An International Physical Fitness Test for the Arab World

The United States Sports Academy, in cooperation with Bahrain’s Supreme Council for Youth and Sports, presented the Arab world with its own international physical fitness test battery based on normative data collected from Arab youth ages 9 to 19 years. One of the few fitness tests developed outside the Western world, the test is believed to be the only one based on analysis of empirical data collected among Arab youth. It is designed to measure speed, strength, suppleness, and stamina, the basic components of any physical activity. Since its introduction to 199 physical education teachers by the president of the United States Sports Academy, Dr. Thomas P. Rosandich, more than 20,000 boys and girls have been tested with the comprehensive battery.

Test Battery

The test battery includes the following:

  1. 50-m test (relative power, speed)
  2. Flexed-arm hang (relative strength, strength)
  3. 10-m shuttle run (relative power, speed, suppleness)
  4. Back throw (absolute power, speed, suppleness)
  5. 1,000-m run (aerobic/anaerobic capacity, stamina)

This test battery has been adopted by more than 21 nations throughout the years.


1. 50-METER DASH

Equipment: Stopwatch

Procedure: A standing start is used; the hands cannot be touching the ground. On the signal “Come to your mark,” the testing participant stands with both feet behind the starting line, with one foot slightly advanced. When the participant is ready and motionless, the starter gives normal verbal instructions, “Set,” and after a brief pause, “Go.” The timer starts the clock when the participant moves. The participant sprints for 50 m, past the finish line, avoiding any tendency to slow down before crossing the finish line. Time in seconds and tenths of seconds is recorded.

 

2. FLEXED-ARM HANG

Equipment: Stopwatch, 4-cm-diameter bar whose height prevents participants from touching the ground

Procedure: The participant climbs a ladder near the bar until the chin is at bar level. The participant grasps the bar, keeping the hands shoulder width apart. The backs of the hands must be toward the face, with the thumbs under the bar. The chin should be level with the bar. On the command “Ready, go,” the participant removes the feet from the ladder. Simultaneously, an assistant removes the ladder and prevents any forward swinging of the legs. The stopwatch is started when the participant’s feet leave the ladder and is stopped when the chin falls below the level of the bar or when keeping the chin level with the bar requires tilting the head  backward. Time in seconds is recorded.

 

 

3. SHUTTLE RUN

Equipment: Stopwatch, 2 wooden blocks (10 cm x 5 cm x 5 cm) per participant, flat course marked with 2 lines 10 m apart

Procedure: On the signal “Ready,” the participant places both feet behind the starting line with one foot slightly advanced. On the signal “Go,” the participant sprints to the opposite line, picks up a block of wood, runs back and places it on or beyond the starting line. Without pause, the participant runs to retrieve the second block and carries it back across the finish line. The participant correctly completes 2 trials, and the better of the 2 times is recorded. A trial is void if a block is dropped or thrown. Time in seconds and tenths of seconds is recorded.

 

4. BACK THROW

Equipment: 8-lb shot, tape measure

Procedure: The participant stands with his back to the throwing area, with an 8-lb shot cradled in both hands between the knees. The participant bends forward and downward and then throws the shot backward over the head, in a 2-handed throwing action. Measurement is made from the point of impact of the shot with the ground, to the inside edge of the foul line. The participant completes 2 trials, and the greater distance is recorded. Distance is recorded in meters and centimeters.

 

5. DISTANCE RUN

Equipment: Stopwatch, 200-m oval
Procedure: The distance run is 600 m for boys and girls 13 years old and under; 1,000 m for boys 14 to 19; and 800 m for girls 14 to 19. On the signal, “Ready,” the participants stand behind the starting line. When all participants are ready, they are given the command “Go” and are encouraged to run the distance in the fastest possible time. Walking is permitted.

Up to 30 runners may be tested at one time with accuracy and efficiency. Each runner will complete the required distance. For better control at the finish line, a chute may be made by tying ropes between high-jump standards. The timekeeper stands at the finish line. He has the only watch and calls out a time as each runner crosses the finish line. The fitness testing team records each runner’s time in minutes and seconds.

 

Author Note

Dr. Thomas J. Rosandich, president and chief executive officer, United States Sports Academy.

The author gratefully acknowledges the cooperation of the Bahrain Supreme Council for Youth and Sports is the preparation of the test battery and testing manual, from which the illustrations in this article were taken.

All correspondence concerning this article should be directed to the author at One Academy Dr., Daphne, AL  36526.

 

 

 

Effects of Creatine Supplementation on Body Composition, Strength, and Power of Female Volleyball Players

Abstract

This study investigated the effect of creatine supplementation on the body composition, muscular strength, and power of 36 female collegiate volleyball players across 10 weeks of training . The 19- to 26-year-olds were randomly assigned, in a double-blind fashion, to either a creatine treatment group (CT) (n = 18) or placebo control group (PC) (n = 18). During an initial loading phase comprising 5 days, the CT group ingested 5 g of creatine 4 times each day; during the maintenance phase that followed, CT group members consumed 5 g of creatine once a day. The PC group followed the same administration schedule but consumed a glucose placebo. All 36 athletes participated in a conditioning program focusing on weight training and plyometric training. Measures were taken before administration of creatine began, and also at the conclusion of the study, of body weight, lean body mass, percentage of body fat, 1-repetition-maximum bench press capacity, and vertical jump (VJ) ability. For both groups, bench press and VJ results improved significantly during the study, though improvement among members of the CT group was significantly greater than among the PC group, p < 0.05. Further, the CT group had significantly greater gains in body weight and lean body mass, with no change in body fat. The findings suggest that creatine supplementation in conjunction with a good conditioning program can improve athletic performance in female collegiate volleyball players.

Effects of Creatine Supplementation on Body Composition, Strength, and Power of Female Volleyball Players

Athletes have continuously sought elixirs to enhance their performance. Their use of oral creatine supplementation for this purpose has become increasingly popular in recent years. Creatine is an amino acid compound. Of the human body’s supply of creatine, approximately 95% is in skeletal muscles and about 5% is stored in the heart, the brain, and,  in males, the testes (Walker, 1979). Creatine is synthesized by the liver, kidneys, and pancreas, with additional supply obtained by consuming fish, meat, and other animal products. It is converted to phosphocreatine, which is necessary to resynthesize adenosine triphosphate (ATP). During short-term high-intensity exercise, phosphocreatine is a primary source of energy for APT resynthesis.

