Changing Adult Activity Patterns

With all the research data on the health
and fitness benefits of regular physical activity, why do most American adults
remain sedentary? Primarily because it is difficult to change adult lifestyle
patterns. If this were not the case, the recent Surgeon General’s Report
on Physical Activity and Health would have called for more than 30 minutes
of movement, most days of the week as a fitness

The 1990s have produced a wealth of
information on the importance of strength training for older adults
(Biomarkers, Living Longer Stronger, Strong Women Stay Young, Lifefit,
Strength Training Past 50
), but we see very few fitness facilities with
a significant percentage of senior exercisers. What is the problem? It is
partly lack of education and partly lack of motivation, partly the challenge
of change and partly the fear of failure.

Fortunately, these are not insurmountable
barriers, as has been discovered over the past few years of adult emphasis
programming. During that time one has seen fitness center participants more
than double in number, and the median age move towards 50 years. What follows
is the basic approach taken for changing adult activity


We use a variety of media to present exercise
information to our surrounding communities, including television, radio and
lectures. However, the most effective method of communication has been the
newspaper. In our weekly Keeping Fit newspaper column we periodically
present the benefits and principles of sensible strength and endurance exercise,
which prompts hundreds of sedentary adults to attend our quarterly fitness
orientation sessions.

Each season of the year, just prior to
our new Keeping Fit session, we hold an orientation session for adults who
want to start a supervised exercise program. The evening event features a
slide presentation about our Keeping Fit program, followed by a question
and answer period. Our instructors then give the attendees a tour of the
exercise facilities and an opportunity to join the upcoming Keeping Fit


We have found the best exercise motivators
to be careful instruction and close supervision. To provide an attentive
training environment we hold our Keeping Fit classes in a separate
exercise room. We limit each class to six participants with two instructors,
for a favorable student-teacher ratio.

Another means for motivating our new
members are large attendance sheets posted in the exercise room. Self-recording
is an excellent way to encourage exercise compliance, and most of the
participants check-off their attendance as soon as they enter the training

Part of new member motivation is overcoming
the challenge of change. Realizing that almost all of the program participants
have been sedentary for many years, our instructors begin with a few basic
Nautilus machines and progress gradually as the clients gain training competence
and confidence. We have found that a concise explanation and precise
demonstration of each exercise is the key to making new clients feel comfortable
about strength training. That is, when you make strength exercise simple
to understand and perform, most beginners are willing to try it

Another pressing concern for the inactive
adult is the fear of failure. New exercisers do not want to appear awkward,
be regarded as weaklings, or fall short of the goals you suggest for them.
Consequently, our instructors are careful to begin new clients at the appropriate
training level, provide plenty of positive reinforcement, and give specific
feedback on personal progress.

Part of the exercise motivation are
fitness assessments performed before and after the eight-week training program.
However, experience has convinced us not to go overboard in this area. We
typically do just two physical assessments, body composition and blood pressure,
that are most meaningful to the participants. These assessments are usually
completed within 10 minutes which makes the evaluation process easy on the
participants. We generally do not formally test muscle strength and
cardiovascular endurance, as improvements in these parameters are obvious
to everyone week by week throughout the program.


We average over 400 new Keeping Fit
participants each year, with approximately 80% of these joining the YMCA
after completion of the program. As a result, a large percentage of our members
are previously sedentary, middle-aged adults who have permanently changed
their activity patterns. This has not happened spontaneously, but through
a planned program designed specifically for these formerly inactive individuals.

The key motivational components have
been the small classes, close supervision, and private exercise room, which
reduce the participants’ fear of failure and facilitate gradual change to
a physically active lifestyle. In addition to enhancing the health and fitness
of our adult community, the Keeping Fit program increases our YMCA
membership base and provides a solid foundation for our entire fitness

For more information on implementing
a similar Keeping Fit program in your facility (including articles
on training benefits, exercise guidelines, research results, facility management,
teaching techniques, and program flyers), please send your request and business
card to:

Rita Nordhuus

Nautilus International

709 Powerhouse Rd.

Independence, VA 24348

Wayne L. Westcott, Ph.D., is fitness
research director at the South Shore YMCA in Quincy, MA. Dr. Westcott has
written the Muscular Strength And Endurance chapter for the ACE Personal
Trainer Manual and has authored several textbooks on strength

2013-11-27T19:09:11+00:00February 11th, 2008|Contemporary Sports Issues, Sports Exercise Science, Sports Studies and Sports Psychology|Comments Off on Changing Adult Activity Patterns

Menaces to Management: A Developmental View of British Soccer Hooligans, 1961-1986


In their longitudinal examination of local and national newspaper
reports of soccer hooliganism in Britain Dunning, E., Murphy, P. J. and Williams,
J. (1986) concluded that hooliganism has been a feature of soccer crowds
for about 100 years (Dunning et al. 1986, p. 8). They note that there were
periods of decline until the mid-1960s when soccer hooliganism became a “cause
for material concern” (Dunning et al. 1986, p. 8). Indeed, Taylor states
that “there is no equivalent period in British soccer history to the 25-year
period of more or less continuous soccer hooliganism beginning in 1961” (Taylor,
1984, p. 176). This study presents, places and portrays these soccer hooligan
gangs within the larger context of British professional soccer during this


No event illustrates the social phenomenon of “soccer hooliganism”
more dramatically than the deaths of 39 Italian spectators at the European
Cup Final between the Liverpool Football Club and the Italian team Juventus,
played at Heysel Stadium in Brussels, Belgium on May 29,1985 at the hands
of soccer hooligans from Liverpool, England (Kerr, 1994).

After viewing film of the incident, Belgium authorities identified
groups of Liverpool fans as those who instigated vicious attacks against
the Italian fans, which in turn led to a stampede of people attempting to
escape the violence. The Liverpool soccer hooligans were the ones wearing
ski masks and carrying various weapons including, pick axe handles and clubs
(The Times, 30 May 1985). The brutality of the event was further
heightened by eyewitness accounts claiming the Liverpool soccer hooligans
were urinating on the corpses and jumping around in celebration (Canter,
1989). In time, the main offenders were brought to trial and sentenced in
a Belgium court.

