Health and Social Work


Ashley Rackley



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Ashley Rackley, HEW499: Independent Study
Faculty Mentor(s): Professor Leah Panek-Shirley, Health, Nutrition, and Dietetics

The purpose of this study is to explore the relationship between factors associated with performance within NCAA Division III male athletes. Factors that alter the athlete's performance are essential for trainers and coaches to understand, so that they can apply these changes to proper training and practice. Performance between pre-season and post-season is expected to improve within these athletes and is influenced by training regimens and competition, however, training regimen off-season may affect preseason body composition and physical fitness, and this may vary by sport. Psychosocial behaviors such as motivation may also have an effect on preseason fitness-whether it be positively or negatively. Those who show a higher internal motivation score have increased odds at better performance in preseason training, as well as those who have better self-discipline in reference to their workouts. Collegiate athletes pre-pandemic, pre-season, male soccer and football players, were surveyed about their source of motivation for exercise and completed anthropometric testing (body composition, BMI, and waist-hip ratio) as well as physical fitness testing (muscular strength, muscular endurance, and cardiorespiratory fitness). Increased autonomy and self-determined motivation for exercise was positively associated with greater cardiorespiratory fitness. These Division III male athletes had effects on their performance which were influenced by their internal motivations and other behavioral/psychosocial behaviors which also affected their overall physical fitness. Further research is needed evaluating any differences by gender, sport, and pre-post pandemic.

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Self-Determination is Related to Cardiorespiratory Fitness but not Body Composition
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