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Sports, Volume 6, Issue 3 (September 2018)

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Open AccessArticle The Effects of Exercise Induced Muscle Damage on Knee Joint Torque and Balance Performance
Received: 22 August 2018 / Revised: 13 September 2018 / Accepted: 17 September 2018 / Published: 19 September 2018
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Abstract
The purpose of this investigation is to determine the effects of exercise induced muscle damage (EIMD) on balance and knee joint torque. Thirteen males and females volunteered to participate in the study. Following a familiarization session, baseline measures were obtained for isometric torque
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The purpose of this investigation is to determine the effects of exercise induced muscle damage (EIMD) on balance and knee joint torque. Thirteen males and females volunteered to participate in the study. Following a familiarization session, baseline measures were obtained for isometric torque measured during a maximal voluntary isometric contraction (MVIC) for knee flexors and extensors, and ankle dorsi-flexors and plantar-flexors. Additionally, balance performance was tested in double leg (DL), and right single leg (RSL) static and dynamic unstable stability was measured. Participants then performed the muscle damage protocol of front loaded Bulgarian split squats. All measurements were re-assessed for torque and balance immediately and up to 72 h afterwards. A one-way repeated-measures analysis of variance (ANOVA) was used to analyze differences between baseline and all time-points for torque and balance measures. There was a significant time effect for knee extensors MVIC torque, where baseline measures are greater than post EIMD, 24 h and 48 h post EIMD. There was no significant time effect for all balance conditions. These results provide evidence of EIMD following high intensity eccentric exercises with significant reductions in knee extensor torque up to at least 48 h and show that balance was not compromised following EIMD. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Partnerships between an At-Risk Youth CrossFit Program and Local Community Organizations: Focusing on the Antecedents to Partnership Development
Received: 25 August 2018 / Revised: 13 September 2018 / Accepted: 14 September 2018 / Published: 19 September 2018
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Abstract
A large body of research has established that sport intervention programs can have social, emotional and health benefits for at-risk youth. While research has focused on the positive outcomes associated with these programs, little attention has been given to program inputs. It is
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A large body of research has established that sport intervention programs can have social, emotional and health benefits for at-risk youth. While research has focused on the positive outcomes associated with these programs, little attention has been given to program inputs. It is recognized that community partnerships can help intervention programs achieve their goals. Yet, how are such partnerships formed and what can help to promote the successful formation of partnerships? This paper provides a detailed account of the partnership implementation process undertaken to develop and deliver a health promotion physical activity program for at-risk youth through the medium of CrossFit in a low socioeconomic area in a rural community in the southeastern United States. Developing successful partnerships serves as a valuable component to help organizations obtain resources and skills needed to initiate and continue programs for underserved populations. The scholars identify and explain how critical success factors such as personal contact, partnership complementarity and fit and the promotion of high levels of commitment and trust, serve as important starting points for developing and maintaining strong community partnerships. Full article
Open AccessReview A Brief Review of Personality in Marathon Runners: The Role of Sex, Age and Performance Level
Received: 4 August 2018 / Revised: 8 September 2018 / Accepted: 13 September 2018 / Published: 18 September 2018
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Abstract
The participation of recreational runners in sport events ranging from 5 km to ultra-endurance races have increased dramatically during the last decades and this phenomenon has attracted scientific interest. Most research has focused on the physiological characteristics of these runners and less in
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The participation of recreational runners in sport events ranging from 5 km to ultra-endurance races have increased dramatically during the last decades and this phenomenon has attracted scientific interest. Most research has focused on the physiological characteristics of these runners and less in their psychological characteristics. Therefore, the aim of the present study was to review the existing knowledge with regards to the personality of recreational endurance runners and the role of sex, age and performance. It was concluded that limited information was available with regards to the personality of recreational marathon runners. So far, our knowledge on the personality of marathon runners relied on studies conducted a few decades ago, mostly on competitive marathon runners, highlighting the need for original research on recreational runners. Full article
Open AccessArticle Moderate Intensity Intermittent Exercise Modality May Prevent Cardiovascular Drift
Received: 14 July 2018 / Revised: 6 September 2018 / Accepted: 7 September 2018 / Published: 15 September 2018
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Abstract
Cardiovascular drift (CV-Drift) may occur after the ~10th min of submaximal continuous exercising. The purpose of this study was to examine whether CV-Drift is prevented by an intermittent exercise modality, instead of a continuous exercise. Seven well-trained male cyclists volunteered to take part
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Cardiovascular drift (CV-Drift) may occur after the ~10th min of submaximal continuous exercising. The purpose of this study was to examine whether CV-Drift is prevented by an intermittent exercise modality, instead of a continuous exercise. Seven well-trained male cyclists volunteered to take part in the study ( V ˙ O2max: 61.7 ± 6.13 mL·min−1·kg−1). Following familiarization sessions, athletes’ individual maximal O2 consumption ( V ˙ O2max), maximum stroke volume responses (SVmax), and cardiac outputs (Qc) were evaluated by a nitrous-oxide re-breathing system and its gas analyzer. Then, continuous exercises were performed 30 min at cyclists’ 60% V ˙ O2max, while intermittent exercises consisted of three 10 min with 1:0.5 workout/recovery ratios at the same intensity. Qc measurements were taken at the 5th, 9th, 12nd, 15th, 20th, 25th, and 30th min of continuous exercises versus 5th and 10th min of workout phases of intermittent exercise modality. Greater than a 5% SV decrement, with accompanying HR, increase, while Qc remained stable and was accepted as CV-Drift criterion. It was demonstrated that there were greater SV responses throughout intermittent exercises when compared to continuous exercises (138.9 ± 17.9 vs. 144.5 ± 14.6 mL, respectively; p ≤ 0.05) and less HR responses (140.1 ± 14.8 vs. 135.2 ± 11.6 bpm, respectively; p ≤ 0.05), while mean Qc responses were similar (19.4 ± 2.1 vs. 19.4 ± 1.5 L, respectively; p > 0.05). Moreover, the mean times spent at peak SV scores of exercise sessions were greater during intermittent exercise (1.5 vs. 10 min) (p < 0.001). In conclusion, intermittent exercises reduce CV-Drift risk and increases cardiac adaptation potentials of exercises with less physiological stress. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Physiological Responses During Exercise)