Non-Europeans, hearing of the incident probably considered this a
tragic, but isolated event. Sadly, British, as well as other European citizens,
are most aware of the problem that has become known as the “British Disease”
(Canter, 1989, p. 109), or soccer hooliganism.

1985 was a bad year for professional soccer in Britain, because not
only did the incident in Brussels occur, but “fire broke out at Bradford
City Football Club causing many deaths,” apparently caused by an ignited
Molotov cocktail, “and a wall collapsed at Birmingham City, which also led
to numerous deaths” (Canter, 1989, pp. xvi). Furthermore, from 1985 to 1990
all British soccer club teams were banned from European competitions as a
result of the Heysel Stadium tragedy.

Superficially, it seems inconceivable that soccer fans would die
intentionally at the hands of others, yet with deeper understanding of the
soccer scene it becomes clear why these incidents occurred. It was just a
matter of time before the activities of soccer hooligans would lead to tragedy
on the scale of the Heysel Stadium incident. Fortunately, 13 years later,
there have been no further multiple-death incidents, though single deaths
caused by soccer hooligans still occur and English soccer hooliganism is
still “in business.”

Sadly, British soccer hooliganism, as a wholly British import and
a “peculiarly English pastime” (Kerr, 1994) has spread to other countries
in Europe. According to Murray (1984),

Where soccer hooliganism does occur in countries like Holland
and Italy, it seems merely to imitate what has gone on in England over the
last 30 years, and it is a good deal less frequent and much less widespread.
Even in other countries of British Isles, fighting, when it does occur at
soccer games, is somehow different from the English variety. For example,
in Scotland and Northern Ireland when violence takes place it tends to be
based on the sectarian divisions in those countries (p. 68).


Americans may have heard of the incidents previously mentioned, but
to most the concept of organized violence and other criminal activity carried
out by so called “fans” of a professional sports team is hard to grasp. However,
in England and other parts of the world, there is a real threat of becoming
a victim of soccer hooliganism when attending a game.

Unlike the hooliganism of the 1960s and 1970s, soccer hooliganism
today rarely involves random acts of violence or the actions of an unorganized
rabble. The ‘Chelsea Headhunters’ for example, are a notorious soccer
hooligan gang in London that has a specific hierarchal leadership structure.
A recent leader of this group was Terry Last, an un-imposing law clerk for
a firm of solicitors (Keel, 1987). The following passage from “Operation
Own Goal” (Darbyshire, 1991) illustrates the fact that soccer hooliganism
is anything but random and spontaneous:

An important feature of the ‘Headhunters’ hooliganism
was the degree of detailed planning invested in setting up opportunities
for ‘aggro’ (violence) with rival hooligans. The violence they generated
was anything but spontaneous. Between them they could mobilize about 400
hooligans, marshaling them like military commanders to engagements planned
weeks, sometimes months in advance. For away games, for example, rather than
allowing themselves to be apprehended by local police security operations,
they would travel out of their way, arriving unexpectedly from a completely
different direction at a station in a particular city where trains from London
did not stop. This extravagant method of travel was financed from thousands
of pounds retained in a number of bank accounts (p. 92).


The efforts of the British police and other management agencies,
responsible for controlling and eliminating soccer hooliganism, have only
been moderately successful (Canter, 1989). Pitch (field of play) invasions
and crowd violence increased in the 1900s, and there has been scant success
in preventing the activities of the hard core soccer hooligan groups as the
hooliganism problem associated with English soccer continues to thrive.

Soccer hooliganism is now an integral part of the social fabric of
England and, more recently, other parts of Europe. The reputation of English
people in general has suffered as a result of the antics of the soccer hooligan
element with the foreign press, on occasion, describing England as a nation
of soccer hooligans (Taylor, 1992).

The majority of English soccer spectators are true, law-abiding fans
of the game, and at no time should their traditional chanting, singing, and
high spirits at soccer watches be confused with soccer hooliganism. Indeed,
some soccer hooligans are also true fans of the game, and being a hooligan
does not erase an individual’s allegiance to a particular soccer team. However,
to most hooligans the style of play or success of the team are normally
unimportant. As Kerr (1994) describes, “a particular team is merely a kind
of ‘flag of convenience’ that allows the hooligans to pursue their
activities against the followers of other teams, the police or members of
the public” (p. 4). Soccer hooligans are a small percentage of any soccer
game crowd, and some writers would even contend that ‘soccer hooligan
violence is not as widespread, regular, and frequent an aspect of crowd behavior
at soccer games…as the press would have us believe” (Canter, 1989, p.

Soccer hooligan is a recently-coined term used to describe the antisocial
activities of followers of professional soccer teams. The word hooligan
originated in 19th century London from an Irish immigrant family named Hooligan
(Williams and Wagg, 1991), that terrorized the tenement areas of the ‘East
End’. The term hooligan was later used as a general descriptor for any criminal
or rowdy behavior.

The words soccer and hooligan were combined roughly 30 years ago
because of the many hooligan acts associated with professional soccer. Hooligan
attacks are usually made against rival hooligan gangs, but these same groups
may unite as one to “form a kind of super hooligan coalition for trips abroad
to ‘support’ the England team” (Hornby, 1992, p. 168). Once these hooligans
return to England the coalition disbands to be replaced by the old

What can be confusing when describing soccer hooliganism is that
the incidents can, and often do, occur some distance from any soccer stadium.
The hooliganism label is given to incidents involving soccer team supporters
regardless of the location. The types of behavior and actions categorized
as soccer hooliganism vary considerably. Soccer hooliganism may involve riots,
pitch invasions, the assaulting of players, fighting, vandalism, drunk and
disorderly offenses, verbal and physical assaults, the use of weapons, the
throwing of missiles, murder and mugging.

