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Jason R. Karp

Purpose:

To describe and compare training characteristics of the 2004 U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials qualifiers.

Methods:

All qualifiers (104 men, 151 women) received questionnaires. Ninety-three (37 men, 56 women) responded and were categorized as elite (men <2 hours 15 minutes, women <2 hours 40 minutes) or national class.

Results:

Men and women ran 75% and 68% of their weekly training distance, respectively, below marathon race pace. Men trained longer than women (12.2 ± 5.3 vs 8.8 ± 5.6 years), ran more often (8.7 ± 2.8 vs 7.1 ± 2.5 times/wk), and ran farther (145.3 ± 25.6 vs 116.0 ± 26.5 km/wk). Elite women ran more than national-class women (135.8 ± 31.5 vs 111.3 ± 23.3 km/wk). Distances run at specific intensities were similar between sexes. For men and women, respectively, 49% and 31% did not have a coach and 65% and 68% trained alone. Marathon performance correlated to 5-km, 10-km, and half-marathon performance and to years training, average and peak weekly distance, number of weekly runs, and number of runs ≥32 km for women.

Conclusions:

Among U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials qualifiers, there is no consensus as to how to prepare for the marathon beyond running at a pace slower than race pace. Weekly training distance seems to influence women’s marathon performance more than it does men’s. Because many of these athletes train alone and without a coach, further research is warranted on the reasons that these athletes train the way they do.

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Rebecca Lewthwaite

Relationships between goal related threat appraisal and competitive trait anxiety were examined in a field study with 102 9- to 15-year-old male soccer players. Questionnaires assessed (a) the frequency and intensity of somatic and cognitive symptoms of competitive trait anxiety, (b) the personal importance of various goals in youth sports, (c) children's perceptions of the extent to which these goals were endangered through sport participation, and (d) self-esteem. Correlational analyses indicated significant but weak relationships between a summary appraisal of threat to important goals and the frequency of somatic and cognitive competitive trait anxiety symptoms, and a stronger relationship between summary threat and competitive trait anxiety intensity. Greater perceived threat to effort/mastery and competitive achievement goals was reported by boys with higher, rather than lower, competitive trait anxiety. Within the sample, however, a cluster analysis revealed considerable individual variation in the degree of threat perceived with respect to each of four identified goals.

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Diane L. Gill, David A. Dzewaltowski and Thomas E. Deeter

The validity of the recently developed Sport Orientation Questionnaire (SOQ), a multidimensional measure of sport achievement orientation, was investigated with both high school and university students. Specifically, we examined the correlations of SOQ scores with other measures of competitiveness and general achievement orientation and we compared the relative abilities of SOQ scores and other achievement measures to discriminate participants and nonpar-ticipants in competitive sports, noncompetitive sports, and nonsport activities. The findings obtained with both high school and university students provided convergent and divergent evidence for the validity of the SOQ. SOQ scores were highly correlated with other competitiveness measures, moderately correlated with general achievement measures, and uncorrelated with competitive anxiety and social desirability. Competitiveness scores were the strongest discriminators between competitive sport participants and nonpar-ticipants, but SOQ scores were weaker discriminators for noncompetitive achievement choices. The findings confirm the value of a multidimensional, sport-specific achievement measure and provide good evidence for the validity of the Sport Orientation Questionnaire.

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Anthony Rossi, Tina Claiborne and Jamie Fetter

Aortic valves can be replaced using either mechanical valves or bio-prosthetic implants. Patients who receive mechanical valves are required to be on lifelong anticoagulants necessitating disqualification from competitive sports. 15 Bio-prosthetic valves can degenerate rapidly and require future

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Ben T. Stephenson, Sven P. Hoekstra, Keith Tolfrey and Victoria L. Goosey-Tolfrey

severely understudied despite athletes’ commonality in Paralympic sports and similarly increased risk of thermal strain. Competitive events in paratriathlon, the Paralympic variant of triathlon, are commonly held in environments with high ambient temperatures; however, prolonged exercise in hot

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Eve Bernstein, Sharon R. Phillips and Stephen Silverman

The attitudes and perceptions of middle school students toward competitive activities in physical education were examined. Ten boys and 14 girls volunteered (11-high-skilled, 11 moderate-skilled, and 2 low skilled students) in 6th and 7th grade from a total of 6 schools, all offering competitive activities. Data collection was conducted over several months and included focus groups consisting of students of mixed skill levels, observations of competitive class activities, and informal interviews with teachers. The three major themes that emerged were, having fun in competitive activities, not all students were attaining motor skills necessary to participate in activities due to a lack of time to engage in appropriate practice, and the structure of competitive activities affects student experience

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Anthony Rossi, Tina Claiborne and Jamie Fetter

screening in this case, provided by this athlete’s institution, led to the diagnosis and treatment of his condition, allowing him to recover and return to competitive sport participation. If the athlete had not received this type of screening before participation, he may have become a victim of sudden

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Tim Berrett and Trevor Slack

Sport sponsorship is frequently described as a strategic activity, and thus, it is influenced by both competitive and institutional forces. Using a sample of 28 Canadian companies, this study explores the influence of competitive and institutional pressures on those individuals who make decisions about their company's sport sponsorship initiatives. The results show that the sponsorship activities of rival companies were influential in a company's sponsorship choices. This was particularly the case in highly concentrated industries. We also show some evidence of a first-mover advantage in sponsorship decision-making but found preemptive strategies to yield little competitive advantage. In addition to these pressures from the competitive environment, institutional pressures from companies in the same geographic area, in the form of mimetic activity, in the form of involvement in social networks, and through the occupational training of the decision makers—all played a role in the choices made about what activities to sponsor.

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Amanda L. Snyder, Cay Anderson-Hanley and Paul J. Arciero

Grounded in social facilitation theory, this study compared the impact on exercise intensity of a virtual versus a live competitor, when riding a virtual reality-enhanced stationary bike (“cybercycle”). It was hypothesized that competitiveness would moderate effects. Twenty-three female college students were exposed to three conditions on a cybercycle: solo training, virtual competitor, and live competitor. After training without a competitor (solo condition for familiarization with equipment), participants competed against a virtual avatar or live rider (random order of presentation). A repeated-measures analysis revealed a significant condition (virtual/live) by competitiveness (high/low) interaction for exercise intensity (watts). More competitive participants exhibited significantly greater exercise intensity when competing against a live versus virtual competitor. The implication is that live competitors can have an added social facilitation effect and influence exercise intensity, although competitiveness moderates this effect.

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John G.H. Dunn

Many competitive sport anxiety researchers have examined the degree to which athletes worry before or during competition. Little attention has been paid, however, to establishing a conceptual framework for structuring the content of competitive worry. The main purpose of this study was to examine the latent dimensionality of competitive worry in intercollegiate ice hockey (N= 178) using a conceptual framework based on two multidimensional anxiety theories developed by Endler (1983) and Hackfort (1986). Multidimensional scaling and factor-analytic results revealed that competitive worry in ice hockey can be structured around a combination of four potential content domains relating to athletes’ fear of failure, negative social evaluation, injury or physical danger, and the unknown. These constructs were congruent with the situational anxiety dimensions proposed by Endler and Hackfort. Discussion focuses on the characteristic features of the four worry domains and the extent to which athletes were predisposed to experiencing each type of worry.