Matching Items (24)

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The Youth Soccer Development Landscape in Europe vs. America: How the U.S. Can Improve Men's Soccer

Description

Why is it that soccer, the world's most popular sport for almost a century, has yet to become established in the world's most ethnically diverse nation? This question is especially relevant today given the recent U.S. Men's National Team (ranked

Why is it that soccer, the world's most popular sport for almost a century, has yet to become established in the world's most ethnically diverse nation? This question is especially relevant today given the recent U.S. Men's National Team (ranked 28th in the world) loss to the lowly Trinidad & Tobago (ranked 99th), thus failing to qualify for the FIFA World Cup for the first time since 1986. This represents a huge disappointment for the USMNT since they compete in CONCACAF, arguably the easiest region to succeed. The Icelandic National Team, on the other hand, recently secured their World Cup spot despite having a population of 330,000 and competing in UEFA, which is debatably the hardest region to qualify. This disastrous shortcoming by the USMNT represents the fact that the American system is flawed, and I painstakingly wanted to know why. I reasoned that good teams are made up of good players; good players must stem from a good foundation, which leads to my topic. Because the soccer development landscape differs across continents, this thesis contains a macro-level analysis of the youth models in Europe vs. America and explains how the U.S. can improve. Elite European bodies tend to be more established organizationally, have an abundance of resources, and is surrounded by a culture that praises the sport. While soccer in America is relatively new, often lacks proper resources, and competes in a society that favors multiple other sports. This thesis will elaborate on these differences through the example of the FC Barcelona Youth Academy representing Europe, paralleled to what many consider the best American program: FC Dallas Academy. An assessment will also be included regarding the Icelandic model of player development due to the recent success of their National Teams. Through this smaller comparison representing the larger issue, I will address the opportunity in this moment and how the U.S. can improve. This report will also focus on the men's game because the incredible success of American women at soccer is a very different story that warrants a whole other project. I gathered a majority of my project findings through the use of various books, online resources, academic journals, and data reports. This research has led to the conclusion that there are many factors that determine whether a group is successful at soccer. In the short term, American players should compete abroad if possible in order to train among the world's best. But in an effort to improve at a grassroots level, the United States should focus on providing the basic necessities, promoting an effective sophistication of soccer, and addressing issues that stem from pay-to-play. All of these subjects will be discussed at great lengths below.

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Created

Date Created
2017-12

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The Changing Landscape of Youth Sports: An Exploration of Youth Athlete's Perceptions and Experiences of Club Sport

Description

Youth club sport has become a dominant part of society and the forefront of many childhoods. Youth sport participation holds various physical, psychological, and social benefits for children but as this industry continues to expand, when poorly managed, sport participation

Youth club sport has become a dominant part of society and the forefront of many childhoods. Youth sport participation holds various physical, psychological, and social benefits for children but as this industry continues to expand, when poorly managed, sport participation can become detrimental (Meân, 2013, p. 339). In this study the experiences and perceptions of female youth club volleyball players (ages 15-17) were explored through semi-structured interviews with a particular focus on key areas of concern identified in the research literature: early specialization, overuse injury, and burnout (Hedstrom & Gould, 2004, p. 4, 15-37). A thematic analysis was used to explore these a priori themes alongside emergent themes that were identified: early motivation and perception, current motivation and perception, pressure and athletic scholarships, perception of high school volleyball, and schedules. The positive perceptions arising from the themes were addressed as a foundation to improve on the negative perceptions. Recommendations to reduce the pressure and stress associated with winning are made, in addition to proposals regarding the schedule of club volleyball in an effort to provide athletes with adequate rest period in order to reduce risks of burnout and overuse injury.
Keywords: youth sport, specialization, overuse injury, burnout, club volleyball.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
2018-05

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Mexican-origin circumstantial bilingual: the child, the parent, the advocate

Description

In order to adapt to a new culture and new language, children of immigrant families are faced daily with the responsibility of being the intermediaries between the family and the host culture through their language proficiency (Weisskirch & Alva, 2002).

In order to adapt to a new culture and new language, children of immigrant families are faced daily with the responsibility of being the intermediaries between the family and the host culture through their language proficiency (Weisskirch & Alva, 2002). This thesis looks into the experiences of English-Spanish bilingual children as they bridge the gap between the family and the non-Spanish speaking community through their interpreting/translating skills. With an emphasis on children of Mexican-origin, the goal is to further understand and illuminate how these children manage this communication in an adult society, their feelings and thoughts about their experiences, and the child's perceptions about the influence that this experience may or may not have on their future. A sample of seventeen children agreed to participate in a semi-structured face-to-face interview to share their experiences. The data from these interviews were analyzed using a thematic analysis approach (Braun & Clarke, 2006). A priori themes of circumstantial bilingual and adaptive parentification were the initial focus of the research while being open to emerging themes. The children's accounts of their experiences indicated primarily that the Mexican-origin values of familism and respeto (respect) were a significant influence on them when they interpreted/translated for their family. With these traditional cultural values and norms as the groundwork, the sub-themes of normalcy and stress emerged as supportive elements of the circumstantial bilingual experience. Furthermore, the theme of adaptive parentification and the sub-themes of choice, expectation/responsibility to assist, and equality to parents offered further insight on how adaptive parentification can result as the roles of these children change. There was an emergent theme, identity negotiation, which increases our understanding of what the circumstantial bilingual child encounters as the attempt is made to negotiate his identity as an individual who has to mediate language between two opposing cultures. Due to the language brokering responsibility that are bestowed upon these children, it is concluded that communicative support by the parents is a necessary component of the parent-child relationship in order to nurture and develop these children as they negotiate and create their identity to become the successful leaders of tomorrow.

