KU News: KU team partners with Indigenous community to bring positive sport environment to coaches, youths

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KU team partners with Indigenous community to bring positive sport environment to coaches, kids
LAWRENCE — University of Kansas researchers have published extensive studies on how evidence-based positive sport environments help athletes learn from mistakes, stay with sports and experience more positive development. Now, those researchers have collaborated with an Indigenous community sporting program to understand how the program can be effective with underrepresented youths.

KU School of Music to host Prairie Winds Festival
LAWRENCE — Nearly 100 high school music students from across the region will participate in the Prairie Winds Festival, hosted by the University of Kansas School of Music. The event Feb. 3-4 will feature several events, including master classes, ensemble rehearsals and concerts. Featured artist Mariam Adam, clarinet, will perform with KU musicians at 7:30 p.m. Feb. 4 at the Lied Center of Kansas.

Origin and significance of English Reformation revealed in new book
LAWRENCE — What began as a political disagreement between Henry VIII and Pope Clement VII turned into a seismic cultural and theological shift known as the English Reformation. But how this term was eventually coined – and how the event’s true origins have been renovated — is explored in a new book written by a University of Kansas faculty member.

Full stories below.

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Contact: Mike Krings, KU News Service, 785-864-8860, [email protected], @MikeKrings
KU team partners with Indigenous community to bring positive sport environment to coaches, kids

LAWRENCE — University of Kansas researchers have conducted and published extensive research studies on how evidence-based positive sport environments help athletes learn from mistakes, stay with sports and experience more positive development. Now, those researchers have collaborated with an Indigenous community sporting program to understand how the program can be effective with underrepresented youths.

Mary Fry, professor of educational psychology at KU, and Joseph Claunch, former director of the Zuni Youth Enrichment Program in New Mexico, previously collaborated on a study in which they found implementing a caring, task-involved climate in the football program at Haskell Indian Nations University led to higher athlete retention. Claunch approached Fry about implementing similar programs in the Pueblo of Zuni, a rural, Indigenous community. A KU Sport and Exercise Psychology Laboratory team secured grant funding from Olympian and KU alumnus Billy Mills’ Running Strong for American Indian Youth organization to fund a collaboration.

An article detailing the project was published in the Journal of Sport Psychology in Action. It was written by Fry; Candace Hogue of Pennsylvania State University-Harrisburg; Claunch; and Susumu Iwasaki of Fort Lewis College. Hogue, Claunch and Iwasaki all have degrees in sport & exercise science from KU.

The grant enabled a research team to visit the Pueblo of Zuni three times for several days each visit. Before implementing any coaching techniques or sport activities, the team spent time learning about the community, its history, culture, governance, art and more to build trust and rapport.

“When collaborating with a group, we know how critical it is to spend time in the community, get to know the coaches, and in this case learn about the Zuni culture,” Fry said. “This helps us create a genuine collaboration where we are building relationships and breaking down stereotypes. Without this approach, our efforts are meaningless and unhelpful. Our relationship with Joe Claunch was key in this collaboration. We hold Joe in high regard as a difference-maker when it comes to working with youth.”

The researchers then began training with coaches working with the Zuni Youth Enrichment Program’s basketball teams. They shared the difference between the common ego-driven sports climate in which coaches often yell, punish mistakes, reward star athletes and castigate those who are not as talented, and the caring, task-involving climate in which coaches encourage athletes of all skill levels, focus on mistakes as part of learning and provide positive reinforcement. To that end, the researchers replicated a study the lab has conducted on teaching people how to juggle. One group learns in the ego-driven climate, while another uses a caring, task-involved climate. The approach regularly shows the caring approach helps all participants learn faster and have more positive experiences.

The coaches also took part in drills and exercises they could use to help players. The article documents passing, defensive and layup drills in which the most physically skilled athletes help encourage the less skilled, and all participants and coaches verbally encourage each other. They also took part in activities in which participants shared why they began coaching, describing family members or others in their lives who were influential in their decision to coach youth. Coaches also practiced pre-game and halftime speeches in which they focus on positives and encourage athletes to play hard while having fun, whether they are winning, losing or playing a more-skilled opponent that can be intimidating to young athletes.

In all, the activities were designed to demonstrate a caring, task-involving climate for coaches, give concrete examples of activities and approaches they can use with their athletes and experience first-hand the psychological benefits of the approach.

“One of the things we’ve learned is that doing as many hands-on activities as possible is a great way for coaches who may not have a background in coaching, sport science or sport psychology to get involved and see what this climate can look like,” Fry said. “These coaches have great hearts and want to make it the best experience it can be for the kids. They seemed to come away excited to help the kids, especially those who maybe hadn’t had many opportunities or may not be as skilled as others.”

In addition to the in-person visits, the research team had weekly check-ins with the Zuni Youth Enrichment Program staff to share new ideas, monitor progress, reinforce the features of a caring, task-involving climate and to help build a sustainable program.

“There is a truckload of research informing what youth sport coaches can do to help young athletes have a great youth sport experience. It was a joy for our team to partner with the Zuni committee and support these coaches as they were trying to implement these best practices and maximize their team’s experiences. We are so grateful for Billy Mills and his support of this project,” Fry said.

“Mary Fry’s research on creating a caring and task-involving climate in youth sport is renowned in the field of sport psychology,” Claunch said. “When I was one of her doctoral students, I saw firsthand how powerful and positive a caring and task-involving climate was for the coaches and the athletes that were experiencing them. That is why I was so honored and excited to have Dr. Fry, Dr. Hogue and Dr. Iwasaki, all people that I learned from at KU, come to our remote tribal community and provide a workshop for our youth coaches. I have participated and led many coaching workshops over the years, but this workshop was my absolute favorite. With the help of this workshop, all the coaches wanted to provide a more positive experience for the current generation of community youth participating in sport.”

