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Edmund O. Acevedo, David A. Dzewaltowski, Diane L. Gill and John M. Noble

The purpose of this study was to examine the sport-specific cognitions of 112 ultramarathoners competing in a 100-mile trail run. Subjects completed the Sport Orientation Questionnaire, the Trait Sport-Confidence Inventory, the Commitment to Running Scale, and a questionnaire designed by the investigators to assess goals, cognitive strategies, perceptions of “runner’s high,” and feelings that occur when subjects are unable to run. Ultramarathoners were more confident, more committed to running, slightly higher in competitiveness, lower on win orientation, and higher on goal orientation in comparison to other athletes. Ultramarathoners also rated importance of and commitment to time goals very high; importance of and commitment to place goals were rated low. No significant differences in cognitive orientations were found between finishers and nonfinishers or between males and females. Responses to open-ended questions revealed that most ultramarathoners reported predominately external thoughts during races, had feelings of psychological well-being and strength as a result of ultramarathoning, never or rarely experienced runner’s high, and experienced negative psychological states when unable to run. Overall, these results demonstrate the unique sport-specific cognitive orientations of ultramarathoners.

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Sean Müller, Yasmin Gurisik, Mark Hecimovich, Allen G. Harbaugh and Ann-Maree Vallence

Training studies in a variety of domains focus on between-group comparisons. This study investigated individual differences in learning based upon visual anticipation training using field hockey goalkeeping as the exemplar motor skill. In a within-subject design, four state-league level field hockey goalkeepers were tested before and after visual anticipatory training in an in-situ test that required them to save goals from a drag flick. Response initiation time and response accuracy were measured. Participants were tested at baseline, completed a control phase of sport-specific practice, were retested, then given an intervention phase of temporal occlusion training plus sport-specific practice, and retested. Results indicated that two goalkeepers’ response initiation times were earlier after the intervention. Effect sizes indicated that the two goalkeepers improved response accuracy after the intervention. Another goalkeeper’s response initiation time was later after the intervention, but this did not impede response accuracy of goals saved. The mechanism of individual learning appeared to be modulation of response timing to save goals. Anticipation training can improve in-situ visual-perceptual motor skill performance in an individualized and nonlinear fashion. Further research is needed to better understand how each individual learns the visual-perceptual motor skills of high time-stress tasks in the sport domain.

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Christine M. Bonci, Beth Sloane and Karen Middleton

Management of the overhead athlete presenting with anterior instability requires an identification of factors influencing successful therapeutic intervention strategies. The importance of differentiating a diagnosis, of knowing something of the demands of the sport, and of addressing pertinent anatomical and biomechanical considerations of the throwing shoulder prior to implementing rehabilitation programs must be considered. An appreciation of the complexities of the throwing shoulder serves as a basis for the selection of rehabilitation activities aimed at returning the athlete to pretrauma levels of overarm proficiency. The challenge of regaining normal shoulder joint osteokinematics and neuromuscular function at a competitive status is described in terms of the proper selection and sequencing of rehabilitation exercises for the initiation and progression of range of motion, muscle strength, muscle reducation, and sport-specific functional activities. Time frames for progressing the various stages of rehabilitation, indications for exercise selection based on electromyographic studies, and attention to detail with regard to exercise execution are emphasized.

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Semyon M. Slobounov, Robert Simon, Wayne Sebastianelli, Angela Carlson and William E. Buckley

A variety of assessment devices have been developed for scientific investigation on human movement that can also be used to assess the progress of a rehabilitation program. The present investigation was undertaken to show how this technology can be combined with the most aggressive type of medical intervention and rehabilitation. Advanced technology was used to assess the physical rehabilitation parameters of active range of motion (AROM) and sport-specific functional progression for an Olympic-caliber diver who had bilateral wrist problems. AROM was measured for both wrists using a Flock of Birds motion-tracking device, and functional progression was assessed with an Advanced Mechanical Technology Inc. force platform for measuring the center of pressure (CP) area. The results of the treatment were clinically favorable, with an increase in AROM and a decrease in the CP area for functional motor control. The technology provided useful information about the progress of a rehabilitation program.

