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Nicola J. Hodges

When we watch other people perform actions, this involves many interacting processes comprising cognitive, motor, and visual system interactions. These processes change based on the context of our observations, particularly if the actions are novel and our intention is to learn those actions so we can later reproduce them, or respond to them in an effective way. Over the past 20 years or so I have been involved in research directed at understanding how we learn from watching others, what information guides this learning, and how our learning experiences, whether observational or physical, impact our subsequent observations of others, particularly when we are engaged in action prediction. In this review I take a historical look at action observation research, particularly in reference to motor skill learning, and situate my research, and those of collaborators and students, among the common theoretical and methodological frameworks of the time.

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Diane M. Wiese-Bjornstal, Ayanna N. Franklin, Tara N. Dooley, Monique A. Foster and James B. Winges

Injuries contrast with the overwhelmingly positive benefits of sports participation for female athletes, with estimates of a third or more of all female athletes sustaining injury in any given season. Media headlines convey the impression that female athletes are more vulnerable to sports injuries than male athletes are. This observation led to our first purpose, which was to use evidence from the sports injury surveillance literature to examine the facts about female athlete risks of injury and compare these risks to those of male athletes. In light of Gill and Kamphoff’s (2010) observation that we largely ignore or underrepresent female experiences in the sport and exercise psychology literature, our second purpose was to highlight examples of the psychological, behavioral, and social aspects of female athletes’ injury experiences, and provide comparisons to male experiences within this realm of sports medicine psychology. These evidence-based observations guide our concluding recommendations for injury reporting, prevention, and rehabilitation roles of those in the media and sports professions.

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Fernando Segura Millan Trejo, Mark Norman and Chirstophe Jaccoud

groups had been implemented in other settings ( Schulenkorf, 2010 ; Sterchele, 2015 ), our proposal is to present ethnographic observations of this scenario. As noted by Webb and Richelieu (2016) , sport for development programs cannot be filed away in a “black box”. Rather, their contents and actions

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Daniel F. Mahony, Michael Mondello, Mary A. Hums and Michael R. Judd

Weese (2002) recently expressed concerns about the faculty job market in sport management. The purpose of the current article is to examine and discuss both the number of doctoral students being produced and the adequacy of their preparation for faculty positions. The authors surveyed doctoral-program faculty and reviewed advertised open positions to provide the basis for observations regarding current and future issues relative to this job market. Whereas the authors found that approximately 70 jobs are advertised each year in sport management, doctoral programs produce only about 15 graduates annually, suggesting that the numbers produced are clearly insufficient. When examining the adequacy of the students’ preparation, the authors found research preparation is considered to be most important. Doctoral programs in sport management, however, also place high emphasis on teaching preparation. It is unclear whether these efforts are adequate to meet the needs of the students or the job market.

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William B. Karper and Thomas J. Martinek

Many issues must be resolved before research on mainstreaming in physical education becomes believable, replicable, and generalizable. Decisions are necessary regarding the standardization of procedures that place atypical students in the mainstream, and clear definitions are needed regarding what constitutes a handicapped student in physical education. Also, agreement is needed on what typifies the makeup of a regular physical education program that serves handicapped students. Additionally, physical education class content and context differs between classes in the same school, making controlled studies nearly impossible to achieve. It is very difficult to select test instruments that are appropriate to both handicapped and nonhandicapped students. Finally, data analysis is a problem because of the unequal numbers of handicapped and nonhandicapped students found in mainstream physical education classes.

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Jayne M. Jenkins, Alex Garn and Patience Jenkins

The purpose of this study was to identify what and how preservice teachers observe when peer coaching during an early field experience. Twenty-three male and 14 female preservice teachers trained in peer coaching participated in the study. Coaches observed a peer partner teach five 40-min lessons to small groups of elementary or junior high school students in a semester-long second practicum experience. During observation, coaches completed a Peer Coaching Form that included a praise statement and observation notes. A total of 169 Peer Coaching Forms containing 946 statements were collected and analyzed using traditional, naturalistic methods of inductive analysis. Three themes emerged: (a) systematic observation, (b) theory to practice, and (c) students as individuals. Observation changes occurring across the semester suggest peer coaching needs to occur over an extended period of time emphasizing the role of coach as observer for optimal teacher knowledge development.

