Cohort C Presentations – December 3

How can we redesign a youth basketball league so that children improve their context-specific motor skills (like dribbling, defending, and shooting), increase the amount of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity children achieve, and learn meaningful psychosocial and emotional-regulation skills? During class on Monday, December 3, you will see four presentations on this topic.  A description of the problem and purpose of the assignment appears below:

Youth sports should be an ideal environment for children to learn and develop basic motor competencies such as fundamental motor skills, fine motor control, as well as a place to build physical fitness and achieve a recommended amount of moderate to vigorous physical activity (MVPA).  Youth sports should be an ideal environment where children can build psychosocial and emotional skills that can help them to adapt to the stress of life and take control of their destinies.  But more often than not, youth sports do not help children develop these skills.

The purpose of this assignment is for your group to propose a way to create a model youth sport program, where participants can truly improve their motor skills, attain a required amount of physical activity, and learn psychosocial/emotional skills.

A complete description of this assignment is posted here: Cohort C – Team Presentation Assignment

Basketball is the most commonly played sport for both boys and girls throughout childhood.

Basketball is one of the most commonly played sports amongst both boys and girls throughout childhood.

Each team has put together a blog posting that outlines their presentation and provides specific information. Prior to class on Monday, if you are not presenting, your job is to read over the blog posting, and then leave a comment on the team’s blog. Your comment should discuss the most interesting bit of information that you learned. There is no need to write more than five sentences in your comment, but I will be checking to see that you do respond. Feel free to visit all four sites, but you are only required to visit and comment the site designated below by the first letter of your last name:

In class on Monday, I will ask each of you to rank the four presentations from first place to fourth place based on the following criteria:

  • The group clearly indicated the problem they were trying to solve
  • The group presented a logical solution to the problem
  • You were able to understand what the group spoke about

This is a competitive presentation. Your rankings of the presentations will help determine the winning presenters. The winning presentation will receive an additional four points on this assignment. Finally, one question on your final exam will focus on this topic.

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Should youth athletes specialize in one sport, or sample sport experiences?

Here is a problem. Parents are often at a loss when making the decisions about whether their children should specialize in one sport at an early age, or sample a variety of sports until they reach high school age. The decision is not an easy one to make, because there is a lot of evidence to support both pathways. The intent of this activity is to inform you in greater depth about both sides of the issue, and allow you to inform your beliefs with the best evidence from each side.

Of course, this topic also makes a great exam question… just in case you needed another incentive!

Background

For the purposes of this activity, here are definitions of sampling and specialization:

  • Sampling – participating in a wide range of sports and other developmental activities until high-school age (~14 years), with the intent of developing a wide range of sport skills, and allowing the athlete to cultivate an interest in a sport in which she has a high level of interest and personal investment
  • Specialization – participating in one sport from childhood (~7 years) in the hopes of developing a strong skill set in the sport, which will enable the child to experience more success than his peers at any given level, and make him more likely to compete at higher levels of the sport (including the ability to compete for college scholarships)

 Goal and purpose of this activity

  • Comprehend the differences between specialization and sampling approaches to youth sport participation
  • Comprehend the advantages and disadvantages of both approaches

Assignment – due before class on November 28

  1. Individual readingThere are two readings assigned to prepare for this activity. The first details injury patterns from youth athletes, and the second provides an overview of talent development literature. Each student should read both sources as instructed below.
  2. Leave a comment – Your comment should highlight the most salient point that you took from one of these two readings. It does not have to be more than a few sentences.

Source #1

Preliminary findings of the ongoing study included 154 athletes from all types of sports, with an average age of 13. They came to Loyola Hospital for sports physicals or treatment of injuries. The injured athletes had a significantly higher average score on a sports specialization scale than athletes who weren’t injured.

Summary from Science Daily: Kids who specialize in one sport may have higher injury risk

Source #2

The process of talent development tends to follow a specific developmental process, in which the child maintains a high level of motivation throughout different stages of development. Each stage involves progressively more investment of time and energy, and specific skills are best learned in distinct phases. Throughout the process, supportive parents, coaches, and peers increase the likelihood that a child will invest the requisite time and effort to achieve sport expertise. (Read pages 34-41)

Report from the Institute for the Study of Youth Sports at Michigan State University:  Youth Sports: Talent Development and Sports Specialization (pages 34-41)

Full Report Reference:

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The special problem of youth sports

Here is a link to the Prezi used in class on Monday, November 26.

The five factor model for Game Change included in this presentation was presented by Edgework Consulting, Up2Us, and the Boston University Institute for Athletic Coach Education at the Change the Game Conference (April 27-28, 2012).