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Kate R. Barrett, Kathleen Williams, Jill McLester and Sara Ljungkvist

Developmental sequences for the vertical cradle were hypothesized and tested using a prelongitudinal screening technique to determine comprehensiveness and developmental accuracy. Fifty-one 10- to 13-year-old children were videotaped as they ran and cradled over a flat surface. A total of 150 trials were categorized for seven components: basic rhythm, hand and arm action, stick position, top hand grip, stick head and top arm action, position of hands, and bottom arm and hand action. Lack of developmental variability occurred for the basic rhythm, hand and arm action, and hand position components. For the stick position component, more younger children were classified at the highest level than older children. The developmental sequence for the stick head and top arm component was comprehensive and age related. The role various constraints play in hypothesizing sequences of sport specific skills needs to be considered along with the quality and amount of instruction.

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Brenda Jo Bredemeier

A structural-developmental approach was employed in the present study to investigate athletes' moral cognitions about intentionally injurious sport acts. Analyses were based on interviews with 40 female and male high school and college basketball players. Subjects reasoned about general life and sport-specific moral dilemmas and made judgments in hypothetical and engaged contexts about the legitimacy of sport behaviors presented in the Continuum of Injurious Acts (CIA). Athletes' moral reasoning levels were inversely related to the number of CIA acts they perceived as legitimate; this reasoning-judgment relationship was particularly strong for sport reasoning and judgments made in the hypothetical context. Also, differences in the perceived legitimacy of CIA acts occurred in hypothetical and engaged contexts and as a function of sex and, in the engaged condition, school level. Results were discussed in light of athletes' coordination of moral reasoning and decision-making about intentionally injurious sport acts.

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John G.H. Dunn and A. Brian Nielsen

To fully understand why athletes experience anxiety in specific competitive situations, the psychological dimensions upon which threat perceptions are based must also be understood. No studies to date have been designed primarily to facilitate direct cross-sport comparisons of the constructs. The purposes of this study were (a) to identify the psychological dimensions upon which athletes in ice hockey and soccer base threat perceptions towards specific anxiety-inducing game situations, and (b) to determine whether athletes from these sports held similar threat perceptions towards parallel cross-sport situations. Seventy-one athletes rated the degree of similarity of threat perceptions across 15 sport-specific game situations. A multidimensional scaling analysis revealed similar three-dimensional solutions for each sport. However, certain distinct between-sport differences were also observed. Furthermore, the perceptions of threat towards certain situations were found to be multidimensional. The implications these findings have for competitive-anxiety research are discussed.

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Edward F. Etzel Jr.

Information is presented on the development and validation of a unique multidimensional, sport-specific model of attention among 71 world-class and/or potential world-class international rifle shooters. It was postulated that attention possesses five relatively independent subcomponent factors: capacity, duration, flexibility, intensivity, and selectivity. A 25-item, five-subscale questionnaire, the Riflery Attention Questionnaire (RAQ), was systematically developed utilizing Goldberg's intuitive-rational strategy as well as Jackson's general test-item development approach. Factor analysis and item analyses performed on each subscale generally supported the factor integrity of the model. A step-wise multiple regression analysis was also conducted to determine the extent to which subjects' RAQ responses predicted their shooting performance. A low positive relationship between the two was noted.

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Thomas A. Bergandi, Marsha G. Shryock and Thomas G. Titus

The purpose of this study was to develop and validate a sport-specific version of Nideffer’s (1976a) Test of Attentional and Interpersonal Style (TAIS), specifically in regard to the sport of basketball. Collegiate basketball players (N = 43) participated in the research, 20 males and 23 females. The subjects were administered two instruments, the original TAIS and the Basketball Concentration Survey (BCS). The items contained in the BCS were a conversion of the 59 pertinent items contained in the original. The instruments were administered early in the season and the results were correlated with nine seasonal performance variables ranging from field-goal percentage to total number of steals. The results show the BCS to have significant reliability as well as significantly accounting for performance variability. The BCS had highly significant correlations with seven of the nine performance variables.

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Amanda Visek and Jack Watson

The purpose of this investigation was to examine male ice hockey players’ (N = 85) perceived legitimacy of aggression and professionalization of attitudes across developmental age and competitive level. Findings were analyzed within the complementary conceptual frameworks of social learning theory, professionalization of attitudes, and moral reasoning. Ice hockey players completed a modified, sport-specific version of the Sport Behavior Inventory and a modified version of the Context Modified Webb scale. Results of the investigation revealed that as players increased in age and competitive level, perceived legitimacy of aggressive behavior increased, and their attitudes about sport became increasingly professionalized. Based on the conceptual framework in which the results are interpreted, intervention services by sport psychology practitioners are explored that are aimed at the athlete, the organization, and influential others.