Volume 41 - n. 3 - July-Semptember 2010


Understanding students’ motivation in middle school physical education: examining the mediating role of self-efficacy on physical activity

Zan Gao *, Amelia M. Lee **, Maria Kosma ** and Melinda A. Solmon **

(*) Texas Tech University, Lubbock, TX, USA
(**) Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, LA, USA

This study used a prospective design to test an integrative model of the mediating role of self-efficacy between the expectancy-value model and self-efficacy theory constructs and physical activity levels in a sample of 207 middle school students in physical education. Expectancy-value constructs (expectancy-related beliefs and task values) and self-efficacy theory constructs (self-efficacy and outcome expectancy) were measured at baseline and were used to predict students’ objective in-class physical activity levels two weeks following the baseline assessment. Results from a path analysis demonstrated an acceptable model fit to the data. Selfefficacy had the greatest effect on physical activity levels followed by task values. Expectancy-related beliefs and outcome expectancy indirectly predicted physical activity levels through their effects on self-efficacy. The overall variance in self-efficacy and physical activity levels explained by the model was 54% and 25%, respectively. The results were interpreted from the perspectives of the expectancy-value model and self-efficacy theory, and study implications were provided for practitioners and researchers.

Keywords: Expectancy-value model, Prospective design, Physical activity levels, Self-efficacy theory



Motivational climate, need satisfaction, regulation of motivation and subjective vitality A study of young soccer players

Yngvar Ommundsen, Pierre-Nicolas Lemyre, Frank Abrahamsen and Glyn C. Roberts

Norwegian School of Sport Sciences, Oslo, Norway

We investigated the mediating role of young soccer players’ satisfaction of their need for perceived competence, autonomy and social relatedness in the relationship between coach created motivational climates and the players’ motivational regulation. Second, the combined effect of climate, mediators and motivational regulation on subjective vitality was examined. Participants were 283 young male and female soccer players between the ages of 12 and 16 years (M= 13.09 years, SD = 0.78 years) taking part in the 2004 Norway Cup international youth soccer tournament. Using regression analyses, satisfaction of the need for competence, autonomy and relatedness significantly and partially mediated relations between a mastery climate and intrinsically regulated motivation. Further a mastery climate, satisfaction of the need for competence, autonomy and relatedness related positively to more intrinsically regulated motivation. A mastery climate, satisfaction of the need for autonomy, and intrinsically regulated motivation all independently predicted subjective vitality in soccer. Findings illustrate the value of integrating tenets of achievement goal theory and self-determination theory by studying paths between distal contextual factors and more proximal psychological mediating influences.

Keywords: Motivational climate, Need satisfaction and Subjective vitality in soccer



The influence of sport-specific experiences during the psychological refractory period in the Go/Nogo double stimulation task

Hiroki Nakamoto and Shiro Mori

Faculty of Physical Fitness, National Institute of Fitness and Sports in Kanoya, Japan

This study investigated the influence of sport-specific experiences during the psychological refractory period (PRP) that induce a delayed second response in successive responses. The participants were baseball, basketball, gymnasts, and sedentary students. A Go/Nogo double stimulation task was employed in which 2 visual stimuli were presented in close succession. In the situations requiring response execution to both the first and second stimuli, the baseball players demonstrated a significantly shorter delay compared with the gymnasts and nonathletes. These difference were also observed in the situations requiring response inhibition to the first stimulus and execution to the second stimulus. These PRP differences were comparable to the RT difference for the first stimulus among groups. These results indicate that the athletic expertise can reduce the PRP interference. This is mainly due to the shortening of the duration of processing the first reaction, not the elimination of bottleneck.

Keywords: Expertise, Psychological refractory period, Response-selection bottleneck



When is manual guidance effective for the acquisition of complex skills in Gymnastics?

