Solutions to Declining Participation Rates in United States Male Fastpitch Softball

July 11th, 2019|Research, Sports Studies and Sports Psychology|

Authors: Timothy Hatten, Adrian Thomas and Shaine Henert

Corresponding Author:
Timothy L. Hatten, Ph.D, CSCS, NSCA-CPT, DCT
3301 N. Mulford Road
Rockford, IL. 61114
t.hatten@rockvalleycollege.edu
815-921-3816

Timothy Hatten is a Full Professor and  Academic Chair in the Department  of Fitness, Wellness and Sport at Rock Valley College.   Dr. Hatten has over 30 years of experience, playing, managing and sponsoring male fastpitch softball.

Adrian Thomas, Helford Endowed Chair of Psychology, is currently the Director of Industrial and Organizational Psychology Ph.D. Program and a Full Professor at Roosevelt University.

Shaine Henert is an Associate Professor and Program Director in the Deparment of  Kinesiolgy and Physical Education at Northern Illinois University.

Solutions to Declining Participation Rates in United States Male Fastpitch Softball 

ABSTRACT

The sport of fastpitch softball (FS) has been popular in American sports and recreation dating back to at least 1933 with the formation of the Amateur Softball Association (ASA), the sport’s governing body (5).  In the United States, after a meteoric rise in participation through most of the century, more recently male fastpitch softball (MFS) has seen an equally dramatic downward trend in participation rates.  

The purpose of the current study was to obtain baseline beliefs about the etiology of the decreasing participation rates in MFS from current participatory stakeholders.  A survey of nine questions was distributed to the FS community via Survey Monkey through two softball websites that disseminate information about MFS.  The survey was placed on Al’s Fastball and Fastpitch West FS internet sites for one month and (n=415) current and former participants, coaches and/or sponsors completed the survey.  The current study participants felt strongly that the major reasons for the decline in participation included the importance of local adult leagues (95.9%), lack of media exposure (88.9%), loss of boy’s youth FS programs (88.6%) and the increasing costs (88.2%) associated with MFS.  When asked how the governing body of softball might address these reasons for the observed decline in participation respondents deemed increasing youth involvement (42.4%) as the number one potential solution.  In order, the other areas that participants felt were important were developing new pitchers (36.9%), improving grassroots programs (29.6%), and increasing media exposure (27.1%).  Declining participation rates in MFS has been an ongoing issue for many years and many rationales for the decline have been offered by both experts and novices.  By going directly to the real stakeholders, in MFP, it is hoped that outcomes of the current study include empirical confirmation for some oft voiced reasons for the decline in participation as well as providing some real solutions for reversing the trend.  

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Physical Exam Risk Factors for Cardiovascular Abnormalities in College Sport Athletes: A Systematic Review

June 20th, 2019|Sports Health & Fitness|

Authors: Rose Uzoma Elekanachi

Corresponding Author:
Rose Uzoma Elekanachi. BPT, MSc, mMRTB
29 Shaw Road,
Bridgewater, MA, 02324
elekanachirose@gmail.com
5087141508

Rose Uzoma Elekanachi is a Nigerian Physical therapist and a recent Graduate of Bridgewater State University with a Masters in Physical Education with a concentration in Exercise Science. She is also a member of the Medical Rehabilitation Therapist Board in Nigeria.

Physical Exam Risk Factors for Cardiovascular Abnormalities in College Sport Athletes: A Systematic Review

ABSTRACT

The preparticipation physical examination (PPE) is an important area of the care and safety of any active athletic individuals. The evaluation involves a process that brings about the discovery of life threatening or disabling conditions that could prevent athletes’ participation from sporting activities or predispose them to injuries or death.

The preparticipation evaluation was not made to prevent or exclude athletes from participation, rather to help athletes practice safe sport participation. There has been a long ongoing debate on the inclusion and importance of cardiovascular analysis as a part of the PPE as cardiovascular abnormalities is a risk factor that predisposes collegiate athlete to sport injuries or even death. The objective of the proposed project was to identify the clinical methods that most effectively assess cardiovascular abnormalities in intercollegiate athletes through a systematic review of existing published research studies in which cardiovascular abnormalities in intercollegiate athletes were included as measurement variables.

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The Role of Emotion in Sport Coaching: A Review of the Literature

May 23rd, 2019|Sports Coaching|

Authors: Eric D. Magrum, Bryan A. McCullick

Corresponding Author:
Eric D. Magrum
University of Georgia
Department of Kinesiology
219 Ramsey Center
Athens, GA 30602
Magrum@uga.edu
419-356-8541

Eric D. Magrum is doctoral student at the University of Georgia.

