The “Football Family” as a Supportive Academic Environment: A Study of Varsity Athletes

Submitted by Dr. Francois Gravelle, Ph.D., Dr. George Karlis, Ph.D., and Ezechiel Rothschild-Checroune.

Dr. François Gravelle P.h.D., University of Ottawa, School of Human Kinetics, 125 University private, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, K1N 6N5. E-mail: fgravel@uottawa.ca. Tel.: 613-562-5800 (2442) Dr. Gravelle is also an adjunct professor at the Département d’études en loisir, culture et tourisme” at the University of Québec in Trois-Rivières.

Dr. George Karlis, University of Ottawa, School of Human Kinetics, 125 University private, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, K1N 6N5. E-mail: gkarlis@uottawa.ca. Tel.: 613-562-5800 (2452)

Ezechiel Rothschild-Checroune, M.A. PhD Student, University of Toronto, Department of Exercise Sciences, 55 Harbord St., Toronto ON, M5S 2W6. E-mail: zeke.rothschild.checroune@mail.utoronto.ca.

ABSTRACT

The challenge of adjusting from secondary school to a new university setting and adapting to the dynamic systems of academic and athletic programs can be overwhelming. The supportive interaction between athletes and coaches may play a key role for academic success. These important considerations encouraged this study to examine the perceptions of varsity athletes toward the “football family” as a supportive academic environment. The intent of this study was to examine the influence of the “football family” – rookies, veterans, and coaches – on academic success. Phenomenological qualitative research was the approach employed to examine the perceptions of 12 first year university football student athletes at a Canadian university toward the “football family” as a supportive academic environment. The results indicated that the “football family” provided a supportive academic environment for the varsity football players. Specifically the results revealed that: (1) rookies share the most experiences with other football rookies at university, (2) rookies engaged academically with each other by going to class and working on academic projects together, (3) rookies vicariously learn from each others’ mistakes, (4) veterans helped rookies with both athletics and academics, (5) veterans’ experience provided unique learning opportunities than those gained from other rookies, (6) veterans acted as role models, (7) coaches were viewed as fatherly figures in the football family, (8) coaches have greater academic influence towards engagement than professors, and (9) coaches acted as life coaches pushing a family first, school second, football third mentality. It was concluded that the “football family” can provide a supportive academic environment for rookies adjusting to university.

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2016-04-01T09:09:00-05:00October 2nd, 2014|General, Sports Coaching|Comments Off on The “Football Family” as a Supportive Academic Environment: A Study of Varsity Athletes

Effects of Circuit Resistance Training on Body Composition and Bone Status in Young Males

Submitted by Yilmaz Ucan

Dr. Ucan is the chairman of the AIBU Sports Club and is responsible for the university fitness and health center.

ABSTRACT

The purpose of this study was to determine the effects of circuit type resistance training on body composition and bone status in young males.  Twenty eight moderately active male volunteers were randomly assigned to 12 weeks of circuit resistance training (CRT) (n=15; 24.3±1.4 years) or control (C) (n=13; 24.8±2.1 years).  Total body fat (%BF), fat mass (FM), fat-free mass (FFM), bone mineral content, and bone mineral density (BMD) measurements were performed with dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry.  At the end of the 12-week training period, there was a decrease (p<.05) in the CRT group %BF (-1.63%), FM (-1.03kg), an increase in FFM (1.46kg), and no change (p>.05) in body weight or BMD.  In C, no significant (p>.05) changes were observed.  CRT bone mineral density values were significantly (p<.05) higher (.003g/cm2) after the 12 week training period versus the control group values (-.005g/cm2).

Results suggest that 12 weeks of circuit resistance training in moderately active young males had a positive effect on body composition and bone status, with no effect on body weight.  Additional studies may identify effects of circuit resistance training on body composition and bone mineral density in women and aging.

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2014-08-19T10:23:35-05:00August 19th, 2014|Contemporary Sports Issues, General, Sports Exercise Science|Comments Off on Effects of Circuit Resistance Training on Body Composition and Bone Status in Young Males

Winning by Deemphasizing Winning: Establishing Climates for Moral Development in Sports

Submitted by Luke Nielsen

Luke Nielsen is an educator and strength and conditioning coach at Saint Ansgar High School in Saint Ansgar, Iowa. He received his Master of Sports Science degree from the United States Sports Academy, and is currently pursuing a terminal degree through the Academy.

