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The Relationship Between Pistol Olympic Shooting Performance, Handgrip and Shoulder Abduction Strength

Abstract

The ability to stabilize the gun, a crucial factor for performance in air pistol Olympic shooting, is thought to be strongly related to the muscular work of the shooter´s shoulder and forearm. The objective of the present study was to confirm this relationship by analysing the influence of maximal finger flexor forces and maximal isometric shoulder force on performance in female air pistol shooting. Twenty‐three female pistol shooters participated in the study. Handgrip and shoulder force data were recorded under competition conditions, during the official training time of national Spanish championships on the day previous to the competition and at the official training stands. Performance was measured as the total score of 40 shots at competition. Linear regressions between performance and age, weight, height, training experience, body mass index (BMI), mean and maximal finger flexor and shoulder forces were calculated. Significant correlations were found between performance and a) training hours b) peak finger flexor force relative to the BMI, and c) peak isometric force of the shoulder abduction relative to the BMI. The study concludes that there is a statistically significant correlation between performance and muscular forces exerted by the athletes relative to their BMI. Appropriate muscular strength training programs are therefore necessary in female air pistol Olympic shooting.

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Relationships Between the Expression of the ACTN3 Gene and Explosive Power of Soccer Players

Abstract

Muscle strength and maximal speed are factors determining athlete’s results during competition. Their association with ACTN3 gene activity has been documented. The purpose of this study was the analysis of ACTN3 gene expression during a 2 month training cycle of soccer players and its correlation with the countermovement jump (CMJ) and squat jump (SJ). The study group consisted of 22 soccer players (aged 17‐18). The study material included peripheral blood lymphocytes. The relative expression (RQ) of the ACTN3 gene was analyzed by qPCR and performed before and after the two‐month training cycle. Before the training cycle low expression levels of ACTN3 (median RQ = 0.95) were observed, yet after the training cycle they were elevated (median RQ = 1.98) ( p = 0.003). There was an increase in performance of both jumps: SJ (p = 0.020) and CMJ (p = 0.012) at the end of the training cycle. A simultaneous increase in the ACTN3 gene expression level and height in both jump tests was observed in 73% of athletes (p > 0.05). There were no significant relationships between the ACTN3 gene expression level and the results of the CMJ and SJ. However, explosive strength is a complex feature shaped by many different factors and it could be the reason why we did not observe correlations between these variables.

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Trends of Goal Scoring Patterns in Soccer: A Retrospective Analysis of Five Successive FIFA World Cup Tournaments

Abstract

This study analysed the 795 goals scored during a total of 320 matches played in five successive FIFA World Cup tournaments (1998–2014). Data were obtained through YouTube videos and analysed by means of Longomatch software. The variables analysed included the number of goals scored per half (45‐min period), per 15‐min period, and per 30‐min period of extra time, goal scoring zones, goals scored by substitutes, types of goals scored, and goals scored according to the playing position. With regard to 15‐min period analysis, most goals were scored between the 76th and 90th minutes (24.7%) of the game in all five World Cup competitions. Chi‐square analyses showed no significant (p > 0.05) differences in the frequency of goal scoring patterns per 45‐min and 15‐min periods in the five World Cup tournaments. Most goals were scored from inside the goal (23.8%) and penalty (14.6%) areas. The greatest number of goals was scored by strikers (54.2%), followed by midfielders (33.3%) and defenders (2.3%). These findings provide practical implications for improving goal‐scoring performance in soccer.

