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Nicholas S. Washburn, K. Andrew R. Richards and Oleg A. Sinelnikov

, anchored at one end by those that are highly autonomy-supportive and at the other by those that are highly controlling ( Reeve, 2009 ). Autonomy-supportive teachers generally act in ways that support students’ innate desire for psychological need satisfaction (PNS; Reeve, 2009 ). In application, these

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Kimberly Long, Shawn Meredith and Gerald W. Bell

Autonomic dysreflexia (AD), which occurs in individuals with spinal cord injuries (SCI) above T-6, is caused by an exaggerated sympathetic nervous system (SNS) response to a noxious stimulus. Blood pressure (BP) elevation is a chief symptom of acute AD; this rise in BP makes AD potentially life threatening. Autonomic dysreflexia is also referred to as autonomic hyperreflexia. For this discussion, autonomic dysreflexia will be the term used. It is estimated that approximately 90% of competitive athletes with quadriplegia have intentionally induced AD in order to enhance performance (Burnham et al., 1994). This practice, which is called “boosting,” appears to be an effective, but potentially dangerous, performance enhancement technique. Individuals who work with athletes with SCI above T-6 should be aware of the symptoms, dangers, and treatment of AD, as well as the practice of boosting in order to ensure the safety of these athletes.

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Júlio A. Costa, João Brito, Fábio Y. Nakamura, Eduardo M. Oliveira, Ovidio P. Costa and António N. Rebelo

In fact, monitoring training-related cardiac autonomic responses has been facilitated by the use of ultra-short-term HRV measurement after waking. 8 In spite of its usefulness, this method does not allow analysis of the time course of cardiac autonomic recovery postexercise or quantification of HRV

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Jillian Ward, Carol Wilkinson, Susan Vincent Graser and Keven A. Prusak

This study examined the effects of increased autonomy on (a) self-determination and (b) physical activity levels. Seventh- and eighth-grade girls (N = 122) in four classes participated in two fitness units (one allowing choice of activities, the other no-choice). The order of the units was counterbalanced, so that two classes participated in the choice unit first, and the other two participated in the no-choice unit first. The abridged Situational Intrinsic Motivation Scale (SIMS) was administered after each unit. Pedometers were used to measure step counts during both units. Overall, self-determination was higher in the choice unit. The repeated measures analysis also indicated that girls who experienced the choice unit first, and then were denied the opportunity to make choices had the lowest levels of self-determination. The results provide empirical support for the theoretical prediction that increased autonomy yields higher levels of self-determination.

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Daniel A. Boullosa, Laurinda Abreu, Fábio Y. Nakamura, Víctor E. Muñoz, Eduardo Domínguez and Anthony S. Leicht

Purpose:

The purpose of this study was to evaluate changes in autonomic control of heart rate (HR) and fitness in a group of elite soccer players during the preseason.

Methods:

Eight professional male soccer players competing in the Spanish First Division were evaluated in July (wk 1) and September (wk 8) with night-time HR variability (HRV) over 4 different days, ultra-short-term HR recovery (HRR) during a small-sided-games session, Yo-Yo Intermittent Recovery test level 1 (Yo-Yo IR1), and a field test for determination of maximum aerobic speed.

Results:

Players exhibited a greater HRV and a faster ultra-short-term HRR at wk 8, with the players with a lower HRV at wk 1 exhibiting the greatest improvements at wk 8. However, there were unclear improvements in performance parameters, with maximum HR (HRmax) being reduced over the preseason period. This change in HRmax was correlated with the change in short-term HRV parameters (ρ = 0.829, P = .042). Large correlations were observed among HRV, ultra-short-term HRR, and field performance parameters only at wk 8. Furthermore, the variation (%) of the root-mean-square of successive differences between R-R intervals was increased during the preseason (12.95% ± 15.14% to 29.39% ± 21.93%, P = .013) and significantly correlated (r = .898, P = .006) with Yo-Yo IR1 performance (~2600 ± 786 m) at wk 8.

Conclusions:

The current results support the appropriateness and practicality of night-time HRV and ultra-short-term HRR for evaluation of autonomic adaptations in professional soccer players, despite the unclear improvements in specific field performance parameters.

