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ISSN (Online) 2075-4663
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  • Sports, Vol. 10, Pages 126: Repeated Bout Effect of Two Resistance
           Training Bouts on Bowling-Specific Performance in Male Cricketers

    • Authors: Drew C. Harrison, Kenji Doma, Anthony S. Leicht, Teneale A. McGuckin, Carl T. Woods, Jonathan D. Connor
      First page: 126
      Abstract: To examine the repeated bout effect (RBE) following two identical resistance bouts and its effect on bowling-specific performance in male cricketers. Male cricket pace bowlers (N = 10), who had not undertaken resistance exercises in the past six months, were invited to complete a familiarisation and resistance maximum testing, before participating in the study protocol. The study protocol involved the collection of muscle damage markers, a battery of anaerobic (jump and sprint), and a bowling-specific performance test at baseline, followed by a resistance training bout, and a retest of physical and bowling-specific performance at 24 h (T24) and 48 h (T48) post-training. The study protocol was repeated 7–10 days thereafter. Indirect markers of muscle damage were lower (creatine kinase: 318.7 ± 164.3 U·L−1; muscle soreness: 3 ± 1), whilst drop jump was improved (~47.5 ± 8.1 cm) following the second resistance training bout when compared to the first resistance training bout (creatine kinase: 550.9 ± 242.3 U·L−1; muscle soreness: 4 ± 2; drop jump: ~43.0 ± 9.7 cm). However, sport-specific performance via bowling speed declined (Bout 1: −2.55 ± 3.43%; Bout 2: 2.67 ± 2.41%) whilst run-up time increased (2.34 ± 3.61%; Bout 2: 3.84 ± 4.06%) after each bout of resistance training. Findings suggest that while an initial resistance training bout reduced muscle damage indicators and improved drop jump performance following a second resistance training bout, this RBE trend was not observed for bowling-specific performance. It was suggested that pace bowlers with limited exposure to resistance training should minimise bowling-specific practice for 1–2 days following the initial bouts of their resistance training program.
      Citation: Sports
      PubDate: 2022-08-24
      DOI: 10.3390/sports10090126
      Issue No: Vol. 10, No. 9 (2022)
  • Sports, Vol. 10, Pages 127: Assessing Dietary Nutrient Adequacy and the
           Effect of Season—Long Training on Body Composition and Metabolic
           Rate in Collegiate Male Basketball Players

    • Authors: Morgan M. Nishisaka, Sebastian P. Zorn, Aleksandra S. Kristo, Angelos K. Sikalidis, Scott K. Reaves
      First page: 127
      Abstract: The success of performance in basketball relies on both optimal body composition and nutrient intake. The purpose of this study was to examine seasonal changes in body composition (BC), resting metabolic rate (RMR) and respiratory quotient (RQ), as well as dietary intake of National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division I (DI) male basketball players. BC, RMR and RQ were assessed during pre-season, in-season, and post-season (September, December, and March) while dietary assessment data were collected in September and February. Results of this study indicated that players received inadequate energy (p < 0.0001), protein (p < 0.001) and carbohydrate (p < 0.0001) relative to the recommendations for exercising individuals during the September baseline period. However, following diet analysis and consultations and relative to recommendations, athletes received adequate amounts of energy and protein during follow-up, yet intakes of carbohydrate (p = 0.0025) were still significantly different than recommended. Results also indicated that there was a decrease in percent body fat (%BF) during season, an increase in lean body mass (LBM) from pre- to post-season, a peak in RMR during season and an increase in RQ post-season. These findings reveal that significant metabolic and body composition changes occur in players over the season and suggest that nutritional strategies employed concomitantly may be beneficial.
      Citation: Sports
      PubDate: 2022-08-24
      DOI: 10.3390/sports10090127
      Issue No: Vol. 10, No. 9 (2022)
  • Sports, Vol. 10, Pages 128: Cutting Movement Assessment Scores during
           Anticipated and Unanticipated 90-Degree Sidestep Cutting Manoeuvres within
           Female Professional Footballers

    • Authors: Chloe Needham, Lee Herrington
      First page: 128
      Abstract: Background: ACL injuries present a considerable burden in female football, with highest incidence being related to change of direction (COD) tasks. The aim was to identify if differences existed between an anticipated and unanticipated 90-degree cutting task using the CMAS. Methods: 11 female professional footballers completed twelve 90-degree COD tasks (6 anticipated, 6 unanticipated). Participants performed the unanticipated task in response to a moving football at the start of their acceleration. All COD tasks were filmed and assessed using the CMAS. Results: The CMAS score for the unanticipated COD task (5.53 ± 0.71) was significantly larger than for the anticipated COD task (3.55 ± 0.85, p < 0.012). Excellent intra-rater reliability was observed (ICC = 0.97) for analysis of CMAS scores. Conclusions: Female footballers in this sample demonstrated a greater CMAS score during an unanticipated COD task compared to an anticipated COD task. These athletes are therefore more likely to display ‘high-risk’ movement patterns, thus greater risk of injury. Reacting to a sporting implement, such as a moving ball, may be a contributing factor to these results. Further research into unanticipated COD tasks should be considered to determine why these differences occur and the impact of anticipation on performance.
      Citation: Sports
      PubDate: 2022-08-24
      DOI: 10.3390/sports10090128
      Issue No: Vol. 10, No. 9 (2022)
  • Sports, Vol. 10, Pages 129: Fitness Trainers’ Educational
           Qualification and Experience and Its Association with Their
           Trainees’ Musculoskeletal Pain: A Cross-Sectional Study