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Variability of Technical Actions During Small‐Sided Games in Young Soccer Players

Abstract

The purpose of this study was three‐fold: (i) to test the between‐sessions variability of 3 vs. 3 and 6 vs. 6 formats in under‐11 players, (ii) to assess the within‐session variability of 3 vs. 3 and 6 vs. 6 formats, and (iii) to investigate the variations of technical actions between formats. Sixteen soccer players (10.1 ± 0.3 years old) participated in this study. Both formats of play were played twice within an interval of one week to test the between‐session variability and the variables of conquered balls (CBs), received balls (RBs), lost balls (LBs), attacking balls/passes (ABs) and shots (Ss) were analyzed using the Performance Assessment in Team Sports instrument in all matches. Moderate variations on the sum of sets during the 3 vs. 3 and 6 vs. 6 formats were observed in all variables. Considering the variations of technical actions made between sets in the 3 vs. 3 format, likely moderate increases were found in set 2 vs. 1 in terms of RB (37.5%, [‐2.7;94.2]), and likely small decreases were found in set 3 vs. 2 for the same variable (‐18.3%, [‐37.8;7.3]). In the 6 vs. 6 format, only possibly small increases were found for set 3 vs. 1 in S (22.5%, [‐7.0;61.3]). Generally (sum of sets), the variables standardized per minute revealed almost certain very large decreases in the 6 vs. 6 vs. the 3 vs. 3 format in the variables of CB (‐67.9%, [‐75.3;‐55.9]), LB (‐66.0%, [‐73.9;‐55.7]), RB (‐65.6%, [‐74.8;‐ 53.1]) and S (‐87.6%, [‐93.1;‐77.7]). The results of this study suggest that both formats of play are too noisy to be reproducible. The 3 vs. 3 format largely increased the number of individual technical actions.

Open access
eSports Evolution in Football Game Series

Abstract

Sport used to be practiced and watched only live. Over time, it started to be broadcast by the radio or television. The development of sport on the Internet has led to the emergence of eSports and professionalization of virtual sports competitions. For some gamers playing computer games has turned into competition and later into the professionalization of the game. This paper explores the topic of electronic sports and virtual competition. It discusses eSports and the accompanying behaviors and practices. Authors delivered taxonomy of video game types, game modes and current phenomenon of both online and land-based tournaments as well eSports leagues. The paper also illustrates how gamers are preparing themselves for tournaments and a crucial role of gamers’ motivation. Authors present the FIFA football games series and its eSports application. The adopted research method allowed to obtain answers from n=452 gamers. Results show that 60% of gamers have been spending more than 7 hours a week playing games. More than half of gamers have been playing for more than ten years. Most players play in games because it is considered as a hobby. Most of the gamers consider eSports as a sport. Most of the players are also spectators, who had watched in streaming at least one eSports tournament We find that FIFA game series has an extensive eSports platform and filled the gap by exploring it. Gamers usually play 40 games each weekend in FIFA eSports league but casual eSports gamers and spectators rarely take part in land-based tournaments.

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A Foucauldian Analysis on Discourse in Primary School Physical Education Classes in Singapore

Abstract

This study aims to investigate the discourse in physical education (PE) classes among primary school students in Singapore and reveal the distinctive governing epistemological structure. Eight primary school students were interviewed, and an archaeological analysis based on Foucault’s thoughts and works was employed. The findings of this study provided a deeper understanding of PE discourse and offered a unique perspective on the conditions for such discourse to happen. A Foucauldian approach is thus a useful tool for policymakers when designing the PE curriculum and syllabus.

Open access
The Justice of the Grand Slam Tennis Tournaments on the Basis of Draw, Competition Format System and Final Result: a Case Study of the US Open 2017 Men’s Singles Tournament

Abstract

The tennis Grand Slam tournaments play a key role among the major sport events. Sport has also got a social interest to strive for justice. Is the main draw always fair? Is the competition format system right? Overall: can we achieve a just final result? When answering these questions, we need to focus on the telos of the sport event. Present study shows the relating theories of justice and examines them in connection with the US Open: from the evolutionist conception, through Aristotle’s excellence-based justice theory, to egalitarianism, meritocracy, equity and it also analyses some issues around positive discrimination. The study examines the justice theories of the US Open 2017 Men’s Singles Tournament’s with special focus on the draw, the competition format system and the final result. An important point: we can only talk about justice if it is consistent with the telos of the event – this is an exclusion criterion. In addition to the systematic processing of justice theories, the research is based on the International Tennis Federation’s (ITF) official documents and on the case study: the official competition regulation and final result of the US Open 2017 Tournament. As an outcome of the research, we can conclude that several theories of justice appear in accordance with the telos of the US Open 2017 Tournament. Each element, namely the draw, the competition format system and the final result can be fair, however, they all depend on the applied theory of justice. Which theories should be applied in certain cases and why? The research also confirms that certain theories of justice do not match the telos of the US Open Grand Slam Tournament. These theories cannot be applied in certain cases. For future search areas we can examine other justice theories, or other related tennis event’s justice.

