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Leah E. Robinson, Kara K. Palmer, Jacqueline M. Irwin, Elizabeth Kipling Webster, Abigail L. Dennis, Sheri J. Brock and Mary E. Rudisill

This study examined the effect of demonstration conditions (multimedia and live) in school-age children on performance of the Test of Gross Motor Development—Second Edition (TGMD-2) locomotor and object control subscale raw scores, and participants’ enjoyment in the preoperational and operational stages of cognitive development. Forty-five children ages 5–10 years were divided into two age groups: younger (n = 21, M age = 5.95 years, SD = .80) and older (n = 24, M age = 8.96 years, SD = .86). Children completed the TGMD-2 under two counterbalanced conditions: live and multimedia demonstration. Immediately following each testing condition, children ranked their enjoyment and completed a semistructured interview. Paired sample t tests examined motor skill and enjoyment differences in each age group. For both groups, no statistically significant differences were present for motor skill performance or participants’ enjoyment between the two demonstration conditions (p ≥ .05). Overall, 44.5% of participants preferred the multimedia demonstration, while 32.5% preferred the live demonstration. Mixed responses were reported by 22.5% of participants. Within age groups, younger participants preferred the multimedia demonstration more than older participants (multimedia = 50%, 41%; live = 23%, 41%, respectively). This study provides evidence that multimedia demonstration may be suitable for administration of the TGMD-2.

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Kyle M. Tarpenning, Steven A. Hawkins, Taylor J. Marcell and Robert A. Wiswell

Quadriceps strength and mass peak in the third decade of life, plateau, and then decline from the fifth decade on. To examine the influence of chronic endurance training and age on lean mass and leg strength, women runners (n = 62, age 43–69 years) and sedentary participants (n = 33, age 43–66 years) were divided into 40-, 50-, and 60-year age groups. Absolute isokinetic concentric torque did not differ between runners and sedentary women (97.9 ± 19.5 and 104.6 ± 22.7 N · m, respectively, p = .18) but was different between age groups independent of exercise status (107.6 ± 18.4, 97.1 ± 19.9, and 90.1 ± 21.4 N · m, for 40s, 50s, and 60s, respectively, p < .05). Lean body mass also differed by age group (p < .05) but did not change differently among runners and sedentary women. These findings suggest that chronic endurance training might not influence the loss of muscle mass and muscle strength that occur with aging.

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Suzie Godfrey and Stacy Winter

This paper presents a reflective account of the sport psychology support work delivered across one season at a professional football academy by a neophyte practitioner. The development of the sport psychology program, referred to as Winning Mentality, was guided by Harwood and Anderson's (2015) 5C guidelines to psychological skills training.The Winning Mentality program outlined within this paper was delivered to the U9-U12 age groups and focused on the three key topics: (1) growth mind-set; (2) emotional control; and (3) confidence.The intervention comprised predominantly of classroom-based workshops delivered at the team level that focused on one topic per training cycle. Working with these young age groups uncovered a number of challenges that form the basis of this reflective account.Drawing upon child developmental literature was a necessity to ensure the effective matching of session content to the relevant age group. In addition, the heavily classroom-based nature of the program limited the youth footballers application of sport psychology techniques on the football pitch.Finally, opportunities to empower coaches with the knowledge and skills to apply psychological concepts within their training sessions should be welcomed.

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Larissa True, Ali Brian, Jackie Goodway and David Stodden

Motor competence is associated with psychological and physical health outcomes. A reciprocal relationship between motor competence and perceptions of physical competence exists, but the developmental trajectory of the motor competence/perceived competence relationship is not well understood. Standardized assessments take a product- or process-oriented approach, but research concerning the motor competence/perceived competence relationship is limited to using process-oriented assessments. It is unknown whether boys and girls use product and process information differentially in the development of perceived competence. Children (N = 411) were aggregated into age groups. Perceived competence and product and process aspects of motor competence were assessed. Older children were more skillful than younger children but reported lower perceived competence. The motor competence/perceived competence association increased for both motor competence measures across age groups. Girls demonstrated stronger associations between process measures of motor competence and perceived competence, while boys indicated stronger associations between product measures of motor competence and perceived competence. When both motor competence measures were used to predict perceived competence, more variance in perceived competence was explained, compared with using independent predictors. The strength of the prediction increased across age groups, indicating that motor competence is a stronger predictor of perceived competence in older children.

