Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
Sports Nutrition Knowledge, Perceptions, Resources, and Advice Given by Certified CrossFit Trainers
Sports 2017, 5(2), 21; doi:10.3390/sports5020021 -
Abstract
Background: CrossFit is a large, growing force in the fitness community. Currently, Level 1 and 2 CrossFit certification classes do not include nutrition education. The purpose of this study was to identify sports nutrition knowledge, perceptions, resources, and advice given by Certified CrossFit
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Background: CrossFit is a large, growing force in the fitness community. Currently, Level 1 and 2 CrossFit certification classes do not include nutrition education. The purpose of this study was to identify sports nutrition knowledge, perceptions, resources, and advice given by Certified CrossFit Trainers. Methods: An online questionnaire that measured these four constructs was placed on a private Facebook community, open only to certified CrossFit trainers, for 10 days. Results: Complete surveys were obtained from 289 CrossFit trainers. The mean Sport Nutrition Knowledge (SNK) score was 11.1 ± 2.1, equivalent to 65.3% ± 12.4% correct. The trainers perceived nutrition to be extremely important to athletic performance (9.4 ± 0.9 on a 10 point scale). Overall, the trainers graded their SNK higher than that of their CrossFit peers. The internet and CrossFit peers were the most frequently reported sources for nutrition information; Registered Dietitians were the least reported source. The Paleo and Zone diets were the most common dietary regimens recommended by CrossFit trainers. Results indicated a positive correlation between a CrossFit trainer’s self-reported hours of nutrition education and their SNK score (r = 0.17; p < 0.01). Conclusion: Nutrition education modules for Level 1 and 2 CrossFit trainers, developed with input from Board Certified Specialists in Sports Dietetics, are recommended. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Detection and Selection of Behavioral Patterns Using Theme: A Concrete Example in Grassroots Soccer
Sports 2017, 5(1), 20; doi:10.3390/sports5010020 -
Abstract
Observational methodology provides a rigorous yet flexible framework for capturing behaviors over time to allow for the performance of subsequent diachronic analyses of the data captured. Theme is a specialized software program that detects hidden temporal behavioral patterns (T-patterns) within data sets. It
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Observational methodology provides a rigorous yet flexible framework for capturing behaviors over time to allow for the performance of subsequent diachronic analyses of the data captured. Theme is a specialized software program that detects hidden temporal behavioral patterns (T-patterns) within data sets. It is increasingly being used to analyze performance in soccer and other sports. The aim of this study was to show how to select and interpret T-patterns generated by the application of three “quantitative” sort options in Theme and three “qualitative” filters established by the researchers. These will be used to investigate whether 7-a-side (F7) or 8-a-side (F8) soccer is best suited to the learning and skills development needs of 7- and 8-year-old male soccer players. The information contained in the T-patterns generated allowed us to characterize patterns of play in children in this age group. For both formats, we detected technical-tactical behaviors showing that children of this age have difficulty with first-touch actions and controlling the ball after a throw-in. We also found that ball control followed by a pass or a shot at the goal are common in the central corridor of the pitch. Further, depth of play is achieved by ball control, followed by dribbling and a pass or shot. In F8, we saw that depth of play was achieved through ball control, followed by dribbling and passing of one or more opponents leading to a pass or shot. However, in F7, we saw that players succeeded in advancing from their goal area to the rival goal area through a sequence of actions. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Neck Cooling Improves Table Tennis Performance amongst Young National Level Players
Sports 2017, 5(1), 19; doi:10.3390/sports5010019 -
Abstract
This study aimed to examine the effects of neck cooling on table tennis performance. Eight young, National level, male table tennis players (age 16 ± 2 years, height 1.77 ± 0.08 m, body mass 67.54 ± 10.66 kg) were recruited. Participants attended four
