Open AccessArticle
Relationships and Predictive Capabilities of Jump Assessments to Soccer-Specific Field Test Performance in Division I Collegiate Players
Sports 2016, 4(4), 56; doi:10.3390/sports4040056 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
Leg power is an important characteristic for soccer, and jump tests can measure this capacity. Limited research has analyzed relationships between jumping and soccer-specific field test performance in collegiate male players. Nineteen Division I players completed tests of: leg power (vertical jump (VJ),
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Leg power is an important characteristic for soccer, and jump tests can measure this capacity. Limited research has analyzed relationships between jumping and soccer-specific field test performance in collegiate male players. Nineteen Division I players completed tests of: leg power (vertical jump (VJ), standing broad jump (SBJ), left- and right-leg triple hop (TH)); linear (30 m sprint; 0–5 m, 5–10 m, 0–10, 0–30 m intervals) and change-of-direction (505) speed; soccer-specific fitness (Yo-Yo Intermittent Recovery Test Level 2); and 7 × 30-m sprints to measure repeated-sprint ability (RSA; total time (TT), performance decrement (PD)). Pearson’s correlations (r) determined jump and field test relationships; stepwise regression ascertained jump predictors of the tests (p < 0.05). All jumps correlated with the 0–5, 0–10, and 0–30 m sprint intervals (r = −0.65–−0.90). VJ, SBJ, and left- and right-leg TH correlated with RSA TT (r = −0.51–−0.59). Right-leg TH predicted the 0–5 and 0–10 m intervals (R2 = 0.55–0.81); the VJ predicted the 0–30 m interval and RSA TT (R2 = 0.41–0.84). Between-leg TH asymmetry correlated with and predicted left-leg 505 and RSA PD (r = −0.68–0.62; R2 = 0.39–0.46). Improvements in jumping ability could contribute to faster speed and RSA performance in collegiate soccer players. Full article
Open AccessArticle
A Three-Dimensional Movement Analysis of the Spike in Fistball
Sports 2016, 4(4), 55; doi:10.3390/sports4040055 -
Abstract
Due to its relevancy to point scoring, the spike is considered as one of the most important skills in fistball. Biomechanical analyses of this sport are very rare. In the present study, we performed a three-dimensional kinematic analysis of the fistball spike, which
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Due to its relevancy to point scoring, the spike is considered as one of the most important skills in fistball. Biomechanical analyses of this sport are very rare. In the present study, we performed a three-dimensional kinematic analysis of the fistball spike, which helps to specify performance parameters on a descriptive level. Recorded by four synchronized cameras (120 Hz) and linked to the motion capture software Simi Motion® 5.0, three female fistball players of the second German league (24–26 years, 1.63–1.69 m) performed several spikes under standardized conditions. Results show that the segment velocities of the arm reached their maximum successively from proximal to distal, following the principle of temporal coordination of single impulses. The wrist shows maximum speed when the fist hits the ball. The elbow joint angle performs a rapid transition from a strong flexion to a (almost) full extension; however, the extension is completed after the moment of ball impact. In contrast, the shoulder joint angle increases almost linearly until the fistball contact and decreases afterward. The findings can be used to optimize the training of the spike. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Identification of Defensive Performance Factors in the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa
Sports 2016, 4(4), 54; doi:10.3390/sports4040054 -
Abstract
The aim of this study was to determine the efficacy of defensive play in elite football, to identify variables associated with the direct recovery of ball possession, and to propose a model for predicting the success of defensive transitions. We analyzed 804 transitions
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The aim of this study was to determine the efficacy of defensive play in elite football, to identify variables associated with the direct recovery of ball possession, and to propose a model for predicting the success of defensive transitions. We analyzed 804 transitions in the final stages of the Fedération Internationale Football Association (FIFA) World Cup 2010, and investigated the following variables using univariate, bivariate, and multivariate analyses: duration of defensive transition, possession loss zone, position of players at the start and end of the defensive transitions, defensive organization, general defensive approach, time of the match, position of defense, zone in which the offensive transition ends, match status, and outcome of the defensive transition. We found