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Sports
Number of Followers: 3  

  This is an Open Access Journal Open Access journal
ISSN (Online) 2075-4663
Published by MDPI Homepage  [84 journals]
  • Sports, Vol. 10, Pages 111: Higher Leg and Trunk Muscle Activation during
           Balance Control in Copers versus People with Chronic Ankle Instability and
           Healthy Female Athletes

    • Authors: Mina Karbalaeimahdi, Mohammad Hossein Alizadeh, Hooman Minoonejad, David G. Behm, Shahab Alizadeh
      First page: 111
      Abstract: More than 70% of people with ankle sprain experience chronic ankle instability. However, some people are well adapted to this damage (copers) and do not suffer from chronic ankle instability (CAI). This cross-sectional study involved 34 female athletes, who were classified into three groups (athletes with CAI, copers, and healthy athletes) and tested on a Biodex Balance System. Surface electromyography (EMG) and balance scores were monitored. The coper and healthy group exhibited higher medial gastrocnemius (MG) EMG activity during unstable balance conditions. The rectus abdominus (RA) in the coper group and rectus femoris (RF) in the healthy group showed greater EMG activity compared to CAI during unstable conditions. During stable conditions, the coper group showed greater RA EMG activity compared to CAI, as well as higher tibialis anterior (TA) EMG activity compared to the healthy group. Additionally, balance error scores were higher in the CAI group than those in the healthy group under unstable conditions. In conclusion, decreased EMG activity of the MG, RF, and RA in CAI athletes may contribute to impaired balance in these individuals. The increased EMG activity of the MG, TA, and RA in copers might result in more trunk and ankle stability.
      Citation: Sports
      PubDate: 2022-07-22
      DOI: 10.3390/sports10080111
      Issue No: Vol. 10, No. 8 (2022)
       
  • Sports, Vol. 10, Pages 112: The Association between Bilateral Deficit and
           Athletic Performance: A Brief Review

    • Authors: Petra Železnik, Vita Slak, Žiga Kozinc, Nejc Šarabon
      First page: 112
      Abstract: An abundance of information can be found in the scientific literature regarding the bilateral deficit (BLD) in different contraction types, including its possible underlying mechanisms. On the other hand, studies on the relationship between BLD and athletic performance have only begun to emerge in recent years. The purpose of this review article is to assemble and analyze the literature on the topic of the relationship between BLD and athletic performance. After a detailed review of the scientific databases, we analyzed 10 relevant scientific articles. BLD calculated from outcomes of vertical jumps was positively related to the ability to change direction quickly in volleyball, basketball, tennis and student population, but not in soccer. Sprint running performance does not seem to be associated with BLD, while one study suggested that a smaller BLD is associated with a more efficient start in a sprint. Apart from the associations with change in direction performance, there is little evidence to support the association between BLD and athletic performance; thus, further research is required in other sports, incorporating sport-specific performance outcomes and multiple tasks to calculate the BLD.
      Citation: Sports
      PubDate: 2022-07-27
      DOI: 10.3390/sports10080112
      Issue No: Vol. 10, No. 8 (2022)
       
  • Sports, Vol. 10, Pages 113: Comparing the Current Training Running Demands
           of Elite Camogie Players to Competitive Match-Play

    • Authors: Philip Connors, Declan Browne, Des Earls, Paula Fitzpatrick, Paula Rankin
      First page: 113
      Abstract: Training to meet match-play demands is a primary objective in an athlete’s preparation for their games. Despite camogie match-play running demands being available, how current training practices compare, specifically individual training components, remains unknown. This study aimed to investigate and compare current elite camogie training to match-play demands. Thirty-three (n = 33) elite camogie players wore 10 Hz Playertek GPS units during twenty-five training sessions and ten competitive matches. Training sessions were analysed using ball-in-play time and split into warm-ups, drills, small-sided games, running, and training matches. Metrics were converted into relative terms (per minute), to allow comparisons. Players cover significantly greater (p < 0.05) total distance (non-parametric standardised effect sizes (r = 0.45)), peak speed (r = 0.45), high-speed running (r = 0.13), sprint distance (r = 0.20), and total decelerations (r = 0.12–0.22) during match-play than training. Relatively, players cover significantly greater distance during running, small-sided games, and training matches compared to match-play (r = 0.21–0.29). Compared with match-play, running results in significantly greater high-speed running and sprint distance (r = 0.18–0.41), with greater accelerations (3–4 m∙s−2) during warm-ups, running, and small-sided games (r = 0.14–0.28). Current total training demands seem to fall behind match-play. However, relatively, training matches and small-sided games match or surpass competitive match-play demands. These findings may be utilised in preparing camogie teams for competition.
      Citation: Sports
      PubDate: 2022-07-28
      DOI: 10.3390/sports10080113
      Issue No: Vol. 10, No. 8 (2022)
       
  • Sports, Vol. 10, Pages 114: Risk Factors for Contracting COVID-19 and
           Changes in Menstrual and Sleep Cycles in Japanese Female Athletes during
           the COVID-19 Pandemic

    • Authors: Yuka Tsukahara, Yuka Hieda, Satomi Takayanagi, Aleksandra Macznik
      First page: 114
      Abstract: Although research on COVID-19 is prevalent, risk factors for contracting COVID-19 and lifestyle changes in athletes during the COVID-19 pandemic have not been thoroughly investigated. This study included 254 female collegiate athletes and 107 female non-athletes from Japan, who completed an anonymous survey comprising questions about COVID-19, personal background and lifestyle changes during the pandemic. A total of 6.30% athletes and 6.54% non-athletes had tested positive for COVID-19. The majority reported no change in menstrual cycle (80.31% and 78.50% for athletes and non-athletes, respectively). Wake-up time and bedtime were delayed in some athletes (42.13% and 39.25%, respectively) and non-athletes (46.73% and 31.30%, respectively) during the pandemic. Body mass index (BMI) was significantly higher in COVID-19 (+) athletes than in their COVID-19 (−) counterparts (22.78 ± 3.40 and 21.26 ± 2.06, respectively, p < 0.01) and logistic regression analysis revealed that younger students and those with higher BMI had an increased risk of contracting COVID-19. The proportion of vaccinated students was significantly higher in athletes than in non-athletes (p < 0.01). Whether the student was an athlete or not was not a related factor in contracting COVID-19. Extra attention should be focused on athletes experiencing weight gain or staying up late and experiencing lower quality sleep.
      Citation: Sports
      PubDate: 2022-07-28
      DOI: 10.3390/sports10080114
      Issue No: Vol. 10, No. 8 (2022)
       
  • Sports, Vol. 10, Pages 115: Relationship between Aggressiveness,
           Self-Confidence, and Perceived Coach Support and Head Impact Exposure in
           Youth Football

    • Authors: Madison E. Marks, William C. Flood, Mireille E. Kelley, Mark A. Espeland, Christopher M. Miles, Alexander K. Powers, Christopher T. Whitlow, Joseph A. Maldjian, Joel D. Stitzel, Jillian E. Urban
      First page: 115
      Abstract: This study evaluated head impact exposure (HIE) metrics in relation to individual-level determinants of HIE. Youth (n = 13) and high school (n = 21) football players were instrumented with the Head Impact Telemetry (HIT) system during one season. Players completed the Trait-Robustness of Self-Confidence Inventory (TROSCI), Sports Climate Questionnaire (SCQ), and Competitive Aggressiveness and Anger Scale (CAAS), measuring self-confidence, perceived coach support, and competitive aggressiveness, respectively. Relationships between HIE metrics (number of impacts, median and 95th percentile accelerations, and risk-weighted exposure (RWE)) and survey scores were evaluated using linear regression analysis. For middle school athletes, TROSCI scores were significantly negatively associated with the number of competition impacts and the mean number of impacts per player per competition. SCQ scores were significantly positively associated with median linear acceleration during practice. CAAS scores were not significantly associated with biomechanical metrics at either level of play. Perceived coach support and self-confidence might influence HIE among middle school football players. Football athletes’ competitive aggressiveness may have less influence their HIE than other factors.
      Citation: Sports
      PubDate: 2022-07-29
      DOI: 10.3390/sports10080115
      Issue No: Vol. 10, No. 8 (2022)
       
  • Sports, Vol. 10, Pages 116: What Differences Exist in Professional Ice
           Hockey Performance Using Virtual Reality (VR) Technology between
           Professional Hockey Players and Freestyle Wrestlers' (a Pilot Study)

    • Authors: Irina Polikanova, Anastasia Yakushina, Sergey Leonov, Anna Kruchinina, Victor Chertopolokhov, Liudmila Liutsko
      First page: 116
      Abstract: There is little research on the study of specific characteristics that contribute to the faster adaptation of athletes during the transition from one sport to another. We used virtual reality (VR) to study the differences between professional ice hockey players and other sport professionals (freestyle wrestlers), who were novices in hockey in terms of motor responses and efficiency performance, on different levels of difficulty. In the VR environment, four levels of difficulty (four blocks) were simulated, depended on the speed of the puck and the distance to it (Bl1—60–80 km/h and 18 m; Bl2—60–100 km/h, distances 12 and 18 m; Bl3—speeds up to 170 km/h and 6, 12, and 18 m; Bl4—the pucks are presented in a series of two (in sequence with a 1 s interval)). The results of the study showed that the hockey professionals proved to have more stable movement patterns of the knee and hip joints. They also made fewer head movements as a response to stimuli during all runs (0.66 vs. 1.25, p = 0.043). Thus, working out on these parameters can contribute to the faster adaptation of wrestlers in developing professional ice hockey skills.
      Citation: Sports
      PubDate: 2022-07-29
      DOI: 10.3390/sports10080116
      Issue No: Vol. 10, No. 8 (2022)
       
  • Sports, Vol. 10, Pages 117: The Association between Pre-Season Running
           Loads and Injury during the Subsequent Season in Elite Gaelic Football

    • Authors: Paul Fisher, Maria Faulkner, Michael McCann, Rónán Doherty
      First page: 117
      Abstract: The aim of this study was to determine if the quantity of running load performed in pre-season affects the incidence of injury in elite Gaelic footballers. It was hypothesized that a greater quantity of running loads completed will reduce the incidence rate of injury. A cohort of elite male Gaelic football players (n = 25) was prospectively monitored throughout one full season. This longitudinal study involved the collection of GPS data and injury data. Participants were retrospectively divided into two groups and assigned to a high (HTL, completed >50% of pre-season sessions, n = 13) or low (LTL, completed <50% of pre-season sessions, n = 12) training load group based on the percentage of pre-season sessions completed. Data for total distance, PlayerLoad™, meters covered at running speeds (4.0–4.84 m/s), meters covered at high running speeds (4.85–6.39 m/s), meters covered at sprint speeds (>6.4 m/s) and high-intensity running meters (high-speed running meters and sprint meters combined) were collected during all sessions. A one-way analysis of variance (ANOVA) was completed to understand the variation of external training load data across the different phases of the season. A series of repeated measures of ANOVA were subsequently completed to understand the variation of external training load data across seasonal phases within the training groups. Although the LTL group had a higher incidence rate of non-contact injuries (large effect size) per 1000 h of exposure in each phase of the season, statistical analysis revealed that there was no significant difference (F = 4.32, p = 0.173, partial η2 = 0.684, large) between the HTL (14.9 ± 4.17/1000 h) and the LTL (24.5 ± 7.36/1000 h) groups. Additionally, the HTL group was able to sustain greater running loads in the competitive phases of the season compared to the LTL group, total distance (F = 8.10, p < 0.001, partial η2 = 0.299, large), high-speed running distance (F = 8.74, p < 0.001, partial η2 = 0.304, large) and high-intensity running distance (F = 7.63, p < 0.001, partial η2 = 0.276, large). Furthermore, players who complete a greater proportion of running loads in pre-season may alter their body composition levels to more optimal levels, which in turn may reduce the risk of injury while also helping increase or maintain performance-related fitness markers such as aerobic fitness.
      Citation: Sports
      PubDate: 2022-07-29
      DOI: 10.3390/sports10080117
      Issue No: Vol. 10, No. 8 (2022)
       
  • Sports, Vol. 10, Pages 118: Science and Hurling: A Review

    • Authors: Kieran Collins, Thomas Reilly, Shane Malone, John Keane, Dominic Doran
      First page: 118
      Abstract: Hurling is one of the world’s fastest field sports. Since the last review of science and Gaelic sports in 2008, there has been an increase in sports science provisions across elite and sub-elite cohorts, resulting in increased hurling-specific literature equating to an additional 111 research investigations into the game across all sports science disciplines. The present review aims to provide an updated analysis of the current research on the game and propose recommendations for future research. Overall, intermittent aerobic fitness remains an important physical quality during competition, with a focus on games-based training methodologies within the literature. Within the current review, we provide updated normative data on the running demands, physiological responses, and anthropometric and performance profiles of hurling players. The increased literature across the sport has led to the development of a hurling-specific simulation, that can now be utilised practically in training and research processes for hurling cohorts. Furthermore, the monitoring of internal and external training loads across training and match environments, in addition to response variables such as well-being, appears to have become more prominent, allowing practitioners to design training regimes to achieve optimal dose and response characteristics. Analysing the game from a scientific perspective can allow for more efficient preparatory practices, to meet the specific requirements of players at all age levels. Collaborative research among the various sports science disciplines, is required to identify strategies to reduce the incidence of injury and enhance performance in hurling. The current review provides updated information to coaches and practitioners regarding position-specific physical qualities, and match-play demands that can concurrently support the training process within hurling.
      Citation: Sports
      PubDate: 2022-07-29
      DOI: 10.3390/sports10080118
      Issue No: Vol. 10, No. 8 (2022)
       
  • Sports, Vol. 10, Pages 119: Full-Body Photobiomodulation Therapy Is
           Associated with Reduced Sleep Durations and Augmented Cardiorespiratory
           Indicators of Recovery

    • Authors: Lauren E. Rentz, Randy W. Bryner, Jad Ramadan, Ali Rezai, Scott M. Galster
      First page: 119
      Abstract: Research is emerging on the use of Photobiomodulation therapy (PBMT) and its potential for augmenting human performance, however, relatively little research exists utilizing full-body administration methods. As such, further research supporting the efficacy of whole-body applications of PBMT for behavioral and physiological modifications in applicable, real-world settings are warranted. The purpose of this analysis was to observe cardiorespiratory and sleep patterns surrounding the use of full-body PBMT in an elite cohort of female soccer players. Members of a women’s soccer team in a “Power 5 conference” of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) were observed across one competitive season while wearing an OURA Ring nightly and a global positioning system (GPS) sensor during training. Within-subject comparisons of cardiorespiratory physiology, sleep duration, and sleep composition were evaluated the night before and after PBMT sessions completed as a standard of care for team recovery. Compared to pre-intervention, mean heart rate (HR) was significantly lower the night after a PBMT session (p = 0.0055). Sleep durations were also reduced following PBMT, with total sleep time (TST) averaging 40 min less the night after a session (p = 0.0006), as well as significant reductions in light sleep (p = 0.0307) and rapid eye movement (REM) sleep durations (p = 0.0019). Sleep durations were still lower following PBMT, even when controlling for daily and accumulated training loads. Enhanced cardiorespiratory indicators of recovery following PBMT, despite significant reductions in sleep duration, suggest that it may be an effective modality for maintaining adequate recovery from the high stress loads experienced by elite athletes.
      Citation: Sports
      PubDate: 2022-07-31
      DOI: 10.3390/sports10080119
      Issue No: Vol. 10, No. 8 (2022)
       
  • Sports, Vol. 10, Pages 97: Does Relative Age Influence Organized Sport and
           Unorganized Physical Activity Participation in a Cohort of
           Adolescents'

    • Authors: Kristy L. Smith, Mathieu Bélanger, Laura Chittle, Jess C. Dixon, Sean Horton, Patricia L. Weir
      First page: 97
      Abstract: Despite their prevalence, the longitudinal impacts of relative age effects (RAEs) on sport and other forms of physical activity (PA) are understudied. This study examined longitudinal participation patterns in organized sport (team and individual), unorganized PA, and non-participation with respect to RAEs in a prospective cohort of adolescents. Data from the first 24 cycles of the MATCH study were used for analyses. Elementary students (n = 929) were recruited from 17 schools in Atlantic Canada. Respondents self-reported PA three times/year. Mixed multilevel logistic models compared the likelihood of participating in each context across birth quarter. Chronological age and gender were considered, along with the interaction between chronological and relative age. Individuals born in Quarter 1/Quarter 2 were more likely to report participation in organized team sport but not individual sports. Relatively older participants born in Quarter 2 were more likely to report participation in unorganized PA. Increasing chronological age was associated with decreased participation in organized sport (particularly team-based) and increased non-participation. Gender was not associated with organized sport participation, but girls were under-represented in unorganized PA and more likely to report non-participation. The interaction parameters suggested that RAEs were consistent throughout adolescence in each context. Longitudinal analyses suggest RAEs are context dependent.
      Citation: Sports
      PubDate: 2022-06-23
      DOI: 10.3390/sports10070097
      Issue No: Vol. 10, No. 7 (2022)
       
  • Sports, Vol. 10, Pages 98: Resistance Exercise for Improving Running
           Economy and Running Biomechanics and Decreasing Running-Related Injury
           Risk: A Narrative Review

    • Authors: Anja Šuc, Pija Šarko, Jernej Pleša, Žiga Kozinc
      First page: 98
      Abstract: It is well-accepted that at least a certain amount of resistance exercise (RE) is recommended for most endurance athletes. In this review, we aim to summarize the evidence regarding the effects of RE on running economy, running biomechanics, and running-related injury risk in endurance runners. The evidence robustly shows that lower limb RE is effective for improving running economy and performance, with a combination of strength and plyometric training being recommended to improve RE. Isometric training is also emerging as a possible alternative to implement during periods of high overall training load. Lower limb RE may change some aspects of joint kinematics during running; however, the evidence regarding the effects on kinetics is limited. Lower limb RE may help reduce running-related injury risk, but further evidence is needed.
      Citation: Sports
      PubDate: 2022-06-24
      DOI: 10.3390/sports10070098
      Issue No: Vol. 10, No. 7 (2022)
       
  • Sports, Vol. 10, Pages 99: Perception of Affordances for Dribbling in
           

    • Authors: Michael J. Duncan, Ricardo Martins, Mark Noon, Emma L. J. Eyre
      First page: 99
      Abstract: This study examined affordance perception for soccer dribbling using a mixed-methods approach in male grassroots soccer players. We examined how children construct and perceive skills practices for dribbling in soccer. Fourteen boys aged 10–11 years (Mean ± SD = 10.8 ± 0.4 years) who were regularly engaged in grassroots soccer participated in the present study. Children were provided with ten soccer cones and asked to create their own soccer dribbling pattern that would enable them to maximise the number of touches with a football and then dribble the ball in the pattern they had created for a 1 min period. Children were interviewed to explore their perception of affordances for soccer dribbling. The test of gross motor development-3 was used to assess fundamental movement skills (FMS), and the UGent soccer dribbling test was used to assess soccer dribbling skills. Children self-rated their own ability for soccer dribbling, as did their coaches. Pearson’s correlations were employed to examine the associations between quantitative variables, and thematic analysis was used to explore qualitative data. Results of the present study suggest that those children who created patterns with less space between cones accrued more touches of the football in their dribbling task (r = −0.671, p = 0.03). Children with a higher perception of their own dribbling ability had higher scores for FMS (r = 0.604, p = 0.049). Those children who scored better in actual soccer dribbling had higher scores for FMS (r = −0.746, p = 0.012) and were rated as better dribblers by their coaches (r = −0.67, p = 0.03). Interview data suggest a feedback loop between perception of ability and actual ability, which influenced the dribbling patterns that were created. This suggests that dribbling performance is scaled to the (perceived) action capabilities of the children, and children can act as architects in their own skill development.
      Citation: Sports
      PubDate: 2022-06-24
      DOI: 10.3390/sports10070099
      Issue No: Vol. 10, No. 7 (2022)
       
  • Sports, Vol. 10, Pages 100: Effects of 5-Week of FIFA 11+ Warm-Up Program
           on Explosive Strength, Speed, and Perception of Physical Exertion in Elite
           Female Futsal Athletes

