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New Trends in Fitness and Sports Performance Analysis

A special issue of Applied Sciences (ISSN 2076-3417). This special issue belongs to the section "Applied Biosciences and Bioengineering".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (22 December 2022) | Viewed by 29343

Special Issue Editor


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Guest Editor
Physical Education and Sport Area, Faculty of Education, University of Alicante, Alicante, Spain
Interests: sports performance analysis; sports technology; biomechanics; notational analysis; sports physiology; exercise testing; physical training; strength and conditioning; rowing
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

It is a pleasure to present this Special Issue about new trends in fitness and sports performance analysis. Sports science is a discipline that draws from physics, medicine, biology, physiology, etc., to give insight into the ever-demanding challenges of the current sport field. Science being applied to sports has made it possible to constantly improve sports results as well as exceed the limits expected of humans. There are many contributions of science that have been applied to sport. Research increases knowledge about the physiology of athletes. Didactic studies allow improvements in the execution of sports techniques and new training methods to be established. Computer science and technology allow the biomechanical study of body movement and technique.

Sport performance analysis is a multidisciplinary scientific specialty with the objective to analyze sports situations in training and competitions. Performance analysis in sport is one of the leading topics in sport science to provide a better understanding of athletic development and to devise more effective methods for improving performance. The main objectives of performance analysis are to improve scientific knowledge within sports and to assist coaches, athletes, and sport science support officers with highly accurate, clear, and objective information to better interpret the nature of athletic performance. The relationship between cause and effect is based on comparing what has happened under specific conditions with what could have happened under different conditions. The possibility of developing effective scientific knowledge needs to focus on explanatory models applicable to known conditions such as sports specialty, athlete's level, or specific situations. There is no single model of sports success—possibilities for improvement must be found based on certain known conditions. This Special Issue about new trends in fitness and sports performance analysis is a good opportunity for sport scientists to publish their results in practical papers.

Dr. Alfonso Penichet-Tomás
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

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Keywords

  • performance
  • technology
  • biomechanics
  • notational analysis
  • exercise training
  • physiology
  • exercise testing
  • endurance
  • strength and conditioning

Published Papers (9 papers)