that the defensive transitions started most frequently in the middle offensive zone (48.9%), with an organized defense set-up (98.8%), and were unsuccessful on 57.2% of occasions. The bivariate analysis showed that the variable most strongly associated with direct recovery of the possession of the ball (p = 0.018) is the area in which the ball is lost, and the multivariate analysis showed that the duration of the defensive transition can be used as a performance indicator, with transitions lasting between 0 and 15 s associated with a higher likelihood of directly recovering the ball. This work has allowed us to identify a pattern of tactical-strategic behavior with major probabilities of success in the defensive transitions. These results will be able to be used by coaches to improve the performance of their teams in this type of situation in the game. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Goal Format in Small-Sided Soccer Games: Technical Actions and Offensive Scenarios of Prepubescent Players
Sports 2016, 4(4), 53; doi:10.3390/sports4040053 -
Abstract
The aim of this study was to investigate the influence of the number of goal-posts and the positioning of goal-posts used within small-sided games on the frequency of technical actions and offensive scenarios performed by prepubescent players within soccer. The participants were eight
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The aim of this study was to investigate the influence of the number of goal-posts and the positioning of goal-posts used within small-sided games on the frequency of technical actions and offensive scenarios performed by prepubescent players within soccer. The participants were eight male prepubescent soccer players (12.1 ± 0.5 years). The participants were video recorded for 20 min playing four different formats of 4v4 small-sided games: (1) standard two goal game; (2) four goal game, one goal in each corner; (3) two goal game with goal-posts positioned 9.14 m/10 yd infield, scoring only through the back of the goal; (4) four goal-game, one goal positioned 9.14 m/10 yd infield in each corner, scoring through either the front or back of each goal. Chi-squared tests of independence were utilized to statistically explore the impact of the different small-sided game formats. There were significant associations (p < 0.05) observed between the different small-sided game formats and the frequency of turns, dribbles, shots, goals and overlaps performed. For example, players performed more turns in small-sided game format two and more shots during small-sided game format four. It is suggested coaches should consider using a variation of the number and positioning of goal-posts in small-sided games as an effective training tool in the development of prepubescent soccer players. This will enable coaches to vary the focus of sessions, and develop specific technical and tactical actions within a situation similar to that of real match-play. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Relationship between Procedural Tactical Knowledge and Specific Motor Skills in Young Soccer Players
Sports 2016, 4(4), 52; doi:10.3390/sports4040052 -
Abstract
The purpose of this study was to investigate the association between offensive tactical knowledge and the soccer-specific motor skills performance. Fifteen participants were submitted to two evaluation tests, one to assess their technical and tactical analysis. The motor skills performance was measured through
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The purpose of this study was to investigate the association between offensive tactical knowledge and the soccer-specific motor skills performance. Fifteen participants were submitted to two evaluation tests, one to assess their technical and tactical analysis. The motor skills performance was measured through four tests of technical soccer skills: ball control, shooting, passing and dribbling. The tactical performance was based on a tactical assessment system called FUT-SAT (Analyses of Procedural Tactical Knowledge in Soccer). Afterwards, technical and tactical evaluation scores were ranked with and without the use of the cluster method. A positive, weak correlation was perceived in both analyses (rho = 0.39, not significant p = 0.14 (with cluster analysis); and rho = 0.35; not significant p = 0.20 (without cluster analysis)). We can conclude that there was a weak association between the technical and the offensive tactical knowledge. This shows the need to reflect on the use of such tests to assess technical skills in team sports since they do not take into account the variability and unpredictability of game actions and disregard the inherent needs to assess such skill performance in the game. Full article
Open AccessReview
Supplementation Strategies to Reduce Muscle Damage and Improve Recovery Following Exercise in Females: A Systematic Review