    • Authors: Antonino Patti, Valerio Giustino, Stefania Cataldi, Vito Stoppa, Federica Ferrando, Riccardo Marvulli, Giacomo Farì, Şahin Fatma Neşe, Antonino Bianco, Antonella Muscella, Gianpiero Greco, Francesco Fischetti
      First page: 100
      Abstract: Futsal is a sport that originates from soccer and is increasingly practiced all over the world. Since training and warm-up protocols should be sport-specific in order to reduce injuries and maximize performance, this study aimed to evaluate the effects of 5 weeks of the FIFA 11+ warm-up program on explosive strength, speed, and perception of physical exertion in elite female futsal athletes. Twenty-nine elite female futsal athletes participating in the Italian national championships were divided into two groups: the experimental group (EG) underwent 5 weeks of the FIFA 11+ warm-up program, and the control group (CG) underwent 5 weeks of a dynamic warm-up. We evaluated any effect on explosive strength (by Squat Jump test), speed (by Agility T-test), and perception of physical exertion (by Borg CR-10 scale). All measurements were carried out by a technician of the Italian Football Federation before (T0), at the middle (T1), and at the end (T2) of the protocol. The EG showed significant improvements on performances between T0 vs. T1 and T0 vs. T2 both in the Squat Jump test (p = 0.0057 and p = 0.0030, respectively) and in the Agility T-test (p = 0.0075 and p = 0.0122). No significant differences were found in the Squat Jump test performances in the CG, while significant improvements were detected in the Agility T-test performances (p = 0.0004 and p = 0.0053, T0 vs. T1 and T0 vs. T2, respectively). As for the Borg CR-10 scale, we found a significant difference between T0 and T2 in the EG (p = 0.017) and no differences in the CG. This study showed that 5 weeks of the FIFA 11+ warm-up program improves the jumping performance of female futsal athletes without adversely affecting speed. These findings can be useful for coaches and athletic trainers in order to consider FIFA 11+ warm-up program also in female futsal athletes.
      Citation: Sports
      PubDate: 2022-06-27
      DOI: 10.3390/sports10070100
      Issue No: Vol. 10, No. 7 (2022)
       
  • Sports, Vol. 10, Pages 101: The Relative Age Effect in the Best Track and
           Field Athletes Aged 10 to 15 Years Old

    • Authors: Eduard Bezuglov, Maria Shoshorina, Anton Emanov, Nadezhda Semenyuk, Larisa Shagiakhmetova, Alexandr Cherkashin, Bekzhan Pirmakhanov, Ryland Morgans
      First page: 101
      Abstract: (1) The purpose of this study was to examine the prevalence of the relative age effect (RAE) in the best young (10 to 15 years old) track and field athletes. (2) Hypothesis: The prevalence of the RAE in the best young track and field athletes of both genders will be evident in all age groups from 10 to 15 years old, which may be associated with the significant relationship between biological maturity, chronological age, and the development of physical qualities. (3) Materials and methods: In total, 1778 athletes volunteered for this study. The sample was based on the results of the best young athletes who participated in the final tournaments of the national competition “Shipovka Yunykh”(“Running spikes for young athletes”), which have been held since 1981. The sample group consisted of male and female athletes classified into specific age groups: 10 to 11 years old (n = 579), 12 to 13 years old (n = 600), and 14 to 15 years old (n = 599). Analysis was performed using Jamovi 1.8.1. The Chi-square test was used to compare the RAE between different groups. (4) Results: A wide distribution of the RAE was revealed both in the general sample and in boys and girls. The percentage of “early-born” athletes was 37.6% while only 12.3% were “late-born” athletes. The difference in the severity of the RAE may reflect the small sample of athletes from the fourth quartile, which was significantly less than the sample of boys from the fourth quartile (p = 0.04, OR 1.68, 95% CI 1.02–2.78). The RAE was also evident in all age groups of boys and girls, without any statistically significant differences in the severity (p > 0.05, Chi = 2.135, V = 0.02). In the 14- to 15-year-old male athletes group, the number of early-born compared to late-born athletes peaked. The RAE was most common amongst the most successful track and field athletes. Among the competition medalists during the analyzed time period, more than 50% of athletes were born in the first quarter and no athletes were born in the fourth quarter.
      Citation: Sports
      PubDate: 2022-06-28
      DOI: 10.3390/sports10070101
      Issue No: Vol. 10, No. 7 (2022)
       
  • Sports, Vol. 10, Pages 102: Effect of 3 vs. 3 Soccer Small-Sided Game on
           Various Performance, Inflammatory, Muscle Damage and Hormonal Indicators
           in Semi-Professional Players

    • Authors: Evangelos Bekris, Dimitrios I. Bourdas, Eleftherios Mylonis, Ioannis Ispirlidis, Emmanouil D. Zacharakis, Athanasios Katis
      First page: 102
      Abstract: The purpose of this study was to examine the effect of a soccer small-sided game (SSG) on performance, inflammatory, muscle damage and hormonal indicators. Twenty-two male soccer players participated and were assigned to either experimental (EXP = 12) or control (CON = 10) groups. Subjective fatigue (RPE) and lactate (La¯) were measured during the SSG; vertical squat jump (SJ), 20-m sprint, creatine kinase (CK), interleukin-6 (IL-6), cortisol (C), and testosterone (T) were measured before (PRE), after (POST), 24 h, 48 h, and 72 h after the SSG in the EXP group. The heart rate during the SSG reached 92 ± 3% of their HRmax, whereas La¯ and RPE reached 13.02 ± 1.60 mmol·L−1 and 15 ± 1 after SSG, respectively. The IL-6, different among measurements (F (1.04, 11.50) = 504.82, p < 0.001), peaked (3.52 ± 0.43 pg·mL−1 [95%CI; 3.28–3.77]) after the SSG and returned to baseline 24 h later. The CK, different among measurements (F (1.76, 19.32) = 93.96, p < 0.001), peaked (536.58 ± 124.73U·L−1 [95%CI; 466.01–607.15]) 24 h after the SSG and remained significantly higher than PRE condition in POST and up to 72 h later. The T/C ratio, significantly different among measurements (F (1.73, 19.05) = 12.12, p < 0.001), was at its lowest (0.44 ± 0.16 [95%CI; 0.35–0.54]) immediately after the SSG (p < 0.05) and returned to baseline after 24 h. It seems that 48 h (at the most) after an SSG is adequate time for players to recover, and a high training load should be avoided sooner than 24 h after an SSG.
      Citation: Sports
      PubDate: 2022-06-28
      DOI: 10.3390/sports10070102
      Issue No: Vol. 10, No. 7 (2022)
       
  • Sports, Vol. 10, Pages 103: Does Physical Activity in Natural Outdoor
           Environments Improve Wellbeing' A Meta-Analysis

    • Authors: Caitlin Kelley, Diane E. Mack, Philip M. Wilson
      First page: 103
      Abstract: Organizational initiatives and researchers have argued for the importance of the natural outdoor environment (NOE) for promoting wellbeing. The main aim of this meta-analysis was to synthesize the existing literature to examine the effects of physical activity (PA) in the NOE on wellbeing in adults. The secondary aim was to explore whether wellbeing reported by adults differs as a function of PA context. Electronic databases (PubMed, ProQuest Nursing and Allied Health, PsycINFO, SPORTDiscus and Embase) were searched for English peer-reviewed articles published before January 2019. Inclusion criteria were: (1) healthy adults; (2) PA in the NOE; (3) the measurement of wellbeing; and (4) randomized control trials, quasi-experimental designs, matched group designs. To address the secondary aim, PA in the NOE was compared with that performed indoors. Risk of bias was assessed through the Effective Public Health Practice Project (EHPP) Quality Assessment Tool for Quantitative Studies. Primary studies meeting inclusion criteria for the main (nstudies = 19) and secondary (nstudies = 5) aims were analyzed and interpreted. The overall effect size for the main analysis was moderate (d = 0.49, p < 0.001; 95% CI = 0.33, 0.66), with the magnitude of effect varying depending on wellbeing dimension. Wellbeing was greater in PA in the NOE subgroup (d = 0.53) when compared with the indoor subgroup (d = 0.28), albeit not statistically significant (p = 0.15). Although physical activity in the NOE was associated with higher wellbeing, there is limited evidence to support that it confers superior benefits to that engaged indoors. Researchers are encouraged to include study designs that measure markers of wellbeing at multiple time points, greater consideration to diverse wellbeing dimensions and justify decisions linked to PA and NOE types.
      Citation: Sports
      PubDate: 2022-06-29
      DOI: 10.3390/sports10070103
      Issue No: Vol. 10, No. 7 (2022)
       
  • Sports, Vol. 10, Pages 104: Applicability of an Immersive Virtual Reality
           Exercise Training System for Office Workers during Working Hours

    • Authors: Evlalia Touloudi, Mary Hassandra, Evangelos Galanis, Marios Goudas, Yannis Theodorakis
      First page: 104
      Abstract: Virtual reality is a computer-generated simulation of a real or imaginary three-dimensional environment that has entered our lives, particularly for gaming. Lately, it has been permeating into many aspects of our everyday life, such as exercise. It is important to ascertain whether exercise in an immersive virtual reality environment can be accepted from employees and lead to positive outcomes for them. The aim of this exploratory study was to examine the acceptance, future adoption, interest/enjoyment and usability of an immersive virtual reality system for exercise training by office workers during breaks within their working hours. A total of 40 female employees participated in the study with a mean age of 42.58 years (SD 10.77). Participants were requested to complete two sequential 15-min dual task cycling sessions corresponding to two experimental conditions. The first, condition A, involved cycling in a virtual environment, wearing a virtual reality head mounted display, and responding to cognitive tasks by answering multiple choice questions—on a screen, using a joystick. The second, condition B, involved cycling on a static bicycle and simultaneously responding to cognitive tasks by answering multiple choice questions in a real environment. After completion of the two conditions, participants responded to a series of scales regarding each of the experimental conditions and to a semi-structured interview. The results showed that participants noted a significant preference for the immersive virtual reality exercise, condition A, compared to condition B (bike only); and their acceptance, interest/enjoyment, usability and intention for future use were high. The qualitative data showed increased intention for future use, feelings of control and presence and most of the participants did not encounter any difficulties or require extra help to understand the immersive virtual reality system. Overall, exercising during working hours with an immersive virtual reality exercise system was well perceived by office workers and applicable. However, the effects of the immersive virtual reality training system on physical and mental health and the employees’ adherence to the exercise program should be tested with a longer intervention program.
      Citation: Sports
      PubDate: 2022-06-29
      DOI: 10.3390/sports10070104
      Issue No: Vol. 10, No. 7 (2022)
       
  • Sports, Vol. 10, Pages 105: The Athlete’s Paradox: Adaptable
           Depression

    • Authors: Weronika Jasmina Forys, Tracey Tokuhama-Espinosa
      First page: 105
      Abstract: We proposed that an athlete’s depressive symptoms may be different from the general population in etiology if considered from the context of a depressive disorder. By shifting focus from a limited notion of symptoms onto a comprehensive model of depression, the full scope of the phenomenon becomes clearer. This paper investigated the relationship between neurotransmitters and allostatic load to explain the incidence of depression among elite athletes. This literature review extensively analyzed exercise-induced neurohormonal imbalance resulting in depressive states among athletes. The research revealed that 5-HTTLPR polymorphism, brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), extensive psychological demands, social stigma, and overtraining syndrome (OTS) may all contribute to a unique version of depression. The research revealed that the biological standards of athletes differ from those of non-athletes, to the point that the new model may be useful, thereby introducing the new term “Adaptable Depression (AD)” to the literature. This framework suggests a new direction for future research to precisely measure the neurotransmitter-related brain changes that result in “Adaptable Depression” in athletes and to establish a better understanding of the depressive tipping point.
      Citation: Sports
      PubDate: 2022-06-30
      DOI: 10.3390/sports10070105
      Issue No: Vol. 10, No. 7 (2022)
       
  • Sports, Vol. 10, Pages 106: Can Bodybuilding Peak Week Manipulations
           Favorably Affect Muscle Size, Subcutaneous Thickness, and Related Body
           Composition Variables' A Case Study

    • Authors: Christopher Barakat, Guillermo Escalante, Scott W. Stevenson, Joshua T. Bradshaw, Andrew Barsuhn, Grant M. Tinsley, Joseph Walters
      First page: 106
      Abstract: Background: The purpose of this case study was to implement an evidence-based dietary approach to peaking for a bodybuilding competition and monitor its impact on body composition, muscle thickness (MT), intra-to-extra-cellular fluid shifts, subcutaneous thickness (ST), and hydration status. Secondarily, to document any adverse events of this peak week approach in a small, controlled setting. Methods Dietary practices were recorded, and laboratory testing was conducted throughout peak week, including competition morning. Assessments included: dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DEXA) for body composition, B-mode ultrasound for MT and ST, bioimpedance spectroscopy (BIS) for total body water (TBW)/intracellular water (ICW)/extracellular water (ECW), and raw BIS data (i.e., resistance, reactance, and phase angle), urine specific gravity (USG) for hydration status, and subjective fullness. Sequential dietary manipulations were made (i.e., CHO depletion/fat loading, CHO/water loading, and a refinement phase) with specific physiological goals. This was reflected in changes observed across all assessments throughout the peak week. Results: From the carbohydrate-depleted state (three days out) to competition day, we observed increases in lean body mass, MT, TBW (primarily ICW), and subjective fullness. Kendall’s Tau B revealed a strong relationship between carbohydrate intake and ∑MT (τ = 0.733, p = 0.056). Additionally, novel ST data demonstrated a 10% reduction for the summation of all seven sites, with some drastic changes in specific regions (e.g., −43% for triceps ST) from three days out to competition day. Conclusions: These data suggest that the prototypical goals of bodybuilders’ peak week (i.e., increasing muscle fullness, decreasing subcutaneous thickness) to enhance their aesthetics/muscularity presented can be achieved with a drug-free protocol involving dietary manipulations.
      Citation: Sports
      PubDate: 2022-07-05
      DOI: 10.3390/sports10070106
      Issue No: Vol. 10, No. 7 (2022)
       
  • Sports, Vol. 10, Pages 107: The Influence of Competitive Level on
           Stretch-Shortening Cycle Function in Young Female Gymnasts

    • Authors: Sylvia Moeskops, Jason S. Pedley, Jon L. Oliver, Rhodri S. Lloyd
      First page: 107
      Abstract: This cross-sectional study investigated how stretch-shortening cycle (SSC) function and kinetic variables differed between young female gymnasts of varying competitive levels. Drop jump (DJ) force–time profiles were examined in 118 female gymnasts, sub-divided by competitive level (n = 21 recreational, n = 41 regional and n = 50 elite). DJ force–time data were analyzed to calculate performance and kinetic variables. Participants’ SSC function was categorized as poor, moderate, or good, depending on the presence of an impact peak and spring-like behavior. A high proportion of gymnasts across each group were categorized as having “good” or “moderate” SSC function (i.e., >94.8%), with a trend of increasingly better SSC function observed with competitive level. Significant differences in reactive strength index, contact time, time of landing peak force, relative propulsive peak force, impulse, and ratio of braking: propulsive impulse were found between the elite and recreational group (p < 0.05). While SSC function was generally good to moderate, elite gymnasts had a more desirable kinetic jump-landing strategy than recreational level gymnasts. Drop jump kinetic variables appear to distinguish between elite and recreational gymnasts but not between regional standard gymnasts. Practitioners should consider the kinetic profile of gymnasts when benchmarking and setting training objectives.
      Citation: Sports
      PubDate: 2022-07-06
      DOI: 10.3390/sports10070107
      Issue No: Vol. 10, No. 7 (2022)
       
  • Sports, Vol. 10, Pages 108: Morphological Characteristics and Situational
           Precision of U15 and U16 Elite Male Players from Al-Ahli Handball Club
           (Bahrein)

    • Authors: Boris Banjevic, Boris Zarkovic, Borko Katanic, Blazo Jabucanin, Stevo Popovic, Bojan Masanovic
      First page: 108
      Abstract: The aim of this cross-sectional study was to determine the differences in the morphological characteristics and situational precision among younger and older groups of handball players. The sample of participants consisted of 30 handball players, members of the younger category of the Al-Ahli handball club (Bahrein), divided into two groups: older (U16, n = 18) and younger (U15, n = 12). To evaluate their morphological characteristics, eight variables were measured, while two standardized tests were used to evaluate their situational precision. The results indicate that a statistically significant difference between the groups was noticeable for nine variables in total, seven in morphology (body height, p = 0.010; body mass index, p = 0.049; arm length, p = 0.009; upper arm length, p = 0.016; lower arm length, p = 0.040; the planimetric parameter of the hand, p = 0.005; hand length p = 0.004) and two in situational precision (the standing shot, p = 0.003; the jump shot, p = 0.17), and that the achieved difference ranges from a medium to a large effect. For only one variable (body mass, p = 0.734), significant difference was not determined between the groups. It was also determined (by Cohen’s criterion) that handball players with higher longitudinal dimensionality achieve better results for specific precision. Therefore, when selecting young handball players, the aforementioned dimensions should be taken into consideration as predictors of success.
      Citation: Sports
      PubDate: 2022-07-06
      DOI: 10.3390/sports10070108
      Issue No: Vol. 10, No. 7 (2022)
       
  • Sports, Vol. 10, Pages 109: Effects of Interrupted Daily Routine Due to
           COVID-19 on Circadian Chronotype and Leisure Time Physical Activity

    • Authors: Justine M. Renziehausen, David H. Fukuda
      First page: 109
      Abstract: Circadian chronotype is dependent on many factors including age, physical activity participation, eating and sleeping patterns, and typical schedule. Recently, the COVID-19 pandemic resulted in schedule changes for most individuals. Therefore, the purpose of this study is to examine whether sport participation influences circadian chronotype and physical activity and whether COVID-19 restrictions have impacted chronotype scores. Briefly, 128 physically active males (n = 62) and females (n = 66) between 18 and 55 years old (24.7 ± 7.1) completed a survey consisting of demographics information, the Morningness–Eveningness Questionnaire (MEQ), and the Godin Leisure Time Physical Activity Scale (LTPA). Participants were asked to answer relevant questions about their habits/preferences before and after COVID-19-related restrictions were implemented. MEQ scores categorized individuals into morning (MT), intermediate (IT), and evening (ET) chronotypes. Three-way (pre-COVID-19 chronotype x sport participation x time) repeated measures ANOVA was conducted to evaluate differences in MEQ and LTPA. A significant main effect of time was found for MEQ (p = 0.018) and LTPA (p = 0.002), indicating changes following COVID-19. A significant time x chronotype interaction was shown for MEQ (p < 0.001) with MT (p < 0.001), IT (p = 0.044), and ET (p = 0.044) individuals indicating chronotype-specific changes following COVID-19. LTPA was decreased and MEQ scores changed following COVID-19, with shifts toward IT scores.
      Citation: Sports
      PubDate: 2022-07-14
      DOI: 10.3390/sports10070109
      Issue No: Vol. 10, No. 7 (2022)
       
  • Sports, Vol. 10, Pages 110: Acute Effect of Upper-Lower Body Super-Set vs.
           Traditional-Set Configurations on Bar Execution Velocity and Volume

    • Authors: Guillermo Peña García-Orea, David Rodríguez-Rosell, Daniel Segarra-Carrillo, Marzo Edir Da Silva-Grigoletto, Noelia Belando-Pedreño
      First page: 110
      Abstract: This study aimed to compare the effect on bar execution velocity and number of repetitions between two velocity-based resistance training protocols only differing in the set configuration of the full-squat (SQ) and bench-press (BP) exercises. Moderately strength-trained men were assigned to a traditional (TS, n = 9)- or an alternating-set (AS, n = 10) configuration group to perform four testing sessions against different relative loads (55–60–65–70% 1RM). Relative load, magnitude of intra-set velocity loss (%VL), number of sets, inter-set recovery time, and exercise order were matched for both groups in each session. Mean propulsive velocity of the first repetition (MPVfirst), average number of repetitions per set (NRS), total number of repetitions (TNR), and total training time per session (TT) were measured. No significant differences between training conditions were observed for any relative load in MPVfirst, NRS, and TNR in both exercises. The TS group completed a significantly higher number of repetitions (p < 0.05) at faster velocities (MPV > 0.9–1.1 m·s−1) in the SQ. In conclusion, training sessions performing AS between SQ and BP exercises with moderate relative loads and %VL result in similar bar execution velocity and volume, but in a more time-efficient manner, than the traditional approach.
      Citation: Sports
      PubDate: 2022-07-14
      DOI: 10.3390/sports10070110
      Issue No: Vol. 10, No. 7 (2022)
       
  • Sports, Vol. 10, Pages 80: Exploratory Systematic Review of Mixed Martial
           Arts: An Overview of Performance of Importance Factors with over 20,000
           Athletes

