Latest Articles

How the Houston Astros Cheating Scandal Affected Public Trust in Major League Baseball: A Historical Research Approach

May 27th, 2022|Research, Sports Management|

Authors: Ben Donahue

Corresponding Author:
Ben Donahue
8665 N. Farmdale Street
Spokane, WA 99208

Ben Donahue has worked for over 25 years in sports at the k-12, college, and professional levels.  His experience includes athletic director, game-day operations and guest relations, football operations, coach, and baseball scout.  Currently, he is a private-school teacher and contributing writer for brownsnation.com and profootballhistory.com

ABSTRACT

This study used historical research methods to assess how Major League Baseball (MLB) disciplined the Houston Astros in response to the cheating scandal that surfaced in 2019. Furthermore, this study examined how the public reacted to MLB’s sanctions imposed on the Astros and how those sanctions affected public trust (including media and fans). The author researched several responses from the national media and baseball fans that were made during the MLB investigation and following the league’s publicity of the selected disciplinary actions. After interpreting the public statements from various media reports, the author coded the responses into specific themes and then analyzed and interpreted the themes. This analysis was used to better understand how and why the scandal happened in the first place and the public’s visceral reaction to it.

     The results of the study show that, while cheating in baseball has long been recognized with a wink by MLB insiders; media and fans have a harsh and negative reaction to cheating. Key to these reactions is how cheating ruins the integrity of the game, how the guilty player or team benefited from their deceptive practices, how guilty parties were disciplined, and if the event was likely to happen again based on how the action was disciplined. The conclusions of this study suggest that MLB administrators should invoke harsher penalties on their players, coaches, and teams who engage in willful deceit. The consequences of lighter penalties run the risk of public alienation and loss of revenue. The applications of this study can be used by other sports organizations as a guide on how to resolve sensitive matters while upholding the integrity of the sport and appeasing their fan base.

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Psychosocial Impact of COVID-19 on Female Youth Competitive Cheerleaders

May 20th, 2022|Research, Sports Studies and Sports Psychology|

Authors: Reeti Douglas, Neha Tripathi, Ashley Allen, Cait Ennis, Jessica Judy, Emily Klink, and Jenelle Mrugalski7

Department of Occupational Therapy, Wingate University, Wingate, NC, USA

Corresponding Author:
Reeti Douglas, OTD, OTR/L
Department of Occupational Therapy
Wingate University
220 N Camden St
Wingate, NC 28174
r.douglas@wingate.edu
704-233-8973

Reeti Douglas OTD, OTR/L is an Assistant Professor of Occupational Therapy at Wingate in Wingate, NC.  Her research interests focus on pediatric and youth sports rehabilitation, pediatric and youth athlete mental health, and pediatric and adolescent hand rehabilitation.

Ashley Allen, Cait Ennis, Jessica Judy, Emily Klink, and Jenelle Mrugalski are doctoral students in the Occupational Therapy program at Wingate University.  Their research interests include pediatrics, mental health, and sports rehabilitation.

Psychosocial Impact of COVID-19 on Female Youth Cheerleaders

ABSTRACT

Purpose: As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, national restrictions were implemented limiting social gatherings and disrupting many facets of everyday life including sports. To gain a better understanding of how the COVID-19 pandemic has affected the social and emotional wellbeing of children and adolescents in sports, the present study examined parental perspectives of female youth competitive cheerleaders during the national pandemic.

Methods: A sample of 97 parents of female youth competitive cheerleaders completed an online Qualtrics survey investigating their perspectives on the psychosocial wellbeing of their children during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Results:  Descriptive statistics were used for the quantitative analysis to determine general findings from the survey results.  Results revealed that all age groups (5-18 years old) reported high levels of frustration (≥63.7%), all hours of training (1-14 hours a week) reported high levels of frustration (≥63.1%), and all levels of cheer (Level 1-6) reported high levels of frustration (≥62.9%). All age groups (≥67.1%), all hours of training (≥60.1), and levels 2-5 of cheer (≥ 57.1) reported high levels of feelings of loneliness during the pandemic. For all age groups, an increased interest in watching television or playing video games was reported as high (≥66.6%). Parents of level 2-6 cheerleaders (≥57.1) and cheerleaders who trained 5-14 hours a week (≥ 57.9) reported high levels of restlessness without participating in cheer activities.