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Júlio A. Costa, João Brito, Fábio Y. Nakamura, Eduardo M. Oliveira and António N. Rebelo

cardiac autonomic adaptation, 2 , 4 – 6 whereas persistent reduction of these indices is associated to fatigue accumulation. 7 , 8 However, in some cases (eg, endurance sports), the increase in the parasympathetic activity can indicate an excessive overload leading to loss of performance and

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Jody Langdon, Brandonn S. Harris, Glenn P. Burdette III and Sara Rothberger

Studying perceived autonomy support, a basic tenet of self-determination theory (Deci & Ryan, 2000), provides some understanding as to how coaches can more positively influence youth athletes to enjoy and persist in youth sport. Borrowing insights from success in physical education and coaching-oriented interventions, the purpose of this paper was to highlight positive aspects and challenges of an innovative youth sport autonomy supportive training program for coaches. Positives included the initial training session and the use of an online training component. Challenges were the structure of the season, other coaches, and possibly the age of the athletes. Future training programs in youth sport coaching should increase in duration, provide specific examples of how to implement autonomy supportive coaching behaviors, as well as address solutions to the time constraints of the youth sport setting.

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Amanda J. Reynolds and Meghan H. McDonough

We examined whether coach involvement moderated the predictive effect of coach autonomy support on motivation both directly and indirectly via need satisfaction. 142 soccer players (106 female; 12-15 years) completed measures of coach autonomy support and involvement, need satisfaction, and motivation. For intrinsic motivation and identified regulation, need satisfaction mediated the effect of autonomy support, but there was also a moderated direct effect whereby autonomy support had a positive effect only when involvement was moderate to high. Autonomy support also positively predicted external regulation and negatively predicted amotivation via need satisfaction. Coach-athlete relationships that are both autonomy supportive and involved are associated with more adaptive forms of motivation, and findings suggest that lack of autonomy support may undermine need satisfaction and motivation.

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Christian Collet, Aymeric Guillot, Olivier Bolliet and André Dittmar

Purpose:

To examine the preparation phase for the snatch lift in Olympic weight lifting. Two behavioral periods were studied, each corresponding to specific mental processes: a stance in front of the bar and placement of hands on the bar. Each period was hypothesized to elicit different responses of autonomic-nervous-system activity.

Methods:

Twelve elite male subjects completed 12 lifts at 90% to 95% of their best grade after warm-up (80% of their best grade). Because peripheral autonomic-nervous-system activity is related to arousal and activation variation, 6 variables were continuously recorded: electrodermal (skin resistance and potential), thermovascular (skin temperature and skin blood flow), and cardiorespiratory (heart rate and respiratory frequency).

Results:

Responses (ie, phasic activities) were evident during the fi rst behavioral period. Decrease in heart rate (mean = 19 beats/min) or in respiratory frequency (mean = 8.6 beats/min) was related to attention processes. These responses were weaker (−0.16°C vs −0.25°C in skin temperature) and shorter (2.7 seconds vs 4.3 seconds in skin resistance) than those recorded during execution. The second phase showed variations in basal levels (mean increase in heart rate of 25%), related to increase in activation, thus attesting the muscle system’s process of preparation for effort.

Conclusion:

Weight lifters separated the preparation phase into 2 stages that were closely matched by different physiological activities. Weight lifting requires participants to share their mental resources among the 2 demanding concentration phases by first focusing their attention on the execution and then mobilizing energizing resources.

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Douglas R. Seals, Kevin D. Monahan, Christopher Bell, Hirofumi Tanaka and Pamela P. Jones

Tonic vagal modulation of cardiac period (R-R interval) decreases with advancing age, but is greater in middle-aged and older adults who habitually perform aerobic exercise compared with their sedentary peers. Cardiovagal baroreflex sensitivity also declines markedly with age in sedentary adults but only 50% as much in regularly exercising adults. In previously sedentary middle-aged and older adults, a 3-month program of moderate aerobic exercise increases cardiovagal baroreflex sensitivity by 25%. Tonic (basal) sympathetic nervous system (SNS) activity increases with advancing age in both sedentary and habitually exercising adults. Despite this, SNS b-adrenergic support of energy metabolism (resting metabolic rate-RMR) declines with age in sedentary individuals. However, SNS b-adrenergic support of RMR is maintained with age inenduranceexercise-trainedadultsandthereforeismuchgreaterinmiddle-aged and older individuals who exercise regularly compared with their sedentary peers. Thus, regular aerobic (endurance) exercise modulates selective age associated impairments in autonomic nervous system-physiological function.