    • Authors: João C. A. Bueno, Heloiana Faro, Seth Lenetsky, Aleksandro F. Gonçalves, Stefane B. C. D. Dias, André L. B. Ribeiro, Bruno V. C. da Silva, Carlos A. Cardoso Filho, Bruna M. de Vasconcelos, Júlio C. Serrão, Alexandro Andrade, Tácito P. Souza-Junior, João G. Claudino
      First page: 80
      Abstract: This review aimed to analyze the findings in the literature related to Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) through an exploratory systematic review and to present the state of the art from a multifactorial perspective. The review was conducted in accordance with the PRISMA statement, with a search performed in the Scopus, PubMed, and Web of Science databases. Participants were competitive athletes (amateurs or professionals) of regional, national, or international levels. Of the 2763 registries identified, 112 studies met the eligibility criteria. The pooled sample size and age were 20,784 participants, with a mean age of 27.7 ± 6 years for male and 28.9 ± 3 years for female, with the vast majority of athletes being male (94.9%). MMA athletes were 17.2% amateurs, 73.8% professionals, and 9% were not reported. The scientific literature related to MMA reported injuries (n = 28), weight loss (n = 21), technical and tactical analysis (n = 23), physical fitness (n = 8), physiological responses and training characteristics (n = 13), psychobiological parameters (n = 12), and interventions applied to MMA athletes (n = 7). Therefore, this exploratory systematic review presents practitioners and researchers with seven broad summaries of each facet of performance of importance in this population of athletes.
      Citation: Sports
      PubDate: 2022-05-24
      DOI: 10.3390/sports10060080
      Issue No: Vol. 10, No. 6 (2022)
       
  • Sports, Vol. 10, Pages 81: Methodological Approaches to Talent
           Identification in Team Sports: A Narrative Review

    • Authors: Alex Samuel Barraclough, Kevin Till, Adam Kerr, Stacey Emmonds
      First page: 81
      Abstract: Talent identification (TID) and talent development (TD) continue to receive significant investment from team sports organisations, highlighting their importance in attempting to identify potential elite athletes. Accompanying this continual pursuit to unearth future talent is an ever-increasing body of research aiming to provide solutions and strategies to optimise TID and TD processes. Therefore, the aim of this review is to provide a summary and critical synthesis of the methodological approaches applied to TID in team sports and present considerations for future TID research. Specifically, this review highlights three key areas for consideration: (1) the timespan of the research design; (2) the use of monodisciplinary or multidisciplinary variables; and (3) the fidelity of the methodological approaches to the assessment of talent. The review highlights the benefits of longitudinal, multidisciplinary, and ecologically valid research designs for TID within team sports.
      Citation: Sports
      PubDate: 2022-05-24
      DOI: 10.3390/sports10060081
      Issue No: Vol. 10, No. 6 (2022)
       
  • Sports, Vol. 10, Pages 82: Happy Birthday' Relative Age Benefits and
           Decrements on the Rocky Road

    • Authors: Neil McCarthy, Jamie Taylor, Andrew Cruickshank, Dave Collins
      First page: 82
      Abstract: (1) Background: There is abundant literature in talent development investigating the relative age effect in talent systems. There is also growing recognition of the reversal of relative age advantage, a phenomenon that sees significantly higher numbers of earlier born players leaving talent systems before the elite level. However, there has been little investigation of the mechanisms that underpin relative age, or advantage reversal. This paper aimed to investigate (a) the lived experience of relative age in talent development (TD) systems, (b) compare the experience of early and late born players, and (c) explore mechanisms influencing individual experiences. (2) Methods: interviews were conducted with a cohort of near elite and elite rugby union players. Data were subsequently analysed using reflexive thematic analysis and findings considered in light of eventual career status. (3) Results: challenge was an ever-present feature of all players journeys, especially at the point of transition to senior rugby. Psycho-behavioural factors seemed to be a primary mediator of the response to challenge. (4) Conclusions: a rethink of approach to the relative age effect is warranted, whilst further investigations of mechanisms are necessary. Relative age appears to be a population-level effect, driven by challenge dynamics.
      Citation: Sports
      PubDate: 2022-05-24
      DOI: 10.3390/sports10060082
      Issue No: Vol. 10, No. 6 (2022)
       
  • Sports, Vol. 10, Pages 83: Tough Love—Impactful, Caring Coaching in
           Psychologically Unsafe Environments

    • Authors: Jamie Taylor, Michael Ashford, Dave Collins
      First page: 83
      Abstract: (1) Background: The interpersonal dimensions of coaching in high performance sport have been subject to increasing scrutiny but with limited evidence to guide practice. Similarly, there is increasing practical interest in the concept of psychological safety, often portrayed as an implicitly desirable characteristic of all sporting environments but, as yet, still to receive research attention in high performance. As a first step to addressing these deficiencies, the present study addressed two research aims: (a) to examine the extent to which matched groups of international and released professional rugby union players perceived psychological safety to be an adaptive feature of their developmental experience and (b) to understand what elements of the player’s coaching experience were perceived to be enabling or disenabling of future progress. (2) Methods: Seven rugby union players who had ‘made it’ and eight players who had been released from their professional contracts took part in a semi-structured interview exploring their developmental experiences. Data were subsequently analysed using Reflexive Thematic Analysis. (3) Results: Both groups of players found each of their talent development and high performance environments to be psychologically unsafe. Furthermore, players perceived coaches who were the most impactful in their development as offering ‘tough love’. This included a range of ‘harder’ and ‘softer’ interpersonal approaches that presented the player with clear direction, role clarity and a sense of care. It appeared that this interpersonal approach helped the player to navigate, and benefit from, the psychologically unsafe high performance milieu. (4) Conclusions: There appear to be a number of balances for the coach in the high performance setting to navigate and a need for more nuance in applying constructs such as psychological safety.
      Citation: Sports
      PubDate: 2022-05-25
      DOI: 10.3390/sports10060083
      Issue No: Vol. 10, No. 6 (2022)
       
  • Sports, Vol. 10, Pages 84: The Key Role of Nutritional Elements on Sport
           Rehabilitation and the Effects of Nutrients Intake

    • Authors: Sousana K. Papadopoulou, Maria Mantzorou, Foivi Kondyli-Sarika, Ioanna Alexandropoulou, Jannis Papathanasiou, Gavriela Voulgaridou, Pantelis T. Nikolaidis
      First page: 84
      Abstract: Adequate nutrition is of utmost importance for athletes, especially during rehabilitation after injury in order to achieve fast healing and return to sports. The aim of this narrative review is to define the proper nutritional elements for athletes to meet their needs and facilitate their fast return to sports after surgery or injury, as well as determine the effects of specific nutrients intake. Studies on antioxidants, which are substances that protect against free radicals, for the injured athlete are few and unclear, yet poly-phenols and especially flavonoids might improve healing and inflammation following an injury. Benefits of vitamin C or E on muscle damage are disputable in relevant studies, while optimal levels of vitamin D and calcium contribute to bone healing. Minerals are also essential for athletes. Other supplements suggested for muscle damage treatment and protein synthesis include leucine, creatine, and hydroxymethylbutyrate. Diets that include high-quality products, rich in micronutrients (like vitamins, minerals, etc.) bio-active compounds and other nutritional elements (like creatine) are suggested, while an individualized nutrition program prescribed by a trained dietitian is important. Further studies are needed to clarify the underlying mechanisms of these nutritional elements, especially regarding injury treatment.
      Citation: Sports
      PubDate: 2022-05-26
      DOI: 10.3390/sports10060084
      Issue No: Vol. 10, No. 6 (2022)
       
  • Sports, Vol. 10, Pages 85: Effect of Pre-Season Training on Physiological
           and Biochemical Indices in Basketball Players—A Systematic Review

    • Authors: Dimitrios Mexis, Tzortzis Nomikos, Nikolaos Kostopoulos
      First page: 85
      Abstract: The pre-season period in basketball includes all the physiological attributes that the players need to work on and develop, in order to sustain a full season workload. The monitoring of the effectiveness of pre-season training is based on a variety of biochemical and physiological indices; however, it is still unclear how pre-season training affects those markers. Therefore, this study aimed to analyze the effects of pre-season training on biochemical and physiological markers. A search was performed in five large scientific databases (Pubmed (Medline), Scopus, Science-Direct, Sport-Discus (EBSCO), Semantic Scholar) and produced 7081 results, which after removing duplicates and applying inclusion and exclusion criteria, resulted in 28 published scientific articles being included in this review. The most important findings suggested that the majority of the studies used a 6- or an 8-week pre-season training protocol, because these protocols have shown significant positive effects over the years. In addition, the plyometric training protocols that were used by many studies have been found to be beneficial for basketball athletes for many physiological parameters. Furthermore, the evaluation of biochemical markers can be a very useful tool in monitoring and managing fatigue, which is an essential part of modifying the training process, in order to maximize performance.
      Citation: Sports
      PubDate: 2022-05-26
      DOI: 10.3390/sports10060085
      Issue No: Vol. 10, No. 6 (2022)
       
  • Sports, Vol. 10, Pages 86: Relationship of Vertical Jump Performance and
           Ankle Joint Range of Motion: Effect of Knee Joint Angle and Handedness in
           Young Adult Handball Players

    • Authors: Vassilios Panoutsakopoulos, Mariana C. Kotzamanidou, Athanasios K. Giannakos, Iraklis A. Kollias
      First page: 86
      Abstract: The purpose of the study is to examine the effect of the ankle joint range of motion (ROM) on the vertical jump (VJ) performance of adult handball players. The active (ACT) and passive (PAS) ankle joint ROM of 12 male members of the U21 National Handball Team with the knee joint at 0°, 40°, and 90° flexion (0° = fully extended knee) was evaluated using a video analysis measuring method. Participants also performed maximum VJ with (CMJ) and without (SQJ) countermovement, as well as with (AS) and without (NAS) an arm swing. Statistical analyses included 2 × 2 × 3 MANOVA, 2 × 2 repeated measures ANOVA, and Pearson’s correlation. Results reveal that PAS-ROM was larger (p < 0.05) in all knee joint flexion angles. ROM was smaller (p < 0.05) by approximately 10° at 0° compared to 90° knee flexion. No lateral effects on ROM due to the handedness of the players were observed. AS and CM resulted in increased jump height (p < 0.05). Finally, ACT-ROM when the knee joint was flexed at 40° was highly correlated (r ≥ 0.66, p < 0.05) with VJ performance except for CMJ-AS. In conclusion, the differences in the bi-articular gastrocnemius muscle flexibility due to the alteration of the angular position of the examined joints affected the ability to generate impulse during the VJ tests.
      Citation: Sports
      PubDate: 2022-05-28
      DOI: 10.3390/sports10060086
      Issue No: Vol. 10, No. 6 (2022)
       
  • Sports, Vol. 10, Pages 87: Special Issue “Optimising Interval
           Training Prescription”

    • Authors: François Billaut
      First page: 87
      Abstract: High-intensity interval training, the so-called HIT, was popularized among athletes in the 1980′s and has been shown to be one of the most effective training modalities for improving athletic performance in various sports [...]
      Citation: Sports
      PubDate: 2022-06-02
      DOI: 10.3390/sports10060087
      Issue No: Vol. 10, No. 6 (2022)
       
  • Sports, Vol. 10, Pages 88: Could Proprioceptive Stimuli Change Saddle
           Pressure on Male Cyclists during Different Hand Positions' An
           Exploratory Study of the Effect of the Equistasi® Device

    • Authors: Annamaria Guiotto, Fabiola Spolaor, Giovanni Albani, Zimi Sawacha
      First page: 88
      Abstract: When pedaling, the excessive pressure on the seat has the potential to produce injuries and this can strongly affect sport performance. Recently, a large effort has been dedicated to the reduction of the pressure occurring at the saddle region. Our work aims to verify the possibility of modifying cyclists’ pedaling posture, and consequently the pressure on the saddle, by applying a proprioceptive stimulus. Equistasi® (Equistasi srl, Milano, Italy) is a wearable device that emits focal mechanical vibrations able to transform the body temperature into mechanical vibratory energy via the embedded nanotechnology. The data acquired through a pressure mapping system (GebioMized®) on 70 cyclists, with and without Equistasi®, were analyzed. Pedaling in three positions was recorded on a spin trainer: with hands on the top, hands on the drop handlebar, and hands on the lever. Average force, contact surface, and average and maximum pressure each in different regions of the saddle were analyzed, as well as integral pressure time and center of pressure. In the comparisons between hands positions, overall pressure and force variables were significantly lower in the drop-handlebar position at the rear saddle (p < 0.03) and higher in hand-on-lever and drop-handlebar positions at the front saddle (p < 0.01). When applying the Equistasi device, the contact surface was significantly larger in all hand positions (p < 0.05), suggesting that focal stimulation of the lumbar proprioceptive system can change cyclists’ posture.
      Citation: Sports
      PubDate: 2022-06-02
      DOI: 10.3390/sports10060088
      Issue No: Vol. 10, No. 6 (2022)
       
  • Sports, Vol. 10, Pages 89: Multivariate Training Programs during Physical
           Education Classes in School Context: Theoretical Considerations and Future
           Perspectives

    • Authors: Avelino Silva, Ricardo Ferraz, Pedro Forte, José E. Teixeira, Luís Branquinho, Daniel A. Marinho
      First page: 89
      Abstract: Physical Education plays a fundamental role in promoting healthy habits and lifestyles, as well as in the development of individual and cognitive skills. To date, several investigations have reported positive effects on indicators of physical fitness, motor proficiency, and creativity as a result of specific training programs during Physical Education classes. However, the effects of multivariate training programs on the improvement of the aforementioned skills remain unclear in the literature. Through this brief review, the benefit of applying multivariate training programs during Physical Education classes on indicators of physical fitness, motor proficiency and creativity was critically analyzed. A narrative approach was applied to summarize the availed research as following: (i) theoretical background; (ii) research gaps/issues; (iii) subject explanation about multivariate training programs in Physical Education; and (iv) practical application and further research. The evidence reported in this regard may be useful for the development of multivariate training programs that simultaneously enable the improvement of indicators of physical fitness, motor proficiency and creativity. However, there is still no consensus in the literature on the best strategies (i.e., type of program, duration, intensity) to enhance motor proficiency and creativity in the context of Physical Education classes using multivariate training programs.
      Citation: Sports
      PubDate: 2022-06-03
      DOI: 10.3390/sports10060089
      Issue No: Vol. 10, No. 6 (2022)
       
  • Sports, Vol. 10, Pages 90: Energy Consumption of Water Running and Cycling
           at Four Exercise Intensities

    • Authors: Sabrina Demarie, Emanuele Chirico, Cecilia Bratta, Cristina Cortis
      First page: 90
      Abstract: Water exercise provides a workload in every direction of motion for training in a reduced impact environment. The selection of an appropriate physical activity and an individual exercise prescription are essential to obtain training effects. The aim of the present study was to determine individualised relative exercise intensities at four speeds of motion for water cycling and water running. Running was tested both in buoyancy and with the feet in contact with the bottom of the pool. To this purpose, gas exchanges, heart rate, and blood lactate were measured in each test session. Fourteen active, healthy females (23.2 ± 1.6 years) underwent a dry land maximal incremental protocol to exhaustion on a treadmill and hydrobike (HB); they engaged in water running with ground contact (RC) and water running suspended (RS) tests in a swimming pool at 30, 40, 50, and 60 cycles per minute (cpm), submerged at the individual xiphoid level. The four motion speeds of the three water exercise modalities ranged from 50% to 95% of the maximal heart rate and the maximal oxygen uptake, representing a moderate-to-vigorous training stimulus. RS elicited the lowest oxygen consumption, whereas HB demanded the significantly highest oxygen consumption and presented the highest blood lactate accumulation, with vigorous intensity being reached at 50 cpm and near maximal intensity at 60 cpm. It appears that water cycling could be more suitable for athletic training, whereas water running could be more appropriate for health and fitness purposes.
      Citation: Sports
      PubDate: 2022-06-08
      DOI: 10.3390/sports10060090
      Issue No: Vol. 10, No. 6 (2022)
       
  • Sports, Vol. 10, Pages 91: Golf Swing Biomechanics: A Systematic Review
           and Methodological Recommendations for Kinematics

    • Authors: Maxime Bourgain, Philippe Rouch, Olivier Rouillon, Patricia Thoreux, Christophe Sauret
      First page: 91
      Abstract: Numerous studies have been conducted to investigate golf swing performance in both preventing injury and injury occurrence. The objective of this review was to describe state-of-the-art golf swing biomechanics, with a specific emphasis on movement kinematics, and when possible, to suggest recommendations for research methodologies. Keywords related to biomechanics and golf swings were used in scientific databases. Only articles that focused on golf-swing kinematics were considered. In this review, 92 articles were considered and categorized into the following domains: X-factor, crunch factor, swing plane and clubhead trajectory, kinematic sequence, and joint angular kinematics. The main subjects of focus were male golfers. Performance parameters were searched for, but the lack of methodological consensus prevented generalization of the results and led to contradictory results. Currently, three-dimensional approaches are commonly used for joint angular kinematic investigations. However, recommendations by the International Society of Biomechanics are rarely considered.
      Citation: Sports
      PubDate: 2022-06-09
      DOI: 10.3390/sports10060091
      Issue No: Vol. 10, No. 6 (2022)
       
  • Sports, Vol. 10, Pages 92: Mental Toughness Development via Military-Style
           Training in the NCAA: A Three-Phase, Mixed-Method Study of the
           Perspectives of Strength and Conditioning Coaches

    • Authors: Andreas Stamatis, Grant B. Morgan, Patrick Nyamaruze, Panagiotis Koutakis
      First page: 92
      Abstract: Sport cultures transmit values for anticipated conduct. Recent events have resulted in injuries/deaths of National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) student-athletes, usually during off-season football training. Through media reports, strength and conditioning coaches (SCC) have been allegedly involved by incorporating military-style training (MST). Mental toughness (MT) has been associated with hypermasculine subcultures in sports. For the first time, perceptions of collegiate SCCs were chosen to contribute to the development of cultural best practices in sports, via a multiphase mixed-method design (Phase 1, n = 465; Phase 2, n = 72; Phase 3, n = 99). Quantitative and qualitative data were collected aiming to confirm and explore the use of MST in the NCAA, its connection to SCCs, its association with MT development, and the role of the media. MST is uncommon in the NCAA. MST takes place mostly during the off-season in the form of physical, in-scope protocols while football is the most common sport. MST promotes MT. The recent media backlash is considered unfounded. Cultures promoted by SCCs do not indicate conformity of student-athletes to unethical/unhealthy expectations. Future sport psychology research and practice should continue to prioritize culture, cultural identities, and physical and mental well-being.
      Citation: Sports
      PubDate: 2022-06-09
      DOI: 10.3390/sports10060092
      Issue No: Vol. 10, No. 6 (2022)
       
  • Sports, Vol. 10, Pages 93: SCS 4th Annual Conference: Strength and
           Conditioning for Human Performance, Porto, Portugal, 2021

    • Authors: Pedro E. Alcaraz, Tomás T. Freitas, Elena Marín-Cascales, Anthony J. Blazevich, José Oliveira, Susana Soares, João P. Vilas-Boas
      First page: 93
      Abstract: On behalf of the Strength & Conditioning Society (SCS) and the Faculty of Sport of the University of Porto, we are pleased to present the abstracts of the SCS 4th Annual Conference: Strength and Conditioning for Human Performance, which took place in, Porto, Portugal, on 12–13 November 2021. The event was a success with invited sessions from renowned international and national speakers on a myriad of topics related to strength and conditioning and its application to health and sports performance, such as agility training and testing, high-intensity interval training in chronic conditions, hamstring strain injuries in soccer, and the utilization of surface electromyography (EMG) decomposition for assessing human performance, among others. During the Conference there were also different practical workshops on (1) velocity-based training; (2) performance testing and athlete monitoring using force platforms; (3) 3D kinematics tracking and flow force assessment in aquatic sports; (4) the application of inertial sensors for physical performance testing; (5) muscle fiber recruitment, force production, and energy expenditure in progressive bicycle testing; (6) EMG decomposition, motor-units recruitment, and muscle contraction modes; and (7) recovery strategies in team-sport athletes. Researchers and academics were able to present their latest findings by submitting the abstracts that compose this Conference Report.
      Citation: Sports
      PubDate: 2022-06-10
      DOI: 10.3390/sports10060093
      Issue No: Vol. 10, No. 6 (2022)
       
  • Sports, Vol. 10, Pages 94: Programming Plyometric-Jump Training in Soccer:
           A Review