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This study aimed to examine the effects of neck cooling on table tennis performance. Eight young, National level, male table tennis players (age 16 ± 2 years, height 1.77 ± 0.08 m, body mass 67.54 ± 10.66 kg) were recruited. Participants attended four testing sessions separated by a week. Session one determined fitness levels, and session two was a familiarisation trial. The final two sessions involved completing the table tennis-specific protocol either with (ICE) or without (CON) neck cooling for 1 min before each exercise period (bout: 80–90 shots), which represented an individual game. The exercise protocol required completing three bouts to represent a match, each simulating a different skill (forehand, backhand, alternate forehand and backhand), against a mechanical ball thrower. Performance was measured by the number of balls hitting two pre-determined targets. Heart rate, ratings of perceived exertion (RPE), and thermal sensation (TS) were measured. Total performance scores (shots on target) were significantly greater during ICE (136 ± 26), compared to CON (120 ± 25; p = 0.006) with a 15 (±12)% improvement. Effects for time (p < 0.05) but not condition (p > 0.05) were found for RPE and all other physiological variables. TS significantly decreased with cooling throughout the protocol (p = 0.03). Neck cooling appears to be beneficial for table tennis performance by lowering thermal sensation. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Effect of Ball Weight on Speed, Accuracy, and Mechanics in Cricket Fast Bowling
Sports 2017, 5(1), 18; doi:10.3390/sports5010018 -
Abstract
The aims of this study were: (1) to quantify the acute effects of ball weight on ball release speed, accuracy, and mechanics in cricket fast bowling; and (2) to test whether a period of sustained training with underweight and overweight balls is effective
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The aims of this study were: (1) to quantify the acute effects of ball weight on ball release speed, accuracy, and mechanics in cricket fast bowling; and (2) to test whether a period of sustained training with underweight and overweight balls is effective in increasing a player’s ball release speed. Ten well-trained adult male cricket players performed maximum-effort deliveries using balls ranging in weight from 46% to 137% of the standard ball weight (156 g). A radar gun, bowling target, and 2D video analysis were used to obtain measures of ball speed, accuracy, and mechanics. The participants were assigned to either an intervention group, who trained with underweight and overweight balls, or to a control group, who trained with standard-weight balls. We found that ball speed decreased at a rate of about 1.1 m/s per 100 g increase in ball weight. Accuracy and bowling mechanics were not adversely affected by changes in ball weight. There was evidence that training with underweight and overweight balls might have produced a practically meaningful increase in bowling speed (>1.5 m/s) in some players without compromising accuracy or increasing their risk of injury through inducing poor bowling mechanics. In cricket fast bowling, a wide range of ball weight might be necessary to produce an effective modified-implement training program. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Body Composition Evaluation Issue among Young Elite Football Players: DXA Assessment
Sports 2017, 5(1), 17; doi:10.3390/sports5010017 -
Abstract
Accurate assessment of body composition is an important issue among athletes. Different methodologies generate controversial results, leading to a deep uncertainty on individual exercise prescriptions. Thus, this study aims to identify the differences between field methods, such as bioelectrical impedance (BIA) and skinfold
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Accurate assessment of body composition is an important issue among athletes. Different methodologies generate controversial results, leading to a deep uncertainty on individual exercise prescriptions. Thus, this study aims to identify the differences between field methods, such as bioelectrical impedance (BIA) and skinfold assessment, with a clinical method, highly accurate, dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA), among elite young football players. Thirty-eight male football players with a mean (sd) age of 16.7 (0.87) years, involved in the Portuguese national competition of U16 (n = 13) and U19 (n = 25), were evaluated and objective measures of body composition, muscle strength and football skills were collected by trained specialists. Body composition was assessed using BIA (Tanita BC-418, Tanita Corp., Tokyo, Japan), in agreement with all the evaluation premises. Additionally, all athletes were evaluated using the clinical method DXA (Hologic