PREZI LINK:  The special problem of youth sports

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Policy statement advice

Here are a few things to consider as you revise your policy statement.

  1. I realize now that the term introduction is a confusing way to describe the opening paragraph of your policy statement. An introduction, in traditional writing, tends to “set the scene” with lots of pretty language. Instead, you should think of this paragraph as something that we call an executive summary. The goals for this paragraph have not changed, of course. This opening paragraph should:
    • state the major problems and give a sentence to put the problem in a larger context (i.e., “Michigan school children exercise 21 percent less during the school day when compared to their peers in California and New York.”)
    • identify what the proposed legislation hopes to change
    • identify how the legislation will actually work (i.e., “this bill will appropriate funds to hire qualified PE teachers, which will increase motor skill proficiency in young children, increasing their ability to take part in physical activity throughout their lifetime.”)
    • identify how the representative should vote (for or against the bill)
  2. Change the “options” section title to “decisions.” Again, the purpose of the section does not change, but the title makes it more clear what you are trying to explain. You should explain expected outcomes from voting FOR the bill, as well as expected outcomes from voting AGAINST the bill.
  3. Many groups have not considered the benefits of the opposing side of the argument. Most groups chose to fund K-8 PE classes, but most groups have not considered the benefits of funding high school sports. What are they? Do some research on this topic.
  4. My hope is that by the end of this class, each student will have a better understanding the difference between an “obesity epidemic” versus an “epidemic of hypokinesis.” However, many draft statements are assuming a link between obesity and hypokinesis and not providing any sources to back up this claim. Keep in mind that an intervention to increase the skill and quantity of movement is addressing hypokinesis.  So…
    • What evidence do you have that shows that more movement will successfully address obesity?
    • Does having increased movement skill and movement quantity have benefits other than reducing obesity?
    • What about its effect on reducing stress or risk for heart attacks?

A few other considerations:

  • Look up the name of your congressional representative in the State House of Representatives (not your US Congressman or US Senator). Address the statement to your congressperson.
  • When multiple studies have supported a finding, you should cite multiple studies. This strengthens your argument.
  • In the interest of space, you will be allowed to use a numbered footnote system to identify your sources. However, your reference list at the end of the document should be done in APA format. If the source comes from a Journal, then you MUST list the journal, volume, and page numbers – NOT the link to the article on the MSU server (i.e., “http://ezproxy….”).

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Two updates for Wednesday, Nov 21

Plan for class on Wednesday, November 21

In class on Wednesday (Nov 21), we will use our time for a writing workshop. We will have two purposes:

  1. How to write a strong introduction for your policy statement. I would like a group to volunteer their opening statement to be critiqued by me and the class. This could be beneficial for your group. Please contact me if you are interested in volunteering your opening statement.
  2. How to write a great iterative question response. FYI, you might see your iterative question as a final exam question.

I will not take too much time talking about these two topics to the whole class. Instead, I will make myself available to check in with each group to discuss your progress, as well as any other issues you are having.

Exam 3 scores posted

I have also posted scores for the third exam on Angel. Some important things to be aware of regarding scores on exam 3:

  1. I removed one item (#10, about “a teenage driver approaching a yellow light without thinking…”), as the test data showed that this question was poorly worded, and therefore misleading.
  2. The total number of questions was 70. Each item was worth 1.5 points. Therefore, there were a total of 105 points for this exam.
  3. Given my mistake in numbering the questions incorrectly, I spot-checked to see if there were major discrepancies for items #40-71. There were not. However, if you believe your final score may not be correct, please contact me, and we can sit down to review your test individually. This is something I must do on an individual basis, so please make an effort to meet with me no later than next Wednesday (Nov 28). I can generally meet after class until 1:30pm on Mondays and Wednesdays, but if these times do not work for you, please e-mail me to set up an appointment.

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Exam #3 Expectations

Exam three will be given Monday, November 19. Expect between 70-75 multiple choice questions. It will cover the following content:

  • Chapter 16 – Motor Delay
  • Chapter 5 – Fetal development, including the in-class lecture (which included content that does not appear in the textbook; PPT is in the supplemental readings folder on Angel)
  • Chapter 6 – Stimulation and deprivation
  • Chapter 7 – Growth and Maturation
  • Chapter 8 – Physiological changes
  • Interpreting growth charts; interpreting peak height velocity graphs
  • Cohort B presentations – examples of how the park environment and specific task constraints available from the park’s equipment can shape motor skill development
  • Structured controversy on predictors of health outcomes (fitness and fatness)

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What measures best predict health outcomes?

