Archive for Vol. 12, 2021

Using “good” as feedback – meaningless or meaningful in sports contexts? A comment on praise and feedback on the personal level

by Katarina Lundin


Vol. 12 2021, pages 113–134
Published September 23, 2021

Foto: Anders Andersson/Studentlitteratur AB

Abstract

An issue in sports contexts as well as other educational contexts has been whether feedback on the personal level, often in the shape of praise, contributes to the progression of the practitioners’ skills. This article examines whether PEH teachers’ feedback on the personal level, using the word good, in specific contexts actually can contribute to crucial progress and empowerment of the pupils/practitioners. The empirical material consists of video- and audio-documentation from training sessions in athletics, jujutsu, and gymnastics, and from preparatory classes in Physical Education and Health, where the pupils were newly arrived immigrants in Sweden. As a complement, observations were made and documented in writing. In the analysis, Basil Bernstein’s superordinate concept code is used, which includes the principles classification and framing. A strong classification results in exclusion, whereas a weak classification can open up with respect to content. Correspondingly, a strong framing precludes, whereas a weak framing opens up towards a broadened and changeable concept. A strong classification and framing results in a separated code, whereas a weak classification and framing results in an integrated code. The integrated code is manifested in a shift in the balance of power and a loosened division of control between the teacher of the preparatory class and his pupils. Furthermore, the integrated code opens up for empowerment and the development of an identity, which per se contributes to a progression and development of the pupils. 

The conclusion is that, under specific circumstances, using good as feedback, in the shape of praise and on the personal level, is meaningful. It can even be considered effective, positive, and useful in certain sports contexts and aims at developing an identity rather than performance skills and at empowering practitioners. Feedback on the personal level does not primarily contribute to the progression and development of sport-specific skills of the practitioners, but its contribution to the empowerment of the practitioners, on the other hand, is obvious.


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About the Author

KATARINA LUNDIN is an Associate Professor in Scandinavian Linguistics, Centre for Languages and Literature, Lund University, and Guest Researcher at the Department of Sport Science, Linnaeus University, Sweden. Her research is focused on language use in sport contexts inside and outside school, on the one hand, and grammar and applied linguistics, on the other. In addition, she is involved with Swedish teacher education at Lund University.

Talentutvikling via studieprogrammet idrettsfag: En retrospektiv studie av unge fotballspilleres opplevelse av å kombinere videregående skole og satsning på en fotballkarriere

by Stig Arve Sæther, Anders Nygaard, Bjørn Tore Johansen & Martin Erikstad


Vol. 12 2021, pages 85–111
Published May 10, 2021

Abstract

Talent development at upper secondary school: A retrospective study of youth football players experience of combining school and football

The purpose of this study was to gain insight into how young football players experience combining sports-related upper secondary education with being a player at a high national level. More specifically, this study will look at players’ experience of the opportunity to complete a “dual career” (Stambulova & Wylleman, 2015) in the form of time and facilitation of investment in both football and school, and regulation of organized training in the form of deliberate practice (Ericsson et al., 1993) to optimize players’ opportunities for development as football players. The participants consist of eight informants who have all attended a sports study program in upper secondary school and were included in the senior squad of a club in Norwegian top football. The informants were interviewed about their experience of how it affected their development as football players. The results showed that the players’ motives for choosing a sports discipline were mainly based on sporting motives and to a lesser extent school-related, where in many ways they consider the sports program study program only as a tool to prioritize football and increase their commitment to a football career. The players also described a large degree of facilitation for sporting development with a holistic approach, although they sometimes describe large amounts of training, which they perceived as positive for their development, but also as a tough physical strain. The results showed a clear difference in favor of the best players who had a better organized everyday life compared to players with a lower skill level. Even though the school tried to facilitate the school subjects, this arrangement worked, according to the players, somewhat worse than the sporting one. An important function in this context was that the players had a contact person between the club and the school, who arranged between the two parties, to some frustration among the teachers according to the players, who perceived that the facilitation went too far. It may seem that the sports-related fields of study fulfill their purpose of facilitation, but mainly on the basis of the sporting and to a lesser extent in relation to the school subjects, with the exception of the study-specific subjects.


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About the Authors

STIG ARVE SÆTHER is an Associate Professor in sport science at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU), Department of Sociology and Political science. Main research interests; talent development, youth sport and sport psychology. His largest research project is a longitudinal 10-year follow-up study. Sæther is head of the research group: Skill and Performance Development in Sport and School.

ANDERS NYGAARD has a master’s degree in sport science from the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU), Department of Sociology and Political science. Nygaard is also a semi-professional football player in the OBOS-league club Stjørdals-Blink Sports Club.

