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Kate L. Pumpa, Sharon M. Madigan, Ruth E. Wood-Martin, Richelle Flanagan, and Noreen Roche

The use of sport supplements presents a dilemma for many of those involved in supporting athletes, including coaches, families, support staff, and the athletes themselves. Often the information that they source can be incorrect and promote a biased view regarding the use of nutritional supplements. The aim of this case study was to describe the process that occurred around the development of a series of targeted educational fact sheets on a range of nutritional supplements for Irish athletes. It describes the initiation and support of the process by the Irish Sports Council; one of its subgroups, the Food and Food Supplements Committee; and the Irish Institute of Sport. A needs assessment through questionnaires was carried out to establish the most commonly used sport nutrition supplements by athletes age 16 or over in Ireland. Respondents completed 105 questionnaires over a 4-mo period in 2008–09 that led to the production of 20 supplement fact sheets. These supplement fact sheets will enable Irish athletes to access high-quality, up-to-date, scientific information about the supplements they have reported consuming. Since personal reading had a strong influence over athletes’ decision-making process for taking nutritional supplements, as did scientific research, fact sheets available on the Internet from a reliable source are an ideal way to educate Irish athletes.

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Brent C. Mangus and Cynthia A. Trowbridge

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Richard M. Brede and Henry J. Camp

Educational performances of various types of male student-athletes participating in football and basketball at an NCAA Division I school are compared for each enrollment period during one academic year. These comparisons indicate three basic patterns of educational performance, patterns that involve the differential use among these student-athlete types of extra semesters as well as letter grade and credit hour changes in order to meet eligibility requirements. Meeting eligibility requirements is a year-round struggle for one fourth of the student-athletes studied. We conclude with some suggestions for additional research on student-athlete education.

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Sameep D. Maniar, Lewis A. Curry, John Sommers-Flanagan, and James A. Walsh

This study’s purpose was to evaluate athlete willingness to seek help from various sport-titled and non sport-titled individuals when confronted with three common sport performance problem scenarios: midseason slump, return from serious injury, and desire to perform more optimally. Athlete intervention preferences were also assessed. Data were collected on a stratified (by gender) random sample of 60 NCAA Division I athletes. Using an observable one-point difference on a nine-point Likert-type scale and a corresponding moderate to large main effect (Cohen’s d < .40), results indicated that for all scenarios, athletes preferred seeking help from a coach over sport-titled professionals, whereas sport-titled professionals were preferred over counselors and clinical psychologists. Goal setting and imagery were the preferred interventions. Hypnosis and medication were less preferred. The discussion focuses on sport-related professional titles and athlete education to enhance service acceptability.

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Stephanie Cunningham, T. Bettina Cornwell, and Leonard V. Coote

Despite the popularity of sponsorship-linked marketing programs, we know little about how firms form sponsorship policies. This article describes a corporate identity-sponsorship policy link and offers empirical support for it via a mixed method research design. Content analysis of 146 Fortune 500 companies’ online sponsorship policies and mission statements is followed by cluster, factor and multinomial regression techniques. Results show that corporate identity, as reflected in mission statements, matters to sponsorship policy. Specifically, companies emphasizing financial success in their mission statements prefer to sponsor individual athletes, education, the environment and health-related activities. Alternatively, companies stressing the importance of employees demonstrate a propensity to sponsor team sports, entertainment, religious, community, charity and business related activities. Reasons for these strategic differences are discussed.

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Melissa C. Kay, Cailee E. Welch, and Tamara C. Valovich McLeod

Clinical Scenario:

Concussions are one of the most common sport-related injuries affecting athletes participating at all levels across a variety of sports. It has been reported that up to 3.8 million concussive events occur per year that are sports-related. One significant issue with identifying concussions is that a clinical diagnosis is based on the presence of signs and symptoms, which are self-reported by the patient. In the adolescent population, injury to the brain is possible with even the slightest insult, which can affect recovery and predispose them to subsequent concussions. Recent legislative efforts have included athlete education as a means to improve concussion reporting. More specifically, all 50 US states and the District of Columbia have implemented concussion legislation that includes some type of concussion education protocol, but there is still little evidence to suggest that enhanced knowledge levels result in behavior changes, including improved concussion-reporting practices. It is unclear what factors make an adolescent athlete more or less likely to report the symptoms of a concussion.

