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Jeremy R. Dugdale, Robert C. Eklund and Sandy Gordon

The purpose of this study was to investigate appraisals and coping of elite athletes when facing expected versus unexpected stressors. Questionnaires were sent to all New Zealand athletes competing at the 1998 Commonwealth Games, and 91 athletes provided responses inside three weeks of the closing ceremony. A stressful experience that had occurred prior to or during their most important performance was identified by 71 althletes. Analysis revealed significant differences in the way athletes cognitively appraised expected and unexpected stressors. Unexpected stressors were perceived as more threatening than expected stressors. Athletes also indicated a significantly greater tendency to hold back or hesitate from responding or acting in the face of unexpected stressors in comparison to expected stressors. Athletes employed a variety of strategies to help them cope with their most stressful experience. Stressor expectedness, however, was not related to coping use or performance and coping evaluations. Finally, a modest but significant relationship was observed between coping strategy effectiveness and coping automaticity. These findings suggest that competitively functional primary and secondary cognitive appraisals of stressors may result from the preparation of athletes for potentially distressing events and circumstances associated with major international competitions.

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Yann Le Meur, Thierry Bernard, Sylvain Dorel, Chris R. Abbiss, Gérard Honnorat, Jeanick Brisswalter and Christophe Hausswirth

Purpose:

The purpose of the present study was to examine relationships between athlete’s pacing strategies and running performance during an international triathlon competition.

Methods:

Running split times for each of the 107 finishers of the 2009 European Triathlon Championships (42 females and 65 males) were determined with the use of a digital synchronized video analysis system. Five cameras were placed at various positions of the running circuit (4 laps of 2.42 km). Running speed and an index of running speed variability (IRSVrace) were subsequently calculated over each section or running split.

Results:

Mean running speed over the frst 1272 m of lap 1 was 0.76 km-h–1 (+4.4%) and 1.00 km-h–1 (+5.6%) faster than the mean running speed over the same section during the three last laps, for females and males, respectively (P < .001). A significant inverse correlation was observed between RSrace and IRSVrace for all triathletes (females r = -0.41, P = .009; males r = -0.65, P = .002; and whole population -0.76, P = .001). Females demonstrated higher IRSVrace compared with men (6.1 ± 0.5 km-h–1 and 4.0 ± 1.4 km-h–1, for females and males, respectively, P = .001) due to greater decrease in running speed over uphill sections.

Conclusions:

Pacing during the run appears to play a key role in high-level triathlon performance. Elite triathletes should reduce their initial running speed during international competitions, even if high levels of motivation and direct opponents lead them to adopt an aggressive strategy.

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Youlian Hong, Paul D. Robinson and Wan Ka Chan

The purpose of this paper was to profile game strategy used by world’s top female squash players in international competitions using postevent notational analysis methods. A total of 10 matches from the Ladies Hong Kong Open 1993 and 1994 were selected for analysis. A total of 15 right-handed competitors, who were ranked in the top 15 in the world at that time, were involved in the matches. Matches were played under the International scoring system. A 3-CDD video camera, positioned behind the court, was used to record the player’s performance throughout the matches. Frame-by-frame video notation was used to record the player, the kind of stroke, the position where the stroke was made, and the success or failure of that stroke. Shots were classified as “effective”, “ineffective”, “winning” and “losing” shots. Statistics show that the mean number of games per match was 4, rallies per game was 13.57 and shots per rally was 12.44. Of all the shots, 57.13% were “effective”, 31.36% were “ineffective”, 6.24% were “winning” and 5.27% were “losing” shots. Over half (62.01%) of all shots played were the drive, followed by drop (18.20%), volley (11.23%), boast (5.06%) and lob (3.50%). Of all shots played, 43.81% were in the back left court, 32.66% in the back right court, 13.04% in the front left court, and 10.49% in the front right court, showing that these right-handed players preferred to attack the backhand of the opponent. The drive (45.9%) was found to provide the greatest contribution shots to winning scores, with the next greatest being the drop (27.9%), then the volley (20.2), the boast (5.6%) and, finally, the lob (0.5%). Almost an equal number of cross-court shots and straight shots were played. In an average game, the winner played 50% more winning shots than the losing player, showing that in high level competition of female squash, the attacking shots, which produce the most winning scores, are required for success.

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Fiona Pelly and Susie Parker Simmons

major international competition . Appetite, 70 , 6 – 13 . PubMed ID: 23792156 doi:10.1016/j.appet.2013.06.080 10.1016/j.appet.2013.06.080 Burkhart , S.J. , & Pelly , F.E. ( 2013b ). Athletes’ opinions of food provision at the 2010 Delhi Commonwealth Games: The influence of culture and sport

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Assuman Nuhu and Matthew Kutz

Epidemiological research on soccer injuries during African soccer competition is sparse. This study was conducted among 12 teams in the Council of East and Central Africa Football Association (CECAFA) challenge cup tournament. Fifty-seven injuries were reported (2.7 injuries per match), or 82.25 injuries per 1,000 match hours. The ankle was most often injured (23%). The majority (81%) of injuries occurred as a result of traumatic contact, with the most injuries occurring in the last 30 min of the match. A majority (84%) of athletes who sustained injuries continued to play. African medical personnel should be trained to handle the unique constraints and variety of injuries sustained during soccer competition.

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Judy L. Van Raalte

Creating and delivering effective sport psychology programs for traveling groups of athletes is a challenging task, particularly when athletes have limited experience with international travel. Using key points from Poczwardowski, Sherman, and Henschen’s (1998) sport psychology service delivery heuristic, this paper provides a personal account of sport psychology services provided at the 16th Maccabiah Games. Guidelines for sport psychology consultants working and traveling with competitive athletes and teams at future international sporting events are provided.

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Gregory Shaw and Iñigo Mujika

Championship representatives, competitive across OW distances (5-, 10-, and 25-km swimmers), at a different point in their yearly training cycle than the current group. Whether these data reflect a training physique or a true international competition physique is difficult to ascertain, as competition in this

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Adam Beard, John Ashby, Ryan Chambers, Franck Brocherie and Grégoire P. Millet

performance. 3 Rugby union’s international competitions tend to have small (ie, 1–2 wk) transition periods from national clubs to international games; this can pose problems for coaches and strength and conditioning experts in preparing players adequately. The search for useful methods that are able to

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Jos J. de Koning

The quality of performance during international competitions such as the Olympic Games and various world championships is often judged by the number of world records attained. The simple fact that world records continue to improve is evidence that sports performance is progressing. Does this also mean that athletes are improving? Is the continual progression of world-record performances evidence that contemporary athletes are superior to the athletes who performed in the past? Technological developments may obscure insight into the athletic enhancement made by athletes over the years. This commentary tries to separate technological and athletic enhancement in the progression of world records by the use of a power balance model.

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David Johns

In this study the sociological and philosophical concept of the sport ethic has been utilized to explain the meaning of extreme and overconforming athlete behaviors which manifest themselves as athletic preparation. The study discloses, through the life history of a rhythmic gymnast, how the meanings and values of what it means to be an athlete were transmitted through the day-to-day discourse of athlete practice. By focusing on the dietary preoccupations of gymnasts involved in international competition, it was possible to demonstrate how modern sport preparation is not only distorted but also paradoxical, serving to push the body beyond its limits while insisting on its preservation.