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Christine Lauber, Sharon D. Rogers, Corie E. Hampton and Scott Barringer

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Kevin M. Cross, Kelly K. Gurka, Susan Saliba, Mark Conaway and Jay Hertel

Context: Thigh muscle strains are among the most common injuries in high school soccer for both males and females. Similar results have been reported among college soccer players, specifically for hamstring strains. In college soccer, males have a higher injury rate than women, although they share common injury characteristics. Currently, no studies exist comparing the injury rate or injury characteristics of thigh muscle strains between sexes playing high school soccer. Objective: To compare thigh muscle strain injury rates and injury event characteristics among sexes participating in high school soccer. Design: Descriptive epidemiology study. Setting: A total of 100 nationally representative high schools that participated in the High School Sports-Related Injury Surveillance System, Reporting Information Online. Participants: High school soccer athletes who had a thigh muscle strain. Main Outcome Measures: Injury rates of thigh muscle strains were calculated between sexes. The occurrence of the following variables during a thigh muscle injury was compared between sexes: grade level, age, level of play, event type, time of practice, time of competition, basic injury mechanism, soccer activity, player position, field location, practice type, and time of season. Results: Males had a lower injury rate of thigh muscle strains during competition than females (rate ratio = 0.66; 95% confidence interval, 0.47–0.93). No differences between sexes existed in the distribution of first-time or recurrent event characteristics. When combining sexes, recurrent strains (93%) occurred more frequently on the offensive side of the field than first-time strains (59%), P < .001. The majority of strains occurred among the varsity players (71%), during running activities (60%) and practices (58%). Conclusions: Males were less likely to sustain a thigh muscle strain during competitions, but no other differences existed between sexes. The events surrounding all thigh muscle strains may be described with some common properties. Consideration of these characteristics may assist in the development of preventive and rehabilitative programs as well as direct future research on thigh muscle strains among high school soccer players.

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Betty Rose, Dawne Larkin and Bonnie G. Berger

Perceived competence and global self-worth of children who were poorly coordinated (n = 68) and children who were well-coordinated (n = 62) were examined. Measures of perceived athletic and scholastic competence, social acceptance, physical appearance, behavioral conduct, and global self-worth were obtained using Harter’s (1985) Self-Perception Profile for Children (SPPC). Girls and boys, ages 8 to 12, were categorized as poorly coordinated or well-coordinated using their scores on the McCarron (1982) Neuromuscular Development battery. Univariate analyses, using a 2 × 2 design (Coordination × Gender), showed a main effect of coordination in all domains, with the poorly coordinated group having the lower mean scores. In the scholastic, behavioral, and global sphere, coordination by gender interactions were influenced by the high perceptions of the well-coordinated girls. The interactions demonstrated for scholastic and global domains also were influenced by the low perceptions of the girls with poor coordination. Self-perceptions were modified by gender and coordination.

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Chris Hopper

This pilot study examined self-concept and motor performance of hearing impaired boys and girls, ages 10 to 14. Subjects were 32 students from the Washington State School for the Deaf in Vancouver. Self-concept was measured using the Harter Self-Perception Profile consisting of six subscales: scholastic competence, social acceptance, athletic competence, physical appearance, behavioral conduct, and global self-worth. Motor performance was assessed with the 9-min run, sit-ups, sit and reach, Bass stick test, long jump, shuttle run, and catching a ball. Results of this pilot study indicated that students scored highest in the scholastic domain and lowest in the social acceptance domain. The physical appearance scale was most related to global self-worth. Those students who viewed themselves as athletically capable did best in the 9-min run. Girls scored higher than boys in athletic competence, physical appearance, and social acceptance domains.

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Terence Dwyer, James F. Sallis, Leigh Blizzard, Ross Lazarus and Kimberlie Dean

The objective of this study was to examine the association of scholastic performance with physical activity and fitness of children. To do so, school ratings of scholastic ability on a five-point scale for a nationally representative sample of 7,961 Australian schoolchildren aged 7–15 years were compared with physical activity and fitness measurements. Consistently across age and sex groups, the ratings were significantly correlated with questionnaire measures of physical activity and with performance on the 1.6-kilometer run, sit-ups and push-ups challenges, 50-meter sprint, and standing long jump. There were no significant associations for physical work capacity at a heart rate of 170 (PWC170). The results are concordant with the hypothesis that physical activity enhances academic performance, but the cross-sectional nature of the observations limits causal inference, and the disparity for PWC170 gives reason to question whether the associations were due to measurement bias or residual confounding.