    • Authors: Rodrigo Ramirez-Campillo, Jason Moran, Jon L. Oliver, Jason S. Pedley, Rhodri S. Lloyd, Urs Granacher
      First page: 94
      Abstract: The aim of this review was to describe and summarize the scientific literature on programming parameters related to jump or plyometric training in male and female soccer players of different ages and fitness levels. A literature search was conducted in the electronic databases PubMed, Web of Science and Scopus using keywords related to the main topic of this study (e.g., “ballistic” and “plyometric”). According to the PICOS framework, the population for the review was restricted to soccer players, involved in jump or plyometric training. Among 7556 identified studies, 90 were eligible for inclusion. Only 12 studies were found for females. Most studies (n = 52) were conducted with youth male players. Moreover, only 35 studies determined the effectiveness of a given jump training programming factor. Based on the limited available research, it seems that a dose of 7 weeks (1–2 sessions per week), with ~80 jumps (specific of combined types) per session, using near-maximal or maximal intensity, with adequate recovery between repetitions (<15 s), sets (≥30 s) and sessions (≥24–48 h), using progressive overload and taper strategies, using appropriate surfaces (e.g., grass), and applied in a well-rested state, when combined with other training methods, would increase the outcome of effective and safe plyometric-jump training interventions aimed at improving soccer players physical fitness. In conclusion, jump training is an effective and easy-to-administer training approach for youth, adult, male and female soccer players. However, optimal programming for plyometric-jump training in soccer is yet to be determined in future research.
      Citation: Sports
      PubDate: 2022-06-10
      DOI: 10.3390/sports10060094
      Issue No: Vol. 10, No. 6 (2022)
       
  • Sports, Vol. 10, Pages 95: Stubborn Exercise Responders–Where to
           Next'

    • Authors: Leo R. Bell, Tim J. Gabbett, Gregory M. Davis, Matthew P. Wallen, Brendan J. O’Brien
      First page: 95
      Abstract: There is a wide variance in the magnitude of physiological adaptations after resistance or endurance training. The incidence of “non” or “poor” responders to training has been reported to represent as high as 40% of the project’s sample. However, the incidence of poor responders to training can be ameliorated with manipulation of either the training frequency, intensity, type and duration. Additionally, global non-response to cardio-respiratory fitness training is eliminated when evaluating several health measures beyond just the target variables as at least one or more measure improves. More research is required to determine if altering resistance training variables results in a more favourable response in individuals with an initial poor response to resistance training. Moreover, we recommend abandoning the term “poor” responders, as ultimately the magnitude of change in cardiorespiratory fitness in response to endurance training is similar in “poor” and “high” responders if the training frequency is subsequently increased. Therefore, we propose “stubborn” responders as a more appropriate term. Future research should focus on developing viable physiological and lifestyle screening tests that identify likely stubborn responders to conventional exercise training guidelines before the individual engages with training. Exerkines, DNA damage, metabolomic responses in blood, saliva and breath, gene sequence, gene expression and epigenetics are candidate biomarkers that warrant investigation into their relationship with trainability. Crucially, viable biomarker screening tests should show good construct validity to distinguish between different exercise loads, and possess excellent sensitivity and reliability. Furthermore “red flag” tests of likely poor responders to training should be practical to assess in clinical settings and be affordable and non-invasive. Early identification of stubborn responders would enable optimization of training programs from the onset of training to maintain exercise motivation and optimize the impact on training adaptations and health.
      Citation: Sports
      PubDate: 2022-06-10
      DOI: 10.3390/sports10060095
      Issue No: Vol. 10, No. 6 (2022)
       
  • Sports, Vol. 10, Pages 96: The Effect of Blade Alignment on Kinematics and
           Plantar Pressure during the Execution of Goaltender-Specific Movement
           Patterns: A Case Study

    • Authors: Colin Dunne, Michael Holmes, Kelly Lockwood
      First page: 96
      Abstract: Innovations in material properties of goaltender skates have improved the protective characteristics of the boot, leading to redesign of the blade holder to resemble players’ holders. The redesigned blade holder introduces the ability to customize blade alignment, which may grant a performance advantage. We investigated the effect of blade alignment on kinematics and plantar pressure during the execution of two different goaltender-specific movement patterns: (1) the butterfly drop to recovery and (2) the lateral butterfly slide to recovery. The main objective of this study was to investigate the effect of three blade alignment conditions. The secondary objective was to compare two neutral alignment conditions, which was facilitated by studying the effects of two different holders on kinematics and plantar pressure during two goaltender-specific techniques. A male goaltender with professional experience completed an A–B–A design, executing five trials of A, B, and A for both movements with each blade alignment condition (n = 30 per collection, n = 90 overall) on synthetic ice in a controlled lab environment. Blade alignment conditions were defined by the alignment of the blade holder on the boot and the type of blade holder. Kinematic and plantar pressure data were collected simultaneously using 3D motion capture and in-skate pressure insoles, respectively. Increased butterfly drop velocity (2.07 ± 0.09 m/s) and peak plantar pressure (77.19 ± 2.67 psi) were revealed when executing the butterfly drop with medial alignment. This work suggests medial blade alignment may enable the goaltender to drop into the butterfly position faster, potentially increasing the likelihood of making a save.
      Citation: Sports
      PubDate: 2022-06-20
      DOI: 10.3390/sports10060096
      Issue No: Vol. 10, No. 6 (2022)
       
  • Sports, Vol. 10, Pages 63: Olympic Cycle Comparison of the Nutritional and
           Cardiovascular Health Status of an Elite-Level Female Swimmer: Case Study
           Report from Slovenia

    • Authors: Boštjan Jakše, Silvester Lipošek, Nataša Zenić, Dorica Šajber
      First page: 63
      Abstract: Monitoring the many aspects that are crucial to an athlete’s performance progress is vital for further training planning and for the development of performance and the sport. We evaluated a four-year change (2018 vs. 2022) in the current nutritional and cardiovascular health status of the most successful elite-level female swimmer in Slovenia. Body composition and dietary intake were assessed using dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry and a standardized food questionnaire. The concentration of blood lipids, blood pressure, and serum micronutrients (B12, 25(OH)D), potassium, calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, and iron) were measured. The four-year comparison showed an improved body composition status (i.e., increased body mass and decreased body fat (percentage and mass), increased lean soft tissue and total bone mineral density (BMD) (i.e., significantly decreased BMD of a left femoral neck and increased BMD of a spine and head)). We also measured an improvement in the cardiovascular health status of some markers (i.e., decreased total cholesterol, triglycerides, and blood pressure but increased low-density lipoprotein cholesterol), most likely due to the differences in assessed dietary intake (i.e., lower carbohydrate intake, higher total and saturated fat intake, and lower sodium intake). Notably, nutrient intakes that are generally of concern (eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), vitamin B12 and D, calcium, iron, and zinc (except for fiber intake)) were all within recommended ranges. However, the athlete’s vitamin K and potassium intake were not adequate. Furthermore, in 2018, the athlete did not consume dietary supplements, while she now regularly uses several dietary supplements, including EPA and DHA omega-3, vitamin D, multivitamins, carbohydrate powder, and sports drink. Moreover, from the micronutrient serum, only iron levels deviated from the reference values (37 μmol/L vs. 10.7–28.6 μmol/L). The presented screening example using valid, sensitive, and affordable methods and with rapid organizational implementation may be a viable format for regular monitoring.
      Citation: Sports
      PubDate: 2022-04-20
      DOI: 10.3390/sports10050063
      Issue No: Vol. 10, No. 5 (2022)
       
  • Sports, Vol. 10, Pages 64: Psychological Adaptations to High-Intensity
           Interval Training in Overweight and Obese Adults: A Topical Review

    • Authors: Alexios Batrakoulis, Ioannis G. Fatouros
      First page: 64
      Abstract: Regular exercise has been reported as a fundamental piece of the management and treatment puzzle of obesity, playing a vital role in numerous psychological indicators. However, it is unclear whether high-intensity interval training (HIIT) can improve critical psychological health markers such as adherence, exercise enjoyment, affective responses, health-related quality of life, anxiety, and depression in overweight and obese adults. The purpose of this topical review was to catalogue studies investigating the psychological responses to HIIT in order to identify what psychological outcomes have been assessed, the research methods used, and the results. The inclusion/exclusion criteria were met by 25 published articles investigating either a traditional, single-component (84%) or a hybrid-type, multi-component (16%) HIIT protocol and involving 930 participants with overweight/obesity. The present topical review on HIIT-induced psychological adaptations shows that this popular exercise mode, but also demanding for the masses, can meaningfully increase the vast majority of the selected mental health-related indices. These improvements seem to be equal if not greater than those observed for moderate-intensity continuous training in overweight and obese adults. However, further research is needed in this area, focusing on the potential mechanisms behind positive alterations in various psychological health parameters through larger samples and high-quality randomized controlled trials.
      Citation: Sports
      PubDate: 2022-04-22
      DOI: 10.3390/sports10050064
      Issue No: Vol. 10, No. 5 (2022)
       
  • Sports, Vol. 10, Pages 65: Exploring the Effects of Six Weeks of
           Resistance Training on the Fecal Microbiome of Older Adult Males:
           Secondary Analysis of a Peanut Protein Supplemented Randomized Controlled
           Trial

    • Authors: Johnathon H. Moore, Kristen S. Smith, Dongquan Chen, Donald A. Lamb, Morgan A. Smith, Shelby C. Osburn, Bradley A. Ruple, Casey D. Morrow, Kevin W. Huggins, James R. McDonald, Michael D. Brown, Kaelin C. Young, Michael D. Roberts, Andrew D. Frugé
      First page: 65
      Abstract: The bacteria inhabiting the gastrointestinal tract contribute to numerous host functions and can be altered by lifestyle factors. We aimed to determine whether a 6-week training intervention altered fecal microbiome diversity and/or function in older males. Fecal samples were collected prior to and following a 6-week twice-weekly supervised resistance training intervention in 14 older Caucasian males (65 ± 10 years, 28.5 ± 3.2 kg/m2) with minimal prior training experience. Participants were randomized to receive a daily defatted peanut powder supplement providing 30 g protein (n = 8) or no supplement (n = 6) during the intervention. Bacterial DNA was isolated from pre-and post-training fecal samples, and taxa were identified using sequencing to amplify the variable region 4 (V4) of the 16S ribosomal RNA gene. Training significantly increased whole-body and lower-body lean mass (determined by dual energy X-ray absorptiometry) as well as leg extensor strength (p < 0.05) with no differences between intervention groups. Overall composition of the microbiome and a priori selected taxa were not significantly altered with training. However, MetaCYC pathway analysis indicated that metabolic capacity of the microbiome to produce mucin increased (p = 0.047); the tight junction protein, zonulin, was measured in serum and non-significantly decreased after training (p = 0.062). Our data suggest that resistance training may improve intestinal barrier integrity in older Caucasian males; further investigation is warranted.
      Citation: Sports
      PubDate: 2022-04-22
      DOI: 10.3390/sports10050065
      Issue No: Vol. 10, No. 5 (2022)
       
  • Sports, Vol. 10, Pages 66: Regional Bioelectrical Phase Angle Is More
           Informative than Whole-Body Phase Angle for Monitoring Neuromuscular
           Performance: A Pilot Study in Elite Young Soccer Players

    • Authors: Tindaro Bongiovanni, Alessio Rossi, Athos Trecroci, Giulia Martera, F. Marcello Iaia, Giampietro Alberti, Giulio Pasta, Mathieu Lacome
      First page: 66
      Abstract: Background: The objective of this study was to investigate the association between regional and total phase angle (PhA) with lower-body neuromuscular performance in young elite soccer players. Methods: Sixteen elite male soccer players (14.3 ± 1.0 years) participated in this study. Lower (LPhA)- and upper (UPhA)-hemisome PhA together with whole-body PhA (WBPhA) were measured by a bioelectrical-impedance analysis (BIA), while appendicular arm and leg lean soft tissue (ALST and LLST, respectively) were estimated. Urine osmolarity (UOsm) and urine-specific gravity (USG) were also considered. Sprints over 10 m and 20 m and countermovement jump (CMJ) tests were employed to evaluate neuromuscular performance. Results: LPhA (p = 0.003) and UOsm (p = 0.012) explained 62% of the variance in the 10 m sprint. UOsm (p = 0.001) and both LPhA (p < 0.001) and WBPhA (p = 0.024) explained 81% of the total variance in the 20 m sprint. The CMJ height was affected by LPhA (p < 0.001) and UOsm (p = 0.024), which overall explained 68% of its variance (p < 0.05), while 93% of the CMJ power variance was explained by LPhA (p < 0.001), ALST (p < 0.001), and WBPhA (p = 0.011). Conclusions: Regional PhA is a relevant and non-invasive tool to monitor lower-body neuromuscular performance in elite youth soccer. Specifically, LPhA may be favored over WBPhA as more informative.
      Citation: Sports
      PubDate: 2022-04-22
      DOI: 10.3390/sports10050066
      Issue No: Vol. 10, No. 5 (2022)
       
  • Sports, Vol. 10, Pages 67: Evaluating Changes in Mental Workload in Indoor
           and Outdoor Ultra-Distance Cycling

    • Authors: Dominic Irvine, Simon A. Jobson, John P. Wilson
      First page: 67
      Abstract: Whilst increasing mental workload has been shown to have a detrimental effect on cycling performance and more generally to increase the risk of harm, no studies have measured how mental workload changes as a function of ultra-distance cycling, indoors or outdoors. Our objective was to measure the difference in mental workload, as indicated by changes in EEG theta power, components of HRV and psychomotor vigilance and as reported using the ‘NASA Task Load Index questionnaire’, before and after a 5 h indoor ride and outdoor ride completed at 65% of functional threshold power. Results of the NASA-TLX indicated the mental demand of outdoor cycling to be significantly less than that of indoor cycling. There were significant differences in the PVT results between the pre and the post outdoor ride average and median response times. The slowest 10% PVT responses were significantly slower pre than post the indoor ride. There were significant differences in HRV between pre and post outdoor and indoor rides, specifically, in the average RR intervals, RMSSD (ms2), LFPower (ms2), NN50. There were modest changes in indicators of mental workload during an ultra-distance cycle ride. As such, mental workload during ultra-distance cycling is unlikely to be a contributory factor to decreases in performance or to an increased likelihood of accident and injury.
      Citation: Sports
      PubDate: 2022-04-28
      DOI: 10.3390/sports10050067
      Issue No: Vol. 10, No. 5 (2022)
       
  • Sports, Vol. 10, Pages 68: Empowered, Yet Vulnerable: Motives for Sport
           Participation, Health Correlates, and Experience of Sexual Harassment in
           Female Combat-Sport Athletes

    • Authors: Therese Fostervold Mathisen, Radhika Singh Kumar, Kethe M. E. Svantorp-Tveiten, Jorunn Sundgot-Borgen
      First page: 68
      Abstract: Background: To explore motives for combat sport participation, weight regulation practices, symptoms of low energy availability (LEA), disordered eating (DE) or eating disorders (ED), and any experiences with sexual harassment (SH) among female combat-sport athletes. Methods: In total, 29 athletes were recruited by social media and in clubs. Participants responded to a questionnaire on health behavior and mental health and completed diet registration and a DXA-scan. Results: Most athletes started combat sports to feel empowered and experienced an inclusive milieu, but the frequency of health issues was high. A total of 21–67% had symptoms of ED, suffered from injuries, had low site-specific BMD, and/or symptoms of LEA. Athletes had insufficient intake of energy and nutrients, and < 50% received any dietary information or guidance from their clubs. Most athletes complied with favorable weight-loss strategies; still, > 20% used unfavorable methods and rapid weight-loss periods. A total of 70% of the athletes had experienced SH, of which 41% experienced SH within the combat-sport context. Conclusion: Combat sport offers an inclusive milieu, which may increase women’s health and confidence; still, our results indicates a need for actions to safeguard female combat-sport athletes’ mental and physical health, implying a cultural change within the community of combat sport and a need for increased health and nutrition literacy.
      Citation: Sports
      PubDate: 2022-04-29
      DOI: 10.3390/sports10050068
      Issue No: Vol. 10, No. 5 (2022)
       
  • Sports, Vol. 10, Pages 69: Heat Acclimation with or without Normobaric
           Hypoxia Exposure Leads to Similar Improvements in Endurance Performance in
           the Heat

    • Authors: Erik D. Hanson, Matthew B. Cooke, Mitchell J. Anderson, Tracey Gerber, Jessica A. Danaher, Christos G. Stathis
      First page: 69
      Abstract: Background: Combining the key adaptation of plasma volume (PV) expansion with synergistic physiological effects of other acclimation interventions to maximise endurance performance in the heat has potential. The current study investigated the effects of heat acclimation alone (H), combined with normobaric hypoxia exposure (H+NH), on endurance athletic performance. Methods: Well-trained participants completed a heat-stress trial (30 °C, 80% relative humidity (RH), 20.8% fraction of inspired oxygen (FiO2)) of a 75 min steady-state cycling (fixed workload) and a subsequent 15 min cycling time trial for distance before and after intervention. Participants completed 12 consecutive indoor training days with either heat acclimation (H; 60 min·day−1, 30 °C, 80% RH; 20.8% FiO2) or heat acclimation and overnight hypoxic environment (H+NH; ~12 h, 60% RH; 16% FiO2 simulating altitude of ~2500 m). Control (CON) group trained outdoors with average maximum daily temperature of 16.5 °C and 60% RH. Results: Both H and H+NH significantly improved time trial cycling distance by ~5.5% compared to CON, with no difference between environmental exposures. PV increased (+3.8%) and decreased (−4.1%) following H and H+NH, respectively, whereas haemoglobin concentration decreased (−2%) and increased (+3%) in H and H+NH, respectively. Conclusion: Our results show that despite contrasting physiological adaptations to different environmental acclimation protocols, heat acclimation with or without hypoxic exposure demonstrated similar improvements in short-duration exercise performance in a hot environment.
      Citation: Sports
      PubDate: 2022-04-30
      DOI: 10.3390/sports10050069
      Issue No: Vol. 10, No. 5 (2022)
       
  • Sports, Vol. 10, Pages 70: Eight Weeks of Exercising on Sand Has Positive
           Effects on Biomechanics of Walking and Muscle Activities in Individuals
           with Pronated Feet: A Randomized Double-Blinded Controlled Trial

    • Authors: Amir Ali Jafarnezhadgero, Amir Fatollahi, Urs Granacher
      First page: 70
      Abstract: This study aimed to investigate the effects of eight weeks of barefoot running exercise on sand versus control on measures of walking kinetics and muscle activities in individuals with diagnosed pronated feet. Sixty physically active male adults with pronated feet were randomly allocated into an intervention or a waiting control group. The intervention group conducted an 8-weeks progressive barefoot running exercise program on sand (e.g., short sprints) with three weekly sessions. Pre and post intervention, participants walked at a constant speed of 1.3 m/s ± 5% on a 18 m walkway with a force plate embedded in the middle of the walkway. Results showed significant group-by-time interactions for peak impact vertical and lateral ground reaction forces. Training but not control resulted in significantly lower peak impact vertical and lateral ground reaction forces. Significant group-by-time interactions were observed for vastus lateralis activity during the loading phase. Training-induced increases were found for the vastus lateralis in the intervention but not in the control group. This study revealed that the applied exercise program is a suitable means to absorb ground reaction forces (e.g., lower impact vertical and lateral peaks) and increase activities of selected lower limb muscles (e.g., vastus lateralis) when walking on stable ground.
      Citation: Sports
      PubDate: 2022-05-02
      DOI: 10.3390/sports10050070
      Issue No: Vol. 10, No. 5 (2022)
       
  • Sports, Vol. 10, Pages 71: Changes in Athletic Performance in Children
           Attending a Secondary School with a Physical Activity Profile

    • Authors: Tomas Peterson, Staffan Ek, Ola Thorsson, Magnus K. Karlsson, Magnus Dencker, Per Wollmer
      First page: 71
      Abstract: The longitudinal and multidisciplinary research project Malmö Youth Sport Study measured the sports results achieved by two cohorts of pupils using a variable named ACHIEVE, dividing the pupils into three categories (an elite group competing at the national or international level, a group competing at the district level, and a third group either not competing at all or below district level). This was assessed three and six years after baseline at age 13. An additional hypothetical measure, based on information from the athletes’ trainers, predicted the category the pupils were expected to belong to after twelve years (age 25). Social variables related to the ACHIEVE variable are sex, socio-economic position of the parents, ethnicity, completed secondary sports school, sports capital, and quartile of birth. After three years, 28% of the pupils belonged to the elite group and after six years, 26%. Thirty-two and 48%, respectively, had abandoned their elite efforts. The elite group remained fairly stable over time but fewer girls than boys advanced to the elite group. The pupils at the school have a homogenous middle-class background. We found little evidence that socio-economic factors affected ACHIEVE. Nearly all parents had been engaged in sports, either competing or as coaches. On admission to the school, there was a pronounced relative age effect (RAE). This remained after three years as the age was significantly different between the three groups but was reduced after six years. According to the prognosis made by the coaches, the elite group would be considerably smaller when the subjects reached the age of 25. The RAE was again significant in the prognosis. A further follow-up when the subjects are 25 years old will reveal not only what proportion of subjects are actively competing, but also if they are engaged in recreational sports, to what extent the RAE is present, and how accurately coaches can predict success.
      Citation: Sports
      PubDate: 2022-05-02
      DOI: 10.3390/sports10050071
      Issue No: Vol. 10, No. 5 (2022)
       
