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Sports, Volume 10, Issue 1 (January 2022) – 12 articles

Cover Story (view full-size image): The aim of the study was to analyze different predictive analytic techniques to forecast the risk of muscle strain injuries (MSI) in youth soccer. Modifiable and non-modifiable risk factors were used to predict MSI through different data mining models: Logistic Regression (LR), Random Forest (RF), and Support Vector Machine (SVM). Results: SVM showed the best predictive ability. The analysis revealed that the risk of injury could change according to players’ maturity status, neuromuscular fatigue, anthropometric factors, higher workloads, and low recovery status. View this paper
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Article
A Comparison of the External and Internal Demands Imposed during Conditioning Training and Match-Play in Semi-Professional and Development Female Netball Players
Sports 2022, 10(1), 12; https://doi.org/10.3390/sports10010012 - 10 Jan 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 884
Abstract
This case series, team-based study aimed to compare the demands imposed during conditioning training and match-play in netball players. Female netball players competing at semi-professional (n = 9, age: 22.2 ± 3.8 years) and development (n = 9, age: 22.3 ± [...] Read more.
This case series, team-based study aimed to compare the demands imposed during conditioning training and match-play in netball players. Female netball players competing at semi-professional (n = 9, age: 22.2 ± 3.8 years) and development (n = 9, age: 22.3 ± 2.9 years) levels had their internal (rating of perceived exertion (RPE)) and external (relative PlayerLoad (PL) in total and in the forwards, sideways, and vertical vectors) loads measured during conditioning-based training sessions and matches in a season. Demand variables were compared between conditioning and match-play across all players and according to position in each playing level. Conditioning training imposed higher relative PL in total and in each vector compared to match-play in semi-professional and development players (small to large effects). In contrast, RPE was significantly (p = 0.006) higher during match-play than conditioning training in semi-professional and development players (medium effects). Furthermore, according to playing position, significantly higher relative PL variables were evident during conditioning training than match-play in wing attack and goalkeeper semi-professional players and in goal attack, goal shooter, goal keeper, and goal defence development players. These results suggest conditioning training practices elicit adequate external intensities but inadequate internal intensities relative to match-play across positions in semi-professional and development netball players. Full article
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Article
Analysis of Running in Wilson’s Disease
Sports 2022, 10(1), 11; https://doi.org/10.3390/sports10010011 - 07 Jan 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 625
Abstract
Aim of the study was to analyze the ability of long-term treated patients with Wilson’s disease (WD) to run a distance of 40 m. 30 WD-patients from a single center were consecutively recruited. All patients were able to walk a distance of 40 [...] Read more.
Aim of the study was to analyze the ability of long-term treated patients with Wilson’s disease (WD) to run a distance of 40 m. 30 WD-patients from a single center were consecutively recruited. All patients were able to walk a distance of 40 m without walking aids. Vertical ground reaction forces (GRF-curves) were analyzed by means of an Infotronic® gait analysis system (CDG®) and correlated with clinical and laboratory findings. Results of the WD-patients were compared to those of an age-and sex-matched control group. 25 of the 30 WD-patients were able to run. Patients being unable to run had a significantly (p < 0.03) higher non-motor score. In comparison to the controls speed of running was significantly (p < 0.02) reduced in WD-patients. Their duration of foot contact on the ground lasted significantly (p < 0.05) longer. Running was more irregular in WD and the variability of times to peak of the GRF-curves was significantly (p < 0.05) increased. All running parameters extracted from the GRF-curves of the CDG® did not correlate with severity of WD. Cadence of running was significantly (p < 0.03) negatively correlated with serum liver enzyme levels. Running appears to be rather unimpaired in long-term treated WD, only 16% of the 30 WD-patients were unable to run. This knowledge is highly relevant for the patient management, but because of the missing correlation with severity of WD, analysis of running is of minor importance for monitoring WD-therapy. Full article
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Article
Can Popular High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) Models Lead to Impossible Training Sessions?
Sports 2022, 10(1), 10; https://doi.org/10.3390/sports10010010 - 06 Jan 2022
Viewed by 1562
Abstract
High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) is a time-efficient training method suggested to improve health and fitness for the clinical population, healthy subjects, and athletes. Many parameters can impact the difficulty of HIIT sessions. This study aims to highlight and explain, through logical deductions, some [...] Read more.