Sports 2016, 4(4), 51; doi:10.3390/sports4040051 -
Abstract
Exercise-induced muscle damage (EIMD) caused by unaccustomed or strenuous exercise can result in reduced muscle force, increased muscle soreness, increased intramuscular proteins in the blood, and reduced performance. Pre- and post-exercise optimal nutritional intake is important to assist with muscle-damage repair and reconditioning
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Exercise-induced muscle damage (EIMD) caused by unaccustomed or strenuous exercise can result in reduced muscle force, increased muscle soreness, increased intramuscular proteins in the blood, and reduced performance. Pre- and post-exercise optimal nutritional intake is important to assist with muscle-damage repair and reconditioning to allow for an accelerated recovery. The increased demand for training and competing on consecutive days has led to a variety of intervention strategies being used to reduce the negative effects of EIMD. Nutritional intervention strategies are largely tested on male participants, and few report on sex-related differences relating to the effects of the interventions employed. This review focuses on nutritional intervention strategies employed to negate the effects of EIMD, focussing solely on females. Full article
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Open AccessFeature PaperReview
Vegetarian, Gluten-Free, and Energy Restricted Diets in Female Athletes
Sports 2016, 4(4), 50; doi:10.3390/sports4040050 -
Abstract
Female athletes who follow a diet that fails to meet energy and nutrient needs are at risk for musculoskeletal injuries, menstrual disturbances, and poor sports performance. Common nutritional concerns for the female athlete include low energy availability (EA) (i.e., energy intake from food
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Female athletes who follow a diet that fails to meet energy and nutrient needs are at risk for musculoskeletal injuries, menstrual disturbances, and poor sports performance. Common nutritional concerns for the female athlete include low energy availability (EA) (i.e., energy intake from food remaining for metabolic processes after accounting for energy expended during exercise) and inadequate dietary intakes (i.e., not meeting sports nutrition guidelines) of carbohydrates, protein, essential fatty acids (EFAs), B-vitamins, calcium, iron, and vitamin D. Low EA and the associated nutrient deficiencies are more common in athletes who compete in weight-sensitive sports (i.e., aesthetic, gravitational, and weight category sports) because low body fat and mass confer a competitive advantage. Other athletes at risk for energy and nutrient deficits include athletes following a vegetarian or gluten-free diet (GFD). Careful dietary planning can help an athlete meet energy and nutrient needs. This review covers the nutrition issues associated with low EA and special diets (i.e., vegetarian and GFD) and describes strategies to help female athletes meet their energy and nutrient needs. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Effect of Carbohydrate Intake on Maximal Power Output and Cognitive Performances
Sports 2016, 4(4), 49; doi:10.3390/sports4040049 -
Abstract
The present study aimed to assess the beneficial effect of acute carbohydrate (7% CHO) intake on muscular and cognitive performances. Seventeen high levels athletes in explosive sports (fencing and squash) participated in a randomized, double-blind study consisting in series of 6 sprints (5s)
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The present study aimed to assess the beneficial effect of acute carbohydrate (7% CHO) intake on muscular and cognitive performances. Seventeen high levels athletes in explosive sports (fencing and squash) participated in a randomized, double-blind study consisting in series of 6 sprints (5s) with a passive recovery (25s) followed by 15 min submaximal cycling after either maltodextrine and fructose (CHO) or placebo (Pl) intake. Cognitive performances were assessed before and after sprint exercise using a simple reaction time (SRT) task at rest, a visual scanning task (VS) and a Go/Nogo task (GNG) during a submaximal cycling exercise. Results showed a beneficial effect of exercise on VS task on both conditions (Pl: −283 ms; CHO: −423 ms) and on SRT only during CHO condition (−26 ms). In the CHO condition, SRT was faster after exercise whereas no effect of exercise was observed in the Pl condition. According to a qualitative statistical method, a most likely and likely positive effect of CHO was respectively observed on peak power (+4%) and tiredness (−23%) when compared to Pl. Furthermore, a very likely positive effect of CHO was observed on SRT (−8%) and a likely positive effect on visual scanning (−6%) and Go/Nogo tasks (−4%) without any change in accuracy. In conclusion acute ingestion of 250 mL of CHO, 60 min and 30 min before exercise, improve peak power output, decrease muscular tiredness and speed up information processing and visual detection without changing accuracy. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Muscle- and Mode-Specific Responses of the Forearm Flexors to Fatiguing, Concentric Muscle Actions
