• Coaches’ philosophies on the transfer of strength training to elite sports performance

      Burnie, Louise; Barratt, Paul; Davids, Keith; Stone, Joseph; Worsfold, Paul R.; Wheat, Jon; Sheffield Hallam University; English Institute of Sport; University of Chester (Sage, 2017-12-07)
      The objective of the study was to explore coaches’ philosophies regarding strength training (repetitive muscle actions against high loads) and the transfer of strength training to sports performance. Thirteen world class coaches and athletes from track cycling, BMX, sprint kayaking, rowing and athletics sprinting were interviewed using an open-ended, semi-structured approach. Participants were asked about their coaching philosophies, design of athlete training programmes, strength training and its transfer to sports performance. A thematic analysis was conducted. Data trustworthiness was enhanced by methods of member checking and analyst triangulation. Coaches believed that task-specific strength is essential for sports performance. They reported that non-specific strength training (“traditional” gym-based strength exercises that are not specific to a sport movement) is important for increasing athletes’ muscle size and strength. This is typically used in conjunction with resisted sport movement training (for example, increased resistance running, pedalling or rowing), believed to achieve an effective transfer of enhanced muscle strength to sports performance. Coaches described the transfer process as complex, with factors associated with fatigue and coordination having particular significance. The importance that coaches place on coordination is supported by a theoretical model that demonstrates increases in muscle strength from strength training may need to be accompanied with a change in inter-muscular coordination to improve sport performance. The idea that each athlete needs to adapt intermuscular coordination in response to a change in his/her unique set of “organism constraints” (e.g. muscle strength) is well described by the theory of ecological dynamics and Newell’s model of constraints.
    • "Even if you don't care ... you do care afer all"

      Røset, Linda; Green, Ken; Thurston, Miranda; Inland University of Applied SCience, Norway; University of Chester, UK; Inland University of Applied Sciences, Norway
      In the past decade or more, improving young people’s mental health has been identified as a priority for policy-makers in many countries, including Norway. Physical education (PE), as a setting for physical activity, is increasingly viewed as having a potentially significant role to play in addressing mental health among the young. This paper reports the findings from a study of 148 Norwegian youngsters (68 girls and 80 boys) from the 10th grade (15-16 year olds) in eight secondary schools in Norway in 2017. It explores Norwegian youngsters’ experiences of PE in relation to aspects of their mental health – specifically, being judged and, by extension, ‘othered’. The findings suggest that PE may undoubtedly serve to generate positive feelings associated with physical activity and games and, in doing so, bolster some youngsters’ self-esteem and self-identities. On the other hand, however, for those less competent in sporting terms, and whose bodily self-image is not particularly positive, the public nature of PE and the nature of the activities that constitute the subject can give rise to unplanned and unintended harm to some youngsters’ mental health – especially in countries, such as Norway, where sport is a significant aspect of the group habitus and collective ‘we-group’ identity.
    • Experiences and Outcomes of Preschool Physical Education: an analysis of developmental discourses in Scottish curricular documentation

      McEvilly, Nollaig; University of Chester (Sage, 2014-03-03)
      This article provides an analysis of developmental discourses underpinning preschool physical education in Scotland's Curriculum for Excellence. Implementing a post-structural perspective, the article examines the preschool experiences and outcomes related to physical education as presented in the Curriculum for Excellence ‘health and wellbeing’ documentation. The article interrogates the ways in which developmental discourses are evident throughout this and related documentation and how these discourses might ‘work’ to produce specific effects on practitioners and children as they are deployed and taken up in Scottish preschool education contexts. This analysis involves speculating about potential consequences for practitioners' and children's experiences and subjectivities. In conclusion, it is suggested that practitioners should critically engage with the curriculum, as uncritical acceptance of the discourses underpinning it could lead to practices that may have negative consequences. Furthermore, the article proposes that future research should investigate the ways in which the discourses privileged in the Curriculum for Excellence ‘health and wellbeing’ documentation are taken up and negotiated in Scottish preschool settings.
    • Perceptions and measurement of playtime physical activity in English primary school children: The influence of socioeconomic status

      McWhannell, Nicola; Triggs, Carmel; Moss, Samantha (Sage, 2017-11-27)
      Children in areas of low socioeconomic status might face barriers to physical activity during school playtime in comparison to their high socioeconomic status counterparts. However, limited research within the area currently prevents evidence-based interventions from being targeted appropriately. This exploratory study aimed to assess and compare playtime physical activity levels and perceptions of physical activity in primary school children from two schools of different socioeconomic status. Fifty-three children wore an accelerometer during playtime for three school days while 33 children participated in single-sex focus groups to elicit their experiences of physical activity during playtime. Results revealed that children from the low socioeconomic status school spent more time in sedentary activities (P = 0.001) and spent less time in moderate and moderate to vigorous physical activity (P = 0.001) than children from the high socioeconomic status school. Despite some between-school similarities in their perceptions of physical activity, differences resonated in their reasons for taking part in physical activity, perceptions of the play environment and ideas to improve physical activity. These findings contribute to current research and provide in-depth information from active users of the play environment that could be useful to inform new interventions for schools of varying socioeconomic status.
    • Social class and the emergent organised sporting habits of primary-aged children

