Supporting Athlete Development: The Role of Supporting Structures

A special issue of Healthcare (ISSN 2227-9032).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 December 2023) | Viewed by 12365

Special Issue Editor


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Guest Editor
1. Sports Science School of Rio Maior, Polytechnic Institute of Santarém, 2040-413 Rio Maior, Portugal
2. Life Quality Research Center, 2040-413 Rio Maior, Portugal
3. Research Centre in Sport Sciences, Health Sciences and Human Development, 5001-801 Vila Real, Portugal
Interests: exercise physiology; soccer training, well-being, training load; sports; physical activity and healthy lifestyle; exercise training programs; physical capacity; body composition; strength and conditioning
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Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

In several elite sports, training and match loads have been assessed over the years. However, the supporting structures are not the same for all clubs, sports, and environments. Supporting structures include:

  • Training methods;
  • Nutrition and supplements;
  • Recovery;
  • Monitoring, screening, and tracking;
  • Medicine;
  • Rehabilitation and injury prevention, screening, and planning;
  • Strength and conditioning;
  • Data analytics.

In this sense, there are questions that still need to be answered, such as:

  • How do athlete supporting structures help monitor athlete development?
  • How do athlete supporting structures enhance physical development?
  • What is the specific role of supporting structures?
  • How do supporting structures work in a multidisciplinary approach to enhance athlete performance and healthcare?

Studies from different contexts and sports are welcome. The aim of the present Special Issue is to contribute with knowledge about the screening, planning, monitoring, and training of different exercise components (cardiorespiratory, strength, body composition) and/or about nutritional, recovery, rehab, medicine, and injury prevention strategies, from different structure types in order to provide more practical information to the field. The present Special Issue will accept original research and systematic reviews from all sports. We hypothesize that this Special Issue will generate relevant information about the importance of supporting structures and how they can help athletes and coaches in the specific context of the sport.

Dr. Rafael Oliveira
Guest Editor

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Keywords

  • fitness
  • injury
  • illness
  • match load
  • sports training
  • sports performance
  • training load
  • wellness
  • well-being
  • supporting structures
  • training methods
  • nutrition and supplements
  • recovery
  • monitoring
  • medicine
  • rehabilitation
  • injury prevention
  • strength and conditioning
  • data analytics

Published Papers (6 papers)

