Latest Articles

A Phenomenological Exploration of Neck Brace Use in Motocross

December 2nd, 2022|Research, Sports Health & Fitness|

Authors: Danielle N. Broman, Alana N. Seaman

University of North Carolina Wilmington

Corresponding Author:

Alana N. Seaman, Ph.D.

601 S. College Road
Wilmington, NC 28403-5956

Danielle Broman graduated from the University of North Carolina Wilmington with a Master of Science in Athletic Training in May 2022. Licensed as both a Certified Athletic Trainer and a Certified Surgical Technologist, she now works at Emerge Ortho in Wilmington, NC.  

Dr. Alana Seaman is an Associate Professor of Tourism, Recreation, & Sport at the University of North Carolina Wilmington. Her research centers on popular culture, cultural trends, and heritage particularly as related to sport, food, place, and/or tourism. 

A Phenomenological Exploration of Neck Brace Use in Motocross


Purpose: Despite the evidence indicating a decreased risk of cervical injury with the use of neck bracing in motocross, the frequency of usage appears limited. Given that little academic attention has been focused on the perception and prevention of these injuries, it is unclear why athletes have not more widely adopted the practice of wearing this safety device. This study sought to understand why.
Methods: A phenomenological approach was employed, and semi-structured interviews conducted with riders during three random weekend motocross practices at one track in the southeastern U.S.
Results: Themes surrounding physical discomfort and mental distraction; personal experiences; skepticism about the efficacy of neck braces; and an exceedingly few external influences emerged from the data set.
Conclusions: Regardless of which camp riders subscribed to, most indicated a strong opinion on and adherence to their choice to use or not use a neck brace during motocross. Flow was central to this decision.
Applications in Sport: A clear understanding of why athletes decide to wear or not wear neck braces in motocross would help various stakeholders identify barriers to device use, develop better methods for encouraging its adoption, and improve the overall safety of athletes participating in the popular but understudied sport.


Rowing Performance Following a Single Teaching Session in School Children

November 25th, 2022|Sport Education|

Authors: Giovanni Ficarra1, Fabio Trimarchi1, Alessandra Bitto2, Debora Di Mauro1

1Department of Biomedical and Dental Sciences and Morphological and Functional Sciences,

2Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, University of Messina, c/o AOU Policlinico G. Martino, Via C. Valeria, Gazzi, 98125, Messina, Italy.

Corresponding Author:

Prof. Alessandra Bitto, MD, PhD

Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, University of Messina

Torre Biologica 5th floor, “AOU” Policlinico G. Martino

Via C. Valeria, Gazzi, 98125 Messina, Italy


Giovanni Ficarra, MSc, is a PhD student at the University of Messina, Italy. He holds a degree in Sports Science and his research interests focus on teaching physical activity with the particular attention to rowing to adolescents, and sport-related measurement issues especially in experimental settings.

Fabio Trimarchi, MD, PhD, is a Full Professor of Biomechanics at the University of Messina, Italy. His research interests focus on the mechanical aspects of human body and he is in charge for the outpatient of Sport Medicine at the University Hospital of Messina.

Debora Di Mauro, PharmD, PhD, is an Associate Professor of Sport Methodology at the University of Messina, Italy. His research interests focus on the methodological aspects of teaching sport.

Alessandra Bitto, MD, PhD is a Full Professor of Pharmacology at the University of Messina, Italy. Her research is focused on the effects of drugs and supplements on various aspects of diseases, she also shares research interest on experimental training protocols to ameliorate drug response.



Purpose: The teaching of sport activities during childhood is fundamental to improve their fitness levels, but also to promote inclusion, sense of responsibility and self-discipline. In many countries physical activity based educational programs include rowing among the disciplines that schools promote and support. In Italy, rowing is not included in the common school activities; thus, we carried out a pilot project in a secondary school in Sicily to evaluate the efficacy of teaching and learning of the basic concepts of rowing technique in school pre-adolescents exposed to rowing for the first time.

Methods: After a 2-hour teaching session, a short survey was administered, and the 20 seconds maximum speed test was performed by 62 schoolchildren (12-14 years of age) of both sexes.

Results: Despite some difference in anthropometric characteristics, and in the retention of the information provided before the questionnaire, no significant difference between male and female students was observed in the 20 second all-out test.

Conclusions, and Applications in Sport: Rowing could be easily performed by all school kids and should be included in the physical activities performed at school to improve not only their physical skills but also their wellbeing.  


Expanding Expected Goals Methodology in Field Hockey

November 18th, 2022|Research, Sports Management|

Authors: Bret R. Myers1, Andrew M. Daly2

1Department of Management and Operations, Villanova University, Villanova, PA, USA
2Department of Athletics, Villanova University, Villanova, PA, USA

Corresponding Author:

Bret R. Myers, Ph.D.
1039 Smithfield LN
Downingtown, PA 19335
(804) 357-5876

Bret R. Myers, Ph.D. is a Professor of Practice in the Department of Management and Operations in the Villanova School of Business. His research interests focus on sports analytics, specifically, in the areas of team evaluation and managerial decision-making. He is also an Analytics Consultant for the Columbus Soccer Club of Major League Soccer.

Andrew M. Daly is MIS and Business Analytics Major at Villanova University. He is also an analyst and student manager for the Villanova Field Hockey team. In this role, he has both video and data analysis responsibilities and reports directly to the coaching staff.