Trivizas (1980) found that 67 percent of arrests were for “the use
of threatening, abusive or insulting words or behavior, with intent to cause
a breach of the peace or whereby a breach of the peace may be occasioned”
(p. 185). This is partly due to the difficulties of arresting hooligans from
within a large group, and the fact that the police are more likely to charge
offenders with offenses that they know they have enough evidence to convict

The activities or soccer hooligans can take place before, during
or after a match. The efforts of police to prevent hooliganism in the stadiums
has changed the face of soccer hooliganism. Canter (1989) states:

While one form of hooliganism is thus discouraged, another
comes forward to take its place. Fans who are physically separated within
the ground can throw missiles, coins or even seats at each other and
‘fighting crews’ from some clubs make special foray to find rival fans
in places or at times not subject to match-day policing (p. 108).



Soccer hooliganism is a relatively recent social problem, but soccer
spectator violence is as old as the professional game itself. In fact, violence
in sports is not peculiar to soccer. Sport spectator violence has been documented
since the Roman era (Canter, 1989). Spectator violence associated with the
Roman chariot races was “unparalleled by even the worst violence today and
continued into the fifth and sixth centuries in the Byzantine empire” (Canter,
1989, p. 104).

Soccer evolved from medieval village melees, in which opposing groups
tried to move a leather-covered bladder to a place defended by their opponents.
The melees became so violent that in 1365 Edward III, fearing civil unrest
(Canter, 1989), banned this version of soccer. Violence at soccer games has
continued to be a problem throughout the history of the game, and in 1655
football matches were banned, in order to preserve order in the Midlands,
by Oliver Cromwell.

The modern, professional version of soccer was created during the
1840s. In the early days of professional soccer violent rivalries were common,
and pitch invasions and spectator violence were regular during the 1880s
(Walvin, 1986). In fact, most of the pre-World War I period of professional
soccer was associated with fairly routine crowd disturbances which, as noted
by Williams and Wagg(1991), would be considered small-scale by modern day

The period after World War I and through World War II saw a decline
in instances of crowd violence and misbehavior. In fact, during the period
1914-1940 Holt (1989) states that

Nowhere in the vast press coverage and literature of match
reports is there any reference to the growth of a violent, organized youth
subculture within football. Casual, individual violence was almost certainly
more common than today, but hooliganism in the collective and contemporary
sense did not take place at football matches (Holt, 1989, p. 333).


Crowd disturbances at soccer matches afflicted the early years of
the game, with incidents usually involving alcohol consumption and isolated
fist fights and swearing (Kerr, 1994). When there were riots or pitch invasions,
the targets were normally the referees or the players, in reaction to bad
calls or player misconduct, all contrasting with the organized pitch invasions
which became a common occurrence in the 1970s. However, soccer hooliganism
during the 1960s and 1970s was not peculiar to Britain. Williams et al. (1984)
noted that at a match in Peru in 1964 318 people were killed in a riot, 74
people died in Argentina in 1968, 69 in Russia in 1982 and 29 in Columbia
in the same year. However, what sets these incidents apart from the British
version of soccer hooliganism, is the fact that they were spontaneous reactions
to bad referee calls and emotional reactions to losing crucial games, not
organized violence.

The post-war years were boom years for the English game and this
was reflected in record ticket sales and attendances at the professional
soccer games. However, according to Murphy et al. (1990) “the after glow
of victory in the Second World War (started) to fade, the loss of Empire,
and slow economic growth” and at the same time there was “rising public concern
about the problem of working class youth, rock and roll, and especially the
‘Teddy Boys'” (p. 80).

Teddy Boys was the name given to a youth sub-cult of the late 1950s
characterized by a particular style of dress and hair style, dancing, rock
and roll, and a reputation for violence and bad behavior. The Teddy Boys
were also blamed for the rise in crowd disturbances at soccer games. Teddy
Boys were involved in a number of pitch invasions and mass brawls with opposing
fans at soccer matches (Murphy et al. 1990). However, in this early stage,
soccer hooliganism had not yet become a household term in Britain.

The next important stage for soccer hooliganism occurred with the
emergence of the skinhead craze during the late 1960s. Skinhead gangs cropped
up all over working class council estates, in public housing, and throughout
the towns and cities of Britain. Just as with gangs in the United States,
the skinhead gangs displayed loyalty and pride in their community. Heavy
drinking and fighting with rival gangs was a way of life for these young
men from the “rough working class” (Dunning et al., 1986, p. 38).

These same skinhead gangs went to soccer matches to support their
local teams. Although there was strong loyalty to a particular community,
on match days there occurred what Paul Harrison has described as ‘the
Bedouin effect’, “people from different housing estates who are ‘deadly
enemies’ all week can be allies on Saturdays in the face of outsiders from
another town” (Taylor, 1978, p. 155).

Areas behind the soccer goals are known as ‘ends’, and these
are traditional areas of soccer hooligan activity. The skinheads of the late
1960s and early 1970s took the territoriality of the housing estates into
the soccer stadiums. Rival soccer fans taunted at each other with gestures
and chants and derogatory songs designed to spark a fight between the two
(Canter, 1989). Soccer matches were the perfect venues to display “aggressive
masculine styles” such as heavy drinking, ability to fight, and

Pitch invasions, which were designed to either halt play or instigate
fights with rival hooligans from the opposing end, became common place. Special
football trains, which had been in use for years to transport soccer fans
to away games for a reasonable price, became venues for hooligan activity
in the form of vandalism and fighting. The mid-’70s saw the emergence of
the fighting crews’ who have become known as the early predecessors to the
superhooligans of the 1980s and 1990s. These gangs were attached to most
of the upper division professional soccer teams in Britain. The most notorious
and infamous of these fighting crews supported the London team Millwall Football
Club. In the winter of 1975 the English current affairs program Panorama
aired an in-depth profile of the Millwall fighting crew known as ‘F-troop’
(Canter, 1989).