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Research

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12 pages, 526 KiB  
Article
Effects of Swedish Massage at Different Times of the Day on Dynamic and Static Balance in Taekwondo Athletes
by Serdar Bayrakdaroğlu, Özgür Eken, Ramazan Bayer, Fatma Hilal Yagin, Tuba Kızılet, Recep Fatih Kayhan and Luca Paolo Ardigò
Healthcare 2024, 12(2), 165; https://doi.org/10.3390/healthcare12020165 - 10 Jan 2024
Viewed by 1455
Abstract
The purpose of this study is to investigate the impact of different durations of Swedish massage on the static and dynamic balance at different times of the day in taekwondo athletes. Twelve taekwondo athletes who had been practicing on a regular basis for [...] Read more.
The purpose of this study is to investigate the impact of different durations of Swedish massage on the static and dynamic balance at different times of the day in taekwondo athletes. Twelve taekwondo athletes who had been practicing on a regular basis for more than 5 years participated in this study. Taekwondo athletes completed static and dynamic balance tests either after a no-massage protocol (NMP), a five-minute massage protocol (5MMP), a ten-minute massage protocol (10MMP), or a fifteen-minute massage protocol (15MMP) two times a day in the morning (08:00–12:00) and in the evening (16:00–20:00), on non-consecutive days. The findings of this study suggest that the duration of the massage has a discernible impact on dynamic balance, particularly with regard to the right foot. Taekwondo athletes who received a 10MMP or 15MMP displayed significantly improved dynamic balance compared to those in the NMP. Importantly, these improvements were independent of the time of day when the massages were administered. It underscores the potential benefits of incorporating short-duration Swedish massages into taekwondo athletes’ pre-competition routines to enhance dynamic balance. These findings highlight the potential benefits of incorporating short-duration Swedish massages into taekwondo athletes’ pre-competition routines to enhance dynamic balance, a critical component of their performance, regardless of the time of day. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Supporting Athlete Development: The Role of Supporting Structures)
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21 pages, 1828 KiB  
Article
Is a Maximal Strength-Training Program Effective on Physical Fitness, Injury Incidence, and Injury Burden in Semi-Professional Soccer Players? A Randomized Controlled Trial
by Roberto Durán-Custodio, Daniel Castillo, Javier Raya-González and Javier Yanci
Healthcare 2023, 11(24), 3195; https://doi.org/10.3390/healthcare11243195 - 18 Dec 2023
Viewed by 1198
Abstract
The aims of the study were to analyze the effects of a 12-week maximal strength- training program on injury incidence, injury burden, and physical fitness in semi-professional soccer players and to compare the perceived exertion load and well-being state between injured and non-injured [...] Read more.
The aims of the study were to analyze the effects of a 12-week maximal strength- training program on injury incidence, injury burden, and physical fitness in semi-professional soccer players and to compare the perceived exertion load and well-being state between injured and non-injured soccer players. Twenty semi-professional male soccer players participated in this study. Participants were randomly allocated to an experimental group (EG, n = 10 players), who performed a maximal strength-training program, or to a control group (CG, n = 10 players), who only performed their regular soccer training. Physical fitness was measured at baseline and after the training program. In addition, the injury incidence, burden, training/match load, and the state of well-being of the players were recorded. The EG showed significant improvements in vertical jumps, change in direction ability, linear sprints, repeated sprint ability, isometric strength (p < 0.003; effect size = 1.78–11.86), and quadriceps–hamstring imbalance in both legs (p < 0.001; effect size = 2.37–3.71) in comparison to the CG. In addition, the EG players showed a significantly (p < 0.05) lower injury burden (p < 0.001, relative risk = 5.05, 95% confidence interval = 3.27–7.79). This study demonstrated the beneficial effects of a 12-week maximal strength-training program on physical fitness attributes and injury burden in semi-professional soccer players. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Supporting Athlete Development: The Role of Supporting Structures)
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11 pages, 3273 KiB  
Article
Effectiveness of Vertical versus Horizontal Plyometric Training on Stretch-Shortening Cycle Performance Enhancement in Adolescent Soccer Players
by Cem Kurt, Umut Canli, Sadullah Erdal Erdaş, Luca Poli, Roberto Carvutto, Stefania Cataldi, Francesco Fischetti and Gianpiero Greco
Healthcare 2023, 11(11), 1615; https://doi.org/10.3390/healthcare11111615 - 1 Jun 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1854
Abstract
Plyometric exercise is a major tool for improving explosive actions. This study aimed to compare the efficacy of a vertical and horizontal plyometric training program on stretch-shortening performance variables in adolescent soccer players. Thirty-two male soccer players (aged 12.09 ± 0.89 years, with [...] Read more.
Plyometric exercise is a major tool for improving explosive actions. This study aimed to compare the efficacy of a vertical and horizontal plyometric training program on stretch-shortening performance variables in adolescent soccer players. Thirty-two male soccer players (aged 12.09 ± 0.89 years, with soccer experience 5.37 ± 1.58 years) were divided into horizontal plyometric, vertical plyometric, or control groups. The horizontal and vertical plyometric groups participated in a 6-week training program that was performed twice per week, with a 48-h interval, in conjunction with regular soccer training. The control group participated only in regular soccer training. Vertical jump height, reactive strength index, leg stiffness, ground contact time, standing long jump distance, agility, and 10 and 20 m sprint performances were tested as stretch-shortening performance variables of the participants. Stretch-shortening performance variables were assessed before and after completion of the training program. The results showed that either horizontal or vertical plyometric training had no effect on VJH, RSI, GCT, or Kleg performance (F = 2.14, 1.32, 0.66, 1.03; p > 0.05). Furthermore, there was no effect on SLJ, 10 m sprint, 20 m sprint, or agility performance (F = 2.06, 0.14, 0.06, 0.27; p > 0.05). A 6-week horizontal or vertical plyometric intervention was found to be insufficient to elicit stretch-shortening performance enhancement in adolescent male soccer players. Although there was no performance change in any group, it was observed that the players enjoyed plyometric training. Therefore, coaches could safely use plyometric exercises to design enjoyable training programs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Supporting Athlete Development: The Role of Supporting Structures)
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11 pages, 1468 KiB  
Article
A Beta Version of an Application Based on Computer Vision for the Assessment of Knee Valgus Angle: A Validity and Reliability Study
by Luis Ceballos-Laita, Xavier Marimon, Albert Masip-Alvarez, Sara Cabanillas-Barea, Sandra Jiménez-del-Barrio and Andoni Carrasco-Uribarren
Healthcare 2023, 11(9), 1258; https://doi.org/10.3390/healthcare11091258 - 28 Apr 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1640
Abstract
Background: In handball, the kinematics of the frontal plane seem to be one of the most important factors for the development of lower limb injuries. The knee valgus angle is a fundamental axis for injury prevention and is usually measured with 2D systems [...] Read more.
Background: In handball, the kinematics of the frontal plane seem to be one of the most important factors for the development of lower limb injuries. The knee valgus angle is a fundamental axis for injury prevention and is usually measured with 2D systems such as Kinovea software (Version 0.9.4.). Technological advances such as computer vision have the potential to revolutionize sports medicine. However, the validity and reliability of computer vision must be evaluated before using it in clinical practice. The aim of this study was to analyze the test-retest and inter-rater reliability and the concurrent validity of a beta version app based on computer vision for the measurement of knee valgus angle in elite handball athletes. Methods: The knee valgus angle of 42 elite handball athletes was measured. A frontal photo during a single-leg squat was taken, and two examiners measured the angle by the beta application based on computer vision at baseline and at one-week follow-up to calculate the test-retest and inter-rater reliability. A third examiner assessed the knee valgus angle using 2D Kinovea software to calculate the concurrent validity. Results: The knee valgus angle in the elite handball athletes was 158.54 ± 5.22°. The test-retest reliability for both examiners was excellent, showing an Intraclass Correlation Coefficient (ICC) of 0.859–0.933. The inter-rater reliability showed a moderate ICC: 0.658 (0.354–0.819). The standard error of the measurement with the app was stated between 1.69° and 3.50°, and the minimum detectable change was stated between 4.68° and 9.70°. The concurrent validity was strong r = 0.931; p < 0.001. Conclusions: The computer-based smartphone app showed an excellent test-retest and inter-rater reliability and a strong concurrent validity compared to Kinovea software for the measurement of the knee valgus angle. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Supporting Athlete Development: The Role of Supporting Structures)
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11 pages, 616 KiB  
Article
Team Cohesion in Individual/Team Sports Athletes: Transformational Leadership and the Role of Social norms
by Youngtaek Oh and Jung-In Yoo
Healthcare 2023, 11(6), 792; https://doi.org/10.3390/healthcare11060792 - 8 Mar 2023
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 3998
Abstract
Team cohesion is a critical factor in sports, yet few studies have comparatively analyzed individual and team sport athletes in sporting situations. The purpose of this study was to identify the relationship between transformational leadership, social norms, and team cohesion, and to analyze [...] Read more.
Team cohesion is a critical factor in sports, yet few studies have comparatively analyzed individual and team sport athletes in sporting situations. The purpose of this study was to identify the relationship between transformational leadership, social norms, and team cohesion, and to analyze the moderating effects of individual/team sports athletes. In 2022, a total of 196 baseball, judo, soccer, taekwondo, and hockey players registered with the Korean Sport & Olympic Committee completed a questionnaire using transformational leadership, social norms, and team cohesion scales. Transformational leadership had a significant positive effect on social norms and team cohesion. Social norms had a significant positive effect on team cohesion. Transformational leadership and the interaction of individual/team sports athletes had a significant effect on team cohesion. At this time, individual sports athletes appeared to have somewhat higher team cohesion. This study sheds light on the social norms and team cohesion of athletes from a social moral perspective based on transformational leadership theory. It can also help young athletes who are just starting out to learn the culture and sociology of sports. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Supporting Athlete Development: The Role of Supporting Structures)
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Review

