Following on from previous publications in the topic area, Dr Nichola Kentzer (and wider team, including S&F tutors Dr Jo Horne and Dr Mike Trott) recently published a systematic review in the International Journal of Care and Caring, exploring the barriers and facilitators to physical activity among informal carers in the international literature. Finding very little research in the area in UK based literature, the international literature offered a more in-depth perspective.
Lindsay, R. K.; Vseteckova, J., Horne, J. Smith, L., Trott, M., De Lappe, J., Soysal, P. Pizzol, D. and Kentzer, N. (2023). Barriers and facilitators to physical activity among informal carers: a systematic review of international literature. International Journal of Care and Caring, 1, pp. 1–29. https://doi.org/10.1332/239788221X16746510534114
As part of this ongoing research, Nichola has authored a further output – an Open Learn course, endorsed by Carers Trust, that educated carers on the benefits of physical activity in the caring role. The course ‘Physical activity for health and wellbeing in the caring role’ continues the work to support carers to access physical activity opportunities appropriate for their needs and has been well received by the caring population, and those who work to support them.
Congratulations to Nichola and the wider team!
Dr Ben Langdown, Senior Lecturer in Sports Coaching with #TeamOUsport, recently had an Open Access paper published for a project that he and his co-author Dr Alex Ehlert ran during the COVID-19 lockdowns.
The paper, titled ‘An investigation into the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic upon golfers’ strength and conditioning and golf practice’ has been published in the International Journal of Sports Science and Coaching.
The COVID-19 restrictions very quickly turned golfers’ routines on their head and forced them to adapt to different practice and training environments and ways of interacting with their strength and conditioning coach. This mixed-methods study surveyed amateur and professional golfers (n = 107), to examine the applied impact of the pandemic on their strength and conditioning, golf practice, tournament engagement, levels of stress and motivation and the impact upon diet and sleep.
The research highlighted that, although training and practice continued to some extent, there were increased levels of stress and disturbed sleep. The lack of equipment reported by over 71% of the participants led to perceptions of reduced physical gains from training during this period where maintaining ‘progressive overload’ was challenging (i.e. with a lack of weights to lift at home). Furthermore, the research highlighted that coming out of lockdown posed a potential for increased risk of injury when normal practice and training resumed. Coaches were advised to monitor workload carefully, especially in future situations similar to the stay-at-home orders (e.g. when golfers are travelling for an extended period with restricted access to training / practice facilities).
This project also involved surveying strength and conditioning coaches during the same period and Ben and Alex hope this will be published soon too.
Congratulations to Ben and his co-author Alex!
Langdown, Ben and Ehlert, Alex (2022). An investigation into the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic upon golfers’ strength and conditioning and golf practice. International Journal of Sports Science & Coaching (Early Access).
Steph Doehler of #TeamOUSport has recently had a paper published which focuses on the public perception of athlete mental health. The paper titled, ‘Role Model or Quitter? Social Media’s Response to Simone Biles at Tokyo 2020’ has been published in the International Journal of Sport Communication.
The study looks at the Facebook narrative surrounding Simone Biles’ withdrawal from several gymnastics events at the Olympic Games in Tokyo. Over 87,000 user comments were collected and analysed in total, with the results revealing a polarised public response. This research adds to the expanding body of literature on the framing of athlete mental health and is the first to focus on a female athlete. It reveals two notable findings: first, the public has failed to reach a consensus on athlete mental health, with many believing that athletes should be immune to the strains of competition. Second, while it was not a major theme throughout the narrative, Biles’ gender and race were presented both positively and negatively by social media users, which may not have been the case with male or White athletes.
Steph has previously presented the findings from this research at the Center for Sociocultural Sport and Olympic Research Annual Conference at California State University, Fullerton.
Congratulations to Steph!
Dr Ben Langdown, a senior lecturer with #TeamOUsport was invited to contribute three chapters to a new Routledge book called ‘Strength and Conditioning for Golf: A Guide for Coaches and Players’. Ben’s applied strength and conditioning work with the West Midlands England Golf Under 18 Regional Squads provided inspiration and experience for his chapter on ‘The Junior Golfer’. Here he discusses the considerations needed for training junior golfers and some common misconceptions around strength and conditioning in this cohort.
Click on the image to see full contents page:
Ben’s other two chapters, ‘Meeting a Golfer’s Needs’ (focusing on conducting a needs analysis, profiling golfers and coaching considerations) and ‘Warming-up for Golf’ were co-authored with Dr Jack Wells of The Professional Golfers’ Association. Their recent research provided an evidence base to share within both chapters and allowed them to suggest many applied and practical solutions to working with golfers in a strength and conditioning setting.