The Role of Emotion in Sport Coaching: A Review of the Literature

ABSTRACT

The purpose of this paper was to review the literature regarding the role of emotion in sport coaching and identify avenues for future studies. SPORTDiscus, ERIC, PsycArticles, PsychINFO, and SocINDEX databases were mined using combinations of the following keywords: ‘emotion,’ ‘coach,’ and ‘coaching’ for articles pertaining to the role of emotion in sport coaching. The search resulted in 23 peer-reviewed articles and a thematic analysis revealed four groups of studies focused on emotion and its role in: a) coach effectiveness, b) coach-athlete interaction, c) development of emotional intelligence, and d) navigating job related stress, pressure and burnout. Key findings of the included studies indicated coaches are more effective if they are able to recognize and comprehend their emotions, those of others, and the probable after-effects of their relations. Furthermore, it appears that emotional competence may be an essential skill for coaching effectiveness. Future research should aim to identify and develop the social, emotional, and coping skills underpinning coach effectiveness. Moreover, researchers should examine the relationship between coaches’ emotional skills, coaching effectiveness, talent identification, recruitment, and coaching expertise.

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Stakeholder Evaluation of the Policy Effects of University Decisions Regarding Athletics

May 16th, 2019|Research, Sports Studies and Sports Psychology|

Authors: Brad Stinnett1, Scott Lasley2, and Josh Knight2

1School of Kinesiology, Recreation & Sport, Western Kentucky University, United States
2Department of Political Science, Western Kentucky University, United States

Corresponding Author:
Dr. Brad Stinnett
Western Kentucky University
1906 College Heights Blvd. #11089
Bowling Green, KY 42101
Phone: 270.745.4329
E-mail: brad.stinnett@wku.edu

Stakeholder Evaluation of the Policy Effects of University Decisions Regarding Athletics

ABSTRACT

At public universities across the country, key stakeholders see intercollegiate athletics as a mechanism to raise the profile of their institution. Specifically, many universities have identified moving up in level of athletic competition as one part of a strategy to enhance a school’s visibility and reputation. Like all decisions made by public institutions, these are policy choices made by public officials that have consequences for institutions of higher education. The purpose of this study was to explore the attitudes of two stakeholder groups (faculty and staff) at a Southern regional public university that has made the transition from the Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) to the Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS). Specifically, this study examined and compared how key stakeholders evaluate the decision to move from the FCS to FBS level of competitions. An electronic survey was administered to university faculty and staff to collect data on their attitudes relative to intercollegiate athletics. Aggregate faculty and staff evaluations of the transition from FCS to FBS football and other strategic changes to athletics were compared to each other.  Additionally, faculty and staff opinions on the emphasis placed on academics, athletics, and the arts at the university were explored. Results indicate that staff generally view the impact of transitioning to the FBS level more favorably than faculty. Additional findings reveal that faculty, more so than staff, feel that too much emphasis is placed on athletics. This study draws attention to the apparent division that exists on how faculty and staff view decisions made regarding athletics. This divide between faculty and staff relating to decisions and outcomes can make policy questions involving athletics difficult to address. This study can help shape future research on university athletics and how it influences higher education policy. University administrators, such as directors of athletics, can utilize the findings for more effective decision making and to build a bridge with key constituents such as faculty and staff.

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An Exploration of Female Athletes’ Experiences and Perceptions of Male and Female Coaches: Ten Years Later

May 9th, 2019|Research, Sports Studies and Sports Psychology|

Authors:Melissa Rima, Rory Weishaar, Brian McGladrey, Erica Pratt

Corresponding Author:
Brian McGladrey, Ph.D.
400 E University Way
Ellensburg, WA 98926
brian.mcgladrey@cwu.edu
509-963-1972

Dr. Brian McGladrey is an assistant professor in the Department of Physical Education, School Health, and Movement Studies at Central Washington University in Ellensburg, Washington.

An Exploration of Female Athletes’ Experiences and Perceptions of Male and Female Coaches: Ten Years Later

ABSTRACT

 Athletes’ experiences and perceptions of their coaches will be different based on differing lifestyles, personalities, and characters (16), and gender may be a mediating factor for the building of effective relationships between athletes and their coaches (11,12). The purpose of this study was to explore six female athletes’ experiences and perceptions of both male and female head coaches, and to compare results to those reported by Frey, Czech, Kent, and Johnson (4), who investigated the same issue 10 years prior. In this study, four prevalent themes emerged from semi-structured interviews with participants: (1) structure and communication; (2) personal relationships; (3) positivity and aggressiveness; and (4) coach preference. Although the results specific to coach gender preference were split (three participants stated they preferred a male coach, and three stated they preferred a female coach), other differences emerged with regard to different coach qualities. Results are discussed from the perspective of the participants, and compared to the 2006 study.

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