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Athlete Performance and Health

A special issue of International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health (ISSN 1660-4601). This special issue belongs to the section "Global Health".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (15 July 2022) | Viewed by 32724

Special Issue Editor


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Guest Editor
Department of Physical Education and Sport, Faculty of Education and Sport, University of the Basque Country, UPV/EHU, 01007 Vitoria-Gasteiz, Spain
Interests: physical activity; sports science; exercise; physical education
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

A Special Issue on Athlete Performance and Health is being organized for the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health.

This Special Issue aims to collect scientific papers that are related to athlete performance in different modalities, including both team and individual sports. Papers related to performance improvement, performance analysis, and training methods are accepted. In addition, taking into account that the sport practice can pose important health/injury problems, papers that describe the health of athletes of different modalities are accepted as well as articles that demonstrate the effects of different methods to improve the health of athletes. This Special Issue is open to any contributions in the subject area of athlete’s performance and health. The keywords listed below provide an outline of some of the possible areas of interest.

Dr. Javier Yanci
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2500 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • strength training
  • cardiovascular training
  • training methods
  • performance analysis
  • team sports
  • individual sports
  • adapted sports
  • disability
  • injury

Published Papers (13 papers)

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16 pages, 1016 KiB  
Article
Balancing the Bar–Influence of Social Behaviour on Sport Climbing Performance
by Floyd Simen, Andreas Hohmann and Maximilian Siener
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(15), 9703; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19159703 - 6 Aug 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1821
Abstract
Background: For high performance in sport climbing, various factors must be taken into account, however, social interactions during climbing sessions have not yet been considered. Methods: For this study, four assumptions were made: (1) elite climbers share similar patterns of behaviour; (2) these [...] Read more.
Background: For high performance in sport climbing, various factors must be taken into account, however, social interactions during climbing sessions have not yet been considered. Methods: For this study, four assumptions were made: (1) elite climbers share similar patterns of behaviour; (2) these behaviour patterns influence the climbing performance in a positive way; (3) the behaviour patterns had to be formed over time, and the process of changing behaviour was catalysed by formative experiences; and, (4) the social behaviour of elite climbers shows a tendency to be on their own rather than in the centre of social events, while their behavioural roots date back to their school life. Six male higher-elite-level climbers participated in semi-structured in-depth interviews. Results: In school, all participants perceived themselves as not being at the centre of social interactions. Moreover, all participants described a development from egoistic behaviour towards more supportive behaviour. Two participants were able to outline specific, formative experiences (crucibles), that drastically shaped their behaviour. Conclusion: All participants performed best in the absence of social tensions and when the atmosphere between the climbing partners was positive. Positive atmosphere was achieved by finding the optimal personal balance between supportive and egoistic behaviour. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Athlete Performance and Health)
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13 pages, 3220 KiB  
Article
Match Analysis in Women’s Tennis on Clay, Grass and Hard Courts
by Iván Prieto-Lage, Adrián Paramés-González, Juan Carlos Argibay-González, Xoana Reguera-López-de-la-Osa, Santiago Ordóñez-Álvarez and Alfonso Gutiérrez-Santiago
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(13), 7955; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19137955 - 29 Jun 2022
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1650
Abstract
(1) Background: Performance indicators in tennis such as service effectiveness, rally length or final shots are key factors in determining the winner of the match, although there is little research in the female category. The purpose of this research is to understand the [...] Read more.