Numbers of prior scientific studies show creatine supplementation to significantly increase creatine concentrations in skeletal muscle, a condition that accelerates phosphocreatine resynthesis (Balsom et al., 1995; Casey et al., 1996; Greenhaff et al., 1993; Harris, Soderlund, & Hultman, 1992). As a result of creatine supplementation, increased muscle creatine enhances athletic performance during high-intensity, intermittent exercise (Haff et al., 2000; Stout et al., 1999). Creatine supplementation also delays the onset of fatigue and facilitates recovery during repeated bouts of high-intensity exercise (Greenhaff et al., 1993; Hultman et al., 1990). Supplementation with creatine also has ergogenic effects on muscular strength and power (Bosco et al., 1997). Finally, creatine supplementation significantly increases body mass, with increased fat-free mass (Earnest et al., 1995; Kreider, Ferreira, et al., 1998; Kreider, Klesges, et al., 1996; Vandenberghe et al., 1997).

Although in growing numbers of studies creatine supplementation has been found to enhance performance during high-intensity, intermittent exercise, most studies have involved short-term supplementation and have not investigated supplementation in sports-specific settings. There have been few studies, for example, of creatine supplementation among female collegiate volleyball players.

Method

Participants
The study sample was 36 female collegiate volleyball players who had not supplemented with creatine within the 6 months preceding the data collection. The players (age = 20.6 ± 1.73 years, weight = 58.0 ± 2.2 kg, height = 176 + 8 cm) volunteered to participate in the investigation. All were currently engaged in resistance training and had 1 or more years of resistance training experience; all continued to train 3 times per week during the experimental period. Each participant completed a medical history, a lifestyle inventory, a training inventory, and an informed consent form before participating in the study. All procedures complied with human subject guidelines established by the U. S. Department of Health, Education and Welfare and the American Physiological Society. Participants were required to maintain their normal training, physical activity patterns, and dietary regimens throughout the study.

Experimental Design
The 19- to 26-year-old athletes were randomly assigned, in a double-blind fashion, to either a creatine treatment group (CT) (n = 18) or placebo control group (PC) (n = 18) group. During an initial loading phase comprising 5 days, the CT group ingested 5 g of creatine 4 times each day; during the maintenance phase that followed, CT group members consumed 5 g of creatine once a day. The creatine supplements were measured in 5-g quantities and placed in generic capsules coded for identification. The PC group followed the same administration schedule but consumed a glucose placebo. All 36 subjects participated in a conditioning program focusing on weight training and plyometric training.

Pre- and post-experiment testing determined body weight, lean body mass, percentage of body fat, 1-repetition-maximum bench press capacity, and vertical jump (VJ) ability. The bench press test using free weight constituted a of measure muscular strength. The vertical jump test was administered to measure muscular power. Body density was determined using the hydrostatic weighing technique. Body fat percentage and fat-free mass were calculated based on the body density values.

Statistical analyses were completed using SPSS (Statistical Package for the Social Sciences) (version 9.0). A one-way analysis of variance with repeated measures was conducted to make comparisons, both between groups and over time, of the measures for bench press, vertical jump, body weight, percentage of body fat, and lean body mass. Statistical significance was accepted at an alpha level of p < 0.05. Values presented in the results are means ± SD.

Results

Table 1 summarizes the results observed in terms of muscular strength and power measurements. Statistical analysis demonstrated that both the creatine treatment group and placebo group experienced statistically significant improvement in bench press and vertical jump after 10 weeks of training (see Figure 1). However, for both tests, the creatine treatment group improved to an extent that was, statistically speaking, more significant than the improvement shown by the control group (p < 0.05).

Table 1

2 Groups’ Pre- and Post-Experiment Measurements, Bench Press/Strength and Vertical Jump/Power

  Placebo Group (n = 18) Creatine Group (n = 18)
Bench Press

Pre

Post

47.4 ± 5.8 kg>50.3 ± 5.8 kg* 47.6 ± 5.0 kg55.2 ± 5.0 kg*…
Vertical JumpPre

Post

>49.4 ± 1.6 cm50.9 ± 1.7 cm* 49.4 ± 2.6 cm52.3 ± 2.1 cm*…

Note. Values are means ± SD; n = number of subjects. Bench press used was 1-repetition-maximum.
*Significant improvement, p < 0.05
…Significant treatment effect compared with placebo, p < 0.05

Figure1. Results of bench press and vertical jump measurements

Pre- and post-experiment measures of the players’ body weight, percentage of body fat, and lean body mass are presented in Table 2. Statistical analysis demonstrated that the CT group’s gains in body weight and lean body mass were greater than the PC group’s, to a statistically significant degree, with no change in percentage of body fat (p < 0.05). In the PC group, no statistically significant differences were observed between the pre- and post-experiment measures of body weight, percentage of body fat, and lean body mass .

Table 2

2 Groups’ Pre- and Post-Experiment Measurements, Body Composition

  Placebo Group (n = 18) Creatine Group (n =1 8)
Body Weight

Pre

Post

63.5 ± 3.1 kg

65.7 ± 3.0 kg*

64.6 ± 2.9 kg

66.3 ± 2.7 kg*

Percentage Body Fat

Pre

Post

17.7 ± 1.2%

18.4 ± 1.1%

17.5 ± 1.2%

17.4 ± 1.2%

Lean Body Mass

Pre

Post

52.2 ± 2.6 kg

53.6 ± 2.4 kg*

53.3 ± 2.3 kg

56.1 ± 2.6 kg*…

Note. Values are means ± SD; n =  number of subjects.
*Significant improvement, p < 0.05
…Significant treatment effect compared with placebo, p < 0.05

Discussion

The present results support the findings of previous studies suggesting that creatine supplementation, in conjunction with a good conditioning program, can significantly increase muscular strength and power, to an extent that conditioning programs alone do not match (Haff et al., 2000; Stout et al., 1999). A number of mechanisms have been offered in explanation. First, creatine supplementation increases creatine and phosphocreatine concentration in skeletal muscle, which appears to be directly related to enhancement of force development (Balsom et al., 1995; Casey et al., 1996; Greenhaff et al., 1993; Harris, Soderlund, & Hultman, 1992). Enhanced ability to meet high demand for ATP during maximal exercise may help explain the improvement in muscular strength and power.

The present study’s finding of an increase in lean body mass and body weight with creatine supplementation is consistent with other studies  (Earnest et al., 1995; Haff et al., 2000; Kreider, Ferreira, et al., 1998; Kreider, Klesges, et al., 1996; Vandenberghe et al., 1997). Two potential mechanisms underlying such increase have been proposed: an increase in total body water and increased synthesis of myofibrillar protein (Bessman & Savabi, 1990).

The findings of the present study suggest that creatine supplementation in conjunction with a good conditioning program can be effective in improving athletic performance in female collegiate volleyball players. Further research, however, is needed concerning, specifically, long-term creatine supplementation and its effects.

References

Balsom, P., Ekblom, B., Sjodin, B., & Hultman, E. (1993). Creatine supplementation and dynamic high-intensity intermittent exercise. Scandinavian Journal of Medicine and Science in Sports, 3, 143-149.