    • Authors: Sohel Ahmed, Mamunur Rashid, Abu-sufian Sarkar, Mohammad Jahirul Islam, Rahemun Akter, Masudur Rahman, Shahana Islam, Devjanee Sheel, Sarwar Alam Polash, Mahfuza Akter, Shayed Afride, Manzur Kader
      First page: 129
      Abstract: This is a cross-sectional study that examined the association between fitness trainers’ educational qualifications and experience, and the risk of their trainees’ musculoskeletal pain. The study included 1177 trainees (aged 15–60 years) from 74 fitness centers in Bangladesh. Data were collected by using the Nordic musculoskeletal questionnaire, including potential confounders such as demographic factors (e.g., age, occupation), and training-related factors (e.g., workout knowledge, overweight lifting). Multiple logistic regression was performed for a binary outcome (pain—yes or no), and a generalized linear model was fitted for the ordinal outcome (pain—sites of the body). The trainers’ lower experience (no or ≤1 year) was associated with higher odds of their trainees’ musculoskeletal pain (OR: 2.53, 95% CI: 1.18–5.44) compared to trainers with >5 years of experience; however, no association was found between the trainers’ education and the risk of their trainees’ musculoskeletal pain, after controlling for potential confounders. Similarly, the trainees trained by trainers with lower experience had more than two-time the risk of having pain in different sites (IRR: 2.04, 95% CI: 1.50–2.79). The trainers’ experience may play a pivotal role in the trainees’ musculoskeletal pain. Further study is warranted in this regard.
      Citation: Sports
      PubDate: 2022-08-29
      DOI: 10.3390/sports10090129
      Issue No: Vol. 10, No. 9 (2022)
  • Sports, Vol. 10, Pages 130: Fatigue-Free Force-Velocity and Power-Velocity
           Profiles for Elite Track Sprint Cyclists: The Influence of Duration, Gear
           Ratio and Pedalling Rates

    • Authors: Anna Katharina Dunst, Clemens Hesse, Olaf Ueberschär, Hans-Christer Holmberg
      First page: 130
      Abstract: Background: Maximal force-velocity (F/v) profiles for track cyclists are commonly derived from ergometer sprints using an isovelocity or isoinertial approach. Previously, an attempt was made to derive maximal F/v profiles from a single maximal 65-m sprint on the cycling track. Hypothesising that this approach may not accurately reflect the fatigue-free F/v profile, we propose an alternative procedure and compare it to the previous method. Moreover, we test for the impact of gear ratio on diagnostic results. Methods: Twelve elite track cyclists completed a high-cadence low-resistance pedalling test on a freestanding roller (motoric test) and two series of three maximal 65-m sprints on a cycling track with different gear ratios. F/v profiles were calculated based on the measured crank force and cadence either during the first 6–7 revolutions (≤6 s) on the track (model I) or were derived from the first 3–4 revolutions (≤3 s) on the track combined with 1 or 2 fatigue-free cycles at cadences above 160 rpm from the motoric test (model II). Results: Although both models exhibit high-to-excellent linearity between force and velocity, the extrapolated isometric force was higher (1507.51 ± 257.60 N and 1384.35 ± 276.84 N; p < 0.002; d = 2.555) and the slope steeper (−6.78 ± 1.17 and −5.24 ± 1.11; p < 0.003, d = −2.401) with model I. An ICC of 1.00 indicates excellent model consistency when comparing the F/v profiles (model II) derived from the different geared sprints. Conclusions: Assuring fatigue-free measurements and including high-cadence data points in the calculations provide valid maximal F/v and P/v profiles from a single acceleration-sprint independent of gear ratio.
      Citation: Sports
      PubDate: 2022-08-31
      DOI: 10.3390/sports10090130
      Issue No: Vol. 10, No. 9 (2022)
  • Sports, Vol. 10, Pages 131: Antibiotic Therapy and Athletes: Is the
           Mitochondrial Dysfunction the Real Achilles’ Heel'

    • Authors: Valentina Puccini
      First page: 131
      Abstract: It is widely recognized that athletes consume oral antibiotics almost twice as often as observed in the non-sports population in order to reduce as much as possible the period of inactivity due to bacterial diseases. However, increasing evidences have demonstrated the ability of some classes of antibiotics to induce muscle weakness, pain, and a feeling of fatigue upon resuming physical activity conditions that considerably limit the athletic performance of athletes, ascribable to alterations in the biochemical mechanisms underlying normal musculoskeletal activity, such as mitochondrial respiration. For this reason, tailoring a treatment plan for effective antibiotics that limit an athlete’s risk is paramount to their safety and ability to maintain adequate athletic performance. The present review illustrates and critically analyzes the evidence on the use of antibiotics in sports, deepening the molecular mechanisms underlying the onset and development of muscle–tendon alterations in athletes as well as delineating the pharmacological strategies aimed at counteracting such adverse events.
      Citation: Sports
      PubDate: 2022-08-31
      DOI: 10.3390/sports10090131
      Issue No: Vol. 10, No. 9 (2022)
  • Sports, Vol. 10, Pages 132: Implementation of Congestion-Related Controls
           Improves Runner Density, Flow Rate, Perceived Safety, and Satisfaction
           during an Australian Running Event

    • Authors: Sean Peckover, Aldo Raineri, Aaron T. Scanlan
      First page: 132
      Abstract: This study examined the impact of congestion-related controls on runner density, flow rate, perceived safety, and satisfaction during an Australian running event. Runner congestion was compared between races organized at the Sunshine Coast Marathon and Running Festival in 2019 without controls and in 2021 with added controls, including modifications to the start corral design and use of wave starts. Following a mixed-method design, runner congestion was quantitatively measured via determining runner density and flow rate in the start corrals with video analyses, while post-event surveys were used to gather qualitative evidence regarding the prevalence of congestion and its impact on runner safety and satisfaction. Descriptive analyses for quantitative data showed runner density (1.48–3.01 vs. 0.52–1.20 runners per m2) and flow rate (102–152 vs. 36–59 runners per min per m) were reduced across races with controls. Regarding qualitative data, Wilcoxon–Mann–Whitney rank-sum tests demonstrated a significantly (p < 0.01) lower prevalence of congestion was perceived on course while running, alongside a reduced (p = 0.08) perceived impact of congestion on event satisfaction across races with controls. Furthermore, descriptive analyses for qualitative data showed a reduced proportion of runners indicated the start corrals were “somewhat” to “extremely” (rating of at least 3 on a 5-point scale) congested upon race commencement with controls (64% vs. 75%), and perceived safety (10% vs. 17%) and satisfaction (17% vs. 30%) were “somewhat” to “extremely” impacted by congestion across races with controls. Adopting suitable start corral designs with wave starts may enable race directors to reduce runner congestion to enhance continued participation among the public and viability of their running events.
      Citation: Sports
      PubDate: 2022-08-31
      DOI: 10.3390/sports10090132
      Issue No: Vol. 10, No. 9 (2022)
  • Sports, Vol. 10, Pages 133: Do Primary School Children Benefit from
           Drop-Jump Training with Different Schedules of Augmented Feedback about
           the Jump Height'

