An investigation of athletic identity, career choices and decision-making difficulties of Australian elite athletes

An investigation of athletic identity, career choices and decision-making difficulties of Australian elite athletes

e84 Abstracts / Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport 14S (2011) e1–e119 blocks (i.e., hours 6–12, 18–24, 30–36, 42–48). Music tempo was individu...

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Abstracts / Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport 14S (2011) e1–e119

blocks (i.e., hours 6–12, 18–24, 30–36, 42–48). Music tempo was individually synchronized to match stride rate, and motivational qualities of music were rated by each participant using the BMRI-2. Participants were monitored using the BRUMS, FS, RPE, and HR. Lap times were recorded for each participant. Results: As a group, participants derived a significant performance benefit from synchronous motivational music compared to the other three conditions during the crucial 18–24 h period (F3,556 = 15.1, p < .001), with each 400 m lap completed faster, on average, by 14 s (v no music, p = .003), 18 s (v neutral music, p < .001) or 27 s (v audio book, p < .001). No group differences in FS, RPE, and HR were found. Individual differences were very apparent, however, with some participants deriving benefits from motivational music and others deriving no benefits or, in some cases, a disadvantage. For example, Participant 7 completed laps 36 s to 62 s faster while listening to motivational music whereas Participant 3 was 18 s to 23 s slower with motivational music compared to the other three conditions. Conclusions: A performance benefit from listening to synchronous motivational music may accrue for some individuals in ultra-distance events but not for others. The enhanced psychological responses, reduced perceived exertion and improved physiological efficiency found in previous studies were not apparent among ultra-distance athletes in the present study. doi:10.1016/j.jsams.2011.11.172 171 The difference in physical fitness and gross motor coordination between sampling and specializing boys aged 6–12 J. Fransen ∗ , J. Pion, J. Vandendriessche, B. Vandorpe, R. Vaeyens, M. Lenoir, R. Philippaerts Ghent University, Department of Movement and Sports Sciences, Belgium Introduction: The Developmental Model of Sports Participation proposes two distinct pathways towards reaching an expert level of performance: early specialization and early diversification. This study investigated the effect of sampling various sports and of the amount of time spent in sports on physical fitness and gross motor coordination. Methods: The basic performance characteristics of 735 boys aged 6–12, divided into three age groups (6–8: n = 161, 8–10: n = 310, 10–12: 264) were assessed by a test battery containing anthropometrical, physical fitness and coordinative tests. Data on sports participation were obtained through the use of the Flemish Physical Activity Computerized Questionnaire. Results: In the eldest age group, (M)ANCOVA showed better strength, speed, agility, endurance and gross motor coordination (p < 0.05) for boys participating in various

sports versus in a single sport while an effect of many hours spent in sports was apparent from the youngest age group on. Also in the eldest group, a post hoc analysis revealed that boys spending many hours in various sports were the strongest (p < 0.05) and possessed the best gross motor coordination (p < 0.001). Discussion: A slow and rapid performance improvement is associated with early diversification and early specialization respectively. Therefore, the importance of spending many hours in various sports towards the development of physical fitness and gross motor coordination was highlighted in this study. doi:10.1016/j.jsams.2011.11.173 172 An investigation of athletic identity, career choices and decision-making difficulties of Australian elite athletes L. Fraser 1,∗ , G. Fogarty 2 1 University 2 University

of the Sunshine Coast, Australia of Southern Queensland, Australia

Introduction: Career planning and development is a particularly salient issue in regards to elite athletes. Although many of these individuals may devote much of their lives to their dream of becoming a professional athlete, there are limited long-term opportunities to build a career in this area. It is therefore important that athletes continue to actively explore a variety of vocational options. Engagement in career-planning activities has also been found to have positive repercussions for athletes in relation to psychosocial development and performance. Studies have revealed, however, that the physical and psychological commitment required to be successful in elite sport can restrict athletes from exploring these options. Individuals with a strong athletic identity have been found to be less likely to plan for their future vocations before retirement, with young male athletes involved in high-revenue sports, such as football, golf, and tennis, identified as being more likely to avoid such planning. High levels of athletic identity have also been shown to be significantly related to particular types of career decision-making difficulties experienced by younger athletes. These difficulties include general indecisiveness, and a lack of knowledge about occupations. The current study aimed to explore the career decisionmaking difficulties of Australian elite athletes from different age groups (teenage/emerging adults/adults) and sports, and the relationship these difficulties may share with their levels of athletic identity. The types of career choices being considered by these athletes were also explored. Method: The participants in the study were 908 athletes on sporting scholarships linked with the Australian Institute of Sport. Participants were surveyed using the Athletic Identity Measurement Scale and the Career Decision Difficulties Questionnaire.