High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) is a time-efficient training method suggested to improve health and fitness for the clinical population, healthy subjects, and athletes. Many parameters can impact the difficulty of HIIT sessions. This study aims to highlight and explain, through logical deductions, some limitations of the Skiba and Coggan models, widely used to prescribe HIIT sessions in cycling. We simulated 6198 different HIIT training sessions leading to exhaustion, according to the Skiba and Coggan-Modified (modification of the Coggan model with the introduction of an exhaustion criterion) models, for three fictitious athlete profiles (Time-Trialist, All-Rounder, Sprinter). The simulation revealed impossible sessions (i.e., requiring athletes to surpass their maximal power output over the exercise interval duration), characterized by a few short exercise intervals, performed in the severe and extreme intensity domains, alternating with long recovery bouts. The fraction of impossible sessions depends on the athlete profile and ranges between 4.4 and 22.9% for the Skiba model and 0.6 and 3.2% for the Coggan-Modified model. For practitioners using these HIIT models, this study highlights the importance of understanding these models’ inherent limitations and mathematical assumptions to draw adequate conclusions from their use to prescribe HIIT sessions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Optimising Interval Training Prescription)
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Article
Performance and Recovery of Well-Trained Younger and Older Athletes during Different HIIT Protocols
Sports 2022, 10(1), 9; https://doi.org/10.3390/sports10010009 - 05 Jan 2022
Viewed by 1161
Abstract
Due to physiological and morphological differences, younger and older athletes may recover differently from training loads. High-intensity interval training (HIIT) protocols are useful for studying the progression of recovery. It was the objective of this study to determine age differences in performance and [...] Read more.
Due to physiological and morphological differences, younger and older athletes may recover differently from training loads. High-intensity interval training (HIIT) protocols are useful for studying the progression of recovery. It was the objective of this study to determine age differences in performance and recovery following different HIIT protocols. Methods: 12 younger (24.5 ± 3.7 years) and 12 older (47.3 ± 8.6 years) well-trained cyclists and triathletes took part in this study. Between the age groups there were no significant differences in relative peak power to fat-free mass, maximal heart rate (HR), training volume, and VO2max-percentiles (%). Participants performed different HIIT protocols consisting of 4 × 30 s Wingate tests with different active rest intervals (1, 3, or 10 min). Peak and average power, lactate, HR, respiratory exchange ratio (RER), subjective rating of perceived exertion (RPE), and recovery (Total Quality Recovery scale, TQR) were assessed. Results: During the different HIIT protocols, metabolic, cardiovascular, and subjective recovery were similar between the two groups. No significant differences were found in average lactate concentration, peak and average power, fatigue (%), %HRmax, RER, RPE, and TQR values between the groups (p > 0.05). Conclusion: The findings of this study indicate that recovery following HIIT does not differ between the two age groups. Furthermore, older and younger participants displayed similar lactate kinetics after the intermittent exercise protocols. Full article
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Review
Velocity-Based Resistance Training on 1-RM, Jump and Sprint Performance: A Systematic Review of Clinical Trials
Sports 2022, 10(1), 8; https://doi.org/10.3390/sports10010008 - 04 Jan 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1906
Abstract
Weight resistance training (RT) has been shown to positively influence physical performance. Within the last two decades, a methodology based on monitoring RT through movement velocity (also called velocity-based resistance training, VBRT) has emerged. The aim of this PRISMA-based systematic review was to [...] Read more.