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Open AccessArticle Loading Range for the Development of Peak Power in the Close-Grip Bench Press versus the Traditional Bench Press
Received: 22 August 2018 / Revised: 4 September 2018 / Accepted: 12 September 2018 / Published: 15 September 2018
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Abstract
The close-grip bench press (CGBP) is a variation of the traditional bench press (TBP) that uses a narrower grip (~95% biacromial distance) and has application for athletes performing explosive arm actions where the hands are positioned close to the torso. Limited research has
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The close-grip bench press (CGBP) is a variation of the traditional bench press (TBP) that uses a narrower grip (~95% biacromial distance) and has application for athletes performing explosive arm actions where the hands are positioned close to the torso. Limited research has investigated CGBP peak power. Twenty-six strength-trained individuals completed a one-repetition maximum TBP and CGBP. During two other sessions, subjects completed two repetitions as explosively as possible with loads from 20% to 90% for each exercise, with peak power measured by a linear position transducer. A factorial ANOVA calculated between- and within-exercise differences in peak power. Partial correlations controlling for sex determined relationships between absolute and relative strength and peak power load. Peak power for the TBP occurred at 50% 1RM, and 30% 1RM for the CGBP. There were no significant (p = 0.680) differences between peak power at each load when comparing the TBP and CGBP. For the within-exercise analysis, there were generally no significant differences in TBP and CGBP peak power for the 20–50% 1RM loads. There were no significant relationships between strength and peak power load (p = 0.100–0.587). A peak power loading range of 20–50% 1RM for the TBP and CGBP is suggested for strength-trained individuals. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Sport Courage, Worry and Fear in Relation to Success of Alpine Ski Learning
Received: 5 August 2018 / Revised: 31 August 2018 / Accepted: 6 September 2018 / Published: 14 September 2018
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Abstract
(1) Background: Individuals’ psychological traits can influence not just success in sport but also the ability to learn new motor skills. We investigated whether sport courage, worry and fear differ between alpine ski-naive and basic level skiers and how they affect ski learning.
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(1) Background: Individuals’ psychological traits can influence not just success in sport but also the ability to learn new motor skills. We investigated whether sport courage, worry and fear differ between alpine ski-naive and basic level skiers and how they affect ski learning. (2): A total of 337 students (249 ski-naive and 88 basic level) participated in research consisting of a four-part questionnaire and structured skiing program. (3) Results: For beginners, lower fear (r = −0.30, p < 0.01) and higher Self-efficiency (r = 0.28, p < 0.05) and mastery (r = 0.20, p < 0.01) were associated with better performance; reducing fear and increasing self-efficiency and worry increased performance. Experienced skiers were better in determination, mastery, and self-efficiency (all p < 0.05). In case of lower score in worry (r = −0.28, p < 0.01) and higher in self-efficiency (r = 0.22, p < 0.05) performance was better. Males scored higher in sport courage scale-31 (all p < 0.05). In particular, self-efficiency was associated with better (r = 0.39, p < 0.01), and higher fear with poorer performance (r = −0.33, p < 0.01). Moreover, self-efficiency was a predictor of ski success (p < 0.001). On the other hand, females like ski beginners scored higher in fear (p < 0.001). In females, determination, mastery and self-efficiency had a positive correlation with skiing (r = 0.21, p < 0.05, r = 0.28, p < 0.01, and r = 0.33, p < 0.01, respectively), while association between Fear and skiing (r = −0.46, p < 0.01) was negative, and fear (p < 0.001) was inversely related to success. (4): Conclusions: Psychological factors and gender differences need to be considered during learning phases of alpine skiing. There is a positive association between self-efficiency and performance of male ski beginners, and negative association between fear and achieved results in basic alpine ski school in case of female ski beginners. Full article
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Open AccessCase Report Optimum Power Loads for Elite Boxers: Case Study with the Brazilian National Olympic Team
Received: 14 August 2018 / Revised: 3 September 2018 / Accepted: 10 September 2018 / Published: 13 September 2018
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Abstract
The purpose of this case study was to examine the effects of a resistance-training program based on the optimum power loads (OPL) method on neuromuscular performance of Olympic boxing athletes during preparation for the Rio-2016 Olympic Games. Twelve elite amateur boxers from the
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The purpose of this case study was to examine the effects of a resistance-training program based on the optimum power loads (OPL) method on neuromuscular performance of Olympic boxing athletes during preparation for the Rio-2016 Olympic Games. Twelve elite amateur boxers from the Brazilian National Olympic Team participated in this study. Athletes were assessed at four time-points, over two consecutive competitive seasons. In the first season (considered as “control period”), the athletes executed a non-controlled strength-power training program for 10 weeks. In the second season (a seven-week experimental period), the elite boxers performed 14 power-oriented training sessions, comprising bench press (BP) and jump squat (JS) exercises at the OPL. Maximum bar-power output in BP and JS exercises was measured pre and post both training phases. Magnitude-based inferences were used to compare changes in pre and post training tests. Bar-power outputs increased meaningfully in both BP (+8%) and JS (+7%) exercises after the OPL training program. In contrast, after the control period, no worthwhile improvements were observed in the variables tested. Based on the findings of this study, highly trained boxers might benefit from the use of a training scheme based on OPL. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Neuromuscular Research)
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Open AccessArticle Bilateral Asymmetries in Ultrasound Assessments of the Rectus Femoris throughout an NCAA Division I Volleyball Preseason
Received: 23 August 2018 / Revised: 6 September 2018 / Accepted: 10 September 2018 / Published: 12 September 2018
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Abstract
The purpose of the study was to assess glycogen content of the rectus femoris (RF) muscles utilizing high-frequency ultrasound throughout an intensive, nine-day preseason training period in NCAA division I volleyball athletes. In the morning prior to the beginning of practice, athletes (n