      Wheeler, Sharon; Green, Ken; Thurston, Miranda; Edge Hill University; University of Chester; Innland University Norway (Sage, 2017-05-15)
      This paper reports on the patterns of participation in organised sports of youngsters coming towards the end of primary school, with a view to identifying emergent sporting habits in relation to social class gradients. The data for the study were generated via 90 semi-structured interviews with parents and children from 62 families. The data revealed differences in organised activity participation (both at and beyond school) between an ‘under-class’ and combined middle-class groups of children, as well as within-class gradients among the middle-class sub-groups. There were, for example, substantial differences between the under-class group and the combined middle-class group in terms of both the average number of bouts of organised sport participation and the repertoire or variety of sports engaged with. In effect, the mid- and upper-middle-class children were already sporting and cultural omnivores by the final years of primary schooling. We conclude that while the primary school organised sporting ‘offer’ may be neither a sufficient nor even a necessary contribution to the emerging sporting habits of mid- and upper-middle-class children, for under-class children it is likely to be necessary even though it may still prove, in the longer run, insufficient.
    • Sporting celebrity and conspicuous consumption: A case study of professional footballers in England

      Law, Graeme; Bloyce, Daniel; Waddington, Ivan; York St John University; University of Chester
      Association football is a lucrative sport with high financial rewards for top players. However, there has been little empirical work on the lifestyles of professional footballers. Based on interviews with 29 current and former male professional footballers, this paper examines the relationship between money, status and image management within and outside the changing room. The concept of conspicuous consumption is used to help explain players’ attitudes to money, their relationships with others within the football environment and how they advertise their earnings in an environment where open discussion of wages is seen as taboo. Our findings suggest that professional footballers are expected to display a particular image of the professional footballer and this constrains players, even those on lower incomes, to buy expensive clothes and accessories in order to be accepted by others. Players who do not conform to the expected image may be subject to sanctions by their teammates.
    • Test-retest reliability in quantitative physical education research: A commentary

      Lamb, Kevin L.; Chester College of Higher Education (Sage, 1998-10-01)
      This paper highlights an important statistical development for exercise and physical education research. Traditionally, the Pearson and intraclass correlation coefficients have been liberally used by researchers to quantify the test-retest reliability of many performance, behavioural, and physiologically-related measurements. The suitability of these forms of analyses has recently been challenged by British exercise scientists, who argue that they do not really address what they are meant to, that is, the level of agreement between repeated measurements or scores. As a consequence, our existing knowledge of the reliability of such measurements is questionable and deserves to be re-established with a more appropriate statistical technique. Accordingly, the 95% Limits of Agreement method is presented and offered as an essential supplement for future measurement and evaluation research.
    • Using ‘sport in the community schemes’ to tackle crime and drug use among young people: Some policy issues and problems

      Smith, Andy; Waddington, Ivan (Sage, 2004-10-01)
      This article discusses the effectiveness of sport in the community schemes such as the Positive Futures initative and Summer Splsh/Splash Extra in reducing crime and drug use amongst young people.
    • Validity of a pictorial perceived exertion scale for effort estimation and effort production during stepping exercise in adolescent children

      Yelling, Martin; Lamb, Kevin L.; Swaine, Ian; Chester College of Higher Education (Sage, 2002-06-01)
      Recent developments in the study of paediatric effort perception have continued to emphasise the importance of child-specific rating scales. The purpose of this study was to examine the validity of an illustrated 1 – 10 perceived exertion scale; the Pictorial Children’s Effort Rating Table (PCERT). 4 class groups comprising 104 children; 27 boys and 29 girls, aged 12.1±0.3 years and 26 boys, 22 girls, aged 15.3±0.2 years were selected from two schools and participated in the initial development of the PCERT. Subsequently, 48 of these children, 12 boys and 12 girls from each age group were randomly selected to participate in the PCERT validation study. Exercise trials were divided into 2 phases and took place 7 to 10 days apart. During phase 1, children completed 5 x 3-minute incremental stepping exercise bouts interspersed with 2-minute recovery periods. Heart rate (HR) and ratings of exertion were recorded during the final 15 s of each exercise bout. In phase 2 the children were asked to regulate their exercising effort during 4 x 4-minute bouts of stepping so that it matched randomly prescribed PCERT levels (3, 5, 7 and 9). Analysis of data from Phase 1 yielded significant (P<0.01) relationships between perceived and objective (HR) effort measures for girls. In addition, the main effects of exercise intensity on perceived exertion and HR were significant (P<0.01); perceived exertion increased as exercise intensity increased and this was reflected in simultaneous significant rises in HR. During phase 2, HR and estimated power output (POapprox) produced at each of the four prescribed effort levels were significantly different (P<0.01). The children in this study were able to discriminate between 4 different exercise intensities and regulate their exercise intensity according to 4 prescribed levels of perceived exertion. In seeking to contribute towards children’s recommended physical activity levels and helping them understand how to self-regulate their activity, the application of the PCERT within the context of physical education is a desirable direction for future research.