Weight resistance training (RT) has been shown to positively influence physical performance. Within the last two decades, a methodology based on monitoring RT through movement velocity (also called velocity-based resistance training, VBRT) has emerged. The aim of this PRISMA-based systematic review was to evaluate the effect of VBRT programs on variables related to muscle strength (one-repetition maximum, 1-RM), and high-speed actions (vertical jump, and sprint performance) in trained subjects. The search for published articles was performed in PubMed/MEDLINE, SPORT Discus/EBSCO, OVID, Web of Science, Scopus, and EMBASE databases using Boolean algorithms independently. A total of 22 studies met the inclusion criteria of this systematic review (a low-to-moderate overall risk of bias of the analyzed studies was detected). VBRT is an effective method to improve 1-RM, vertical jump and sprint. According to the results of the analyzed studies, it is not necessary to reach high muscle failure in order to achieve the best training results. These findings reinforce the fact that it is possible to optimize exercise adaptations with less fatigue. Future studies should corroborate these findings in female population. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Strength and Conditioning and Performance Monitoring in Sports)
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Article
Changes in Body Composition and Strength after 12 Weeks of High-Intensity Functional Training with Two Different Loads in Physically Active Men and Women: A Randomized Controlled Study
Sports 2022, 10(1), 7; https://doi.org/10.3390/sports10010007 - 04 Jan 2022
Viewed by 1590
Abstract
This study examined the effects of two different resistance loads during high-intensity Functional Training (HIFT) on body composition and maximal strength. Thirty-one healthy young individuals were randomly assigned into three groups: moderate load (ML: 70% 1-RM), low load-(LL: 30% 1-RM), and control (CON). [...] Read more.
This study examined the effects of two different resistance loads during high-intensity Functional Training (HIFT) on body composition and maximal strength. Thirty-one healthy young individuals were randomly assigned into three groups: moderate load (ML: 70% 1-RM), low load-(LL: 30% 1-RM), and control (CON). Each experimental group performed HIFT three times per week for 12 weeks with a similar total volume load. Body fat decreased equally in both experimental groups after 6 weeks of training (p < 0.001), but at the end of training it further decreased only in LL compared to ML (−3.19 ± 1.59 vs. −1.64 ± 1.44 kg, p < 0.001), with no change in CON (0.29 ± 1.08 kg, p = 0.998). Lean body mass (LBM) increased after 6 weeks of training (p = 0.019) in ML only, while after 12 weeks a similar increase was observed in LL and ML (1.11 ± 0.65 vs. ML: 1.25 ± 1.59 kg, p = 0.034 and 0.013, respectively), with no change in CON (0.34 ± 0.67 kg, p = 0.991). Maximal strength increased similarly in four out of five exercises for both experimental groups by between 9.5% and 16.9% (p < 0.01) at the end of training, with no change in CON (−0.6 to 4.9%, p > 0.465). In conclusion, twelve weeks of HIFT training with either low or moderate resistance and equal volume load resulted in an equal increase in LBM and maximal strength, but different fat loss. Full article
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Article
The Acute Effect of Accentuated Eccentric Overloading upon the Kinematics and Myoelectric Activity in the Eccentric and Concentric Phase of a Traditional Bench Press
Sports 2022, 10(1), 6; https://doi.org/10.3390/sports10010006 - 29 Dec 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 933
Abstract
The target of this study was to investigate the acute effect of a supramaximal augmented eccentric load on the kinematics and myoelectric activity during the concentric phase of the lift in a traditional bench press. Ten resistance-trained males (age 24 ± 6.4 years, [...] Read more.
The target of this study was to investigate the acute effect of a supramaximal augmented eccentric load on the kinematics and myoelectric activity during the concentric phase of the lift in a traditional bench press. Ten resistance-trained males (age 24 ± 6.4 years, height 1.80 ± 0.07 m, body-mass 87.2 ± 16.9 kg) performed two repetitions at 110/85% of the 1-RM in the dynamic accentuated external resistance (DAER) group and two repetitions at 85/85% of the 1-RM for the control group in a traditional bench press. The barbell kinematics, joint kinematics and myoelectric activity of eight muscles were measured in the eccentric phase and the pre-sticking, sticking and post-sticking regions. The main findings were that the sticking region started at a lower barbell height and that a lower barbell velocity was observed in the sticking region during the second repetition in the DAER condition compared to the control condition. Additionally, the lateral deltoid muscle and clavicle part of the pectoralis were more active during the eccentric loading compared to the control condition for the second repetition. Furthermore, higher myoelectric activity was measured during the second repetition in the sticking region for the eccentric loading condition in both pectoralis muscles, while the sternal parts of the pectoralis and anterior deltoid were more active during the second repetition of the control condition in the post-sticking region. Based on our findings, it can be concluded that the supramaximal loading in the descending phase with 110% of the 1-RM in the bench press does not have an acute and positive effect of enhanced performance in the ascending phase of the lift at 85% of 1-RM. Instead, fatigue occurs when using this eccentric load during a bench press. Full article
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Review
A Narrative Review for a Machine Learning Application in Sports: An Example Based on Injury Forecasting in Soccer
Sports 2022, 10(1), 5; https://doi.org/10.3390/sports10010005 - 24 Dec 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1522
Abstract
In the last decade, the number of studies about machine learning algorithms applied to sports, e.g., injury forecasting and athlete performance prediction, have rapidly increased. Due to the number of works and experiments already present in the state-of-the-art regarding machine-learning techniques in sport [...] Read more.
