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The Line in the Sand for British Strength Sports. No Second Chances and the Creation of a Drug Free for Life Ethos

Abstract

Performance enhancing drugs (PEDs) crises in sport provide stories for the mass media. From individuals such as Ben Johnson and Lance Armstrong, to countries and organisations such as Russian Athletics and Major League Baseball. More recently, research has emerged that suggests that those who take drugs, even the once, are permanently advantaged over those who never have (Egner et al., 2013; Eriksson, 2006). This has expanded existing arguments related to PEDs, even extending debate to one that argues that PED use should be monitored and legalised in order to create a level playing field – as opposed to ‘banning’ athletes. In contrast, there are varying reasons for the rationale of ‘clean’ sports. In the first kind of discussion related to this the central premise is often about health concerns and PED use. In the second discussion, we hear much about cheating, unfairness, and the perversion of sport (Schneider & Butcher, 2000). At the present time, the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) police PED use in sport and use Anti-Doping Rule Violations (ADRVs) that allow a sliding scale of transgressions with lifetime bans not given in the first instance of a failed test. Put simply then, these ADRVs do not facilitate a system for those not wishing to compete with others who, at any time, have used PEDs. However, in the 1980's a number of people in Britain made the decision to distance themselves from what they saw as significant doping in British and international Weightlifting. They achieved this through creating competitive strength organisations dedicated to a drug free for life ethos. In this paper I draw on the experiences and reflections of some of these key people, and contend that it was the ideology of fairplay that influenced this movement, and that the rules on PED use should not be fully authoritative and determinate.

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.

Open access
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
Facing Irregularities in Sport: Whistleblowing and Watchdog Journalism. The Romanian Case

Abstract

Mass-media is often called „the guard dog of society” due to its role in alerting the population when an issue is identified and this aspect is feasible also in sports media. This research analyses the media’s roles, responsibilities and its relationship with whistleblowers. The main focus of this presentation is on methods used by journalists in order to identify and research sensitive subjects such as corruption, doping and other cases of harmful irregularities in sport. Based on interviews with journalists from Romania, using a qualitative interpretation of their speech, it will be possible to see behind the façade of the journalist-sources relationship. „How could we increase the rate of investigations and the number of whistleblowers in sport?” is a central question of this research. The study examines also how to ensure a more critical approach to the task of exploring the influences in Romanian sports and in what manner this case could be framed in the global context. It helps to understand the potential of sports communication and educational journalism to influence in a positive manner the dynamics of reporting everyday issues and eruptive scandals in sport. An inquiring and sceptical media could help more to enhance transparency and encourage other sports stars or sports people to take action.

Open access
Biomechanical Analysis of Successful and Unsuccessful Snatch Lifts in Elite Female Weightlifters

Abstract

The aim of this study was to identify biomechanical factors affecting successful and unsuccessful snatch attempts in elite female weightlifters during the 2013 World Weightlifting Championships. Fourteen female competitors took part in this study. Their successful and unsuccessful snatch lifts with the same load were recorded with 2 camcorders (50 Hz), and selected points were digitized manually on to the body and the barbell using the Ariel Performance Analysis System. The kinetic and kinematic barbell movement as well as the athlete’s body movement variables during the liftoff phase were examined. The results of this study show statistical differences (p ≤ 0.05) between successful and unsuccessful attempts in relation to the angle values in the knee and hip joints in preparation for the aerial phase position. Similarly, the center of gravity velocity was significantly higher in successful attempts during the catch phase. Thus, coaches should pay particular attention to the accuracy of the execution in preparation for the aerial phase position and to the velocity of the center of gravity of the competitors during the catch phase.

Open access
Caffeine Supplementation for Powerlifting Competitions: an Evidence-Based Approach

Abstract

In this paper, we review the effects of caffeine on muscle strength and provide suggestions for caffeine supplementation in powerlifting competitions. The currently available studies indicate that caffeine ingestion may enhance strength in two powerlifting competition events, the squat and the bench press. For the deadlift, the same might be expected even though studies directly using this event are lacking. Optimal doses of caffeine are likely in the range from 2 to 6 mg·kg−1, and are highly individual. When using caffeine-containing capsules, 60 minutes pre-exercise seems to be a good timing of caffeine consumption. For other sources such as caffeinated chewing gum, a shorter period (5 to 10 min) from consumption to the start of the exercise seems to be effective. For shorter duration powerlifting competitions (e.g., 2 hours), one pre-competition dose of caffeine could be sufficient for acute performance-enhancing effects that might be maintained across all three events. For longer duration competitions (with longer rest periods between one repetition maximum attempts), there might be a benefit to repeated dosing with caffeine; for example, ingesting smaller doses of caffeine before each attempt or event. During training, powerlifters may consider ingesting caffeine only before the training sessions with the highest intensity. This approach might eliminate the attenuation of caffeine’s effects associated with chronic caffeine ingestion and would help in maximizing performance benefits from acute caffeine ingestion at the competition. Nonetheless, withdrawal from caffeine (e.g., no caffeine intake seven days before competition) does not seem necessary and may have some indirect negative effects.

Open access