  • Sports, Vol. 10, Pages 72: Comparative Analysis of Performance Factors
           between Ladies Professional Golf Association and Korea Ladies Professional
           Golf Association Golfers

    • Authors: SunHee Chung
      First page: 72
      Abstract: This study aimed to analyze the performance factors of both Ladies Professional Golf Association (LPGA) and Korea Ladies Professional Golf Association (KLPGA) players and suggest which performance factors they should improve to play in world-level games. Data from 180 LPGA and KLPGA players who ranked within the top 60 in prize money rankings from 2018 to 2020 were analyzed. Then, the data from LPGA and KLPGA golfers were compared using the seemingly unrelated estimation method. As a result of analyzing 178 data, excluding two players who had missing values, this study found that among LPGA player data, putting average (PA), sand save (SS), green in regulation (GIR), and birdies (BIR) had a significant impact in 2018. Additionally, scoring average (SA) and top-10 finish (T10) had a significant impact in 2019. However, there were no factors influencing performance in 2020.From the results of analyzing 180 players who ranked within the top 60 in KLPGA prize money rankings, there were no performance factors that significantly affected their performance in 2018. However, driver distance (DD) in 2019 and DD and T10 in 2020 affected performance. In conclusion, short games were the most important factor on the LPGA Tour, and driving distance was the most important trend on the KLPGA Tour. Therefore, KLPGA golfers should train in abilities such as putting and ironshots.
      Citation: Sports
      PubDate: 2022-05-03
      DOI: 10.3390/sports10050072
      Issue No: Vol. 10, No. 5 (2022)
       
  • Sports, Vol. 10, Pages 73: PGC-1α Methylation, miR-23a, and miR-30e
           Expression as Biomarkers for Exercise- and Diet-Induced Mitochondrial
           Biogenesis in Capillary Blood from Healthy Individuals: A Single-Arm
           Intervention

    • Authors: Ulrike D. B. Krammer, Alexandra Sommer, Sylvia Tschida, Anna Mayer, Stephanie V. Lilja, Olivier J. Switzeny, Berit Hippe, Petra Rust, Alexander G. Haslberger
      First page: 73
      Abstract: Healthy mitochondria and their epigenetic control are essential to maintaining health, extending life expectancy, and improving cardiovascular performance. Strategies to maintain functional mitochondria during aging include training; cardiovascular exercise has been suggested as the best method, but strength training has also been identified as essential to health and healthy aging. We therefore investigated the effects of concurrent exercise training and dietary habits on epigenetic mechanisms involved in mitochondrial (mt) functions and biogenesis. We analyzed epigenetic biomarkers that directly target the key regulator of mitochondrial biogenesis, PGC-1α, and mtDNA content. Thirty-six healthy, sedentary participants completed a 12-week concurrent training program. Before and after the intervention, dried blood spot samples and data on eating habits, lifestyle, and body composition were collected. MiR-23a, miR-30e expression, and mtDNA content were analyzed using real-time quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) analysis. PGC-1α methylation was analyzed using bisulfite pyrosequencing. MiR-23a, miR-30e expression, and PGC-1α methylation decreased after the intervention (p < 0.05). PGC-1α methylation increased with the consumption of red and processed meat, and mtDNA content increased with the ingestion of cruciferous vegetables (p < 0.05). Our results indicate that concurrent training could improve mitochondrial biogenesis and functions by altering the epigenetic regulation. These alterations can also be detected outside of the skeletal muscle and could potentially affect athletic performance.
      Citation: Sports
      PubDate: 2022-05-06
      DOI: 10.3390/sports10050073
      Issue No: Vol. 10, No. 5 (2022)
       
  • Sports, Vol. 10, Pages 74: Kinematic and Kinetic Characteristics of
           Repetitive Countermovement Jumps with Accentuated Eccentric Loading

    • Authors: Gross, Seiler, Grédy, Lüthy
      First page: 74
      Abstract: Two methods for challenging the musculoskeletal and nervous systems to better exploit the stretch-shortening cycle (SSC) mechanism during plyometric training are reactive strength exercises and accentuated eccentric loading (AEL). Combining repetitive, reactive jumping with AEL poses a novel approach, in which the effects of both methods may be combined to elicit a unique stimulus. This study compared kinematic, kinetic, and electromyographic variables between a control (CON1) and two AEL conditions (AEL2 and AEL3). Additionally, non-reactive and reactive jumps performed within these sets were compared. Participants performed two sets of six countermovement jumps (CMJ) under each loading condition. AEL3 had moderate to large positive effects (es) on peak and mean eccentric force (es = 1.1, 0.8, respectively; both p < 0.01), and eccentric loading rate (es = 0.8, p < 0.01), but no effect on concentric variables or muscle activation intensity. The effects of AEL2 were similar but smaller. With or without AEL, there were moderate to large positive effects associated with reactive CMJ (second jump in a set, compared to the first) on peak and mean eccentric velocity (es = 1.7, 0.8, respectively; both p < 0.01), peak and mean eccentric force (es = 1.3, 1.2, p < 0.01), eccentric loading rate (es = 1.3, p < 0.01) and muscle activity (es = 1.8–1.9, p < 0.01). Concentric variables did not differ. Thus, the flight phase and act of landing during reactive jumps elicited greater increases in eccentric forces, loading rates, and muscle activity than AEL. Nonetheless, kinetic variables were greatest when AEL was combined with reactive jumping. Considering the limitations or complexity associated with most AEL protocols, sets of repetitive (reactive) CMJ may be more pragmatic for augmenting eccentric kinetic variables and neuromuscular stimuli during training.
      Citation: Sports
      PubDate: 2022-05-06
      DOI: 10.3390/sports10050074
      Issue No: Vol. 10, No. 5 (2022)
       
  • Sports, Vol. 10, Pages 75: Concurrent Training Programming: The Acute
           Effects of Sprint Interval Exercise on the Subsequent Strength Training

    • Authors: Bertrand Mathieu, Julien Robineau, Julien Piscione, Nicolas Babault
      First page: 75
      Abstract: Exercise modality has been proposed to reduce the interferences between aerobic and resistance sessions during concurrent training. The aim of the study was to examine the acute effects of cycling or running sprint interval exercise on subsequent resistance training sessions. Twenty-five competitive male rugby union players were recruited. Players were tested during three conditions: CONTROL (resistance training session only), CYCLE and RUN (corresponding to a concurrent training scheme with cycling or running sprint interval exercise conducted on the morning, followed by a resistance training session). Four hours rest was proposed between the aerobic and resistance training session. Muscle performance (bar velocity during bench press and box squat, counter movement jump height) and subjective ratings (rate of perceived exertion, wellbeing) were assessed during and after aerobic or resistance training sessions. No significant difference was observed for muscle performance (vertical jump height and bar velocity). However, significant higher perceived exertion and low-value scaled subjective wellbeing were observed in RUN (7.7 ± 1.1 and 17.9 ± 4.1, respectively) as compared with the two other conditions (6.7 ± 1.5 and 21.1 ± 3.6 for CONTROL and 7.4 ± 1.1 and 20.1 ± 3.9 for CYCLE). It was concluded that the exercise modality (running or cycling) during the aerobic exercise using a sprint interval exercise did not impact the quality of the resistance session. However, subjective ratings were affected the following days. Cycling exercises might be more adequate when performing a sprint interval training session during concurrent training programs.
      Citation: Sports
      PubDate: 2022-05-10
      DOI: 10.3390/sports10050075
      Issue No: Vol. 10, No. 5 (2022)
       
  • Sports, Vol. 10, Pages 76: Changes in the Mental Health Indicators and
           Training Opportunities for Estonian Elite Athletes Compared to the
           COVID-19 Isolation Period

    • Authors: Anna-Liisa Tamm, Ülle Parm, Anu Aluoja, Tuuli Tomingas
      First page: 76
      Abstract: Background: In spring 2020, two-thirds of Estonian elite athletes had symptoms of emotional distress. The aim of this study was to evaluate the mental health indicators and training opportunities for elite Estonian athletes a year after the complete COVID-19 isolation period compared to June 2020. Methods: In both cross-sectional studies, athletes completed self-reported questionnaires, including the Emotional State Questionnaire. Descriptive statistics, t-tests, and Chi2 tests were applied to compare the study groups (p < 0.05). Results: A total of 172 out of approximately 600 elite Estonian athletes participated in the survey (102 in 2020 and 70 in 2021). More than a year after the COVID-19 lockdown period, the mental health problems of elite athletes (particularly the symptoms of depression and fatigue) are even greater concern than in June 2020, despite the recovery in training conditions and competition. Of all of the subjects, 80% had high levels of distress in 2021 compared to 36% in 2020. According to the athletes, the availability of health care services was good (78.6%), but there was a lack of close cooperation with the coach. However, the athletes considered their coaches to be their main supporters, along with their family members and partners. Only 4.3% of the respondents considered a sports psychologist to be their main supporter (n = 6). Conclusions: More than a year after the COVID-19 lockdown period, the mental health indicators of Estonian elite athletes were worrisome. Most of subjects had high levels of distress even though their training conditions had returned to normal (i.e., to as they had been before COVID-19).
      Citation: Sports
      PubDate: 2022-05-11
      DOI: 10.3390/sports10050076
      Issue No: Vol. 10, No. 5 (2022)
       
  • Sports, Vol. 10, Pages 77: The Acute Effects of Heavy Sled Towing on
           Acceleration Performance and Sprint Mechanical and Kinematic
           Characteristics

    • Authors: Maria Zisi, Ioannis Stavridis, Georgia-Olanemi Agilara, Theodosia Economou, Giorgos Paradisis
      First page: 77
      Abstract: The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of heavy sled towing using a load corresponding to a 50% reduction of the individual theoretical maximal velocity (ranged 57–73% body mass) on subsequent 30 m sprint performance, velocity, mechanical variables (theoretical maximal horizontal force, theoretical maximal horizontal velocity, maximal mechanical power output, slope of the linear force–velocity relationship, maximal ratio of horizontal to total force and decrease in the ratio of horizontal to total force) and kinematics (step length and rate, contact and flight time). Twelve (n = 5 males and n = 7 females) junior running sprinters performed an exercise under two intervention conditions in random order. The experimental condition (EXP) consisted of two repetitions of 20 m resisted sprints, while in the control condition (CON), an active recovery was performed. Before (baseline) and after (post) the interventions, the 30 m sprint tests were analyzed. Participants showed faster 30 m sprint times following sled towing (p = 0.005). Running velocity was significantly higher in EXP at 5–10 m (p = 0.032), 10–15 m (p = 0.006), 15–20 m (p = 0.004), 20–25 m (p = 0.015) and 25–30 m (p = 0.014). No significant changes in sprint mechanical variables and kinematics were observed. Heavy sled towing appeared to be an effective post-activation potentiation stimulus to acutely enhance sprint acceleration performance with no effect on the athlete’s running technique.
      Citation: Sports
      PubDate: 2022-05-16
      DOI: 10.3390/sports10050077
      Issue No: Vol. 10, No. 5 (2022)
       
  • Sports, Vol. 10, Pages 78: Change in BMI and Fitness among Primary School
           Children in Austria: A 24-Month Follow-Up Study of 303 Children Measured
           before and during the Ongoing COVID-19 Pandemic

    • Authors: Gerald Jarnig, Reinhold Kerbl, Mireille N. M. van Poppel
      First page: 78
      Abstract: The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic not only impacted the health of school children directly through SARS-CoV-2 infections, but the associated closures of schools and sports facilities also resulted in long-term negative side effects. The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of COVID-19-related mitigation measures on the health and fitness status of primary school children in Austria. A total of 303 primary school children participated in the longitudinal study. Data on height, weight, and fitness were collected before the COVID-19 pandemic (September 2019) and at one-year intervals (September 2020 and September 2021) during the course of the pandemic. In the first year, from September 2019 to September 2020, there were alarming increases in body mass index (BMI) standard deviation scores (SDSs) (from 0.32 to 0.49) and dramatic decreases in both cardiorespiratory endurance (CRE) (from 0.49 to −0.43) and action speed (from −0.31 to −0.64). In the second year (September 2020 to September 2021), the BMI scores stabilized, and improvements in CRE were observed, especially in the subgroup of children who were members of sports clubs. In the future, more initiatives and projects, in addition to sports club activities, should be started and expanded, particularly in schools, to specifically counteract the observed health damage and, thus, have a positive effect on the development of all children, especially those without sports club membership.
      Citation: Sports
      PubDate: 2022-05-19
      DOI: 10.3390/sports10050078
      Issue No: Vol. 10, No. 5 (2022)
       
  • Sports, Vol. 10, Pages 79: An Examination of Relative Age and Athlete
           Dropout in Female Developmental Soccer

    • Authors: Kristy L. Smith, Patricia L. Weir
      First page: 79
      Abstract: Sport dropout rates among children and youth are a concern for researchers and policy makers. The impact of relative age effects (RAEs) on dropout trends has not been adequately examined in female samples. The purpose of this study was to longitudinally examine dropout in a female soccer cohort in Ontario, Canada. Registration entries for a one-year cohort were examined across a seven-year period (n = 9908; age 10–16 years). A chi-square analysis established the presence of RAEs in the initial year of registration. Survival analyses assessed the impact of relative age, competition level, and community size on athlete dropout. A median survival rate of four years was observed for players born in the first quartile, while all remaining quartiles had a median survival of three years. Community size did not predict dropout in this analysis; however, competition level was a significant predictor, with competitive players being more likely to remain engaged vs. recreational players (55.9% vs. 20.7%). The observed trends are likely to have a significant impact from both a healthy development and systems perspective (e.g., economic/market loss). Intervention is needed to mitigate current dropout trends in female athletes. Practical applications are discussed.
      Citation: Sports
      PubDate: 2022-05-20
      DOI: 10.3390/sports10050079
      Issue No: Vol. 10, No. 5 (2022)
       
  • Sports, Vol. 10, Pages 46: Physiological Responses and Stroke Variables
           during Arm Stroke Swimming Using Critical Stroke Rate in Competitive
           Swimmers

    • Authors: Yuki Funai, Masaru Matsunami, Shoichiro Taba, Shigehiro Takahashi
      First page: 46
      Abstract: The current study examined the physiological responses and stroke variables at critical stroke rate (CSR), 105% CSR, and 110% CSR in order to utilize CSR for prescription arm stroke swimming. Nine male national-level collegiate swimmers performed an all-out 200 m and 400 m for determining the CSR. Participants performed three sets of 6 × 100 m (with 10 s of rest between each bout), the stroke rate for each set was enforced at CSR, 105% CSR, and 110% CSR. Mean swimming velocity, heart rate, and rate of perceived exertion were found to increase with each set (p < 0.05). Blood lactate concentration did not differ between the CSR and the 105% CSR (3.3 ± 1.4 vs. 3.5 ± 1.5 mmol/L) but was higher in 110% CSR (5.1 ± 1.6 mmol/L) than in the other two sets (p < 0.05). There was no difference in the stroke rate between all bouts in each set, and the stroke length did not change from the second to sixth bout in each set. This study suggested that training intensity for CSR and 105% CSR correspond to threshold level, and 110% CSR corresponds to high-intensity training level. It was also suggested that training in the CSR–110% CSR range could be performed without regard to SL reduction.
      Citation: Sports
      PubDate: 2022-03-22
      DOI: 10.3390/sports10040046
      Issue No: Vol. 10, No. 4 (2022)
       
  • Sports, Vol. 10, Pages 47: Looking Back and Looking Around: How Athletes,
           Parents and Coaches See Psychosocial Development in Adolescent Performance
           Sport

    • Authors: Sergio Lara-Bercial, Jim McKenna
      First page: 47
      Abstract: Sport has the potential to support psychosocial development in young people. However, extant studies have tended to evaluate purpose-built interventions, leaving regular organised sport relatively overlooked. Moreover, previous work has tended to concentrated on a narrow range of outcomes. To address these gaps, we conducted a season-long ethnography of a youth performance sport club based on a novel Realist Evaluation approach. We construed the club as a social intervention within a complex system of agents and structures. The results are published in this special issue as a two-part series. In this first paper, we detail the perceptions of former and current club parents, players and coaches, using them to build a set of programme theories. The resulting network of outcomes (i.e., self, emotional, social, moral and cognitive) and generative mechanisms (i.e., the attention factory, the greenhouse for growth, the personal boost and the real-life simulator), spanning across multiple contextual layers, provides a nuanced understanding of stakeholders’ views and experiences. This textured perspective of the multi-faceted process of development provides new insights for administrators, coaches and parents to maximise the developmental properties of youth sport, and signposts new avenues for research in this area.
      Citation: Sports
      PubDate: 2022-03-22
      DOI: 10.3390/sports10040047
      Issue No: Vol. 10, No. 4 (2022)
       
  • Sports, Vol. 10, Pages 48: Roots to Grow and Wings to Fly: An Ethnography
           of Psychosocial Development in Adolescent Performance Sport

    • Authors: Sergio Lara-Bercial, Jim McKenna
      First page: 48
      Abstract: This study aimed to explore the potential for sport to support psychosocial development in young people in a youth performance setting using a novel realistic evaluation approach. Part 1 of this two-paper series published in this Special Issue identified the programme theories—how the programme is supposed to work. A wide and deep network of context, generative mechanisms and outcomes responsible for psychosocial development in this youth performance basketball club emerged. The first paper also concluded that the outcomes and the experience are highly contextual and individualised. In this second part, the stakeholder’s programme theories were tested during a full-season ethnography of the same club. Immersion in the day-to-day environment generated a fine-grain analysis of the processes involved, including: (i) sustained attentional focus; (ii) structured and unstructured skill-building activities; (iii) deliberate and incidental support; and (iv) feelings indicating personal growth. Personal development in and through sport is thus shown to be conditional, multi-faceted, time-sensitive and idiosyncratic. The findings of this two-part study are considered to propose a model of psychosocial development in and through sport. This heuristic tool is presented to support sport psychologists, coaches, club administrators and parents to deliberately create and optimise developmental environments.
      Citation: Sports
      PubDate: 2022-03-22
      DOI: 10.3390/sports10040048
      Issue No: Vol. 10, No. 4 (2022)
       
  • Sports, Vol. 10, Pages 49: Combined Eccentric-Isokinetic and Isoinertial
           Training Leads to Large Ring-Specific Strength Gains in Elite Gymnasts

    • Authors: Christoph Schärer, Pascal Bucher, Fabian Lüthy, Klaus Hübner
      First page: 49
      Abstract: In male elite gymnastics, lately, eccentric training is often used to improve the maximum specific strength of static elements on rings. Therefore, in this study, we aimed to investigate the effects of a three-week, gymnastic-specific, eccentric-isokinetic (0.1 m/s) cluster training with a change of stimulus after three of six training sessions (eccentric-isokinetic with additional load) on a computer-controlled training device on the improvement of the elements swallow and support scale on rings. Maximum strength and strength endurance in maintaining the static positions of ten international elite male gymnasts were determined on a weekly basis. After three weeks of training, specific maximum strength and strength endurance increased significantly (strength: swallow: +8.72%, p < 0.001; support scale: 8.32%, p < 0.0001; strength endurance: swallow: +122.36%; p = 0.02; Support Scale: +93.30%; p = 0.03). Consequently, top gymnasts can considerably improve ring-specific strength and strength endurance in only three weeks. The separate analysis of the effects of both eccentric-isokinetic training modalities showed that efficiency might even be increased in future training interventions. We suggest using this type of training in phases in which the technical training load is low and monitoring the adaptations in order to compile an individually optimized training after an intervention.
      Citation: Sports
      PubDate: 2022-03-28
      DOI: 10.3390/sports10040049
      Issue No: Vol. 10, No. 4 (2022)
       
  • Sports, Vol. 10, Pages 50: Is There a Sex Difference in Technical Skills
           among Youth Soccer Players in Norway'

    • Authors: Arne Sørensen, Emma C. Haugen, Roland van den Tillaar
      First page: 50
      Abstract: Female soccer has recently experienced an impressive increase in the number of players, and an impressive improvement in the quality of elite matches. Still, studies show sex differences in match statistics on passing accuracy and the ability to control the ball in international matches, which is explained by a lower skill of level in female soccer players as compared to male players. Therefore, the aim of this study was to evaluate if female youth soccer players had bridged the gap in technical skills to reach the level that boys have traditionally attained. Sixteen male and 17 female youth soccer players of the same age and experience level took part in technical skill tests of reception of the ball on the ground and long passes. The results show a significant difference between the sexes in reception performance in favour of the male players (p < 0.05, ES = 1.09), but no significant difference in the long pass test (p = 0.11, ES = 0.43). This leads to the conclusion that the lower score on ball reception is probably the result of experience in small-sided self-organised soccer games during childhood among the male players, which influences reception skills but not the ability to make accurate long passes.
      Citation: Sports
      PubDate: 2022-03-29
      DOI: 10.3390/sports10040050
      Issue No: Vol. 10, No. 4 (2022)
       