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Daniel Gould, Sarah Carson, Angela Fifer, Larry Lauer and Robert Benham

This study was designed to identify issues and concerns involved in contemporary school sports that are perceived as influencing sports’ potential to achieve educational and developmental objectives (e.g., psychosocial and life skill development). Eleven focus group interviews involving 67 participants were conducted with key constituency groups involved in high school athletics (coaches n=14, athletic directors n=20, school principals n=11, parents of current high school athletes n=11, and student-athletes n=21). Results were content analyzed using a three-person inductive consensus procedure and triangulated across constituency groups. Issues identified as concerns included: inappropriate behaviors in high school sport, increased expectations for success, ramifications of over-commitment, health issues, coaching and administrative issues, and unmet affiliation needs of athletes which impact the motivation. Findings are discussed relative to the professionalization of scholastic sports and threats to its developmental and educational potential. Implications for coaching education are emphasized.

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Melissa A. Murray, Rebecca Zakrajsek and Kristen D. Dieffenbach

Schempp, McCullick and Mason (2006) suggested gaining hands-on experience is the key element of coach development and the process of becoming a professional expert in the field. Cushion, Armour, and Jones (2003) also recommend the opportunity to observe more experienced coaches as a key experience in novice coach’s development. At the collegiate level in the U.S., a model similar to scholastic teacher training is the foundation for academic-based coaching education programs that seek to combine classroom-based education with experiential learning. In these programs student coaches are generally required to participate in field internship experiences in order to develop a strong art- and science-based approach to coaching. This internship experience is one of great importance, especially since expert coaches have identified having a quality mentor relationship early in their career as essential to their development as a coach (Nash & Sproule, 2009).

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Christophe Maïano, Grégory Ninot, Alexandre J.S. Morin and Jean Bilard

The purpose of this study was to examine the long-term effects of sport participation on the basketball skills and physical self-concept of adolescents with conduct disorders (CD). Participants were 24 adolescent males with CD, divided equally into three groups: (a) interestablishment basketball (IEBB), (b) integrated scholastic basketball (ISBB), and (c) control—adapted physical activity (APA). The basketball skills tests and physical self-concept were both administrated 4 times over an 18-month period. Results indicated (a) an improvement in basketball skills in both competitive groups (i.e., ISBB, IEBB), (b) a significant curvilinear trend of physical self-worth scale in the three groups, and (c) no significant changes in physical self-concept in the three groups (i.e., ISBB, IEBB, and APA). In conclusion, the integrated and segregated competitive programs did not represent an effective means for improving the physical self-concept of adolescents with CD.

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Charles H. Hillman, Kirk I. Erickson and Bradley D. Hatfield

The past two decades have uncovered the beneficial relation of physical activity and other health behaviors on brain and cognition, with the majority of data emerging from older adult populations. More recently, a similar research thread has emerged in school-aged children, which offers insight into the relation of physical activity to scholastic performance, providing a real-world application of the benefits observed in the laboratory. Technological advances have similarly furthered our understanding of physical activity effects on cognitive and brain health. Given this emerging body of work, this manuscript reviews the basic findings within the field, but more importantly suggests triggers or signals from the emerging literature that will shape the field in the near future. The overall goal of this body of research is to increase cognitive and brain health to promote effective functioning of individuals across the lifespan.

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Koenraad J. Lindner

This study examined the relationship between academic performance and physical activity participation using objective measures of scholastic achievement, and the effect of banding (academic tracking). The sample comprised 1,447 students (aged 13–17 years) in secondary grades 2, 4, and 6 (736 boys; 711 girls). Academic records were collected from the schools, and a participation questionnaire was administered to the students. School banding was found to be a significant predictor of participation time, and students from higher-banded schools had generally greater participation time than lower-band students. Conversely, perceived academic performance and potential tended to be higher for students with more participation time in physical activity, particularly so for the males. However, for actual academic grades this positive association was not found when banding was taken into consideration. No relationship was found for the middle- and high-band students, while a slight negative relationship was observed for the low-band students.