The book, edited by Alex Bliss, was launched in August 2022 and features contributions from various experts from the world of golf and strength and conditioning.
Congratulations to Ben and his co-author Jack!
One of the #TeamOUsport lecturers, Dr Jim Lusted, recently contributed a chapter to a book collection titled ‘Community Sport Coaching: Policies and Practice’, edited by Ben Ives, Paul Potrac, Laura Gale and Lee Nelson published by Routledge. His chapter is called ‘Coaching Ethnically Diverse Participants: ‘Race’, Racism and Anti-Racist Practice in Community Sport’.
The chapter explores how issues of ‘race’, ethnicity and racism can influence community sport coaching settings, and proposes some good practice suggestions for coaches working with ethnically diverse participants. It was co-written with Dr Dan Kilvington, an academic researcher with an expertise on racism in sport and Asad Qureshi, a community sports coach with many years’ experience of coaching in ethnically diverse settings. This blend of academic theory and professional practice offers a well-rounded discussion of the key issues that coaches should consider when working with participants from a range of ethnic backgrounds. The chapter proposes the need to develop a form of coaching practice that is explicitly anti-racist in its approach to ensure that all participants are able to feel safe, enjoy and thrive during their sport experiences.
Click on the image to read the abstract:
Jim and his co-authors are currently in discussions with sport organisations to create a range of resources and training to help coaches develop an anti-racist approach to their own coaching practice.
Congratulations to Jim and his co-authors!
Lusted, J., Kilvington, D., & Qureshi, A. (2021). Coaching Ethnically Diverse Participants:‘ Race,’ Racism, and Anti-Racist Practice in Community Sport. In B. Ives et al. (eds) Community Sport Coaching. London: Routledge. Pp. 77-96.
Dr Ben Langdown of #TeamOUsport, has recently had another of his PhD chapters accepted as a journal paper. The paper, titled ‘The Influence of an 8-Week Strength and Corrective Exercise Intervention on the Overhead Deep Squat and Golf Swing Kinematics’ has been published in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research.
It reports on an intervention study that explored the use of the Overhead Deep Squat (OHS) as a screening tool to predict loss of posture in the golf swing. With much debate in this area, results showed that, while golfers were able to achieve greater depth in the OHS following the intervention, there were no significant changes to posture during the golf swing. This suggests that either there were spurious relationships between the OHS screen and swing positions or that there is an amount of lag time required for the transfer of new ranges of movement/physiological adaptations to the movements used in the golf swing. This may also require extensive coaching or practice to incorporate these adaptations into performance. Ben has previously presented the results at The World Golf Fitness Summit and at various invited keynote presentations / workshops across Europe.
Congratulations to Ben and his co-authors!
Langdown, B.L., Bridge, M.W., Li, F-X. (2022). The Influence of an 8-Week Strength and Corrective Exercise Intervention on the Overhead Deep Squat and Golf Swing Kinematics. Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, (online ahead of print). https://doi.org/10.1519/JSC.0000000000004254
ATHLETIC DEVELOPMENT: A PSYCHOLOGICAL PERSPECTIVE
#TeamOUsport academics Dr Caroline Heaney, Dr Nichola Kentzer and Professor Ben Oakley have recently published a new book ‘Athletic Development: A Psychological Perspective’. The book examines some of the psychological factors that can help or hinder the development of participants in sport. It shines a unique psychological perspective on the athlete’s development through sport and explores a range of contemporary themes that influence athlete’s development including:
- An introduction to athletic development which orientates a holistic, psychological perspective of the athletic development process.
- Social influences on athletic development, which explores the impact of varied social influences (e.g., coach, family, peers, school) on sports participation and performance from a psychological perspective.
- Athlete wellbeing, which explores various aspects influencing mental health and welfare as an athlete progresses through their sports career.
The book features contributions from experts in the field including #TeamOUsport central academics Jess Pinchbeck and Candice Lingam-Willgoss and associate lecturers Jo Horne and Iain Greenlees and is a core resource in our new module E312 Athletic Development: A Psychological Perspective.
The book comprises fifteen chapters as outlined below.