The Millwall soccer hooligans had a reputation for being ‘hard’
as well as ‘crazy’. When at their home stadium, they occupied the area
behind the goal. Their most distinguishing trademark was the donning of surgical
shirts and hats. the Millwall hooligans were organized on the terraces by
fighting abilities and age. The youngest members of the group, known as the
‘Underfives’, would be situated alongside the rival hooligans. It was
their job to antagonize and entice the others to attack them or fight. Once
the fighting started the next group known as the ‘treatment’ would go
in. If the situation was not controlled adequately by the treatment then
the group known as ‘surgery’ would get involved. The surgery were the
real ‘nutters’ who were mostly in their 30s and 40s with previous criminal
records for violence. It was their job to “really put the boot in” (Canter
1989, p. 77).

The Millwall F-troop slowly disbanded during the late ‘70s as
key members were jailed and security measures at stadiums prevented the terrace
violence. However, the organization and planning that went into the activities
of members of F-troop was similar to that found in the super-hooligan groups.
There were also fighting crews associated with other teams such as, Liverpool,
Manchester’s Red Army, Chelsea, West Ham, Leeds, Birmingham. Almost all of
the professional soccer teams had their version of F-troop in the

Except for Millwall, the fighting crews of the other soccer teams
were a loose collection of individuals. Fighting that broke out was usually
started by the more fearless or well-known hooligans backed up by those who
happened to be in the vicinity. Only when examined in detail do the similarities
of these earlier fighting crews to the later super-hooligans begin to fade.
Unfortunately, 30 years later the hooliganism problem is alive and well and
bodily harm has escalated, in some cases, to murder.

As fashions changed the skinhead gangs slowly disappeared from the
terraces during the early 1970s, but the hooligans remained. The number of
pitch invasion incidents during this period increased (Murphy et al. 1990)
as soccer hooligans tried taking rival hooligans territory by force. With
the cooperation of police, the Football Association (the main governing body
of professional soccer in Britain), and the soccer club owners, fencing and
barriers were widely installed in an attempt to stop the pitch invasions
(William and Wagg, 1991). These preventive measures also served another important
purpose, that of segregating the rival soccer hooligans from each

However, the elaborate barricades and fences around the soccer pitch
designed to control soccer hooligans later resulted in tragedy. What these
fences did was cage up the possible soccer hooligans in one controlled section
of the stadium. These engagements became death traps on 15 April 1989, when
a rush of fans through the turnstiles at Hillborough Stadium in Sheffield
led to the deaths of 95 Liverpool supporters. Most of the deaths were caused
by crushing and suffocation as people were pushed and squeezed against the
fencing, unable to escape (Taylor, 1988). This, and other incidents, resulted
in the removal of all the fences and barriers at soccer stadiums across the
country. Risk of a similar incident happening again overshadowed the threat
of soccer hooliganism.

Management efforts were implemented throughout Britain to prevent
hooliganism activity both inside and outside the stadiums as rival groups
of fans were routinely escorted by police both to and from train stations
and stadiums. Outbreaks of mass fights and violent clashes between rival
soccer hooligan groups, common during the late 1960s and early 1970s, started
to subside. However, during the early to mid-1970s, another facet of soccer
hooliganism began to emerge as soccer hooligans began to throw objects as
weapons. Sharpened coins and darts were the favored weapons as they were
easily concealed and could be thrown long distances with reasonable

The ends of soccer stadiums fostered the development of a sense of
‘kinship’ amongst the hooligans. They were also the place where reputations
could be made within the hooligan element. Those individuals who were either
‘hard’ enough, crazy enough, or both, could attain ‘folklore’ status
as a “true nutter” of the soccer terraces.

Walvin (1986) gives an account of a ‘particularly nasty’ hooligan
called “Tiny,” a follower of the Chelsea Soccer Club of London. “Tiny” had
a reputation for instigating fights and was known as someone who could
‘hold his own’ in a fight. He would make lone charges against, for example,
50 opposing fans, more often then not causing them to break ranks and run.
He was finally given a life sentence for using a sawn-off shotgun and causing
serious injury to a rival group of hooligans (Walvin, 1986).

British authorities began to take soccer hooliganism seriously by
the mid-’70s, and calls for stiffer penalties were answered. Prison sentences,
fines, and other punishment for soccer-related offenses became more severe
than equivalent non-soccer related offenses, (Marsh, 1978). There was a slight
drop in the number of related soccer hooligan offenses, but the results of
the new laws were disappointing. Something more had to be done.

Heavy police presence, barricades and fencing, stiffer penalties,
and segregation of rival fans, were all measures that were received with
initial enthusiasm, but fell short when hooliganism continued despite these
measures. Authorities were at a loss as to how to deal with this serious

In the meantime, soccer hooligans continued “plying their trade”
in terraces across Britain. By the late 1970s the nature of soccer hooliganism
began to change when it became more difficult to engage in hooligan activity,
either at the game or adjacent to it. Management’s installing of closed circuit
television in the late 1970s and early 1980s made for easier identification
of hooligans, and forced the hooligans to take more care when conducting
their activities. Hooligans began to do most of their fighting and other
hooligan activity in the pubs and side streets of British city centers. They
would even show up at airports, truck stops, night clubs, and similar public
venues with the sole purpose of clashing with rival hooligans.

British soccer hooligan antics were not confined to the British Isles.
The rise in hooligan incidents during the early to mid-’70s led to further
troubling developments as incidents began to surface on continental Europe.
Up until 1974 the rest of Europe had been relatively hooligan-free; it was
something that happened in Britain. This all changed on 12 February 1974,
when Leeds United, an English soccer team from the north of England, played
for the European championship against the Lyons Football Club, based in France;
the match was played in Paris (Barnes, 1974). During this match a contingent
of Leeds soccer hooligans attacked French fans and ripped up seating and
other stadium fixtures, and used these items as missiles against the French
police. It was 50 minutes before the hooligans were dispersed or arrested.
This single incident brought English soccer hooliganism to Europe.