    • Authors: Christian Leukel, Sabine Karoß, Florian Gräßlin, Jürgen Nicolaus, Albert Gollhofer
      First page: 133
      Abstract: In children, the training of jumps leads to improved jumping and running performance. Augmented feedback about the jump height is known to facilitate performance improvements in adults. In the present study, the impact of augmented feedback on jumping performance was investigated in 4th grade primary school children executing drop-jump training for 8 weeks (24 sessions, 3 times/week). Ten children (eight males, two females, aged 9.6 ± 0.3 years), received feedback for 8 weeks, and 11 children (nine males, two females, aged 9.5 ± 0.2 years) received feedback only during the last 4 weeks. Drop-jumps training was integrated in physical education classes. Drop-jump and countermovement-jump heights were improved after 24 training sessions (p < 0.01 for both types of jumps in both groups). Ground contact times of drop-jumps were quite long (>200 ms) and not altered by training, and the reactive strength index of drop-jumps was between 0.75 and 1.5 in most children. Augmented feedback did not facilitate jumping performance like in previous studies with adult participants. In contrast, withholding augmented feedback during the first 4 weeks of training was associated with a reduction in jumping performance (p < 0.01 for drop-jumps, p < 0.05 for countermovement-jumps). Finally, improvements did not transfer to functional motor tasks containing jumps. According to the costs and outcomes we do not recommend drop-jump training with augmented feedback about the jump height for 4th grade physical education classes.
      Citation: Sports
      PubDate: 2022-09-02
      DOI: 10.3390/sports10090133
      Issue No: Vol. 10, No. 9 (2022)
  • Sports, Vol. 10, Pages 134: Wide-Pulse High-Frequency Neuromuscular
           Electrical Stimulation Evokes Greater Relative Force in Women Than in Men:
           A Pilot Study

    • Authors: Xin Ye, Nathan Gockel, Daniel Vala, Teagan Devoe, Patrick Brodoff, Victor Gaza, Vinz Umali, Hayden Walker
      First page: 134
      Abstract: This study aimed to examine the potential sex differences in wide-pulse high-frequency neuromuscular electrical stimulation (WPHF NMES)-evoked force. Twenty-two subjects (10 women) completed this study. Prior to the stimulation, the visual analogue scale (VAS) for discomfort and the rating of perceived exertion (RPE) were measured, followed by the isometric strength of the dominant elbow flexor muscles. The subjects then completed ten, 10-s on 10-s off WPHF NMES (pulse width: 1 ms, frequency: 100 Hz) at maximum tolerable intensities. The subjects’ RPE was recorded after each set, and the VAS was measured following the last stimulation. The stimulation induced significant increase in discomfort for both sexes, with women having greater discomfort than men (men: 22.4 ± 14.9 mm, women: 39.7 ± 12.7 mm). The stimulation amplitude was significantly greater in men than in women (men: 16.2 ± 6.3 mA, women: 12.0 ± 4.5 mA). For the evoked force, only the relative NMES-evoked force was found greater in women than in men (men: 8.96 ± 6.51%, women: 17.08 ± 12.61%). In conclusion, even at the maximum tolerable intensity, WPHF NMES evoked larger relative elbow flexion force in women than in men, with women experiencing greater discomfort.
      Citation: Sports
      PubDate: 2022-09-05
      DOI: 10.3390/sports10090134
      Issue No: Vol. 10, No. 9 (2022)
  • Sports, Vol. 10, Pages 135: Analysis of the Association between Internal
           and External Training Load Indicators in Elite Soccer; Multiple Regression

    • Authors: Sime Versic, Toni Modric, Borko Katanic, Mario Jelicic, Damir Sekulic
      First page: 135
      Abstract: The aim of this study was to identify the external training load (ETL) variables that are most influential on the session rating of perceived exertion (sRPE) during elite soccer training. The participants (n = 29) were adult male soccer players from a single team that competed in Croatia’s highest national soccer competition in the 2021/2022 season. Data were collected using the 10 Hz Global Positioning System from 66 training sessions, and a total of 1061 training observations were undertaken. The univariate and multivariate relationships among the predictors (ETL variables) and the criterion (sRPE) were assessed using forward stepwise multiple regressions and Pearson’s correlations, respectively. ETL variables explained 63% of the variance in the sRPE (Multiple R = 0.79; p < 0.01), and the model was successfully cross-validated. The significant partial regressors were total distance (β = 0.66), metres per minute (β = −0.47), high-intensity accelerations (β = 0.22) and decelerations (β = 0.18), and sprint distance (β = 0.14). All ETL variables were significantly correlated with the sRPE (all p < 0.01), with the highest correlations found for total distance covered (r = 0.70) and high-intensity accelerations and decelerations (r = 0.62 and 0.65, respectively). Such results show that (i) the total distance and acceleration rates during the training sessions are the most important predictors of the sRPE, and (ii) a combination of different ETL variables predicts the sRPE better than any individual parameter alone. This study shows that both the volume and intensity of training are related to players’ internal responses. The findings ultimately provide further evidence to support the use of sRPE as a global measure of training load in soccer players.
      Citation: Sports
      PubDate: 2022-09-06
      DOI: 10.3390/sports10090135
      Issue No: Vol. 10, No. 9 (2022)
  • Sports, Vol. 10, Pages 136: A Multi-Experiment Investigation of the
           Effects Stance Width on the Biomechanics of the Barbell Squat

    • Authors: Jonathan Sinclair, Paul John Taylor, Bryan Jones, Bobbie Butters, Ian Bentley, Christopher James Edmundson
      First page: 136
      Abstract: This two-experiment study aimed to explore habitual and manipulated stance widths on squat biomechanics. In experiment one, 70 lifters completed back squats at 70%, 1 repetition maximum (1RM), and were split into groups (NARROW < 1.06 * greater trochanter width (GTW), MID 1.06–1.18 * GTW and WIDE > 1.37 * GTW) according to their self-selected stance width. In experiment two, 20 lifters performed squats at 70%, 1RM, in three conditions (NARROW, MID and WIDE, 1.0, 1.25 and 1.5 * GTW). The three-dimensional kinematics were measured using a motion capture system, ground reaction forces (GRF) using a force platform, and the muscle forces using musculoskeletal modelling. In experiment two, the peak power was significantly greater in the NARROW condition, whereas both experiments showed the medial GRF impulse was significantly greater in the WIDE stance. Experiment two showed the NARROW condition significantly increased the quadriceps forces, whereas both experiments showed that the WIDE stance width significantly enhanced the posterior-chain muscle forces. The NARROW condition may improve the high mechanical power movement performance and promote the quadriceps muscle development. Greater stance widths may improve sprint and rapid change-of-direction performance and promote posterior-chain muscle hypertrophy. Whilst it appears that there is not an optimal stance width, these observations can be utilized by strength and conditioning practitioners seeking to maximize training adaptations.
      Citation: Sports
      PubDate: 2022-09-14
      DOI: 10.3390/sports10090136
      Issue No: Vol. 10, No. 9 (2022)
  • Sports, Vol. 10, Pages 137: Transnational Migration and Dual Career of
           Slovenian and Swiss Elite Female Handball Players—A Longitudinal