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Created

Date Created
2013

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I will always be an American living in Mexico: women of the Mormon colonies

Description

The &ldquoMormon; Colonies” in Chihuahua, northern Mexico, boast a sizable population of women originally from the United States who have immigrated to these small Mexican towns. This ethnographic study of the immigrant women in the area focuses on questions of

The &ldquoMormon; Colonies” in Chihuahua, northern Mexico, boast a sizable population of women originally from the United States who have immigrated to these small Mexican towns. This ethnographic study of the immigrant women in the area focuses on questions of citizenship and belonging, and bolsters the scholarship on U.S. American immigrants in Mexico. Using data from 15 unstructured interviews, the women&rsquos; experiences of migration provide a portrait of U.S. American immigrants in a Mexican religious community. Analysis of this data using grounded theory has revealed that these U.S. American women have created a third social space for themselves, to a large degree retaining their original culture, language, and political loyalty. Their stories contribute to the literature on transnational migration, providing an account of the way migrants of privilege interact with their society of settlement.

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Agent

Created

Date Created
2013

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Community and identity in an LGBT softball league: constitution, practice, negotiation, and problematization

Description

This study situated a lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) softball league within the logic of homonormativity and queer futurity and explored how community and identity were constituted, practiced, negotiated, and problematized. The project endeavored to address the questions: What

This study situated a lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) softball league within the logic of homonormativity and queer futurity and explored how community and identity were constituted, practiced, negotiated, and problematized. The project endeavored to address the questions: What is the meaning and significance of community for the League participants? To what extent and how does participation in the League affect gender and sexual identity discourse and practice? And, in the context of the League, how are dominant ideologies and power structures reinforced, disrupted, and produced? A critical ethnography was undertaken to render lives, relations, structures, and alternative possibilities visible. Data was collected through participant observation, interviews, open-ended questionnaires, and archival document analysis. A three stage process was employed for data transformation including description, analysis, and interpretation. LGBT identified sports clubs, formed as a result of identity politics, are understood to be potential sites of transformation and/or assimilation. Although the League was imbued with the discourses of inclusion and acceptance, the valorizing of competition and normalization led to the creation of hierarchies and a politics of exclusion. The League as an identity-based community was defined by what it was not, by what it lacked, by its constitutive outside. It is possible to learn a great deal about community by looking at what and who is left out and the conspicuous absence of transgender and bisexual participants in the League highlights a form of closure, a limit to the transformative potential of the League.

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Created

Date Created
2015

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Bad ideology leads to bad behavior: why Muslim reformers must present an authoritative, comprehensive, and compelling counter-narrative to Islamism

Description

Belief affects behavior and rhetoric has the potential to bring about action. This paper is a critical content analysis of the ideology and rhetoric of key Islamist intellectuals and the Islamist organization Hizb ut-Tahrir, as stated on the website

Belief affects behavior and rhetoric has the potential to bring about action. This paper is a critical content analysis of the ideology and rhetoric of key Islamist intellectuals and the Islamist organization Hizb ut-Tahrir, as stated on the website http://english.hizbuttahrir.org. The responses of specific Muslim Reformers are also analyzed. The central argument underlying this analysis centers on the notion that such Islamist ideology and its rhetorical delivery could be a significant trigger for the use of violence; interacting with, yet existing independently of, other factors that contribute to violent actions. In this case, a significant aspect of any solution to Islamist rhetoric would require that Muslim Reformers present a compelling counter-narrative to political Islam (Islamism), one that has an imperative to reduce the amount of violence in the region. Rhetoric alone cannot solve the many complicated issues in the region but we must begin somewhere and countering the explicit and implicit calls to violence of political Islamist organizations like Hizb ut-Tahrir seems a constructive step.

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Agent

Created

Date Created
2010

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The Tea Party movement: grassroots advocacy at its finest, or highly-disguised astroturfing?

Description

Using models identified by communications scholars Herbert W. Simons and Charles J. Stewart, a rhetorical analysis was conducted on contemporary Tea Party Movement (TPM) artifacts in an attempt to gauge the movement's authenticity as it relates to grassroots advocacy versus

Using models identified by communications scholars Herbert W. Simons and Charles J. Stewart, a rhetorical analysis was conducted on contemporary Tea Party Movement (TPM) artifacts in an attempt to gauge the movement's authenticity as it relates to grassroots advocacy versus astroturfing. The models provided a theoretical framework in which the functions of social movement leaders were analyzed, as well as the rhetorical phases of a movement. Additionally, the notions of advocacy and astroturfing were defined and the concepts compared and contrasted. Used in conjunction with one another the models provided a framework in which TPM artifacts could be analyzed. Analysis was conducted on the websites for the Tea Party Patriots and Tea Party Express, a one-month sample of Sarah Palin FaceBook posts, two speeches delivered by Michelle Bachmann, and finally one speech given by Palin. Examples for each of the necessary rhetorical components identified were found within TPM sources, thus leading to the conclusion that the TPM operates primarily as a grassroots advocacy movement.