Incidents involving either local teams or the English national team
increased throughout the 1970s and continue to this day. Kerr (1994) believes
that the rise in English soccer hooliganism abroad was partly a result of
reactions to management measures taken at stadiums in England which made
it more difficult and risky to engage in hooligan activity. In a sense, Europe
was “easy pickings” for the hard core English hooligans who “reigned supreme
against fans who did not fight back and police who were unaccustomed and
ill-prepared to deal with them” (Kerr 1994, p.12).

People abroad had an image, encouraged by local media, “of the English
as a loutish, beer-drinking mob of football hooligans,” and “it was as if
the British had become a nation of hooligans football louts” (Walvin, 1994,
p. 193). English soccer hooligans were more than willing to perpetuate this
image. Relatedly, there was also a rise in British nationalism as these hooligan
incidents were on the increase. English hooligans derived a sense of national
pride from the fact that they believed they were the “hardest blokes in Europe”
(Williams et al. 1984, p. 35).

However, just as in Britain, the security forces in European countries
began to fight back against these hooligans. The police in Germany, France,
Italy, and Spain, used more heavy-handed tactics than those employed in Britain.
Tear gas, rubber bullets, riot sticks and water cannons were routinely used
by European police to quell troubles caused by English soccer

Only much later, because of their long-standing tradition as protectors
and defenders, did the British police use similar tactics. However, the
aggressive tactics of the police abroad did not deter the hooligans who thrived
on the excitement of clashes with riot police (Buford, 1991). On the continent
most hooligan activities conducted by the English occurred outside of the
stadiums. Williams, et. al. (1994), describe English soccer hooligans in
Spain destroying cafes and bars, beating up locals, clashing with Spanish
youths, rioting in towns, looting, and committing other criminal acts, with
alcohol consumption being blamed for the majority of these incidents. In
retrospect, from 1974 to the present, there has not been a game played, on
or off the continent, between an English team and a European side that wasn’t
marred by some form of hooligan activity, either in the stadium or outside

As Carter (1989) notes:

Every preventative measure can be combated by the hooligans.
Missile-throwing takes the place of face-to-face confrontation, segregation
within the ground displaces the aggression to outside the ground, a police
presence forces anyone looking for trouble to plan ahead. Therefore the symptoms
change but the illness remains the same (p. 123).


And although over time, management measures have reduced in-stadium
incidences of this illness, negative side-effects of the measures led to,
by 1986, the presence of a super-strain of the original hooligan figure of
the early 1960s – a much more covert, rooted, organized, and powerful menace
to management than its predecessor.


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. London:
Routledge and Keegan Paul.

2017-08-07T15:39:54+00:00February 11th, 2008|Sports Facilities, Sports History, Sports Management, Sports Studies and Sports Psychology|Comments Off on Menaces to Management: A Developmental View of British Soccer Hooligans, 1961-1986

Mind Zone — Compete Like The Pros

When we begin to compete in golf, what can we learn from the professionals to help us play at our best?

Be Prepared

Essential for competition is putting in time and effort on the driving range and putting green. This insures not only the proper execution of your golf skills, but also the confidence that you have prepared for the competition.

The last thing you want to do is enter a tournament having to work on your swing mechanics during important rounds. The mind needs to be free to focus on targets and a plan to play the course in as few strokes as possible.

Become Familiar With the Course

All of us are familiar with the home field/court advantage in almost all sports. The same holds true in golf.

The more you feel at home and like you’ve been there before, the more you feel secure and at ease. If you haven’t played the course before, get there ahead of time to become familiar and comfortable with it. Find out where the pro shop is, the snack bar, the driving range and putting green. If you can’t play the course ahead of time, then at least know how the course plays — the length, the trouble spots, the speed and slope of the greens.

Get Into a Routine

Part of the home court advantage is the establishment of a regular consistent familiar routine. This applies to a pre-course, a pre-round and a pre-shot routine.


Pack and load up your golf gear the night before. On the morning of the tournament, get up early and eat a healthy breakfast. Give yourself some time to sit down, relax and mentally practice successfully executing all the clubs in your bag. Then picture yourself successfully handling all the potential problem golf situations for the day. End up by bringing back in your mind’s eye an earlier round in which you played unusually well.

Drive leisurely to the golf course listening to relaxing, laid back music. Ensure that you arrive at the course 45 minutes to an hour prior to tee time.


Use this time to gently stretch your golfing muscles and to warm up your swing for the day. Remember this is not a time to practice on the driving range, but simply a time to loosen up and establish a rhythm and a swing tempo for your various clubs. On the putting green, establish a feel for the speed and direction of your putts.

Pre-Shot. Establish a regular, consistent routine prior to the striking of each ball, including the putts. During this time, allow only rational, positive swing thoughts which will aid you for the upcoming shot.

Have a Plan

A plan, any plan, is better than no plan. The plan gives structure to your thinking and prevents you from having to over-think every shot eventuality.

You may plan on being very aggressive and fly every ball for precise targets. Or you may be just the opposite and decide to hit only safe, high-percentage targets. And then again you may be more intermediate and swing in general to safe targets, but get very aggressive within 100 yards of the pin.

Remember there will be a strong tendency to abandon your plan after either getting down or up in the score. When you’re down, you will find yourself wanting to make it up all at once and become excessively aggressive. When you are up in your score or playing from the front, the opposite occurs. You will tend to play not to lose as opposed to play to win and become exceedingly cautious.

Think Vanilla

What is your normal reaction to a stress event, such as missing a two-foot birdie putt? How would you rate it on a scale ranging from 1 to 10, where 1 is extremely calm and 10 is extremely hyper? Let’s say, it is an 8. On tournament day, try to dampen everything so that you respond only to, say, a 5 level. This will help neutralize the natural tendency for the body and mind to become overly reactive during competition.

With further practice, you may become even more bland and begin to respond at a more desirable 2 or 3 level.