Inc., Waltham, MA, USA). Among the U19 athletes, three skinfold sites (SKF) were assessed: chest, abdomin and thigh. The Spearman correlation coefficients and the mean difference between methods were calculated. The agreement between both methods was analyzed using Bland-Altman plots. Among the evaluated athletes, lower mean values of body fat % were found using BIA as a method of body composition assessment compared with DXA (12.05 vs. 15.58 for U16; 11.97 vs. 14.16 for U19). Despite the moderate correlation between methods (r = 0.33) to estimate the percentage of total fat, the median of the difference (DXA vs. BIA) was relevant in clinical terms, with 2.90% and 1.47% for U16 and U19 athletes, respectively. Stronger correlations were found between the sum of the SKF and DXA fat estimation (r = 0.68). The Bland-Altman plots showed a clear underestimation in the evaluations using the BIA, namely among athletes with better body composition profiles (8%–12% of fat). Using BIA, an underestimation of body fat assessment was observed among 94.5% of the athletes with less than 12% body fat mass. Among the evaluated athletes, fat mass was underestimated at a median value of 2.21% using BIA in comparison with DXA. The sum of the SKF showed a stronger correlation with the reference method (DXA) (r = 0.68) than BIA. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Functional Movement Screen Scores and Physical Performance among Youth Elite Soccer Players
Sports 2017, 5(1), 16; doi:10.3390/sports5010016 -
Abstract
This study had two main objectives: (1) to determine if differences in Functional Movement Screen (FMS) scores exist between two levels of competition; and (2) to analyze the association between FMS individual and overall scores and physical performance variables of lower-limb power (jumps),
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This study had two main objectives: (1) to determine if differences in Functional Movement Screen (FMS) scores exist between two levels of competition; and (2) to analyze the association between FMS individual and overall scores and physical performance variables of lower-limb power (jumps), repeated sprint ability and shot speed. Twenty-two Under 16 (U16) and twenty-six Under 19 (U19) national competitive soccer players participated in this study. All participants were evaluated according to anthropometrics, FMS, jump performance, instep kick speed and anaerobic performance. There were no significant differences in the individual FMS scores between competitive levels. There were significant negative correlations between hurdle step (right) and Running-based Anaerobic Sprint Test (RAST) power average (ρ = −0.293; p = 0.043) and RAST fatigue index (RAST FatIndex) (ρ = −0.340; p = 0.018). The hurdle step (left) had a significant negative correlation to squat jump (SJ) (ρ = −0.369; p = 0.012). Rotary stability had a significant negative correlation to RAST fatigue index (Right: ρ = −0.311; p = 0.032. Left: ρ = −0.400; p = 0.005). The results suggest that individual FMS scores may be better discriminants of performance than FMS total score and established minimal association between FMS scores and physical variables. Based on that, FMS may be suitable for the purposes of determining physical function but not for discriminating physical performance. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Between-Session Reliability of Common Strength- and Power-Related Measures in Adolescent Athletes
Sports 2017, 5(1), 15; doi:10.3390/sports5010015 -
Abstract
The purpose of this study was to investigate the between-session reliability of common strength- and power-related measures in adolescent athletes. Seventeen adolescent athletes (males: n = 8: age 17.1 ± 2.2 years; height 175.6 ± 3.5 cm; mass 80.2 ± 3.6 kg; females:
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The purpose of this study was to investigate the between-session reliability of common strength- and power-related measures in adolescent athletes. Seventeen adolescent athletes (males: n = 8: age 17.1 ± 2.2 years; height 175.6 ± 3.5 cm; mass 80.2 ± 3.6 kg; females: n = 9; age 16.9 ± 2.6 years; height 178.5 ± 4.3 cm; mass 71.5 ± 4.5 kg) participated in this study. Isokinetic dynamometry, isometric mid-thigh pull (IMTP), countermovement jump (CMJ), and horizontal jumps (standing broad jump (SBJ) and single-leg hop (SLH)) were each performed twice on separate days, seven days apart. Reliability was assessed by intraclass correlation coefficient (ICC), coefficient of variation (%CV), standard error of measurement (SEM), and smallest detectable difference (SDD). Intraclass correlation coefficients and CV demonstrated acceptable between-session reliability for all measures (ICC > 0.63; CV < 11%), except rate of force development and impulse measures during bilateral and unilateral stance IMTP. Smallest detectable differences demonstrated that changes in performance of >7% CMJ height, >8% SLH distance, >10% in peak isometric force, and >5% in isokinetic peak torques should be considered meaningful, when assessing adolescent athletes. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Differences in the Dominant and Non-Dominant Knee Valgus Angle in Junior Elite and Amateur Soccer Players after Unilateral Landing