    • Authors: Marta Bon, Mojca Doupona, Susan Wilson-Gahan, Laura Capranica, Flavia Guidotti
      First page: 137
      Abstract: The purpose of this study was to identify the career paths of transnational migrating female elite handball players. Fourteen Slovenian and Suisse national team players were monitored over a 7-year period by means of semi-structured interviews and official handball records. At the end of the examination period, six still-active players were interviewed again. Qualitative thematic analysis was employed to develop a contextualized understanding of participants’ careers paths and life trajectories in relation to their athletic migration and dual career. In relation to the limited opportunities offered by small countries with middle-ranking national handball teams, participants highlighted that sport migration coupled with dual career opportunities represented a strategic decision for a successful career development through several key factors: (1) a clear intention towards a professional handball career; (2) the actual fulfilment of professional handball career aspirations; (3) dual career goals as part of the migration process; (4) high personal ambition and emotional connection to handball; (5) the implementation of a successful dual career path; (6) a positive migration experience; and (7) feeling supported and valued during relocation. Sport federations and elite clubs should consider the implementation of a multidimensional approach encompassing dual career paths to facilitate athletes’ transnational relocation and career transitions.
      Citation: Sports
      PubDate: 2022-09-16
      DOI: 10.3390/sports10090137
      Issue No: Vol. 10, No. 9 (2022)
  • Sports, Vol. 10, Pages 138: Sex Difference in Running Stability Analyzed
           Based on a Whole-Body Movement: A Pilot Study

    • Authors: Arunee Promsri
      First page: 138
      Abstract: A sex-specific manner in running tasks is considered a potential internal injury risk factor in runners. The current study aimed to investigate the sex differences in running stability in recreational runners during self-preferred speed treadmill running by focusing on a whole-body movement. To this end, principal component analysis (PCA) was applied to kinematic marker data of 22 runners (25.7 ± 3.3 yrs.; 12 females) for decomposing the whole-body movements of all participants into a set of principal movements (PMs), representing different movement synergies forming together to achieve the task goal. Then, the sex effects were tested on three types of PCA-based variables computed for individual PMs: the largest Lyapunov exponent (LyE) as a measure of running variability; the relative standard deviation (rSTD) as a measure of movement structures; and the root mean square (RMS) as a measure of the magnitude of neuromuscular control. The results show that the sex effects are observed in the specific PMs. Specifically, female runners have lower stability (greater LyE) in the mid-stance-phase movements (PM4−5) and greater contribution and control (greater rSTD and RMS) in the swing-phase movement (PM1) than male runners. Knowledge of an inherent sex difference in running stability may benefit sports-related injury prevention and rehabilitation.
      Citation: Sports
      PubDate: 2022-09-16
      DOI: 10.3390/sports10090138
      Issue No: Vol. 10, No. 9 (2022)
  • 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 120: Acute Supplementation with Capsaicin Enhances
           Upper-Limb Performance in Male Jiu-Jitsu Athletes

    • Authors: Bruno Victor Corrêa da Silva, Gustavo R. Mota, Moacir Marocolo, Jeffrey S. Martin, Luciano Sales Prado
      First page: 120
      Abstract: The present study investigated whether acute capsaicin (CAP) supplementation improves mean power output (MPO) and peak velocity (PV) during the performance of the free bench press exercise (FBP). Twelve (n = 12) male Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ) athletes (age: 24.3 ± 1.5 years, height: 1.74 ± 0.1 m, body mass: 75.7 ± 10.1 kg) participated in this randomized, placebo (PLA)-controlled, double-blind, crossover trial. For each condition, 45 min after CAP (12 mg purified) or PLA (12 mg of Celulomax E) consumption, the participants performed four sets of five repetitions of FBP at a load of 60% of body mass with five-min rest intervals. The MPO (t = 5.6, df = 11, p = 0.001, EF = 0.3, IC 95% = −0.55 to 1.05) and PV (t = 5.4, df = 11, p = 0.001, EF = 0.5, IC 95% = −0.32 to 1.30) were significantly higher with CAP supplementation versus PLA. Acute CAP supplementation appears to improve MPO and PV during FBP in male BJJ athletes.
      Citation: Sports
      PubDate: 2022-08-09
      DOI: 10.3390/sports10080120
      Issue No: Vol. 10, No. 8 (2022)
  • Sports, Vol. 10, Pages 121: Modeling the Major Influencing Factor on Match
           Running Performance during the In-Season Phase in a Portuguese
           Professional Football Team

    • Authors: José E. Teixeira, Luís Branquinho, Miguel Leal, Daniel A. Marinho, Ricardo Ferraz, Tiago M. Barbosa, António M. Monteiro, Pedro Forte
      First page: 121
      Abstract: The aim of this study was two-fold: (1) to analyze the influence of season phase (i.e., the start of the in-season and mid-in-season) on match running performance in a Portuguese professional football team; (2) to determine and model the main factor influencing match running performance during the in-season in this specific football team. Eighteen matches were collected by an 18 Hz global positioning system (GPS) from a professional Portuguese football team during the start of the in-season and mid-in-season. The match running performance was analyzed according to season phases, presenting significant differences in total distance (TD) (tlowerbound = 4.71, p < 0.001; tupperbound = −2.22, p = 0.002), average speed (AvS) (tlowerbound = 359.45, p < 0.001; tupperbound = −359.87, p < 0.001), and relative high speed running (rHSR) (tlowerbound = 13.10, p < 0.001; tupperbound = −10.21, p < 0.001). The logistic regression showed TD (β = −1.59, z = −2.84, p = 0.005) and AvS (β = 2.68, z = −2.84, p = 0.007) as the major factors influencing match running performance during seasonal variation. Sprints and accelerations showed no significance for predicting match running performance during the season phases (β = −0.05 to 1.07, z = −0.95 to 1.07, p = 0.29 to 0.72). Current research confirms that lower and upper bounds should be used to quantify seasonal differences on match running performance. TD and AvS were described as the main factors influencing match running performance during the in-season phase. Thus, it is important to highlight the pace and volume of the game to maximize match running performance.
      Citation: Sports
      PubDate: 2022-08-12
      DOI: 10.3390/sports10080121
      Issue No: Vol. 10, No. 8 (2022)
  • Sports, Vol. 10, Pages 122: Serial vs. Integrated Outdoor Combined
           Training Programs for Health Promotion in Middle-Aged Males