Expect the Unexpected

No matter how you prepared for the competition or how well you are playing, expect that something will go wrong. You may have forgotten to bring your sand wedge. You may find your almost perfect drive hitting a hidden impediment on the fairway and bouncing out of bounds. Or, you may even find another golfer playing your ball. If you are ready for any of these probable eventualities, you won’t get caught off guard and will have a plan to deal with them. But, if you expect everything to be perfect, you are likely to get frustrated and lose control when the first thing goes wrong.

Expect to Play Well

At the same time though, expect to play well. Why not? You’ve prepared yourself and done everything necessary for success. Now it’s necessary to begin to believe and develop the ideal mental pictures and self-talk to support this success.

Remember you don’t have to put unnecessary pressure on yourself by saying such things as, “I have to, got to, or must play well.” You don’t have to do anything. It would be desirable to play up to your capabilities though, and there is no reason why you shouldn’t. Expect it!

Have Fun

It can’t be emphasized enough the importance of choosing to enjoy your golf round. Golf is supposed to be sport and/or recreation to be enjoyed. Psychology tells us very clearly that anything we do that is followed by a positive consequence, we tend to repeat. So if you want to make golf a game for a lifetime, you better keep it fun.

And, if you plan on playing in the ideal mind zone that top pros talk about, then you better include fun into the mix.

Research and experience tells that fun is one of the necessary ingredients in achieving this zone.

If you can incorporate the above recommendations on a consistent basis, you are bound to play more relaxed and confident, drop strokes from your score, and enjoy better the game of golf!

2017-08-07T15:40:39+00:00February 11th, 2008|Sports Coaching, Sports Studies and Sports Psychology|Comments Off on Mind Zone — Compete Like The Pros

Glycogen Replenishment After Exhaustive Exercise

Throughout the centuries, dietary intake has been a source of concern to athletes in search of an ergogenic edge over opponents.

It wasn’t until 1866 that it was demonstrated that there was insignificant, if any use of protein as a fuel during exercise. Since that time, innumerable studies have refuted the notion that a high protein intake will enhance athletic performance.

Since the conclusion of the Kraus-Weber Tests in the 1950s, there has been ever- increasing awareness and concern for cardiopulmonary fitness and health in Americans. Endurance type activities such as Nordic skiing, cycling, running, triathalons, and swimming have become in vogue, and as a result, more intense attention has been devoted to dietary manipulations which may provide an ergogenic effect, thus prolonging time to exhaustion, or delaying the onset of blood lactate accumulation (OBLA) in an attempt to compete at a higher intensity, longer.

The classic study by Christensen and Hansen in 1939 established the effect of a high carbohydrate diet upon endurance time, and that pre-exercise glycogen levels exerted an influence in time to exhaustion. Subsequently, it was discovered that if an athlete, after depleting glycogen reserves, consumed a high carbohydrate diet for two to three days prior to an athletic event, there would in fact be higher glycogen levels than prior to exercise. This “supercompensation” effect became the basis for carbohydrate loading undertaken by endurance athletes.

Therefore, the concentration of muscle and liver glycogen prior to exercise plays an important role in endurance exercise capacity. In exhaustive exercise many studies have observed significant depletion of both liver and muscle glycogen. It is interesting to recognize that the point of exhaustion seems to occur upon the depletion of liver glycogen. Conversely, muscle glycogen reserves, though significantly lower are only 65-85% depleted, versus the 85-95% depletion exhibited for liver glycogen. This should make it readily apparent that liver glycogen is an integral determining factor in an athlete’s time to exhaustion. It follows that endurance athletes who maintain a daily regimen of endurance training without glycogen repletion may severely deplete their glycogen reserves.

Glycogen, the major reservoir of carbohydrate in the body, is comprised of long chain polymers of glucose molecules. The body stores approximately 450-550 grams of glycogen within the muscle and liver for use during exercise. At higher exercise intensities, glycogen becomes the main fuel utilized. Depletion of liver glycogen has the consequence of diminishing liver glucose output, and blood glucose concentrations accordingly. Because glucose is the fundamental energy source for the nervous system, a substantial decline in blood glucose results in volitional exhaustion, due to glucose deficiency to the brain. It appears that the evidence presented in the literature universally supports the concept that the greater the depletion of skeletal muscle glycogen, then the stronger the stimulus to replenish stores upon the cessation of exercise, provided adequate carbohydrate is supplied.

Though most of the evidence presented on glycogen is related to prolonged aerobic exercise, there is evidence that exercise mode may play a role in glycogen replenishment, with eccentric exercise exhibiting significantly longer recovery periods, up to four days post-exercise. Muscle fiber type is another factor implicated in the replenishment of glycogen in athletes, due to the enzymatic capacity of the muscle fiber, with red fiber appearing to be subjected to a greater depletion, but also undergoing repletion at a significantly grater rate.

Though early literature appeared to indicate that the time course of glycogen replenishment after exercise-induced depletion was 48 hours or more, more recent data have controverted this thought. One study reported that a carbohydrate intake totaling up to 550-625 grams per day was found to restore muscle glycogen stores to pre-exercise levels within the 22 hours between exercise sessions. The findings of this study were supported by second study in which a carbohydrate intake of 3100 kcal resulted in complete resynthesis of glycogen within 24 hours.

There also appears to be a two-hour optimal window immediately after the cessation of exercise for the administration of carbohydrates. Simple carbohydrates appear to be the preferred replacement during this replenishment period.

Normally, 2% of glycogen is resynthesized per hour after the initial 2 hours immediately after exercise. With administration of 50 grams of carbohydrate every 2 hours, the rate rose to 5% per hour, but did not rise when additional carbohydrate was administered. Administration of .7grams per kg body weight every two hours is another strategy that appears to maximize the rate of glycogen resynthesis. There is also some evidence that even smaller loads (28 grams every 15 minutes) may induce even greater repletion rates.

Therefore, at least 20 hours are required to recover muscle glycogen stores, even when the diet is optimal. So, athletes working out two times per day should complete one workout at a diminished workload to relieve the reliance on glycogen reserves.

