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Sports, Volume 10, Issue 7 (July 2022) – 14 articles

Cover Story (view full-size image): 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 extracellular fluid shifts, subcutaneous thickness (ST), and hydration status. Secondarily, it aimed 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 the peak week, including competition morning. The 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. View this paper
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12 pages, 544 KiB  
Article
Acute Effect of Upper-Lower Body Super-Set vs. Traditional-Set Configurations on Bar Execution Velocity and Volume
by Guillermo Peña García-Orea, David Rodríguez-Rosell, Daniel Segarra-Carrillo, Marzo Edir Da Silva-Grigoletto and Noelia Belando-Pedreño
Sports 2022, 10(7), 110; https://doi.org/10.3390/sports10070110 - 14 Jul 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 6972
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 [...] Read more.
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. Full article
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9 pages, 663 KiB  
Article
Effects of Interrupted Daily Routine Due to COVID-19 on Circadian Chronotype and Leisure Time Physical Activity
by Justine M. Renziehausen and David H. Fukuda
Sports 2022, 10(7), 109; https://doi.org/10.3390/sports10070109 - 14 Jul 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1586
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 [...] Read more.
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. Full article
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7 pages, 518 KiB  
Article
Morphological Characteristics and Situational Precision of U15 and U16 Elite Male Players from Al-Ahli Handball Club (Bahrein)
by Boris Banjevic, Boris Zarkovic, Borko Katanic, Blazo Jabucanin, Stevo Popovic and Bojan Masanovic
Sports 2022, 10(7), 108; https://doi.org/10.3390/sports10070108 - 6 Jul 2022
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1774
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 [...] Read more.
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. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Talent Identification and Development in Youth Sports)
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11 pages, 1161 KiB  
Article
The Influence of Competitive Level on Stretch-Shortening Cycle Function in Young Female Gymnasts
by Sylvia Moeskops, Jason S. Pedley, Jon L. Oliver and Rhodri S. Lloyd
Sports 2022, 10(7), 107; https://doi.org/10.3390/sports10070107 - 6 Jul 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1703
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 = [...] Read more.
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. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Strength and Conditioning and Performance Monitoring in Sports)
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19 pages, 2050 KiB  
Case Report
Can Bodybuilding Peak Week Manipulations Favorably Affect Muscle Size, Subcutaneous Thickness, and Related Body Composition Variables? A Case Study
by Christopher Barakat, Guillermo Escalante, Scott W. Stevenson, Joshua T. Bradshaw, Andrew Barsuhn, Grant M. Tinsley and Joseph Walters
Sports 2022, 10(7), 106; https://doi.org/10.3390/sports10070106 - 5 Jul 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 6361
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 [...] Read more.
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. Full article
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19 pages, 396 KiB  
Hypothesis
The Athlete’s Paradox: Adaptable Depression
by Weronika Jasmina Forys and Tracey Tokuhama-Espinosa
Sports 2022, 10(7), 105; https://doi.org/10.3390/sports10070105 - 30 Jun 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 5002
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 [...] Read more.
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. Full article
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17 pages, 1335 KiB  
Article
Applicability of an Immersive Virtual Reality Exercise Training System for Office Workers during Working Hours
by Evlalia Touloudi, Mary Hassandra, Evangelos Galanis, Marios Goudas and Yannis Theodorakis
Sports 2022, 10(7), 104; https://doi.org/10.3390/sports10070104 - 29 Jun 2022
Cited by 10 | Viewed by 4396
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 [...] Read more.
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. Full article
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11 pages, 1409 KiB  
Review
Does Physical Activity in Natural Outdoor Environments Improve Wellbeing? A Meta-Analysis
by Caitlin Kelley, Diane E. Mack and Philip M. Wilson
Sports 2022, 10(7), 103; https://doi.org/10.3390/sports10070103 - 29 Jun 2022
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 3523
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 [...] Read more.
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. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue 2nd Edition: Physical Activity and Mental Health)
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15 pages, 2600 KiB  
Article
Effect of 3 vs. 3 Soccer Small-Sided Game on Various Performance, Inflammatory, Muscle Damage and Hormonal Indicators in Semi-Professional Players
by Evangelos Bekris, Dimitrios I. Bourdas, Eleftherios Mylonis, Ioannis Ispirlidis, Emmanouil D. Zacharakis and Athanasios Katis
Sports 2022, 10(7), 102; https://doi.org/10.3390/sports10070102 - 28 Jun 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1923
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) [...] Read more.
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. Full article
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10 pages, 3234 KiB  
Article
The Relative Age Effect in the Best Track and Field Athletes Aged 10 to 15 Years Old
by Eduard Bezuglov, Maria Shoshorina, Anton Emanov, Nadezhda Semenyuk, Larisa Shagiakhmetova, Alexandr Cherkashin, Bekzhan Pirmakhanov and Ryland Morgans
Sports 2022, 10(7), 101; https://doi.org/10.3390/sports10070101 - 28 Jun 2022
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 2062
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 [...] Read more.
(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. Full article
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8 pages, 379 KiB  
Article
Effects of 5-Week of FIFA 11+ Warm-Up Program on Explosive Strength, Speed, and Perception of Physical Exertion in Elite Female Futsal Athletes
by Antonino Patti, Valerio Giustino, Stefania Cataldi, Vito Stoppa, Federica Ferrando, Riccardo Marvulli, Giacomo Farì, Şahin Fatma Neşe, Antonino Bianco, Antonella Muscella, Gianpiero Greco and Francesco Fischetti
Sports 2022, 10(7), 100; https://doi.org/10.3390/sports10070100 - 27 Jun 2022
Cited by 10 | Viewed by 3311
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 [...] Read more.
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. Full article
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10 pages, 1279 KiB  
Article
Perception of Affordances for Dribbling in Soccer: Exploring Children as Architects of Skill Development Opportunity
by Michael J. Duncan, Ricardo Martins, Mark Noon and Emma L. J. Eyre
Sports 2022, 10(7), 99; https://doi.org/10.3390/sports10070099 - 24 Jun 2022
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 3273
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) [...] Read more.
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. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Talent Identification and Development in Youth Sports)
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16 pages, 340 KiB  
Review
Resistance Exercise for Improving Running Economy and Running Biomechanics and Decreasing Running-Related Injury Risk: A Narrative Review
by Anja Šuc, Pija Šarko, Jernej Pleša and Žiga Kozinc
Sports 2022, 10(7), 98; https://doi.org/10.3390/sports10070098 - 24 Jun 2022
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 8773
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 [...] Read more.
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. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Strength and Power Training in Individual and Team Sports)
15 pages, 321 KiB  
Article
Does Relative Age Influence Organized Sport and Unorganized Physical Activity Participation in a Cohort of Adolescents?
by Kristy L. Smith, Mathieu Bélanger, Laura Chittle, Jess C. Dixon, Sean Horton and Patricia L. Weir
Sports 2022, 10(7), 97; https://doi.org/10.3390/sports10070097 - 23 Jun 2022
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 2321
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 [...] Read more.
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. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Talent Identification and Development in Youth Sports)
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