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Lorraine Cale and Jo Harris

principles of activity programming and training, including: -progression -overload -specificity -balance, moderation, and variety -maintenance -reversibility -cost–benefit ratio Explain factors affecting participation and constraints to being active and explore how to overcome the latter to gain access to

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Karen E. French, Judith E. Rink, Linda Rikard, Amys Mays, Susan Lynn and Peter Werner

The purpose was to compare the effectiveness of practice progressions on learning the volleyball serve and overhead set. Ninth-grade students were randomly assigned to three groups. Each group practiced the volleyball serve and set for 60 trials over 6 days. The progression group practiced four levels of difficulty of the set and serve. The criterion group began practice at the beginning level of difficulty and had to achieve an 80% success rate before practicing at a more advanced level. The third group practiced the AAHPERD volleyball skill tests for the serve and set for all 60 trials. At the end of practice, all subjects were posttested using these AAHPERD tests. The results indicated the progression and criterion groups had higher posttest scores than the third group. Profiles of the success rates across acquisition for each group showed that students in the third group and low-skilled students in the progression and criterion groups did not improve during practice. Students with some initial skill in the progression and criterion groups exhibited high success rates for acquisition and improvement. These results indicate that sequencing practice in progressive levels of difficulty enhances retention when task difficulty is appropriate for the learner. However, no condition was effective when task difficulty was inappropriate for the learner.

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Sian V. Allen, Tom J. Vandenbogaerde and Will G. Hopkins

Many national sporting organizations recruit talented athletes to well-resourced centralized training squads to improve their performance.

Purpose:

To develop a method to monitor performance progression of swimming squads and to use this method to assess the progression of New Zealand’s centralized elite swimming squad.

Methods:

Best annual long-course competition times of all New Zealand swimmers with at least 3 y of performances in an event between 2002 and 2013 were downloaded from takeyourmarks.com (~281,000 times from ~8500 swimmers). A mixed linear model accounting for event, age, club, year, and elite-squad membership produced estimates of mean annual performance for 175 swim clubs and mean estimates of the deviation of swimmers’ performances from their individual quadratic trajectories after they joined the elite squad. Effects were evaluated using magnitude-based inferences, with a smallest important improvement in swim time of –0.24%.

Results:

Before 2009, effects of elite-squad membership were mostly unclear and trivial to small in magnitude. Thereafter, both sexes showed clear additional performance enhancements, increasing from large in 2009 (males –1.4% ± 0.8%, females –1.5% ± 0.8%; mean ± 90% confidence limits) to extremely large in 2013 (males –6.8% ± 1.7%, females –9.8% ± 2.9%). Some clubs also showed clear performance trends during the 11-y period.

Conclusions:

Our method of quantifying deviations from individual trends in competition performance with a mixed model showed that Swimming New Zealand’s centralization strategy took several years to produce substantial performance effects. The method may also be useful for evaluating performance-enhancement strategies introduced at national or club level in other sports.

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Tom Willmott and Dave Collins

This study offered a first examination of skill development within freeskiing and snowboarding, using semistructured interviews to examine trick progression. Participants were purposefully recruited as performing at world top 8 level in 2014, the most recent Winter Olympic Games. A semi structured interview protocol, using a personalized progress chart, enabled the examination of trick progression across disciplines, with at least one participant from each of the events represented at the Games. Trick progression was achieved intermittently, moving through different stages during the year subject to experiencing the right conditions, training facilities, balancing time for progression with time for consolidation, competition periods and rehabilitating from injuries. There was high variance in the duration of trick progression between individuals and also high variance in the number of repetitions required to land a trick in competition. Imagery was a mental skill widely used and universally supported by our sample. Athletes and coaches should take directionality into consideration when planning their progression, ensuring all four directions are included and that prerequisite manoeuvres are included in an athlete’s training repertoire at the right stage to facilitate the learning of more complex manoeuvres at a later stage of development. Our data found a 60–40 balance between time-spent training on and off-snow, further research is required to determine the best combination of traditional strength and conditioning versus movement conditioning approaches, both from an injury prevention and a performance enhancement perspective.

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Joanna E. Gelinas and Greg Reid

The purpose was to determine whether traditional learn-to-swim progressions, leading to a 10-m front and 10-m back swim, were developmentally valid for children with physical disabilities. Forty children (22 boys, 18 girls) ages 5 to 12 years participated. They were classified according to disability type, functional sport classification, mode of ambulation, and flotation device use. Developmental validity was assessed by testing the children on rhythmic breathing, front float, front glide, front swim, back float, back glide, and back swim. Each skill was deemed successful if the child accomplished all performance criteria of that skill. Atypical progression was evident if a child performed a skill without the ability to perform skills previously listed in that progression. Atypical progression occurred in 32 (80%) children in the front skills and 22 (55%) in the back skills, which indicates that the traditional learn-to-swim progressions for both the 10-m front swim and the 10-m back swim were not developmentally valid for most children with physical disabilities in the conducted research.