BJØRN TORE JOHANSEN, PhD, is a Professor of sport sciences in the Faculty of Health & Sport Sciences, University of Agder. His areas of expertise are sport & exercise psychology, teaching and learning in higher education, and qualitative research methods. He is a member of the research group SEP-HEP (Sport and Exercise Psychology: Health, Education, and Performance).

MARTIN ERIKSTAD is a postdoctoral researcher at Faculty of Health & Sport Sciences at University of Agder. His research interests are centered around factors influencing athletes` development and participation, and covers topics such as expertise development, group dynamics and coaching. Martin is also a member of the research group SEP-HEP.

“I bow down in awe of them…”: Sports awards for Paralympic athletes and Olympic athletes

by Marte Bentzen & Kristin Vindhol Evensen


Vol. 12 2021, pages 59–84
Published April 19, 2021

Abstract

Paralympic athletes receive less media attention than Olympic athletes. Further, Olympic athletes are honoured for athletic achievements, whereas Paralympic athletes have been described as victims, suffering or heroic. Following researchers who have approached normativity and compulsory able-bodiedness in the light of hegemony and sub-hegemony, the current study explores whether sports media are sluggish when presenting athletes with disabilities, or if the picture is a more nuanced one. The context studied was the Norwegian Sports Awards (2001–2018). All introductions to the awards of the following categories were transcribed: Best male athlete, best female athlete, best Paralympian (2002–2012)/best male Paralympian and best female Paralympian (2013–2018). A six-step reflexive inductive thematic analysis was used to analyse the data (Braun & Clarke, 2019). The results indicated that the introduction of elite athletes with disabilities had some prominent hallmarks. Athletes with disabilities (‘they’) are different from those living without disabilities (‘us’). Athletes with disabilities are inspiring. Achievements of athletes with disabilities are placed in the shade, while disabilities are placed to the fore. An overall hegemony shows when best male and best female athlete are introduced: Female athletes are, to a large degree, described as developing and joked about in sexual manners, whereas male athletes are world-leading. This study provides the opportunity to learn from examples that balance the recognition of elite athletes with disabilities experiencing challenges in daily living with recognition of their athletic achievements. Thus, we suggest that this study adds nuance to the previous research within this context.


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About the Authors

MARTE BENTZEN is an Associate Professor at the Norwegian School of Sport Sciences (NIH), Department of Teacher Education and Outdoor studies. She lectures in Sport and Health Psychology and Adapted Physical Activity. She currently heads the Adapted Physical Activity program at NIH, where her research and teaching focus on the facilitation of activities related to adapted physical activity and health psychology. Other common features in Bentzen’s research have been how contextual characteristics influence individuals’ motivation and endeavours in contexts likes school, sport, work, psychiatric treatment, and rehabilitation.

KRISTIN VINDHOL EVENSEN is an Associate Professor at the Norwegian School of Sport Sciences, Department of Teacher Education and Outdoor studies. Her professional background is within kindergarten pedagogy and special needs education where she has specialized in intellectual disabilities. She lectures in Adapted Physical Activity and in PE teacher education. In research, Evensen has investigated subjective embodied experiences of children with severe, multiple disabilities. She has also described how recognition of the expressive body in movement can be a means when securing human rights also for persons with severe intellectual disabilities. Evensen’s work has been conducted within a phenomenological perspective as well as in a social understanding of how hierarchies emerge.

Stable Cultures in Cyberspace: A study about equestrians’ use of social media as knowledge platforms

by Lovisa Broms, Marte Bentzen, Aage Radmann & Susanna Hedenborg


Vol. 12 2021, pages 33–58
Published April 6, 2021

Abstract

New media habits in the era of digitalization challenge previous understandings of who and what receives media coverage. Research shows that practitioners in self-organized lifestyle sports consistently use social media to attain and exchange information and knowledge about their sport. Is this also the case in organized sport? The Internet has become a great resource for horse-enthusiasts and the online horse world can be described as an extension of the physical horse world. Equestrian sport is particularly interesting to analyze due to the fact that there is an animal involved. Still, there is little knowledge of how horse enthusiasts use social media in relation to their interest in equestrian sports. The aim of this article is therefore to chart and analyze how equestrians use social media, how they communicate horse-related content on social media, and how social media can be seen as a source for knowledge exchange. Our investigation focuses on how equestrians use social media to acquire information about horses, and how this usage can be explained in connection to age and experience. A mixed methods design is used and data is collected from 28 focus group interviews with equestrians in Sweden and Norway and a survey with 1,628 respondents. Our study indicates that practitioners of self-organized sports are not unique in using social network sites (SNS) to exchange and attain knowledge about their sport; equestrians in general are shown to be frequent users of SNS such as Facebook and Instagram. Although our results show a few significant differences in SNS use in relation to age; the riders in the different age groups have surprisingly similar views of their SNS use in relation to attaining information about the horse. ‘Stable cultures’ and the organized structure of equestrian sports appear to create boundaries determining where a ‘good equestrian’ should seek information about horse-keeping. However, the organized structure and traditional nature of this sport do not stop equestrians from turning to SNS.