ABSTRACT

Purpose: This article was adapted from an unpublished essay previously submitted by the author as a course requirement for SAB 634: Ethics in Sports at the United States Sports Academy in Daphne, Alabama. The essay is intended to provide coaches and athletics administrators—specifically those operating within the frameworks of high school, club, and non-profit-generating collegiate programs—with a sound functional overview of existing research related to the influence of the program climate on the moral development of athletes and to offer suggestions for the implementation of research-supported techniques aimed at eliciting high levels of positive moral development. Methods: A broad range of existing literature related to the moral development of athletes was compiled, examined, analyzed, and disseminated. Results: The examined research findings suggest that moral development is rooted in emotional contexts and develops from a high level of externalization toward autonomy. Furthermore, existing research clearly supports a strong positive correlation between the social environment, the motivational orientation of athletes, and moral development. Specifically, coaches who model and support autonomous moral behaviors maintain the most positive influence on the healthy moral development of athletes; and athletes possessing high task-ego goal orientations tend to have the highest levels of moral functioning. Conclusions: Due to their inherently emotional constructs and the progressive development of skills toward autonomy associated with sports, athletics serve as an ideal environment for moral development. By deemphasizing winning as an end goal in order to support task goal orientation and healthy competition, sports programs can effectively promote positive moral development. Applications in Sports: Athletics organizations that claim to exist for the developmental benefit of the participating athletes—specifically non-revenue generating athletics entities—must examine and implement sound research-supported strategies associated with the moral development of athletes. By developing an understanding of the concepts identified and incorporating the practices prescribed within this essay, coaches and athletics administrators may establish sports programs that effectively promote positive moral development.

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2016-04-01T09:24:13-05:00July 31st, 2014|Contemporary Sports Issues, General, Sports Coaching|Comments Off on Winning by Deemphasizing Winning: Establishing Climates for Moral Development in Sports

The Games Approach and High School Football

Submitted by Luke Nielsen

Luke Nielsen is an educator and strength and conditioning coach at Saint Ansgar High School in Saint Ansgar, Iowa.  He received his Master of Sports Science degree from the United States Sports Academy, and is currently pursuing a terminal degree through the Academy.

ABSTRACT

Purpose: This article was adapted from an unpublished essay previously submitted by the author as a course requirement for SAB 571: Sports Coaching Methodology at the United States Sports Academy in Daphne, Alabama.  This article offers an examination of research related to the games approach, which for the purposes of this investigation will be identified as the implementation of coaching tactics that utilize open-skill training techniques that closely mimic the physiological and psychological demands of competition.  Specifically, this essay explores the efficacy of a games approach to coaching high school American football and offers suggestions for the effective implementation of games approach techniques.  Methods: An extensive collection of existing research was examined for this literature review.  Research related to general tactical sports training, the possible influence of a games approach to sports training, and specific games approach techniques were examined.  Special consideration was given to research that was deemed highly applicable to high school football.  Results: Athletic performance is comprised of physical, technical, and tactical components, yet performances in closed-skill technical assessments do not necessarily translate to performance in open-skill competition.  However, games approach techniques can be implemented to effectively address all three components of athletic performance, and guided discovery learning techniques were found to be most effective in eliciting positive gains in actual competition performance.  Conclusions: High school coaches can effectively overcome many of the constraints facing secondary athletics programs and address the physical, technical, and tactical components of football by incorporating guided discovery learning into games approach training techniques.  Applications in Sports: High school football coaches are charged with the task of training young and inexperienced athletes—many of whom must fulfill a variety of other academic and extracurricular commitments—to effectively perform the many highly complex tasks that comprise American football.  This can be a difficult task.  This essay summarizes existing research findings regarding games approach athlete training techniques and provides coaches with suggestions for the effective and efficient implementation of such tactics.

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2015-11-06T20:23:46-05:00July 24th, 2014|Contemporary Sports Issues, General, Sports Coaching|Comments Off on The Games Approach and High School Football

Normative profiles for serve speed for the training of the serve and reception in volleyball

Submitted by José Manuel Palao¹ and David Valadés²

1 Department of Physical Activity and Sport, Faculty of Sport Science at the University of Murcia, Spain.
2 Department of Biological Sciences, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Alcalá University, Alcalá de Henares. Madrid, Spain.

ABSTRACT

The objectives of the present study were: a) to assess normative profiles for the serve speed of peak-performance volleyball players in order to guide practice sessions for men´s teams (study 1) and women´s teams (study 2), and b) to establish the possibilities and the ranges of speed that a volleyball throwing machine can offer for working on reception in volleyball (study 3). In studies 1 and 2, the serve techniques and the maximal speeds were analysed in men´s (2097 serves) and women´s (2056 serves) volleyball. Study 3 consisted of analysing the release speeds of the ball that are generated from the various speed settings that can be programmed with the throwing machine. The results provide normative profiles for the ranges of speed of the different types of serve for both men´s and women´s volleyball. Additionally, they indicate the speeds that a volleyball throwing machine provides for reception training in volleyball.

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2014-07-23T09:14:53-05:00July 23rd, 2014|Contemporary Sports Issues, General, Sports Coaching|Comments Off on Normative profiles for serve speed for the training of the serve and reception in volleyball