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Mark J.G. Holland, Charlotte Woodcock, Jennifer Cumming and Joan L. Duda

Research on the psychological characteristics of elite performers has primarily focused on Olympic and World champions; however, the mental attributes of young developing and talented athletes have received less attention. Addressing this, the current study had two aims: (a) to examine the perceptions held by youth athletes regarding the mental qualities they need to facilitate their development and (b) to investigate the mental techniques used by these athletes. Forty-three male youth rugby players participated in a series of focus groups. Inductive content analysis revealed 11 categories of psychological qualities, including enjoyment, responsibility, adaptability, squad spirit, self-aware learner, determination, confidence, optimal performance state, game sense, attentional focus, and mental toughness. Techniques employed included personal performance strategies, refection on action, taking advantage of a supportive climate, and team-based strategies. Findings are discussed in relation to their implications for mental skills training program development and evaluation in the case of youth elite team sport athletes.

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Krystn Orr, Katherine A. Tamminen, Shane N. Sweet, Jennifer R. Tomasone and Kelly P. Arbour-Nicitopoulos

external forms of motivation ( Ryan & Deci, 2000 ), and negative outcomes ( Carr & Weigand, 2001 ), such as dissociation from sport. Additional negative impacts of need-thwarting behaviors include depression, disordered eating, and burnout among athletes in both individual and team sport across a variety

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Martin J. Turner, Stuart Carrington and Anthony Miller

distress between individual and team sport participants, between females and males, and across non-sport participants, recreational sport participants, and elite athletes. The investigation of between-groups differences in irrational beliefs and psychological distress adds to past research that reports

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Alasdair R. Dempsey, Bruce C. Elliott, Bridget J. Munro, Julie R. Steele and David G. Lloyd

Anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injuries are costly. Sidestep technique training reduces knee moments that load the ACL. This study examined whether landing technique training alters knee moments. Nineteen team sport athletes completed the study. Motion analysis and ground reaction forces were recorded before and after 6 weeks of technique modification. An inverse dynamic model was used to calculate three-dimensional knee loading. Pre- and postintervention scores were compared using paired t tests. Maximal knee flexion angle during landing was increased following training. There was no change in valgus or flexion moments, but an increase in peak internal rotation moment. This increase in internal rotation moment may increase the risk of ACL injury. However, the increased angle at which the peak internal rotation moment occurred at follow up may mitigate any increase in injury risk by reducing load transmission.

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Tania Spiteri, Nicolas H. Hart and Sophia Nimphius

The aim of this study was to compare biomechanical and perceptual-cognitive variables between sexes during an offensive and defensive agility protocol. Twelve male and female (n = 24) recreational team sport athletes participated in this study, each performing 12 offensive and defensive agility trials (6 left, 6 right) changing direction in response to movements of a human stimulus. Three-dimensional motion, ground reaction force (GRF), and impulse data were recorded across plant phase for dominant leg change of direction (COD) movements, while timing gates and high-speed video captured decision time, total running time, and post COD stride velocity. Subjects also performed a unilateral isometric squat to determine lower body strength and limb dominance. Group (sex) by condition (2 × 2) MANOVAs with follow-up ANOVAs were conducted to examine differences between groups (P ≤ .05). Male athletes demonstrated significantly greater lower body strength, vertical braking force and impulse application, knee and spine flexion, and hip abduction, as well as faster decision time and post COD stride velocity during both agility conditions compared with females. Differences between offensive and defensive movements appear to be attributed to differences in decision time between sexes. This study demonstrates that biomechanical and perceptual-cognitive differences exist between sexes and within offensive and defensive agility movements.