Thomas Heinen *, Alexandra Pizzera * and Jorge Cottyn **

(*) German Sport University Cologne, Germany
(**) Katholieke Hogenschool Zuid - West - Vlaanderen, Belgium

Although use of manual guidance in gymnastics is widespread, little is known about when this technique is effective for acquisition of skills. The goal of two experiments was to evaluate effects of manual guidance on performance, fear of injury, and self-efficacy in the acquisition and transfer of a somersault and a cartwheel in gymnastics. Based on previous research, we predicted that guidance would have no effect on performance when learning a somersault or cartwheel on the balance beam. Further, we assumed that guidance would affect fear of injury and selfefficacy, with guided participants showing lower fear of injury and higher self-efficacy expectations. We analyzed performance, fear of injury, and self-efficacy of 26 gymnasts in the acquisition and transfer of the two skills. Manual guidance had a significant effect on performance in the somersault but not the cartwheel. Fear of injury increased slightly when learning the somersault and cartwheel with manual guidance and differed between groups in the transfer test when learning the cartwheel. Self-efficacy decreased slightly when learning the somersault, but did not differ between groups. When learning the cartwheel, self-efficacy scores decreased in the control group and differed between groups in the second and third step of the methodical progression as well as in transfer. Findings suggest that manual guidance in complex movements should be differentially used depending on the biomechanical demands of the task to be learned.

Keywords: Cartwheel, Fear of injury, Self-efficacy, Somersault



Examining the impact of physical appearance on impressions of coaching competence

Richard C. Thelwell *, Neil J.v. Weston *, Iain A. Greenlees **, Jenny L. Page * and Andrew J.manley ***

(*) University of Portsmouth, UK
(**) University of Chichester, UK
(***) Leeds Metropolitan University, UK

The aim of this study was to examine the impact of coach physical characteristics (build and clothing) on the impressions formed of them by male and female athletes and non-athletes. A total of ninety seven participants viewed four photographs that depicted different combinations of build and clothing (lean build and sport clothing, lean build and academic clothing, large build and sport clothing, and large build and academic clothing). Having viewed each photograph participant’s were required to rate their perceived competence of the coach. While no differences emerged in the ratings of coach competence based on gender or athletic level, significant differences were found across the photographs. The study supports the contention that initial impressions can influence the judgments made of an individual. Suggestions are also made with reference to alternative forms of stimuli that may contribute to the initial impression of a coach and their subsequent competence and overall effectiveness.

Keywords: Build, Clothing. Interpersonal perception, Non-Verbal communication



Gaze behaviour and shooting strategies in football penalty kicks: Implications of a ‘keeper-dependent approach

Greg Wood and Mark R. Wilson

School of Sport and Health Sciences University of Exeter, UK

It has been suggested that when footballers take penalty kicks they generally focus on the goalkeeper, ignoring the target area. In experiment 1, we tested the implications of this strategy by constraining gaze centrally while asking participants to hit distal locations. When gaze was constrained, resultant shots became significantly centralised despite the partecipants striving to hit distal locations. In experiment 2, the gaze behaviour of kickers was analysed when taking penalty kicks with a goalkeeper present. Three distinct shooting strategies were identified and the most prominent strategy implemented was a ‘keeper-focused strategy. Individual analyses revealed that the utilisation of these strategies is highly variable within and between participants. However, better shooters used a target-focused approach more frequently, while the poorer shooters used a ‘goalkeeper-focused’ strategy. Implications and future research directions are outlined.

Keywords: Aiming, Perception-Action, Quiet Eye, Soccer, Visual attention



Intermittent visual information affects motor strategies during locomotor pointing

Adrian Popescu, Keith Runnalls and Brian K.v. Maraj

Perceptual Motor Behaviour Laboratory, University of Alberta, Canada

The purpose of this study was to observe the influence of intermittent vision on motor strategies during locomotor pointing. Six college-aged students, independent walkers with normal or corrected-to-normal vision volunteered to participate. They were required to walk at a self selected pace towards a target located 5m away. Three visual conditions were randomly presented using a pair of Plato LCD goggles (Translucent ): full vision (FV), stance vision (STV), and swing vision (SWV). The status of the googles changed from transparent to translucent as a function of the gait cycle via the signals sent by two force sensitive resistors (National Instruments, Inc.) mounted in the shoe sole of the pointing foot at the heel and ball of the foot respectively. A six-camera Visualeyez motion analysis system (PTI, Burnaby, BC) was employed to capture kinematic data from the LED markers placed on the feet. The pattern of the approach footfall variability remained similar despite vision manipulation. While pointing accuracy was maintained across conditions, two different motor strategies emerged. The strategy for the full vision condition showed a faster approach and shorter step length and swing duration for the last adaptive step. This came in contrast with the strategy for both intermittent vision conditions which had a slower approach followed by longer step length and swing duration for the last adaptive step.

Keywords: Foot targeting, Locomotion, Visual perception