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Susanna Kola-Palmer, Samantha Buckley, Gabrielle Kingston, Jonathan Stephen, Alison Rodriguez, Nicole Sherretts and Kiara Lewis

unwillingness to express emotion, lack of problem awareness and low mental health literacy are important barriers to help-seeking in elite athletes ( Gulliver, Griffiths, & Christensen, 2012a ; Wood, Harrison, & Kucharska, 2017 ). Player Welfare Although research relating to athlete mental health and welfare

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Edward J. Bradley, Bob Hogg and David T. Archer

risk and therefore a positive outcome for player welfare at the elite level in rugby union. However, the conditioning requirements of both increased mean (44%) and total scrum contact duration (37%) must be considered in terms of player preparation. Changes in scrum contact time due to the PreBind

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Andrew Mills, Joanne Butt, Ian Maynard and Chris Harwood

This study examined the factors perceived by successful coaches to underpin optimal development environments within elite English soccer academies. A semistructured interview guide was developed to interview 10 expert coaches about the environments they create for players at a key stage in their development. The interviews were transcribed verbatim and inductively content analyzed. The results identified a wide range of factors resulting in a conceptual framework that explained how these factors interact to underpin an optimal environment. Subcomponents of this framework included organizational core (e.g., advocate a player-driven ideology), adaptability (e.g., embrace novel ideas & approaches), player welfare (e.g., understand players’ world-view), key stakeholder relationships (e.g., build trust with parents), involvement (e.g., encourage players’ ideas/feedback), and achievement oriented (e.g., establish an explicit pathway to senior level). Collectively, the findings highlight the importance of establishing strong, dynamic, organizational cultures at elite youth soccer academies. Ways that academies might be helped to establish such environments are discussed.

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Gregory R. Cox, Iñigo Mujika and Cees-Rein van den Hoogenband

Water polo is an aquatic team sport that requires endurance, strength, power, swimming speed, agility, tactical awareness, and specific technical skills, including ball control. Unlike other team sports, few researchers have examined the nutritional habits of water polo athletes or potential dietary strategies that improve performance in water polo match play. Water polo players are typically well muscled, taller athletes; female players display higher levels of adiposity compared with their male counterparts. Positional differences exist: Center players are heavier and have higher body fat levels compared with perimeter players. Knowledge of the physical differences that exist among water polo players offers the advantage of player identification as well as individualizing nutrition strategies to optimize desired physique goals. Individual dietary counseling is warranted to ensure dietary adequacy, and in cases of physique manipulation. Performance in games and during quality workouts is likely to improve by adopting strategies that promote high carbohydrate availability, although research specific to water polo is lacking. A planned approach incorporating strategies to facilitate muscle glycogen refueling and muscle protein synthesis should be implemented following intensified training sessions and matches, particularly when short recovery times are scheduled. Although sweat losses of water polo players are less than what is reported for land-based athletes, specific knowledge allows for appropriate planning of carbohydrate intake strategies for match play and training. Postgame strategies to manage alcohol intake should be developed with input from the senior player group to minimize the negative consequences on recovery and player welfare.

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Andrew J.A. Hall, Leigh Jones and Russell J.J. Martindale

timetable. These were information giving sessions, but also opportunities to reinforce the rationale and philosophy for key training and competition phases. Improved player welfare and psychological skills provision was targeted through the recruitment of an Athlete Welfare Manager (AWM). The AWM helped

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Blake D. McLean, Donald Strack, Jennifer Russell and Aaron J. Coutts

the Player in the Age of Big Data The process of better understanding physical demands in the NBA is ultimately aimed at enhanced player care and welfare. Player data can be used to benefit individual athletes and improve professional practice. In this process, other aspects of player welfare also

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Gavin Breslin, Tandy Haughey, Wesley O’Brien, Laura Caulfield, Alexa Robertson and Martin Lawlor

can also increase athlete intentions to engage and offer help/support to someone with a mental health problem. Mental health and well-being in sport courses such as SOMI could be considered for inclusion in the development of coach education, player welfare and safe guarding athletes while enrolled in

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Robert J. Lake

make tough decisions with regard to resisting impulses to prioritize the business side of the tournament over player welfare, alongside ensuring that spectators, the media, and AELTC members themselves were not inconvenienced. This was when they enlisted the assistance of two promotional consultants

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Hojun Sung, Brian M. Mills and Michael Mondello

at the cost of consumer and player welfare. If fans do not care about balance and prefer more superstars and absolute quality, then restricting the number of DPs on each team and disincentivizing player investment negatively impacts both players and consumers, while providing little alternative value

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Ross Wadey, Kylie Roy-Davis, Lynne Evans, Karen Howells, Jade Salim and Ceri Diss

’s about putting pathways or lines of communication in place to support them. ‘Have you spoken to so and so?’ ‘Who can help you with that?’” Another reported, Once they’ve decided on something constructive to do, I normally think about who I can link them up with. . . . For example, we’ve got a player