    • Authors: Grivas, Karatrantou, Chasialis, Batatolis, Ioakimidis, Gerodimos
      First page: 122
      Abstract: The purpose of this study was to examine and compare the training and detraining effects of outdoor serial and integrated combined exercise programs on health, functional capacity, and physical fitness indices. Fifty-one untrained overweight/obese males (47 ± 4 y) were divided into a serial combined (SCG), an integrated combined (ICG), or a control (CG) group. The SCG and ICG implemented a 3-month training (3 sessions/week) consisting of walking and body weight exercises. The only difference between SCG and ICG was the sequence of aerobic and strength training. In SCG, the strength training was performed before aerobic training, while in ICG the aerobic and the strength training were alternated repeatedly in a predetermined order. Health, functional capacity, and physical fitness indices were measured before the training, following the termination of programs, and 1-month after training cessation. Following the training, both the SCG and ICG groups showed reduced blood pressure, heart rate, body fat, and waist-to-hip ratio (3–11%; p < 0.001), with improved respiratory function, muscle strength, aerobic capacity, flexibility, and balance (14–61%; p < 0.001). After 1-month of training cessation, significant reductions (p < 0.05) were observed in health indices and physical fitness without returning to baseline levels. However, there were no differences between SCG and ICG after training and training cessation (p > 0.05). In CG, all the above variables did not change. Furthermore, a great percentage of participants in both exercise groups (90%) reported high levels of enjoyment. In conclusion, both serial and integrated outdoor combined walking and body weight strength training programs are enjoyable and equally effective for improving health, functional capacity, and physical fitness indices in overweight/obese middle-aged males.
      Citation: Sports
      PubDate: 2022-08-12
      DOI: 10.3390/sports10080122
      Issue No: Vol. 10, No. 8 (2022)
  • Sports, Vol. 10, Pages 123: Aspects of Developmental Pathways toward
           World-Class Parasport

    • Authors: Lise Storli, Morten Andreas Aune, Håvard Lorås
      First page: 123
      Abstract: The developmental pathways of athletes with a physical disability into world-class parasport are much less researched and understood compared to able-bodied athletes’ participation histories. The purpose of this study was to investigate the developmental pathways of para-athletes toward elite performance. Data from eight athletes with physical disabilities ranked among the top performers in Paralympics, World Championships, and/or European Championships were gathered. Thematic analysis of retrospective semi-structured interviews led to the identification of four themes. The findings showed the importance of early childhood sport-related encounters in a family environment followed by sampling of various organized and coach-led sports throughout the childhood period. The youth sport period was highly heterogenous, albeit with important transitions towards elite-level practice environments, competition, coaching, equipment adaptability and the first intentions of becoming an elite-level athlete. Throughout, significant contributions are attributed towards parents, friends, coaches, athletes, and others, towards fostering a sustained motivational climate focused on improvement and further progress. These findings could provide useful information to tailor developmental models towards elite-level performance in parasport.
      Citation: Sports
      PubDate: 2022-08-15
      DOI: 10.3390/sports10080123
      Issue No: Vol. 10, No. 8 (2022)
  • Sports, Vol. 10, Pages 124: Stand up and Fight: A Case Study of a
           Professional Rugby Club Negotiating a COVID-19 Crisis, a Talent
           Development Perspective

    • Authors: Ian Costello, Sarahjane Belton, Áine MacNamara
      First page: 124
      Abstract: A wealth of literature examines the role of challenge from an individual psychological perspective, but research investigating how a talent development system can proactively support athletes to successfully meet the ever-increasing demands of top-level professional sport is less prevalent. This study takes advantage of a naturally occurring but highly atypical developmental challenge as a result of COVID-19 to examine factors influencing the efficacy and effectiveness of the talent development pathway at Munster Rugby. Players and staff (n = 12) took part in semi-structured interviews exploring their experiences of the build-up to the event, the game itself, and the impact post-event. The data were subsequently analysed using Reflexive Thematic Analysis. Players and coaches highlight the groundwork undertaken to establish alignment and coherence, both horizontally and vertically across the talent development environment, and how this contributed to navigating the challenge successfully. The findings support the necessity of both the player and the talent development system being prepared to enable players to perform at the highest level. The findings point to an overlap between the development and performance phases of a player’s journey and the need to integrate short- and long-term objectives within a talent development system.
      Citation: Sports
      PubDate: 2022-08-16
      DOI: 10.3390/sports10080124
      Issue No: Vol. 10, No. 8 (2022)
  • Sports, Vol. 10, Pages 125: The Influence of Weekly Sprint Volume and
           Maximal Velocity Exposures on Eccentric Hamstring Strength in Professional
           Football Players

    • Authors: Sunnan Shah, Kieran Collins, Lewis J. Macgregor
      First page: 125
      Abstract: Background: Hamstring strains are the most common moderate-major severity injuries in football. The majority of hamstring injuries occur during sprinting, with low eccentric hamstring strength being associated with an elevated risk. Objective: To examine the relationship between sprinting and eccentric hamstring strength by monitoring total weekly sprint distance and weekly efforts >90% and >95% of maximum velocity. Methods: Fifty-eight professional male footballers were observed over one-and-a-half seasons. Players’ running was monitored during training and matches using GPS, and eccentric hamstring strength was measured weekly. Results: Weekly sprint distance (ρ = −0.13, p < 0.01) and weekly efforts >90% of maximum velocity (ρ = −0.08, p = 0.01) both displayed significant inverse relationships with the percentage change in eccentric hamstring strength; weekly efforts >95% of maximum velocity showed no relationship with hamstring strength (ρ = −0.02, p = 0.45). Only weekly efforts >90% of maximum velocity significantly influenced the mean percentage change in eccentric hamstring force, F(3,58) = 3.71, p = 0.01, with significant differences occurring when comparing 7–8 sprint efforts with 0–2 efforts (0.11%, p = 0.03) and 5–6 efforts (0.12%, p = 0.03). Conclusions: Eccentric hamstring strength levels significantly decrease when 7–8 weekly sprint efforts are completed at >90% of maximum velocity. Monitoring weekly sprint loading at velocities >90% of maximum velocity may be valuable to help to reduce the risk of hamstring injuries in professional football.
      Citation: Sports
      PubDate: 2022-08-19
      DOI: 10.3390/sports10080125
      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