Section I: Athletic Development: A Holistic View of the Journey Ben Oakley
- What Is Athletic Development? Ben Oakley
- How Did We Get Here? Exploring the Evolution of Athletic Development Perspectives Ben Oakley
- Transitions on the Athlete Journey: A Holistic Perspective Robert Morris
- Retirement from Sport: The Final Transition Candice Lingam-Willgoss
- Researching Athletic Development Joanna Horne
Section II: Social Influences on the Athlete’s Journey Nichola Kentzer
- Coach-Athlete Relationships: The Role of Ability, Intentions and Integrity Sophia Jowett and Katelynn Slade
- Towards Mutual Understanding: Communication and Conflict in Coaching Lauren R. Tufton
- Creating an Optimal Motivational Climate for Effective Coaching Iain Greenlees
- The Family Behind the Athlete Jessica Pinchbeck
- How Does the School Setting Influence Athletic Development? Nichola Kentzer
Section III: Mental Health and Wellbeing on the Athlete’s Journey Caroline Heaney
- Understanding Mental Health and Wellbeing in Sport Caroline Heaney
- Developing Resilience on the Athlete’s Journey Karen Howells
- Thriving in Athletic Development Environments Daniel J Brown
- Athlete Welfare for Optimal Athletic Development Daniel J. A. Rhind
Section IV: Conclusions
- Effective Athletic Development: Closing Thoughts Ben Oakley, Caroline Heaney, and Nichola Kentzer
Congratulations to Caroline, Nichola and Ben and all the contributing authors!
Kieran McCartney, Staff Tutor for Sport and Fitness has recently published a book titled Mobile Education – Personalised Learning and Assessment in Remote Education: A Guide for Educators and Learners, Digital Learning and the Future. In this post he shares how mobile technology allows educators to explore various forms of assessment submissions.
NATO And Russia Can Be A Lesson On How To Alter Assessments In Education
Themes such as democracy and negotiation are evident in education as much as international affairs. The ongoing crisis between NATO and Russia is an example where two sides may continue to disagree and can still use diplomacy to aim to resolve differences. The key words in the last sentence being, aim to. The relationship between educators and learners is no different.
The presence of mobile technology either in classrooms or in eLearning environments presents an opportunity for educators to explore different forms of assessment. This can be achieved by engaging in a level of diplomacy with learners. For example, educators can share the learning outcomes for the subject area they are teaching and explore with students how learning outcomes can be achieved and demonstrated with the use of apps that are available within mobile technology. This approach involves a strong element of democratisation where learners can actively engage with educators to explore how assessment outcomes can be presented in different formats.
Using different formats in assessments may not be limited to typed documents, but also expanded to incorporate audio, audio and visual, or visual representations. Like international diplomacy, there are boundaries around what can be done, and it may fail. But, by engaging both sides in communication learners and educators can develop an understanding of each other as well as their concerns and from that they can jointly explorer and negotiate the format of assessments to demonstrate the achievement of learning outcomes.
If you would like to learn more about how mobile technology can be used to help educators on students achieve learning outcomes in and away from the classroom, please explore –
McCartney, K. (2021) Mobile Education – Personalised Learning and Assessment in Remote Education: A Guide for Educators and Learners, Digital Learning and the Future, Bern, Switzerland: Peter Lang UK, from https://www.peterlang.com/view/title/74019
Congratulations on the publication, Kieran!
Quest for Freedom!
Cultural Studies ↔ Critical Methodologies
Dr Helen Owton has published an article providing an insight into the embodied and sensorial experiences of motorcycling through a series of vignettes. Helen’s research focused on ‘bringing the body back in’ via a phenomenologically inspired approach, exploring how ‘tests of experience’ can cultivate a sensuous self by sharpening awareness of all the senses. Motorcycling requires a sharpening of senses, meticulous preparation, and swift recovery following setbacks. There may be risks attached to pursue ‘tests of experiences’, but new adventures and unique experiences can cultivate joy, fulfilment, enhance confidence and resilience, and provide an opportunity to grow and expand one’s sense of self.
To read the full article, please click here and to read Helen’s OU blog on the ‘Thrill of Motorcycling’.
Congratulations to Helen!
Dr Nichola Kentzer and OU colleagues Dr Jo Horne, Dr Jitka Vseteckova and Dr Joe De Lappe, have had another systematic review published examining the prevalence of physical activity among informal carers, this time with an international perspective. This follows Nichola’s previous paper examining the physical activity behaviours of informal carers in the United Kingdom. The team of colleagues from the UK, Italy and Turkey, completed the review along with a separate international review examining the barriers and facilitators to physical activity in informal carers which has just been submitted. Watch this space!
Congratulations to Nichola and her co-authors!