Sports 2016, 4(4), 47; doi:10.3390/sports4040047 -
Abstract
Background: Electromyographic (EMG) and mechanomyographic (MMG) studies of fatigue have generally utilized maximal isometric or dynamic muscle actions, but sport- and work-related activities involve predominately submaximal movements. Therefore, the purpose of the present investigation was to examine the torque, EMG, and MMG responses
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Background: Electromyographic (EMG) and mechanomyographic (MMG) studies of fatigue have generally utilized maximal isometric or dynamic muscle actions, but sport- and work-related activities involve predominately submaximal movements. Therefore, the purpose of the present investigation was to examine the torque, EMG, and MMG responses as a result of submaximal, concentric, isokinetic, forearm flexion muscle actions. Methods: Twelve men performed concentric peak torque (PT) and isometric PT trials before (pretest) and after (posttest) performing 50 submaximal (65% of concentric PT), concentric, isokinetic (60°·s−1), forearm flexion muscle actions. Surface EMG and MMG signals were simultaneously recorded from the biceps brachii and brachioradialis muscles. Results: The results of the present study indicated similar decreases during both the concentric PT and isometric PT measurements for torque, EMG mean power frequency (MPF), and MMG MPF following the fatiguing workbout, but no changes in EMG amplitude (AMP) or MMG AMP. Conclusions: These findings suggest that decreases in torque as a result of fatiguing, dynamic muscle actions may have been due to the effects of metabolic byproducts on excitation–contraction coupling as indicated by the decreases in EMG MPF and MMG MPF, but lack of changes in EMG AMP and MMG AMP from both the biceps brachii and brachioradialis muscles. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Comparıson of the Heart Rate and Blood Lactate Responses of Different Small Sided Games in Young Soccer Players
Sports 2016, 4(4), 48; doi:10.3390/sports4040048 -
Abstract
The purpose of this study was to compare the percentage of maximum heart rate (%HRmax), blood lactate (La), and rating of perceived exertion (RPE, CR-10) responses across different formats of small-sided games (SSG) in elite young soccer players. Fourteen players (average
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The purpose of this study was to compare the percentage of maximum heart rate (%HRmax), blood lactate (La), and rating of perceived exertion (RPE, CR-10) responses across different formats of small-sided games (SSG) in elite young soccer players. Fourteen players (average age 16.7 ± 0.6 years; height 177.6 ± 4.1 cm; body mass 66.3 ± 4.7 kg; average training age 6.7 ± 1.6 years; percentage of body fat 8.4 ± 2.6%) volunteered to perform the YoYo intermittent recovery test (level 1) and eight bouts of soccer drills including 2-a-side, 3-a-side, and 4-a-side games without goalkeepers in random order at two-day intervals. Heart rates were monitored throughout the SSGs, whereas the RPE and venous blood lactate were determined at the end of the last bout of each SSG. The differences in La, %HRmax, and RPE either across the different SSGs or between the bouts were identified using 3 × 8 (games × exercise bouts) two-way analysis of variance with repeated measures. Significant differences were found in terms of La, RPE, and %HRmax among the different types of SSG (p ≤ 0.05). 3-a-side and 4-a-side games elicited significantly higher responses than 2-a-side games in terms of %HRmax (p ≤ 0.05), whereas 4-a-side games resulted in significantly lower La and RPE responses compared to 2-a-side and 3-a-side games. The results of this study show that physiological responses differ according to the numbers of players involved in small-sided games. Therefore, it can be concluded that 3-a-side and 4-a-side games could be more effective in improving high intensity aerobic performance than 2-a-side games, which in turn are more appropriate for developing anaerobic performance. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Airflow-Restricting Mask Reduces Acute Performance in Resistance Exercise
Sports 2016, 4(4), 46; doi:10.3390/sports4040046 -
Abstract
Background: The aim of this study was to compare the number of repetitions to volitional failure, the blood lactate concentration, and the perceived exertion to resistance training with and without an airflow-restricting mask. Methods: Eight participants participated in a randomized, counterbalanced, crossover study.