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About the Authors

LOVISA BROMS is a PhD candidate at the Department of Sport Sciences, Malmö University. Broms has an academic background in Sport Management and has extensive experience as project manager within national and international sport. Her thesis will focus on social media, culture, and sport with specific focus on equestrian sports, skateboard and basketball. With her contribution “Negotiating Authenticity: A study of young equestrians and social media”, she was a finalist and 3rd  prize winner of the ECSS Young Investigators Award at the annual conference in 2020.

MARTE BENTZEN is an Associate Professor at the Norwegian School of Sport Sciences, lecturing in Sport and Health Psychology and Adapted Physical Activity. Common features in Bentzen’s research have been how contextual characteristics influence individuals in terms of experienced demands and motivational support. Within the contexts of sport, work, rehabilitation and school, she finds it of importance to enhance research-based evidence in how to support individuals so they will both have the energy and desire to continue to be in the context, seek challenges, and experience meaningfulness.

SUSANNA HEDENBORG is a Professor of Sports Science and an Associate Professor in Social and Economic History. Hedenborg has her academic background in economic history, but has examined sport from historical and contemporary perspectives. Particular focus has been placed on changes in children’ and youth sports as well as sports from a gender perspective. In Hedenborg’s research, equestrian sports have received special attention. Hedenborg is the president of the Swedish Research Council for Sport Science and the Swedish Antidoping Foundation.

AAGE RADMANN is an Associate Professor at the Norwegian School of Sport Sciences. He is a sport sociologist focusing on media, youth culture, gender and violence in sports. Radmann is currently working on research projects related to Swedish and European supporter culture; women and football; sport tourism; PE and digitalization; stable cultures; Covid-19’s impact on sports; sport and poverty in Romania; and how social media affects the sports landscape.

Klassresenärer i gymnastiksalen: En analys av de studenter som tog examen från Gymnastik- och idrottshögskolans kvinnliga gymnastiklärarkurs 1972

by Hans Bolling & Leif Yttergren


Vol. 12 2021, pages 1–31
Published March 9, 2021

Abstract

Social climbers in the gymnasium: An analysis of the female students who graduated from the Swedish School of Sports Science’s gymnastics teacher course in 1972

In the early summer of 1972, 69 young women graduated from the Swedish School of Sports Science and were thus given the prestigious title of Gymnastic Director. The aim of this article is to analyse the professional careers of the graduates. This is done by means of a collective biographical study of the 43 who answered a questionnaire. To widen the scope the answers have been compared with results from studies of  women who graduated from the school in 1893 and 1932. In terms of age and geographical origin the women who graduated in 1972 did not differ in any significant way from their predecessors. However, they differed from them in several other regards, including social background. Until the middle of the 20th century this education had been for the daughters of the elite, in the early 1970s it was an education for young and ambitious daughters of the Swedish welfare state with career ambitions. They were also able to sustain their careers when they started a family. In light of what we know about them, it is right to categorize them as successful social climbers, which thanks to the social broadening of higher education were given previously unseen opportunities to utilize their talent.


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About the Authors

HANS BOLLINS is a doctor of history and an independent researcher. His research interest touches on sport and history in the broadest sense, from local sports associations and physical education to the economic and social significance of sport´s global mega-events. Bolling has recently published books or articles on the history of one of Sweden’s leading ice hockey clubs, Sport and Sápmi, gymnastics in the city of Gothenburg, a chapter in a report for The Swedish Sports Confederation on social benefits of sport and with Leif Yttergren several articles on the professional careers and lives of Swedish female gymnastic directors from the late 19th century and onward.

LEIF YTTERGREN is an Associate Professor and senior lecturer in sport sciences at the Swedish School of Sport and Health Sciences, Stockholm. His research is in the fields of Olympic history, especially the 1912 Olympic Games in Stockholm, traditional games, as well as ski and track and field history. Yttergren is currently working on a project concerning the life stories and professional careers of physical education teachers in Sweden 1890–2020