In the last decade, the number of studies about machine learning algorithms applied to sports, e.g., injury forecasting and athlete performance prediction, have rapidly increased. Due to the number of works and experiments already present in the state-of-the-art regarding machine-learning techniques in sport science, the aim of this narrative review is to provide a guideline describing a correct approach for training, validating, and testing machine learning models to predict events in sports science. The main contribution of this narrative review is to highlight any possible strengths and limitations during all the stages of model development, i.e., training, validation, testing, and interpretation, in order to limit possible errors that could induce misleading results. In particular, this paper shows an example about injury forecaster that provides a description of all the features that could be used to predict injuries, all the possible pre-processing approaches for time series analysis, how to correctly split the dataset to train and test the predictive models, and the importance to explain the decision-making approach of the white and black box models. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Artificial Intelligence in Sports Injury and Injury Prevention)
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Article
A Novel Monitoring System (AUT FIT) for Anthropometrics and Physical Fitness in Primary School Children in Austria: A Cross-Sectional Pilot Study
Sports 2022, 10(1), 4; https://doi.org/10.3390/sports10010004 - 24 Dec 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 908
Abstract
Monitoring of anthropometric and physical fitness parameters in primary school children is important for the prevention of future health problems. Many of the existing test batteries that are useful for monitoring require expensive test materials, specialized test administrators, and a lot of space. [...] Read more.
Monitoring of anthropometric and physical fitness parameters in primary school children is important for the prevention of future health problems. Many of the existing test batteries that are useful for monitoring require expensive test materials, specialized test administrators, and a lot of space. This limits the usefulness of such tests for widespread use. The aim of this pilot study was to design and evaluate monitoring tools for anthropometrics and physical fitness tests in primary schools, called AUT FIT. The test battery consists of height, weight, and waist circumference measurement and eight fitness tests (6 min run, V sit-and-reach, jumping sideways, standing long jump, medicine ball throw, 4 × 10 m shuttle run, ruler drop, single leg stand). Data of 821 children aged 7 to 10 years were gathered. Most AUT FIT tests showed excellent test–retest and interrater reliability and were easy to implement. Criterion-related validity was evident by a strong correlation between physical education teacher rankings and rank scores for motor fitness. Nationwide implementation in the Austrian school system could be an important component for monitoring and improving the health and fitness of primary school children. Full article
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Article
Predictive Analytic Techniques to Identify Hidden Relationships between Training Load, Fatigue and Muscle Strains in Young Soccer Players
Sports 2022, 10(1), 3; https://doi.org/10.3390/sports10010003 - 24 Dec 2021
Viewed by 1348
Abstract
This study aimed to analyze different predictive analytic techniques to forecast the risk of muscle strain injuries (MSI) in youth soccer based on training load data. Twenty-two young soccer players (age: 13.5 ± 0.3 years) were recruited, and an injury surveillance system was [...] Read more.
