Spiritual Experiences: Understanding Their Subjective Nature in Peak Performance

Authors: Lynda Flower

Corresponding Author:
Lynda Flower, MA
The University of Queensland
Brisbane, Australia
lynda.flower1@uqconnect.edu.au
+ 61 481 735 994

Lynda Flower is an Honorary Research Fellow (Studies in Religion), Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, at the University of Queensland in Brisbane, Australia.

ABSTRACT
Over the past thirty years, sport and spirituality has grown into a major international research discipline. Of particular interest has been the reported spiritual experiences of athletes during peak performance. With many athletes interpreting peak episodes such as the ‘runners high’ as having not only physiological but also spiritual aspects it is becoming increasingly important that these altered states of consciousness are clearly understood.

While current best practice peak performance coaching acknowledges the importance of physical and mental enhancements such as injury prevention, nutrition, communication, goal setting, and athlete development the spiritual component is often overlooked. In order to provide greater understanding and a context for coaching, this paper will review the origins and historical development of spiritual transcendent states in the West from medieval times, the early 1900s, the postmodern and New Age era, and present day occurrences in sport.

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Social Support and Democratic Behavior Styles of Leadership Preferred by Female Athletes in Middle School Athletic Programs

Authors: Raymond Tucker

Corresponding Author:
Raymond Tucker, D.S.M, CSCS, FMSL1, USATFL1, USAWLP-1
Assistant Professor of Kinesiology
University of Houston at Victoria
3007 N. Ben Wilson
Victoria, Texas 77901
Phone: (361)-570-4381
rtbills2001@gmail.com

Raymond Tucker is an assistant professor of Kinesiology at the University of Houston at Victoria. He is a graduate of the United States Sports Academy with a Doctorate in Sports Management, and he is a certified strength and conditioning specialist by the National Strength and Conditioning Association. He is also a certified coach by the United States Track and Field Association, United States Weightlifting Federation, and Functional Movement Systems. He is certified by the state board of educator certification in Texas in health grades (EC-12) and secondary physical education (6-12).

Co Authors: Willie J. Black, Jr.

Willie J. Black, Jr., Ed.D.
School Administrator
San Antonio
278 Iron Kettle
Universal City, Texas 78148
Phone: (512)-557-2905
drwillieblack@gmail.com

Willie J. Black, Jr. has a Masters of Education in Physical Education and a Bachelor’s in Exercise and Sports Science. He worked for ten years as a personal trainer, certified through the International Sports Science Association, and coached public school athletics at the secondary level for seven years. He also has a doctorate in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies, and serves as an adjunct professor for the department of Educational Leadership and Policy Studies at the University of Texas in San Antonio. He is currently an administrator for the Judson Independent School District, and previously served as Director of Human Resources.

Social Support and Democratic Behavior Styles of Leadership Preferred by Female Athletes in Middle School Athletic Programs

ABSTRACT
The purpose of this study was to determine alleged behavior styles of leadership female student athletes in middle school athletic programs prefer coaches use in the treatment and interactions with their female athletes. This study compared female student athletes’ perception of their coach’s behavior style of leadership at three different middle schools to determine if the perceived behavior style of leadership is comparable amongst female coaches at the respective middle schools in this study.

Results of an earlier study entitled “Preferred Behaviors Used by Coaches in Female Middle School Athletic Programs”, detected a statistically significant difference in the behavior styles of leadership perceived by female student athletes at the respective middle schools in the following dimensions. 1) democratic and training instruction, (2) autocratic and training instruction, (3) social support and training instruction, (4) positive feedback and democratic, (5) positive feedback and autocratic, (6) positive feedback and social support. The results of this study did not detect a statistically significant difference between (1) positive feedback, training instruction, (2) autocratic and democratic, (3) social support and democratic, (4) social support and autocratic. Data composed from this study was based on female student athlete’s perception of the behavior style of leadership used by their coaches. The results revealed a high mean score for the social support behavior style of leadership compared to autocratic, democratic, positive feedback, training instruction. The results of the data in this study can conclude the social support behavior style of leadership is the behavior styles used by coaches at the respective middle schools in this study. However, the data also reveals a high mean score for the democratic behavior style of leadership used by coaches at the respective middle schools for this study. Based on the results of the data for this study, we can conclude the social support and democratic behavior style of leadership are the behavior styles of leadership used by coaches at the respective middle schools in this study. What follows is the basis for this study, procedures used to conduct the research, an analysis of the data, conclusions, application in sport, and finally, recommendations for further research on this topic.

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Democratic Leadership Preferred by Male Student Athletes in Middle School Athletic Programs

Authors: Raymond Tucker

Corresponding Author:
Raymond Tucker, D.S.M, CSCS, FMSL1, USATFL1, USAWLP-1
Assistant Professor of Kinesiology
University of Houston at Victoria
3007 N. Ben Wilson
Victoria, Texas 77901
Phone: (361)-570-4381
rtbills2001@gmail.com

Raymond Tucker is an assistant professor of Kinesiology at the University of Houston at Victoria. He is a graduate of the United States Sports Academy with a Doctorate in Sports Management, and he is a certified strength and conditioning specialist by the National Strength and Conditioning Association. He is also a certified coach by the United States Track and Field Association, United States Weightlifting Federation, and Functional Movement Systems. He is certified by the state board of educator certification in Texas in health grades (EC-12) and secondary physical education (6-12).

