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Liam A. Slack, Ian W. Maynard, Joanne Butt and Peter Olusoga

The present study evaluated the effectiveness of a Mental Toughness Education and Training Program (MTETP) in elite football officiating. The MTETP consisted of four individual and two group-based workshops designed to develop mental toughness (MT) and enhance performance in three English Football League (EFL) referees. Adopting a single-subject, multiple-baseline-across-participants design, MT and referee-assessor reports were evaluated. Self and coach-ratings of MT highlighted an instant and continued improvement in all three referees during the intervention phases. Performance reports of all referees improved throughout the intervention phases compared with the baseline phase. Social validation data indicated that an array of strategies within the MTETP facilitated MT development. Discussions acknowledge theoretical and practical implications relating to the continued progression of MT interventions in elite sport.

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Jack M. Guralnik, Suzanne Leveille, Stefano Volpato, Marcia S. Marx and Jiska Cohen-Mansfield

Epidemiological studies have demonstrated that, using objective performance measures of physical functioning, disability risk can be predicted in nondisabled older adults. This makes it possible to recruit a nondisabled but at-risk population for clinical trials of disability prevention. Successful disability prevention in this population, for example through an exercise program, would have a major public health impact. To enhance the development of exercise interventions in this group it would be valuable to have additional information not available from existing epidemiologic studies. This report examines the evidence that functional limitations preceding disability can be identified in a community-dwelling population and that it is feasible to recruit these people into studies. It introduces a series of articles examining the characteristics of this population: motivators and barriers to exercise, exercise habits and preferences, the impact of positive and negative affect, and the impact of pain and functional limitations on attitudes toward exercise.

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Sherilee Randle and Robert Weinberg

The purpose of the present investigation was to empirically examine Hanin’s (1980) Zone of Optimal Functioning (ZOF) hypothesis using a multidimensional anxiety approach. Female collegiate softball players (N = 13) had optimal cognitive, somatic, and combined cognitive/somatic anxiety zones created using three different methods (retrospective-best, retrospective-postcompetition, precompetition) over seven different competitions to test the relationship between ZOF and both subjective and objective performance measures. Results revealed no significant differences between the three different methods of determining players’ zones of optimal functioning. In addition, no significant differences were found in subjective performance regardless of whether performance was inside or outside players’ cognitive, somatic, or cognitive/somatic combined zones. Nonparametric analyses revealed superior objective performance occurred when players were outside their combined somatic/cognitive ZOF. Results are discussed in terms of Hanin’s ZOF hypothesis and methodological limitations in examining optimal anxiety states, assessing performance, and the operationalization of the optimal zone of functioning.

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Tzu Chuan Yen, Nima Toosizadeh, Carol Howe, Michael Dohm, Jane Mohler and Bijan Najafi

Balance assessments could render useful objective performance measures to evaluate the efficacy of low back surgeries, yet these assessments have not been collectively examined to determine longitudinal sensitivity across surgical interventions. The purpose of this review was to determine sensitivity of balance measurements for disparate spinal disorders after surgical intervention. We searched PubMed, Embase, Scopus, the Cochrane Library, Web of Science, and CINAHL. Articles were selected based on: (1) sample consisted of low back disorder individuals and (2) balance measurements were obtained both pre- and postsurgery. Most of the articles addressed 2 specific low back disorders: (1) adolescent idiopathic scoliosis/spinal fusion and (2) disc herniation/decompression surgery. For scoliosis patients, body sway increased (14–97%) immediately following surgery but gradually reduced (1–33%) approaching the 1-year post spinal fusion assessment. For patients with disc herniation, sway range, sway velocity, sway area, and sway variability all decreased (19–42%) immediately postsurgery. Balance assessments for adolescents with idiopathic scoliosis who underwent surgical intervention should be performed with visual occlusion, focus on time domain parameters, and evaluated with longer follow-up times. Patients with disc herniation who underwent decompression surgery should have balance assessments with visual deprivation, test conditions specifically addressing hip strategy, and correlation with pain.

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Tobias Lundgren, Gustaf Reinebo, Markus Näslund and Thomas Parling

discussion in sport psychology. Concerns has been raised that objective performance measures may be affected by a number of uncontrollable factors in the environment which can threaten the validity of the measure ( Thelwell, Greenlees, & Weston, 2006 ). It is true, especially in team sports such as ice

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Sadjad Soltanzadeh and Mitchell Mooney

cannot be understood through a purely objective lens. Objective performance measures still need to be interpreted and justified. It is through a conceptual understanding that we can link different layers of performance from the individual functions to team objectives and to broader cultural norms. Team

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Elmer A. Castillo and Graig M. Chow

of double-blinding procedures in the study design is acknowledged. Second, the questionnaires used were not validated and the self-awareness measure had a weak alpha at pretest. Future research may benefit from using validated measures and objective performance measures or behavioral observation as

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Cynthia J. Wright, Nico G. Silva, Erik E. Swartz and Brent L. Arnold

-assessment (e.g., the use of objective performance measures, comparison to normative data) may be useful in countering this phenomenon. Future Research on Skill Acquisition Removal of a football helmet facemask is a discrete skill required as part of athletic training educational competencies. Yet, data

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Andrea Stewart, Barbara Sternfeld, Brittney S. Lange-Maia, Kelly R. Ylitalo, Alicia Colvin, Carrie A. Karvonen-Gutierrez, Sheila A. Dugan, Robin R. Green and Kelley Pettee Gabriel

/ethnic-specific categories), self-rated health, and any physical activity within the prior 12 months. The exclusion criteria related to severe physical function limitations were assessed using both participant-reported and objective performance measures. This exclusion criteria was operationalized as a Short Form (36) (SF

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Ashley M. Duguay, Todd M. Loughead and James M. Cook

performance measures) and indicators of team functioning in three professional football teams. More specifically, athletes who were members of the team with the highest-quality athlete leadership reported significantly higher levels of shared purpose, goal commitment, team confidence, and task