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Thierry Long, Nathalie Pantaléon, Gérard Bruant and Fabienne d’Arripe-Longueville

Based on game reasoning theory (Shields & Bredemeier, 2001) and related research, the present study aimed at describing young elite athletes’ perceptions of rules compliance and transgression in competitive settings, as well as the underlying reasons for these actions. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 10 young elite athletes. The qualitative analysis showed that respect and transgression of rules in competitive settings were perceived to depend upon the athletes’ individual characteristics (e.g., desire to win), their social environment (e.g., coach’s pressure, team norms), sports values and virtues (e.g., fair play, the effort ethic), and modern sports rewards (e.g., media recognition, financial rewards). These results confirmed and expanded game reasoning theory and illustrated moral disengagement mechanisms (Bandura et al., 1996) in the sport domain.

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Hans Braun, Karsten Koehler, Hans Geyer, Jens Kleinert, Joachim Mester and Wilhelm Schänzer

Little is known about the prevalence and motives of supplement use among elite young athletes who compete on national and international levels. Therefore, the current survey was performed to assess information regarding the past and present use of dietary supplements among 164 elite young athletes (16.6 ± 3.0 years of age). A 5-page questionnaire was designed to assess their past and present (last 4 weeks) use of vitamins, minerals, carbohydrate, protein, and fat supplements; sport drinks; and other ergogenic aids. Furthermore, information about motives, sources of advice, supplement sources, and supplement contamination was assessed. Eighty percent of all athletes reported using at least 1 supplement, and the prevalence of use was significantly higher in older athletes (p < .05). Among supplement users, minerals, vitamins, sport drinks, energy drinks, and carbohydrates were most frequently consumed. Only a minority of the athletes declared that they used protein/amino acids, creatine, or other ergogenic aids. Major motives for supplement use were health related, whereas performance enhancement and recommendations by others were less frequently reported. Supplements were mainly obtained from parents or by athletes themselves and were mostly purchased in pharmacies, supermarkets, and health-food stores. Among all athletes, only 36% were aware of the problem of supplement contamination. The survey shows that supplement use is common and widespread among German elite young athletes. This stands in strong contrast to recommendations by leading sport organizations against supplement use by underage athletes.

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Martin Buchheit, Ben M. Simpson, Esa Peltola and Alberto Mendez-Villanueva

The aim of the present study was to locate the fastest 10-m split time (Splitbest) over a 40-m sprint in relation to age and maximal sprint speed in highly trained young soccer players. Analyses were performed on 967 independent player sprints collected in 223 highly trained young football players (Under 12 to Under 18). The maximal sprint speed was defined as the average running speed during Splitbest. The distribution of the distance associated with Splitbest was affected by age (X 2 3 = 158.7, P < .001), with the older the players, the greater the proportion of 30-to-40-m Splitbest. There was, however, no between-group difference when data were adjusted for maximal sprint speed. Maximal sprint speed is the main determinant of the distance associated with Splitbest. Given the important disparity in Splitbest location within each age group, three (U12-U13) to two (U14-U18) 10-m intervals are still required to guarantee an accurate evaluation of maximal sprint speed in young players when using timing gates.

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Giancarlo Condello, Carlo Minganti, Corrado Lupo, Cinzia Benvenuti, Daniele Pacini and Antonio Tessitore

The evaluation of change-of-direction (COD) performance is strongly focused on the time spent to perform the test trials, while much less is known about the technical execution adopted during the COD movements. Thus, the purposes of this study were to evaluate (1) the relationship between straight- and COD-sprint tests and (2) the technical execution of COD movements in relation to different age categories of young rugby players. Young rugby players (N = 157, age range 8–19 y) completed a test battery composed of a 15-m straight-sprint test (15SS) and a 15-m sprint test performed with 2 changes of direction (15COD). Significant differences were detected between age categories for both tests. Significant correlations were found between 15SS and 15COD. The analysis of the technical execution of the 15COD test showed differences between age categories, with a prevalence of rounded turns up to the U15 category. These findings confirmed the relationship between straight and COD abilities in young male rugby players. Moreover, the new approach introduced by this study, based on the analysis of COD technical execution, revealed that this performance could be conditioned by the age and mastery level of the players.

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Keith Tolfrey, Alice Emily Thackray and Laura Ann Barrett

Exaggerated postprandial triacylglycerol concentrations (TAG) independently predict future cardiovascular events. Acute exercise and diet interventions attenuate postprandial TAG in adults. This paper aims to examine the exercise postprandial lipemia studies published to date in young people. Nine studies satisfied the inclusion criteria adopted for this summary. The majority of studies are in boys (22% girls) and have shown a single ~60-min session of moderate-intensity exercise, performed 12-18 hours before a standardized meal, reduces postprandial TAG. Manipulations of exercise duration and intensity suggest an exercise energy expenditure dose-dependent response is not supported directly in healthy young people. Studies investigating alternative exercise bouts have reported lower postprandial TAG after simulated intermittent games activity, high-intensity interval running and cumulative 10-min blocks over several hours, which may appeal to the spontaneous physical activity habits of young people. Although extension of these initial findings is warranted, exercise may be an effective strategy to promote regular benefits in TAG metabolism in children and adolescents; this may contribute to an improved cardiovascular disease risk profile early in life.