(1) Background: Performance indicators in tennis such as service effectiveness, rally length or final shots are key factors in determining the winner of the match, although there is little research in the female category. The purpose of this research is to understand the game model in female tennis based on the type of surface. (2) Methods: A total of 2759 points were analyzed from three Grand Slam tournaments from 2019 on three different surfaces. We used observational methodology. (3) Results: The effectiveness of the first service was 62.4% on clay, 64.2% on grass and 67.5% on hard court. With the second service, effectiveness reduced in 5.5%, 11.2% and 14.5% from the first service, respectively. The service direction determines the efficiency and duration of the rally. The highest efficiency occurs with first serves to the T zone or wide zone (regardless of the service side) in short rallies (from 64.9% on clay to 86.3% on hard court). Serving to the centre reduces the chances of success (between 53.1% and 69.9%) and increases the rally length. Between 64.8% (clay) and 75.9% (hard court) of points played on first serve ended in a short rally, while on second serve it was 56.2% (clay) to 61.7% (grass). (4) Conclusions: The data of the effectiveness of the sequences of specific plays can help in the trainings of professional female tennis players. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Athlete Performance and Health)
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12 pages, 878 KiB  
Article
Neuromuscular Fatigue in Cerebral Palsy Football Players after a Competitive Match According to Sport Classification and Playing Position
by Matías Henríquez, Luis Felipe Castelli de Campos, Fernando Muñoz-Hinrichsen, María Isabel Cornejo, Javier Yanci and Raul Reina
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(10), 6070; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19106070 - 17 May 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1947
Abstract
This study aimed to determine the rated perceived exertion (RPE) and match load (RPE-ML) to compare pre-post-match vertical jump (VJ) capacity according to cerebral palsy (CP) players’ sport classes (i.e., FT1–FT3) and playing positions and to explore whether the neuromuscular performance variation is [...] Read more.
This study aimed to determine the rated perceived exertion (RPE) and match load (RPE-ML) to compare pre-post-match vertical jump (VJ) capacity according to cerebral palsy (CP) players’ sport classes (i.e., FT1–FT3) and playing positions and to explore whether the neuromuscular performance variation is associated with the internal load of para-footballers with CP. Fifty-six male para-footballers performed two VJ tests before and immediately after a competitive CP football match, followed by measurements of the players’ RPE and RPE-ML. There were no significant differences (p > 0.05) in the pairwise comparisons for RPE and RPE-ML according to sport classes and playing position. A significant reduction in the VJ performance was found for each player sport class and playing position in squat jump (SJ) (p < 0.01; 0.24 < dg < 0.58) and countermovement jump (CMJ) (p < 0.05; 0.22 < dg < 0.45). Regarding the pairwise comparisons, players with the minimal impairment criteria (FT3) obtained higher deficit scores during SJ than those belonging to the FT1 and FT2 (p = 0.003; 1.00 < dg < 1.56). Defenders experienced the lowest performance compared to midfielders and attackers in SJ performance (p = 0.027; 0.94 < dg < 1.28). Significant correlations were obtained between ΔSJ or ΔCMJ and RPE or RPE-ML (r = −0.58 to −0.75; p < 0.001). These findings provide novel information supporting the notion that fatigue induced after a competitive match causes notable impairments in VJ performance differentiated according to sport class and playing position in para-footballers with CP. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Athlete Performance and Health)
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14 pages, 373 KiB  
Article
Match Physical and Physiological Response of Amateur Soccer Referees: A Comparison between Halves and Match Periods
by Eñaut Ozaeta, Uxue Fernández-Lasa, Inmaculada Martínez-Aldama, Ruth Cayero and Daniel Castillo
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(3), 1306; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19031306 - 24 Jan 2022
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1983
Abstract
The aim of this paper was to examine the differences in the external and internal load in amateur match officials between the 1st and 2nd half and among different 15 min periods. Twenty-three field referees (FRs) and 46 assistant referees (ARs) from the [...] Read more.
The aim of this paper was to examine the differences in the external and internal load in amateur match officials between the 1st and 2nd half and among different 15 min periods. Twenty-three field referees (FRs) and 46 assistant referees (ARs) from the Spanish División de Honor participated in this study. Match external and internal loads were monitored showing that FRs recorded a lower Powermean, Speedmean, Cadencemean and Stiffnessmean (p < 0.05; d = 0.52 to 0.57) during the 2nd half and they also recorded a lower HRmean, and HRpeak, and spent less time in zone 5 (p < 0.05; d = 0.50 to 0.62). The FRs’ match load decreased during the match but they performed higher Powermean and covered more distance in the last 15 min of the match (p < 0.01; d = 0.87 to 4.28). The ARs external load did not show significant variations between halves, but ARs recorded a lower HRmean and spent less time in zone 5 (p < 0.01; d = 0.41 to 0.63), and the highest values of Powermean, Speedmean, Cadencemean and Vertical oscillationmean during the first 15 min of the match (p < 0.05; d = 0.45 to 0.75). The highest values of HRmean and distance covered were in the 0–15 min period. Results suggest that match load decreases as the match progresses because of the neuromuscular fatigue but increases in the last 15 min. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Athlete Performance and Health)
11 pages, 1316 KiB  
Article
Physiological Profile, Metabolic Response and Temporal Structure in Elite Individual Table Tennis: Differences According to Gender
by Francisco Pradas, Ana de la Torre, Carlos Castellar and Víctor Toro-Román
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(22), 11898; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph182211898 - 12 Nov 2021
Cited by 10 | Viewed by 2219
Abstract
No research that has analyzed the structural characteristics, physiological profile, and energy demands in the game of table tennis as played by women is available. The present study aimed to evaluate the physiological, metabolic, and temporal variables of table tennis players and to [...] Read more.