The principle of glycogen resynthesis and supercompensation has great practical implications, not only in athletics, but also within industry for workers who consistently undergo depletion of glycogen stores due to prolonged bouts of exertion, or extended lifting tasks which would be glycolytic in nature; due to the duration, and also the myofibrillar ischemia induced by static contractions.

2013-11-27T19:13:47+00:00February 11th, 2008|Sports Coaching, Sports Exercise Science, Sports Studies and Sports Psychology|Comments Off on Glycogen Replenishment After Exhaustive Exercise

Can Performance in a Distance Swim be Improved by Increasing a Preferred Cognitive Thinking Strategy?


Changes in cognitive strategies can improve performances and lessen perceived fatigue during distance activities (Padget & Hill, 1989). However, such changes may be difficult and annoying for participants (Masters & Lambert, 1989). This study identified subjects’ preferred cognitive strategies and examined the effects of a complementary cognitive strategy. Twenty-five subjects performed an 800 meter free-style swim while being timed and assessed for heart rate. One week later, subjects read a Behavioral Instruction Sheet (BIS), appropriate for their style in the first swim and followed it during the second swim. Results showed that associative thinking was used more frequently than dissociative thinking by 73%, t(21) = 6.68, p<.05. No significant differences were found from the first to the second swim in performance times, RPE and heart rates with the exception of more muscular fatigue in the second swim t (16) = -2.17, p<.05. This study suggests that cognitive strategy training can not be completely associative or dissociative.


Various forms of cognitive self-control strategies have long been used for optimizing endurance performance. In some instances, individuals use distracting forms of thinking to endure longer sustained performance perceive less fatigue and perform faster than those strategies focusing on the task (Gill & Strom, 1985; Padget & Hill, 1989;). Yet these results are not without controversial findings (Masters & Lambert, 1989; Schomer, 1987). World-class marathoners tend to apply focusing techniques almost invariably during marathon races to maintain an accurate awareness of their bodily function, tension, pain and discomfort (Morgan, 1978). However, when training, runners tend to prefer a dissociative strategy (Pennebaker & Lightner, 1980).

A developing body of research supports the notion that some distance runners can mentally separate themselves from the inherent pain and fatigue resulting from marathon running. Morgan and Pollock (1977) suggest that two cognitive strategies are frequently used by runners; “association” and “dissociation”. They theorize that dissociation is more pleasurable as it enables individuals to reduce “anxiety, effort sense and general discomfort” (Morgan, 1978, p. 46). It is also thought that dissociation strategies allow marathon runners to persevere through temporary zones of boredom (Schomer, 1986). However, Morgan and Pollock (1977) found that world-class marathoners tend to apply associative techniques almost invariably during marathon races to maintain an accurate awareness of their bodily function, tension, pain and discomfort (Morgan, 1978). Morgan and Pollock (1977) describe runners’ associative strategies as: scanning their body to identify painful or tense areas and thus remember to lessen muscle tension while implementing feelings of relaxation; and thinking of their pace and race strategy (Morgan, 1978).

Rushall and Shewchuk (1989) examined the effects of thought content instructions on swimming performance. Using three types of thought instructions on training performances, swimmers completed two 400-meter effort swims and one set of 8 x 100- meter swims. Such types of strategies like positive thinking and mood word conditions made all swimmers improve their workout performance in at least two of the three conditions during the 100-meter repeat task. Such findings in thought manipulations are encouraging yet Weinberg, Smith, Jackson and Gould (1984) suggest that some athletes find it difficult to change their cognitive strategies (from dissociative thoughts to associative thinking or vice versa). In fact, some subjects find it bothersome and annoying to change their existing cognitive strategies (Masters & Lambert, 1989; Weinberg, Smith, Jackson & Gould, 1984).

While some studies have examined the effects of both cognitive strategies, few if any studies have ever considered identifying the subjects’ preferred choice of cognitive strategy and complementing their current predominant strategy. The purpose of this study was two-fold: to identify subjects’ preferred cognitive strategies during distance swimming and to examine the effects of using a cognitive strategy that is complimentary to the one being used by swimmers.


A total of 22 subjects (11 males and 11 females) from a University Masters Swim Club volunteered to swim two 800 meter free-style swims, one week apart. Subjects varied in age from 19 to 45 years old (m=27) and normally swam between 500 m and 12,500 m per week (m= 4,490 metres).


Pre-Swim Questionnaire
The pre-swim questionnaire consisted of gathering general and demographic information (i.e., why do they swim distances? preferred cognitive thought patterns when swimming, etc.).

Timed Performance
Swimmers’ performances were timed during both swims with stopwatches, accurate to 1/100th of a second. Timers were briefed on the proper procedures and were familiarized with the stopwatches prior to the study. Subjects were told that this was not a race and that they should swim their normal speed.

Heart Rate
Before swimming, the subjects were fitted with a Vantage XL Sport Tester transmitter and receiver that recorded time and heart rate every 15 seconds from the moment they started the swim to the end. This modality has been used extensively to train and measure athletes (Daniels & Landers, 1981). The data was then down-loaded via an interface unit to a computer for processing.

Subjective Appraisal of Cognitive Thoughts
(SACT; Schomer, 1986) The SACT consists of 10 categories, in which each descriptor relates to a specific cognitive attentional style (associative or dissociative). Subjects were asked to circle all those descriptors that came to mind while swimming. Depending on the number of associative or dissociative descriptors the subject was identified as preferring a particular style of cognitive thinking. Schomer (1986) established the reliability and validity of the statements by examining 109 recordings taken from marathoners, four times per month. After transcribing runners’ personal conversations, Schomer inspected the scripts for “recurrent thoughts on task-related and task-unrelated material”. Categories were proposed and rationalized based on a “pronounced attentional focus”. The reliability and validity of 10 sub-classifications emerged (Schomer, 1986).

A pilot study with 20 swimmers was conducted by the present investigators to examine the construct validity of the categories as outlined by Schomer. For the swimmers, it indicated that comprehension of the sub-classification titles was poor. Consequently, the titles were re-worded in a general context while using the same content and examples employed by Schomer (1986) in his description of the subcategories.