    • 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

    • 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

    • 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

    • 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

    • 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

    • 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

    • 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

    • 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

    • 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 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

    • 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

    • 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

    • 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 139: Relationship between Upper and Lower Body
           Strength and Basketball Shooting Performance

    • Authors: Dimitrije Cabarkapa, Drake A. Eserhaut, Andrew C. Fry, Damjana V. Cabarkapa, Nicolas M. Philipp, Shay M. Whiting, Gabriel G. Downey
      First page: 139
      Abstract: Strength is one of the key physiological performance attributes related to optimal on-court basketball performance. However, there is a lack of scientific literature studying how strength relates to shooting proficiency, as a key basketball skill capable of discriminating winning from losing game outcomes. Thus, the purpose of the present study was to examine the relationship between maximal upper and lower body strength and free-throw, two-point, and three-point shooting accuracy. Ten males and seven females performed bench press and back squat one repetition maximum (1RM) and basketball shooting testing during two laboratory visits. The shooting protocol consisted of five sets of 15 free-throw, two-point, and three-point shots performed in sequential order. Each set was separated by a 30 min rest interval to minimize the influence of fatigue. Each subject attempted 225 shots, combining for a total of 3825 shots. The average free-throw, two-point, and three-point shooting accuracy for men were 74.5 ± 11.9, 68.4 ± 9.9, and 53.3 ± 14.9%, and for women 79.2 ± 11.2, 65.5 ± 8.4, and 51.2 ± 15.3%, respectively. The average bench press and back squat 1RM for men was 88.2 ± 18.6 and 117.0 ± 21.2 kg, and for women, 40.6 ± 7.5 and 66.9 ± 9.9 kg, respectively. The findings of the present study revealed no significant relationships between maximal upper and lower body strength and basketball shooting performance for both male and female participants. Neither bench press nor back squat 1RM was a good predictor of free-throw, two-point, and three-point shooting performance.
      Citation: Sports
      PubDate: 2022-09-20
      DOI: 10.3390/sports10100139
      Issue No: Vol. 10, No. 10 (2022)
  • Sports, Vol. 10, Pages 140: Biochemical and Physical Performance Responses
           to a Soccer Match after a 72-Hour Recovery Period

    • Authors: Diego Marqués-Jiménez, Julio Calleja-González, Iñaki Arratibel-Imaz, Nicolás Terrados
      First page: 140
      Abstract: The physiological and neuromuscular responses at 72 h post-match are not widely researched, despite evidence showing substantial changes in recovery markers at 72 h post-match. Consequently, the aim of this study was to determine the biochemical and physical performance responses to a soccer match after a 72-h recovery period. Male soccer players of a semiprofessional team participated in this study. Before playing a friendly match, blood values of testosterone, cortisol, the testosterone-to-cortisol ratio and urea were collected and the squat jump and the Bangsbo Repeated Sprint Ability test were performed. These measurements were considered as baseline (pre match) and were obtained again after a 72-h recovery period. Results indicate that physical performance at 72 h post-match was similar to baseline (squat jump: p = 0.974; total Repeated Sprint Ability time: p = 0.381; Repeated Sprint Ability fatigue index: p = 0.864). However, perturbations in the biochemical milieu derived from the soccer match metabolic and physiological stress were still evident at this time point. While no significant differences compared to pre match were obtained in testosterone and urea concentrations after the recovery period, cortisol and testosterone-to-cortisol ratio values were significantly higher (14.74 ± 3.68 µg/dL vs. 17.83 ± 2.65 µg/dL; p = 0.045; ES 0.92 [0.00; 1.84], very likely) and lower (39.08 ± 13.26 vs. 28.29 ± 7.45; p = 0.038; ES −0.96 [−1.89; −0.04], very likely), respectively. In conclusion, soccer players have similar physical performance to the pre match after a 72-h recovery period, even with signs of biochemical and physiological stress.
      Citation: Sports
      PubDate: 2022-09-22
      DOI: 10.3390/sports10100140
      Issue No: Vol. 10, No. 10 (2022)
  • Sports, Vol. 10, Pages 141: Differences across Playing Levels for
           Match-Play Physical Demands in Women’s Professional and Collegiate
           Soccer: A Narrative Review

    • Authors: Erin Choice, James Tufano, Kristen Jagger, Kayla Hooker, Kristen C. Cochrane-Snyman
      First page: 141
      Abstract: Advancements in sport technology have made quantifying match-play external load (e.g., total distance, sprint distance, number of sprints) a popular option for athletics personnel. These variables of volume and intensity are useful for both objectively monitoring training in field-based sports and for designing training programs. As physical abilities differ across playing levels, match-play demands likely also differ. This narrative review compiles and compares the match-play external load data for women’s soccer at the professional and collegiate levels. Databases were searched through July 2022, yielding 13 primary articles that assessed the match-play demands of women’s soccer (3 professional, 8 Division I, 1 Division II, and 1 Division III). The results indicate that the average total distance covered were similar between the professional, Division I and Division III levels, but the variability was greater among Division III compared to professional and Division I players. Data for Division II are scarce, but the total distance covered appears to be less than for professional, Division I and Division III. There was also large variability for sprint distance and number of sprints across data at all playing levels. Considering the lack of studies of Division II and Division III players, more research is necessary to determine how playing level may affect external load profiles, as isolated studies likely only reflect data from isolated teams.
      Citation: Sports
      PubDate: 2022-09-22
      DOI: 10.3390/sports10100141
      Issue No: Vol. 10, No. 10 (2022)
  • Sports, Vol. 10, Pages 142: Exploring the Acute Effects of the Daily
           Mile™ vs. Shuttle Runs on Children’s Cognitive and Affective