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Research

6 pages, 2350 KiB  
Communication
An Optical Intervention to Improve Cycling Time Trials: A Feasibility Study
by Dries Matthys, Jochen Vleugels, Kathleen Denis, Tim Dieryckx and Stijn Verwulgen
Appl. Sci. 2023, 13(5), 3274; https://doi.org/10.3390/app13053274 - 3 Mar 2023
Viewed by 1297
Abstract
(1) Background: Many professional and recreational cyclists experience that neck extension in time trial position negatively impacts either speed, comfort, or power production—especially at high cycling speeds or for long distances. We conducted a feasibility study with one subject to assess whether redirecting [...] Read more.
(1) Background: Many professional and recreational cyclists experience that neck extension in time trial position negatively impacts either speed, comfort, or power production—especially at high cycling speeds or for long distances. We conducted a feasibility study with one subject to assess whether redirecting the sight of a cyclist while in time trial position could reduce aerodynamic drag and neck strain by maintaining a more neutral neck position. (2) Methods: A physical immersive exercise bike was developed (called a FAAST-trainer) that emulates posture, velocity, and power to be delivered by the user through an adaptable power load adjusted in real time. As an optical intervention, we used prism glasses to redirect the cyclist’s sight. The subject trained his perceptive-muscular system while cycling on the FAAST-trainer to get used to wearing prism glasses. He feels confident that the glasses are safe to test for future experiments in a velodrome. (3) Results: A consistent reduction in drag was found (p < 001) when wearing prism glasses with the FAAST-trainer, ranging from 3.5% to 4.7%. Accordingly, the cyclist could thus save between 9.7 watts and 13.0 watts cycling at 45 km/h, compared to having his head in an upright position. (4) Conclusions: Our experiment on the FAAST-trainer indicates that an optical intervention to reduce neck extension by redirecting sight might be safe to use for outdoor cycling. However, no vestibular effects, neither auditive nor complex combinations, were assessed, so we recommend additional research and development of a dedicated design for the prism glasses. Outdoor experiments should be conducted to confirm this reduction in aerodynamic drag and further asses the safety when wearing prism glasses. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Trends in Fitness and Sports Performance Analysis)
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15 pages, 1523 KiB  
Article
Criterion Validity and Reliability of the Compact Infrared-Based Photocell ADR Jumping to Estimate Vertical Jump
by Lamberto Villalon-Gasch, Alfonso Penichet-Tomas, Javier Olaya-Cuartero and Jose M. Jimenez-Olmedo
Appl. Sci. 2023, 13(5), 3151; https://doi.org/10.3390/app13053151 - 28 Feb 2023
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1933
Abstract
This study aimed to determine the criterion validity of the ADR jumping photocell when compared to a motion capture system and to examine the within-session test–retest reliability of the instrument. Thirteen highly trained female volleyball players performed ten countermovement jumps (CMJ) with two [...] Read more.
This study aimed to determine the criterion validity of the ADR jumping photocell when compared to a motion capture system and to examine the within-session test–retest reliability of the instrument. Thirteen highly trained female volleyball players performed ten countermovement jumps (CMJ) with two minutes rest in-between trials. Jumps were recorded simultaneously by both devices to compare the outcomes. The main results showed significant mean differences between devices (10.6 cm, p < 0.001; ES = 0.9), high Spearman’s correlations (ρ = 0.95), weak CCC (0.25), and SEE = 0.92 cm. Bland–Altman’s plot indicated high systematic errors (10.5 cm), heteroscedasticity of error (slope = 0.026), and all values included among the limits of agreement. The within-session reliability (internal consistency) was very high (ICC = 0.96; CCC = 0.94; SEM = 1.18 cm; CV = 4.21%). In addition, the sensitivity of the instrument showed values of SWC = 0.33 cm. In conclusion, ADR jumping is a valid instrument for the estimation of CMJ in highly trained female volleyball players. Furthermore, the instrument is shown to be a consistent tool in the measurement of CMJ. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Trends in Fitness and Sports Performance Analysis)
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13 pages, 624 KiB  
Article
How Do Player Substitutions Influence Men’s UEFA Champions League Soccer Matches?
by Blanca Iglesias, Juan M. García-Ceberino, Javier García-Rubio and Sergio J. Ibáñez
Appl. Sci. 2022, 12(22), 11371; https://doi.org/10.3390/app122211371 - 9 Nov 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1349
Abstract
Coaches’ player substitution strategies can change the tactical behavior and the final result of matches. This empirical study aims to describe the relationship/association of player substitution variables with the results of men’s UEFA Champions League matches during the 2018–2019 season. A total of [...] Read more.
Coaches’ player substitution strategies can change the tactical behavior and the final result of matches. This empirical study aims to describe the relationship/association of player substitution variables with the results of men’s UEFA Champions League matches during the 2018–2019 season. A total of 125 matches were analyzed using an ad hoc observation sheet created for this purpose. To measure the degree and strength of association between the variables studied, Chi-square and Cramer’s V tests were used, respectively. In turn, the Adjusted Standardized Residuals from the contingency tables were calculated to detect patterns of association. Likewise, a decision tree, in particular, the CHAID method, was used to predict and identify interactions. Player substitutions affect the final result and the findings prove it. An own team’s goal after 5–10 minutes of player substitution was win-related (positive impact) (90.40%, ASRs = 10.40), while an opposing team’s goal after 5–10 minutes of player substitution was loss-related (negative impact) (90.30%, ASRs = 10.30). Regardless of the match status, the positive impact increased the winning percentage. Furthermore, the match status was postulated as an indicator of the need to make player substitutions. It showed that player substitutions could determine the final result when teams were tying. On the other hand, the match location was not a differentiating factor between winning and losing teams, although the winning percentage was somewhat higher for home teams. Coaches could use this information to establish player substitution strategies that would allow them to perform at their best. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Trends in Fitness and Sports Performance Analysis)