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Amber D. Mosewich, Kent C. Kowalski, Catherine M. Sabiston, Whitney A. Sedgwick and Jessica L. Tracy

Self-compassion has demonstrated many psychological benefits (Neff, 2009). In an effort to explore self-compassion as a potential resource for young women athletes, we explored relations among self-compassion, proneness to self-conscious emotions (i.e., shame, guilt-free shame, guilt, shame-free guilt, authentic pride, and hubristic pride), and potentially unhealthy self-evaluative thoughts and behaviors (i.e., social physique anxiety, obligatory exercise, objectified body consciousness, fear of failure, and fear of negative evaluation). Young women athletes (N = 151; M age = 15.1 years) participated in this study. Self-compassion was negatively related to shame proneness, guilt-free shame proneness, social physique anxiety, objectified body consciousness, fear of failure, and fear of negative evaluation. In support of theoretical propositions, self-compassion explained variance beyond self-esteem on shame proneness, guilt-free shame proneness, shame-free guilt proneness, objectified body consciousness, fear of failure, and fear of negative evaluation. Results suggest that, in addition to self-esteem promotion, self-compassion development may be beneficial in cultivating positive sport experiences for young women.

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David W. Hill, Robert P. Steward Jr. and Cindy J. Lane

The purpose of this study was to evaluate use of the critical power concept with swimmers ages 8 to 18 years. Critical velocity (CV) and anaerobic swimming capacity (ASC) were determined from the results of three short time trials (n = 86) or competition swims (n = 60). Data fit the critical power model well, as evidenced by high R2 and low SEE of CV and ASC estimates. CV was correlated with velocity in an endurance swim (r ≥ 0.86) and ASC was correlated with peak lactate (r ≥ 0.69). Thus, even in very young swimmers, CV and ASC provide mode-specific indices of endurance and anaerobic capacity, respectively.

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Kristin S. Ondrak and Don W. Morgan

The influence of height, body mass, daily physical activity (DPA), and dietary calcium intake (DCI) on bone mineral density (BMD) and content (BMC) was evaluated in 33 four-year-old girls. Results indicated that body mass was significantly correlated with and predictive of BMD and BMC at all sites except the femoral neck BMD. DPA and height also explained a significant proportion of the variance in femoral neck BMD and BMC of the lumbar spine and total body. DCI was not related to or predictive of BMD or BMC at any bone site. These findings highlight the importance of engaging in daily weight-bearing physical activity to promote bone health in young girls.

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Kate A. Heelan and Joey C. Eisenmann

Background:

It is uncertain as to whether physical activity (PA) may influence the body composition of young children.

Purpose:

To determine the association between PA, media time, and body composition in children age 4 to 7 y.

Methods:

100 children (52 girls, 48 boys) were assessed for body-mass index (BMI), body fat, fat mass (FM), and fat-free mass using dual energy x-ray absorbtiometryptiometry (DXA). PA was monitored using accelerometers and media time was reported by parental proxy.

Results:

In general, correlations were low to moderate at best (r < 0.51), but in the expected direction. Total media time and TV were significantly associated with BMI (r = 0.51, P < 0.05) and FM (r = 0.29 to 0.30, P < 0.05) in girls. In boys, computer usage was significantly associated with FM in boys (r = 0.31, P < 0.05).

Conclusion:

The relatively low correlations suggest that other factors may influence the complex, multi-factorial body composition phenotype of young children.

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Deborah L. Feltz and Eugene W. Brown

Harter's (1979) perceived competence subscale was modified to specifically apply to soccer in order to compare young soccer players' general self-esteem, perceived physical competence, and perceived soccer competence scores in predicting players' actual soccer ability. Young soccer players (N = 217), 8 to 13 years of age, were tested on five soccer skill tests. Players also completed Harter's (1979) Perceived Competence Scale for Children and our perceived soccer competence subscale. We hypothesized that perceived soccer competence would have high internal consistency and would be a better predictor of soccer ability than either perceived physical competence or general self-esteem. Results indicated that the perceived soccer competence subscale had the highest internal consistency reliability coefficient, and that it was also slightly more predictive of soccer ability than perceived physical competence as indicated by multivariate multiple regression analysis and canonical correlation analysis. Future studies investigating perceived competence as a motivational variable in specific youth sports may find the sport-specific perceived competence measure to provide additional information to Harter's questionnaire.