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Joseph J. Crisco, Elizabeth I. Drewniak, Martin P. Alvarez and David B. Spenciner

Although the sport of lacrosse has evolved dramatically over the last few decades and is presently the fastest growing team sport in the United States, the current specifications for balls date back to 1943. The purpose of this study was to see if various commercially available field lacrosse balls meet these specifications and to determine additional mechanical properties of the ball that may more completely characterize ball performance. Eight models from several manufacturers were tested. Seven models were designated for game play, while one model was promoted as a practice ball. In accordance with the specifications, the mass, circumference, and rebound height were recorded for one dozen balls from each model. The load required to compress the balls 0.0125 m and the coefficient of restitution (COR) with an incident speed of 26.80 m/s were also determined. We found that some balls met several of the specifications, but none of the models had every ball meet all the specif cations. For the two measures of ball liveliness, rebound height had a weak correlation with COR. Ball compression loads averaged about 750 N over most models, but were almost 85% less for the practice model. It appears that current governing body specifications are outdated, as no ball model we tested met these specifications. The determination of ball liveliness at more realistic speeds should also be taken into account. Since balls with low compression loads can pass through face protectors worn by lacrosse players, the sport's governing bodies may wish to consider a specification on ball compression.

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Steven L. Proctor and Candace Boan-Lenzo

This study examined the athletic status differences in reported depressive symptoms between male intercollegiate team sport athletes (n= 66) and male nonathletes (n = 51) enrolled at one of two public universities in the Southeastern United States, while controlling for preferred (task-oriented and emotion-oriented) coping strategies. Analysis of covariance (ANCOVA) revealed that the athletes reported significantly fewer depressive symptoms than nonathletes while controlling for coping strategy selection (p< .05). In terms of the actual prevalence rates of depressive symptoms, 29.4% of the nonathletes met the criterion for possible depression compared with only 15.6% of the athletes. Overall, athletic participation in an intercollegiate team sport appears related to lower levels of depression. The potentially distress-buffering aspects of athletic involvement and implications for future research are discussed.

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Michael S. Jeffress and William J. Brown

Power soccer (or powerchair football), the first competitive team sport for users of motorized wheelchairs, is receiving increased attention among people with disabilities, healthcare professionals, and academics. The present study provides a qualitative analysis of the experiences of 34 American power soccer athletes. Participant observation and in-depth interviews with 11 female and 23 male athletes were conducted between 2007 and 2013. Results indicate that involvement in power soccer provides participants with an increased sense of empowerment, acquisition of social capital, and psychosocial benefits, including a deep satisfaction of the desire to participate in competitive sports and an opportunity to be independent. Implications of these findings for improving the quality of life of people with physical disabilities and for future research are discussed.

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Anne M. Haase

As female athletes participating in physique-salient sports report similar levels of social physique anxiety (SPA) and disordered eating symptoms compared with those in nonphysique salient sports, alternative factors contributing to disordered eating require consideration, specifically participation in sport type (team vs. individual). This study examined SPA and disordered eating correlates in female athletes (N= 137) in two sport types (team sports and individual sports). Individual sport athletes exhibited higher SPA, F(1, 135) = 22.03, p< .001; dieting, Brown and Forsythe’s F(1, 57.05) = 43.79, p< .001; and bulimic behavior, Brown and Forsythe’s F(1, 59.92) = 13.45, p= .001 than team sport athletes. SPA and sport type together predicted 44% of dieting and 22% of bulimic symptom variance, suggesting that individual-sport athletes with higher SPA experienced greater disordered eating. Involvement in individual sports where physique is more open to social evaluation may contribute to dieting and bulimic symptoms among female athletes.

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Tomasz Tasiemski and Britton W. Brewer

This study examined interrelationships among athletic identity, sport participation, and psychological adjustment in a sample of people with spinal cord injury (SCI). Participants (N = 1,034) completed measures of athletic identity, life satisfaction, anxiety, depression, and demographic and sport participation variables. Current amount of weekly sport participation was positively related to athletic identity when statistically controlling for age, gender, and pre-SCI amount of weekly sport participation. Being able to practice one’s favorite sport after SCI was associated with higher levels of athletic identity and better psychological adjustment. Team sport participants reported experiencing better psychological adjustment than individual sport participants did. The findings suggest that social factors are important in the link between sport participation and psychological adjustment in people with SCI.