No research that has analyzed the structural characteristics, physiological profile, and energy demands in the game of table tennis as played by women is available. The present study aimed to evaluate the physiological, metabolic, and temporal variables of table tennis players and to observe gender differences. Forty-eight elite table tennis players participated in this study: 24 men (25.3 ± 4.07 years) and 24 women (22.3 ± 3.8 years). During simulated competition, temporal structure, heart rate (HR), and lactate (LA) were evaluated. The maximum ergospirometric evaluations were performed in a laboratory. The total table tennis (TT) time and the total resting time (TRT) were longer for men (p < 0.05), but game density was higher for women (p < 0.05). During rallies, the real playing time (RPT) was longer for women, while the TRT was longer for men (p < 0.05). The maximum HR, minimum HR, and maximum LA concentrations were higher for men (p < 0.05). The obtained data reveal gender differences in the physiological, metabolic, structural, and temporal variables in table tennis players. The analysis of the studied variables could allow training sessions to be planned and organized according to table tennis players’ gender. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Athlete Performance and Health)
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10 pages, 516 KiB  
Article
Questionable Utility of the Eccentric Utilization Ratio in Relation to the Performance of Volleyball Players
by Žiga Kozinc, Jernej Pleša and Nejc Šarabon
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(22), 11754; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph182211754 - 9 Nov 2021
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 3238
Abstract
The difference between squat jump (SJ) and countermovement jump (CMJ), termed eccentric utilization ratio (EUR), is frequently suggested as an outcome that can be used in athletic training design. Unlike performance in SJ and CMJ, which is associated with sports performance, the association [...] Read more.
The difference between squat jump (SJ) and countermovement jump (CMJ), termed eccentric utilization ratio (EUR), is frequently suggested as an outcome that can be used in athletic training design. Unlike performance in SJ and CMJ, which is associated with sports performance, the association between EUR and sports performance is almost unexplored. This study aimed to investigate whether EUR is associated with performance in approach jump, linear sprint and change of direction (CoD) tasks in volleyball players. Forty-five male volleyball players performed SJ, CMJ, 25 m linear sprint, approach jump and two CoD tasks (505 test and modified T-test). EUR was calculated based on jump height, peak power, peak force and average power. SJ and CMJ variables showed moderate to high correlation with approach jump performance (r = 0.42–0.70), small correlation with modified T-test (r = 0.33–0.40) and small to moderate correlation with sprint time (r = 0.35–0.49). EUR showed only small associations with performance variables (r = 0.31–0.34). In all linear regression models with performance outcomes as dependent variables, the CMJ height was always the only statistically significant predictor. Our results support the recent arguments that the EUR offers limited insight into the neuromuscular capabilities of athletes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Athlete Performance and Health)
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11 pages, 682 KiB  
Article
Load-Velocity Relationship in Bench Press and Effects of a Strength-Training Program in Wheelchair Basketball Players: A Team Study
by Ander Romarate, Aitor Iturricastillo, Fabio Y. Nakamura, Irineu Loturco, Josune Rodriguez-Negro, Cristina Granados and Javier Yanci
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(21), 11161; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph182111161 - 24 Oct 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2197
Abstract
Performance in wheelchair basketball is determined by capabilities, such as strength and power. The study has two aims: first, to analyze the association between speed and acceleration variables (collected in the bench press (BP) exercise) and the distinct percentages of one-repetition maximum (1RM); [...] Read more.
