Volume 41 - n. 4 - October-December 2010


Visual search behaviour in skilled field-hockey goalkeepers

Rouwen Cañal-Bruland *, John Van Der Kamp */**, Marco Arkesteijn *, Rein G. Janssen *, Jelle Van Kesteren * and Geert J.p. Savelsbergh */***/****

(*) Research Institute MOVE, Faculty of Human Movement Sciences, VU University, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
(**) Institute of Human Performance, University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong
(***) Research Institute for Biomedical Research into Human Movement and Health, Faculty of Science and Engineering, Manchester Metropolitan University, UK
(****) Academy for Physical Education, University of Professional Education, The Netherlands

In several sports, effective visual information pick-up has been shown to be crucial for successful goalkeeping. However, most of the studies that used videobased techniques, presented their participants with videos captured from a stationary camera view. In this study, we examined whether visual search behaviour and performance differ when presenting the stimuli with a moving camera view compared to a stationary camera view. To this end, we invited 15 skilled goalkeepers to watch video clips (from either a stationary or a moving camera perspective) of hockey penalty corners on a large screen, and to move a joystick in response to the actions observed. Visual gaze behaviour differed across the viewing conditions. Results suggest that in the moving camera condition visually tracking the ball resulted in visually ‘overshooting’ the stopping location of the ball (i.e., gaze tracking briefly continued beyond that stopping location), thereby leading to performance decrements. In contrast, shifting gaze towards the ball-and-stick location prior to ball release was a more beneficial strategy among skilled hockey goalkeepers.

Keywords: Anticipation, Expertise, Field hockey Penalties, Perception



Exploring the multiple dimensions of social support among elite female adolescent swimmers

Kristina Hassell, Catherine M. Sabiston and Gordon A. Bloom

McGill University, Canada

This study concurrently explored multiple dimensions of social support of nine elite female adolescent swimmers. Data were collected and analyzed using the principles of constructivist phenomenology. Results highlighted the importance of the structural, functional, and perceptual social support dimensions on athletes’ experiences in elite swimming in relation to their coaches, parents, and peers. Coaches were an important provider of almost every aspect of social support. Parents provided social support on a more general level, with their swimming-specific informational support being the single most unappreciated aspect of social support. Teammates provided a sense of affiliation and shared experience that was described as the most positive aspect of their swimming involvement. The current qualitative findings provide new insights into the concurrent structural, functional, and perceptual dimensions of social support in female youth elite sport.

Keywords: Adolescence, Elite sport, Social influences, Social support



Applied sport psychology consultant perceptions of the usefulness and impacts of performance profiling

Neil J.v.weston *, Iain A. Greenlees ** and Richard C. Thelwell *

(*) University of Portsmouth, U.K.
(**) University of Chichester, U.K.

Despite the apparent widespread use of Butler and Hardy’s (1992) performance profiling procedure (Doyle & Parfitt, 1999), there is limited research detailing the benefits that can accrue from its use. Hence, the present investigation sought to provide an evaluation of sport psychologists’ perceptions of the usefulness and impacts of performance profiling. Fifty-six British Association of Sport and Exercise Sciences accredited sport psychologists completed a closed survey detailing their perceptions of the usefulness and benefits associated with the production of an individual athlete performance profile within a group setting. Descriptive analysis revealed that consultants believed profiling to be useful in providing a basis for goal setting, identifying strengths and weaknesses, raising athlete awareness, evaluating and monitoring athlete performance, and in facilitating discussion, communication and interaction within teams.This brief report argues that further research is needed to empirically evaluate the usefulness of profiling in order that its frequent use can be fully justified.

Keywords: Initial assessment, Performance profile, Psychologist opinions, Survey



Coping with social physique anxiety among adolescent female athletes

Cory B. Niefer *, Meghan H. Mcdonough ** and Kent C. Kowalski *

(*) The University of Saskatchewan, Canada
(**) Purdue University, USA

This study explored how adolescent female athletes cope with social physique anxiety (SPA). Participants, 73 female athletes age 13-19 years, reported their state SPA, coping strategies, coping function, and perceived coping effectiveness for a self-identified situation within sport in which they experienced SPA. Trait SPA was also assessed. Participants reported 129 coping strategies (1-4 strategies per participant). Strategies were coded into 13 categories based on Kowalski and colleagues’ (2006) taxonomy of coping with body-related issues. Social support, behavioral avoidance, short-term appearance management, humor, cognitive avoidance, and acceptance were the most commonly reported strategies. Number of coping strategies was associated with state SPA (r = .34, p < .05). Trait SPA was related to avoidance coping function (r = .21, p < .05). Results demonstrated that coping strategies were used for multiple functions, and coping functions had distinct associations with short-term, long-term, and health related effectiveness.