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Andrew T. Kaczynski, Sonja A. Wilhelm Stanis, Tanis J. Hastmann and Gina M. Besenyi

Background:

Parks are important settings for physical activity (PA), but few studies have documented the actual behaviors of park users. The purpose of this study was to examine the individual and joint effects of various park user demographic characteristics on observed PA intensity levels.

Methods:

Four parks were observed using the System for Observing Play and Recreation in Communities. Observers recorded the age group, gender, race, and intensity level of all park users in 83 activity areas over two weekends at each park. Logistic regression examined whether male/White, female/White, and male/non-White users were more likely than female/non-White users to be observed engaging in moderate-to-vigorous PA (MVPA) rather than sedentary activity across 4 age groups.

Results:

In total, 8612 users were observed during the study. In the child age group, male/White users were significantly more likely to be observed in MVPA than female/non-White users. For teens, female/White and male/White users were less likely to engage in MVPA. For both adults and seniors, female/White and male/White users were more likely to be observed in MVPA.

Conclusion:

Observations revealed significant differences in intensity levels across gender, age, and race groups. Future interventions should emphasize park design that promotes increased MVPA among diverse groups.

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António J. Figueiredo, Manuel J. Coelho e Silva, Sean P. Cumming and Robert M. Malina

The purpose of the study was to compare the anthropometric, functional and sport-specific skill characteristics and goal orientations of male youth soccer players at the extremes of height and skeletal maturity in two competitive age groups, 11–12 and 13–14 years. The shortest and tallest players, and least and most skeletally mature players (n = 8 per group) within each age group were compared on chronological age; skeletal age (Fels method); pubertal status (pubic hair); size, proportions and adiposity; four functional capacities; four soccer-specific skills; and task and ego orientation. The tallest players were older chronologically, advanced in maturity (skeletal, pubertal) and heavier, and had relatively longer legs than the shortest players in each age group. At 11–12 years, the most mature players were chronologically younger but advanced in pubertal status, taller and heavier with more adiposity. At 13–14 years, the most mature players were taller, heavier and advanced in pubertal status but did not differ in chronological age compared with the least mature players. Players at the extremes of height and skeletal maturity differed in speed and power (tallest > shortest; most mature > lest mature), but did not differ consistently in aerobic endurance and in soccer-specific skills. Results suggested that size and strength discrepancies among youth players were not a major advantage or disadvantage to performance. By inference, coaches and sport administrators may need to provide opportunities for or perhaps protect smaller, skilled players during the adolescent years.

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Ingunn Fjørtoft

This article is a contribution to the experience of testing motor fitness and exploring the EUROFIT test in young children. In the age group 5–7 years, the motor fitness tests showed strong dependency on age and a small dependence on sex. Body weight and height did not appear to have any impact on the test variables for this age group. The reliability test showed significant difference between test and retest in the plate tapping test only. The reproducibility was low in bent arm hang and flamingo balance, with coefficients of variation of 67%. Modest validity of the flamingo balance test and the standing broad jump test was confirmed with correlations of 0.43 and 0.52, respectively, by laboratory testing on a force platform. Factor analyses extracted 3 components, which explained 62% of the total variance, but no single component could explain general motor fitness. The EUROFIT Motor Fitness Test appeared to be applicable also in young children, but the reproducibility of two test items was questionable. Modification of test items was suggested to fit this age group.

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Kelly R. Rice, Catherine Gammon, Karin Pfieffer and Stewart Trost

Purpose:

The OMNI perceived exertion scale was developed for children to report perceived effort while performing physical activity; however no studies have formally examined age-related differences in validity. This study evaluated the validity of the OMNI-RPE in 4 age groups performing a range of lifestyle activities.