Conclusions: Findings suggest that as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, female youth competitive cheerleaders experienced high levels of frustration, loneliness, and restlessness and spent more time engaging in sedentary activities rather than participating in active sports-related functions and practices.

Applications in Sports: This study found that the impacts of COVID-19 on the psychosocial wellbeing of youth athletes include increased levels of frustration, loneliness, and restlessness, which can be attributed to decreased participation in sports. The findings of this study provide data to support the importance of addressing psychosocial needs with female youth athletes and addressing the benefits of sports for leisure occupation and social participation. Implications of this study can be applied to healthcare professions and athletic departments to guide future research and programs regarding sports and youth. 

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Differences in psychological skills in ultraendurance athletes and endurance athletes

May 6th, 2022|Research, Sports Health & Fitness|

Authors: Megan Meckfessel and Lindsay Ross-Stewart

Department of Applied Health, Southern Illinois University Edwardsville, Edwardsville, IL, USA

Corresponding Author:
Lindsay Ross-Stewart
Department of Applied Health
Campus Box 1126
Edwardsville, Illinois 62026-1126
(618) 650-2410

Megan Meckfessel, MS, is a Cross Country Coach, trainer, and Community Health Coach in O’Fallon Il. She is a marathon and ultra-distance runner.

Lindsay Ross-Stewart, PhD is an Associate Professor in the Department of Applied Health and the Director of Mental Performance for the Intercollegiate Athletics Department at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville. Her research focuses on the role of self-efficacy in athletic performance.

Differences in psychological skills in ultraendurance athletes and endurance athletes

ABSTRACT

The purpose of this study was to investigate the differences in self-efficacy, self-motivation, and mood between ultraendurance athletes and endurance athletes. Forty-six endurance athletes and fifty-six ultraendurance athletes completed the Profile of Mood States, General Self-Efficacy Scale and Self-Motivation Inventory. The results of a MANOVA with sport type (endurance versus ultraendurance) as the independent variable and the total scores on all psychological variables and the subscales for self-motivation, mood, and self-efficacy as the dependent variables revealed a significant difference between endurance and ultraendurance athletes. The results indicated that ultraendurance athletes had higher overall motivation compared to endurance athletes. They also had higher scores for both drive and persistence. There were no differences between the groups for self- efficacy or mood. The results indicate that motivation may be the primary psychological factor differentiating between ultraendurance and endurance athletes. From an applied perspective it may be that athletes looking to make the leap from endurance sports to ultraendurance sports should focus on applied techniques for increasing motivation.

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The Salivary Alpha-Amylase Response to Moderate Intensity Trap Bar Deadlift

April 22nd, 2022|Research, Sports Health & Fitness|

Authors: Asher L. Flynn1, Jeremy Gentles2,Tyler Langford1

1Department of Sport and Exercise Science, Lincoln Memorial University, Harrogate, TN, USA
2Department of Sport, Exercise, Recreation, and Kinesiology, East Tennessee State University, Johnson City, TN, USA

Corresponding Author:
Asher L. Flynn, PhD, CSCS
117 Leopard Ln
Cumberland Gap, TN
AsherLFlynn@gmail.com
4178278827

Asher L Flynn, PhD, CSCS is an Assistant Professor of Exercise Science at Lincoln Memorial University, TN. His research interests focus on fatigue and athlete monitoring in colligate athletes, and aspects of women’s soccer performance.

Jeremy Gentles, PhD, CSCS is currently faculty member at East Tennessee State University, TN.  Jeremy’s areas of research interest include the biochemical response to exercise and sport technology.