Keywords: Body image, Coping function, Coping effectiveness, Social anxiety, SPA, Social Physique Anxiety Scale, stress



Demographic dissimilarity and affective reactions to physical activity classes: The moderating effects of diversity beliefs

George B. Cunningham

Texas A&M University, USA

The purpose of this study was to examine the influence of pro-diversity beliefs on college students’ reactions to physical activity classes. Data were collected from 157 students at a large public university in the Southwest United States. Structural equation modeling indicated that pro-diversity beliefs moderated the relationship between perceived race dissimilarity and satisfaction with others in the class. The effects were particularly strong among those who perceived themselves to be racially similar to the rest of their classmates. Satisfaction with classmates then held a positive association with satisfaction affective reactions to the class. The findings contribute to the diversity literature and have implications for class instruction.

Keywords: Affective reactions, Dissimilarity, Physical activity



Representative experimental design issues in observing golfer pre-performance routine behaviour

Stewart T. Cotterill *, Ross Sanders ** and Dave Collins ***

(*) Faculty of Sport, Health and Social Care,University of Gloucestershire, UK
(**) University of Edinburgh, UK
(***) University of Central Lancashire, UK

The representative experimental design of many previous studies exploring the nature of pre-performance routine usage in golf has been limited by flaws in research design. The purpose of this study was to ascertain whether the use of a fullswing golf simulator could provide an ecologically valid alternative to lab-based experimental designs. Participants were six elite male golfers (mean age = 22.5yrs, s = 3.3 years; mean handicap = +1, s = 1; mean years playing = 8.63, s = 5.21) who were required to play in three conditions: simulated; practice; and competition. A one-way, within-participant MANOVA was conducted investigating whether significant differences existed in the temporal characteristics of the behavioural categories (head, club, posture, still) within the routines across the three conditions. Four dependent variables relating to category of behaviour were used: head, club, posture and still. The independent variable was the condition. No significant differences were identified (participant one F3,144, = .74, P = 0.66; participant two F3,144, = 1.52, P = 0.16; participant three F3,144 = 1.54, P = 0.16; participant four F3,144 = 0.74, P = 0.66; participant five F3,144 = 0.88, P = 0.54; participant six F3,144 = 1.72, P = 0.10) for any of the dependent variables, within participant, across conditions. The results suggest that the use of environmental simulators in golf could offer the opportunity to maximise the ecological validity of experimental designs, allowing the researcher to understand more fully the strategies used by the golfer in the competitive environment.

Keywords: Golf, Pre-performance routines, Representative experimental design, Simulator



A new method to learn to start in speed skating: A differencial learning approach

Geert J.p. Savelsbergh */**/***, Willemiek J. Kamper *, Jorine Rabius *, Jos J. De Koning * and Wolfgang Schöllhorn ****

(*) Institute MOVE, Faculty of Human Movement Sciences, VU University, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
(**) Institute for Biomedical Research into Human Movement and Health, Manchester Metropolitan University, England
(***) 3Academy for Physical Education, University of Professional Education, Amsterdam, Netherlands
(****) Department of Sport Sciences, University of Mainz, Mainz, Germany

The aim of this study was to examine whether it is possible to utilize the fluctuations in human motor behaviour to induce a self-organizing process in the athlete, which takes advantage of individual movement and learning characteristics. This recently developed approach is known as differencial learning and is compared to traditional learning. For that purpose, thirty-four recreational skaters participated and practised the speed skating start. A pre- post-test design was used together with a one week intervention period that included three practice sessions of one hour each. The pre- and post-test consisted out of 5 starts, and for each start, the finish time was recorded at a distance of 49 m, which included split time registrations at 5 m, 10 m, and 25 m. Based on the finish time in the pre-test, the participants were equally distributed over three practice groups: a differencial learning, learning by instruction, and control group. Analyses revealed a significant improvement for the differencial learning group in comparison to the control group. It is concluded that differencial learning is an effective method to teach the skating start to novices.

Keywords: Differential learning, Traditional learning