  • Sports, Vol. 10, Pages 51: Carbohydrate Mouth Rinse and Spray Improve
           Prolonged Exercise Performance in Recreationally Trained Male College
           Students

    • Authors: Asako Shirai, Tsuyoshi Wadazumi, Yoko Hirata, Naomi Hamada, Nobuko Hongu
      First page: 51
      Abstract: Mouth rinsing with a carbohydrate (CHO) solution has emerged as a sports nutrition strategy to increase endurance performance. This study aimed to clarify the effects of two forms of CHO sensing in the mouth (i.e., CHO mouth rinse (CMR) and CHO mouth spray (CMS)) on exercise performance during prolonged exercise, including ultra-high intensity intermittent exercise over time. We conducted the following experimental trials: (1) 6% glucose solution (G), (2) 6% CMR, (3) 6% CMS, and (4) water (WAT). These trials were conducted at least 1 week apart in a randomized crossover design. Eight male college students performed constant-load exercise for 60 min (intensity 40% VO2peak), four sets of the Wingate test (three 30 s Wingate tests with a 4 min recovery between each test), and a constant-load exercise for 30 min (intensity 40% VO2peak). The mean exercise power output (Watt), ratings of perceived exertion, and blood glucose levels were measured. We found that the mean power values of the CMR and CMS in the third and fourth sets was significantly higher than that of WAT (p < 0.05), and that the G trial did not show a significant difference from any other trial. Thus, when compared to G or WAT, CMR and CMS can help improve endurance exercise performance.
      Citation: Sports
      PubDate: 2022-03-29
      DOI: 10.3390/sports10040051
      Issue No: Vol. 10, No. 4 (2022)
       
  • Sports, Vol. 10, Pages 52: Comparison between Dry-Land and Swimming
           Priming on 50 m Crawl Performance in Well-Trained Adolescent Swimmers

    • Authors: Nikolaos Zaras, Andreas Apostolidis, Angeliki Kavvoura, Marios Hadjicharalambous
      First page: 52
      Abstract: The purpose of the study was to investigate the effect of dry-land priming (DLP) versus swimming priming (SP) on the 50 m crawl performance of well-trained adolescent swimmers. Thirteen adolescent swimmers were randomly assigned to perform either a DLP or SP 24 h prior to a 50 m sprint crawl time-trial. Baseline measurements included a 50 m sprint crawl time-trial as a control (C) condition, the evaluation of body composition, countermovement jump (CMJ), isometric peak torque (IPT), and rate of torque development (RTD). Rating of perceived exertion (RPE) was obtained following the DLP and SP programs. Both DLP and SP significantly decreased the 50 m crawl time-trial, by −2.51 ± 2.43% and −2.59 ± 1.89% (p < 0.01), respectively, compared with the C time-trial. RPE was not different between DLP and SP (p = 0.919). CMJ performance remained unchanged after DLP and SP programs compared with the C trial (p > 0.05). The percentage decrease in the 50 m crawl after DLP was significantly correlated with the percentage decrease in the 50 m crawl following SP (r = 0.720, p = 0.006). CMJ power, lean body mass, IPT, and RTD were significantly correlated with 50 m crawl performance. These results suggest that both DLP and SP strategies, when applied 24 h prior to a 50 m crawl time-trial, may enhance performance in well-trained adolescent swimmers.
      Citation: Sports
      PubDate: 2022-03-31
      DOI: 10.3390/sports10040052
      Issue No: Vol. 10, No. 4 (2022)
       
  • Sports, Vol. 10, Pages 53: Effect of Two Different Training Interventions
           on Cycling Performance in Mountain Bike Cross-Country Olympic Athletes

    • Authors: Patrick Schneeweiss, Philipp Schellhorn, Daniel Haigis, Andreas Michael Niess, Peter Martus, Inga Krauss
      First page: 53
      Abstract: To improve performance in endurance sports, it is important to include both high-intensity and low-intensity training, but there is neither a universally accepted practice nor clear scientific evidence that allows reliable statements about the predominance of a specific training method. This randomized controlled trial compared the effects of a polarized training model (POL) to a low-intensity training model (LIT) on physiological parameters and mountain bike cross-country Olympic (XCO) race performance in eighteen competitive XCO athletes (17.9 ± 3.6 years). The superiority of one of the two methods could not be shown in this study. The results did not show statistically significant differences between POL and LIT, as both interventions led to slight improvements. However, a small tendency toward better effects for POL was seen for cycling power output during the race (4.4% vs. –2.2%), at the 4 mmol/L (6.1% vs. 2.8%) and individual anaerobic lactate threshold (5.1% vs. 2.3%), and for maximal aerobic performance (4.4% vs. 2.6%), but not for maximal efforts lasting 10 to 300 s. Despite the lack of significant superiority in this and some other studies, many athletes and coaches prefer POL because it produces at least equivalent effects and requires less training time.
      Citation: Sports
      PubDate: 2022-04-01
      DOI: 10.3390/sports10040053
      Issue No: Vol. 10, No. 4 (2022)
       
  • Sports, Vol. 10, Pages 54: Biomechanical and Psychological Predictors of
           Failure in the Air Force Physical Fitness Test

    • Authors: Jeffrey Turner, Torrey Wagner, Brent Langhals
      First page: 54
      Abstract: Physical fitness is a pillar of U.S. Air Force (USAF) readiness and ensures that Airmen can fulfill their assigned mission and be fit to deploy in any environment. The USAF assesses the fitness of service members on a periodic basis, and discharge can result from failed assessments. In this study, a 21-feature dataset was analyzed related to 223 active-duty Airmen who participated in a comprehensive mental and social health survey, body composition assessment, and physical performance battery. Graphical analysis revealed pass/fail trends related to body composition and obesity. Logistic regression and limited-capacity neural network algorithms were then applied to predict fitness test performance using these biomechanical and psychological variables. The logistic regression model achieved a high level of significance (p < 0.01) with an accuracy of 0.84 and AUC of 0.89 on the holdout dataset. This model yielded important inferences that Airmen with poor sleep quality, recent history of an injury, higher BMI, and low fitness satisfaction tend to be at greater risk for fitness test failure. The neural network model demonstrated the best performance with 0.93 accuracy and 0.97 AUC on the holdout dataset. This study is the first application of psychological features and neural networks to predict fitness test performance and obtained higher predictive accuracy than prior work. Accurate prediction of Airmen at risk of failing the USAF fitness test can enable early intervention and prevent workplace injury, absenteeism, inability to deploy, and attrition.
      Citation: Sports
      PubDate: 2022-04-06
      DOI: 10.3390/sports10040054
      Issue No: Vol. 10, No. 4 (2022)
       
  • Sports, Vol. 10, Pages 55: Kinesiology, Physical Activity, Physical
           Education, and Sports through an Equity/Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion
           (EDI) Lens: A Scoping Review

    • Authors: Khushi Arora, Gregor Wolbring
      First page: 55
      Abstract: Background: Equity, equality, diversity, and inclusion are terms covered in the academic literature focusing on sports, kinesiology, physical education, and physical activity, including in conjunction with marginalized groups. Universities in many countries use various EDI policy frameworks and work under the EDI headers “equality, diversity and inclusion”, “equity, diversity and inclusion”, “diversity, equity and inclusion”, and similar phrases (all referred to as EDI) to rectify problems students, non-academic staff, and academic staff from marginalized groups, such as women, Indigenous peoples, visible/racialized minorities, disabled people, and Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer or Questioning, and Two-Spirit (LGBTQ2S+) experience. Which EDI data, if any, are generated influences EDI efforts in universities (research, education, and general workplace climate) of all programs. Method: Our study used a scoping review approach and employed SCOPUS and the 70 databases of EBSCO-Host, which includes SportDiscus, as sources aimed to analyze the extent (and how) the academic literature focusing on sports, kinesiology, physical education, and physical activity engages with EDI. Results: We found only 18 relevant sources and a low to no coverage of marginalized groups linked to EDI, namely racialized minorities (12), women (6), LGBTQ2S+ (5), disabled people (2), and Indigenous peoples (0). Conclusions: Our findings suggest a gap in the academic inquiry and huge opportunities.
      Citation: Sports
      PubDate: 2022-04-07
      DOI: 10.3390/sports10040055
      Issue No: Vol. 10, No. 4 (2022)
       
  • Sports, Vol. 10, Pages 56: Training Monitoring in Sports: It Is Time to
           Embrace Cognitive Demand

    • Authors: Stéphane Perrey
      First page: 56
      Abstract: Appropriate training burden monitoring is still a challenge for the support staff, athletes, and coaches. Extensive research has been done in recent years that proposes several external and internal indicators. Among all measurements, the importance of cognitive factors has been indicated but has never been really considered in the training monitoring process. While there is strong evidence supporting the use of cognitive demand indicators in cognitive neuroscience, their importance in training monitoring for multiple sports settings must be better emphasized. The aims of this scoping review are to (1) provide an overview of the cognitive demand concept beside the physical demand in training; (2) highlight the current methods for assessing cognitive demand in an applied setting to sports in part through a neuroergonomics approach; (3) show how cognitive demand metrics can be exploited and applied to our better understanding of fatigue, sport injury, overtraining and individual performance capabilities. This review highlights also the potential new ways of brain imaging approaches for monitoring in situ. While assessment of cognitive demand is still in its infancy in sport, it may represent a very fruitful approach if applied with rigorous protocols and deep knowledge of both the neurobehavioral and cognitive aspects. It is time now to consider the cognitive demand to avoid underestimating the total training burden and its management.
      Citation: Sports
      PubDate: 2022-04-08
      DOI: 10.3390/sports10040056
      Issue No: Vol. 10, No. 4 (2022)
       
  • Sports, Vol. 10, Pages 57: Level of Agreement, Reliability, and Minimal
           Detectable Change of the MusclelabTM Laser Speed Device on
           Force–Velocity–Power Sprint Profiles in Division II Collegiate
           Athletes

    • Authors: Jamie J. Ghigiarelli, Keith J. Ferrara, Kevin M. Poblete, Carl F. Valle, Adam M. Gonzalez, Katie M. Sell
      First page: 57
      Abstract: This study examined the level of agreement (Pearson product-moment correlation [rP]), within- and between-day reliability (intraclass correlation coefficient [ICC]), and minimal detectable change of the MusclelabTM Laser Speed (MLS) device on sprint time and force–velocity–power profiles in Division II Collegiate athletes. Twenty-two athletes (soccer = 17, basketball = 2, volleyball = 3; 20.1 ± 1.5 y; 1.71 ± 0.11 m; 70.7 ± 12.5 kg) performed three 30-m (m) sprints on two separate occasions (seven days apart). Six time splits (5, 10, 15, 20, 25, and 30 m), horizontal force (HZT F0; N∙kg−1), peak velocity (VMAX; m∙s−1), horizontal power (HZT P0; W∙kg−1), and force–velocity slope (SFV; N·s·m−1·kg−1) were measured. Sprint data for the MLS were compared to the previously validated MySprint (MySp) app to assess for level of agreement. The MLS reported good to excellent reliability for within- and between-day trials (ICC = 0.69–0.98, ICC = 0.77–0.98, respectively). Despite a low level of agreement with HZT F0 (rP = 0.44), the MLS had moderate to excellent agreement across nine variables (rp = 0.68–0.98). Bland–Altman plots displayed significant proportional bias for VMAX (mean difference = 0.31 m∙s−1, MLS < MySp). Overall, the MLS is in agreement with the MySp app and is a reliable device for assessing sprint times, VMAX, HZT P0, and SFV. Proportional bias should be considered for VMAX when comparing the MLS to the MySp app.
      Citation: Sports
      PubDate: 2022-04-08
      DOI: 10.3390/sports10040057
      Issue No: Vol. 10, No. 4 (2022)
       
  • Sports, Vol. 10, Pages 58: Talent Identification in Elite Adolescent Ice
           Hockey Players: the Discriminant Capacity of Fitness Tests, Skating
           Performance and Psychological Characteristics

    • Authors: Jean Lemoyne, Jean-François Brunelle, Vincent Huard Pelletier, Julien Glaude-Roy, Gaëtan Martini
      First page: 58
      Abstract: Background: The process of talent identification in ice hockey occurs during middle adolescence when players are selected to participate in “off-season” evaluation camps, where coaches observe their fitness levels and status of development. Recently, the Quebec ice hockey federation opted for a holistic approach by evaluating players based on three criteria: (1) fitness, (2) skating abilities and (3) personality traits and psychological assets. This study aimed to analyze the discriminant validity of a multi-dimensional talent identification testing protocol in competitive ice hockey. Method: Data were collected from 160 adolescent hockey players who took part in Team Quebec summer evaluation camps. Off-ice fitness, skating abilities and psychological variables were measured on two consecutive days. Descriptive statistics, group comparisons (gender, positions) and discriminant analyses (selected versus non-selected) were performed. Results: No differences were observed among males in which selected players were similar to non-selected. Results from discriminant analyses also showed no discriminant function for male players. For females, selected players displayed higher fitness, on-ice agility and psychological characteristics. Nine performance markers were significantly discriminant. Conclusions: A holistic evaluation protocol allows for the discrimination of selected and non-selected players in elite ice hockey. Developing more discriminant tests is a promising avenue of research in male ice hockey. Knowing the factors that are associated with team selection in competitive ice hockey allow to focus on the specific attributes to work with young promising players.
      Citation: Sports
      PubDate: 2022-04-08
      DOI: 10.3390/sports10040058
      Issue No: Vol. 10, No. 4 (2022)
       
  • Sports, Vol. 10, Pages 59: The Birthplace Effect in 14–18-Year-Old
           Athletes Participating in Competitive Individual and Team Sports

    • Authors: Zohar Maayan, Ronnie Lidor, Michal Arnon
      First page: 59
      Abstract: The birthplace (the place where an athlete was born) effect (BPE) has been found to be one of the environmental variables associated with early talent development and the achievement of a high level of proficiency in sport. The purpose of the current study is twofold: (1) to calculate the BPE in 14–18-year-old athletes who participated in individual and team sports and (2) examine how coaches perceived this effect. The participants were 1397 athletes (390 females and 1007 males) who competed in 5 individual (gymnastics, judo, swimming, tennis, and track and field) and 5 team (basketball, soccer, team handball, volleyball, and water polo) sports, as well as 147 coaches who provided their preliminary thoughts about the BPE. Data analyses revealed that although the BPE was not found to be associated with cities of a similar size, it was observed that growing up in cities of small and medium sizes was more beneficial than growing up in towns or cities of other sizes. Most of the coaches believed that certain characteristics of the place or city where the athlete grew up (e.g., proximity to sport facilities) could contribute positively to the athlete’s development. We discuss how the BPE data can aid policymakers in developing a sport policy associated with early phases of talent development.
      Citation: Sports
      PubDate: 2022-04-11
      DOI: 10.3390/sports10040059
      Issue No: Vol. 10, No. 4 (2022)
       
  • Sports, Vol. 10, Pages 60: An Examination of the Experiences of
           Practitioners Delivering Sport Psychology Services within English Premier
           League Soccer Academies

    • Authors: Francesca Dean, Emma Kavanagh, Amanda Wilding, Tim Rees
      First page: 60
      Abstract: Sport psychology has become increasingly recognized and accepted within professional sports, including soccer. To date, there is a lack of research that examines the provision of sport psychology within elite soccer, particularly from the experience of applied practitioners working within the field. The current study adopted a qualitative, inductive approach, to examine the experiences of practitioners responsible for sport psychology delivery within elite soccer academies in England. Seven participants (four females; three males), working within academies in the English Premier League, took part in semi-structured interviews about their experience of delivering sport psychology services within elite soccer academies. Results demonstrated that the provision of sport psychology is continually evolving, yet there are a number of factors that appear to inhibit the full integration of the discipline into academy soccer. Six key themes were identified: The breadth of sport psychology provision; what is sport psychology; the stigma surrounding sport psychology services; psychological literacy; the elite youth soccer environment; and the delivery of sport psychology under the Elite Player Performance Plan. Participants identified a lack of psychological literacy among coaches and academy staff, as well as a low level of guidance regarding the provision of psychology within the England Football Association’s guiding document—the Elite Player Performance Plan—leading to considerable variation in the nature of the sport psychology provision. Future research would do well to also sample from a range of staff working within English soccer academies, in order to assess their perception of the level of provision and understanding of psychology.
      Citation: Sports
      PubDate: 2022-04-13
      DOI: 10.3390/sports10040060
      Issue No: Vol. 10, No. 4 (2022)
       
  • Sports, Vol. 10, Pages 61: The Cut-Off Value for Classifying Active
           Italian Children Using the Corresponding National Version of the Physical
           Activity Questionnaire

    • Authors: Corrado Lupo, Gennaro Boccia, Alexandru Nicolae Ungureanu, Anna Mulasso, Paolo De Pasquale, Annamaria Mancini, Pasqualina Buono, Alberto Rainoldi, Paolo Riccardo Brustio
      First page: 61
      Abstract: The present study aimed to determine a cut-off value following the filling in of a questionnaire (PAQ-C-It) to identify active Italian children. One-hundred-twenty-nine primary school children (5 Piedmont schools; 47.3% female; mean age = 10 ± 1 years) wore an accelerometer (Actigraph wGT3X-BT) to objectively quantify individual moderate-to-vigorous physical activity during one week. Afterwards, the PAQ-C-It was filled in by participants. A ROC curve procedure was applied to obtain an active/non-active cut-off point. Spearman’s correlation coefficient was also applied to establish the relationship between the two parameters. According to the ROC analysis, the PAQ-C-It cut-off point value is identifiable at >2.75 to indicate active children (area under the curve = 0.62; standard error = 0.05; p = 0.025; coefficient intervals = 0.518–0.716; sensitivity = 0.592, specificity = 0.382), determining that 65 participants (55%) were non-active (mean PAQ-C-It value = 2.3 ± 0.4; active mean PAQ-C-It value = 3.3 ± 0.4). Spearman’s correlation coefficient results were significant but with a small effect size (rho = 0.214; p = 0.008). In conclusion, the present results suggest that the PAQ-C-It can be cautiously used as tool to practically classify active Italian children because of a non-solid relationship between respective accelerometer data and MVPA daily data.
      Citation: Sports
      PubDate: 2022-04-14
      DOI: 10.3390/sports10040061
      Issue No: Vol. 10, No. 4 (2022)
       
  • Sports, Vol. 10, Pages 62: Early Sport Specialization and Relative Age
           Effect: Prevalence and Influence on Perceived Competence in Ice Hockey
           Players

    • Authors: Vincent Huard Pelletier, Jean Lemoyne
      First page: 62
      Abstract: The relative age effect (RAE) and early sport specialization (ESS) have been of growing interest in the sports world, especially in ice hockey, because of their potential adverse effects. However, little is known about their distribution within each level of play in Canadian minor ice hockey, or whether they influence young people’s perceived competence, a variable of interest in long-term sports development. A sample of elite adolescent players (N = 204) and a sample of recreational and competitive players (N = 404) were used to measure these constructs, and chi-square tabulations were conducted to compare their distribution. Our results reveal that RAE (χ2 = 20.03, p < 0.01, Cramer’s V = 0.13) and ESS (χ2 = 66.14, p < 0.001, Cramer’s V = 0.24) are present, but there are apparently no gender differences in their distributions. Neither the level of RAE nor ESS seems to affect the perceived competence of the players, regardless of gender. The results of this study highlight the presence of RAE and ESS in Canadian minor ice hockey, especially at the elite level, but indicate that they do not affect the self-perception of ice hockey players. Additional research on these concepts is needed to obtain a complete picture of their potential impact on sports development.
      Citation: Sports
      PubDate: 2022-04-18
      DOI: 10.3390/sports10040062
      Issue No: Vol. 10, No. 4 (2022)
       
  • Sports, Vol. 10, Pages 28: Association between Functional Movement Screen
           Scores and Athletic Performance in Adolescents: A Systematic Review

    • Authors: Katie Fitton Davies, Ryan S. Sacko, Mark A. Lyons, Michael J. Duncan
      First page: 28
      Abstract: This study systematically reviews the literature examining the relationship between Fundamental Movement Screen (FMS©) scores and athletic performance in youth. We searched English-language papers on PubMed/MEDLINE, SportsDiscus, CINAHL, and EBSCO for the following inclusion criteria: Participants aged between 11 and 17 years, studies had to include the Functional Movement Screen© (FMS©) and at least one of the following performance outcomes, highlighted by athletic development models (i.e., long-term athletic development (LTAD), youth physical development (YPD)): agility, speed, power, strength, endurance, and balance (YPD), fitness (LTAD), or sport-specific skill (LTAD and YPD). A total of 3146 titles were identified, with 13 relevant studies satisfying the inclusion criteria after full-text screening. The results of this systematic review suggest that children and youth who score highly on the FMS© also tend to have better scores for agility, running speed, strength, and cardiovascular endurance. The strength of associations was weak to moderate in nature. Only one study was considered or controlled for biological maturation in their analysis. These results provide evidence that, while there is a relationship between FMS© scores and tests of athletic performance in youth, they are not the same thing and should be considered conceptually different constructs.
      Citation: Sports
      PubDate: 2022-02-22
      DOI: 10.3390/sports10030028
      Issue No: Vol. 10, No. 3 (2022)
       