Sports 2017, 5(1), 14; doi:10.3390/sports5010014 -
Abstract
More than 70% of all knee injuries in soccer occur in non-contact situations. It is known that increased lower limb dynamic knee valgus is associated with such situations. Little has been found out about differences in knee kinematics of the dominant (kicking) and
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More than 70% of all knee injuries in soccer occur in non-contact situations. It is known that increased lower limb dynamic knee valgus is associated with such situations. Little has been found out about differences in knee kinematics of the dominant (kicking) and non-dominant (supporting) leg during a single leg landing. A total of 114 male adolescent soccer players (age 14.6 ± 1.1 years) from elite (N = 66) and amateur soccer clubs (N = 48) performed a single leg drop landing down from a box. For each leg, the two-dimensional dynamic knee valgus angle (DKVA) was calculated. Paired t-tests were used to statistically determine significant differences between dominant and non-dominant leg DKVA, and t-tests were calculated between the two performance groups. Statistically significant differences (p < 0.05) were identified for the DKVA between the dominant and non-dominant leg for both amateur and elite players, showing a greater DKVA for the dominant leg. Group differences for the DKVA between amateur and elite players were not found, neither for the dominant, nor for the non-dominant leg. It can be concluded that the non-dominant leg showed more stable dynamics than the dominant leg during unilateral landing regardless of the player’s performance level. This could be due to adaptions to sport-specific requirements. Therefore, it is recommended that programs to prevent knee injuries among soccer players consider the dynamics of each leg individually. Full article
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Open AccessReview
The Influence of Exercise Training on Quality of Life and Psychosocial Functioning in Children with Congenital Heart Disease:A Review of Intervention Studies
Sports 2017, 5(1), 13; doi:10.3390/sports5010013 -
Abstract
Children and adolescents operated upon for congenital heart disease may show reduced exercise capacity and physical activity, associated with lowered quality of life. This review presents intervention studies on the influence of an exercise program on quality of life and psychosocial functioning in
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Children and adolescents operated upon for congenital heart disease may show reduced exercise capacity and physical activity, associated with lowered quality of life. This review presents intervention studies on the influence of an exercise program on quality of life and psychosocial functioning in children with severe congenital heart disease. Participation in an exercise program among young people with complex congenital heart disease seemed to have positive effects on quality of life and passive leisure time spent. However, more effects of the exercise programs may have been expected. For future research it is important to critically evaluate the content of the exercise programs. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Seasonal Variation of Agility, Speed and Endurance Performance in Young Elite Soccer Players
Sports 2017, 5(1), 12; doi:10.3390/sports5010012 -
Abstract
The aim of this study was to investigate changes in the linear running speed (LRS) for 30 m, change of direction speed (CODS), and endurance in young elite Czech soccer players. The following tests were conducted to assess CODS and endurance: Agility 505