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Background: The aim of this study was to compare the number of repetitions to volitional failure, the blood lactate concentration, and the perceived exertion to resistance training with and without an airflow-restricting mask. Methods: Eight participants participated in a randomized, counterbalanced, crossover study. Participants were assigned to an airflow-restricting mask group (MASK) or a control group (CONT) and completed five sets of chest presses and parallel squats until failure at 75% one-repetition-maximum test (1RM) with 60 s of rest between sets. Ratings of perceived exertion (RPEs), blood lactate concentrations (Lac), and total repetitions were taken after the training session. Results: MASK total repetitions were lower than those of the CONT, and (Lac) and MASK RPEs were higher than those of the CONT in both exercises. Conclusions: We conclude that an airflow-restricting mask in combination with resistance training increase perceptions of exertion and decrease muscular performance and lactate concentrations when compared to resistance training without this accessory. This evidence shows that the airflow-restricting mask may change the central nervous system and stop the exercise beforehand to prevent some biological damage. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Coffee and Caffeine Ingestion Have Little Effect on Repeated Sprint Cycling in Relatively Untrained Males
Sports 2016, 4(3), 45; doi:10.3390/sports4030045 -
Abstract
The present study investigated the effect of ingesting caffeine-dose-matched anhydrous caffeine or coffee on the performance of repeated sprints. Twelve recreationally active males (mean ± SD age: 22 ± 2 years, height: 1.78 ± 0.07 m, body mass: 81 ± 16 kg) completed
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The present study investigated the effect of ingesting caffeine-dose-matched anhydrous caffeine or coffee on the performance of repeated sprints. Twelve recreationally active males (mean ± SD age: 22 ± 2 years, height: 1.78 ± 0.07 m, body mass: 81 ± 16 kg) completed eighteen 4 s sprints with 116 s recovery on a cycle ergometer on four separate occasions in a double-blind, randomised, counterbalanced crossover design. Participants ingested either 3 mg·kg−1 of caffeine (CAF), 0.09 g·kg−1 coffee, which provided 3 mg·kg−1 of caffeine (COF), a taste-matched placebo beverage (PLA), or a control condition (CON) 45 min prior to commencing the exercise protocol. Peak and mean power output and rating of perceived exertion (RPE) were recorded for each sprint. There were no significant differences in peak power output (CAF: 949 ± 199 W, COF: 949 ± 174 W, PLA: 971 ± 149 W and CON: 975 ± 170 W; p = 0.872; ηP2 = 0.02) or mean power output (CAF: 873 ± 172 W, COF: 862 ± 44 W, PLA: 887 ± 119 W and CON: 892 ± 143 W; p = 0.819; ηP2 = 0.03) between experimental conditions. Mean RPE was similar for all trials (CAF: 11 ± 2, COF: 11 ± 2, PLA: 11 ± 2 and CON: 11 ± 2; p = 0.927; ηP2 = 0.01). Neither the ingestion of COF or CAF improved repeated sprint cycling performance in relatively untrained males. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Star Excursion Balance Test in Young Athletes with Back Pain
Sports 2016, 4(3), 44; doi:10.3390/sports4030044 -
Abstract
The Star Excursion Balance Test (SEBT) is effective in measuring dynamic postural control (DPC). This research aimed to determine whether DPC measured by the SEBT in young athletes (YA) with back pain (BP) is different from those without BP (NBP). 53 BP YA
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The Star Excursion Balance Test (SEBT) is effective in measuring dynamic postural control (DPC). This research aimed to determine whether DPC measured by the SEBT in young athletes (YA) with back pain (BP) is different from those without BP (NBP). 53 BP YA and 53 NBP YA matched for age, height, weight, training years, training sessions/week and training minutes/session were studied. Participants performed 4 practice trials after which 3 measurements in the anterior, posteromedial and posterolateral SEBT reach directions were recorded. Normalized reach distance was analyzed using the mean of all 3 measurements. There was no statistical significant difference (p > 0.05) between the reach distance of BP (87.2 ± 5.3, 82.4 ± 8.2, 78.7 ± 8.1) and NBP (87.8 ± 5.6, 82.4 ± 8.0, 80.0 ± 8.8) in the anterior, posteromedial and posterolateral directions respectively. DPC in YA with BP, as assessed by the SEBT, was not different from NBP YA. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Greater Strength Drives Difference in Power between Sexes in the Conventional Deadlift Exercise