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The purpose of the study was to assess glycogen content of the rectus femoris (RF) muscles utilizing high-frequency ultrasound throughout an intensive, nine-day preseason training period in NCAA division I volleyball athletes. In the morning prior to the beginning of practice, athletes (n = 13) left and right RF muscles were assessed via ultrasound to quantify muscle fuel ratings (0–100 score range). The recommended location of the RF ultrasound scans were based on manufacturer guidelines, and the same technician recorded the daily measurements. To assess daily training load, session ratings of perceived exertion (s-RPE) were utilized. A paired t-test revealed a large significant difference between left (51.7 ± 17.9) and right (32.8 ± 17.4) RF muscle fuel ratings (p < 0.001). There was also a major effect of time on s-RPE (p < 0.001) and left (dominant) RF fuel rating (p = 0.001). s-RPE decreased from the beginning to the end of the training camp. However, left RF fuel ratings increased from the first to the second day, then remained elevated all throughout the preseason. In conclusion, all athletes were left-leg dominant and had a 57.6% bilateral asymmetry between their left and right RF muscle fuel ratings despite changes in training load. High-frequency ultrasounds are a noninvasive assessment tool that can determine glycogen replenishment asymmetries in the RF. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Association between Subjective Indicators of Recovery Status and Heart Rate Variability among Divison-1 Sprint-Swimmers
Received: 22 August 2018 / Revised: 4 September 2018 / Accepted: 7 September 2018 / Published: 11 September 2018
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Abstract
Heart rate variability (HRV) is a physiological marker of training adaptation among athletes. However, HRV interpretation is challenging when assessed in isolation due to its sensitivity to various training and non-training-related factors. The purpose of this study was to determine the association between
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Heart rate variability (HRV) is a physiological marker of training adaptation among athletes. However, HRV interpretation is challenging when assessed in isolation due to its sensitivity to various training and non-training-related factors. The purpose of this study was to determine the association between athlete-self report measures of recovery (ASRM) and HRV throughout a preparatory training period. Ultra-short natural logarithm of the root mean square of successive differences (LnRMSSD) and subjective ratings of sleep quality, fatigue, muscle soreness, stress and mood were acquired daily for 4 weeks among Division-1 sprint-swimmers (n = 17 males). ASRM were converted to z-scores and classified as average (z-score −0.5–0.5), better than average (z-score > 0.5) or worse than average (z-score < −0.5). Linear mixed models were used to evaluate differences in LnRMSSD based on ASRM classifications. LnRMSSD was higher (p < 0.05) when perceived sleep quality, fatigue, stress and mood were better than average versus worse than average. Within-subject correlations revealed that 15 of 17 subjects demonstrated at least one relationship (p < 0.05) between LnRMSSD and ASRM variables. Changes in HRV may be the result of non-training related factors and thus practitioners are encouraged to include subjective measures to facilitate targeted interventions to support training adaptations. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Monitoring Physiological Adaptation to Physical Training)
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Open AccessArticle Validity of PowerTap P1 Pedals during Laboratory-Based Cycling Time Trial Performance
Received: 1 August 2018 / Revised: 23 August 2018 / Accepted: 30 August 2018 / Published: 5 September 2018
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Abstract
The use of mobile power measuring devices has become widespread within cycling, with a number of manufacturers now offering power measuring pedals. This study aimed to investigate the validity of PowerTap P1 pedals by comparing them with the previously validated Wattbike ergometer. Ten
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The use of mobile power measuring devices has become widespread within cycling, with a number of manufacturers now offering power measuring pedals. This study aimed to investigate the validity of PowerTap P1 pedals by comparing them with the previously validated Wattbike ergometer. Ten trained cyclists performed three simulated 10-mile (16-km) time trials on a Wattbike, while using PowerTap P1 pedals. There were no statistically significant differences (p > 0.05) between PowerTap P1 pedals and a Wattbike for maximum, minimum, and mean power output, or for maximum, minimum, and mean cadence. There were good to excellent levels of agreement between the PowerTap P1 pedals and Wattbike (ICC > 0.8) for all measured variables except minimum cadence (ICC = 0.619). This suggests that PowerTap P1 pedals provide a valid measurement of power output. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Countermovement Jump Analysis Using Different Portable Devices: Implications for Field Testing
Received: 23 August 2018 / Revised: 29 August 2018 / Accepted: 30 August 2018 / Published: 31 August 2018
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Abstract
The aim of this study was to analyze the concurrent validity, test–retest reliability, and capacity to detect changes of four different portable devices used to measure a wide range of neuromuscular parameters derived from countermovement jump (CMJ). An accelerometric device (Myotest), a jump
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The aim of this study was to analyze the concurrent validity, test–retest reliability, and capacity to detect changes of four different portable devices used to measure a wide range of neuromuscular parameters derived from countermovement jump (CMJ). An accelerometric device (Myotest), a jump mat (Ergojump), an optical device (Optojump), and a smartphone app (MyJump) were simultaneously examined for concurrent validity against gold-standard measures (motion-capture system and a force platform). Twenty-two CMJ-derived variables were collected from 15 healthy male subjects (n = 60 CMJs). Contraction time (CT) and eccentric duration (EccD) measurements obtained from the Myotest were moderately to largely associated with and not different from force platform measurements (r = 0.31 to 0.64, ES = 0.11 to 0.18) and showed moderate test-retest reliability (intraclass correlation coefficient (ICC) = 0.92 to 0.97, coefficient of variation (CV) = 3.8 to 8.0%). Flight time (FT) and jump height (JH) from Ergojump, Optojump, and MyJump showed moderate to strong associations with gold-standard measurements (r = 0.57 to 0.98) and good test–retest reliability (ICC = 0.54 to 0.97, CV = 1.8 to 4.2). However, all portable devices underestimated JH (ES = 1.25 to 2.75). Independent of the instrument used, the analyzed CMJ variables showed good capacity to detect changes (standard error of measurement (SEM) < smallest worthwhile change (SWC)), with the exception of rate of force and rate of power development parameters, which showed marginal capacity (SEM > SWC). The Myotest is preferable to measure temporal parameters during ground contact, whereas Ergojump, Optojump, and MyJump devices may be preferable to measure FT and JH, with the Optojump being the most accurate. Full article
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Open AccessArticle The Effect of Set Up Position on EMG Amplitude, Lumbar Spine Kinetics, and Total Force Output During Maximal Isometric Conventional-Stance Deadlifts
Received: 7 August 2018 / Revised: 28 August 2018 / Accepted: 29 August 2018 / Published: 31 August 2018
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Abstract
The purpose of this study was to examine the biomechanical differences between two set up variations during the isometric initiation of conventional barbell deadlifts (DL): Close-bar DL (CBDL), where the bar is positioned above the navicular, and far-bar DL (FBDL), where the bar
