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Sports, Volume 10, Issue 6 (June 2022) – 17 articles

Cover Story (view full-size image): This original research examined the possible inter-limb ankle joint range of motion differences due to different knee joint angles and handedness (namely, the preferred arm to execute the shot) and their combined effect on vertical jump performance in young adult handball players. Twelve male U21 handball players were tested in vertical jumps with and without countermovement, as well as with and without an arm swing. Results revealed no lateral differences in ankle flexibility due to handedness. In addition, the active ankle range of motion when the knee joint was flexed at 40° was highly positively correlated with jump performance except for the arm-swing countermovement jump. It is concluded that the flexibility of the ankle joint affects the ability to generate impulse during vertical jumps tests and should be taught to young handball players. View this paper
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11 pages, 7699 KiB  
Case Report
The Effect of Blade Alignment on Kinematics and Plantar Pressure during the Execution of Goaltender-Specific Movement Patterns: A Case Study
by Colin Dunne, Michael Holmes and Kelly Lockwood
Sports 2022, 10(6), 96; https://doi.org/10.3390/sports10060096 - 20 Jun 2022
Viewed by 1853
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. [...] Read more.
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. Full article
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11 pages, 287 KiB  
Review
Stubborn Exercise Responders–Where to Next?
by Leo R. Bell, Tim J. Gabbett, Gregory M. Davis, Matthew P. Wallen and Brendan J. O’Brien
Sports 2022, 10(6), 95; https://doi.org/10.3390/sports10060095 - 10 Jun 2022
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 3334
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 [...] Read more.
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. Full article
20 pages, 3359 KiB  
Review
Programming Plyometric-Jump Training in Soccer: A Review
by Rodrigo Ramirez-Campillo, Jason Moran, Jon L. Oliver, Jason S. Pedley, Rhodri S. Lloyd and Urs Granacher
Sports 2022, 10(6), 94; https://doi.org/10.3390/sports10060094 - 10 Jun 2022
Cited by 14 | Viewed by 7689
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 [...] Read more.
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. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Science and Practice of Grassroots Soccer)
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43 pages, 464 KiB  
Conference Report
SCS 4th Annual Conference: Strength and Conditioning for Human Performance, Porto, Portugal, 2021
by Pedro E. Alcaraz, Tomás T. Freitas, Elena Marín-Cascales, Anthony J. Blazevich, José Oliveira, Susana Soares and João P. Vilas-Boas
Sports 2022, 10(6), 93; https://doi.org/10.3390/sports10060093 - 10 Jun 2022
Viewed by 5254
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, [...] Read more.
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. Full article
24 pages, 2530 KiB  
Article
Mental Toughness Development via Military-Style Training in the NCAA: A Three-Phase, Mixed-Method Study of the Perspectives of Strength and Conditioning Coaches
by Andreas Stamatis, Grant B. Morgan, Patrick Nyamaruze and Panagiotis Koutakis
Sports 2022, 10(6), 92; https://doi.org/10.3390/sports10060092 - 9 Jun 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2560
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 [...] Read more.
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. Full article
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27 pages, 1777 KiB  
Review
Golf Swing Biomechanics: A Systematic Review and Methodological Recommendations for Kinematics
by Maxime Bourgain, Philippe Rouch, Olivier Rouillon, Patricia Thoreux and Christophe Sauret
Sports 2022, 10(6), 91; https://doi.org/10.3390/sports10060091 - 9 Jun 2022
Cited by 11 | Viewed by 9226
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 [...] Read more.
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. Full article
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10 pages, 505 KiB  
Article
Energy Consumption of Water Running and Cycling at Four Exercise Intensities
by Sabrina Demarie, Emanuele Chirico, Cecilia Bratta and Cristina Cortis
Sports 2022, 10(6), 90; https://doi.org/10.3390/sports10060090 - 8 Jun 2022
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 2333
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 [...] Read more.