Bessman, S. P., & Savabi, F. (1990). The role of the phosphocreatine energy shuttle in exercise and muscle hypertrophy. In A. W. Taylor, P. Gollnick, & H. Green (Eds.), Biochemistry of Exercise VII (pp. 167-178). Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics.

Casey, A., Constantin-Teodosiu, D., Howell, D., Hultman, E., & Greenhaff, P. (1996). Creatine ingestion favorably affects performance and muscle metabolism during maximal exercise in humans. American Journal of Physiology, 271, E31-37.

Earnest, C., Snell, P., Rodriguez, R., Almada, A., & Mitchell, T. (1995). The effect of creatine monohydrate ingestion on anaerobic power indices, muscular strength and body composition. Acta Physiologica Scandinavica, 153, 207-209.

Greenhaff, P., Casey, A., Short, A., Harris, R., Soderlund, K., & Hultman, E. (1993). Influence of oral creatine supplementation on muscle torque during repeated bouts of maximal voluntary exercise in man. Clinical Science, 84, 565-571.

Haff, G., Kirksey, B., Stone, M., Warren, B., Johnson, R., Stone, M., et al.  (2000). The effect of 6 weeks of creatine monohydrate supplementation on dynamic rate of force development. Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, 14(4), 426-433.

Harris, R., Soderlund, K., & Hultman, E. (1992). Elevation of creatine in resting and exercised muscle of normal subjects by creatine supplementation. Clinical Science, 83, 367-374.

Hultman, E., Bergstrom, J., Spriet, L., & Soderlund, K. (1990). Energy metabolism and fatigue. In A. Taylor, P. Gollnick, & H. Green (Eds.), Biochemistry of Exercise VII (pp. 73-92). Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics.

Kreider, R., Ferreira, M., Wilson, M., Grindstaff, P., Plisk, S., Reinhardy, J., et al. (1998). Effects of creatine supplementation on body composition, strength and sprint performance. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, 30, 73-82.

Kreider, R., Klesges, R., Harmon, K., Grindstaff, P., Ramsey, L., Bullen, D., et al. (1996). Effects of ingesting supplements designed to promote lean tissue accretion on body composition during resistance exercise. International Journal of Sport Nutrition, 6, 234-246.

Stout, J. R., Eckerson, J., Noonan, D., Moore, G., & Cullen, D. (1999). Effects of 8 weeks of creatine supplementation on exercise performance and fat-free weight in football players during training. Nutrition Research, 19, 217-225.

Vandenberghe, K., Goris, M., Van Hecke, P., Van Leemputte, M., Vangerven, L., & Hespel, P. (1997). Long-term creatine intake is beneficial to muscle performance during resistance training. Journal of Applied Physiology, 83, 2055-2063.

Author Note

Jon YeanSub Lim, Department of Health and Physical Education, Northern State University.

Job Satisfaction Among Athletic Trainers in NCAA Division I-AA Institutions

Abstract

This study analyzed the level of job satisfaction experienced by certified athletic trainers in selected National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division I-AA institutions having football programs. It utilized the Minnesota Satisfaction Questionnaire, which was sent along with a demographic questionnaire to 240 certified athletic trainers around the country. Analysis involved 138 questionnaires, representing a 57.5% rate of return. One-way analysis of variance and post hoc Scheffe multiple comparisons were conducted to determine if significant differences existed in the level of job satisfaction among athletic trainers relative to their demographics. Statistical significance was accepted at an alpha level of p < 0.05. The study found statistically significant differences (p < 0.05) in trainers’ job satisfaction, associated with their various employment positions: program director, faculty member, head athletic trainer, assistant athletic trainer, graduate assistant. Program directors and athletic training faculty members were most satisfied with their jobs, while graduate assistants were least satisfied. The findings of the study also showed that male athletic trainers experienced significantly higher job satisfaction than female athletic trainers, and older trainers experienced greater job satisfaction than younger trainers. Level of job satisfaction increased with the level of professional experience in athletic training.

Job Satisfaction Among Athletic Trainers in NCAA Division I-AA Institutions

Because of the needs of American football, athletic training originated as a health-care profession at the turn of the 20th century. In the beginning, the practice of athletic training was more a skill than a science. Moreover, the role of the athletic trainer was not defined, nor were his or her duties clearly affirmed by sports personnel outside the profession (Arnheim, 1993). Since the establishment in 1950 of a professional association in athletic training, the National Athletic Trainers’ Association (NATA), the establishment of undergraduate and graduate academic curricula in athletic training, along with establishment of standards for entry-level athletic trainer certification, has led to athletic training’s recognition as an allied health profession.

As the profession of athletic training has evolved, so have the athletic trainer’s responsibilities. Caring for athletes has always been an important responsibility; educating students of athletic training to secure professional continuity is becoming increasingly important. In 1994, NATA passed a mandate that, by the year 2004, any student seeking eligibility to test for the entry-level athletic training certification must attend a program approved by NATA. Athletic trainers around the country are in the process of meeting the new requirements set forth by NATA, which include new responsibilities within both the practical and academic realms. The new responsibilities may be especially noticed by smaller institutions whose budgets limit hiring of additional staff. The additional demands on athletic trainers may well induce additional stress, and the effects of that stress should be studied. An important related issue is the effects of athletic training personnel’s satisfaction with their academic and athletic responsibilities. Of primary concern to this study was the job satisfaction of the athletic training personnel in Division I-AA institutions having football programs sanctioned by the NCAA.

Methods

Participants
The participants were 138 certified athletic trainers (73 men, 65 women) from NCAA Division I-AA institutions that sponsor football. They included program directors (13.0%), faculty members (5.1%), head athletic trainers (16.7%), assistant athletic trainers (48.6%), and graduate assistants (16.7%). Of the respondents, 13.0% had bachelor’s degrees, 67.4% had master’s degrees, and 13.0% had doctoral degrees. Respondents’ professional experience most commonly numbered 1-5 years (34.8%); a further 31.2% of the respondents had 6-10 years’ experience, while 22.5% had more than 16 years’ experience in athletic training.

Instrument
Job satisfaction among athletic trainers was measured using the Minnesota Satisfaction Questionnaire (MSQ). It employs a 20-dimension Likert-type scale with 5 responses (1 very dissatisfied, 2 dissatisfied, 3 neutral, 4 satisfied, 5 very satisfied). Demographic data pertaining to gender, age, experience, and education were also collected. The purpose of the MSQ is to determine the degree of job satisfaction in terms of characteristics associated with the task itself (intrinsic satisfaction); of other, non-task characteristics of the job (extrinsic satisfaction); and of overall satisfaction with a job (total satisfaction). Evidence of the validity of the MSQ derives mainly from its ability to perform in line with theoretical expectation (known as construct validity) (Weiss, Dawis, England, & Lofquist, 1967). Coefficients ranged from .84 to .91 for intrinsic satisfaction, while external satisfaction coefficients ranged from .77 to .82. Total satisfaction coefficients ranged from .87 to .92. Reliability reported in Hoyt reliability coefficients suggests that the MSQ scales demonstrate adequate internal consistency reliabilities.