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The purpose of this study was to examine the biomechanical differences between two set up variations during the isometric initiation of conventional barbell deadlifts (DL): Close-bar DL (CBDL), where the bar is positioned above the navicular, and far-bar DL (FBDL), where the bar is placed above the 3rd metatarsophalangeal joint. A cross-sectional, randomized, within-participant pilot study was used. Experienced powerlifters and weightlifters (n = 10) performed three individual isometric pulls of the initiation of both conditions. The CBDL resulted in lower tibia and knee angles and greater pelvis and torso angles than the FBDL (p < 0.05), as well as greater electromyography (EMG) activity in the biceps femoris and upper lumbar erector spinae, but lower activity in the vastus lateralis, and a lower knee extensor moment (p < 0.05). There were no statistical differences for ground reaction force, joint reaction lumbar shear and compression forces between the two conditions. Despite the differences in pelvis and torso angles between lifting conditions, the internal joint net moment, internal shear forces, and internal compressive forces were not different between the two lifting styles. The CBDL set up also resulted in greater posterior chain (hamstrings and erector spine) EMG amplitude, whereas the FBDL set up resulted in more anterior chain (quadriceps) amplitude. Lifters and coaches may choose either deadlift style, according to preferences or training goals, without concern for differences in lumbar spinal loading. Full article
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle The Negative Influence of Air Travel on Health and Performance in the National Basketball Association: A Narrative Review
Received: 3 July 2018 / Revised: 23 August 2018 / Accepted: 24 August 2018 / Published: 30 August 2018
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Abstract
Air travel requirements are a concern for National Basketball Association (NBA) coaches, players, and owners, as sport-based research has demonstrated short-haul flights (≤6 h) increase injury risk and impede performance. However, examination of the impact of air travel on player health and performance
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Air travel requirements are a concern for National Basketball Association (NBA) coaches, players, and owners, as sport-based research has demonstrated short-haul flights (≤6 h) increase injury risk and impede performance. However, examination of the impact of air travel on player health and performance specifically in the NBA is scarce. Therefore, we conducted a narrative review of literature examining the influence of air travel on health and performance in team sport athletes with suggestions for future research directions in the NBA. Prominent empirical findings and practical recommendations are highlighted pertaining to sleep, nutrition, recovery, and scheduling strategies to alleviate the negative effects of air travel on health and performance in NBA players. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Improving Practice and Performance in Basketball)
Open AccessReview The Potential Role of Genetic Markers in Talent Identification and Athlete Assessment in Elite Sport
Received: 11 June 2018 / Revised: 25 August 2018 / Accepted: 27 August 2018 / Published: 30 August 2018
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In elite sporting codes, the identification and promotion of future athletes into specialised talent pathways is heavily reliant upon objective physical, technical, and tactical characteristics, in addition to subjective coach assessments. Despite the availability of a plethora of assessments, the dependence on subjective
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In elite sporting codes, the identification and promotion of future athletes into specialised talent pathways is heavily reliant upon objective physical, technical, and tactical characteristics, in addition to subjective coach assessments. Despite the availability of a plethora of assessments, the dependence on subjective forms of identification remain commonplace in most sporting codes. More recently, genetic markers, including several single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs), have been correlated with enhanced aerobic capacity, strength, and an overall increase in athletic ability. In this review, we discuss the effects of a number of candidate genes on athletic performance, across single-skilled and multifaceted sporting codes, and propose additional markers for the identification of motor skill acquisition and learning. While displaying some inconsistencies, both the ACE and ACTN3 polymorphisms appear to be more prevalent in strength and endurance sporting teams, and have been found to correlate to physical assessments. More recently, a number of polymorphisms reportedly correlating to athlete performance have gained attention, however inconsistent research design and varying sports make it difficult to ascertain the relevance to the wider sporting population. In elucidating the role of genetic markers in athleticism, existing talent identification protocols may significantly improve—and ultimately enable—targeted resourcing in junior talent pathways. Full article
Open AccessArticle Analysis of the Coverage of Paratriathlon and Paratriathletes in Canadian Newspapers
Received: 22 July 2018 / Revised: 14 August 2018 / Accepted: 21 August 2018 / Published: 29 August 2018
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Abstract
From recreational to elite levels, sport has many benefits for disabled people. At the same time, it is acknowledged that there is a trickle-down problem from para-elite sport to sport participation of disabled people, in general. Newspapers are one form of media that
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From recreational to elite levels, sport has many benefits for disabled people. At the same time, it is acknowledged that there is a trickle-down problem from para-elite sport to sport participation of disabled people, in general. Newspapers are one form of media that sets agendas and influences public opinion. Many studies have highlighted problematic aspects of parasport and para-athlete coverage in newspapers. Paratriathlon was one of two new events added to the Paralympics in Rio 2016, which increased its visibility in the public domain. We investigated the coverage of paratriathlon and paratriathletes in 300 Canadian newspapers using the ProQuest database Canadian Newsstream as a source, and utilizing a descriptive quantitative and a qualitative thematic content analysis. The main themes evident in the reporting on paratriathlon and paratriathletes, in the three hundred Canadian newspapers we covered, were the supercrip imagery of the para-athlete, personal stories mostly linked to the supercrip imagery, and the theme of able-bodied athletes in juxtaposition to the para-athletes. Using the lens of the four legacy goals of the International Paralympic Committee, we conclude that our findings are detrimental to the fulfillment of the four legacy goals. Full article
Open AccessArticle Reduced Volume ‘Daily Max’ Training Compared to Higher Volume Periodized Training in Powerlifters Preparing for Competition—A Pilot Study
Received: 2 August 2018 / Revised: 24 August 2018 / Accepted: 27 August 2018 / Published: 29 August 2018
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The present study looked to examine reduced volume ‘daily max’ (near max loads) training compared to higher volume periodized training in powerlifters preparing for competition. Ten competitive powerlifters were split into 2 groups (MAX group and PER group) and participated in a 10-week