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15 pages, 294 KiB  
Review
An Urgent Call for Concussion Incidence Measures in Para Sport for Athletes with Vision Impairment: A Narrative Review
by Juliette I. Teodoro, Elizabeth L. Irving, Jane D. Blaine and Kristine N. Dalton
Healthcare 2024, 12(5), 525; https://doi.org/10.3390/healthcare12050525 - 22 Feb 2024
Viewed by 1164
Abstract
Concussion in para athletes with vision impairment (VI) is poorly understood. Recently published studies have suggested that athletes with VI may be more likely to sustain sport-related concussions compared to non-disabled athletes and athletes with other impairment types. There is a critical need [...] Read more.
Concussion in para athletes with vision impairment (VI) is poorly understood. Recently published studies have suggested that athletes with VI may be more likely to sustain sport-related concussions compared to non-disabled athletes and athletes with other impairment types. There is a critical need for objective concussion incidence measures to determine concussion injury rates and risks more accurately. The aim of this review was to examine the limited available evidence of concussion incidence rates across six different para sports for athletes with VI and encourage the future collection of concussion incidence data and the adoption of injury prevention strategies in VI para sport. A literature search was conducted using four unique databases, which formed the basis of this narrative review. Injury prevention strategies such as modifying sport rules, introducing protective equipment, and incorporating additional safety measures into the field of play have been introduced sporadically, but the effectiveness of most strategies remains unknown. More prospective, sport-specific research examining mechanisms of injury and risk factors for concussion injuries in athletes with VI in both training and competition is needed. This research will help inform the development of targeted injury prevention strategies to reduce the likelihood of concussion for athletes with VI. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Supporting Athlete Development: The Role of Supporting Structures)
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