Statistical Analysis
The data collected were analyzed, using descriptive statistics, to obtain frequency distributions, percentages, means, and standard deviations. In addition, a one-way analysis of variance (ANOVA) was conducted to determine if significant differences in job-satisfaction levels existed relative to the athletic trainers’ demographics. When results of the ANOVA test were statistically significant, Scheffe post hoc multiple comparisons determined where differences between means existed. Statistical significance was accepted at an alpha level.

Results

Table 1 presents the ranking and mean values (in ascending order) for the total-job-satisfaction variables describing the athletic trainers. Primarily, the 3 intrinsic variables social status (M = 3.52), moral values (M = 3.50), and achievement (M = 3.41) ranked as top sources of job satisfaction among the athletic trainers. Participating trainers were least satisfied with their working conditions (M = 2.45), company policies and procedures (M = 2.22), advancement (M = 2.20), and compensation (M = 1.42).

Table 1

Mean Rank, Mean, and Standard Deviation of Variables in Athletic Trainers’ Total Job Satisfaction

 MSQ Dimension Mean Rank M SD
Social Service 1 3.52
0.81
Moral Values 2 3.50
0.86
Achievement
3
3.41
0.86
Creativity
4
3.38
0.91
Responsibility
5
3.34
0.90
Ability Utilization
6
3.33
0.83
Authority
7
3.22
0.90
Independence
8
3.19
0.89
Variety
9
3.16
1.12
Activity
10
3.15
1.05
Co-workers 11 3.02 0.99
Security
12
2.85
0.82
Supervision-Technical
13
2.82
0.83
Supervision-Human Relations
14
2.77
0.91
Recognition
15
2.74
0.88
Social Status
16
2.73
0.94
Working Conditions
17
2.45
0.82
Company Polices & Practices
18
2.22
0.94
Advancement
19
2.20
0.85
Compensation
20
1.42
1.10

Table 2 presents total satisfaction levels in terms of the participants’ demographic characteristics, along with results of one-way ANOVA tests. Athletic training program directors (3.58 mean rating) and athletic training faculty members (3.47 mean rating) appeared satisfied with their jobs. On the other hand, head athletic trainers (2.85 mean rating), assistant athletic trainers (2.47 mean rating), and graduate assistants (1.40 mean rating) appeared less satisfied. The results of the one-way ANOVA test indicated statistically significant differences in the sample’s job-satisfaction level based on employment (f  = 152.875, p =.000). The results of the Scheffe  post hoc testing indicate that the surveyed program directors and faculty members had job-satisfaction levels that were higher than those of head athletic trainers, assistant athletic trainers, and graduate assistants, to a statistically significant degree. Certified graduate assistants reported the lowest job-satisfaction levels.

Male athletic trainers had a mean of 2.79, while female athletic trainers had a mean of 2.27. The one-way ANOVA test indicated statistically significant differences between male and female athletic trainers for total job satisfaction (f =20.401, p = .000). Female athletic trainers were less satisfied with their employment than were their male counterparts, to a statistically significant extent.

Athletic trainers between 20 and 29 years of age had a mean of 2.11, while those 30 to 39 had a mean of 2.81 and those 50 or older had a still higher mean score, 2.96. One-way ANOVA testing indicated statistically significant differences in participants’ total job satisfaction based on age (f = 17.709, p = .000). Scheffe post hoc testing furthermore indicated that athletic trainers between 20 and 29 years of age reported job-satisfaction levels that were lower than those reported by trainers in other age groups, to a statistically significant degree.

Participants who had  bachelor’s degrees had a mean of 2.30, while master’s-degree-holding participants had a mean of 2.56 and doctorate-holding participants had a still higher mean of 2.83. One-way ANOVA testing indicated statistically significant differences among the participating athletic trainers based on educational level (f = 3.149, p = 0.46). Scheffe post hoc testing indicated athletic trainers having the doctoral degree were significantly less satisfied in their employment than athletic trainers holding the bachelor’s degree.

Athletic trainers with 1-5 years of experience had a mean rating of 2.00, and those with 16 or more years had a mean value of 2.95. One-way ANOVA testing indicated there were statistically significant differences between participants based on years of experience as an athletic trainer (f = 19.826, p = .000). Scheffe post hoc testing indicated that the mean for total job satisfaction was significantly associated with the trainers’ years of professional experience; those having 1-5 years’ experience had mean scores that were higher than the mean scores for trainers with longer experience.

Table 2

Athletic Trainers’ Job Satisfaction as Related to Their Demographic Characteristics

Variable General Satisfaction
M SD F p
Employment
152.875
.000
Program Director
3.58
0.27
Faculty Member 3.47 0.26
Head Athletic Trainer 2.85 0.28
Assistant Athletic Trainer 2.47 0.25
Graduate Assistant
1.40
0.50
Gender
20.401
.000
Female
2.21
0.59
Male
2.73
0.76
Age
17.709
.000
20-29 2.11
0.73
30-39 2.81
0.48
40-49 2.94
0.57
50-59 2.96
0.44
Education
3.149
.046
Bachelor’s Degree 2.30
0.87
Master’s Degree 2.56
0.65
Doctoral Degree 2.83
0.44
Experience 19.826
.000
1-5 Years
2.00
0.78
6-10 Years
2.78
0.50
11-15 Years
2.74
0.42
16 Years or More
2.85
0.52

Conclusions

The athletic trainers participating in the study indicated that those variables producing greatest job satisfaction were the intrinsic satisfaction variables. In the measure of total job satisfaction, social service was the highest ranking variable; advancement and compensation were the lowest ranking. Greatest satisfaction with one’s job was indicated by program directors and athletic training faculty members. In general, the less rank characterizing the employment position, the less job satisfaction reported. Perhaps job satisfaction, then, may be attributed in some part to compensation for various positions.

In this study, younger members of the profession expressed most of the dissatisfaction with a job, especially the certified graduate assistants who were surveyed. Male participants had a higher level of job satisfaction than female participants, which may be related to low scores for satisfaction with one’s professional advancement . However, the advancement variable from the total job satisfaction score was in general indicative of dissatisfaction among athletic training personnel. As the education level of the athletic trainers increased, so did their satisfaction with the job. In addition, as years of experience increased, so did job satisfaction.

The amount of job dissatisfaction among athletic trainers observed from this study is disquieting. Whatever their demographic, dissatisfied participants in the study indicated that compensation was a major factor. The surveyed certified graduate assistants, who are usually underpaid and overworked, were among the most dissatisfied. Graduate assistants constitute an important asset in academic departments and programs, contributing to their effectiveness. The pattern of abusive employment of graduate assistants should be changed. At a minimum, prospective graduate assistants in athletic training should be well aware of the demands of a position, and its advantages and disadvantages, prior to employment. In fairness, graduate assistant athletic trainers should be fully compensated for their hard work. Changing the pattern, however, will be difficult, since no matter how much work is demanded (with no matter how little pay or benefits), there will always be ambitious students willing to complete the experience.