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The present study looked to examine reduced volume ‘daily max’ (near max loads) training compared to higher volume periodized training in powerlifters preparing for competition. Ten competitive powerlifters were split into 2 groups (MAX group and PER group) and participated in a 10-week training intervention either following a “daily max” training protocol or a traditional periodized training protocol while preparing for competition. All participants underwent 1RM testing for squat (SQ), bench press (BP) and deadlift (DL) prior to the 10-week intervention. The MAX group performed single sets of single repetitions using a load equating to an RPE rating of 9–9.5 while the PER group performed higher volume periodized training with loads ranging from 70%1RM up to 93%1RM as well as a taper at the final weeks of the training intervention. Both groups were tested after the 10-week training intervention at the Greek IPF-affiliate National Championships. In the PER group, powerlifting (PL) total increased for P1 and P3 by 2% and 6.5% respectively while P2 experienced no change. In the MAX group PL total increased for P1 and P2 by 4.8% and 4.2% respectively while it decreased by 0.5%, 3.4% and 5% for P3, P4 and P5 respectively. In the MAX group peri PL total increased for P1–4 by 3.6%, 4.2%, 4.5% and 1.8% respectively while it decreased by 1.2% for P5. The results of this pilot study show that single-set, single-rep, RPE based ‘daily max’ training may be a favorable strategy for some beginner-intermediate powerlifters preparing for competition while it may lead to performance decreases for others. Further, it suggests that performance may be comparable to traditional periodized training during shorter training cycles, though future work with larger samples is needed to further test this. Practically ‘daily max’ training may be useful for PL athletes looking to maintain strength during periods with limited training time available. Full article
Open AccessArticle Seasonal and Longitudinal Changes in Body Composition by Sport-Position in NCAA Division I Basketball Athletes
Received: 23 July 2018 / Revised: 17 August 2018 / Accepted: 20 August 2018 / Published: 22 August 2018
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Abstract
The purpose of this study was to assess the body composition of male and female basketball athletes (n = 323) across season, year, and sport-position using air displacement plethysmography. An independent sample t-test assessed sport-position differences. An analysis of variance was
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The purpose of this study was to assess the body composition of male and female basketball athletes (n = 323) across season, year, and sport-position using air displacement plethysmography. An independent sample t-test assessed sport-position differences. An analysis of variance was used to assess within-subjects across season (pre-season, in-season, and off-season), and academic year (freshman, sophomore, and junior). For both men and women basketball (MBB, WBB) athletes, guards had the lowest body fat, fat mass, fat free mass, and body mass. No seasonal differences were observed in MBB, but following in-season play for WBB, a reduction of (p = 0.03) in fat free mass (FFM) was observed. Across years, MBB showed an increase in FFM from freshman to sophomore year, yet remained unchanged through junior year. For WBB across years, no differences occurred for body mass (BM), body fat (BF%), and fat mass (FM), yet FFM increased from sophomore to junior year (p = 0.009). Sport-position differences exist in MBB and WBB: Guards were found to be smaller and leaner than forwards. Due to the importance of body composition (BC) on athletic performance, along with seasonal and longitudinal shifts in BC, strength and conditioning practitioners should periodically assess athletes BC to ensure preservation of FFM. Training and nutrition programming can then be adjusted in response to changes in BC. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Improving Practice and Performance in Basketball)
Open AccessArticle Validity, Reliability, and Application of the Session-RPE Method for Quantifying Training Loads during High Intensity Functional Training
Received: 29 July 2018 / Revised: 14 August 2018 / Accepted: 20 August 2018 / Published: 21 August 2018
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Abstract
The session rate of perceived exertion method (sRPE) has often been utilized in sports activities in which quantification of external training loads is challenging. The multi-modal, constantly varied nature of high intensity functional training (HIFT) represents a significant hurdle to calculate external work
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The session rate of perceived exertion method (sRPE) has often been utilized in sports activities in which quantification of external training loads is challenging. The multi-modal, constantly varied nature of high intensity functional training (HIFT) represents a significant hurdle to calculate external work and the sRPE method may provide an elegant solution to this problem. However, no studies have investigated the psychometric properties of sRPE within HIFT interventions. Twenty-five healthy men and women participated in six weeks of HIFT. Rate of perceived exertion and heart rate were assessed within every training session throughout the duration of the intervention. Compared to criterion heart rate-based measures, we observed sRPE method is a valid tool across individual, group, and sex levels. However, poor reliability in participants’ abilities to correctly match rate of perceived exertion with the relative level of physiologic effort (i.e., percentile of maximum heart rate) currently limits the utility of this strategy within HIFT. When applied, the validity and reliability of the sRPE seem to improve over time, and future research should continue to explore the potential of this monitoring strategy within HIFT interventions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Research on High Intensity Functional Training)
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle Relationships between Unilateral Muscle Strength Qualities and Change of Direction in Adolescent Team-Sport Athletes
Received: 3 August 2018 / Revised: 17 August 2018 / Accepted: 20 August 2018 / Published: 20 August 2018
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Abstract
Previous studies have reported an association between global measures of bilateral strength and change of direction (COD) ability. Yet, little is known about the association between unilateral muscle strength qualities and COD ability. The aim of this study was to explore the associations
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Previous studies have reported an association between global measures of bilateral strength and change of direction (COD) ability. Yet, little is known about the association between unilateral muscle strength qualities and COD ability. The aim of this study was to explore the associations between unilateral muscle strength qualities and COD measures (COD speed (CODS) and COD deficit) when matched limb-for-limb (i.e., right limb vs. right limb, left limb vs. left limb) in adolescent team-sport athletes. One hundred and fifteen athletes (56 males, 59 females) active in cricket, netball, and basketball participated in this investigation. Each player performed trials of countermovement jump (CMJ), single-leg hop (SLH), isometric mid-thigh pull (IMTP) and eccentric knee extensor torque (ECC-EXT) to assess muscle strength qualities and 505 and modified 505 (505mod) to evaluate COD ability. Moderate-to-large correlations were observed between SLH and CODS (r = −0.43 to −0.67). Another important finding was that CMJ measures demonstrated moderate-to-large correlations with CODS (r = −0.38 to −0.69) and small-to-moderate correlations with COD deficit (r = −0.24 to −0.45). COD is underpinned by distinct muscle strength qualities and each contribute to specific phases of a COD task. It is therefore likely that such connections exist between muscle strength qualities and COD, with all qualities contributing to overall COD ability. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Assessment and Development of Change of Direction Speed and Agility)
Open AccessCase Report Impact of a Professional Nutrition Program on a Female Cross Country Collegiate Athlete: A Case Report
Received: 12 July 2018 / Revised: 15 August 2018 / Accepted: 17 August 2018 / Published: 19 August 2018
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Abstract