Performance in wheelchair basketball is determined by capabilities, such as strength and power. The study has two aims: first, to analyze the association between speed and acceleration variables (collected in the bench press (BP) exercise) and the distinct percentages of one-repetition maximum (1RM); second, to analyze the effect of a strength training protocol on wheelchair basketball (WB) players according to their functional impairments. Ten Spanish male WB players volunteered to participate in the study. The players did a pretest and posttest (1RM in bench press) with 6-week muscle strength intervention program. The results showed a high association between the %1RM and the mean propulsive velocity (MPV) and the maximum velocity (Vmax), both in the total of the participants, and in each separate group of athletes. After implementing the strength training program, both the players of the IWBF (International Wheelchair Basketball Federation) < 2.5 group and those of IWBF > 2.5 group improved their 1RM (p < 0.01, ES = 0.20 to 0.23). However, the program produced positive effects at submaximal intensities in the MPV reached with 30, 40, 70, and 80 kg and in time to maximum velocity (TVmax) with 30, 40, and 70 kg (ES = −3.24 to 1.32) only in players with greater functional impairments. The high association between %1RM and MPV and Vmax can allow for determination the %1RM of the WB players in the BP using the MPV and the Vmax. The training program was effective in improving 1RM in both groups, while improvements in submaximal values only occurred in the IWBF < 2.5 group. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Athlete Performance and Health)
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12 pages, 594 KiB  
Article
Physical Fitness Profiling of National Category Table Tennis Players: Implication for Health and Performance
by Jon Mikel Picabea, Jesús Cámara and Javier Yanci
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(17), 9362; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18179362 - 4 Sep 2021
Cited by 13 | Viewed by 3582
Abstract
The aims of this study were to: (1) analyze table tennis players’ physical profiles considering and comparing players age categories (i.e., under U12, U14, U16, U20, Senior and Older); and (2) to quantify the correlations among the variables measured by each test. Seventy-one [...] Read more.
The aims of this study were to: (1) analyze table tennis players’ physical profiles considering and comparing players age categories (i.e., under U12, U14, U16, U20, Senior and Older); and (2) to quantify the correlations among the variables measured by each test. Seventy-one table tennis players (61 men and 10 women, 19.7 ± 11.23 years, 1.65 ± 0.13 m, 59.71 ± 17.72 kg and 21.60 ± 4.22 kg/m2) divided into six age groups, performed a sprint test, forearm isometric strength test, countermovement vertical test, countermovement horizontal test, change of direction ability (CODA) test and flexibility test. U14 players performed better than U12 in all tests (ES = −0.70 to 1.98, moderate to large) except in Sit and Reach (SAR) test (ES = 0.19, trivial). The U16 group also obtained better results than U14 in all tests (ES = 0.77 to −2.31, moderate to large) except for the SAR test (ES = 0.19, trivial). The U20 group performed better than U16 in all the tests (ES = 0.73 to −1.53, moderate to large) except for the 5 m sprint test (ES = −0.02, trivial), 10 m sprint test (ES = −0.51, moderate) and SAR (ES = 0.11, trivial). Differences between Senior and U20 were only found in the arm swing counter movement jump (CMJAS) (ES = −0.82, large) and modified agility test (MAT) (ES = 1.19, large), with the U20 group being better in both variables. The senior group performed better in the MAT test than the older group (ES = 0.94, large). The relation found between forearm isometric strength, vertical jump, horizontal jump, sprint and CODA ability (r = −0.53; ±0.14, 0/0/100, most likely to r = 0.83; ±0.06, 100/0/0, most likely) indicates that these capacities are related in table tennis players. Nevertheless, the lack of association between the sit and reach test with the other capacities may indicate that flexibility is an independent capacity. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Athlete Performance and Health)
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16 pages, 390 KiB  
Article
Effects of Power and Ballistic Training on Table Tennis Players’ Electromyography Changes
by Amir Hossein Haghighi, Ali Zaferanieh, Seyed Alireza Hosseini-Kakhak, Ali Maleki, Fabio Esposito, Emiliano Cè, Carlos Castellar, Víctor Toro-Román and Francisco Pradas
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(15), 7735; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18157735 - 21 Jul 2021
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2721
Abstract
The aim of the present study was to analyze the effects of ballistic and power training on table tennis players’ electromyography (EMG) changes. Thirty male table tennis players, who were able to perform top spin strikes properly, were randomly assigned to three groups: [...] Read more.
