Volume 42 - n. 3 - May-June 2011


Instructional approaches in youth volleyball training settings: the influence of player's age and gender

Felismina Rosa Marques Pereira *, Amandio Braga Dos Santos Graça *, Minna Blomqvist ** and Isabel Maria Ribeiro Mesquita *

(*) Centre of Research, Education, Innovation and Intervention in Sport. University of Porto, Sport Faculty, Portugal
(**) Research Institute for Olympic Sports, Jyvaskyla, Finland

The purpose of this study was to examine the instructional approaches used by youth volleyball coaches by considering the influence of age and gender of players. The particular focus is on the coach’s behaviours, the type of practice, and the directness profile (assessed by the level of players’ dependence-autonomy on decision-making and task control). Twenty-eight youth volleyball coaches of a wide range of sport performance levels, evenly divided by the characteristics of their players’ gender and age (under 14s and under 18s, from developmental level) were selected for observation of their practice. Results of the survey showed the predominance of a coach-centred pedagogical approach. Prescriptive feedback was thoroughly prevalent, whereas strategies to promote active learning were seldom used. Instructions were focused on technical skills and the typical practice was based on a molecular approach, consisting of acquisition tasks with a low level of contextual interference. The analysis of the coaching directness profile demonstrated reduced autonomy in players’ decision-making and task control. This study showed a prevalence of coach-centered approach to coaching independently of the player’s gender and age in youth volleyball training settings.

Keywords: Instructional approach; Coaching; Youth volleyball; Players’ gender; Players’ age



Physical activity, sedentary time and subjective well-being in Taiwanese older adults

Po-Wen Ku *, Kenneth R. Fox **, Li-Jung Chen *** and Pesus Chou ****

(*) Instiute of Public Health National Yang Ming University, Taiwan, Graduate Institute of Sports and Health, National Changhua University of Education, Taiwan
(**) Department of Exercise, Nutrition and Health Sciences, University of Bristol, UK
(***) Department of Exercise Health Science, National Taiwan College of Physical Education, Taiwan
(****) Institute of Public Health, National Yang-Ming University, Taiwan

The purpose of the study was to investigate whether physical activity and time spent sedentary are associated with subjective well-being in older people. A nationally representative telephone survey was used (n=1,450; mean age 62.1±9.1 years). The results demonstrated that total physical activity (kcal/week) was positively related to several dimensions of subjective well-being, including physical, psychological, independence, learning and growth, and social well-being. These associations, especially in physical and independence well-being, were stronger in the older group (70+ years). Time spent in sedentary mode produced negative and low-to-moderate correlations with subjective well-being, particularly physical, independence, learning and growth, and environmental well-being. These relationships were stronger in females. Older people, especially females and those 70 years and older who are more physically active and spent less sedentary time, experience higher levels of well-being,. These findings draw attention to the role of an active lifestyle for enhancing well-being in the older population.

Keywords: Aging, Sedentary Behavior, Quality of Life, Life Satisfaction



Discontinuity and variability in the development of the overarm throwing skill in 3- to 18-year-old children

Jean Keller *, Jean Marc Lamenoise *, Marc Testa *, Eveline Golomer ** and Florence Rosey ***

(*) Laboratoire GEPECS EA 3625, Université Paris Descartes,Paris, France
(**) NULL
(***) CETE-NC, ERA 34, Le Grand-Quevilly, France

Changes of coordination of an overarm throw were investigated in 418 children from 3 to 18 years old. Overarm throws were analysed by a stage classification based on five components. The motor development during childhood and adolescence shows discontinuities with a marked improvement between 4 and 6 years of age, followed by an ascendant plateau between 7 and 18 years of age. From 7 to 9 there appears a first stagnation followed by irregular changes (with regression and acceleration) and lastly a second stagnation occurs longer than the previous one. The regression is short and more marked for boys than for girls and overlapping waves induce changes. Variability in coordination reflects the many processes of development by activation and inhibition of the selection of a relevant response.

