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Open AccessArticle

A Comparison between Learning Style Preferences, Gender, Sport and Achievement in Elite Team Sport Athletes

Discipline of Nutrition/Dietetics, Faculty of Medical and Health Sciences, The University of Auckland, Private Bag 92019, Auckland, 1142, New Zealand
United States Olympic Committee, 2800 Olympic Parkway, Chula Vista, CA 91915, USA
High Performance Sport New Zealand, Avantidrome, Hanlin Road, Cambridge 3283, New Zealand
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Eling de Bruin
Sports 2015, 3(4), 325-334;
Received: 14 October 2015 / Revised: 28 October 2015 / Accepted: 30 October 2015 / Published: 9 November 2015
Athletes have preferences for the way in which they internalize and process information, whether that is visual, aural, by-doing (kinesthetic), reading or a mixture of preferences. Health professionals that interact with athletes rarely consider the individual learning style prior to any communication or education, despite mounting evidence for the benefits of learning-style tailored education. The aim of this study was to characterize athletes with regards to their preferred learning style. Athletes (n = 93) from 24 sports and various sport achievement levels completed a questionnaire, including the visual (V), auditory (A), reading/writing (R), kinesthetic (K)/(VARK) Questionnaire for Athletes. Questionnaire outcomes were analysed by X2 analysis on SPSS. The main findings were: (1) very few athletes have a visual learning-style preference; (2) there was a significant relationship between gender and VARK preference (X2 = 13.84, p = 0.003); (3) and between athletic status and VARK preference (X2 = 9.2, p = 0.025); (4) there was a trivial association between individual/ team sport athletes and assessed VARK preference (X2 = 3.95, p = 0.265). Our findings show significant variation in learning-style preference between males and females, and those of different athletic status. Health professionals should be aware of the inadequacy of visual information presentation when working with athletes. Furthermore, health professionals working with elite and female athletes should be comfortable using a mixture of learning styles (multi-modal). View Full-Text
Keywords: sports; athletic performance; counseling; education sports; athletic performance; counseling; education
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Braakhuis, A.; Williams, T.; Fusco, E.; Hueglin, S.; Popple, A. A Comparison between Learning Style Preferences, Gender, Sport and Achievement in Elite Team Sport Athletes. Sports 2015, 3, 325-334.

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