Low caloric intake or excessive energy expenditure can lead to a negative energy balance, which, in female athletes, may result in a condition called the female athlete triad. While several guidelines identified proper nutrition as a first line of treatment, little research has
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Low caloric intake or excessive energy expenditure can lead to a negative energy balance, which, in female athletes, may result in a condition called the female athlete triad. While several guidelines identified proper nutrition as a first line of treatment, little research has been reported to show the effect of a professional nutrition program (PNP) on the female athlete triad. The purpose of this case report was to measure the short- and long-term effects of a PNP on a female athlete presenting triad characteristics. A 20-year-old female track-and-field athlete at a Division I university who was in negative energy balance and amenorrheic underwent a one-month PNP. Short- and long-term effects measured by a dual X-ray absorptiometry scan prior to and after attending a PNP showed increased total energy intake from 2188 kcals to 3187 kcals, which resulted in an increase in body fat percent (BF%) from 4.7% to 6.7%. However, by the end of four months, energy intake and BF% (5.7% and 6.0%) values were reduced, respectively. After the twelve-month follow-up, BF% was increased (10.5%), suggesting that increasing energy intake to meet energy demands, without compromising athletic training, can be an effective treatment for the female athlete triad. Full article
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle Reliability of and Relationship between Flight Time to Contraction Time Ratio and Reactive Strength Index Modified
Received: 31 July 2018 / Revised: 7 August 2018 / Accepted: 14 August 2018 / Published: 15 August 2018
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Abstract
Countermovement jump (CMJ) force-time testing is commonly used to monitor seasonal alterations in athletes’ CMJ strategy (to infer alterations in neuromuscular function). The flight time to contraction time (FT:CT) ratio and reactive strength index modified (RSImod) are considered to be two
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Countermovement jump (CMJ) force-time testing is commonly used to monitor seasonal alterations in athletes’ CMJ strategy (to infer alterations in neuromuscular function). The flight time to contraction time (FT:CT) ratio and reactive strength index modified (RSImod) are considered to be two primary CMJ variables of interest. Due to similar calculations, it is likely that the FT:CT ratio and RSImod share similar reliability and an almost perfect relationship. Consequently, there may be no requirement to include both variables in CMJ monitoring reports. This study aimed to investigate this by recruiting twenty-five males to perform three CMJs on a force platform across two sessions that were separated by one week. The FT:CT ratio and two calculations of RSImod (based on the jump height from either flight time or take-off velocity) were then calculated using robust methods. The between-day reliability was good-excellent for all of the variables (95% confidence interval range of the coefficient of variation = 2.02–9.22%) with no significant between-day differences noted (p ≥ 0.231). There was an almost perfect positive relationship between the FT:CT ratio and RSImod regardless of the calculation method (r = 0.944–0.947, p < 0.001). As the FT:CT ratio and RSImod yield similar absolute reliability and share 90% of common variance, there is little reason to include both variables in CMJ monitoring reports. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Relation between Motor and Cognitive Skills in Italian Basketball Players Aged between 7 and 10 Years Old
Received: 11 July 2018 / Revised: 3 August 2018 / Accepted: 13 August 2018 / Published: 14 August 2018
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Abstract
There is evidence supporting a correlation between motor, attention and working memory in children. This present study focuses on children aged between 7 and 10 years, who have been playing basketball in the last two years. The aim of this study is to
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There is evidence supporting a correlation between motor, attention and working memory in children. This present study focuses on children aged between 7 and 10 years, who have been playing basketball in the last two years. The aim of this study is to verify the correlation between cognitive and motor abilities and to understand the importance of this correlation in basketball practice. A total of 75 children who were 7.2–10.99 years old were assessed in terms of their attention, motor manual sequences and visuo-spatial working memory. A regression analysis was provided. In this sample, the motor abilities of children were found to be correlated with attention (denomination task, R2 = 0.07), visuo-spatial working memory (R2 = 0.06) and motor manual sequencing (aiming and catching task, R2 = 0.05; and manual dexterity task, R2 = 0.10). These correlations justify the suggestion to introduce deeper cognitive involvement during basketball training. The development of executive functions could have an important impact on basketball practice and the introduction of attention and memory tasks could help coaches to obtain optimal improvement in performance during the training sessions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Improving Practice and Performance in Basketball)
Open AccessFeature PaperArticle Force-Time Differences between Ballistic and Non-Ballistic Half-Squats
Received: 18 July 2018 / Revised: 29 July 2018 / Accepted: 10 August 2018 / Published: 12 August 2018
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Abstract
The purpose of this study was to examine the force-time differences between concentric-only half-squats (COHS) performed with ballistic (BAL) or non-ballistic (NBAL) intent across a range of loads. Eighteen resistance-trained men performed either BAL or NBAL COHS at 30%, 50%, 70%, and 90%
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The purpose of this study was to examine the force-time differences between concentric-only half-squats (COHS) performed with ballistic (BAL) or non-ballistic (NBAL) intent across a range of loads. Eighteen resistance-trained men performed either BAL or NBAL COHS at 30%, 50%, 70%, and 90% of their one repetition maximum (1RM) COHS. Relative peak force (PF) and relative impulse from 0–50 ms (Imp50), 0–90 ms (Imp90), 0–200 ms (Imp200), and 0–250 ms (Imp250) were compared using a series of 2 × 4 (intent × load) repeated measures ANOVAs with Bonferroni post hoc tests. Cohen’s d effect sizes were calculated to provide measures of practical significance between the BAL and NBAL COHS and each load. BAL COHS produced statistically greater PF than NBAL COHS at 30% (d = 3.37), 50% (d = 2.88), 70% (d = 2.29), and 90% 1RM (d = 1.19) (all p < 0.001). Statistically significant main effect differences were found between load-averaged BAL and NBAL COHS for Imp90 (p = 0.006, d = 0.25), Imp200 (p = 0.001, d = 0.36), and Imp250 (p < 0.001, d = 0.41), but not for Imp50 (p = 0.018, d = 0.21). Considering the greater PF and impulse observed during the BAL condition, performing COHS with BAL intent may provide a favorable training stimulus compared to COHS performed with NBAL intent. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Neuromuscular Research)
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Open AccessArticle Adolescent Finswimmers: Early Myocardial Adaptations in Different Swimming Styles
Received: 12 June 2018 / Revised: 6 August 2018 / Accepted: 6 August 2018 / Published: 10 August 2018
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Abstract
Background: The purpose of our study was to investigate early differences in the adolescent female finswimmers’ echocardiography parameters, possibly associated with different swimming-style training and different training equipment (monofin (MF) versus bifin (BF)). Method: Forty-three female finswimmers participated in our study (age: 15.6