References

Arnheim, D., & Prentice, W. (1993). Principles of athletic training (8th ed.). St. Louis: Mosby.

Arnheim, D., & Prentice, W. (1993). Principles of athletic training (10th ed.). St. Louis: Mosby.

Bogg, J., & Cooper, C. (1995). Job satisfaction, mental health, and occupational stress among senior civil servants. Human relations, 48, 327-341.

Carson, K. D., Carson, P. C., Yallaprapragada, R., Langford, H., & Ro, C. W. (1998). Emergency medical technicians: Is career satisfaction within their control. Hospital Topics, 76(1),15-24.

Cassidy, M. L., & Warren, B. O. (1991). Status consistency and work satisfaction among professional and managerial women and men. Gender and Society, 5, 193-207.

Clark, A., Oswald, A., & Warr, P. (1996). Is job satisfaction U-shaped in age? Journal of Occupational and Organizational Psychology, 69, 57-83.

Daniels, K. (2000). Measures of five aspects of affective well-being at work. Human Relations, 53(2), 275-290.

Lu, L. (1999). Work motivation, job stress and employees’ well-being. Journal of Applied Management Studies, 8(1), 61-73.

Ma, X., & Macmillan, R. B. (1999). Influences of workplace conditions on teachers’ job satisfaction. Journal of Educational Research, 93(1), 39-54.

Mangus, B. (1998). The evolving roles of athletic training educators and clinicians. Journal of Athletic Training, 33(4), 308-309.

NCAA Official Web Provider. (2000). NCAA requirements of Division IAA Institutions. http://www.ncaa.org.

Orpen, C. (1994). Interactive effects of work motivation and personal control on employee job performance and satisfaction. Journal of Social Psychology, 134(6), 855-859.

Smits, P., & Hoy, F. (1998). Employee work attitudes: The subtle influence of gender. Human Relations, 51(5), 649-665.

Staurowsky, E., & Scriber, K. (1998). An analysis of selected factors that affect the work lives of athletic trainers employed in accredited educational programs. Journal of Athletic Training, 33(3), 244-248.

Vallen, G. K. (1993). Organizational climate and burnout. Cornell Hotel and Restaurant Administration Quarterly, 34(1), 54-67.

Weiss, D. J., Dawis, R. V., England, G. W., & Lofquist, L. H. (1967). Manual for the Minnesota Satisfaction Questionnaire. Minneapolis, MN: University of Minnesota, Industrial Relations Center.

Author Note

 

Do-It-Yourself Investing in Sport-Related Firms

Given the growth of the sports industry, many investors find sports-related stock issues to be attractive. The purpose of this manuscript is to examine the growing number of do-it-yourself investing options for shareholders and customers. In particular, do-it-yourself investing in direct stock purchase programs (DSPs), dividend reinvestment programs (DRIPs), and American depository receipts (ADRs) are presented. First, do-it-yourself investing in such programs is discussed. Second, familiar sports-related firms offering such programs are highlighted. Third, the benefits of such investment programs from a corporate viewpoint are advanced. Finally, the implications for sports marketers are discussed.

Do-It-Yourself Investing in Sport-Related Firms

The American culture is a sports-oriented culture. Sports metaphors are used to represent personal and professional lives. For example, “Take one for the team” or “Go for it” are common everyday phrases with origins in athletic competition. And, statistics are used to track favorite teams and players. Consider the following selected statistics regarding the sports industry:

1. Americans spent $213.5 billion on sports in 1999, a whopping $763 per capita (Street and Smith’s, 1999).

2. Americans spent approximately $22 billion on athletic equipment, $14 billion on athletic footwear, and $12 billion on athletic clothing in 2001 (National Sporting Goods, 2002).

3. Among youths aged 12-17 years, 61% participate in some organized sports program (National Sporting Goods, 2002).

4. In 2000, 86% of all U.S. residents age 7 or older participated in at least one athletic endeavor (National Sporting Goods, 2002).

5. Growth rates in the sports industry are attractive, with sales of equipment, footwear, clothing, and recreational transport expanding from $56.4 billion in 1994 to approximately $74.5 billion in 2001(National Sporting Goods, 2002).

Many sports-related firms–Nike (footwear, apparel, equipment), Disney (broadcasting), Calloway (equipment), Russell (apparel), Foot Locker (retailing)–maintain, like other firms, stock purchase and/or stock dividend reinvestment programs to serve the needs of small investors. These direct investment programs are particularly valuable to providers of consumer brands (such as sports equipment, footwear, and apparel), since every shareholder is a potential customer and every customer is a potential shareholder (McConville, 1996). In addition to raising capital, these investment programs may be viewed as an extension of a firm’s integrated marketing communications (IMC) effort appealing to consumers and investors alike.

Given the growth of the sports industry, many investors find sports-related stock issues to be attractive. The purpose of this manuscript is to examine the growing number of do-it-yourself investing options for shareholders and customers. In particular, do-it-yourself investing in direct stock purchase programs (DSPs), dividend reinvestment programs (DRIPs), and American depository receipts (ADRs) are presented. First, do-it-yourself investing in such programs is discussed. Second, familiar sports-related firms offering such programs are highlighted. Third, the benefits of such investment programs from a corporate viewpoint are advanced. Finally, the implications for sports marketers are discussed.

Individual investors now enjoy access to information formerly available only to larger investors and brokerage firms. Spurred by confidence, knowledge, and an explosion of readily available information, many investors are turning to do-it-yourself investing to take greater control of their personal financial matters (Carlson, 1998). Do-it-yourself investors are attracted to this style of investing, or investing philosophy, for a variety of reasons, including ease of market entry, lower transaction costs, pay-as-you-go potential, discounts or premiums offered, and personal empowerment (Drip Investor, 1999). For those interested in investing specifically in the sports industry, the three most likely options are the DSP, DRIP, and ADR. Due to the pace of change in financial markets, details of the three types of programs (e.g., minimum investments, fees) are beyond the scope of the following discussion.

Direct Stock Purchase Programs

DSPs allow investors to buy shares of stock in a company directly from the firm, bypassing the need for an intermediary (such as a brokerage firm). While some DSPs may require a minimum initial investment (e.g., $50-$250), others do not. Investors may make optional periodic (for example, monthly) cash investments, purchasing additional shares of company stock.

Unlike larger investors who typically purchase in round lots of 100 shares, direct investors may invest as little as $10 per month to buy fractional shares of stock. While some DSPs charge a fee for the optional investments (e.g., a $3 surcharge), others do not. Currently, there are approximately 600 DSPs available to individual investors (see netstockdirect.com). Table 1 provides a list of familiar sports-related firms that offer DSP programs for shareholders.