Focused Clinical Question:

What factors positively or negatively influence secondary school athletes’ likelihood of reporting symptoms of sport-related concussions?

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Anna Baylis, David Cameron-Smith, and Louise M. Burke

Many athletes report using a wide range of special sports foods and supplements. In the present study of 77 elite Australian swimmers, 99% of those surveyed reported the use of these special preparations, with 94% of swimmers reporting the use of non-food supplements. The most popular dietary supplements were vitamin or mineral supplements (used by 94% of the group), herbal preparations (61%), and creatine (31%). Eighty-seven percent of swimmers reported using a sports drink or other energy-providing sports food. In total, 207 different products were reported in this survey. Sports supplements, particularly supplements presented as pills or other non-food form, are poorly regulated in most countries, with little assurance of quality control. The risk of an inadvertent “positive doping test” through the use of sports supplements or sports foods is a small but real problem facing athletes who compete in events governed by anti-doping rules. The elite swimmers in this survey reported that information about the “doping safety” of supplements was important and should be funded by supplement manufacturers. Although it is challenging to provide such information, we suggest a model to provide an accredited testing program suitable for the Australian situation, with targeted athlete education about the “sports safety” of sports supplements and foods.

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Jason D. Vescovi and Jaci L. VanHeest

This observational case study examined the association of inter- and intraday energy intake and exercise energy expenditure with bone health, menstrual status and hematological factors in a female triathlete. The study spanned 7 months whereby energy intake and exercise energy expenditure were monitored three times (13 d); 16 blood samples were taken, urinary hormones were assessed for 3 months, and bone mineral density was measured twice. Energy availability tended to be sustained below 30 kcal/kg FFM/d and intraday energy intake patterns were often “back-loaded” with approximately 46% of energy consumed after 6 p.m. Most triiodothyronine values were low (1.1–1.2nmol/L) and supportive of reduced energy availability. The athlete had suppressed estradiol (105.1 ± 71.7pmol/L) and progesterone (1.79 ±1.19nmol/L) concentrations as well as urinary sex-steroid metabolites during the entire monitoring period. Lumbar spine (L1-L4) bone mineral density was low (age-matched Z-score −1.4 to −1.5). Despite these health related maladies the athlete was able to perform typical weekly training loads (swim: 30–40 km, bike: 120–300 km, run 45–70 km) and was competitive as indicated by her continued improvement in ITU World Ranking during and beyond the assessment period. There is a delicate balance between health and performance that can become blurred especially for endurance athletes. Education (athletes, coaches, parents) and continued monitoring of specific indicators will enable evidence-based recommendations to be provided and help reduced the risk of health related issues while maximizing performance gains. Future research needs to longitudinally examine how performance on standardized tests in each discipline (e.g., 800-m swim, 20-km time trial, 5-km run) is impacted when aspects of the female athlete triad are present.

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Margo L. Mountjoy, Louise M. Burke, Trent Stellingwerff, and Jorunn Sundgot-Borgen

Code ( 2016 ) encourages all stakeholders to “take measures … to ensure that sport is practiced to minimize harm to the health of the athletes.” Currently, the RED-S iceberg is largely uncharted by most sports policy makers, IFs, National Olympic Committees, coaches, and athletes. Education is needed

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Fabrice Burlot, Mathilde Desenfant, and Helene Joncheray

( Starkes, 2000 ). With this as background, several researchers criticized the lack of protection for athletes. Donnelly and Petherick ( 2004 ) showed that the temporal drifts of these sporting constraints (more training and competition) had serious consequences on athleteseducation and