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Background: The purpose of our study was to investigate early differences in the adolescent female finswimmers’ echocardiography parameters, possibly associated with different swimming-style training and different training equipment (monofin (MF) versus bifin (BF)). Method: Forty-three female finswimmers participated in our study (age: 15.6 ± 2.1 years, body mass index: 20.4 ± 2.2 kg/m2, body surface area: 1.56 ± 0.04 m2, body fat: 11.2 ± 0.6%) and were divided into two groups, according to the swimming style practiced (MF vs BF). Anthropometric characteristics, echocardiography and arterial pressure were measured. The independent t-test was used for statistical comparisons between groups. Stepwise multivariate regression analysis was applied to investigate associations between various variables. Results: The two groups used training equipment with different weights (p < 0.001). Female adolescent finswimmers presented signs of myocardial hypertrophy depicted by the increased left ventricle myocardial mass indexed to body surface area (101.34 ± 23.65). Different patterns of myocardial hypertrophy were observed for the two groups; MF swimmers presented concentric hypertrophy, while BF swimmers presented eccentric hypertrophy (relative wall thickness MF = 0.46 ± 0.08 vs BF = 0.39 ± 0.06 cm, p < 0.05). MF swimmers had also higher left ventricular posterior wall diameters (p < 0.05), lower stroke volume values (p < 0.05) and lower ejection fraction (p < 0.05) compared to BF athletes. Conclusion: Adolescent female finswimmers presented different patterns of myocardial hypertrophy possibly related to different training protocols and modes of exercise. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Physiological Responses During Exercise)
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Open AccessArticle Prescribing Target Running Intensities for High-School Athletes: Can Forward and Backward Running Performance Be Autoregulated?
Received: 23 July 2018 / Revised: 5 August 2018 / Accepted: 7 August 2018 / Published: 9 August 2018
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Abstract
Target running intensities are prescribed to enhance sprint-running performance and progress injured athletes back into competition, yet is unknown whether running speed can be achieved using autoregulation. This study investigated the consistency of running intensities in adolescent athletes using autoregulation to self-select velocity.
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Target running intensities are prescribed to enhance sprint-running performance and progress injured athletes back into competition, yet is unknown whether running speed can be achieved using autoregulation. This study investigated the consistency of running intensities in adolescent athletes using autoregulation to self-select velocity. Thirty-four boys performed 20 m forward running (FR) and backward running (BR) trials at slow, moderate and fast intensities (40–55%, 60–75% and +90% maximum effort, respectively) on three occasions. Absolute and relative consistency was assessed using the coefficient of variation (CV) and intraclass correlation coefficients (ICC). Systematic changes in 10 and 20 m performance were identified between trials 1–2 for moderate and fast BR (p ≤ 0.01) and during moderate BR over 20 m across trials 2–3 (p ≤ 0.05). However, comparisons between trials 2–3 resulted in low typical percentage error (CV ≤ 4.3%) and very good to excellent relative consistency (ICC ≥ 0.87) for all running speeds and directions. Despite FR being significantly (p ≤ 0.01) faster than BR at slow (26%), moderate (28%) and fast intensities (26%), consistency was similar in both running directions and strongest at the fastest speeds. Following appropriate familiarization, youth athletes may use autoregulation to self-select prescribed FR and BR target running intensities. Full article
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Open AccessFeature PaperReview High-Intensity Functional Training (HIFT): Definition and Research Implications for Improved Fitness
Received: 16 June 2018 / Revised: 30 July 2018 / Accepted: 3 August 2018 / Published: 7 August 2018
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Abstract
High-intensity functional training (HIFT) is an exercise modality that emphasizes functional, multi-joint movements that can be modified to any fitness level and elicit greater muscle recruitment than more traditional exercise. As a relatively new training modality, HIFT is often compared to high-intensity interval
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High-intensity functional training (HIFT) is an exercise modality that emphasizes functional, multi-joint movements that can be modified to any fitness level and elicit greater muscle recruitment than more traditional exercise. As a relatively new training modality, HIFT is often compared to high-intensity interval training (HIIT), yet the two are distinct. HIIT exercise is characterized by relatively short bursts of repeated vigorous activity, interspersed by periods of rest or low-intensity exercise for recovery, while HIFT utilizes constantly varied functional exercises and various activity durations that may or may not incorporate rest. Over the last decade, studies evaluating the effectiveness of HIIT programs have documented improvements in metabolic and cardiorespiratory adaptations; however, less is known about the effects of HIFT. The purpose of this manuscript is to provide a working definition of HIFT and review the available literature regarding its use to improve metabolic and cardiorespiratory adaptations in strength and conditioning programs among various populations. Additionally, we aim to create a definition that is used in future publications to evaluate more effectively the future impact of this type of training on health and fitness outcomes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Research on High Intensity Functional Training)
Open AccessReview Gait Pattern, Impact to the Skeleton and Postural Balance in Overweight and Obese Children: A Review
Received: 9 June 2018 / Revised: 18 July 2018 / Accepted: 26 July 2018 / Published: 31 July 2018
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Abstract
The article reviews the biomechanical factors that may cause overweight/obese children to reduce their level of physical activity, while increasing their risk of overuse injuries and exercise-related pain. Recommendations would be to screen those children for any gait or postural impairments before they
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The article reviews the biomechanical factors that may cause overweight/obese children to reduce their level of physical activity, while increasing their risk of overuse injuries and exercise-related pain. Recommendations would be to screen those children for any gait or postural impairments before they join any exercise program, and to provide them with specific gait treatments and/or physical exercise programs, in order to decrease their risk for future musculoskeletal injuries and pain. Full article
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Open AccessArticle The Effect of a 6-Month Coach Educational Program on Strengthening Coach-Athlete Interpersonal Relationships in Individual Youth Sport
Received: 7 June 2018 / Revised: 17 July 2018 / Accepted: 24 July 2018 / Published: 29 July 2018
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Abstract
The purpose of this intervention study was to develop an educational program for coaches to strengthen the coach–athlete interpersonal relationship in individual youth sport. To obtain data in the qualitative interpretative phenomenology phase, 10 youth sports coaches took part in semi-structured, in-depth interviews.
