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Cesar R. Torres

In contemporary sport, it is common to see children initiating their specialization at ever younger ages with the hope that this early start will assist them in making the elite ranks at a later age. The growing acceptance of early sport specialization has led to equally growing concerns among researchers. Clearly, as this thematic volume attests, early sport specialization is a controversial phenomenon. Sport philosophers have started to study the challenging issues related to early sport specialization and thus there is emerging literature addressing such issues. This paper reviews the sport philosophy literature touching on early sport specialization and focuses on some fundamental philosophical issues raised by early sport specialization. These issues are related to the right of children to an open future, dangerous sports, competition and coaching, and doping and genetic enhancements. The paper concludes with a brief commentary on the relevance of these issues for policy making.

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Julene Ensign, Amelia Mays Woods and Pamela Hodges Kulinna


This study evaluated the teaching effectiveness of six first-year physical educators, three Southwestern and three Midwestern graduates, employing different curricular approaches.


Utilizing surveys, interviews, questionnaires, and systematic observations, data were analyzed through a framework of seven essential teaching tasks (Rink, 2002).


Data indicated overall mean scores of 34% motor appropriate activity with Academic Learning Time-Physical Education (ALT-PE) and a rating of 70.37 on the Qualitative Measures of Teacher Performance Scale (QMTPS). Notable contrasts included higher mean scores for Southwest participants for motor-appropriate and motor-inappropriate activity. Midwest participants devoted more time to game situations, management, and social behavior. For QMTPS, Southwest means were higher in every category. Qualitative themes produced similarities in teaching philosophy, fidelity to preservice training, and perceived value of reflective practices. Contrasts existed in curricular emphases and approaches to classroom management.


Characteristics of effective teaching were demonstrated by all participants regardless of curricular emphasis.

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Urbain Claeys

This paper deals with the evolution of the concept of sport and the changing sport participation patterns in Europe. The concept of sport has evolved under the influence of the “Sports for All” philosophy. The entire Sports for All campaign has helped open up the definition of sport. Its borders have been shifted, both for participants and scientists. There are now more sports than ever, and more physical activities are considered sports. Sport participation is a result of a complex set of factors: facilities and organizations, patterns of sport socialization, personal motivations, and also the current changes taking place in society. In this discussion, special attention is paid to the relationship between sport socialization and sport participation patterns.

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William J. Rudman

This paper focuses on how age affects involvement in sport and physical activity. Investigated are questions related to how age differences in perceived barriers and outcomes to involvement in sport and physical activity, socioeconomic status, and sport philosophy/ideology affect joining a corporate versus a private sport and fitness program. A developmental lifestyle perspective is offered as the theoretical premise on which interpretations of the data are based. Findings from this study clearly show that reasons for involvement in sport and physical activity vary across the life cycle. At younger ages the psychological benefits associated with work related stress are perceived as the most important reason for involvement. During middle age, philosophical and ideological reasons begin to determine the setting where involvement in these programs takes place. Finally, for older individuals, philosophical differences along with socioeconomic factors determine both the extent and where involvement occurs.

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Connie L. Blakemore, H. Gill Hilton, Joyce M. Harrison, Tracy L. Pellett and James Gresh

Mastery learning is an instructional strategy that embraces the philosophy that almost any student can learn what is being taught given sufficient time and help. Through Bloom’s group-based, teacher-paced model, 71 seventh-grade boys were taught basketball skills. Students in two treatment groups (mastery and nonmastery) and a control group were compared on the performance of psychomotor skills in isolation and in a competitive game situation before, midway through, and following their training. Students in the mastery group were not taught new skills until 80% had mastered the present skills. The mastery group performed significantly better on isolated skills than did the nonmastery and control groups. There was no significant difference between groups in the performance of skills in a competitive game situation.

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Emily A. Roper, Douglas J. Molnar and Craig A. Wrisberg

In the sport, physical activity, and aging literature, much attention has been given to the importance of physical activity and sport involvement for the elderly. Most of the literature, however, has focused on the continuity of physical activity among older adults. The purpose of this study was to extend the understanding of older sport participants by conducting a case study of Max Springer, a male, White master runner (88 years old). We assumed that continuity in sport would represent a primary adaptive strategy for coping with the aging process. In addition to two in-depth interviews with Max, the authors interviewed various other “participants” regarding their perceptions of Max as an older runner. From deductive analysis of the interview material, the following themes emerged as figural to Max’s experience as an older runner: tradition of always being physically active, I’m not an athlete, being of senior age, meaning and philosophy of running, and significance of social support.

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Grace Goc-Karp and Dorothy B. Zakrajsek

This study determined and compared the planning models taught in preservice physical education (theoretical) with those practiced in junior high school physical education (reality). Empirical and ethnographic data were collected through a survey of college professors (n = 59), close-ended (n = 36) and open-ended surveys of teachers (n = 28), and a nonparticipant observation study (n = 4). The results indicated that the theoretical model focused on planning for student learning whereas the reality model focused on planning for teaching. The personal philosophy of the teachers, coaching commitments, the teachers’ routines of planning and teaching, and the students’ reactions were major influences on how teachers planned and why they planned. Reasons for lack of transfer of the planning model from theory into practice are discussed and suggestions for further investigation are made.

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Inez Rovegno and Dianna Bandhauer

This interpretive case study describes five norms of the school culture that facilitated a teacher’s (the second author) adoption and learning of a constructivist approach to physical education. The second author used a movement approach initially based on Every Child a Winner. The first author conducted field observations at the elementary school across 3 years and formal interviews and numerous informal interviews each day of field work with teachers, principals, staff, and children. The five norms or set of norms were (a) the set of norms defining the school philosophy, (b) teacher learning, (c) teacher participatory power and responsibility, (d) continual school improvement, and (e) the tendency “to feel that we can do anything.” The paper describes how the norms influenced the physical educator and the physical educators’ role in creating and maintaining the norms.

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Nammi Lee, Steven J. Jackson and Keunmo Lee

This study examines how one sporting figure came to signify fundamental shifts in Korean society at the beginning of the 21st century—a time when Korean society was destabilized and seeking to reposition itself within the global economy. Guus Hiddink, a Dutch-born soccer coach, is credited with helping Korea attain its highest-ever ranking at the 2002 World Cup. Sporting achievements aside, Hiddink’s role as a foreigner and national Korean hero presents a unique and unprecedented case study of the relationship between globalization, nationalism, and neoliberal citizenship. Hiddink was the first foreigner ever to be awarded honorary national citizenship. Furthermore, his general coaching strategies and philosophies assumed a mantralike quality, popularly referred to as the Hiddink syndrome, that influenced wider cultural changes with respect to economics, politics, education, and the very definition of national citizenship and identity.

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Dwight H. Zakus

Many IOC actions have led to results that could be described as tragedy and farce. By comparing the presidency of Pierre de Coubertin with that of Avery Brundage, and comparing the decisions made in the denial of Jim Thorpe’s victories with the suspension of Karl Schranz, it is possible to see examples of tragedy and farce in the history of the Olympic movement. Further, it becomes possible to see how some of these actions and decisions have become hypocritical. The notion of hypocrisy is contained in Hoberman’s idea of “amoral universalism.” Several times the IOC has had to reverse its decisions regarding athletes. These decisions have resulted from hypocritical actions of the IOC in its attempt to maintain its version of Olympism as the guiding philosophy of the Olympic movement. The recent events surrounding Ben Johnson exemplify how the “amoral universalism,” and consequently the hypocrisy inherent in the Olympic movement, continue to affect the direct producers of Olympic performances.