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Henning Plessner

Several studies have found that gymnasts’ placement in within-team order affects their scores (e.g., Scheer & Ansorge, 1975). This effect has been explained in terms of judges’ expectations yielding a cognitive confirmation. In the present study, the influence of expectations on gymnastics judging was conceptualized within the schema approach of social cognition research. Three factors are addressed that contribute to the understanding of the placement effect: task difficulty, social situation, and process stages. In an experiment, 48 gymnastics judges scored videotaped routines of a men’s team competition. Target routines appeared either in the first or the fifth position of within-team order. Depending on the difficulty of the judgment task, a significant placement effect was found. This effect resulted from biased encoding of single elements, as well as from heuristic judgment strategies. Results are discussed in reference to the practice of gymnastics judging.

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Annamari Maaranen, Judy L. Van Raalte and Britton W. Brewer

athletes lose the ability to perform previously automatic backward moving gymnastics skills as a normal part of a routine, such as round-off to back handspring on the floor, flight series on the balance beam, and dismounts on the uneven bars, for reasons unrelated to slumping, choking, or fear of injury

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Scott B. Martin, Christy M. Polster, Allen W. Jackson, Christy A. Greenleaf and Gretchen M. Jones

The purpose of this investigation was to explore the frequency and intensity of worries and fears associated with competitive gymnastics. These issues were initially examined in a sample of 7 female college gymnasts using a semistructured guided interview. From the themes that emerged and relevant literature, a survey including parallel intensity and frequency of worry questions was administered to 120 female gymnasts competing in USA Gymnastics sanctioned events. Results indicated that even though gymnasts worry about attempting and performing skills on the balance beam and uneven bars, more of them experienced a greater number of injuries on the floor exercise. Analysis of covariance for intensity and frequency using age as the covariate revealed that advanced gymnasts had more intense worries about body changes and performing skills and more frequent worries about body changes than less skilled gymnasts (p < .05). Advanced gymnasts also reported using more strategies to modify their worries than did less skilled gymnasts.

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Andrea N. Eagleman, Adam Karg and Ryan M. Rodenberg

This case explores the complex multi-layered governance structure in the international Olympic sport of gymnastics, describing in detail the governance structures and operations of each layer – the International Olympic Committee (IOC), Fédération Internationale de Gymnastique (FIG), which is the international federation for gymnastics, and the national governing bodies (NGB) of gymnastics in the United States and Australia, USA Gymnastics and Gymnastics Australia. While both NGBs highlighted in this case are deemed to be successful on an international level, the case reveals many subtle differences between the two, which can be discussed in both governance and organizational behavior contexts. Finally, the timely issue of age fraud in gymnastics and the response from each level of governance are presented and provide an opportunity for further in-depth discussion.

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Annamari Maaranen, Judy L. Van Raalte and Britton W. Brewer

Flikikammo is a troubling phenomenon in which athletes lose the ability to perform previously automatic backward moving gymnastics skills as a normal part of a routine. To better understand the effects of flikikammo over time, the confidence, perceived pressure, physical well-being, energy, and stress levels of gymnasts (n = 6) and cheerleaders (n = 4) were assessed weekly over 10 weeks. Half of the participants reported experiencing flikikammo at the start of the study, and half served as age, skill level, and sport-matched controls. Athletes with flikikammo indicated that pressure from coaches and higher energy levels were related to more severe flikikammo. For participants under the age of 18, higher levels of life stress positively correlated with flikikammo, but for those over 18, higher life stress was negatively correlated with flikikammo. These findings highlight the complexity of flikikammo and suggest that complex solutions may be needed to address flikikammo issues.

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Dimitrios C. Milosis, Athanasios G. Papaioannou, Theophanis A. Siatras, Miltiadis Proios and Michael Proios

The aims of the study were (a) to test the effectiveness of the theory of planned behavior (TPB) to predict Greek university students’ voluntary participation in an extracurricular gymnastics course, and (b) to evaluate gender differences. Two hundred sixty-three (127 female, 136 male) students participated in the study. Students’ attitudes, intention, and PBC were measured with a questionnaire and their attendance in the course was recorded by the teacher. Results from the MANOVA conducted showed that females had higher scores compared with males in all observed variables. Results from the structural equation modeling (SEM) employed supported the usefulness of TPB to explain students’ attitudes and behavior toward extracurricular physical activities (PA). Differences also emerged on path structure of the relationships among the variables.

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Michael J. Hiley and Maurice R. Yeadon

The upstart is a fundamental skill in gymnastics, requiring whole body coordination to transfer the gymnast from a swing beneath the bar to a support position above the bar. The aim of this study was to determine the solution space within which a gymnast could successfully perform an upstart. A previous study had shown that the underlying control strategy for the upstart could be accounted for by maximizing the likelihood of success while operating in a noisy environment.1 In the current study, data were collected on a senior gymnast and a computer simulation model of a gymnast and bar was used to determine the solution space for maximizing success while operating in a noisy environment. The effects of timing important actions, gymnast strength, and movement execution noise on the success of the upstart were then systematically determined. The solution space for the senior gymnast was relatively large. Decreasing strength and increasing movement execution noise reduced the size of the solution space. A weaker gymnast would have to use a different technique than that used by the senior gymnast to produce an acceptable success rate.

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Jensen Moore, Ashley Hesson and Khristen Jones

This research examined how NBC Universal’s coverage of the Olympic final for the women’s gymnastics teams influenced the news media’s and public’s perceptions of the event. Guided by framing and social construction of reality, the authors conducted a thematic analysis on 487 textual items from mainstream-news and social-media sites. Major themes found were creating drama, caring about ratings/money, crossing ethical lines, embarrassing other media, and following news routines. The analysis indicated that audience members did not prefer the edited version of events. Although incomplete coverage shaped viewers’ perceived reality, many used alternative resources to form an accurate understanding of reality.

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Orges Lena, Jasemin Todri, Ardita Todri, José Luis Martínez Gil and Maria Gomez Gallego

There is a real interest in knowing why low back pain (LBP) has become a very common disease in elite gymnastics athletes, given that it is assumed that they are in good physical conditions. One of the main causes cited in the literature about the reason why even athletes with a high physical

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Rebecca Robertson, Laura St. Germain and Diane M. Ste-Marie

(control group) or observed a split screen modeling technique while trying to learn a complex gymnastics skill. The split screen technique involved displaying the self-observation video on one side of the screen and the skilled model video on the other side of the screen. These two videos played