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Pamela C. Allison

Elementary school classroom teachers continue to have primary responsibility for teaching elementary physical education. As a group, they have received little attention concerning their development of pedagogical skills in physical education. Accordingly, the purpose of this study was to describe what preservice classroom teachers observe and what perceptual processes they employ while observing physical education field lessons. The participants were seven junior elementary education majors who observed two physical education classes. Data were collected using the techniques of thinking aloud and stimulated recall interview. The constant comparative method of data analysis revealed the following three themes as characteristic of this group of preservice classroom teachers: students’ movement responses dominated their observational attention, the classroom teachers evaluated what they saw, and they observed using the perceptual process of contrast.

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Nathalie Aelterman, Maarten Vansteenkiste, Lynn Van den Berghe, Jotie De Meyer and Leen Haerens

The present intervention study examined whether physical education (PE) teachers can learn to make use of autonomy-supportive and structuring teaching strategies. In a sample of 39 teachers (31 men, M = 38.51 ± 10.44 years) and 669 students (424 boys, M = 14.58 ± 1.92 years), we investigated whether a professional development training grounded in self-determination theory led to changes in (a) teachers’ beliefs about the effectiveness and feasibility of autonomy-supportive and structuring strategies and (b) teachers’ in-class reliance on these strategies, as rated by teachers, external observers, and students. The intervention led to positive changes in teachers’ beliefs regarding both autonomy support and structure. As for teachers’ actual teaching behavior, the intervention was successful in increasing autonomy support according to students and external observers, while resulting in positive changes in teacher-reported structure. Implications for professional development and recommendations for future research are discussed.

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Shannon J. FitzGerald, Carolyn E. Barlow, James B. Kampert, James R. Morrow Jr., Allen W. Jackson and Steven N. Blair

Background:

The beneficial effects of cardiorespiratory fitness on mortality are well known; however, the relation of muscular fitness, specifically muscular strength and endurance, to mortality risk has not been thoroughly examined. The purpose of the current study is to determine if a dose-response relation exists between muscular fitness and mortality after controlling for factors such as age and cardiorespiratory fitness.

Methods:

The study included 9105 men and women, 20–82 years of age, in the Aerobics Center Longitudinal Study who have completed at least one medical examination at the Cooper Clinic in Dallas, TX between 1981 and 1989. The exam included a muscular fitness assessment, based on 1-min sit-up and 1-repetition maximal leg and bench press scores, and a maximal treadmill test. We conducted mortality follow-up through 1996 primarily using the National Death Index, with a total follow-up of 106,046 person-years. All-cause mortality rates were examined across low, moderate, and high muscular fitness strata.

Results:

Mortality was confirmed in 194 of 9105 participants (2.1%). The age- and sex-adjusted mortality rate of those in the lowest muscular fitness category was higher than that of those in the moderate fitness category (26.8 vs. 15.3 per 10,000 person-years, respectively). Those in the high fitness category had a mortality rate of 20.6 per 10,000 person-years. The moderate and high muscular fitness groups had relative risks of 0.64 (95%CI = 0.44–0.93) and 0.80 (95%CI = 0.49–1.31), adjusting for age, health status, body mass index, cigarette smoking, and cardio-respiratory fitness when compared with the low muscular fitness group.

Conclusions:

Mortality rates were lower for individuals with moderate/high muscular fitness compared to individuals with low muscular fitness. These findings warrant further research to confirm the apparent threshold effect between low and moderate/high muscular fitness and all-cause mortality.

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Sunnhild Bertz and Laura Purdy

The high-performance sports system is a rapidly evolving and increasingly important element of the Irish sporting landscape reflected in public policy, the direction and level of spending, and organisational/institutional evolution – all signalling a formal recognition of the high-performance sector as central to sport in Ireland. While certain aspects of high-performance sport in Ireland are beginning to be reflected in research (e.g., Guerin et al. 2008), this is yet to be extended to high performance coaching. The education, development, and support of coaches are key areas of the Coaching Strategy for Ireland (2008-2012). An understanding of high-performance coach activities and needs will become increasingly vital in underpinning the effectiveness of resources directed at high-performance coaching as Ireland seeks to reposition itself within the world’s elite in sport. The purpose of this article is to better understand the development of high-performance coaches in Ireland and the key influences on this (e.g., exposure to different coaching environments, sources of knowledge, and preferred ways of learning). It aims to explore what high-performance coaches believe has been most important in developing and fostering their coaching ‘know-how,’1 and what this may imply for future educational interventions for high-performance coaches. This article brings to light insights generated through semi-structured interviews with 10 high-performance coaches currently and/or recently working in Irish sport.