United States Sports Academy
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The Sport Digest - ISSN: 1558-6448

volume 15 number 2

Developing an Athletic Profile - Phase I


The following will provide a broad overview of key factors involved in developing an Athletic Profile for athletes, including some of the tests utilized to assess athletes’ strengths, weaknesses, and needs relative to their sports. In developing an Athletic Profile, you need to utilize a three-phase testing protocol approach.

Gender Bias in Sport

Merriam-Webster (2007) defines bias as a “bent or tendency; an inclination of temperament or outlook; especially: a personal and sometimes unreasoned judgment.” Gender bias further defines the construct whereby either males or females face unreasoned judgment or prejudice.

In sport, gender bias can be found at all levels and in all aspects of culture. Females have been the unfortunate recipients of most gender bias in sport. Gill (2000) uses the term “gender marking,” which refers to the use of Women’s Final Four in NCAA Division I basketball as opposed to the Men’s Division I Tournament, which is simply called the Final Four. These designations beg the question as to why the women’s tournament needs to be qualified and not the men’s. Similarly, the LPGA refers to the Ladies Professional Golf Association but the men’s is simply called the PGA (Professional Golf Association). The NBA (National Basketball Association) and WNBA (Women’s National Basketball Association) follow suit.

Are Sports Entrepreneurs Born or Made?

The age-old question rages on. Are entrepreneurs born or are they made? Back in 1985, Peter Drucker noted that entrepreneurship is a discipline that can be taught. This belief continues to be upheld by entrepreneurship education theorists Jerome Katz and Donald Kuratko. These men believe that students of entrepreneurship can be taught the skills, characteristics, and practices associated with owning and operating a business. Does this also hold true for sports entrepreneurs?

Aromatherapy Massage

Aromatherapy massage is the combination of massage therapy and the utilization of essential fragrant oils. This kind of massage therapy has been utilized within the body sciences for some time. Aromatherapy massage has been shown to benefit those experiencing pain and stress. Aromatherapy acts upon the central nervous system, relieving depression and anxiety, reducing stress, relaxing, sedating, stimulating, and restoring physical and emotional well-being (Motomura, Sakurai, & Yotsuya, 2001).

Overtraining Syndrome

Overtraining syndrome is a serious problem marked by decreased performance, increased fatigue, persistent muscle soreness, mood disturbances, and a ‘burnt out’ feeling. The problem has been well known for several years. Prevention is still the best cure, so athletes, coaches, and physicians need to recognize the early warning signs. Overtraining syndrome is due primarily to long term imbalance of physical training and recovery.

Developing Character through Sport/Athletic Participation

“Sport develops character.” This statement is heralded as a positive purpose of athletic participation in sports programs on all levels. This is contrasted by daily media reports of grave misconduct at every level of athletics. Numerous studies have been conducted to answer the question: “Does sport build character?” No specific consensus has been drawn by these studies, but they have generated a great deal of debate.

In Pursuit of Performance Excellence in Middle and Distance Running in Kenya

Excellent performances by Kenyan athletes in middle and distance races have projected the country’s image as a ‘world-beater’ in sport. Indeed, there are plenty of inquiries into what makes the Kenyan runners excel in middle and distance running. Several coaches have set up websites on “training the Kenyan way.” There are many assertions that the Kenyan way of training has propelled road runners to personal bests. Indeed, it is a credit to coaches who acknowledge the superiority of Kenyan training, as compared to many sport scientists who attribute Kenya’s success to genetics and altitude.

Reducing High Blood Pressure through Exercise

Hypertension (high blood pressure) is defined as a blood pressure that is greater than or equal to 140 mm Hg systolic pressure and greater than or equal to 90 mm Hg diastolic pressure. Hypertension affects millions of people in industrialized countries and it often occurs with other aliments, such as strokes, heart attacks, peripheral vascular disease, and kidney failure. Risk factors for high blood pressure include age, ethnicity, family history, obesity, diabetes, smoking, alcohol consumption, high cholesterol, and stress. Because many people do not know or recognise the symptoms of high blood pressure until a major health problem arises, the disease is referred to as a silent killer. If left untreated, hypertension can lead to serious health problems and death.

The Case for Combined Training

The best way to achieve fitness goals is often uncertain to the American public. The overwhelming amount of fitness tips from the media doesn’t help answer questions of “how” and “why” when it comes to fitness, health, and wellness. Questions remain. How should athletes achieve their sports fitness goals? How should health and wellness seeking individuals train for lifelong fitness? Are aerobic exercises such as jogging, biking, and swimming best for overall fitness? Is resistance exercise such as weight training better for athletes in power sports or for the aging adult who experiences the yearly atrophying of muscles?