Sports 2016, 4(3), 43; doi:10.3390/sports4030043 -
Abstract
Limited research exists comparing sex differences in muscular power. The primary purpose of this research was to determine if differences exist in power and velocity in the conventional deadlift (CDL). A secondary purpose was to examine the relationship among power, velocity, strength, and
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Limited research exists comparing sex differences in muscular power. The primary purpose of this research was to determine if differences exist in power and velocity in the conventional deadlift (CDL). A secondary purpose was to examine the relationship among power, velocity, strength, and fat free mass (FFM). Eighteen strength trained athletes with ≥1 year CDL experience (women: n = 9, 29 ± 2 years, 162.3 ± 1.8 cm, 62 ± 2.4 kg, 23.3 ± 3.2 % body fat (%BF); men: n = 9, 29 ± 3 years, 175.6 ± 1.8 cm, 85.5 ± 1.4 kg, 14.8 ± 2.4 %BF), and ≥1.5 one repetition maximum (1-RM) CDL: body mass (BM) ratio (women: 1.6 ± 0.1 1-RM CDL: BM; men: 2.3 ± 0.1 1-RM CDL: BM), performed baseline (body composition, 1-RM CDL) and experimental sessions, in which velocity and power were measured at 30%, 60%, and 90% 1-RM. Repeated measures ANOVA and bivariate correlations were conducted. Men produced higher absolute average and peak power across all loads, but higher average velocity at only 30% 1-RM. When normalized to FFM, men produced higher peak and average power; however, women produced higher peak and average velocities across all loads. FFM and 1-RM were correlated with power. Greater power observed in men is driven by larger muscle mass, which contributes to greater strength. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Beneficial Effects of New Zealand Blackcurrant Extract on Maximal Sprint Speed during the Loughborough Intermittent Shuttle Test
Sports 2016, 4(3), 42; doi:10.3390/sports4030042 -
Abstract
New Zealand blackcurrant (NZBC) extract has been shown to enhance high-intensity intermittent treadmill running. We examined the effects of NZBC extract during the Loughborough Intermittent Shuttle Test (LIST) which involves 5 × 15 min blocks with intermittent 15-m maximal sprints, interspersed by moderate
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New Zealand blackcurrant (NZBC) extract has been shown to enhance high-intensity intermittent treadmill running. We examined the effects of NZBC extract during the Loughborough Intermittent Shuttle Test (LIST) which involves 5 × 15 min blocks with intermittent 15-m maximal sprints, interspersed by moderate and high-intensity running to simulate team sport activity, and a subsequent run to exhaustion. Thirteen males (age: 22 ± 1 year, V˙O2max: 50 ± 5 mL·kg−1·min−1) participated in three indoor sessions (T: 24 ± 3 °C, humidity: 52% ± 9%). In the first session, a multistage fitness test was completed to determine peak running speed and estimate V˙O2max. Participants consumed NZBC extract in capsules (300 mg·day−1 CurraNZ™) or placebo (PL) (300 mg·day−1 microcrystalline cellulose M102) for seven days in a double-blind, randomized, cross-over design (wash-out at least seven days). NZBC extract did not affect average 15-m sprint times in each block. NZBC reduced slowing of the fastest sprint between block 1 and 5 (PL: 0.12 ± 0.07 s; NZBC: 0.06 ± 0.12 s; p < 0.05). NZBC extract had no effect on heart rate, vertical jump power, lactate and time to exhaustion (PL: 13.44 ± 8.09 min, NZBC: 15.78 ± 9.40 min, p > 0.05). However, eight participants had higher running times to exhaustion when consuming NZBC extract. New Zealand blackcurrant extract may enhance performance in team sports with repeated maximal sprints. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Profiling of Junior College Football Players and Differences between Position Groups
Sports 2016, 4(3), 41; doi:10.3390/sports4030041 -
Abstract
This study profiled junior college football players. Sixty-two subjects completed vertical jump (VJ; height and peak power), standing broad jump (SBJ), 36.58 m sprint, pro-agility shuttle, three-cone drill, and maximal-repetition bench press and front squat. The sample included 2 quarterbacks (QB), 7 running