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9 pages, 275 KiB  
Article
Analysis of Errors and Winners in Men’s and Women’s Professional Padel
by Adrián Escudero-Tena, Diego Muñoz, Bernardino Javier Sánchez-Alcaraz, Javier García-Rubio and Sergio J. Ibáñez
Appl. Sci. 2022, 12(16), 8125; https://doi.org/10.3390/app12168125 - 13 Aug 2022
Cited by 22 | Viewed by 1531
Abstract
The objective was to analyze the effectiveness in men’s and women’s professional padel of errors and winners depending on the type of shot and the importance of the situation during each game. In addition, differences between men and women were identified. The sample [...] Read more.
The objective was to analyze the effectiveness in men’s and women’s professional padel of errors and winners depending on the type of shot and the importance of the situation during each game. In addition, differences between men and women were identified. The sample was made up of 2759 points corresponding to the games that finished with a golden point from matches played in the 2021 season of the World Padel Tour circuit. The results show men and women make more errors (men: 58.7%; women: 63.2%) than winners (men: 41.3%; women: 36.8%), and this difference increases as the importance of the points increases in men’s padel; however, the opposite happens in women’s padel. Trays and smashes are the most characteristic last shots in men’s and women’s padel (hits with which more winners are achieved), followed by back wall shots (shots where more errors are made) and then drive and backhand volleys. In men’s padel there are more winning shots and fewer errors than in women’s padel, except in the golden points, where men make more errors than women. These considerations are of great importance, as they help the players to know the most effective way to finish points according to the situation of the game. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Trends in Fitness and Sports Performance Analysis)
10 pages, 278 KiB  
Article
Physical Development Differences between Professional Soccer Players from Different Competitive Levels
by Cíntia França, Andreas Ihle, Adilson Marques, Hugo Sarmento, Francisco Martins, Ricardo Henriques and Élvio Rúbio Gouveia
Appl. Sci. 2022, 12(14), 7343; https://doi.org/10.3390/app12147343 - 21 Jul 2022
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 2210
Abstract
In soccer, physical development is crucial for developing optimal performance. This study aimed to assess and compare the physical development of elite and non-elite professional soccer players. Seventy-eight male professional football players divided into four competitive levels participated in this study: the elite [...] Read more.
In soccer, physical development is crucial for developing optimal performance. This study aimed to assess and compare the physical development of elite and non-elite professional soccer players. Seventy-eight male professional football players divided into four competitive levels participated in this study: the elite group (EG), the non-elite group A (NEG-A), the non-elite group B (NEG-B), and the under 23 group (U23). Body composition, static strength, lower-body explosive strength, flexibility, and balance were assessed. No significant statistical differences between elite and non-elite players were seen in body composition parameters. However, the EG performed better in static strength, lower-body explosive strength, flexibility, and balance, even after adjusting for the effects of chronological age. The analysis showed that the competitive level (group) explained 25% to 29% of the variance observed in the lower-body explosive strength tasks. Sports staff and coaches in different age categories or competitive levels should include specific lower-body explosive strength content during soccer training to promote players’ long-term development towards the elite level. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Trends in Fitness and Sports Performance Analysis)
7 pages, 562 KiB  
Article
Development of the Effect of Video Assistant Referee Application on Football Parameters
by Hakan Buyukcelebi, Serkan Duz, Mahmut Acak, Umut Nalbant, Karel Svatora, Tomasz Gabrys and Raci Karayigit
Appl. Sci. 2022, 12(12), 6088; https://doi.org/10.3390/app12126088 - 15 Jun 2022
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 4432
Abstract
The Video Assistant Referee (VAR) application is a technological development that gives referees the chance to review their critical decisions. The current study aimed to determine the effect of the VAR system in international football organizations on the game over the years. The [...] Read more.
The Video Assistant Referee (VAR) application is a technological development that gives referees the chance to review their critical decisions. The current study aimed to determine the effect of the VAR system in international football organizations on the game over the years. The sample of the study consists of 115 football matches, specifically 64 matches played in the 2018 FIFA World Cup and 51 matches played in the 2020 European Football Championship. In the competitions handled, the number of goals, the number of yellow cards, the number of red cards, the first half time, the second half time, the total match time, the number of penalties and the number of offsides were examined. The Mann–Whitney U test was used to compare two independent groups. As a result, in the 2020 European Football Championship, there was a decrease in the second half time (p = 0.01) and total match time (p = 0.01), and a significant increase in the number of offsides (p = 0.03) compared to the 2018 FIFA World Cup. On the other hand, there was no significant difference between the two tournaments in the variables of number of goals, number of yellow cards, number of red cards, half time and penalty shootout (p > 0.05). In light of the data obtained, it can be said that the effect of the VAR system on the spirit of the game will decrease as the share of the VAR system in the pauses during the competition decreases over the years. The data revealed in the study may be a clue to explaining why the effect of the VAR system on game dynamics and game spirit has decreased over the years. Therefore, the concerns of football stakeholders about the effects of the system on the game may gradually decrease with the arrangements made for VAR. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Trends in Fitness and Sports Performance Analysis)
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8 pages, 1290 KiB  
Article