Table 1
Sports-Related Firms Offering Direct Stock Purchase (DSP) Programs

Company Name Stock Symbol Product Categories Brand Names
Daimler Chrysler DCX Automobile Racing, Truck Racing Mercedes Benz, Dodge, and Others
FILA FLH Athletic Footwear, Athletic Clothing Fila
Ford Motor Co.
F
Automobile Racing, Truck Racing Ford, Mercury, and Others
Goodyear Tire and Rubber Co.
GT
Tires, Rubber Products Goodyear
Kellwood Company
KWD
Recreational Camping and Sporting Products Sierra Designs, Trek, Wenzel, Slumberjacks, and Others
Nike
NKE
Footwear, Apparel, Sports Equipment Nike
Penney (J. C.) Co.
JCP
Retailing (Including Athletic Equipment) J. C. Penney
Sears, Roebuck & Co.
S
Retailing (Including Athletic Equipment) Sears
Target
TGT
Retailing (Including Athletic Equipment) Target
Tribune Company
TRB
Owner, Major League Baseball Chicago Cubs
Wal-Mart WMT Retailing (Including Athletic Equipment) Wal-Mart, Sam’s Club

Note. This original table was compiled from Carlson (1997, 1998), Drip Investor (1998), and Netstockdirect.com.

Dividend Reinvestment Programs

DRIPs differ from DSPs in that the individual investor must typically own one or more shares of stock to enroll in the DRIP program. A certified financial planner, an electronic brokerage service, the National Association of Investors Corp. (see the Web site better-investing.org), Firstshare (see firstshare.com), Sharebuilder (see sharebuilder.com), or the publication The Moneypaper

(see moneypaper.com) can provide such an initial service, among others. Then, the individual investor may make optional periodic cash investments in the firm. Additionally, the investor may elect to have some or all dividends used to purchase additional shares of the company’s stock. Currently, there are over 1,100 DRIP programs available to individual investors (see Moneypaper.com). Table 2 provides a list of familiar sports-related firms that provide DRIP programs for shareholders.

Table 2

Dividend Reinvestment Programs of Sports-Related Firms

Company Name Stock Symbol Product Categories Brand Names
Brunswick Corp. BC Pleasure Boats, Marine Engines Brunswick
Calloway Golf ELY Golf Equipment Calloway, Big Bertha
Daimler Chrysler DCX Automobile Racing, Truck Racing Mercedes Benz, Dodge, and Others
Disney (Walt) Co. DIS Owner, Sports Teams and Broadcast Outlets California Angels, Anaheim Mighty Ducks, ABC Sports, ESPN
Foot Locker
Z
Sports Equipment, Footwear, and Clothing Retailer Champs Sport, Foot Locker, Lady Foot Locker, and Others
Ford Motor Co.
F
Automobile Racing Ford, Mercury, Jaguar, Volvo, and Others
Fortune Brands
FO
Golf Equipment Titleist, Footjoy, Cobra, Pinnacle
General Motors Corp.
GM
Automobile Racing, Truck Racing Chevrolet, Pontiac, and Others
Goodyear Tire and Rubber Co.
GT
Tires, Rubber Products Goodyear
Harley-Davidson, Inc. HDI Motorcycles Harley-Davidson
Huffy Corp. HWF Bicycles Huffy
Ingersoll-Rand IR Motorized Golf Carts Club Car
Jefferson-Pilot JPC Insurance, Broadcasting (Regional Broadcasts of Sporting Events) Jefferson-Pilot Broadcasting (ACC, SEC, Carolina Panthers, etc.)
Kellwood Company KWD Recreational Camping and Sporting Products Sierra Designs, Trek, Wenzel, Slumberjacks, and Others
Kmart KM Retailer (Including Athletic Equipment) Kmart
National Golf Properties TEE REIT (Specializing in Golf Course Properties) Over 120 Golf Courses in Metropolitan Areas
Nike NKE Footwear, Apparel, Sports Equipment Nike
Penney (JC) Co. JCP Retailing (Including Athletic Equipment) J. C. Penney
Russell Corp. RML Sports Apparel, Uniforms Russell Athletic
Sara Lee Corp. SLE Sports Apparel Hanes, Champion
Sears, Roebuck & Co. S Retailer (including athletic equipment) Sears
Target
TGT
Retailer (including athletic equipment) Target
Tribune Company
TRB
Owner, Major League Baseball Chicago Cubs
Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.
WMT
Retailer (including athletic equipment) Wal-Mart, Sam’s Club

Note. This original table was compiled from Dripcentral.com, Dripinvestor.com, Drip Investor (1998), Fool.com, Moneypaper.com, and Netstockdirect.com.

American Depository Receipts

The creation of ADRs has made it dramatically easier for U.S. investors to invest in foreign firms. An ADR is a negotiable U.S. certificate representing ownership of shares in a non-U.S. corporation. Financial institutions such as the Bank of New York, Citibank, and J. P. Morgan are active depositories for ADRs in the United States (Sherwood, 1998). ADRs are quoted and traded in U.S. dollars in the U.S. securities market (Canadian Shareholder, 1998). Do-it-yourself investors can buy and sell these shares like ordinary shares, eliminating the need for currency exchange. Also, the dividends are paid to investors in U.S. dollars (Gangahar, 2000).

The popularity of ADRs among investors increased dramatically during the 1990s (Investor Business Relations, 1999). Most ADR programs act as dividend reinvestment programs for their investors by applying dividends to additional share purchases. Further, the buyer’s transaction costs tend to be much lower than the costs of purchasing the same shares in foreign markets (DRIP Investor, 1999). Finally, many investors have greater confidence in a firm that makes the commitment to offer ADRs, because the firm then comes under the scrutiny of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (Gangahar, 2000). Currently, there are over 1,800 ADRs available in the United States (Sherwood, 1998). Table 3 provides a list of familiar sports-related firms that provide ADR programs for shareholders.

Table 3

American Depository Receipts Programs of Sports-Related Firms

Company Name Stock Symbol Product Categories Brand Names
Adidas Group (Germany) ASHUYP Footwear, Apparel, Sports Equipment Adidas
AMER Group (Finland) AGPDY Sport Equipment Wilson Sporting Goods
Daimler Chrysler
DCX
Automobile Racing, Truck Racing Mercedes Benz, Dodge, and Others
Dukati Motor Holdings (Italy)
DMH
Motorcycles Dukati
Fiat (Italy)
FIA
Automobile Racing Fiat, Lancia, Alfa Romeo, and Others
FILA (Italy)
FLH
Athletic Footwear, Athletic Clothing Fila
Honda Motor Corp.
HMC
Automobile Racing, Motorcycle Racing Honda, Acura
Nissan Motor Co.
NSANY
Automobile Racing Nissan, Infinity
PUMA (Germany)
PMMAY
Footwear, Equipment, and Apparel PUMA
TAG-Heuer (Germany)
THW
Timing Equipment and Services TAG-Heuer
Toyota Motor Corp. TOYOY Automobile Racing Toyota, Lexus
Volkswagen (Germany)
VLKAY
Automobile Racing Volkswagen, Audi

Note. This original table was compiled from Carlson (1998), Drip Investor (1999), Netstockdirect.com, and Wallstreeter.com.

