Author: Rachel Kent*
*Corresponding Author Address:
To review Great British (GB) athletes’ perceptions of home court advantage and competing ahead of the 2012 London Olympic Games a qualitative study using semi-structured interviews was conducted. The seven topics discussed in the interview were based on previous research. Five female GB Olympic sprinters were interviewed at their training facility in West London as they trained for the 2012 Olympic Games. Athlete responses were coded into categories then analysed using phenomenological analysis.
Athletes had a range of reasons why they believed they had a ‘home advantage.’ All athletes agreed that media representation could be good if media was positive but was bad when the media coverage was negative. Athletes reported a range of expectations some expressing high expectations and associated higher levels of performance anxiety. Athletes reporting lower levels of expectations had lower levels of performance anxiety. Athletes reported different sources of expectations and the significance of the source to them and their anxiety. The implications of the research findings suggest recommendations for media and sponsors, coaches, family, and friends to help provide the athletes with the optimum levels of unconditional support to aid in performance and prevent pressure, stress and pre-competitive anxiety.
KEYWORDS: Olympic Games, Olympics, Home Court Advantage, Expectancy Theory, Self-fulfilling prophecy, Media bias, Athletes, Phenomenological Analysis
Submitted by David F. Vanata, Ph.D., RD, CSSD, LD; Nick Mazzino, B.S.;Robert Bergosh, Ph.D. and Paul Graham, B.S. of Ashland University in Ashland, Ohio.
Caffeine has been identified as a possible ergogenic aid for athletic performance. The objective of this study was to evaluate the effects of caffeine on sprint-distance swim trials. Caffeine dosages of 3 milligrams per kilogram (mg.kg-1) of body weight and placebos were administered via vegan capsules to 30 Division II collegiate swimmers, (60.0% males, n=18), in a single blind, crossover study design. Capsules were administered 30-minutes prior to completing a 50-yard time trial using electronic touch-pads. Urine samples were collected and analyzed via High Pressure Liquid Chromatography (HPLC) to determine the amount of caffeine excreted in the urine. Significant improvements were observed between caffeine and placebo time trials, M=27.27 seconds, SD=3.65 vs. M=27.51 seconds, SD=3.74, t(29)=2.81, p=.009, respectively. Overall, 70.0% of all swimmers improved 50-yard swim times (n=21), with 61.1% (n=11) of males improving and 83.3% (n=10) of females. There was a significant difference between urinary caffeine levels after ingesting the placebo vs. the caffeine capsules, M=.733 micrograms per milliliter (mg.ml-1), SD=1.29 vs. M=2.69 mg.ml-1, SD=2.02, t(29)= -5.34, p<.001, respectively. Following supplementation, female swimmers excreted significantly more urinary caffeine than males, M=3.59 mg.ml-1, SD=2.23 vs. M=2.09 mg.ml-1, SD=1.68, t(28)= -2.11, p=.044, respectively.
Overall, caffeine supplementation was found to significantly improve time trials of trained colligate swimmers. Additional studies are needed to identify factors associated with the variation of urinary caffeine excretion values observed between female and male athletes.