Open access
“More Practice-based Courses and Not Just a Load of Papers to Read”: Youth Soccer Coaches Reflections on Coach Education Programs in Sweden

Abstract

In Sweden, the formal soccer coach education programs are divided into different levels and are also divided into youth coaching and senior coaching. This paper focuses on youth soccer coaches and their reflections on coach education programs. In the background section the Swedish context is described, as well as current research on coaches’ education and learning. The aim of the paper was to investigate youth soccer coaches’ reflections on coach education programs and to analyse their reflections by using a cultural approach to learning. The empirical material of the paper derives from a web-based questionnaire, posing questions about competence, learning and stress. The coaches were also invited to reflect on the question “how do you believe that soccer associations can educate good coaches?” There were 369 responses, and these were analysed using qualitative content analysis. Results indicated reflections about Flexibility in time, place and content, Mentorship supporting informal learning, Demanding mandatory education and emolument, Education focusing on wholeness and Education being based in practice. The conclusion was that decentralization of education and development of coaches’ contexts, abilities and motivation to critically analyse aims and contents of coach education programs are improvement areas for learning and coaching practices.

Open access
Practical Role of Philosophy in Sport: Case of Philosophical Consultation

Abstract

The process of philosophical questioning has the power to form not only our way of thinking, but also the way we live. Both my sporting and academic career have made me think about the importance of asking good questions and undergoing the process of answering them. I decided to create a profession of philosophical consultation in sport which works with athletes and coaches of various ages. Consultants and athletes (clients) engage in a dialogue about important and interesting questions/topics in client’s life. This dialogical process is called philosophical consultation. It focuses on critical evaluation and development of client’s thinking, self-cognition, and attitudes/worldviews. Philosophical consultation helps athletes and coaches to look for their identity and achieve better self-awareness. It can be argued that consultation offers what Patočka calls the “care of the soul” (epimeleia peri tês psychês) or what Foucault calls the “care of the self” (epimeleia heautou), which are based on Socrates’ kind of philosophizing. It helps to achieve ancient ideals of kalokagathia and gnôthi seauton. The potential of using philosophy in sport hasn’t been fully discovered. Philosophical consultation is presented as a process of self-cognition and inner development. It has the potential to influence the care for well-being of athletes and coaches.

I aim to explore the practical role of philosophy in sport. I will present possible connections between philosophy and sport and the historical predecessors of the concept of philosophical consultancy in sport. As well, we will discuss what philosophical consultancy is, how philosophical consultant works, and finally what are the challenges in bringing philosophical consultation into sport. Methods that are used in this interdisciplinary article are critical textual analysis, description, and interpretation of data.

Open access
Structure of Achievement Motivation Dispositions in Elite and Non-Elite Track and Field Athletes

Abstract

Achievement motivation is a distinguishing disposition in elite and non-elite athletes. Implicit theories and competence perception influence the types of achievement goals and constitute separate achievement motivation dispositions. The context of sport promotes various achievement goals and implicit theories about athletic competence. For this reason, scientific research should focus on the intrapersonal profiles of achievement motivation dispositions (achievement goals, implicit theories, and competence perception) instead of specifying only one of them. This study explores differences between elite and non-elite athletes in terms of intrapersonal profiles of achievement motivation dispositions. 54 elite and 50 non-elite track and field athletes took part in the study. The results suggest that athletes tend to perceive their competence accurately. Cluster analysis of the studied dispositions was conducted. The clusters present sets of achievement dispositions that vary in intensity. Moreover, the results present trends of the differences between elite and non-elite athletes in two of the three clusters obtained in the study.

Open access