Democratic Leadership Preferred by Male Student Athletes in Middle School Athletic Programs

ABSTRACT
The purpose of this study was to determine the perceived behavior style of leadership male student athletes in middle school athletic programs prefer their coaches use in their daily relations with their athletes. This study compared male athletes’ perception of their coach’s behavior style of leadership at three different middle schools to determine if the perceived behavior style of leadership is comparable between male coaches at the respective middle schools in this study.

Results of a previous study entitled “Male Athletes Perception of Coaches Behavior in University Interscholastic Middle School Middle Athletic Programs”, detected a statistically significant difference in the behavior styles of leadership perceived by male athletes at the respective middle schools in this study in the following dimensions. 1) democratic training, instruction, (2) autocratic, training, and instruction, (3) social support and training instruction, (4) positive feedback and democratic behavior, (5) positive feedback and autocratic behavior, and (6) positive feedback and social support. This previous study did not disclose a statistically significant difference between middle schools in the dimensions of (1) positive feedback, training, and instruction, (2) autocratic and democratic behavior, (3) social support and democratic behavior, (4) social support and autocratic behavior. The data collected from this study was based on male athlete’s perception of the behavior style of leadership used by their coaches. The results of this study revealed a high mean score for the democratic behavior style of leadership compared to autocratic behavior, positive feedback, social support, training, and instruction. Based on the results of the data for this study, we can conclude the democratic behavior style of leadership is the behavior style of leadership used by coaches at the respective middle schools in this study. What follows is the basis for this study, procedures used to conduct the research, an analysis of the data, conclusions, application in sport, and finally, recommendations for further research on this topic.

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Road Racing and Youth Running: Cross Country Coaches’ Perspectives

Authors: Peter S. Finley, Jeffrey J. Fountain, Douglas P. Finley

Corresponding Author:
Peter S. Finley
Carl DeSantis Building
3301 College Avenue
Fort Lauderdale, FL, 33314-7796
pfinley@nova.edu
954-262-8115

Peter Finley, Ph.D., and Jeffrey Fountain, Ph.D., are Associate Professors of Sport and Recreation Management at the H. Wayne Huizenga College of Business and Entrepreneurship at Nova Southeastern University.

Douglas Finley, M.S., has served as an agency administrator in park, recreation and resource management for both municipal and state government; as a member of the adjunct faculty at Michigan State University; and as a leader in creating, funding, and coaching fitness programs for youth. Finley is founder and editor of the Center for Children’s Running website and a published author on youth running, including works for the 20,000 U.S. schools Mileage Club initiative and for Running Times/Runner’s World magazine.

Road Racing and Youth Running: Cross Country Coaches’ Perspectives

ABSTRACT
This study focused on obtaining the thoughts and opinions of high school cross country coaches regarding the role road racing should play in youth running. The participants for this study consisted of 132 successful high school cross country coaches from across the United States responding to an original Youth Running and Road Racing survey. The results of the survey found that there was a high level of concern by a majority of the coaches that youth runners face risk of both injuries and burnout because of the distances they run at young ages along with the current environment that focuses too much on competition and not enough on fun and enjoyment of running. Therefore, coaches need to be brought into the conversation with race organizers, the media that covers running, and parents to help modify youth road races so that they can ensure the health and safety of future runners.  

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Male Athletes Perception of Coaches Behavior in University Interscholastic Middle School Athletic Programs

Authors: Raymond Tucker

Corresponding Author:
Raymond Tucker, D.S.M, CSCS, FMSL1, USATFL1, USAWLP-1
Assistant Professor of Kinesiology
University of Houston at Victoria
3007 N. Ben Wilson
Victoria, Texas 77901
Phone: (361)-570-4381

Raymond Tucker is an assistant professor of Kinesiology at the University of Houston at Victoria. He is a graduate of the United States Sports Academy with a Doctorate in Sports Management, and he is a certified strength and conditioning specialist by the National Strength and Conditioning Association. He is also a certified coach by the United States Track and Field Association, United States Weightlifting Federation, and Functional Movement Systems. He is certified by the state board of educator certification in Texas in health grades (EC-12) and secondary physical education (6-12).

Male Athletes Perception of Coaches Behavior in University Interscholastic Middle School Athletic Programs

ABSTRACT
The purpose of this study was to determine male athlete’s perception of the behavior style of leadership used by their coaches in the treatment and daily interactions with their male athletes. The study compares male athletes at three different middle schools to determine if the perceived behavior styles of leadership are similar amongst male coaches at the respective middle schools for this study.

Results of this study detected a statistically significant difference in the behavior styles of leadership perceived by male athletes at the respective middle schools in this study in the following dimensions. 1) democratic and training and instruction, (2) autocratic and training and instruction, (3) social support and training instruction, (4) positive feedback and democratic behavior, (5) positive feedback and autocratic behavior, and (6) positive feedback and social support. This study did not reveal a statistically significant difference between middle schools in the dimensions of (1) positive feedback and training and instruction, (2) autocratic and democratic behavior, (3) social support and democratic behavior, (4) social support and autocratic behavior. Results of this study clearly indicate male coaches at the three respective middle schools in this study place more emphasis on the democratic behavior style of leadership with a mean score of 3.93, and the autocratic behavior style of leadership with a mean score of 3.65, the data shows an emphasis is also placed on the social support behavior style of leadership with a mean score of 3.59 (see Table 1).

This study does not conclude which behavior styles of leadership perceived by male athletes is superior for the overall success of a middle school athletic program. What follows is the basis for this study, procedures used to conduct the research, an analysis of the data, conclusions, application in sport, and finally, recommendations for further research on this topic.

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