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Agent

Created

Date Created
2011

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Minarets of war: the way militants win a media war in the Muslim world

Description

ABSTRACT The goal of this study is to use neoclassical realist methodology to add to the growing body of literature explaining why America is failing so horribly in its media war with militant Islamists. The general argument being conveyed is

ABSTRACT The goal of this study is to use neoclassical realist methodology to add to the growing body of literature explaining why America is failing so horribly in its media war with militant Islamists. The general argument being conveyed is that inconsistencies in America's ostensibly liberal diplomacy strategy leaves it open to criticism and deprives it of the credibility necessary to muster an adequate rebuttal. To accomplish its aim, the analysis begins with an investigation into the origins of America's current liberal rhetorical approach. It is believed that with this sort look beneath the surface of the idealistic romanticism U.S. citizens have been continually conditioned to embrace, it becomes apparent that the grandiose pronouncements made by America's national political elite are actually based on rather dubious foundations. The evaluation then turns to a more focused rhetorical examination, which spans from the start of the so-called Arab Spring uprisings on December 18, 2010 to the delivery of President Obama's highly publicized State Department address regarding these demonstrations on May 19, 2011, in order to go behind the White House's official statements and uncover what truly motivated its policy decision making. The belief here is that a close review of the administration's abysmal performance during this historic period assists in making the inadequacy of America's current rhetorical narrative all the more evident. Finally, once the contradictory nature of contemporary American liberalism has been fully demonstrated, the last section concludes with an effort to explain why replacing America's liberal strategy with a straightforward realist stance is best for both American's relations with the Muslim world and America's overall security.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
2011

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Endurance sports for development and peace: Leukemia and Lymphoma Society's Team in Training

Description

This thesis explores the relationship between sports and human rights based on United Nations reports and literature within the growing Sport for Development and Peace (SDP) sector. Recognizing the benefits of sport (including physical activity and play), SDP posits sport

This thesis explores the relationship between sports and human rights based on United Nations reports and literature within the growing Sport for Development and Peace (SDP) sector. Recognizing the benefits of sport (including physical activity and play), SDP posits sport as an effective tool for achieving humanitarian, development, and peace objectives. Inspired by the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society's (LLS) Team in Training (TNT) sports charity training model, which provides participants valuable coaching in exchange for charity fundraising, this research looked at the contribution of TNT and endurance sports to SDP for individual and social change. Interviews were conducted with TNT staff and team members (who are recent or current participants of the program) in order to find out specific reasons about why people join the program and to identify the benefits of combining endurance training with charity fundraising and what impacts this had on personal life goals and challenges. Using thematic analysis to identify key themes from the interview data, the study acknowledged the program's successes in developing endurance athletes and raising money for LLS research and services but also found an additional dimension to the merit of the program. The accomplishment of completing four months of training culminating in the completion of an endurance event with the support of team mates and coaches provides a life changing experience for participants. The study concludes that positive impacts of the TNT program can be applied to other organizations, causes and social issues. In particular it showed how endurance sport not only has physiological benefits but can be used as a method of healing and reconciliation, can aid in advocacy and awareness, and promote individual development.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
2012

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Sub-par attributions: why women give up golf

Description

In the United States, recreational female golfers give up golf at twice the rate of recreational male golfers. This study explored the causal attributions of 240 recreational golfers after a practice session at a public golf facility. Attributions can be

In the United States, recreational female golfers give up golf at twice the rate of recreational male golfers. This study explored the causal attributions of 240 recreational golfers after a practice session at a public golf facility. Attributions can be adaptive or maladaptive after a performance and can influence subsequent motivation to engage in a similar task again. It was hypothesized that male and female golfers would make significantly different attributions for their performance and that female golfers' attributions would be maladaptive. As the attrition rate for female golfers is highest in the first five years, it is also hypothesized that women's attributions will become more adaptive over time and that attributions will be moderated by the number of years playing golf and perceived level of success. A survey was used to measure golfers' attributions and general questions provided data for the number of years playing golf and gender. The subscales in the attribution survey were internal control, external control and stability. Attributions are adaptive or maladaptive depending on the level of perceived success, so success of the practice performance was collected. The hypothesis that recreational female golfers make significantly different attributions than recreational male golfers was supported only by the external control sub-scale. Female golfers perceived their performance as significantly less successful than male golfers. Considering this perception of success, women golfers' attributions were maladaptive. The hypothesis that women golfers' attributions become more adaptive over time was supported. Time playing golf predicted a significant amount of variance for internal attributions of female golfers. However, the hypothesis that attributions will be moderated by the number of years playing golf and perceived success was not supported.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
2010