The aim of the present study was to analyze the effects of ballistic and power training on table tennis players’ electromyography (EMG) changes. Thirty male table tennis players, who were able to perform top spin strikes properly, were randomly assigned to three groups: power training (PT; n = 10); ballistic training (BT; n = 10); and no training (CON = control group; n = 10). PT and BT were performed 3 times weekly for 8 weeks. Before and after training programs, a one-repetition maximum test (1RM) and the EMG activity of all the subjects’ upper/lower body muscles while performing top spin strokes were analyzed. After training, significant interactions (group × time) were observed in increasing 1RM strength in upper/lower muscles (p < 0.05). However, neither training type had any significant effect on muscle EMG activity. These findings suggest that there should not necessarily be any significant change in the EMG signal after BT and PT despite the increase in muscle strength. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Athlete Performance and Health)
9 pages, 765 KiB  
Article
Italians Are the Fastest 3000 m Open-Water Master Swimmers in the World
by Aldo Seffrin, Claudio A. B. Lira, Rodrigo L. Vancini, Douglas A. T. Santos, Cathia Moser, Elias Villiger, Thomas Rosemann, Beat Knechtle, Lee Hill and Marilia S. Andrade
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(14), 7606; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18147606 - 17 Jul 2021
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 2246
Abstract
Background: It is well known that athletes originating from a specific region or country can master specific sports disciplines (e.g., East-African runners in long-distance running). In addition, physical and athletic performance are the result of an interaction between genetic, environmental and epigenetic factors. [...] Read more.
Background: It is well known that athletes originating from a specific region or country can master specific sports disciplines (e.g., East-African runners in long-distance running). In addition, physical and athletic performance are the result of an interaction between genetic, environmental and epigenetic factors. However, little is known about on what determines sports success and performance for long-distance master swimmers such as origin. The aim of the study was to investigate the participation and performance trends of elite master open-water swimmers competing in the World Championships (WC) in 3000 m open-water swimming between 1986 and 2019. Methods: A total of 9247 valid participants were analyzed using generalized linear models (GLMs) with a gamma probability distribution and log link function. Resultsː Most of the starters were from Italy (1646 participations), followed by the United States of America (USA) (1128 participations) and Germany (959 participations). Swimmers from Italy were significantly faster than swimmers from Canada, Germany, USA, Great Britain and also from all other countries grouped (p < 0.005). The age group from 35–39 years old was significantly faster than athletes from age groups of 25–29 years old, 30–34 years old, 40–44 years old, 45–49 years old and 50–54 years old (p < 0.005). The percentage of local athletes in WC was 36% and varied from 36% (Italy, 2004) to 43 % (Germany), 53% (Italy, 2012) and up to 68 % (USA, 1992). Conclusions: Swimmers from Italy were the faster and the most numerous starters during this period of 27 years and 15 editions all over the world in 3000 m master open-water swimming. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Athlete Performance and Health)
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9 pages, 2254 KiB  
Article
Associations between Well-Being State and Match External and Internal Load in Amateur Referees
by Eñaut Ozaeta, Javier Yanci, Carlo Castagna, Estibaliz Romaratezabala and Daniel Castillo
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(6), 3322; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18063322 - 23 Mar 2021
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 2374
Abstract
The main aim of this paper was to examine the association between prematch well-being status with match internal and external load in field (FR) and assistant (AR) soccer referees. Twenty-three FR and 46 AR participated in this study. The well-being state was assessed [...] Read more.