Here is a problem. You are a middle school principal with a student body that is not very healthy. Your school has high rates of obesity, low levels of physical activity, and because of recent cuts to your physical education department, your students show decreases in motor skill proficiency. This is very concerning to you, because you know that kids tend to form lifelong habits at this age. What will you do to intervene? This exercise (readings plus a structured controversy in class on Wednesday, Nov 14) is designed to help you understand what you can do to effectively intervene.

Background

Public health agencies use many variables to predict future health outcomes. For instance, you can predict a person’s risk for developing type-2 diabetes by age 45 by his BMI at age 16. In this case, “BMI at age 16” is a predictor variable, and “risk of developing type-2 diabetes by age 45” is an outcome variable.

It is very important to understand the relationship between predictors and outcomes. WHY? If we know what predicts an unhealthy outcome later in life, we can intervene to improve a person’s results on a predictor. So, if we know that BMI at age 16 is the strongest predictor of risk of developing type-2 diabetes at age 45, it makes sense that we should intervene to address BMI at age 16, through an obesity prevention program.

The problem is that high BMI at age 16 doesn’t occur in a vacuum. It is also shaped by other predictor variables, such as level of physical activity, motor skill proficiency, and diet (just to name a few). To complicate matters further, if we intervene to improve diet, but not physical activity or motor skill proficiency, our intervention can be compromised.

Fitness vs. Fatness

Predictor variables are typically measures of a person’s fitness or a person’s fatness. It can be difficult to separate “fitness” measures from “fatness” measures, because “fatness” measures, such as BMI or adiposity are often part of comprehensive physical fitness measures. However, for the purposes of this discussion, we are going to separate fitness measures and fatness measures according to the definitions below:

  • Fitness measures – general measures of cardiovascular capacity or motor skill proficiency, such as a one-mile walk/run, 20m shuttle run, standing broad jump, chin-ups, push-ups, etc.
  • Fatness measures – a measure of body weight in relation to stature, such as caloric intake, body mass index, or adiposity (skin-fold caliper test)

A chin-up test, or bent-arm hang test, could be considered a “fitness” measure.

Using a skin-fold caliper to measure adiposity is a common example of a “fatness” measure.

One critical assumption that gets made frequently is that if you exercise, you will lose weight. However, exercise does not always yield the same weight-loss effects for everyone. This can be problematic, in that if a person is trying to reach a target to lower their score on a predictor variable like BMI by trying to lose weight, and in the process, the person uses unhealthy practices, such as unsafe levels of caloric restriction (not eating enough calories, not getting a balanced diet), the side-effects can be detrimental. Side effects include not having enough energy to exercise, or worse, the development of disordered eating practices.

Goal and purpose of this activity

  • Comprehend the differences between:
    • “fitness” measures and “fatness” measures
    • predictor variables and outcome variables
  • Demonstrate how fitness measures and fatness measures could be used in an intervention program for school children who have unhealthy levels of BMI, as well as low levels of physical activity and motor skill proficiency

Assignment – due before class on November 14

  1. Everyone – Read the background study and then watch the ABC news health minute video linked below.
  2. Individual reading – there are four ScienceDaily.com briefs outlined below (Sources #1-4). Based on the source assigned to you by your last name, read the summary from Science Daily. You do not need to read the original journal article. You may read the Science Daily summaries for the other three sources if you want.
  3. Leave a comment – your comment should highlight the most salient point that you took from your assigned reading. It does not have to be more than a few sentences.

Everyone reads this background study

Fitness experts have argued that a focus on obesity and body composition feeds into a stereotype that “skinny = healthy” — which is not always the case, as Nancy Clark, a sports nutritionist, points out in her contribution about the importance of being physically fit:

Data from 650,000 people who were followed for 10 years indicates physically-fit-but-obese people live longer than physically-unfit-but-lean people.

  • 3.2 years earlier death for the active-obese
  • 4.1 years earlier death for the inactive-lean
  • 6.0 years earlier death for inactive-obese

An ABC News Medical Minute provides more background on the fitness vs. fatness question, citing a recent study by the Cooper Institute.

Source #1 – Last names beginning with Bah – Gol

Does compliance with physical education guidelines lead to increased student fitness?  Yes, according to this recent study in California.  “Researchers found that students in policy-compliant school districts were 29 percent more likely to be physically fit, as measured by performance on a 1-mile run or walk test, than students in noncompliant districts.”

