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Liam D. Harper and Robert McCunn

Recent work has espoused the idea that in applied sporting environments, “fast”-working practitioners should work together with “slow”-working researchers. However, due to economical and logistical constraints, such a coupling may not always be practical. Therefore, alternative means of combining research and applied practice are needed. A particular methodology that has been used in recent years is qualitative research. Examples of qualitative methods include online surveys, 1-on-1 interviews, and focus groups. This article discusses the merits of using qualitative methods to combine applied practice and research in sport science. This includes a discussion of recent examples of the use of such methods in published journal articles, a critique of the approaches employed, and future directions and recommendations. The authors encourage both practitioners and researchers to use and engage with qualitative research with the ultimate goal of benefiting athlete health and sporting performance.

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K. Andrew R. Richards and Michael A. Hemphill

grounded in qualitative methods and data analysis literature (e.g., Glaser & Strauss, 1967 ; Lincoln & Guba, 1985 ; Patton, 2015 ). While some practical guides in the literature provide an overview of data analysis procedures, such as thematic analysis ( Braun & Clarke, 2006 ), and others discuss issues

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Corliss Bean, Majidullah Shaikh and Tanya Forneris

strategies used to facilitate program quality in youth sport and (b) explore commonalities and differences in strategies between competitive and recreational programs. Methods A qualitative descriptive methodology was employed, which supports liberty in the choice of qualitative methods, sampling, data

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Jeffrey Gehris, Jeff Kress and Ricky Swalm

This study investigated 10th-grade students’ views concerning the physical effects of an adventure-physical education curriculum and the potential of such a curriculum to enhance components of a multidimensional model of physical self-concept. Semistructured interviews were used to obtain students’ views and participant observations were conducted to corroborate those views. Open coding was used to analyze the data. Students viewed adventure activities as an alternative way to be physically active that was more fun and motivating than traditional forms of exercise. Students expressed how the adventure activities helped them build strength and endurance particularly in their arms and legs. Students felt seven components (body fat, coordination, endurance/fitness, flexibility, physical activity, sports competence, and strength) of physical self-concept were relevant to adventure-physical education and two components (appearance and health) were not. Implications for designing activities and employing teaching strategies to enhance the physical self-concept and fitness of young people are discussed.

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Kelsey McEntyre, Matthew D. Curtner-Smith and Deborah S. Baxter

and Ashworth’s ( 2008 ) spectrum of teaching styles, appropriate curriculum models for elementary school, and methods of planning and evaluation. Data Collection The data were collected by the first author (K. McEntyre) by means of six qualitative methods. Copious field notes , focused on the

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Shirley Gray, Paul M. Wright, Richard Sievwright and Stuart Robertson

). A practical iterative framework for qualitative data analysis . International Journal of Qualitative Methods, 8 , 76 – 84 . doi:10.1177/160940690900800107 10.1177/160940690900800107 Stake , R.E. ( 1995 ). The art of case study research . Thousand Oaks, CA : Sage . Stenhouse , L. ( 1975

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Stephen Silverman and Mara Manson

As a part of their doctoral education, students complete a dissertation. Examining these dissertations can provide one analysis of research in a field. The primary purpose of this study was to analyze all physical education dissertations with a teaching focus that were completed between 1985 and 1999. All possible dissertations were examined through the electronic version of Dissertation Abstracts International. For the teaching dissertations (n = 201), each abstract was coded for (a) research type, (b) research focus, (c) student variable measured, (d) observation used, (e) interview used, (f) other methods used, (g) population, (h) general methodology, and (i) statistics reported/used. Most research on teaching dissertations addressed issues related to teacher effectiveness and focused on motor skill learning and attitude. There was an increase in qualitative methods from those reported in a previous study (Silverman, 1987). While there were methodological advances, many dissertations still used methods that were not informed by the research methods literature.

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Michelle McCalpin, Blair Evans and Jean Côté

Competitive engineering is a process whereby sport organizations modify the rules, facilities, and equipment involved in sport to facilitate desirable athlete outcomes and experiences. Competitive engineering is being increasingly adopted by youth sport organizations with empirical evidence positively supporting its influence on skill development and performance. The purpose of this study was to explore young female athletes’ experiences in their modified soccer environment. Seventeen recreational and competitive soccer players, aged 8–11, participated in semistructured photo elicitation interviews that featured several visual qualitative methods (i.e., athlete-directed photography, drawing exercises, and pile-sorting) to facilitate insight on their sport environments. Results revealed that the athletes’ competitively engineered soccer experience was perceived as being a distinct environment that emphasized personal development, positive relationships, and the underlying enjoyment of sport. These findings shed light of how youth sport structure modifications influence the athletes’ experiences, providing practical implications to further promote positive youth sport experiences.

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Xiaofen D. Keating, Ke Zhou, Jingwen Liu, Rulan Shangguan, Yao Fan and Louis Harrison

The purposes of this project were to conduct an overall review of research on preservice physical education (PE) teacher (referred to preservice PE teachers as preservice specialist) and/or preservice elementary teacher (referred to preservice elementary teachers as preservice generalist) PE identities and to identify any new trends in research on the topic. Studies were selected for analysis through searches of databases in English without time limits. In total, 27 articles were identified including 14 data-based studies. The majority of the selected studies (85.7%) employed qualitative methods. Research on the topic was not dominated by any single country. The focus of previous research was centered on determinants of preservice specialists’ PE identity construction such as PE coursework and student teaching. Information about the development and measurement of PE identity among preservice specialists and generalists is still sparse. More research on examining the complexity, nurturing, and reshaping of PE identities is needed.

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Denise M. Hill, Nic Matthews and Ruth Senior

This study used qualitative methods to explore the stressors, appraisal mechanism, emotional response, and effective/ineffective coping strategies experienced by elite rugby union referees during pressurized performances. Participants included seven male rugby union referees from the United Kingdom (Mage = 27.85, SD = 4.56) who had been officiating as full-time professionals for between 1 and 16 years (M = 4.85, SD = 5.42). Data revealed that the referees encountered a number of stressors, which were appraised initially as a ‘threat’, and elicited negatively-toned emotions. The referees were able to maintain performance standards under pressure by adopting proactive, problem- and emotion-focused coping strategies which managed effectively the stressors and their emotions. However, the use of avoidance-coping, reactive control, and informal impression management were perceived as ineffective coping strategies, and associated with poor performance and choking. Recommendations are offered to inform the psychological skills training of rugby union referees.