Benefits of Do-It-Yourself Investing Programs to Firms

Direct investing programs are particularly valuable to producers or providers of consumer brands (e.g., sports equipment, apparel, and footwear), since every shareholder is a potential customer and every customer is a potential shareholder. In addition to raising capital, these investment programs may be viewed as an extension of a firm’s integrated marketing communications (IMC) effort. When viewed this way, such programs provide a number of benefits to the corporation, including strengthening brand loyalty, attracting long-term investors, adding stability to the shareholder base, and retaining dividends.

Direct investors tend to become loyal customers. They seek to identify high-performing investments. Then, they seek to protect their investment by buying the brand (Carlson, 1998). For instance, the shareholder owning stock in Nike is more likely to select Nike product than a competing product. Further, these shareholders may influence the brand selections of family and friends by communicating their ownership and possibly by transferring stock in the form of a gift.

Shareholder participants in direct investing programs tend to be longer-term investors. As such, they have a long-term commitment to the brand. Stock price declines are often viewed as opportunities to buy additional shares (Carlson, 1998). Such a mindset provides stability in the ownership group, limits active trading, and may dilute the clout of institutional investors (such as mutual fund managers). In addition, given their long-term investment perspective, shareholder participants in direct investing programs are likely to make periodic investments in their ownership positions. Known as dollar-cost averaging, an investor’s regular, periodic investment of $50-100 (e.g., monthly, quarterly) adds to his or her total shares owned; the average cost of shares is determined over time, eliminating the challenge of “timing” the market effectively. This has proven to be a cost-reducing strategy for long-term investors (Drip Investor, 1999). Furthermore, long-term investors, by virtue of not selling their stock, add stability to the shareholder base (McConville, 1996).

Just as the name implies, DRIPs put distributed dividends back into the company, in the name of the shareholder. This decision by the individual investors allows a firm to retain dividends, putting capital back to work within the firm. Further, dividend reinvestment is a continual validation of the investor’s belief in the long-term performance of an organization.

Implications of Do-It-Yourself Investing Programs for Sports Marketers

As competition for brand and shareholder loyalty intensifies, direct investing programs represent one effort to improve corporate performance in these vitally important areas. Direct investors tend to become brand-loyal customers in keeping with stocks they own. Their relatively expansive investment horizon adds stability in times of market fluctuation. Firms with direct investing programs find their shareholder bases becoming more diversified as voting strength is distributed across a larger number of investors. And, dividends are put back to work within the firm to finance future growth.

For do-it-yourself investors interested in sports-related stock issues, DSPs, DRIPs, and ADRs represent the most common methods of market entry. These programs benefit the individual investor by improving market access, lowering transaction costs, eliminating need to “time” the market, providing discounts or other premiums, and empowering self-motivated investors, among other things.

It must be noted that the relationship between stock ownership and brand loyalty is an intuitive one that, to date, has received limited empirical review. Still, the position that investors select one product over another (Titleist or Top Flite, Nike or Reebok) based on stock ownership is a reasonable inference to make. The direct investing programs outlined here represent a two-way investment dynamic: Investors invest in firms they believe in, while corporations invest in brand and shareholder loyalty. Direct investing programs represent a win-win situation for investors and sports marketers. The availability and popularity of such programs are likely to increase in the future.

References

Carlson, C. B. (1997). No-load stocks: How to buy your first share and every share directly from the company with no broker’s fees (2nd Ed.). New York: McGraw-Hill.

Carlson, C. B. (1998). The individual investor revolution: Seize your new powers of investing and make more money in the market. New York: McGraw-Hill.

Daragahi, B. (1999). Best sites for DRIP investors. Money, 28 (11), 174-176.

Directory of dividend reinvestment plans. (1999). Drip Investor. Hammond, IN: Horizon.

Gangahar, A. (2000, November). Foreign investment with the comforts of home. Global Investor, 54-56.

Inexpensive way to invest internationally. (1998, September/October). Canadian Shareholder, 38.

ADRs continue to provide growing competition to U.S. companies for investor dollars. (1999, October 18). Investor Business Relations, 8-9.

McConville, D. J. (1996). More firms sell their stock through direct purchase programs. Corporate Cash Flow, 17(7), 6-8.

National Sporting Goods Association. Retrieved 2002 from www.nsga.org.

Sherwood, R. J. (1998). 100 ways to invest abroad. Forbes, 162(2), 172-175.

Street and Smith’s Sports Business Journal. (December 20-26, 1999).

Author Note

Mark Mitchell, D.B.A., Associate Professor of Marketing at the Univ. of South Carolina Spartanburg; Robert Montgomery,D.B.A., Associate Professor of Marketing at the University of Evansville; Sheila Mitchell, CPA, MPAcc, Instructor of Accounting at the Univ. of South Carolina Spartanburg

Threads of Psychoneuroimmunology in Sport

Abstract

In view of the fact that a century of medical and drug warfare has not liberated us from disease, progressive practitioners have put a growing emphasis on wellness and prevention as a health strategy, recognizing that maintaining a state of physical, mental and emotional good health is the best way to avoid illness. At the same time, new discoveries in the science of psychoneuroimmunology (PNI) have provided evidence that a healthy mental state is a prime contributor of wellness, especially for the athlete. Many athletes today are surprised when they get sick. But athletes as well as the general population should be aware of the importance of the wholeness of the body when it comes to discussing health of the human organism.

Threads of Psychoneuroimmunology in Sport

What Western science is now confirming, that mind and body are not separate and that thought and emotion influence physical health, is ancient history in Asian health care systems. Our minds possess the power to heal pain and create joy, wrote Tulku Thondup Ruspoche, a Buddhist scholar, in his book The Healing Mind (Shambhalu, 1996).

While it is true that a number of diseases seemed to have been all but eliminated in the 1950s and 1960s, widespread overuse of insecticides, fertilizers, antibiotics, and other drugs has resulted in new, mutant strains of insects, viruses, bacteria, and fungi, and many diseases are making a comeback. Increased mobility of the populace now guarantees the rapid spread of new viruses, exposing people to exotic pathogens from which they had formerly been isolated. Despite the progress that has been made, the human immune system is still subjected to a wide variety of infectious diseases, and it is unlikely the situation will change any time soon (Campbell, 1996).