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The aim of this study was to investigate changes in the linear running speed (LRS) for 30 m, change of direction speed (CODS), and endurance in young elite Czech soccer players. The following tests were conducted to assess CODS and endurance: Agility 505 turning toward the dominant (A505DL) and non-dominant lower limb (A505NL); Illinois Agility Test (IAT); and intermittent test (Yo-Yo IRT1). During the soccer season, we investigated performance at the following time periods: the start (t1) and the end of the pre-season period (t2); during (t3) and at the end of the competitive period (t4). Repeated measurement analysis of variance revealed a significant effect of time period on selected fitness parameters (p < 0.05). Post hoc analysis for test A505DL revealed significant improvements of performance at t3 (2.71 ± 0.08 s) and t4 (2.72 ± 0.06 s) compared to t1 (2.81 ± 0.09 s). A505NL was significantly different between t1 (2.83 ± 0.09 s) and t2 (2.76 ± 0.09 s), t3 (2.7 ± 0.07 s) and t4 (2.71 ± 0.09 s). Performance of CODS at t1 for the IAT (18.82 ± 0.56 s) was significantly lower (p < 0.05) than any other time period (t2 = 18.52 ± 0.63 s, t3 = 17.94 ± 0.51 s, t4 = 17.89 ± 0.66 s). The power of LRS was significantly different at t3 (4.99 ± 0.15 s), and t4 (4.98 ± 0.17 s) compared to t1 (5.15 ± 0.21 s), and t2 (5.07 ± 0.14 s). For the Yo-Yo IRT1 test, we observed a significant increase in performance between t1 (625.26 ± 170.34 m), t2 (858.95 ± 210.55 m), and t3 (953.68 ± 229.88 m). These results show the impact of soccer season time period on young soccer player performance and may further serve as a basis for comparison with similar research conducted by peers. These results may aid sports practice for clinicians, conditioning coaches, soccer coaches and physiotherapeutic coaches. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Use of Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs among Participants in a Mountain Ultramarathon Event
Sports 2017, 5(1), 11; doi:10.3390/sports5010011 -
Abstract
The aim of this study was to evaluate and compare the prevalence of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAID) consumption immediately before, during and immediately after three mountain ultra-endurance runs that differed in their course distance. This observational study took place at the Ultra Mallorca
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The aim of this study was to evaluate and compare the prevalence of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAID) consumption immediately before, during and immediately after three mountain ultra-endurance runs that differed in their course distance. This observational study took place at the Ultra Mallorca Serra de Tramuntana (Mallorca, Spain), an ultra-endurance mountain event with runners participating either in a 112-km (Ultra, n = 58), a 67-km (Trail, n = 118) or a 44-km (Marathon, n = 62) run competition. Participants in the study answered, within an hour after finishing the competition, a questionnaire focused mainly on NSAIDs consumption. Among study participants, 48.3% reported taking NSAIDs at least for one of the time-points considered: before, during and/or immediately after the competition, with more positive responses (having taken medication) found for the Ultra (60.3%) than for the Trail (49.2%) and the Marathon (35.5%). Among consumers, the Ultra participants reported the lowest intake before and the highest during the race, while participants in the Marathon reported similar consumption levels before and during the race. In conclusion, a high prevalence of NSAID consumption was found among athletes participating in an ultra-endurance mountain event. Competition duration seemed to determine both the prevalence and the chronological pattern of NSAID consumption. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Change of Muscle Activity as Well as Kinematic and Kinetic Parameters during Headers after Core Muscle Fatigue
Sports 2017, 5(1), 10; doi:10.3390/sports5010010 -
Abstract
In soccer, headers are a tactical measure and influenced by numerous factors. The goal of this study was to identify whether changes in kinematics and muscular activity, especially of the head-stabilizing muscles, occur during headers when the core musculature is fatigued. In two
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In soccer, headers are a tactical measure and influenced by numerous factors. The goal of this study was to identify whether changes in kinematics and muscular activity, especially of the head-stabilizing muscles, occur during headers when the core musculature is fatigued. In two subgroups, muscular activity (12 amateur players, age 23.6 ± 4.2 years) and kinematics and dynamics (29 amateur players, age 23.7 ± 2.8 years) were examined during straight headers on a pendulum header. Data were collected before and after the core muscles were fatigued by an exercise program. Telemetric surface EMG, 3D acceleration sensor, force plate, and video recordings were used. Under fatigue, the activity of M. erector spinae and M. rectus abdominis was significantly reduced in the preparation phase of the header. The activity of M. sternocleidomastoideus was significantly increased during the jump phase, and the hip extension angle during maximum arched body tension was significantly reduced under fatigue. Jumping height, acceleration force impulse, and linear head acceleration were also significantly reduced. We conclude that fatigue of the core muscles affects the motion technique of the header and the activity of the muscle groups stabilizing the head. Therefore, the necessity of specific training in soccer should be emphasized from a medical-preventive point of view. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Functional Assessment and Injury Risk in a Professional Soccer Team