This study aimed to analyze different predictive analytic techniques to forecast the risk of muscle strain injuries (MSI) in youth soccer based on training load data. Twenty-two young soccer players (age: 13.5 ± 0.3 years) were recruited, and an injury surveillance system was applied to record all MSI during the season. Anthropometric data, predicted age at peak height velocity, and skeletal age were collected. The session-RPE method was daily employed to quantify internal training/match load, and monotony, strain, and cumulative load over the weeks were calculated. A countermovement jump (CMJ) test was submitted before and after each training/match to quantify players’ neuromuscular fatigue. All these data were used to predict the risk of MSI through different data mining models: Logistic Regression (LR), Random Forest (RF), Support Vector Machine (SVM). Among them, SVM showed the best predictive ability (area under the curve = 0.84 ± 0.05). Then, Decision tree (DT) algorithm was employed to understand the interactions identified by the SVM model. The rules extracted by DT revealed how the risk of injury could change according to players’ maturity status, neuromuscular fatigue, anthropometric factors, higher workloads, and low recovery status. This approach allowed to identify MSI and the underlying risk factors. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Artificial Intelligence in Sports Injury and Injury Prevention)
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Article
Kinetic and Kinematic Characteristics of Proficient and Non-Proficient 2-Point and 3-Point Basketball Shooters
Sports 2022, 10(1), 2; https://doi.org/10.3390/sports10010002 - 22 Dec 2021
Viewed by 1150
Abstract
The purpose of this study was to examine kinetic and kinematic characteristics of various types of 2-point and 3-point basketball shooting approaches and determine which variables have the greatest contribution in discriminating proficient (PRO) from non-proficient (N-PRO) shooters. While standing on a force [...] Read more.
The purpose of this study was to examine kinetic and kinematic characteristics of various types of 2-point and 3-point basketball shooting approaches and determine which variables have the greatest contribution in discriminating proficient (PRO) from non-proficient (N-PRO) shooters. While standing on a force plate, twenty-nine recreationally active males performed a total of 1740 shots by utilizing stationary and step-in shooting approaches. Two high-definition cameras were used to simultaneously capture kinematic parameters of shooting motions. The type of shooting approach showed as a non-influential factor. During the preparatory phase of the shooting motion, PRO 2-point shooters demonstrated higher elbow and basketball height placements, greater flexion in the shoulder and elbow joints while attaining greater release and entry ball angles during the release phase. PRO 3-point shooters demonstrated greater elbow flexion, higher basketball placement, and less hip flexion during the preparatory phase while attaining greater heel, release, and trajectory heights during the release phase. When entered into a full-model discriminant function analysis, elbow angle, elbow height, and release angle variables correctly classified PRO from N-PRO 2-point shooters in 62.1% of cases and hip angle, heel height, and elbow angle variables correctly classified PRO from N-PRO 3-point shooters in 81.6% of cases. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Physical Performance of Collegiate or College-Aged Athletes)
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Article
Sun Protective Behaviors and Attitudes of Runners
Sports 2022, 10(1), 1; https://doi.org/10.3390/sports10010001 - 21 Dec 2021
Viewed by 973
Abstract
Sun exposure is a risk factor for skin cancer. Knowledge and behaviors around sun exposure protective measures are poorly described in athletes including runners. Our primary objective was to describe sun exposure behaviors and knowledge in a population of runners. A cross-sectional online [...] Read more.
Sun exposure is a risk factor for skin cancer. Knowledge and behaviors around sun exposure protective measures are poorly described in athletes including runners. Our primary objective was to describe sun exposure behaviors and knowledge in a population of runners. A cross-sectional online survey was administered to 697 runners to measure the frequency of seven sun protective behaviors: sunscreen use on the face or body; wearing a hat, sunglasses, or long sleeves; running in shade; and avoidance of midday running. Between 54% and 84% of runners reported that they engaged in these behaviors at least sometimes, but only 7% to 45% reported frequent use. Of 525 runners who gave a primary reason for not using sunscreen regularly, 49.0% cited forgetfulness; 17.3% cited discomfort; and only a small percentage cited maintaining a tan (6.1%) or optimizing vitamin D (5.1%). Of 689 runners who responded to a question about what factor most influences their overall sun exposure habits, 39.2% cited fear of skin cancer, 28.7% cited comfort level, and 15.8% cited fear of skin aging. In addition to the seven individual behaviors, we also asked runners how frequently they took precautions to protect against the sun overall. We explored associations between participant characteristics and the overall use of sun protection using ordinal logistic regression. Overall, sun protection was used more frequently in runners who were female, older, or had a history of skin cancer. Runners appear to recognize the importance of sun protection and the potential consequences of not using it, but report forgetfulness and discomfort as the biggest barriers to consistent use. Interventions using habit-formation strategies and self-regulation training may prove to be most useful in closing this gap between knowledge and practice. Full article
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