    • Authors: Ricardo M. G. Martins, Michael J. Duncan, Cain C. T. Clark, Emma L. J. Eyre
      First page: 142
      Abstract: Background: This study investigated the acute effects of two physical activity (PA) bouts on children’s cognitive and affective responses. Methods: Twenty-nine participants (16 boys and 13 girls; Mage = 9.34 years, SD = 0.48), using a within-subjects crossover design, performed three 15-minute conditions: (a) TDM—The Daily Mile™; (b) 12 repeated 30–45-second shuttle runs at ≥ 85% HRMAX; and (c) a sedentary control condition. Cognitive performance (i.e., Stroop, Digit Span, and Corsi blocks) was measured before PA and 1 and 30 min post-PA. Felt Arousal and Feeling Scale self-report scales were administered before, during, and after PA. Results: The results show no changes following the TDM condition relative to the sedentary control condition in cognitive responses. However, when comparing the shuttle runs condition to the sedentary control condition, participants showed higher arousal, an improved reaction time, and lower self-reported pleasure at 1 min post-PA. Nevertheless, at 30 min post-PA, participants’ pleasure values were higher in the shuttle runs condition than they were before PA. Conclusions: When comparing PA conditions, shuttle runs enhanced reaction time and might thus be seen as an option to implement or modify PA opportunities in school settings.
      Citation: Sports
      PubDate: 2022-09-22
      DOI: 10.3390/sports10100142
      Issue No: Vol. 10, No. 10 (2022)
  • Sports, Vol. 10, Pages 143: Bodyweight and Combined Training Reduce
           Chronic Low-Grade Inflammation and Improve Functional Fitness of
           Postmenopausal Women

    • Authors: Marcos Raphael Pereira Monteiro, José Carlos Aragão-Santos, Alan Bruno Silva Vasconcelos, Antônio Gomes de Resende-Neto, Leury Max da Silva Chaves, Alan Pantoja Cardoso, Albernon Costa Nogueira, Angel Carnero-Diaz, Pablo Jorge Marcos-Pardo, Cristiane Bani Corrêa, Tatiana Rodrigues de Moura, Marzo Edir Da Silva-Grigoletto
      First page: 143
      Abstract: Exercise is an important tool against the deleterious effects of aging. Among the possibilities of exercise, bodyweight training (BWT) has been highlighted in the last years as a safe option to improve the health of older people. We compared the effects of 24 weeks of BWT and combined training (CT) on low-grade systematic inflammation and functional fitness in postmenopausal women. For this, 40 women were allocated and submitted to CT (n = 20, 64.43 ± 3.13 years, 29.56 ± 4.80 kg/m²) and BWT (n = 20, 65.10 ± 4.86 years, 28.76 ± 4.26 kg/m²). We measured inflammation by the interleukin-6 (IL-6), interleukin-10 (IL-10), and tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α) assessments. For functional fitness, we used tests similar to activities of daily living. At the end of the 16 weeks, data from 24 women were analyzed, CT (n = 14) and BT (n = 10). Both groups reduced TNF-α and IL-6 levels, without differences in IL-10. Regarding functional fitness, both groups demonstrated improvements in all tests after 24 weeks, except for rise from prone position and the 400-meter walk test for CT. In summary, CT and BWT are effective in reducing the plasma concentration of pro-inflammatory cytokines and improving functional fitness in postmenopausal women.
      Citation: Sports
      PubDate: 2022-09-23
      DOI: 10.3390/sports10100143
      Issue No: Vol. 10, No. 10 (2022)
  • Sports, Vol. 10, Pages 144: Validity of a Wheelchair Rugby Field Test to
           Simulate Physiological and Thermoregulatory Match Outcomes

    • Authors: Fabian Grossmann, Joelle Leonie Flueck, Bart Roelands, Romain Meeusen, Claudio Perret
      First page: 144
      Abstract: The purpose of the study was to verify the criterion-validity (concurrent) of an existing and reliable, submaximal wheelchair Rugby (WCR) field test by examining the correlations of selected measures of physical performance between the field test and real games. Therefore, ten WCR athletes were observed during two WCR real games and during completing the field test two times. Total distance, mean and peak velocity, playing time, number of sprints, sprints per minute, mean and maximal heart rate, body core temperature (Tc), sweat rate, body weight loss, rate of perceived exertion and thermal sensation were measured. Values were correlated with the data observed by completing the field test two times separated by seven days. The results showed significant correlations between games and field tests for sweat rate (r = 0.740, p < 0.001), body weight loss (r = 0.732, p < 0.001) and the increase of Tc (r = 0.611, p = 0.009). All other correlations were not significant. For perceptual responses Bland–Altman analysis showed data within the limits of agreement. Descriptive statistics showed similarity for mean velocity and total distance between tests and games. In conclusion the study provides the first indications that the submaximal field test seems comparable with the game outcomes in terms of increase in Tc, covered distance, mean velocity and perceptual responses. Nevertheless, more research and additional validation are required.
      Citation: Sports
      PubDate: 2022-09-23
      DOI: 10.3390/sports10100144
      Issue No: Vol. 10, No. 10 (2022)
  • Sports, Vol. 10, Pages 145: Relationship between Swimming Ability of
           College Students and Their Regular Exercise Habits

    • Authors: Feng-Hua Tsai, Hsiu-Tao Hsu
      First page: 145
      Abstract: Background: This study examined the relationship between the five-level swimming ability of college students and their regular exercise habits. Methods: This study applied to Academia Sinica for permission to use the raw data from the Survey on the Sports Participation Situations of Students in All Levels of Education, which was conducted by the Sports Administration, Ministry of Education, Taiwan; a secondary data analysis of the obtained data was then conducted. Results: Overall, 18,515 pieces of data were selected for analysis, and the results revealed that 85.9% of the surveyed students had learned to swim; those who had regular exercise habits exhibited a higher level of swimming ability than those without such habits. A logistic regression analysis showed that progressing to a higher level of swimming ability increased the likelihood of having regular exercise habits by 20%. Conclusions: The present study showed that level of swimming ability was significantly correlated with regular exercise habits. In the future, exercise self-efficacy theories can be applied to explore the relationship between exercise skill proficiency and regular exercise habits.
      Citation: Sports
      PubDate: 2022-09-26
      DOI: 10.3390/sports10100145
      Issue No: Vol. 10, No. 10 (2022)
  • Sports, Vol. 10, Pages 146: The Effect of Heart Rate Variability
           Biofeedback Training on Vagal Tone in Athletically Talented Secondary
           School Students