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Edward P. Hebert, Dennis Landin and Melinda A. Solmon

A major focus of research on teaching and learning for the past decade has been directed toward developing an understanding of student behaviors and thought processes related to achievement. Using a mediational-processes approach, researchers have identified engagement variables that predict skill learning gains, most notably the quality and quantity of practice and student self-perceptions of efficacy and competence. We sought to extend this correlational research by examining how one aspect of instruction, task progressions, influenced students’ practice quality and task-related cognition. University students enrolled in tennis classes were taught and practiced the serve under one of three conditions, two characterized by easy-to-difficult task sequences, and the third involving practice of the criterion task. Data were collected on students’ practice trials and three task-related cognitions: motivation, self-efficacy, and perception of success. The results indicated student practice and task-related thoughts varied according to entry skill level and the condition under which they practiced. Instructional conditions involving easy-to-difficult progressions resulted in more successful and appropriate practice trials and enhanced student self-efficacy and motivation. These findings parallel those previously reported on the impact of student ability on practice quality and add to an understanding of how instructional conditions affect what students think and do in physical education class contexts.

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Thomas A. Haugen, Paul A. Solberg, Carl Foster, Ricardo Morán-Navarro, Felix Breitschädel and Will G. Hopkins

progression. Interestingly, women improved more than men in most event groups in the 5 years preceding age of peak performance. Seemingly, world-class women responded better to training than men during this period. This relationship is somewhat opposite during the teens, as Tønnessen et al 6 observed higher

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Paul A. Solberg, Will G. Hopkins, Gøran Paulsen and Thomas A. Haugen

.1152/japplphysiol.00299.2006 10.1152/japplphysiol.00299.2006 16690791 16. Haugen T , Solberg PA , Morán-Navarro R , Breitschädel F , Hopkins W , Foster C . Peak age and performance progression in world-class track-and-field athletes . Int J Sports Physiol Perform . 2018 ; 13 ( 9 ): 1122 – 1129

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Jac Orie, Nico Hofman, Jos J. de Koning and Carl Foster

During the last decade discussion about training-intensity distribution has been an important issue in sports science. Training-intensity distribution has not been adequately investigated in speed skating, a unique activity requiring both high power and high endurance.

Purpose:

To quantify the training-intensity distribution and training hours of successful Olympic speed skaters over 10 Olympiads.

Methods:

Olympic-medal-winning trainers/coaches and speed skaters were interviewed and their training programs were analyzed. Each program was qualified and quantified: workout type (specific and nonspecific) and training zones (zone 1 ≤2 mMol/L lactate, zone 2 2–4 mMol/L lactate, zone 3 lactate >4 mMol/L). Net training times were calculated.

Results:

The relation between total training hours and time (successive Olympiads) was not progressive (r = .51, P > .5). A strong positive linear relation (r = .96, P < .01) was found between training distribution in zone 1 and time. Zones 2 and 3 both showed a strong negative linear relation to time (r = –.94, P < .01; r = –.97, P < .01). No significant relation was found between speed skating hours and time (r = –.11, P > .05). This was also the case for inline skating and time (r = –.86, P > .05).

Conclusions:

These data indicate that in speed skating there was a shift toward polarized training over the last 38 y. This shift seems to be the most important factor in the development of Olympic speed skaters. Surprisingly there was no relation found between training hours, skating hours, and time.

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Rita M. Malcata, Tom J. Vandenbogaerde and Will G. Hopkins

There is a need for fair measures of country sport performance that include athletes who do not win medals.

Purpose:

To develop a measure of country performance based on athlete ranks in the sport of swimming.

Methods:

Annual top-150 ranks in Olympic pool-swimming events were downloaded for 1990 through 2011. For each athlete of a given rank, a score representing the athlete’s performance potential was estimated as the proportion of athletes of that rank who ever achieved top rank. A country’s scores were calculated by summing its athletes’ scores over all 32 events. Reliability and convergent validity were assessed via year-to-year correlations and correlations with medal counts at major competitions. The method was also applied to ranks at the 2012 Olympics to evaluate countries’ swimming performance.

Results:

The performance score of an athlete of a given rank was closely approximated by 1/rank. This simpler score has 1 practical interpretation: An athlete ranked 7th (for example) has a chance of 1/7 of ever achieving top rank; for purposes of evaluating country performance, 7 such athletes are equivalent to 1 athlete of the top rank. Country scores obtained by summing 1/rank of the country’s athletes had high reliability and validity. This approach produced scores for 168 countries at the Olympics, whereas only 17 countries won medals.

Conclusions:

The authors used the sport of swimming to develop a fair and inclusive measure representing a country’s performance potential. This measure should be suitable for assessing countries in any sports with world rankings or with athletes at major competitions.