Methods:

206 participants were stratified into four age groups: 6-8 years (n = 42), 9-10 years (n = 46), 11-12 years (n = 47), and 13-15 years (n = 71). Heart rate and VO2 were measured during 11 activity trials ranging in intensity from sedentary to vigorous. After each trial, participants reported effort from the OMNI walk/run scale. Concurrent validity was assessed by calculating within-subject correlations between OMNI ratings and the two physiological indices.

Results:

The average correlation between OMNI ratings and VO2 was 0.67, 0.77, 0.85, and 0.87 for the 6-8, 9-10, 11-12 and 13-15 y age groups, respectively.

Conclusion:

The OMNI RPE scale demonstrated fair to good evidence of validity across a range of lifestyle activities among 6- to 15-year-old children. The validity of the scale appears to be developmentally related with RPE reports closely reflecting physiological responses among children older than 8 years.

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Paul M. Vanderburgh

Purpose:

To assess the validity of Boston Marathon qualifying (BMQ) standards for men and women.

Methods:

Percent differences between BMQ and current world records (WR) by sex and age group were computed. WR was chosen as the criterion comparison because it is not confounded by intensity, body composition, lifestyle, or environmental factors. A consistent difference across age groups would indicate an appropriate slope of the age-vs-BMQ curve. Inconsistent differences were corrected by adjusting BMQ standards to achieve a uniform percentage difference from WR.

Results:

BMQ standards for men were consistently ~50% slower than WR (mean 51.5% ± 1.4%, range 49.6–54.4%), thus demonstrating acceptable validity. However, BMQ standards for women indicated convergence with WR as age increased (mean 45.8% ± 13.7%, range 17.5–58.9%). The women’s BMQ standards were revised to yield a consistent 50% deviation from WR across age groups (50.9% ± 0.8%, range 49.2–52.2%). Applied to all 16,773 women in the 2012 Chicago Marathon, the suggested BMQ standards would lead to a 4.90% success rate, compared with 8.39% using the current standard. This compared with a 9.6% success rate for all 20,681 men of the same race.

Conclusions:

The current women’s BMQ standards appear too lenient for women 18–54 y and too strict for women 55–80 y but yield equitable gender representation in percentage of qualifiers. The current men’s and suggested women’s BMQ standards appear valid but would lead to approximately 40% fewer women achieving BMQ standards.

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Matt Spencer, David Pyne, Juanma Santisteban and Iñigo Mujika

Variations in rates of growth and development in young football players can influence relationships among various fitness qualities.

Purpose:

To investigate the relationships between repeated-sprint ability and other fundamental fitness qualities of acceleration, agility, explosive leg power, and aerobic conditioning through the age groups of U1 1 to U18 in highly trained junior football players.

Methods:

Male players (n = 119) across the age groups completed a fitness assessment battery over two testing sessions. The first session consisted of countermovement jumps without and with arm swing, 15-m sprint run, 15-m agility run, and the 20-m Shuttle Run (U11 to U15) or the Yo-Yo Intermittent Recovery Test, Level 1 (U16 to U18). The players were tested for repeated-sprint ability in the second testing session using a protocol of 6 × 30-m sprints on 30 s with an active recovery.

Results:

The correlations of repeated-sprint ability with the assorted fitness tests varied considerably between the age groups, especially for agility (r = .02 to .92) and explosive leg power (r = .04 to .84). Correlations of repeated sprint ability with acceleration (r = .48 to .93) and aerobic conditioning (r = .28 to .68) were less variable with age.

Conclusion:

Repeated-sprint ability associates differently with other fundamental fitness tests throughout the teenage years in highly trained football players, although stabilization of these relationships occurs by the age of 18 y. Coaches in junior football should prescribe physical training accounting for variations in short-term disruptions or impairment of physical performance during this developmental period.