Browsing Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry and Life Sciences by Subjects
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Coach behaviour analysis within elite youth soccerSoccer clubs recruit talented youth players into their development programmes with the aim of nurturing their ability, and ultimately to develop them into professional soccer players (Carling et al. 2012). Past talent identification and development research has identified that youth players, who are then selected to play at higher standards of competition, possess greater endurance capacity (Gil et al. 2007; Reilly et al. 2000), faster sprinting performance (Le Gall et al. 2010), have faster dribbling performance (Huijgen et al. 2009) and are generally more physically advanced in comparison to players of lower ability (Gravina et al. 2008). In contrast to traditional measures, few studies have considered player development in relation to coach-player interaction. There is general agreement that coaching is a process that primarily focuses on aiding athletes in achieving their peak performance (Woodman, 1993). Therefore, the way in which a coach facilitates learning through their words and actions, which is the core principal of the coach’s instructional behavior, can strongly impact upon an athletes’ performance and progression, as well as their emotional well-being (Miller, 1992). Promoting a mastery climate, with equal opportunities and support for athletes fosters group cohesion and reduces performance anxiety through the reduction of social pressures (Smith et al. 2007). Despite the need for equality to promote team cohesion throughout the team, differentiation between feedback provided to effective and non-effective team sport players has previously been identified. In many team sports, it has been suggested that coaches observe and interact more with effective players (based upon match time), provide more feedback (instructional, positive, and negative), and give more positive evaluations within training sessions when compared to non-effective players (Markland & Martinek, 1988; Wang et al. 2001; Rosado & Mesquita, 2009). To date no research has conducted a longitudinal assessment focusing on talent development and player progression through coach behaviour analysis within elite youth soccer. Therefore, the aim of the study was to objectively analyse coaching behaviour within three playing squads at an elite level soccer club during two competitive seasons.
Personality dimensions and their behavioral correlates in wild virunga mountain gorillas (Gorilla beringei beringei)Studies of animal personality improve our understanding of individual variation in measures of life-history and fitness, such as health and reproductive success. Using a 54 trait personality questionnaire developed for studying great apes and other nonhuman primates, we obtained ratings on 116 wild mountain gorillas (Gorilla beringei beringei) monitored by the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund’s Karisoke Research Center in Rwanda. There were eight raters who each had more than 1.5 years of working experience with the subjects. Principal component analyses identified four personality dimensions with high inter-rater reliabilities --- Dominance, Openness, Sociability, and Proto-Agreeableness --- that reflected personality features unique to gorillas and personality features shared with other hominoids. We next examined the associations of these dimensions with independently collected behavioral measures derived from long-term records. Predicted correlations were found between the personality dimensions and corresponding behaviors. For example, Dominance, Openness, Sociability, and Proto-Agreeableness were related to gorilla dominance strength, time spent playing, rates of approaches and rates of interventions in intra-group conflicts, respectively. These findings enrich the comparative-evolutionary study of personality and provide insights into how species differences in personality are related to ecology, social systems, and life history.