    • Authors: Andrea M. Firth, Torvald F. Ask, Stefan Sütterlin, Ricardo G. Lugo
      First page: 146
      Abstract: This study examines whether twelve sessions of heart rate variability biofeedback training would improve vagally mediated heart rate variability. If so, it would go some way in explaining why breathing-based interventions reduce clinical symptoms and improve non-clinical performance outcomes. Methods: Thirty participants (N = 30, Nfemale = 13) aged 14–13-year-old, all talented athletes, from a sport specialist school in SE London UK, were randomly divided into three groups, a control group, a psychology skills training combined with heart rate variability biofeedback training group, and a heart rate variability biofeedback only group. For the combined group, a variety of typical psychological skill training techniques were also used. Results: Paired participant t-test and the Wilcoxon Signed Rank test found non-significant differences between pre- and post-intervention measurements of heart rate variability. Non-significant results remained even after pooling the biofeedback training groups (n = 19). Conclusions: Our results do not indicate that beneficial effects associated with focused breathing training can be attributed to improved vagal tone. Further investigation into the underlying mechanisms of the benefits of focused breathing techniques is necessary to maximize clinical and non-clinical outcomes.
      Citation: Sports
      PubDate: 2022-09-27
      DOI: 10.3390/sports10100146
      Issue No: Vol. 10, No. 10 (2022)
  • Sports, Vol. 10, Pages 147: Cystine/Glutamine Mixture Supplementation
           Attenuated Fatigue during Endurance Exercise in Healthy Young Men by
           Enhancing Fatty Acid Utilization

    • Authors: Sihui Ma, Miho Ono, Ami Mizugaki, Hiroyuki Kato, Masashi Miyashita, Katsuhiko Suzuki
      First page: 147
      Abstract: Exercise-induced fatigue is a multi-origin physical and mental phenomenon. Efforts to diminish the above predisposition may contribute to endurance, along with athletic well-being, while development of nutritional strategies to optimize condition and exercise performance are essential issues for athletes and trainers. Dietary amino acids are being discussed for their specific health-promoting properties beyond their role as building blocks of proteins. Glutamine, along with cysteine, are two kinds of amino acids that are reported extensively for their anti-oxidation, anti-inflammation, and immune-regulation properties, and are promising in sport applications. In the present study, we designed a randomized, placebo-controlled, crossover trial to examine effects of 7-day supplementation of cystine/glutamine mixture (Cys2/Gln) on self-reporting fatigue index (ratings of perceived exertion, RPE), energy metabolism, and inflammation. We also employed a C2C12 myotube model to examine the capacity of cystine for fatty acid utilization. Cys2/Gln supplementation alleviated fatigue by decreasing RPE and enhanced fatty acid oxidation during a 60 min endurance exercise in human trials, while cystine increased fatty acid utilization in C2C12 myotubes by enhancing mitochondrial respiration. In summary, Cys2/Gln supplementation exerts positive effects on ameliorating exercise-induced fatigue, mechanisms of which can be attributed to enhancement of fatty acid utilization.
      Citation: Sports
      PubDate: 2022-09-27
      DOI: 10.3390/sports10100147
      Issue No: Vol. 10, No. 10 (2022)
  • Sports, Vol. 10, Pages 148: The Effects of Different Relative Loads in
           Weight Training on Acceleration and Acceleration from Flying Starts

    • Authors: Jøran Ersdal Fossmo, Roland van den Tillaar
      First page: 148
      Abstract: The purpose of this review was to examine how different relative loads in weight training can improve acceleration over 10 m from a standing or flying start. A systematic review of the literature was undertaken using the following databases: PubMed, MedLine, Google Scholar, and SPORTDiscus. Studies were eligible if they met the following criteria: (1) participants were at least 15 years or older and healthy and injury free, (2) the study included at least one exercise for the lower body with a strength training frequency of at least once a week and included a training period of at least four weeks, and (3) interventions with clear pre- and post-test results on 10 m sprint or 10 m flying start are stated. Non-English-language articles were excluded. Percent change and between-group effect size (ES) were calculated to compare the effects of different training interventions. Forty-nine studies met the inclusion criteria. The results were categorized into four groups: (1) explosive weight training with light loads at 30–60% of 1-RM, (2) explosive weight training with moderate loads at 60–85% of 1-RM, (3) maximal weight training at 85–100% of 1-RM, and (4) hypertrophy training at 60–85% of 1-RM. At 10 m, all methods of weight training demonstrated improvements, and maximal weight training demonstrated the highest results with a large ES, while other approaches varied from very small to moderate ES. Weight training showed little progression with a significantly lower effect on flying start across all training methods, except for one group that trained power cleans (hypertrophy) where progress was large. To improve acceleration over the first 10 m, this review demonstrated maximal weight training as the preferred training method. For athletes with a pre-existing high level of strength, it could be more appropriate to use explosive training with light loads or a combination of the two. To a lesser extent, acceleration from a flying start could be improved using both training methods as well.
      Citation: Sports
      PubDate: 2022-09-27
      DOI: 10.3390/sports10100148
      Issue No: Vol. 10, No. 10 (2022)
  • Sports, Vol. 10, Pages 149: Injuries and Strength Training Practices in
           Collegiate Tennis

    • Authors: Ecaterina Vasenina, William B. Hammert, Ryo Kataoka, Scott J. Dankel, Samuel L. Buckner
      First page: 149
      Abstract: Strength and conditioning practices may influence injury rates in the sport of tennis. Methods: Coaches reported the number injuries over the past year. Coaches were also surveyed on whether their training program included training related to upper-body or lower-body strength, power, muscle growth, and eccentric exercise. Separate regression analyses were run in the upper and lower body to examine the relationship between injuries and participation in training focused on strength, power, growth, and maximal eccentric exercise. A total of 111 coaches were surveyed. The most frequent injuries observed were ankle sprains (144 injures), followed by paraspinal muscle strains (126 injuries). When pooled, there were a total of 355 lower-body and 260 upper-body injuries. Strength and conditioning practices explained 9.9% of the variance of injury rates in the upper body (R2 = 0.099). The only significant predictor of upper-body injury was participation in upper-body muscle growth training (β = 1.613, p = 0.013). In addition, training practices explained 11.1% of the variance of injury in the lower body (R2 = 0.111). Coaches value injury prevention exercise, sports-specific training and flexibility and mobility training the most, with muscle growth and maximal power ranked lowest. Additionally, the most frequent injuries observed in collegiate tennis players were ankle sprains (144 injures), followed by paraspinal muscle strains (126 injuries).
      Citation: Sports
      PubDate: 2022-09-29
      DOI: 10.3390/sports10100149
      Issue No: Vol. 10, No. 10 (2022)
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