Sports 2017, 5(1), 9; doi:10.3390/sports5010009 -
Abstract
At the last World Conference on Sport and Physical Therapy celebrated in Bern (Switzerland, 2015), it was confirmed that the functional skills of an athlete are a very important variable to be considered in the recovery of an injury. On the other hand,
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At the last World Conference on Sport and Physical Therapy celebrated in Bern (Switzerland, 2015), it was confirmed that the functional skills of an athlete are a very important variable to be considered in the recovery of an injury. On the other hand, its use as a predictive risk tool still lacks solid evidence. The purpose of this study was to determine whether a battery of functional tests (FPT) could be used as a preliminary measure for the season in order to identify the injury risk in a professional soccer team in the Spanish Second Division B League. Fifty-two soccer players (ages of 25.3 ± 4.6 years, 10.33% ± 0.9% fat) were functionally assessed during two seasons (2012–2013 and 2013–2014) and analyzed from an injury perspective. A total of 125 injuries were recorded. The sample was grouped based on the number of injuries and the required absence days. Except for the bipodal vertical jump (CMJ), none of the functional tests revealed differences among the groups. The correlation study between the functional condition and the suffered injuries did not show any significant results. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Sex Differences in Countermovement Jump Phase Characteristics
Sports 2017, 5(1), 8; doi:10.3390/sports5010008 -
Abstract
The countermovement jump (CMJ) is commonly used to explore sex differences in neuromuscular function, but previous studies have only reported gross CMJ measures or have partly examined CMJ phase characteristics. The purpose of this study was to explore differences in CMJ phase characteristics
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The countermovement jump (CMJ) is commonly used to explore sex differences in neuromuscular function, but previous studies have only reported gross CMJ measures or have partly examined CMJ phase characteristics. The purpose of this study was to explore differences in CMJ phase characteristics between male and female athletes by comparing the force-, power-, velocity-, and displacement-time curves throughout the entire CMJ, in addition to gross measures. Fourteen men and fourteen women performed three CMJs on a force platform from which a range of kinetic and kinematic variables were calculated via forward dynamics. Jump height (JH), reactive strength index modified, relative peak concentric power, and eccentric and concentric displacement, velocity, and relative impulse were all greater for men (g = 0.58–1.79). Relative force-time curves were similar between sexes, but relative power-, velocity-, and displacement-time curves were greater for men at 90%–95% (immediately before and after peak power), 47%–54% (start of eccentric phase) and 85%–100% (latter half of concentric phase), and 65%–87% (bottom of countermovement and initial concentric phase) of normalized jump time, respectively. The CMJ distinguished between sexes, with men demonstrating greater JH through applying a larger concentric impulse and, thus, achieving greater velocity throughout most of the concentric phase, including take-off. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Effect of Post-Exercise Whole Body Vibration with Stretching on Mood State, Fatigue, and Soreness in Collegiate Swimmers
Sports 2017, 5(1), 7; doi:10.3390/sports5010007 -
Abstract
Static stretching (SS) during whole body vibration (WBV) has been suggested for exercise recovery. The purpose was to compare post-exercise self-ratings of fatigue (FAT), mood state (BAM), soreness (SOR), and perceived exertion (RPE) between SS and WBV+SS in swimmers (9 women, mean ±