Tyler Langford, PhD, is currently faculty member at Lincoln Memorial University, TN. Tyler’s areas of research interest include exercise testing and prescription for special populations (incomplete spinal cord injury and older adults) as well as the use of effort perception for exercise prescription.

The Salivary Alpha-Amylase Response to Moderate Intensity Trap Bar Deadlift

ABSTRACT

The purpose of this study was to investigate the salivary alpha-amylase response to a moderate intensity, moderate volume resistance training protocol. In order to investigate this response, pre-exercise and post-exercise saliva samples were collected from 16 female collegiate soccer players during a team resistance training session with the strength and condition staff. Results: The saliva analysis revealed a significant increase in salivary alpha-amylase concentrations from pre- to post-exercise; 54.7 ± 34.7 U/mL, 100.6 ± 55.1; p = 0.002; d = 0.908; 95% CI: 0.31 – 1.48. These results indicated that a moderate intensity, moderate volume training protocol will elicit an increase in salivary alpha-amylase. Sport scientists and coaches are continually improving their ability to monitor the stress, and the athlete’s response to these stressors. Salivary alpha-amylase is a promising candidate as a rapid, non-invasive method of indicating the magnitude of stress associated with resistance training.

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Stressors Associated with Professional Australian Rules Football Athletes Across a Competitive Season

April 15th, 2022|Research, Sports Health & Fitness|

Authors: Billymo Rist1, Anthea C Clarke1, Tony Glynn2, Alan J. Pearce1
1 School of Allied Health, La Trobe University, Bundoora, Melbourne, AUSTRALIA
2 Fit Mind Consulting, Spencer Street, West Melbourne, Melbourne, Australia

Corresponding Author:
Billymo Rist
School of Allied Health, La Trobe University, Bundoora, Melbourne, AUSTRALIA
Email: brist@latrobe.edu.au
Ph: +61 400392964

Billymo Rist is a PhD Candidate at La Trobe University in Melbourne Australia. His Research interests include biomarkers, stress, psychology of performance and neuroscience of sport and injury

Anthea Clarke, PhD, is a lecturer in sport and exercise science in the Department of Dietetics, Human Nutrition, and Sport at La Trobe University, Australia. Her research interests include applied sport science and application to team sports, and female athlete physiology.

Tony Glynn MPsych is a Performance and Clinical Psychologist with 20 years’ experience. Tony is currently performance psychologist for the Melbourne Vixens Netball Team, Victorian Sailing Team, and Tennis Australia and clinical psychologist at the Royal Children’s Hospital Melbourne.

Alan J Pearce PhD is an adjunct associate professor at La Trobe University, Melbourne Australia and Director of NeuroSports Labs, Melbourne. Alan has an interest in the neuroscience of exercise and sport and injury, with over 200 publications across neurophysiology, exercise physiology and psychology of exercise.

Stressors Associated with Professional Australian Rules Football Athletes Across a Competitive Season

Abstract

Objective: This study explored psychophysiological stress in professional Australian Rules football athletes across the course of one competitive season.

Methods: A sample of eight players listed with one professional Australian football club participated in this study. Each week during the competitive season (22 weeks), players self-reported their general fatigue and sleep using a paper-based scale, as well as providing a salivary cortisol measure. Testing occurred 48-hours after competition. Participants’ weekly performance rating scores based on a points system metric of players’ data obtained during competitive matches were also recorded by the club each week.

Results: A significant inverse relationship was observed between cortisol and performance ratings, sleep and fatigue, and sleep and performance ratings. There was a significant predictive relationship observed, with cortisol levels and performance rankings (R2 = .35, F (6,74) = 7.06, p<.001). There was no significant relationship between performance and fatigue or performance and sleep.

Conclusions: This study shows a significant relationship between performance outcomes and psychophysiological stress in professional Australian football players. Professional clubs should look towards objective assessment protocols to measure athlete psychological stress to enhance current practice of self-report stress measures.

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