Keywords: Development, Discontinuity, Throwing skill, Motor patterns, Variability



Pre- and post-performance emotions in gymnastics competitions

Melinda Pellizzari *, Maurizio Bertollo ** and Claudio Robazza **

(*) Department of Clinical Sciences and Bioimaging, University of Chieti, Italy
(**) Behavioral Imaging and Neural Dynamics Center, Department of Human Movement Sciences, Faculty of Human Movement Sciences, University of Chieti, Italy

The study investigated the relationship between emotional states experienced before and after performance events during gymnastics competitions within the framework of the Individual Zones of Optimal Functioning (IZOF) model and the directional perception approach. Intensity, functional impact, and hedonic tone of emotions were assessed retrospectively in 10 Italian high-level gymnasts before and after two, three, or four events throughout a competition. Three levels of performance (poor, average, and good) were derived from retrospective self-ratings to enable intra-individual analyses. Findings showed that when gymnasts’ emotional level was near to their optimal zones, a good performance was observed and emotional intensity was perceived to be more facilitative and pleasant. Conversely, when gymnasts’ emotional level was near to their dysfunctional zones, a poor performance was observed and emotional level was perceived to be more debilitative and unpleasant. Gymnasts also experienced optimal-pleasant emotions after good performances, and dysfunctional-unpleasant emotions after poor performances. Effective coping strategies were generally associated with good performance and optimal-pleasant emotions, whereas performance difficulties tended to be related to poor performance and dysfunctional-unpleasant emotions.

Keywords: coping strategies, directional perception approach, gymnastics, IZOF model



The fallacy of directional anxiety

Remco Polman and Erika Borkoles

Victoria University, ISEAL and School of Sport and Exercise Science, Melbourne, Australia

Since the work by Jones and colleagues in the early 1990s the idea that feelings of anxiety could be interpreted as either facilitative or debilitative to athletic performance has been widely discussed in the sport psychology literature (e.g., Jones, 1995). Although this view has been promoted by a number of researchers (e.g., Hanton, Neil, & Mellalieu, 2008), we argue that this framework is based on flawed empirical research, and not supported by evidence frommainstreampsychology literature (e.g., Fox, 2008; Lewis,Haviland-Jones & Feldman Barrett, 2008). As stated by Burton (1998), anxiety by definition is a negatively toned and unpleasant emotion that cannot be facilitative.




The effect of sports participation on the intensity of psychosocial problems of males with quadriplegia in Poland

Natalia Morgulec-Adamowicz *, Andrzej Kosmol ** and Wojciech Otrębski ***

(*) Department of Adapted Physical Activity, Józef Piłsudski University of Physical Education, Warsaw, Poland
(**) Department of Sports for Individuals with Disabilities, Józef Piłsudski University of Physical Education, Warsaw, Poland
(***) Institute of Psychology, John Paul II Catholic University of Lublin, Lublin, Poland

The main purposes of the study were (1) to evaluate the influence of sport participation on the intensity of psychosocial problems in males with quadriplegia, and (2) to determine the range of psychosocial problems encountered by physically active and sedentary individuals with quadriplegia, respectively. The Witkowski Psychosocial Problems Spinal Cord Injury Scale (PP-SCI) was used to assess the intensity of psychosocial problems among 35 physically active and 36 sedentary individuals with quadriplegia. The t-test analysis showed significantly higher values of mean global score (t = -4.13, p = .000) for the sedentary than for the physically active group. In addition, significantly higher scores were found in relation to four spheres of personality (t = -3.69, p = .000), family (t = -3.94, p = .000), social contacts (t = -3.75, p = .000) and occupational (t = -3.67, p = .000). This suggests that individuals with quadriplegia who are regularly involved in sport, are likely to experience less psychosocial problems than sedentary males with quadriplegia.

Keywords: Psychosocial problems, Quadriplegia, Sport participation, Wheelchair rugby