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Contact: Fally Afani, School of Music, [email protected], @MusicKU
KU School of Music to host Prairie Winds Festival

LAWRENCE — Nearly 100 music students from across the region will descend onto the University of Kansas Lawrence campus next month for the Prairie Winds Festival, hosted by the School of Music.

High school participants will join the School of Music’s world-class faculty for two days of music and learning. The event Feb. 3-4 will feature several events, including master classes, ensemble rehearsals and concerts.

The festival will also feature guest artist Mariam Adam, clarinet, a founding and former member of the twice-Grammy-nominated woodwind quintet Imani Winds. Adam has been invited for solo recital and chamber music concerts in several prestigious venues, as well as several festivals throughout the world. To learn more, visit Adam’s website.

On Feb. 4, the festival will host two concerts available to the public at the Lied Center of Kansas:

1. KU Jazz Ensemble I, noon
2. KU Wind Ensemble, Crossroads Wind Symphony and the Prairie Winds Honor Band with special guest Mariam Adam, 7:30 p.m.

To learn more about Prairie Winds Festival, please visit the event website.

Tickets for Adam’s performance are $25 for adults and $14 for students/youth, and they are available at the Lied Center Box Office or online. For more information, please visit lied.ku.edu or call 785-864-2787.

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Don’t miss new episodes of “When Experts Attack!,”
a KU News Service podcast hosted by Kansas Public Radio.

https://kansaspublicradio.org/when-experts-attack
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Contact: Jon Niccum, KU News Service, 785-864-7633, [email protected]
Origin and significance of English Reformation revealed in new book

LAWRENCE — What began as a political disagreement between Henry VIII and Pope Clement VII turned into a seismic cultural and theological shift known as the English Reformation. But how this term was eventually coined – and how the event’s true origins have been renovated — is explored in a new book.

“There is a lot of really vitriolic rhetoric at that time,” said Benjamin Guyer, a lecturer in the departments of Religious Studies and History at the University of Kansas. “And that often spills over into violence.”

His book “How the English Reformation was Named: The Politics of History, 1400-1700” (Oxford University Press) reveals that “reformation” originally denoted the intended aim of church councils, but it was subsequently redefined, first to denote violent revolt, then to “present a pristine vision of the English past.” This occurred while attempting to survive amidst political oppression, civil war and regicide.

“Today, people often assume those who perpetrated the English Reformation knew what they were doing. Henry VIII, Edward VI, Elizabeth I — I don’t think any of them had any sense of what they were really setting in motion,” Guyer said.

“When we think of revolutionaries – like a stereotypical Marxist revolutionary – we assume this is somebody with a manifesto. He’s got a plan. You don’t find many manifestos in the English Reformation. Those manifestos that come to more militant fruition in the 17th century are actually being done by Puritan revolutionaries; they are not being done by the English Crown.”

The Reformation took place in 16th century England when German priest Martin Luther radically revamped many tenets of Christianity. This was expedited by King Henry VIII’s decision to abolish papal authority and declare himself the head of the Church of England after being refused an annulment of his marriage.

Beyond the investigation into its naming, Guyer uncovered several other revelations about the English Reformation.

“There are two things over the course of researching this project in which my views fundamentally shifted,” he said.

“The standard narrative is that in 1517, Martin Luther nails up his 95 theses. Throughout the book I repeatedly look at, ‘What is the print history of Martin Luther’s writings?’ And you find that nobody prints the 95 theses. No doubt there are people reading them, there are books being imported, there are things in libraries. But at a popular level, this stuff just isn’t showing up in print.”

The second thing, the author said, is the assumption the Reformation’s main focus was on how Christians might achieve salvation. However, Guyer said Christians at the time were shaped more by Apocalypticism.

“While such arguments about salvation are present, there are a lot more fears and language about monstrosity: ‘The church is being deformed. It’s becoming a monster.’ The language is applied in this apocalyptic binary of reformation versus deformation,” he said.

Although Guyer said his book may “hit much closer to home in a British context,” he noted it does have consequence for those across the pond.

He said, “One of the lesser-known elements of the American Revolution is the fact that John Adams, our second president, did say we had to revolt against the British Crown because ‘they’re going to impose the Anglican Church upon us.’”

Guyer became interested in this topic when taking a master’s course about science and religion in 17th century England. One of the assigned readings was Thomas Hobbes’ “Leviathan.”

“It’s this big 500-page book about monarchy and political theory, and I’d never read anything like it. I thought it was just fascinating,” Guyer said.

Having earned his doctorate at KU with a focus on British history, Guyer returned last year to teach in two different departments at the university. His latest manuscript took him about 10 years to finish. (The last time he visited England was a decade ago when he went there on his honeymoon, and he admits he took off a few days from the merriment to do archival research.)

The English Reformation is now 500 years old, yet Guyer perceives it as an event with plenty of modern relevance.

“I write this book as an American, and the state of political polemic in this country today causes me genuine concern,” he said.

“When I look back at the 16th and 17th centuries, words don’t always lead to action, but there’s never any actions without words. I do fear we have lost sight and become enmeshed in these habits of vitriolic polemic against one another. The most applicable lesson is that we can become captive to our language. Language does become a kind of reality. We can talk ourselves into believing something, and that can be a very dangerous place to be.”

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KU News Service
1450 Jayhawk Blvd.
Lawrence KS 66045
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http://www.news.ku.edu

Erinn Barcomb-Peterson, director of news and media relations, [email protected]

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