Journal reference:

  • Emma V. Sanchez-Vaznaugh, Brisa N. Sánchez, Lisa G. Rosas, Jonggyu Baek, Susan Egerter. Physical Education Policy Compliance and Children’s Physical Fitness. American Journal of Preventive Medicine, 2012; 42 (5): 452. DOI: 10.1016/j.amepre.2012.01.008

Source #2 – Last names beginning with Gos – Lam

Techniques ranging from running to push-ups to sit-and-reach tests have been used to measure various aspects of fitness in children and adults.However, evidence is sparse on how well some of these techniques correspond to desired health outcomes in children, fueling debate about the best fitness measures for youth.

Full Report Reference:
  • Pate, R., Oria, M., & Pillsbury, L. (eds.). (2012). Fitness measures and health outcomes in youth. Institutional Report: Institute of Medicine of the National Academies. Washington, D. C.: The National Academies Press. http://books.nap.edu/openbook.php?record_id=13483

Source #3 – Last names beginning with McPh – Pier

If you maintain or improve your fitness level — even if your body weight has not changed or increased — you can reduce your risk of death, according to research reported in Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association.

Summary from Science Daily: Physical fitness trumps body weight in predicting death risks, study finds

Journal reference:

  • Lee, D. C., Sui, X., Artero, E. G., Lee, I. M., Church, T. S., Mcauley, P. A., Stanford, F. C., Kohl III, H. W., Blair, S. N. (2011). Long-Term Effects of Changes in Cardiorespiratory Fitness and Body Mass Index on All-Cause and Cardiovascular Disease Mortality in Men: The Aerobics Center Longitudinal Study. Circulation, 124, 2483-2490. DOI: 10.1161/CIRCULATIONAHA.111.038422

Source #4 – Last names beginning with Riv – Win

Adults over age 60 who had higher levels of cardiorespiratory fitness lived longer than unfit adults, independent of their levels of body fat, according to a new study.

Summary from Science Daily: Fitness Level, Not Body Fat, May Be Stronger Predictor Of Longevity For Older Adults

Journal reference:

  • Sui, X., LaMonte, M. J., Laditka, J. N., Hardin, J. W., Chase, N., Hooker, S. P., Blair, S. N. (2007). Cardiorespiratory Fitness and Adiposity as Mortality Predictors in Older Adults. Journal of the American Medical Association, 298(21), 2507-2516.

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Cohort B Presentations – Nov 12th

During class on Monday, November 12, you will see four presentations on the following topic:

Parks and playgrounds can provide excellent opportunities for both children and adults to build and maintain motor skill proficiency. However, some parks do a better job than others!

The four teams in Cohort B have been assigned to evaluate the movement opportunities at Ranney Park in Lansing, and then propose improvements to the park. The improvements must increase the opportunities to develop motor skill competence. The improvements must also address one other feature that the park currently lacks, such as improving the opportunities for increased physical activity, improving equipment safety, improving safety of the park’s surroundings, improving access for people of all abilities, or improving the park’s aesthetics.

Each team has put together a blog posting that outlines their presentation and provides specific information. Prior to class on Monday, if you are not presenting, your job is to read over the blog posting, and then leave a comment on the team’s blog. Your comment should discuss the most interesting bit of information that you learned. There is no need to write more than five sentences in your comment, but I will be checking to see that you do respond. Feel free to visit all four sites, but you are only required to visit and comment the site designated below by the first three letters of your last name:

  • Team 5 – last names Bal – Gos
  • Team 6 – last names Gug – Ko
  • Team 7 – last names Lam – Sab
  • Team 8 – last names Shi – Win

In class on Monday, I will ask each of you to rank the four presentations from first place to fourth place based on the following criteria:

  • The group clearly indicated the problem they were trying to solve
  • The group presented a logical solution to the problem
  • You were able to understand what the group spoke about

This is a competitive presentation. Your rankings of the presentations will help determine the winning presenters. The winning presentation will receive an additional four points on this assignment. Finally, a few questions from these presentations will appear on the third exam.

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The power of teamwork

The power of working in a group: demonstrated by otters fighting off a 13-foot crocodile.

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Growth Chart Exercise

For class on Monday (Nov 5th), we will be using the following growth charts – KIN360-Stature-for-age

For each growth chart, you will need to answer the following two questions:

  1. Based on the child’s height at age 9, predict his or her adult height. To do this, follow the “growth channel” for this child until he or she reaches age 20, and then check the corresponding height.
  2. Based on the child’s height at age 13 (or 14), and the timing of the adolescent growth spurt, will the final adult height be lower than, higher than, or about the same as your prediction at age 9?

Expect to see a similar question on exam #3.

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