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Static stretching (SS) during whole body vibration (WBV) has been suggested for exercise recovery. The purpose was to compare post-exercise self-ratings of fatigue (FAT), mood state (BAM), soreness (SOR), and perceived exertion (RPE) between SS and WBV+SS in swimmers (9 women, mean ± SD: 19.3 ± 1.3 year, 171 ± 5.7 cm, 67.6 ± 7.2 kg, 26.6 ± 4.1 %body fat (%BF); 10 men, mean ± SD: 19.7 ± 1.0 year, 183 ± 5.5 cm, 77.1 ± 4.2 kg, 13.1 ± 2.2 %BF). Athletes were divided by sex, event (sprint, distance), and assigned to SS or WBV+SS. Both conditions consisted of SS performed on the WBV platform with or without WBV (50 Hz, 6 mm). Sessions consisted of: pre and post measures of BAM, FAT, SOR; the condition; and RPE. Mixed factorial ANOVA were run. A significant condition by pre/post interaction was observed (p = 0.035). Post hoc analyses showed WBV+SS elicited lower post-exercise ratings of FAT (p = 0.002) and the BAM affective states, of tension (p = 0.031), and fatigue (p = 0.087). RPE did not differ between conditions. Of interest is the decrease in tension and fatigue noted by the BAM. Mood state can be indicative of how athletes adapt to training volume and intensity. Full article
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Open AccessEditorial
Acknowledgement to Reviewers of Sports in 2016
Sports 2017, 5(1), 6; doi:10.3390/sports5010006 -
Abstract The editors of Sports would like to express their sincere gratitude to the following reviewers for assessing manuscripts in 2016. [...]
Full article
Open AccessReview
Soccer and Relative Age Effect: A Walk among Elite Players and Young Players
Sports 2017, 5(1), 5; doi:10.3390/sports5010005 -
Abstract
Grouping people according to chronological age is popular in fields such as education and sport. Athletes who are born in the first months of the year usually have cognitive and physical development differences in contrast to those born in the last months of
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Grouping people according to chronological age is popular in fields such as education and sport. Athletes who are born in the first months of the year usually have cognitive and physical development differences in contrast to those born in the last months of the same year. That is why competitive teams tend to select older players more often than youngsters. Age differences between athletes born in the same year as well as an over-representation of older players are known as the Relative Age Effect. This effect is extensively described in young and elite team sports such as basketball, volleyball or, ice-hockey, as well as in soccer. The purpose of this study is to examine the state-of-the-art of the Relative Age Effect in youth and elite soccer players. This review summarizes recent research articles on the Relative Age Effect related to competitive soccer from 2010 to 2016. The systematic literature search was conducted in four databases: SPORTDiscus, Medline, EBSCO host and Google Scholar. Although causes and final solutions have not been clearly achieved yet, it is necessary to continue investigating this phenomenon in order to provide a starting point for future research. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Poorer Intermittent Sprints Performance in Ramadan-Fasted Muslim Footballers despite Controlling for Pre-Exercise Dietary Intake, Sleep and Training Load
Sports 2017, 5(1), 4; doi:10.3390/sports5010004 -
Abstract
This study examines the effects of Ramadan fasting on sprint performance during prolonged intermittent exercise in trained Muslim footballers, under controlled pre-exercise conditions. A within-group, cross-over study design with two non-fasted or Control trials performed before (i.e., CON1) and after (CON2) the Ramadan
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This study examines the effects of Ramadan fasting on sprint performance during prolonged intermittent exercise in trained Muslim footballers, under controlled pre-exercise conditions. A within-group, cross-over study design with two non-fasted or Control trials performed before (i.e., CON1) and after (CON2) the Ramadan month, and with the Ramadan-fasted (RAM) trials performed within the Ramadan month. After familiarization, 14 players completed a modified 60-min (4 × 15-min exercise blocks interspersed with 3-min intervals) of the Loughborough Intermittent Shuttle Test (mLIST) of fixed speeds of walking, jogging, running, but with all-out effort sprints. During the interval periods, capillary blood glucose and blood lactate measures were taken, rectal and skin temperatures were recorded and maximal voluntary isometric contractions (MVIC) of the dominant leg and hand-grip were performed to provide some indication to the cause(s) of ‘fatigue’ during exercise. Players were provided with standardized 24-h pre-packed meals prior to all