Expanding Expected Goals Methodology in Field Hockey


The purpose of this study is to demonstrate the value of the overarching expected goals methodology in the sport of field hockey by examining performance data in NCAA Division I Field Hockey.  Expected Goals (xG), a metric used to represent the likelihood of a shot being a goal, has grown in popularity across multiple sports. The expected goals methodology involves model building through logistic regression. Specifically, two metrics are created through this technique: 1) The standard expected goals model (xG) based on characteristics of the scoring opportunity before the shot is taken and 2) Post-shot expected goals (xGOT) which is updated to reflect whether or not the shot is on target.

Results: In terms of development, the logistic regression models used for the development of the xG and xGOT models both yield high levels of significance for fit (p-values of 4.13e-26 and 2.78 e-16 respectively). In terms of application, the xG and xGOT metrics both have high correlations to goals scored when aggregating on a game-by-game basis (0.76 and 0.77 respectively). Furthermore, the metrics can enhance insights gained from matches, evidenced by additional visualizations provided in this study.


Ensuring the Business Sustainability of Minor League Baseball After the COVID Global Pandemic

October 28th, 2022|Research, Sports Management|

Authors: Mark Mitchell, Jacob Voegel, and Sara Nimmo

Corresponding Author:

Mark Mitchell, DBA
Professor of Marketing
Associate Dean, Wall College of Business
NCAA Faculty Athletics Representative (FAR)
Coastal Carolina University
P. O. Box 261954
Conway, SC 29528
(843) 349-2392

Mark Mitchell, DBA is Professor of Marketing at Coastal Carolina University in Conway, SC.

Jacob Voegel, PhD is Assistant Professor of Management at Coastal Carolina University in Conway, SC.

Sara Nimmo is a 2022 Honors Graduate of Coastal Carolina University. She served as a Marketing Intern during the 2021 season of minor league baseball, the first season after the 2020 cancelled season.

Ensuring the Business Sustainability of Minor League Baseball After the COVID Global Pandemic


The COVID global pandemic greatly impacted the sports industry as leagues had drastic budget cuts and were forced to compensate for the lost revenues. The purpose of this study is to examine the strategies used by Minor League Baseball (MiLB) teams and leagues to ensure their survival in the short-term and to sustain their operations in a post-COVID environment. Consultation with officials of a local minor league team, in addition to extensive information search, identified the strategies used by teams and leagues. A cluster analysis was then performed to classify the strategies into categories of similar topics. The results suggested teams and leagues took an “Income Statement Approach” to ensuring their survival. That is, they focused on: (a) maximizing revenue and finding new revenue sources; while (b) finding ways to reduce operating expenses. Minor league baseball teams navigated the loss of the 2020 season and the adjusted operations of the 2021 season to return to more-normal operations in the 2022 season. Lessons learned during the COVID period were applied to streamline their operations in the short-run and to ensure the sustainability of their business in the long-run. Coaches seek to develop an ‘adjust-and-adapt mentality’ in their athletes. The COVID global pandemic forced all of society to adopt this approach. Minor league baseball leagues and teams adopted this approach and they successful sustained their operations. Today, the industry continues to be a vital source of family entertainment and community pride while concurrently serving as the primary development path for the Major League Baseball (MLB) players of the future.


Division-1 athletes’ perceptions of sport specialization as a predictor of perfectionism

October 21st, 2022|Research, Sports Health & Fitness|

Authors: Jason N. Hughes1,Colby B. Jubenville2,Mitchell T. Woltring3, and Helen J. Gray4

1Department of Business, Accounting and Sport Management, Elizabeth City State University

2Department of Health and Human Performance, Middle Tennessee State University

3Department of Health, Kinesiology, and Sport, University of South Alabama

4Department of Experience Industry Management, California Polytechnic State University


Jason Hughes, Ph.D., M.S.
1704 Weeksville Rd.
Elizabeth City, NC 27909

Jason N. Hughes, Ph.D., is an Assistant Professor of Sport Management at Elizabeth City State University in Elizabeth City, NC. His research interests include sport specialization, perfectionism, and athletic burnout.
Colby B. Jubenville, PhD., is a Professor of Sport Management at Middle Tennessee State University. His research interest includes student success, leadership, and emotional intelligence in business.
Mitchell T. Woltring, Ph.D., is an Associate Professor at the University of South Alabama. His research interests include student-athlete success and service learning.
Helen J. Gray, Ph.D., is the Department Head and Professor of Experience Industry Management at California Polytechnic State University. Her research interests include sport management, youth sport, and pedagogy in sport, leisure, and tourism.

Division-1 athletes’ perceptions of sport specialization as a predictor of perfectionism


Sport specialization is a trend amongst athletes today who are looking to gain an advantage over the competition. However, little research has examined the psychosocial consequences of this trend. One psychological construct that has not been sufficiently investigated regarding its relationship with sports specialization is perfectionism. Perfectionism is a multidimensional personality trait with two higher orders: perfectionistic strivings, and concerns; both of which are associated with adaptive and maladaptive outcomes in sport. Perfectionistic concerns have shown consistent negative associations with processes and outcomes. Perfectionistic strivings results have been inconsistent. The purpose of this study was to examine the previously unexplored relationship between specializing in sport and perfectionism concerns and strivings. Two multiple-hierarchical analyses were performed on a sample of 393 Division-1 NCAA student-athletes (M age = 20.21, SD 1.36) to investigate the level of sport specialization as a predictor of perfectionistic concerns and perfectionistic strivings. Findings indicated that student-athletes who are highly specialized were more likely to predict perfectionistic concerns, whereas moderate and low sport specializers did not have a relationship with perfectionistic concerns. Perfectionistic strivings had no significant relationship with sport specialization.