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. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Health and Performance of Water Based Exercise and Sports)
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11 pages, 469 KiB  
Review
Multivariate Training Programs during Physical Education Classes in School Context: Theoretical Considerations and Future Perspectives
by Avelino Silva, Ricardo Ferraz, Pedro Forte, José E. Teixeira, Luís Branquinho and Daniel A. Marinho
Sports 2022, 10(6), 89; https://doi.org/10.3390/sports10060089 - 3 Jun 2022
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 2603
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 [...] Read more.
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. Full article
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16 pages, 3102 KiB  
Article
Could Proprioceptive Stimuli Change Saddle Pressure on Male Cyclists during Different Hand Positions? An Exploratory Study of the Effect of the Equistasi® Device
by Annamaria Guiotto, Fabiola Spolaor, Giovanni Albani and Zimi Sawacha
Sports 2022, 10(6), 88; https://doi.org/10.3390/sports10060088 - 2 Jun 2022
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1913
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 [...] Read more.
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. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sports Injury: Prevention and Rehabilitation)
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3 pages, 190 KiB  
Editorial
Special Issue “Optimising Interval Training Prescription”
by François Billaut
Sports 2022, 10(6), 87; https://doi.org/10.3390/sports10060087 - 2 Jun 2022
Viewed by 1634
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 [...] Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Optimising Interval Training Prescription)
12 pages, 541 KiB  
Article
Relationship of Vertical Jump Performance and Ankle Joint Range of Motion: Effect of Knee Joint Angle and Handedness in Young Adult Handball Players
by Vassilios Panoutsakopoulos, Mariana C. Kotzamanidou, Athanasios K. Giannakos and Iraklis A. Kollias
Sports 2022, 10(6), 86; https://doi.org/10.3390/sports10060086 - 28 May 2022
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 3552
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 [...] Read more.
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. Full article
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19 pages, 593 KiB  
Systematic Review
Effect of Pre-Season Training on Physiological and Biochemical Indices in Basketball Players—A Systematic Review
by Dimitrios Mexis, Tzortzis Nomikos and Nikolaos Kostopoulos
Sports 2022, 10(6), 85; https://doi.org/10.3390/sports10060085 - 26 May 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2912
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 [...] Read more.
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. Full article
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11 pages, 305 KiB  
Review
The Key Role of Nutritional Elements on Sport Rehabilitation and the Effects of Nutrients Intake
by Sousana K. Papadopoulou, Maria Mantzorou, Foivi Kondyli-Sarika, Ioanna Alexandropoulou, Jannis Papathanasiou, Gavriela Voulgaridou and Pantelis T. Nikolaidis
Sports 2022, 10(6), 84; https://doi.org/10.3390/sports10060084 - 26 May 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 9090
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 [...] Read more.
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. Full article
22 pages, 336 KiB  
Article
Tough Love—Impactful, Caring Coaching in Psychologically Unsafe Environments
by Jamie Taylor, Michael Ashford and Dave Collins
Sports 2022, 10(6), 83; https://doi.org/10.3390/sports10060083 - 25 May 2022
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 5218
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 [...] Read more.
(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. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Talent Identification and Development in Youth Sports)
16 pages, 651 KiB  
Article
Happy Birthday? Relative Age Benefits and Decrements on the Rocky Road
by Neil McCarthy, Jamie Taylor, Andrew Cruickshank and Dave Collins
Sports 2022, 10(6), 82; https://doi.org/10.3390/sports10060082 - 24 May 2022
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 4510
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 [...] Read more.
(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. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Talent Identification and Development in Youth Sports)
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16 pages, 552 KiB  
Review
Methodological Approaches to Talent Identification in Team Sports: A Narrative Review
by Sam Barraclough, Kevin Till, Adam Kerr and Stacey Emmonds
Sports 2022, 10(6), 81; https://doi.org/10.3390/sports10060081 - 24 May 2022
Cited by 13 | Viewed by 6419
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 [...] Read more.
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. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Talent Identification and Development in Youth Sports)
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26 pages, 4702 KiB  
Systematic Review
Exploratory Systematic Review of Mixed Martial Arts: An Overview of Performance of Importance Factors with over 20,000 Athletes
by 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 and João G. Claudino
Sports 2022, 10(6), 80; https://doi.org/10.3390/sports10060080 - 24 May 2022
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 7203
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, [...] Read more.
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. Full article
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