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The purpose of this intervention study was to develop an educational program for coaches to strengthen the coach–athlete interpersonal relationship in individual youth sport. To obtain data in the qualitative interpretative phenomenology phase, 10 youth sports coaches took part in semi-structured, in-depth interviews. The educational program was developed by integrating psychological, educational and social skills into the educational coaching sessions. The program involved a detailed video analysis, theoretical classes, and individual consultations. The qualitative interpretative phenomenology research design was used and enabled to evaluate the program. The study results revealed that the program had a positive impact on the transformation of the coach–athlete interpersonal relationship in sport. Behavioural, emotional, cognitive, and social strategies changes occured. The quality of the coach–athlete relationship changed: trust, communication, cooperation, encouragement, and a connection between athletes and the coaches appeared. The study’s results showed that the educational program for coaches had a positive effect on the quality of interpersonal relationships between athletes and the coaches and increased positive coaching strategies in youth sport. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Anticipating the Direction of Soccer Penalty Shots Depends on the Speed and Technique of the Kick
Received: 2 July 2018 / Revised: 18 July 2018 / Accepted: 26 July 2018 / Published: 29 July 2018
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Abstract
To succeed at a sport, athletes must manage the biomechanical trade-offs that constrain their performance. Here, we investigate a previously unknown trade-off in soccer: how the speed of a kick makes the outcome more predictable to an opponent. For this analysis, we focused
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To succeed at a sport, athletes must manage the biomechanical trade-offs that constrain their performance. Here, we investigate a previously unknown trade-off in soccer: how the speed of a kick makes the outcome more predictable to an opponent. For this analysis, we focused on penalty kicks to build on previous models of factors that influence scoring. More than 700 participants completed an online survey, watching videos of penalty shots from the perspective of a goalkeeper. Participants (ranging in soccer playing experience from never played to professional) watched 60 penalty kicks, each of which was occluded at a particular moment (−0.4 s to 0.0 s) before the kicker contacted the ball. For each kick, participants had to predict shot direction toward the goal (left or right). As expected, predictions became more accurate as time of occlusion approached ball contact. However, the effect of occlusion was more pronounced when players kicked with the side of the foot than when they kicked with the top of the foot (instep). For side-foot kicks, the direction of shots was predicted more accurately for faster kicks, especially when a large portion of the kicker’s approach was presented. Given the trade-off between kicking speed and directional predictability, a penalty kicker might benefit from kicking below their maximal speed. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Early Adaptations to a Two-Week Uphill Run Sprint Interval Training and Cycle Sprint Interval Training
Received: 28 June 2018 / Revised: 24 July 2018 / Accepted: 26 July 2018 / Published: 27 July 2018
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Abstract
This study sought to compare early physiological and performance adaptations between a two-week cycle sprint interval training (SIT) and uphill run sprint training (UST) programs. Seventeen recreationally active adult males (age = 28 ± 5 years; body mass (BM) = 78 ± 9
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This study sought to compare early physiological and performance adaptations between a two-week cycle sprint interval training (SIT) and uphill run sprint training (UST) programs. Seventeen recreationally active adult males (age = 28 ± 5 years; body mass (BM) = 78 ± 9 kg) were assigned to either a control (n = 5), SIT (n = 6), or UST (n = 6) group. A discrete group of participants (n = 6, age = 33 ± 6 years, and body mass = 80 ± 9 kg) completed both training protocols to determine acute physiological responses. Intervention groups completed either a run or cycle peak oxygen uptake (VO2peak) test (intervention type dependent) prior to and following two weeks of training. Training comprised of three sessions per week of 4 × 30-s “all-out” sprints with a four-minute active recovery between bouts on a cycle ergometer against 7.5% of body mass in the SIT group and on a 10% slope in the UST group. The VO2peak values remained unchanged in both training groups, but time-to-exhaustion (TTE) was significantly increased only in the UST group (pre—495 ± 40 s, post—551 ± 15 s; p = 0.014) and not in the SIT group (pre—613 ± 130 s, post—634 ± 118 s, p = 0.07). Ventilatory threshold (VT) was significantly increased in both training groups (SIT group: pre—1.94 ± 0.45 L·min−1, post—2.23 ± 0.42 L·min−1; p < 0.005, UST group: pre—2.04 ± 0.40 L·min−1, post—2.33 ± 0.34 L·min−1, p < 0.005). These results indicate that UST may be an effective alternative to SIT in healthy individuals. Full article
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