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This study profiled junior college football players. Sixty-two subjects completed vertical jump (VJ; height and peak power), standing broad jump (SBJ), 36.58 m sprint, pro-agility shuttle, three-cone drill, and maximal-repetition bench press and front squat. The sample included 2 quarterbacks (QB), 7 running backs (RB), 13 wide receivers (WR), 1 tight end (TE), 18 defensive backs (DB), 8 linebackers (LB), and 13 offensive and defensive linemen (LM). To investigate positional differences, subjects were split into skill (SK; WR, DB), big skill (BSK; QB, RB, TE, LB), and LM groups. A one-way ANOVA determined between-group differences. LM were taller and heavier than SK and BSK players. The SK and BSK groups were faster than LM in the 0–36.58 m sprint, pro-agility shuttle, and three-cone drill (p ≤ 0.009). The SK group had greater VJ height and SBJ distance; LM generated greater VJ peak power (p ≤ 0.022). There were no between-group differences in the strength endurance tests. Compared to Division I data, junior college players were smaller, slower, and performed worse in jump tests. Positional differences in junior college football are typical to that of established research. Junior college players should attempt to increase body mass, and improve speed and lower-body power. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Betalain-Rich Concentrate Supplementation Improves Exercise Performance in Competitive Runners
Sports 2016, 4(3), 40; doi:10.3390/sports4030040 -
Abstract
This study aimed to determine the effects of a betalain-rich concentrate (BRC) of red beets, containing antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, on performance and exercise-related muscle damage. Thirteen (25.3 ± 5.4 years) competitive male runners completed two double-blind, cross-over, randomized trials (BRC and control)
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This study aimed to determine the effects of a betalain-rich concentrate (BRC) of red beets, containing antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, on performance and exercise-related muscle damage. Thirteen (25.3 ± 5.4 years) competitive male runners completed two double-blind, cross-over, randomized trials (BRC and control) separated by seven days. Each trial was preceded by six days of supplementation with 100 mg of BRC or control. On the seventh day, exercise trials commenced 150 min after supplementation with 50 mg BRC or control and consisted of 30 min of treadmill running (77 ± 4% VO2max) followed by a 5-km time trial (TT). During exercise at the same intensity, BRC resulted in a 3% lower heart rate, a 15% lower rate of perceived exertion (RPE) and a 14% lower blood lactate concentration compared to the control (p = 0.05). Five-kilometer TT duration (23.0 ± 4.2 versus 23.6 ± 4.0 min) was faster in 10 of the 13 subjects, and RPE was lower (p < 0.05) with the BRC treatment compared to the control. Lactate dehydrogenase, a marker of muscle damage, increased less from baseline to immediately and 30 min after the 5-km TT with the BRC treatment, despite no differences in subjective measures of muscle soreness and fatigue. In summary, BRC supplementation improved 5-km performance time in male competitive runners. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
The Effect of Recovery Duration on Technical Proficiency during Small Sided Games of Football
Sports 2016, 4(3), 39; doi:10.3390/sports4030039 -
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;
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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. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Effects of Intermittent Neck Cooling During Repeated Bouts of High-Intensity Exercise
Sports 2016, 4(3), 38; doi:10.3390/sports4030038 -
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
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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. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Differences in Spatial Physical Activity Patterns between Weekdays and Weekends in Primary School Children: A Cross-Sectional Study Using Accelerometry and Global Positioning System
Sports 2016, 4(3), 36; doi:10.3390/sports4030036 -
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
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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. Full article
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