Perceived Fatigue Questionnaire
(PFQ; Pennebaker and Lightner, 1980) The PFQ measures changes in perceived fatigue. It contains 10 physiological symptoms related to fatigue (dizziness, sore eyes, headache, etc.) which are measured on a scale from 1 to 100. For each symptom, subjects mark with a slash how they feel (e.g., 0 = not at all dizzy to 100 = the worst feeling of dizziness ever). All scores are summed to provide a total symptom index of fatigue. The scalar properties of these symptoms are found in Pennebaker & Skelton (1978).

Rate of Perceived Exertion
(RPE; Borg, 1982) The RPE scale is a 15-point instrument ranging from 6 to 20. The instrument has several identifiers at every uneven number (e.g., 7 “very very light” and 19 “very very heavy”). It has been found to correlate linearly with heart rate. Because of its positive relationship with heart rate, the RPE scale was an appropriate measurement for this study. In the present study, the RPE was printed on a large cardboard and shown to the swimmers after each swim.

Post-Swim Questionnaire
Following the second swim, swimmers in the associative and dissociative groups were asked to evaluate the effectiveness of the strategies. This questionnaire identified the extent to which the assigned strategy was used during the swim.


After signing a consent form and being informed of the results’ confidentiality, the subjects prepared for the swim. Prior to entering into the pool, subjects answered a short Pre-Swim Questionnaire. Subjects were cautioned that this was not a race. All swimmers wore a waterproof wrist-mounted heart rate receiver and a transmitter around the chest. A total of eight swimmers (one swimmer per lane) swam at any one time. Staggered starts (one minute apart) were used to lessen the “motivation” variable of competition against peers. This enabled the swimmers to use dissociative strategies if they so wished in the first swim. All swimmers stopped at the end of 800 meters when they saw a red flutter board being waved underwater as they approached the end of the pool. This procedure was chosen to minimize potential disruptions with swimmers who were not finished their swim. Swimmers’ times were taken by trained individuals who were supervised by the researchers.


Subjects in this study generally commented that they swam for fitness (65.6%) and relaxation (19.4%). The pre-swim questionnaire revealed the swimmer’s preference for a certain type of strategy; either associative (78.1%), dissociative (9.6%) or a mixture of both (12.3%). Following the swim, results showed that swimmers preferred association thinking by 73%, a significant difference t(21)=6.68, p<.05 from dissociative thinking. Associative thinking was found to occur significantly more in the middle of the swim than near the end F(2,24)=3.87; p<.035.



Table 1: Impressions of the Behavioral Instruction Sheet According to Their Cognitive Strategy

During the Swim Easy to Use Helpful Effective Less Boredom Less Pain
First part of the swim 80 60 60 40 0
Middle part of the swim 60 80 80 40 80
Latter part of the swim 40 80 80 60 80

Note. Scores are based on a 100 point scale.



Though a number of descriptors were offered in the Perceived Fatigue Questionnaire, subjects generally commented of more muscular fatigue in the second swim t (16) = -2.17, p<.05. No statistical changes were found in subjects’ swimming time, RPE and heart rates from the first to the second swim.

Subjects rated the BIS to be easy to use (m=71), helpful (m=69) and effective (m=63), on a 100 point scale. Boredom (m=60) and pain (m=51) were also reduced.

Subjective Appraisal of their Cognitive Strategy during the Second Swim

Generally, 57% of subjects found the second swim easier (86% associative and 14% dissociative). The associative thinkers generally commented that their second swim was faster “There must be a mistake in timing. I found it much easier this time even though I took longer”. Swims also felt more comfortable “Generally I felt better all around.” Comments from the disassociators implied that the second swim was more enjoyable. The BIS “gave me other things to think about. I was not as mentally drained prior to the swim as I was in the first swim”. Subjects favoring the first swim (100% associative) attributed it to physical and mental factors. For instance, one subject suffered from a headache during the second swim and another blamed it on exhaustion because of work-out before the second swim. Also, one swimmer commented on “feeling more relaxed” and being less stressed during the first swim.


These results suggest that distance swimmers prefer associative thinking when swimming. Similar results were found in other studies with marathon runners during races (Masters and Lambert, 1989; Morgan and Pollock, 1977). Elite distance runners were found to be mostly associative thinkers throughout important races. Their results encouraged researchers to consider the notion of “the better the associative thinking the better the performance” (Schomer, 1987). Yet in this study, swimmers did not significantly improve their swimming times even after having read the BIS for an associative strategy. The strong preference for swimmers’ associative thinking was reflected mostly in the middle of the swim rather than throughout the entire swim. In comparison to distance runners during important races, the participants did not perceive the swim to be a race. Interestingly, a difference was found in muscular fatigue after the second swim despite the similar timed performances, RPE and heart rates between both swims. Three recommendations are suggested. Different results were found by Rushall and Shewchuk (1989). They found that thought content instructions improved swimming workout performance in at least two of the three thought conditions. In future studies, the extent to conformity of the BIS should be examined. Secondly, an 800 meter swim may not have been far enough for distance swimmers to use dissociative strategies especially since the groups’ average swimming per week was 4,490 m. Finally, the 800 m swims may have been too familiar for the participants, knowing their pace and the approximate time required. Perhaps, time could be a better independent variable than distance.


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Correspondence concerning this article should be addressed to Dr. Roger T. Couture, School of Human Kinetics, Laurentian University, Sudbury, Ontario, Canada, P3E 2C6; Tel.# (705) 675-1151, ext. 1023.E-Mail: Rcouture@NICKEL.LAURENTIAN.CA

This study was supported by a grant from the Laurentian University Research Fund, Sudbury, Ontario, Canada.

2013-11-27T19:14:10+00:00February 11th, 2008|Sports Coaching, Sports Exercise Science, Sports Studies and Sports Psychology|Comments Off on Can Performance in a Distance Swim be Improved by Increasing a Preferred Cognitive Thinking Strategy?