Abstract: The aim of this study was to determine the effect of increasing the duration of the recovery periods separating serial bouts of small sided games (SSG) of football on technical skills (TS). Twelve semi-professional footballers (mean ± SD; age 21 ± 3 years; VO2peak 64 ± 7 mL∙min∙kg−1; playing experience 15 ± 3 years) completed two SSG sessions, consisting of 3 vs. 3 players and 6 bouts of 2 min, separated by either 30 s recovery (REC-30) or 120 s recovery (REC-120). Sixteen TS, including passing, possession, and defensive related variables, and exercise intensity (heart rate, rating of perceived exertion, time motion descriptors) during the bouts were measured. Repeated measures ANOVA were used to determine differences between-conditions, for TS. The number of successful tackles was significantly higher, and the average time each team maintained possession was significantly lower in REC-120 compared to REC-30. There were no significant differences for all other TS variables, or exercise intensity measures between REC-30 and REC-120. Overall, a four-fold increase in the duration of recovery separating SSG bouts did not alter the technical skill execution of players. The experience and skill level of the players, combined with an apparent regulation of effort through pacing, may have assisted in the maintenance of technical skill execution.
Abstract: The purpose of this investigation was to determine the influence of intermittent neck cooling during exercise bouts designed to mimic combat sport competitions. Participants (n = 13, age = 25.3 ± 5.0 year height = 176.9 ± 7.5 cm, mass = 79.3 ± 9.0 kg, body fat = 11.8% ± 3.1%) performed three trials on a cycle ergometer. Each trial consisted of two, 5-min high-intensity exercise (HEX) intervals (HEX1 and HEX2—20 s at 50% peak power, followed by 15 s of rest), and a time to exhaustion (TTE) test. One-minute rest intervals were given between each round (RI1 and RI2), during which researchers treated the participant’s posterior neck with either (1) wet-ice (ICE); (2) menthol spray (SPRAY); or (3) no treatment (CON). Neck (TNECK) and chest (TCHEST) skin temperatures were significantly lower following RI1 with ICE (vs. SPRAY). Thermal sensation decreased with ICE compared to CON following RI1, RI2, TTE, and a 2-min recovery. Rating of perceived exertion was also lower with ICE following HEX2 (vs. CON) and after RI2 (vs. SPRAY). Treatment did not influence TTE (68.9 ± 18.9s). The ability of intermittent ICE to attenuate neck and chest skin temperature rises during the initial HEX stages likely explains why participants felt cooler and less exerted during equivalent HEX bouts. These data suggest intermittent ICE improves perceptual stress during short, repeated bouts of vigorous exercise.
Abstract: Targeting the weekend to promote physical activity (PA) in children seems to be promising given that they tend to be less physically active and, particularly, as the age-related decline in PA is more marked during weekends. Considering the ambiguity of why children are not able to maintain their PA level on weekends, the aim of the present study was to objectively investigate differences in children’s spatial PA patterns between week and weekend days using the combination of Global Positioning System (GPS) and accelerometry. Seventy-four second graders (aged 7–9 years) and 98 sixth graders (aged 11–14 years) wore an accelerometer and GPS sensor for seven consecutive days to determine where children spend time and engage in PA. Time-matched accelerometer and GPS data was mapped with a geographic information system and multilevel analyses accounting for the hierarchical structure of the data were conducted. Differences between weekdays and weekends regarding the total time spent and the absolute and relative level of PA in various settings were found in both age groups. The findings support previous research pointing to the importance of targeting weekend PA, especially when children grow older. Future interventions should encourage children to use outdoor spaces more frequently on weekends, rather than stay at home, and to commute actively to destinations other than school.
Abstract: Grinding is a key physical element in America’s Cup sailing. This study aimed to describe kinematics and muscle activation patterns in relation to torque applied in forward and backward grinding. Ten male America’s Cup sailors (33.6 ± 5.7 years, 97.9 ± 13.4 kg, 186.6 ± 7.4 cm) completed forward and backward grinding on a customised grinding ergometer. In forward grinding peak torque (77 Nm) occurred at 95° (0° = crank vertically up) on the downward section of the rotation at the end of shoulder flexion and elbow extension. Backward grinding torque peaked at 35° (69 Nm) following the pull action (shoulder extension, elbow flexion) across the top of the rotation. During forward grinding, relatively high levels of torque (>50 Nm) were maintained through the majority (72%) of the cycle, compared to 47% for backward grinding, with sections of low torque corresponding with low numbers of active muscles. Variation in torque was negatively associated with forward grinding performance (r = −0.60; 90% CI −0.88 to −0.02), but positively associated with backward performance (r = 0.48; CI = −0.15 to 0.83). Magnitude and distribution of torque generation differed according to grinding direction and presents an argument for divergent training methods to improve forward and backward grinding performance.
Abstract: The main objective was to analyze a friendly match of youth elite soccer players identifying the variance of tactical and physiological response parameters during the game. In addition, detecting the impact of both halves on player performance. For the purposes of this study twenty-two U19 players were analyzed playing 11v11. Activity profile, heart rate (HR and HRmax), grouped in five different zones were analyzed via Bluetooth technology, technical performance was analyzed by the Team Sport Assessment Procedure (TSAP), and tactical performance was measured by Social Network Analysis. A comparison of heart rate responses showed significant main effects in the halves (p = 0.001; = 0.623). A comparison between tactical position and technical performance had significant main effects (p = 0.001; = 0.390). Tactical position showed statistically significant effects on tactical prominence (p = 0.002; = 0.296). Therefore, fatigue is a component distinguished in technical/tactical parameters, such as volume of play and efficiency index. Results suggest that fatigue effects may constrain technical performance and, for that reason, the use of instruments to monitor the fatigue effect during matches may be suggested.
Abstract: Freshmen college soccer players will have lower training ages than their experienced teammates (sophomores, juniors, seniors). How this is reflected in field test performance is not known. Freshmen (n = 7) and experienced (n = 10) male field soccer players from the same Division I school completed soccer-specific tests to identify potential differences in incoming freshmen. Testing included: vertical jump (VJ), standing broad jump, and triple hop (TH); 30-m sprint, (0–5, 5–10, 0–10, and 0–30 m intervals); 505 change-of-direction test; Yo-Yo Intermittent Recovery Test Level 2 (YYIRT2); and 6 × 30-m sprints to measure repeated-sprint ability. A MANOVA with Bonferroni post hoc was conducted on the performance test data, and effect sizes and z-scores were calculated from the results for magnitude-based inference. There were no significant between-group differences in the performance tests. There were moderate effects for the differences in VJ height, left-leg TH, 0–5, 0–10 and 0–30 m sprint intervals, and YYIRT2 (d = 0.63–1.18), with experienced players being superior. According to z-score data, freshmen had meaningful differences below the squad mean in the 30-m sprint, YYIRT2, and jump tests. Freshmen soccer players may need to develop linear speed, high-intensity running, and jump performance upon entering a collegiate program.