trials. Sleep hours were objectively assessed and perceived training loads were monitored and these were equivalent between RAM and CON trials. Sprint times throughout mLIST were significantly faster in both CON1 and CON2 as compared to RAM trials (all P < 0.017; d = small to moderate), and this poorer performance in RAM was observed as early as during the first 15-min of the mLIST. Blood markers, MVIC and thermoregulatory results were not substantially different between both CON and RAM trials. In conclusion, despite similarities in dietary intake, sleeping hours and training loads between conditions, results still indicate that Ramadan fasting had an adverse effect on prolonged intermittent performance. Nocebo effects plays a dominant role during exercise in the Ramadan-fasted state. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Effect of Number of Players and Maturity on Ball-Drills Training Load in Youth Basketball
Sports 2017, 5(1), 3; doi:10.3390/sports5010003 -
Abstract
This study aimed to assess the basketball ball-drills workload analyzing: (1) the effect of varying the number of players involved on physiological and technical demands; (2) the temporal changes in players’ responses across bouts; and (3) the relationship of players’ workload with their
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This study aimed to assess the basketball ball-drills workload analyzing: (1) the effect of varying the number of players involved on physiological and technical demands; (2) the temporal changes in players’ responses across bouts; and (3) the relationship of players’ workload with their maturation status and training age. Twelve young male basketball players (mean ± SD; age 13.9 ± 0.7 years; height 1.76 ± 0.06 m; body mass 65.7 ± 12.5 kg; HRmax 202 ± 8 beat·min−1) completed three bouts of 4 min interspersed by 2 min of passive recovery of two vs. two and four vs. four ball-drills. The mean percentage of HRmax (%HRmax) and ratings of perceived exertion (RPE) were collected. Technical actions (TAs) (dribbles, passes, shots, interceptions, steals, rebounds, and turnovers) were calculated through notational analysis. Players’ genitalia development (GD) and pubic hair (PH) growth were assessed using Tanner scale. Results showed a higher %HRmax (p = 0.018), RPE (p = 0.042), dribbles (p = 0.007), shots (p = 0.003), and rebounds (p = 0.006) in two vs. two compared to four vs. four condition. Furthermore, a statistical difference was found for %HRmax (p = 0.005) and number of passes (p = 0.020) between bouts. In addition, no correlation between GD, PH, and training age with %HRmax, RPE, and TAs was found. These findings suggest that variations of the number of players involved affect ball-drills workload and that ball-drills training intensity varies across bouts. Finally, ball-drills elicit an adequate training stimulus, regardless of players’ maturation status and training age. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Content Validity and Psychometric Properties of the Nomination Scale for Identifying Football Talent (NSIFT): Application to Coaches, Parents and Players
Sports 2017, 5(1), 2; doi:10.3390/sports5010002 -
Abstract
The identification of football talent is a critical issue both for clubs and the families of players. However, despite its importance in a sporting, economic and social sense, there appears to be a lack of instruments that can reliably measure talent performance. The
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The identification of football talent is a critical issue both for clubs and the families of players. However, despite its importance in a sporting, economic and social sense, there appears to be a lack of instruments that can reliably measure talent performance. The aim of this study was to design and validate the Nomination Scale for Identifying Football Talent (NSIFT), with the aim of optimising the processes for identifying said talent. The scale was first validated through expert judgment, and then statistically, by means of an exploratory factor analysis (EFA), confirmatory factor analysis (CFA), internal reliability and convergent validity. The results reveal the presence of three factors in the scale’s factor matrix, with these results being confirmed by the CFA. The scale revealed suitable internal reliability and homogeneity indices. Convergent validity showed that it is teammates who are best able to identify football talent, followed by coaches and parents. It can be concluded that the NSIFT is suitable for use in the football world. Future studies should seek to confirm these results in different contexts by means of further CFAs. Full article
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