté and John H. Salmela
The purpose of this study was to report the knowledge used by expert high-performance gymnastic coaches in the organization of training and competition. In-depth interviews were conducted with 9 coaches who worked with male gymnasts and 8 coaches who worked with female gymnasts. Qualitative analyses showed that coaches of males and coaches of females planned training similarly, except that coaches of females appeared to emphasize esthetic and nutritional issues to a greater extent. Coaches of males revealed more concerns about the organization of gymnasts’ physical conditioning. Analysis indicated that expert gymnastic coaches of males and females are constantly involved in dynamic social interactions with gymnasts, parents, and assistant coaches. Many areas of coaches’ organizational work, such as dealing with the athletes’ personal concerns and working with parents, are not part of the structure of coaches’ training programs and emerged as crucial tasks of expert gymnastic coaches for developing elite gymnasts.
Paul B. Rukavina, Sarah Doolittle, Weidong Li, Mara Manson and Angela Beale
As part of a larger study, this paper describes teachers’ perspectives and strategies on including overweight and obese students (OWS) in instruction related to motor skill/game play and fitness development in physical education. Using the Social Ecological Constraints framework, a qualitative multicase study was conducted using multiple in-depth interviews, class observations, and artifacts from nine experienced and committed suburban middle school Physical Education teachers. Constant comparison was used to generate themes and trustworthiness procedures were used to confirm findings. Two types of strategies for including OWS in instruction were identified: First-order and Second-order. School resources, shared program goals, and beliefs about students and teaching were factors influencing teachers’ decisions and actions for teaching motor skill/game play and fitness content to OWS.
Alessandro Quartiroli, Sharon M. Knight, Edward F. Etzel and Rebecca A. Zakrajsek
Researchers have examined psychology professionals’ ability to maintain and sustain effective practices while managing to balance their personal and professional lives. Stamm’s concept of professional quality of life was intended to capture both positive and negative aspects of caregivers’ professional experiences. The concept, however, inadequately addresses the unique context of sport psychology practitioners’ (SPPs) practice. As part of a larger qualitative study of sport psychology professional quality of life (SP-PQL), in this paper the researchers explored the challenges and strategies articulated by a multinational sample of 20 senior-level SPPs related to developing and maintaining their SP-PQL. Findings from an analysis of in-depth interviews revealed challenges and the strategies that participants undertook to foster and sustain their SP-QOL. These findings can be used to inform efforts by current and future practitioners to identify aspects that may thwart or support their SP-PQL.
Mette Krogh Christensen
The purpose of this study is to explore how top-level soccer coaches identify talent. I draw on Bourdieu’s work to challenge a commonly held assumption that talent identification is a rational or objective process. Analysis of in-depth interviews with eight coaches of national youth soccer teams indicated these coaches identified talent in three ways. First, coaches use their practical sense and their visual experience to recognize patterns of movement among the players. Second, the coaches’ classificatory schemes are characterized by their preference for so-called “autotelic” players, that is, players that, from the coaches’ perspective, exhibit a potential to learn, practice, and improve. Third, the study shows that talent, of which the coaches act as arbiters of taste, is socially configured in top-level soccer.
Maylon T. Hanold
This article examines the ways in which high-performance female ultrarunning bodies are created by and understood through the discourses of the normative running body, the ideal female body and pain. Using a Foucauldian framework, this paper shows how the ultrarunning body becomes a desired body beyond the marathon and how these same desires produce multiple and complex subjectivities for female ultrarunners. In-depth interviews were conducted with 8 high performance female ultrarunners. Findings suggest that ultrarunning is a sporting space which gives rise to more diverse subjectivities than previously found in distance running literature. Simultaneously, this discourse produces disciplined bodies through the mode of desire and “unquestioned” social norms, paralleling the constructs of extreme sports and (re)producing middle-classness.
Amanda Martindale and Dave Collins
The article “What works when working with athletes” by Fifer, Henschen, Gould, and Ravizza (2008) offers an interesting array of information and insights used by three highly experienced applied sport psychology consultants. This response article, however, contends that it may be possible to glean a further, and crucial, level of understanding by exploring the metacognition behind the selection of such courses of action. This may be provided through applied cognitive task analysis (ACTA) techniques to access the cognitive mechanisms underpinning professional practice. A suggested research direction is to use ACTA techniques such as in-depth interviews and cognitive mapping with highly experienced applied sport psychology consultants. Specifically, these techniques would enable readers to access judgments and decisions, attentional demands, critical cues and patterns, and problem solving strategies (Gore & McAndrew, 2009). This level of understanding may help to establish how these cognitive processes impact on the support provided to clients, and in turn, assist in developing more conceptually rigorous training methods.