Abstracts / Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport 14S (2011) e1–e119

Results and discussion: Career decision-making difficulties were found to decrease significantly with age. The strongest relationships between athletic identity levels and career decision-making difficulties were found to occur for athletes aged between 18 and 25 years. Only a small percentage of athletes identified the occupation of being a “Professional athlete” as the only career option they were willing to consider in the future. These and other findings will be discussed. doi:10.1016/j.jsams.2011.11.174 173


properties were similar between patellar tendons with and without tendinopathy. Elastic modulus (ratio of force normalised to CSA and PT deformation normalised to PT length at rest) describes the loading behaviour of the PT. This value for tendons with tendinopathy, remained within one standard deviation from the mean of the comparative group with normal tendons bilaterally. This investigation provides the impetus for an investigation of differences in PT strain that may identify an increased risk of patellar tendinopathy; however, the current study suggests that patellar tendons with tendinopathy have a similar ability to withstand tensile force compared to tendons without tendinopathy.

Mechanical properties in patellar tendinopathy


A. Gupta 1,2,3,∗ , C. Purdam 1 , J. Cook 4 , G. Allison 5,6


1 Australian

Position discrimination of the fingertips during dynamic movement varies with the task undertaken

Institute of Sport, Australia Trobe University, Australia 3 University of Western Sydney, Australia 4 Monash University, Australia 5 Curtin University, Australia 6 Royal Perth Hospital, Australia 2 La

Introduction: The purpose of this research was to evaluate and compare the mechanical properties of patellar tendons with and without tendinopathy in elite level jumping athletes. Methods: Real-time ultrasound imaging of the patellar tendon (PT) and maximal voluntary isometric contraction force of the knee extensors, were synchronously recorded for the left and right sides of 40 elite male athletes participating in volleyball (n = 23, 18.9 years of age, range 16–28, 200 cm in height, range 180–213 and 91 kg in weight, range 71–108) and basketball (n = 17, 17.0 years of age, range 16–19, 196 cm in height, range 178–212 and 88 kg in weight, range 66–115) at the Australian Institute of Sport. All participants volunteered, providing written and informed consent. Patellar tendon mechanical properties were compared between individual players with tendinopathy to the mean and 95% CI of the volleyball and basketball groups that each included data from players with normal and healthy patellar tendons bilaterally. Results: Of the 40 participants, 9 had patellar tendinopathy. Eight athletes had patellar tendinopathy on the left and 3 of these 8 participants also had patellar tendinopathy on the right side. Only one player had unilateral right sided imaging tendinopathy (non-painful). There were no systematic differences in PT mechanical properties between athletes with and without patellar tendinopathy with the values for strain, stiffness, cross-sectional-area (CSA), stress and elastic modulus generally with the 95%CI of the group means for volleyball and basketball player groups that had normal patellar tendons bilaterally. Discussion: Proportionately, more tendons with tendinopathy had strain that was greater or less than the 95% CI for the comparative group with normal patellar tendons in both sporting groups. All other mechanical

J. Han 1,2,∗ , G. Waddington 1 , J. Anson 3 , R. Adams 4 1 Faculty

of Health Sciences, University of Canberra, Australia 2 Physical Education and Coaching Department, Shanghai University of Sport, Shanghai, China 3 Faculty of Applied Sciences, University of Canberra, Australia 4 Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Sydney, Australia Background: To control precise and dynamic movements of the hand and fingers the brain relies on proprioceptive information regarding the position of the fingertips. In sports from shooting to climbing, finger tip discrimination varies greatly from precise single handed pinch movements against elastic resistance, such as a gun trigger, to different, simultaneous two handed pinch movements, as when climbing. While not found to be significant in upper limb movement discrimination, the role of elastic resistance in fine movement control is unknown. It is also unknown if different fine movement tasks, performed concurrently, hinder, enhance or have no effect on performance. Some authors have suggested for some tasks there is a limit to an individual’s total processing capacity and performance deteriorates with serial rather than parallel processing. Methods and measures: Eight right handed (4F, 4M) and 6 left handed (4F, 2M) participants were tested with a purpose built finger Active Movement Extent Discrimination Apparatus (AMEDA). Handedness was determined by the Edinburgh Handedness Test. For each test condition, participants undertook 50 trials (10 for each of 5 different displacements) presented at random. The different conditions were: with and without elastic resistance, using the dominant and non-dominant hands separately, and with two hands simultaneously undertaking the same or different discrimination displacements. Paired two-sample t-tests, with statistical significance at p < 0.05, were conducted on the discrimination score to test for the conditions of with and without elastic