Effects of Agility Training on Skill-Related Physical Capabilities in Young Volleyball Players
by Chia-Hung Chuang, Min-Hao Hung, Chi-Yao Chang, Yung-Yi Wang and Kuo-Chuan Lin
Appl. Sci. 2022, 12(4), 1904; https://doi.org/10.3390/app12041904 - 11 Feb 2022
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 9346
Abstract
The aim of this study was to examine the effects of different agility training methods on skill-related physical capabilities in young volleyball players. Twenty-seven young female volleyball players were randomly assigned to a shuttle-run training group (STG, n = 9), an agility-ladder training [...] Read more.
The aim of this study was to examine the effects of different agility training methods on skill-related physical capabilities in young volleyball players. Twenty-seven young female volleyball players were randomly assigned to a shuttle-run training group (STG, n = 9), an agility-ladder training group (ATG, n = 9), and a control group (CG, n = 9). The intervention program was carried out three times a week for six weeks. Before and after the training period, participants’ 10 m sprint (10 MS), agility T-test, and digging agility test (DAT) performances were assessed. Within-group analysis showed significant improvements (p < 0.05) in the DAT, agility T-test, and 10 MS performance from pre- to post-test for the STG (6.08%, 2.64%, and 5.68%, respectively) and ATG (4.05%, 3.28%, and 3.27%, respectively). In the group analysis, there were significant differences (p < 0.05) between the STG and CG in the DAT and agility T-test. The STG and ATG were significantly superior to the CG in the 10 MS (p < 0.05). In conclusion, the results indicate that appropriate agility training can enhance the agility of lateral movements and speed of sprinting, as well as enable players to rapidly complete movements during a moving defense. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Trends in Fitness and Sports Performance Analysis)
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13 pages, 751 KiB  
Article
Golf-Putting Performance in Skilled Golfers at Different Distances to the Hole
by Gonçalo Dias, Micael Couceiro, Pedro Mendes, Ricardo Gomes, Rui Mendes, Vasco Vaz, Fernando Martins, José Gama and Maria António Castro
Appl. Sci. 2021, 11(24), 11785; https://doi.org/10.3390/app112411785 - 11 Dec 2021
Viewed by 2454
Abstract
Golf putting occurs under highly variable conditions. Therefore, adapting to different putting distances is a challenge that the golfer faces and understanding the variables underlying performance in this task is important. The main objective of this study was to analyse the golf-putting performance [...] Read more.
Golf putting occurs under highly variable conditions. Therefore, adapting to different putting distances is a challenge that the golfer faces and understanding the variables underlying performance in this task is important. The main objective of this study was to analyse the golf-putting performance in skilled golfers at different distances to the hole. Fourteen highly skilled golfers, adult male and right-handed (41.5 ± 13.2 years with an average handicap of 2.3 ± 1.7) performed the golf putting on a natural grass green, completing a total of 120 randomly ordered trials, 30 trials at each of the four different practice conditions (1, 2, 3, and 4 m away from the hole). A smart engineered putter (InPutter) was used as the data acquisition instrument to record several process variables at 100 Hz. Results indicated that golf-putting distances constrained movement organisation variables in specific ways. For example, as the distance to the hole changes, so do the informational constraints, shaping how a golfer needs to regulate performance. We concluded that the effects of different golf-putting distances required the implementation of functional solutions uniquely adjusted to each player. Furthermore, the perception that the player withdrew from the properties of the context (e.g., distance to the hole) was important to adapt the golf-putting process variables (e.g., amplitude and duration of the movement, among others). All these factors led to a decisive influence on how the golfer hit the ball and adjusted his performance. A major implication of developing a better understanding of the role of performance in golf putting is that coaches and players should allow functional movement behaviours to emerge during practice. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Trends in Fitness and Sports Performance Analysis)
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15 pages, 1800 KiB  
Article
Modification of Angular Kinematics and Spatiotemporal Parameters during Running after Central and Peripheral Fatigue
by Alberto Encarnación-Martínez, Pedro Pérez-Soriano, Roberto Sanchis-Sanchis, Rafael Berenguer-Vidal and Antonio García-Gallart
Appl. Sci. 2021, 11(14), 6610; https://doi.org/10.3390/app11146610 - 19 Jul 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2140
Abstract
Fatigue causes kinematics modifications during running, and it could be related to injuries. The aim was to identify and compare the effects of central and peripheral fatigue on angular kinematics and spatiotemporal parameters during running. Angular kinematics and spatiotemporal parameters were evaluated using [...] Read more.
Fatigue causes kinematics modifications during running, and it could be related to injuries. The aim was to identify and compare the effects of central and peripheral fatigue on angular kinematics and spatiotemporal parameters during running. Angular kinematics and spatiotemporal parameters were evaluated using an infrared motion capture system and were registered during 2 min treadmill running in pre- and post-fatigue states in eighteen male recreational runners. Central fatigue was induced by a 30 min running fatigue protocol on a treadmill, while peripheral fatigue in quadriceps and hamstrings muscles was induced by an isokinetic dynamometer fatigue protocol. Central fatigue increased the anterior shank oscillation during the initial contact, knee flexion during the maximum absorption, posterior shank oscillation during propulsion, and stance time (p < 0.05). Peripheral fatigue decreased ankle dorsiflexion during initial contact and increased knee flexion and posterior shank oscillation during propulsion (p < 0.05). Moreover, central fatigue increased to a greater extent the hip and knee flexion and ankle dorsiflexion during initial contact and maximum absorption as well as stance time and propulsion time (p < 0.05). These results suggested that central fatigue causes greater increases in the range of movements during the midstance than peripheral fatigue. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Trends in Fitness and Sports Performance Analysis)
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