  • Sports, Vol. 10, Pages 29: Acute and Long-Term Effects of Concurrent
           Resistance and Swimming Training on Swimming Performance

    • Authors: Gavriil Arsoniadis, Petros Botonis, Gregory C. Bogdanis, Gerasimos Terzis, Argyris Toubekis
      First page: 29
      Abstract: Dry-land resistance exercise (RT) is routinely applied concurrent to swimming (SWIM) training sessions in a year-round training plan. To date, the impact of the acute effect of RT on SWIM or SWIM on RT performance and the long-term RT-SWIM or SWIM-RT training outcome has received limited attention. The existing studies indicate that acute RT or SWIM training may temporarily decrease subsequent muscle function. Concurrent application of RT-SWIM or SWIM-RT may induce similar physiological alterations. Such alterations are dependent on the recovery duration between sessions. Considering the long-term effects of RT-SWIM, the limited existing data present improvements in front crawl swimming performance, dry-land upper and lower body maximum strength, and peak power in swim turn. Accordingly, SWIM-RT training order induces swimming performance improvements in front crawl and increments in maximum dry-land upper and lower body strength. Concurrent application of RT-SWIM or SWIM-RT training applied within a training day leads in similar performance gains after six to twelve weeks of training. The current review suggests that recovery duration between RT and SWIM is a predisposing factor that may determine the training outcome. Competitive swimmers may benefit after concurrent application with both training order scenarios during a training cycle.
      Citation: Sports
      PubDate: 2022-02-24
      DOI: 10.3390/sports10030029
      Issue No: Vol. 10, No. 3 (2022)
       
  • Sports, Vol. 10, Pages 30: The Effectiveness of Adapted Personalized Motor
           Activity (AMPA) to Improve Health in Individuals with Mental Disorders and
           Physical Comorbidities: A Randomized Controlled Trial

    • Authors: Vito Lamberti, Stefano Palermi, Andrea Franceschin, Giovanni Scapol, Vincenzo Lamberti, Chiara Lamberti, Marco Vecchiato, Rocco Spera, Felice Sirico, Elisabetta Della Valle
      First page: 30
      Abstract: Mental disorders are highly prevalent worldwide and have a high impact on daily functioning. Exercise therapy was found to improve health of individuals with physical and mental disorders. This study aims to investigate the effectiveness of an Adapted Personalized Motor Activity (AMPA) in improving health in individuals with physical and mental disorders. Forty-three patients affected by both mental and chronic nontransmissible conditions were randomly assigned to intervention group (AMPA intervention) and control group (no intervention). Perceived physical and mental health were assessed using the Short Form 12 (SF-12) questionaries. Moreover, subjects underwent an accurate medical screening process, complete clinical evaluation, body composition evaluation, and cardiopulmonary assessment. Repeated Measurement Analysis of the Variance (RM-ANOVA) was used to compare any changes in health and physiological parameters in-between groups. AMPA group showed a statistically significant improvement in both perceived mental and physical health. Moreover, Body Mass Index (BMI), glycolipid profile, aerobic functional capacity and cardiopulmonary parameters improved significantly among individuals from the intervention group compared with the individuals from the control group. AMPA may be considered a possible intervention to improve health in individuals suffering from multiple physical and mental disorders. Future studies should examine the effectiveness in larger and heterogeneous sample of chronically ill patients and the long-term effect of AMPA.
      Citation: Sports
      PubDate: 2022-02-25
      DOI: 10.3390/sports10030030
      Issue No: Vol. 10, No. 3 (2022)
       
  • Sports, Vol. 10, Pages 31: A Video-Based Tactical Task Does Not Elicit
           Mental Fatigue and Does Not Impair Soccer Performance in a Subsequent
           Small-Sided Game

    • Authors: Gianmarco Ciocca, Antonio Tessitore, Mauro Mandorino, Harald Tschan
      First page: 31
      Abstract: Mental fatigue can impair physical, technical, and tactical performance in sports. Since most previous research used general cognitive tasks to elicit mental fatigue, the aim of this study was to investigate whether a more sport-specific task could induce the effects of mental fatigue and impair the subsequent physical and technical performance in a soccer small-sided game. Ten soccer players performed two small-sided games on two different days in a crossover design. Before each small-sided game, they performed a video-based tactical task (30 min) and a control task (documentary watching, 30 min) in a randomized and counterbalanced order. Mental effort was measured through a visual analog scale after the tactical and control tasks. Subjective ratings of perceived exertion were assessed through the RPE questionnaire after the end of the SSG. Physical performance was assessed during the SSG through GPS technology. Results showed no differences (p > 0.05) in physical performance between the two conditions. None of the technical variables were negatively affected by the video-based tactical condition, with the number of total passes (p = 0.003; ES = 0.72 medium) and successful passes (p = 0.003; ES = 0.82 large) results even improved by the video-based tactical task. The mental effort required by the video-tactical task was significantly higher than the control task (p = 0.002; ES = 2.09 huge). However, overall RPE did not differ between conditions. The video-based tactical task did not elicit mental fatigue and did not impair subsequent physical and technical performance. The higher ecological validity of the task and the higher motivation of the participants might have contributed to the results.
      Citation: Sports
      PubDate: 2022-02-27
      DOI: 10.3390/sports10030031
      Issue No: Vol. 10, No. 3 (2022)
       
  • Sports, Vol. 10, Pages 32: Effect of Short-Duration High-Intensity
           Upper-Body Pre-Load Component on Performance among High-Level Cyclists

    • Authors: Dmitri Valiulin, Priit Purge, Jarek Mäestu, Jaak Jürimäe, Peter Hofmann
      First page: 32
      Abstract: The aim of the present study was to evaluate the effects of upper-body high-intensity exercise priming on subsequent leg exercise performance. Specifically, to compare maximal 4000 m cycling performance with upper-body pre-load (MPThigh) and common warm-up (MPTlow). In this case, 15 high-level cyclists (23.3 ± 3.6 years; 181 ± 7 cm; 76.2 ± 10.0 kg; V˙O2max: 65.4 ± 6.7 mL·kg−1·min−1) participated in the study attending three laboratory sessions, completing an incremental test and both experimental protocols. In MPThigh, warm-up was added by a 25 s high-intensity all-out arm crank effort to the traditional 20-min aerobic warm-up. Both 4000 m maximal bouts started with a 12 s all-out start. Heart rate, blood lactate concentration [La) and spirometric data were measured and analyzed. Overall MPThigh time was slower by 5.3 ± 1.2 s (p < 0.05). [La] at the start was 5.5 ± 1.5 mmol·L−1 higher for MPThigh (p < 0.001) reducing anaerobic energy contribution which was higher in MPTlow during the first and third 1000 m split (p < 0.05). Similarly, MPTlow maintained higher total average power during the entire performance (p < 0.05, d = 0.7). Although the MPThigh condition performed less effectively due to decreased anaerobic capacity, pre-load effect may have the potential to enhance performance at longer distances.
      Citation: Sports
      PubDate: 2022-02-27
      DOI: 10.3390/sports10030032
      Issue No: Vol. 10, No. 3 (2022)
       
  • Sports, Vol. 10, Pages 33: Trends Assessing Neuromuscular Fatigue in Team
           Sports: A Narrative Review

    • Authors: Claudia Alba-Jiménez, Daniel Moreno-Doutres, Javier Peña
      First page: 33
      Abstract: Neuromuscular fatigue is defined as a reduction induced by exercise in the maximal voluntary force that a muscle or group of muscles can generate. An accumulation of work or an incomplete force restoration can significantly influence the neuromuscular performance in both the short and long terms. Thus, fatigue management is essential for controlling the training adaptations of athletes and reducing their susceptibility to injury and illness. The main individualized monitoring tools used to describe fatigue are questionnaires and subjective assessments of fatigue, biochemical markers, sprint tests, and vertical jump tests. Among the subjective measures, the rating of the perceived exertion has been widely used because of its simplicity and high validity. In terms of the objective measures, one of the more frequently employed tools by practitioners to assess neuromuscular fatigue is the countermovement jump. Because of its high validity and reliability, it is accepted as the reference standard test in sports, in general, and particularly in team sports. Our review aims to clarify how all these indicators, as well as several devices, can help coaches in different sports contexts to monitor neuromuscular fatigue, and how these procedures should be used to obtain data that can be used to make decisions in complex environments.
      Citation: Sports
      PubDate: 2022-02-28
      DOI: 10.3390/sports10030033
      Issue No: Vol. 10, No. 3 (2022)
       
  • Sports, Vol. 10, Pages 34: Proportions of Early Specializers Varies
           According to Methods and Skill Level

    • Authors: Alexandra Mosher, Jessica Fraser-Thomas, Melissa J. Wilson, Joseph Baker
      First page: 34
      Abstract: Sport researchers have warned about the lack of a clear and consistent definition of early specialization, while others have raised concerns around the validity of methods used to classify athletes as ‘specializers’. The current investigation includes two studies examining the implications of varying classification methods for exploring both specialization and early specialization in sport. Study 1 examined whether different approaches to defining and measuring specialization affected the classification of athletes throughout development and provided a ‘profile’ of the sample in terms of developmental milestones related to specialization. Results indicated the proportion of athletes classified as specializers varied depending on the method used and athletes generally met specialization milestones after the age of 12. Study 2 examined the proportions of athletes who achieved ‘elite’, ‘pre-elite’, and ‘non-elite’ status in adulthood who were early specializers as determined by different methods. Results showed the method used changed the proportion of athletes classified as specializers at each level and there was no clear advantage or disadvantage to being a specializer. Combined, these studies provide intriguing data regarding the implications of different measures for assessing specialization in young athletes.
      Citation: Sports
      PubDate: 2022-02-28
      DOI: 10.3390/sports10030034
      Issue No: Vol. 10, No. 3 (2022)
       
  • Sports, Vol. 10, Pages 35: Psychosocial and Physiological Factors
           Affecting Selection to Regional Age-Grade Rugby Union Squads: A Machine
           Learning Approach

    • Authors: Julian Owen, Robin Owen, Jessica Hughes, Josh Leach, Dior Anderson, Eleri Jones
      First page: 35
      Abstract: Talent selection programmes choose athletes for talent development pathways. Currently, the set of psychosocial variables that determine talent selection in youth Rugby Union are unknown, with the literature almost exclusively focusing on physiological variables. The purpose of this study was to use a novel machine learning approach to identify the physiological and psychosocial models that predict selection to a regional age-grade rugby union team. Age-grade club rugby players (n = 104; age, 15.47 ± 0.80; U16, n = 62; U18, n = 42) were assessed for physiological and psychosocial factors during regional talent selection days. Predictive models (selected vs. non-selected) were created for forwards, backs, and across all players using Bayesian machine learning. The generated physiological models correctly classified 67.55% of all players, 70.09% of forwards, and 62.50% of backs. Greater hand-grip strength, faster 10 m and 40 m sprint, and power were common features for selection. The generated psychosocial models correctly classified 62.26% of all players, 73.66% of forwards, and 60.42% of backs. Reduced burnout, reduced emotional exhaustion, and lower reduced sense of accomplishment, were common features for selection. Selection appears to be predominantly based on greater strength, speed, and power, as well as lower athlete burnout.
      Citation: Sports
      PubDate: 2022-02-28
      DOI: 10.3390/sports10030035
      Issue No: Vol. 10, No. 3 (2022)
       
  • Sports, Vol. 10, Pages 36: Overuse of Short-Acting Beta-2 Agonists (SABAs)
           in Elite Athletes: Hypotheses to Explain It

    • Authors: Nicolas Vertadier, Wojciech Trzepizur, Sébastien Faure
      First page: 36
      Abstract: The use of short-acting beta-2 agonists (SABAs) is more common in elite athletes than in the general population, especially in endurance sports. The World Anti-Doping Code places some restrictions on prescribing inhaled β2-agonists. These drugs are used in respiratory diseases (such as asthma) that might reduce athletes’ performances. Recently, studies based on the results of the Olympic Games revealed that athletes with confirmed asthma/airway hyperresponsiveness (AHR) or exercise-induced bronchoconstriction (EIB) outperformed their non-asthmatic rivals. This overuse of SABA by high-level athletes, therefore, raises some questions, and many explanatory hypotheses are proposed. Asthma and EIB have a high prevalence in elite athletes, especially within endurance sports. It appears that many years of intensive endurance training can provoke airway injury, EIB, and asthma in athletes without any past history of respiratory diseases. Some sports lead to a higher risk of asthma than others due to the hyperventilation required over long periods of time and/or the high environmental exposure while performing the sport (for example swimming and the associated chlorine exposure). Inhaled corticosteroids (ICS) have a low efficacy in the treatment of asthma and EIB in elite athletes, leading to a much greater use of SABAs. A significant proportion of these high-level athletes suffer from non-allergic asthma, involving the th1-th17 pathway.
      Citation: Sports
      PubDate: 2022-03-02
      DOI: 10.3390/sports10030036
      Issue No: Vol. 10, No. 3 (2022)
       
  • Sports, Vol. 10, Pages 37: Vascular Function in Norwegian Female Elite
           Runners: A Cross-Sectional, Controlled Study

    • Authors: Karoline Holsen Kyte, Trine Stensrud, Tore Julsrud Berg, Ingebjørg Seljeflot, Jonny Hisdal
      First page: 37
      Abstract: In general, aerobic exercise has a positive impact on the vascular system, but the syndrome of relative energy-deficiency in sports (RED-S) makes this impact less clear for the athlete. The present cross-sectional controlled study aimed to investigate the vascular function in female elite long-distance runners, compared to inactive women. Sixteen female elite long-distance runners and seventeen healthy controls were recruited. Assessments of vascular function and morphology included endothelial function, evaluated by flow-mediated dilatation (FMD), vascular stiffness, evaluated with pulse wave velocity (PWV), carotid artery reactivity (CAR %), and carotid intima-media thickness (cIMT). Blood samples included hormone analyses, metabolic parameters, lipids, and biomarkers reflecting endothelial activation. RED-S risk was assessed through the low energy availability in female questionnaire (LEAF-Q), and body composition was measured by dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA). We found no significant differences in brachial FMD, PWV, CAR %, cIMT, or biomarkers reflecting endothelial activation between the two groups. Forty-four percent of the runners had a LEAF-Q score consistent with being at risk of RED-S. Runners showed significantly higher HDL-cholesterol and insulin sensitivity compared to controls. In conclusion, Norwegian female elite runners had an as good vascular function and morphology as inactive women of the same age.
      Citation: Sports
      PubDate: 2022-03-02
      DOI: 10.3390/sports10030037
      Issue No: Vol. 10, No. 3 (2022)
       
  • Sports, Vol. 10, Pages 38: Dietary Intake of Adults Who Participate in
           CrossFit® Exercise Regimens

    • Authors: Regis C. Pearson, Nathan T. Jenkins
      First page: 38
      Abstract: Background: The combination of high-intensity aerobic and high-load resistance training, as in CrossFit®, exerts similar or superior benefits to other exercise modalities. This study aimed to assess dietary habits and characterize the nutritional goals, exercise habits, and clinical health outcomes of individuals who participate in CrossFit®. Methods: Adults who are 19 y or older, with >6 mo of CrossFit® participation, completed an electronic survey and the dietary health questionnaire III. In separate models, multiple stepwise linear regressions were performed to detect the associations between (i) dietary intake, (ii) exercise habits, (iii) clinical measures, and a priori selected predictors (sex, weight status, age, and exercise frequency) in each case. Odds ratios were detected between nutritional and fitness goals, clinical outcomes, and predictors. Results: In total, 449 respondents completed both questionnaires. Of these, 443 respondents were used for relative macronutrients assessment due to not reporting body weight. Dietary intake was associated with sex, weight status, age, exercise frequency, and nutritional goals. Nutritional and fitness goals and clinical outcomes were associated with sex, weight status, age, and exercise frequency. Conclusion: Nutritional goals are underlying factors that affect eating behaviors in non-competitive CrossFit® participants. It is imperative to consider the sex, age, exercise habits, and nutritional goals of CrossFit® participants when investigating and prescribing dietary outcomes.
      Citation: Sports
      PubDate: 2022-03-05
      DOI: 10.3390/sports10030038
      Issue No: Vol. 10, No. 3 (2022)
       
  • Sports, Vol. 10, Pages 39: Relative Age Effects in Male Cricket: A
           Personal Assets Approach to Explain Immediate, Short-Term, and Long-Term
           Developmental Outcomes

    • Authors: Adam L. Kelly, Thomas Brown, Rob Reed, Jean Côté, Jennifer Turnnidge
      First page: 39
      Abstract: The purpose of this study was to adopt the Personal Assets Framework (PAF) to examine the immediate, short-term, and long-term developmental outcomes associated with relative age effects (RAEs) in male cricket. As such, this study was comprised of three aims: (a) examine the birth quarter (BQ) distribution of players throughout the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) national talent pathway (i.e., Regional U15, Regional U17, England U19, England Lions, England T20, England ODI, and England Test; n = 1800; immediate timescale), (b) explore the youth-to-senior transitions based on BQ and skill-set (i.e., batters and bowlers; short-term timescale), and (c) analyse the average number of games played at senior levels based on BQ and skill-set (i.e., long-term timescale). A chi-square goodness of fit test, Cramer’s V, odds ratios, and 95% confidence intervals were used to compare the BQ distributions of each cohort against the expected BQ distributions. In the immediate timescale, results showed that relatively older players were overrepresented throughout all the youth levels (p < 0.05, V = 0.16–0.30), whereas there were no differences at senior levels (p > 0.05, V = 0.05–0.15). In the short-term timescale, when the senior cohorts were compared to the expected BQ distributions based on the Regional U15 cohort, relatively younger players were more likely to transition from youth to senior levels (p < 0.05, V = 0.22–0.37). In the long-term timescale, relatively older batters were selected for more games (p < 0.05, V = 0.18–0.51), whereas relatively younger bowlers were selected for more games (p < 0.05, V = 0.17–0.39). Moving forward, it is important for researchers and practitioners to better understand how (bi)annual-age grouping shapes developmental outcomes in across different timescales (i.e., immediate, short-term, and long-term), as well as consider alternative grouping strategies and RAE solutions.
      Citation: Sports
      PubDate: 2022-03-05
      DOI: 10.3390/sports10030039
      Issue No: Vol. 10, No. 3 (2022)
       
  • Sports, Vol. 10, Pages 40: Effect of the Reduction in Training Volume
           during the COVID-19 Era on Performance in 100-m and 400-m Freestyle Events
           in Greek Swimming Championships

    • Authors: George Tsalis, Vassilis Mougios
      First page: 40
      Abstract: The COVID-19 pandemic had a profound impact on almost all social activities, including sport participation. Swimming training was greatly reduced during the 2019–2020 and 2020–2021 seasons (by four and two months, respectively), which caused athletes and coaches to worry about performance in championships. The present study investigated the impact of COVID-19 lockdowns on the results of Greek swimming championships in the categories of 13 to 18 years of age during 2020 and 2021. Forty-one coaches were interviewed about the training process (satisfaction, duration of the training season, and daily training swimming distance), and the performance of swimmers in national championships over seven seasons (2014–2021) was analyzed. The duration of the training season and the daily swimming distance, as reported by the coaches, were lower during the 2019–2020 and 2020–2021 seasons, compared to the previous five seasons (p < 0.001). The number of swimmers who achieved qualifying times for the national championships during the COVID-19 era were similar to those in previous years. Comparisons of the times in the 100-m and 400-m freestyle events, in both genders, from 2015 through 2021, showed no significant differences except for the 400-m event in males, in which a lower performance was detected in 2021 compared to 2015 (by 2.7%, p = 0.001). In conclusion, two or four months of detraining during the COVID-19 era had a negative impact on the coaches’ evaluation of the training process, but there was no effect on the number of young swimmers who qualified for the national championships and a negligible effect on swimming performance in 100-m and 400-m freestyle events.
      Citation: Sports
      PubDate: 2022-03-07
      DOI: 10.3390/sports10030040
      Issue No: Vol. 10, No. 3 (2022)
       