The main aim of this paper was to examine the association between prematch well-being status with match internal and external load in field (FR) and assistant (AR) soccer referees. Twenty-three FR and 46 AR participated in this study. The well-being state was assessed using the Hooper Scale and the match external and internal loads were monitored with Stryd Power Meter and heart monitors. While no significant differences were found in Hooper indices between match officials, FR registered higher external loads (p < 0.01; ES: 0.75 to 5.78), spent more time in zone 4 and zone 5, and recorded a greater training impulse (TRIMP) value (p < 0.01; ES: 1.35 to 1.62) than AR. Generally, no associations were found between the well-being variables and external loads for FR and AR. Additionally, no associations were found between the Hooper indices and internal loads for FR and AR. However, several relationships with different magnitudes were found between internal and external match loads, for FR, between power and speed with time spent in zone 2 (p < 0.05; r = −0.43), ground contact time with zone 2 and zone 3 (p < 0.05; r = 0.50 to 0.60) and power, speed, cadence and ground contact time correlated with time spent in zone 5 and TRIMP (p < 0.05 to 0.01; r = 0.42 to 0.64). Additionally, for AR, a relationship between speed and time in zone 1 was found (p < 0.05; r = −0.30; CL = 0.22). These results suggest that initial well-being state is not related to match officials’ performances during match play. In addition, the Stryd Power Meter can be a useful device to calculate the external load on soccer match officials. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Athlete Performance and Health)
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9 pages, 1472 KiB  
Article
Competitive Evolution of Professional Wheelchair Tennis from the Paralympic Games in Athens 2004 to Rio 2016: An Observational Study
by Alejandro Sánchez-Pay and David Sanz-Rivas
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(6), 3157; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18063157 - 18 Mar 2021
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 2220
Abstract
The aim of this study was to analyse and compare the activity pattern and technical-tactical parameters of men’s wheelchair tennis matches from the Paralympic Games (PG) in Athens 2004 (A), Beijing 2008 (B), London 2012 (L) and Rio 2016 (R). A total of [...] Read more.
The aim of this study was to analyse and compare the activity pattern and technical-tactical parameters of men’s wheelchair tennis matches from the Paralympic Games (PG) in Athens 2004 (A), Beijing 2008 (B), London 2012 (L) and Rio 2016 (R). A total of 5702 shots from twelve final round matches were analysed. Activity patterns (e.g., rally duration, shots per rally…) and technical effectivity (e.g., errors, winners…) were recorded. An ANOVA test with post hoc pairwise comparisons was conducted to compare the mean differences among matches of different PG. Game duration, points and shots per game differed according to the PG (R and L > B and A). Rally duration (p < 0.001) and shots per rally (p < 0.001) were longer at R and L than B and A. The effectivity of the last shots was different, the errors have been increasing and the winners have been decreasing. The main finding indicates that activity patterns and technical parameters have evolved mainly between A and B to L and R. This study gives an overview of the development of the sport over time, and coaches can use this information to adapt their training sessions to the current needs of the competition. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Athlete Performance and Health)
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12 pages, 685 KiB  
Systematic Review
Effects of Strength Training on Cross-Country Skiing Performance: A Systematic Review
by Arkaitz Castañeda-Babarro, Paula Etayo-Urtasun and Patxi León-Guereño
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(11), 6522; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19116522 - 27 May 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 3032
Abstract
Traditionally, cross-country skiing has been known for having a strong endurance component; however, strength demands have significantly increased in recent years. Given this importance, several studies have assessed the effects of strength training in cross-country skiing. Therefore, the aim of this systematic review [...] Read more.
Traditionally, cross-country skiing has been known for having a strong endurance component; however, strength demands have significantly increased in recent years. Given this importance, several studies have assessed the effects of strength training in cross-country skiing. Therefore, the aim of this systematic review was to analyze the results of those studies. A detailed search of four databases (Pubmed, Scopus, Web of Science and Cochrane Library) was conducted until February 2022, according to the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses statement. Ten eligible studies were selected from the 212 records identified, all of them including young well-trained skiers and interventions of 6–12 weeks. Results showed that maximal strength training may improve some important variables: for instance, performance, double-poling economy and maximal strength. However, this type of training failed to change other indicators such as peak oxygen consumption. Concurrent training, which combines endurance and maximal strength training, seems to be effective to improve performance. The mechanisms responsible for the improved economy of double poling might be due to a lower percentage of maximal strength during double poling at a given workload, which could increase performance. Future studies should include longer interventions which analyze a more varied sample. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Athlete Performance and Health)
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