Over the past decade, a number of integrated preventive diet and exercise plans have been created to promote general physical well-being, and they have proven quite effective (Bucci, 1995; MacKinnon, 1994). At the same time, new discoveries in the science of psychoneurimmunology have provided conclusive evidence that healthy mental states are also prime contributors to wellness (Ader, Cohen, & Felten, 1995; Lowe, 1979).

How Immunity Works

To fully appreciate the evolutionary twists and turns taken by the immune system over hundreds of millions of years, it is necessary to understand how immune response works. The most basic requirement for any immune system is the ability to distinguish the cells, tissues, and organs that belong to the host body from the foreign nonself that might also be present. The immune system’s role then is to eliminate nonself invaders, which are often dangerous bacteria or viruses. In addition, the immune system recognizes and usually eliminates nonself as well as altered-self cells or tissues, those changed by injury or disease such as cancer or hemolytic anemia. Immunologists agree that the immune systems of mammals including humans have the most sophisticated mechanisms both for recognizing and eliminating invaders (Levy, 1990).

Consider what happens when a track athlete running at full speed happens to trip and fall, lacerating the hands and knees. Within minutes, immediately after blood stops flowing normally through the injured area, the immune system begins to eliminate undesirable microbes introduced at the wound. Already on the scene (or quick to arrive) are phagocytic white blood cells known as macrophages. These cells not only engulf and destroy any invading microbes but also release proteins that activate other parts of the immune system and alert other phagocytes that may be needed.

This fast cellular response is sometimes called natural or innate immunity, because the cells that execute it are already active in the body. Innate immunity usually suffices to destroy invading microbes. If it does not, humans as well as other vertebrates rely on another response: acquired immunity. The soldiers of acquired immunity are specialized white blood cells called lymphocytes that function together as an army. Moving through the blood and lymph glands, lymphocytes are normally inactive; they become active, and begin to multiply, if they encounter specific molecules called antigens that are associated with foreign organisms. While it is highly effective, acquired immunity takes days to mobilize, because the response is very complex. An invading microbe must come into contact with the correct T or B lymphocytes; macrophages must be activated for assistance; the activated lymphocytes must divide; all the involved white blood cells must synthesize and release proteins that amplify the response; and B cells must manufacture and release antibodies (Booth, 1990).

But acquired immunity also has a hallmark trait, immunologic memory, arising from DNA-based mechanisms that allow lymphocytes collectively to recognize a great diversity of antigens, even though a single lymphocyte recognizes only one type of antigen. The second time a lymphocyte cell encounters a particular invader, it uses a sort of blueprint, enabling the response to occur more quickly and powerfully than it did the first time (Moye et al., 1995). The track athlete who fell in time will forget the resulting lacerations, but his or her immune system will not.

Mind and the Immune System

The mind’s impact on the immune system may not be as obvious as that of tranquillity and rest (sleep), but it is equally important. In recent studies (Bauer, 1994; Everson et al., 1996) cancer- and virus-fighting killer cells were taken from groups of depressed and non-depressed subjects. When the killer cells were placed in contact with cancer cells, those from the non-depressed subjects surrounded and destroyed the cancer cells, while those from the depressed subjects did nothing. Immune functions, one concludes, can be turned on and off by the emotions of the patient (Bauer, 1994). In a study by Medalie and Goldbourt (1976), a spouse’s love and support comprise an important balancing factor apparently reducing risk of angina pectoris, even in the presence of risk factors. The implications of such findings for pathophysiology and prevention of angina are stressed. A study by Everson (1996) found that bereaved spouses had 10 times less T cell (immune helper cell) function than did non-bereaved individuals. Another study by Ballieux (1994) found that natural killer cell activity was significantly decreased in “stressed-out” college students. Studies like these were featured in Bill Moyers’s recent investigative report, The Healing Mind (1994).

A number of hormones and neurotransmitters have been identified belonging to the process of immune system modulation, but each one of these is, to a significant extent, subservient to the emotions and beliefs of the mind (Harrington, 1995). Will the immune system respond in a diminished way if an athlete’s perception of his or her ability to react in a situation is threatened? The brain and the immune system continuously signal each other, often along the same pathways, which may explain how state of mind influences health (Mariano & Workman, 1991).

Conclusion

According to a study published in 1998 in the Journal of the American Medical Association (Eisenberg et al.), Americans made more visits to complementary and alternative practitioners than to conventional physicians that year. The trend appears to be persisting. Americans are ready for the theories and explanations of psychoneuroimmunology.

In the new millenium, scientists, teachers, coaches, and sports medicine specialists must catch up with consumer needs and demands. Athletes throughout the world should not continue to suffer because of a fundamental lack of reliable, readily available information on the subject of psychoneuroimmunology. There is a need to broaden the data in this important area, so everyone can learn which treatments are useful, which are not, and why. Consumer choice has made it clear in the last decade: Psychoneuroimmunology is here to stay. Now it is our responsibility to ensure that every athlete has access to the latest information on this promising new methodology.

References

Ader, R., Cohen, N., & Felten, D. (1995, January 14). Psychoneuroimmunology: Interactions between the nervous system and the immune system. The Lancet, 345, 99-100

Baker, B. (1997, July/August). The mind-body connection. AARP Bulletin, 38, 7-8

Ballieux, R. E. (1994). The mind and the immune system. Theoretical Medicine, 15, 387-395

Bauer, S. M. (1994). Psychoneuroimmunology and cancer: An integrated review. Journal of Advanced Nursing, 19, 1114-1120

Bergsma, J. (1994). Illness, the mind, and the body: Cancer and Immunology: An introduction. Theoretical Medicine, 15, 337-347

Booth, R. J. (1990, July). The psychoneuroimmune network: Expanding our understanding of immunity and disease. New Zealand Medical Journal, 314-316

Bucci, L. (1995). Pain Free. Ft. Worth, TX: The Summit Group.

Campbell, D. (1996, October). Energy, mood, stress and the healthy immune system. Total Health,18(5), 24-26

Eisenberg, D. M., Kessler, R. C., Foster, C., Norlock, F. E., Calkins, D. R., & Delbanco, T. L. (1993). Unconventional medicine in the United States. New England Journal of Medicine, 246.

Everson, S. A., Goldberg, D. E., Kaplan, G. A., Cohen, R. D., Pukkala, E., Tuomilehto, J., & Salonen, J. T. (1996). Hopelessness and risk of mortality and incidence of myocardial infarction and cancer. Psychosomatic Medicine, 58, 113-121

Harrington, A. (1995, September/October). Probing the secrets of placebos. Alternative and Complementary Therapies, 299-304.

LaPerriere, A., Ironson, G., Antoni, M. H., Schneiderman, N., Klimas, N., & Fletcher, M.A. (1994). Exercise and psychoneuroimmunology. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, 26(2), 182-190