  • Sports, Vol. 10, Pages 41: Effects of Unilateral Muscle Fatigue on
           Thermographic Skin Surface Temperature of Back and Abdominal
           Muscles—A Pilot Study

    • Authors: Carlo Dindorf, Eva Bartaguiz, Elena Janowicz, Michael Fröhlich, Oliver Ludwig
      First page: 41
      Abstract: The present study aimed to assess the effects of asymmetric muscle fatigue on the skin surface temperature of abdominal and back muscles. The study was based on a pre-post/follow-up design with one group and included a total of 41 subjects (22 male, 19 female; age, 22.63 ± 3.91; weight, 71.89 ± 12.97 kg; height, 173.36 ± 9.95). All the participants were asked to perform side bends in sets of 20 repetitions on a Roman chair until complete exhaustion. The pre-, post- and follow-up test (24 h after) skin surface temperatures were recorded with infrared thermography. Subjective muscle soreness and muscle fatigue were analyzed using two questionnaires. The results of the post hoc tests showed that skin temperature was statistically significantly lower in the post-tests than in the pre- and follow-up tests, but no meaningful differences existed between the pre- and follow-up tests. Asymmetric side differences were found in the post-test for the upper and lower areas of the back. Differences were also noted for the front in both the upper and lower areas. No thermographic side asymmetries were found at the pre- or follow-up measurement for either the back or the front. Our results support the potential of using thermographic skin surface temperature to monitor exercise and recovery in athletes, as well as its use in rehabilitational exercise selection.
      Citation: Sports
      PubDate: 2022-03-08
      DOI: 10.3390/sports10030041
      Issue No: Vol. 10, No. 3 (2022)
       
  • Sports, Vol. 10, Pages 42: Effects of Different Types of Exercise on
           Kidney Diseases

    • Authors: Hamid Arazi, Majid Mohabbat, Payam Saidie, Akram Falahati, Katsuhiko Suzuki
      First page: 42
      Abstract: The effects of exercise on kidney function have been studied for more than three decades. One of the most common health issues among patients with chronic kidney disease (CKD) is a lack of physical activity, which leads to a low exercise capacity in these patients. The majority of maintenance hemodialysis (MHD) patients do not exercise at all. At each stage of dialysis, patients lose 10–12 g of their amino acids through blood sampling. Dialysis also leads to increased cortisol and circadian rhythm sleep disorders in hemodialysis (HD) patients. Studies have also reported higher C-reactive protein levels in HD patients, which causes arterial stiffness. Exercise has a variety of health benefits in these patients, including improved blood pressure control, better sleep, higher physical function, and reduced anxiety and depression. On the other hand, it should be noted that intense exercise has the potential to progress KD, especially when conducted in hot weather with dehydration. This review aimed to investigate the effects of different types of exercise on kidney disease and provide exercise guidelines. In conclusion, moderate-intensity and long-term exercise (for at least a 6-month period), with consideration of the principles of exercise (individualization, intensity, time, etc.), can be used as an adjunctive treatment strategy in patients undergoing dialysis or kidney transplantation.
      Citation: Sports
      PubDate: 2022-03-10
      DOI: 10.3390/sports10030042
      Issue No: Vol. 10, No. 3 (2022)
       
  • Sports, Vol. 10, Pages 43: The Impact of COVID-19-Related Mitigation
           Measures on the Health and Fitness Status of Primary School Children in
           Austria: A Longitudinal Study with Data from 708 Children Measured before
           and during the Ongoing COVID-19 Pandemic

    • Authors: Gerald Jarnig, Reinhold Kerbl, Mireille N. M. van Poppel
      First page: 43
      Abstract: The COVID-19-related closing of schools and sport facilities resulted in major changes to daily routines worldwide. It was the aim of this study to investigate the impact of COVID-19-related mitigation measures on the health and fitness status of primary school children in Austria. Seven hundred and eight primary school children (7–10 years old) participated in the longitudinal study. Data on height, weight, waist circumference, and fitness were collected before (September 2019) and during the course of the COVID-19 pandemic (20 June, 20 September, 21 March, 21 June). A significant increase in EQUI BMIAUT (ⴄp2 = 0.087) and significant changes (ⴄp2 = 0.355) in waist circumference were found. Cardiorespiratory endurance (ⴄp2 = 0.440) and action speed (ⴄp2 = 0.221) decreased dramatically following lockdowns/school closures. In contrast, muscle strength showed no significant changes. The COVID-19-related mitigation measures intended to contain a communicable disease resulted in an acceleration of the pre-existing pandemic of overweight and obesity. The adverse combination of increasing BMI and the loss of physical fitness is likely to result in long-term negative effects on the health status of growing and developing individuals. Health professionals should therefore not only support further longitudinal observations of this “non-communicable disease” but also support intervention programs to reverse this worrying side-effect of COVID-19-associated containment policies.
      Citation: Sports
      PubDate: 2022-03-11
      DOI: 10.3390/sports10030043
      Issue No: Vol. 10, No. 3 (2022)
       
  • Sports, Vol. 10, Pages 44: COVID19 Pandemic and Physical Activity: An
           Observational Study on Sleep Quality and Anxiety

    • Authors: Ausilia Elce, Aurora Daniele, Ilaria Loperto, Lucia De Coppi, Armando Sangiorgio, Angelina Vivona, Clorinda Sorrentino, Simona Iannaccone, Lucia Martiniello, Ersilia Nigro
      First page: 44
      Abstract: Mental alterations were described during the COVID-19 pandemic and sleep deprivation has been reported as a consequence of social isolation. In Italy, the COVID-19 pandemic spread out at the beginning of 2020 determining severe lockdown periods. The aim of our study was to observe the effects of lockdown on sleep and anxiety in trained non-professional subjects and professional athletes who continued to train during the lockdown period. Forty-six subjects (21 trained non-professional subjects and 25 professional athletes) were recruited from a variety of team and individual sports to complete a battery of previously validated and widely used questionnaires assessing psychometric and anthropometric parameters, physical activity levels, lifestyle habits, and sleep quality. Subjects were aged 27.0 ± 5.14. All items were evaluated as percentages and chi-square and Fisher’s exact tests were performed, as appropriate. Our data showed that the prevalence of the difficulty of falling asleep (over 30%), the tendency of nocturnal awakenings (over 30%), and moderate anxiety (over 38%) were at the same extent in the two groups. Of the professional athletes, 72.73% declared snoring during sleep vs 42.86% of non-professional subjects. No other significant differences were found between the two groups except for the perception of being constant in daily activity, significantly more reported by trained subjects (p < 0.005). Our data show a similar scenario of anxiety and sleep disturbances for the two groups, suggesting that lockdown by the COVID-19 pandemic has partially mitigated the known beneficial effects due to physical activity on mental health and sleep quality. Further analyses are necessary to define the associated risk factors.
      Citation: Sports
      PubDate: 2022-03-16
      DOI: 10.3390/sports10030044
      Issue No: Vol. 10, No. 3 (2022)
       
  • Sports, Vol. 10, Pages 45: Plank Times and Lower Extremity Overuse Injury
           in Collegiate Track-and-Field and Cross Country Athletes

    • Authors: Lace E. Luedke, Mitchell J. Rauh
      First page: 45
      Abstract: Trunk muscle endurance has been theorized to play a role in running kinematics and lower extremity injury. However, the evidence examining the relationships between static trunk endurance tests, such as plank tests, and lower extremity injury in athletes is conflicting. The purpose of this study was to assess if collegiate cross country and track-and-field athletes with shorter pre-season prone and side plank hold times would have a higher incidence of lower extremity time-loss overuse injury during their competitive sport seasons. During the first week of their competitive season, 75 NCAA Division III uninjured collegiate cross country and track-and-field athletes (52% female; mean age 20.0 ± 1.3 years) performed three trunk endurance plank tests. Hold times for prone plank (PP), right-side plank (RSP) and left-side plank (LSP) were recorded in seconds. Athletes were followed prospectively during the season for lower extremity overuse injury that resulted in limited or missed practices or competitions. Among the athletes, 25 (33.3%) experienced a lower extremity overuse injury. There were no statistically significant mean differences or associations found between PP, RSP or LSP plank test hold times (seconds) and occurrence of lower extremity overuse injury. In isolation, plank hold times appear to have limited utility as a screening test in collegiate track-and-field and cross country athletes.
      Citation: Sports
      PubDate: 2022-03-21
      DOI: 10.3390/sports10030045
      Issue No: Vol. 10, No. 3 (2022)
       
  • Sports, Vol. 10, Pages 20: Acknowledgment to Reviewers of Sports in 2021

    • Authors: Sports Editorial Office Sports Editorial Office
      First page: 20
      Abstract: Rigorous peer-reviews are the basis of high-quality academic publishing [...]
      Citation: Sports
      PubDate: 2022-01-31
      DOI: 10.3390/sports10020020
      Issue No: Vol. 10, No. 2 (2022)
       
  • Sports, Vol. 10, Pages 21: Accuracy and Error Trends of Commercially
           Available Bat Swing Sensors in Baseball

    • Authors: Yoshitaka Morishita, Tsutomu Jinji
      First page: 21
      Abstract: In baseball, the swing speed and swing angle of the bat just before ball impact are important to increase the speed and horizontal distance of a batted ball. This study investigated the accuracies and error trends of four commercially available bat sensors to measure these parameters. The hitting motions of seven healthy participants were measured simultaneously using the bat sensors and an optical motion capture system, and the swing speeds and swing angles were compared. The swing speed was measured with high accuracy, as indicated by the high intraclass correlation coefficient (ICC) between the bat sensor and the motion capture system measurements (mean ICC = 0.78). However, the ICC for the swing angle was lower (mean ICC = 0.58) than that of the swing speed for all but one bat sensor, indicating low accuracy. Moreover, in the high swing speed range, the accuracy of the swing speed tended to decrease for three bat sensors, but the trend of the swing angle was different among bat sensors. Significant systematic biases or proportional errors were found for all bat sensors, indicating the possibility of error correction. The sensor used in this study can help to evaluate the differences between players with different competition levels and hitting motions. Coaches need to be cautious in taking measurements of players with high swing speeds and in assessing slight changes within an individual.
      Citation: Sports
      PubDate: 2022-02-06
      DOI: 10.3390/sports10020021
      Issue No: Vol. 10, No. 2 (2022)
       
  • Sports, Vol. 10, Pages 22: Tactical Masters Athletes: BMI Index
           Classifications

    • Authors: Marc Keefer, Joe Walsh, Kent Adams, Mike Climstein, Chad Harris, Mark DeBeliso
      First page: 22
      Abstract: Understanding the nexus between aging, physical activity, and obesity has been a source of ongoing investigation. A considerable amount of research has focused on Masters athletes in this regard, suggesting a beneficial relationship between Masters sport participation and a healthy body mass index (BMI). Some consider Active Duty military personnel as tactical athletes. As such, it is of interest to determine if aging Active Duty military personnel (or Masters Tactical Athletes) might have a similar BMI as other Masters athletes (MA). As such, this investigation examined previously recorded data of Active Duty Enlisted United States Marines (n = 402, male, 46–50 years old). The BMI of the Marines was stratified into categories of: underweight, normal, overweight, and obese. The Marines obesity prevalence was compared to US adult males (40–59 years) as well as male North American MA who competed at the 2009 Sydney World Masters Games. The Marines obesity prevalence was significantly lower than US adult males (p < 0.001) and those MA that competed in softball (p < 0.001); however, it was similar to MA that competed in football, track/field, swimming, and volleyball (p > 0.05). The average Marine BMI = 26.7 kg/m2 was similar to MA who competed in football, swimming, and volley ball (p > 0.05); however, it was higher than MA who competed in track/field (p < 0.05) and lower than MA who played softball (p < 0.05). It should be noted that the average BMI for the Marines and all MA sport categories were classified as being overweight. Within the parameters of this investigation, Tactical MA (i.e., aging US Marines) enjoy a similar beneficial BMI as other North American MA.
      Citation: Sports
      PubDate: 2022-02-09
      DOI: 10.3390/sports10020022
      Issue No: Vol. 10, No. 2 (2022)
       
  • Sports, Vol. 10, Pages 23: Changes in Intra-to-Extra-Cellular Water Ratio
           and Bioelectrical Parameters from Day-Before to Day-Of Competition in
           Bodybuilders: A Pilot Study

    • Authors: João Pedro Nunes, João P. M. Araújo, Alex S. Ribeiro, Francesco Campa, Brad J. Schoenfeld, Edilson S. Cyrino, Michele C. C. Trindade
      First page: 23
      Abstract: The present study analyzed the effects from day-before to day-of bodybuilding competition on intracellular water (ICW), extracellular water (ECW), total body water (TBW), and bioimpedance analysis (BIA) parameters (resistance, R; reactance, Xc; and derived scores) in bodybuilding athletes. We assessed anthropometry and BIA (foot-to-hand; tetrapolar; 50 kHz) in 11 male bodybuilders (29 ± 4 year-old; 81 ± 8 kg; 172 ± 7 cm; 27 ± 2 kg/m2) both on the pre-competition day and on the contest day. Results revealed significant increases in ICW (31.6 ± 2.9 to 33.1 ± 2.8 L), with concomitant decreases in ECW (19.8 ± 1.8 to 17.2 ± 1.4 L) and TBW (51.4 ± 4.6 to 50.3 ± 4.2 L) from the day-before competition to contest day, which resulted in relatively large increases in the ICW/ECW ratio (1.60 ± 0.03 to 1.92 ± 0.01 L). Moreover, significant increases in R (391 ± 34 to 413 ± 33 ohm), Xc (64 ± 7 to 70 ± 6 ohm), and phase angle (9.3 ± 0.6 to 9.6 ± 0.7 degree) were observed between time periods. The phase angle scores reported on show-day of 9.6 and 11.2 appear to be the highest group mean and individual values observed in the literature to date. In conclusion, the strategies carried out on the final day of peak-week bodybuilding preparation lead to changes in BIA parameters and body water, with fluids shifting from the extra- to the intracellular compartment.
      Citation: Sports
      PubDate: 2022-02-14
      DOI: 10.3390/sports10020023
      Issue No: Vol. 10, No. 2 (2022)
       
  • Sports, Vol. 10, Pages 24: The Efficacy of Upper-Extremity Elastic
           Resistance Training on Shoulder Strength and Performance: A Systematic
           Review

    • Authors: Rachel C. Seguin, Alan C. Cudlip, Michael W. R. Holmes
      First page: 24
      Abstract: Elastic resistance exercise is a popular mode of strength training that has demonstrated positive effects on whole-body strength and performance. The purpose of this work was to identify the efficacy of elastic resistance training on improving upper limb strength and performance measures for the shoulder. Seven online databases were searched with a focus on longitudinal studies assessing shoulder elastic training strength interventions. In total, 1367 studies were initially screened for relevancy; 24 full-text articles were included for review. Exercise interventions ranged from 4–12 weeks, assessing pre-/post-strength and performance measures inclusive of isometric and isokinetic strength, 1RM strength, force-velocity tests, and throwing-velocity tests. Significant increases in various isometric strength measures (IR:11–13%, ER:11–42%, FL: 14–36%, EXT: 4–17%, ABD: 8–16%), 1RM strength (~24% in bench press), force-velocities, throwing- and serve-velocities (12%) were all observed. Elastic resistance training elicited positive effects for both strength and performance parameters regardless of intervention duration. Similar significant increases were observed in isometric strength and 1RM strength across durations. Isokinetic strength increases were variable and dependent on the joint velocity conditions. Quantifying the dosage of appropriate exercise prescription for optimal strength and performance gains is inconclusive with this study due to the heterogeneity of the intervention protocols.
      Citation: Sports
      PubDate: 2022-02-14
      DOI: 10.3390/sports10020024
      Issue No: Vol. 10, No. 2 (2022)
       
  • Sports, Vol. 10, Pages 25: An Index of Non-Linear HRV as a Proxy of the
           Aerobic Threshold Based on Blood Lactate Concentration in Elite
           Triathletes

    • Authors: Bruce Rogers, Sander Berk, Thomas Gronwald
      First page: 25
      Abstract: A non-linear index of heart rate (HR) variability (HRV) known as alpha1 of Detrended Fluctuation Analysis (DFA a1) has been shown to change with increasing exercise intensity, crossing a value of 0.75 at the aerobic threshold (AT) in recreational runners defining a HRV threshold (HRVT). Since large volumes of low-intensity training below the AT is recommended for many elite endurance athletes, confirmation of this relationship in this specific group would be advantageous for the purposes of training intensity distribution monitoring. Nine elite triathletes (7 male, 2 female) attended a training camp for diagnostic purposes. Lactate testing was performed with an incremental cycling ramp test to exhaustion for the determination of the first lactate threshold based on the log–log calculation method (LT1). Concurrent measurements of cardiac beta-to-beat intervals were performed to determine the HRVT. Mean LT1 HR of all 9 participants was 155.8 bpm (±7.0) vs. HRVT HR of 153.7 bpm (±10.1) (p = 0.52). Mean LT1 cycling power was 252.3 W (±48.1) vs. HRVT power of 247.0 W (±53.6) (p = 0.17). Bland–Altman analysis showed mean differences of −1.7 bpm and −5.3 W with limits of agreement (LOA) 13.3 to −16.7 bpm and 15.1 to −25.6 W for HR and cycling power, respectively. The DFA a1-based HRVT closely agreed with the LT1 in a group of elite triathletes. Since large volumes of low-intensity exercise are recommended for successful endurance performance, the fractal correlation properties of HRV show promise as a low-cost, non-invasive option to that of lactate testing for identification of AT-related training boundaries.
      Citation: Sports
      PubDate: 2022-02-18
      DOI: 10.3390/sports10020025
      Issue No: Vol. 10, No. 2 (2022)
       
  • Sports, Vol. 10, Pages 26: Development of a Novel Nordic Hamstring
           Exercise Performance Test Device: A Reliability and Intervention Study

    • Authors: Jesper Augustsson, Sofia Ryman Augustsson
      First page: 26
      Abstract: There is evidence that a knee flexor exercise, the Nordic hamstring exercise (NHE), prevents hamstring injuries. The purpose of this study was therefore to develop, and to determine the reliability of, a novel NHE test device and, further, to determine the effectiveness of a 10-week low volume NHE program on NHE performance. Twenty female football (soccer) players, aged 16–30 years, participated in this study. From a kneeling position on the device, with the ankles secured under a heavy lifting sling, participants leaned forward in a controlled manner as far as possible (eccentric phase) and then returned to the starting position (concentric phase). A tape measure documented the forward distance achieved by the participants in cm. Participants completed three separate occasions to evaluate test-retest reliability. Additionally, 14 players performed a low volume (1 set of 5 repetitions) NHE program once weekly for 10 weeks. No significant test-retest differences in NHE performance were observed. The intra-class correlation coefficient was 0.95 and the coefficient of variation was 3.54% between tests. Mean improvement in the NHE performance test by the players following training was 22% (8.7 cm), p = 0.005. Our test device reliably measured NHE performance and is easy to perform in any setting. Further, NHE performance was improved by a 10-week low volume NHE program. This suggests that even a small dose (1 set of 5 repetitions once weekly) of the NHE may enhance NHE performance.
      Citation: Sports
      PubDate: 2022-02-21
      DOI: 10.3390/sports10020026
      Issue No: Vol. 10, No. 2 (2022)
       
  • Sports, Vol. 10, Pages 27: The Influence of Muscular Strength and Local
           Muscular Endurance on Accuracy of Estimated Repetitions to Failure in
           Resistance-Trained Males

    • Authors: Daniel A. Hackett, Angelo Sabag
      First page: 27
      Abstract: This study investigated whether muscular strength and local muscular endurance (LME) influences accuracy of estimated repetitions to failure (ERF) during resistance exercise. Twenty resistance-trained males (age 26.3 ± 6.9 years) completed five sets of 10 repetitions at 70% 1RM for the bench press and squat. Following the 10th repetition of each set, participants reported ERF and then continued to concentric failure. Participants were separated into one of two groups based on muscular strength and LME. There were no significant differences between strength groups for error in ERF, ERF, and actual repetitions to failure (ARF). High-LME compared to Low-LME had greater ERF for all sets of bench press (p < 0.05) and two sets of squat (p < 0.05). Greater ARF was observed in High-LME for two of five sets for bench press (p < 0.05) and squat (p < 0.05). High-LME had greater error in ERF for bench press set 1 (p < 0.01) and set 4 (p = 0.04), while for set 1 only for squat (p = 0.01). Findings indicate that LME influences accuracy of ERF during the initial set of bench press and squat as well as a latter set for the bench press. Future studies with larger sample sizes are warranted to explore whether LME affects accuracy of ERF across multiple sets.
      Citation: Sports
      PubDate: 2022-02-21
      DOI: 10.3390/sports10020027
      Issue No: Vol. 10, No. 2 (2022)
       
 
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