Applied Sports Science newsletter – August 31, 2016

Applied Sports Science news articles, blog posts and research papers for August 31, 2016


Chris Bosh of Miami Heat boosting workout efforts in hopes of return

ESPN NBA, Michael Wallace from August 29, 2016

With training camp scheduled to open in less than a month, Miami Heat forward Chris Bosh has increased his basketball workouts in hopes of returning to the court this season.

Bosh posted a series of workout videos on one of his social media accounts Monday and suggested he’s ready to resume his basketball career after each of his past two seasons were cut short by blood clots.


Even Roger Federer Gets Old

The New York Times, SundayReview, Brian Phillips from August 28, 2016

… I keep telling myself that on the grand scale of mortality, one knee injury doesn’t weigh much. Federer says he wants to play a few more years, and missing a couple of majors doesn’t mean that he won’t be able to do it. It doesn’t even mean that he won’t keep playing at the same near peak of almost greatness he’s occupied since his run of unquestioned dominance over the sport ended — but gently, oh, so gently — in 2009 or so.

Still, this injury feels a little different from the average tennis setback. It feels different even from the average season-scuttling, surgery-necessitating setback that makes you worry a player will never be the same. I’ve been thinking about why it feels different, especially in light of two small but significant Federer occurrences that took place this month.


Tennis-Djokovic advances but new concerns rise over fitness

Yahoo Sports, Reuters from August 29, 2016

… Djokovic arrived in New York having been hampered by a left wrist injury and distracted by undisclosed “private matters” and on Monday trainers were called out early in the opening set to work on his right forearm.

Several times during the two hour, 37 minute match, Djokovic could be seen grimacing when hitting his powerful forehand, while his serve rarely looked threatening, stuck at around 100 mph.

“It was just prevention, it’s all good,” Djokovic told reporters. “Look, each day presents us some kind of challenges that we need to accept and overcome.


Don’t Waste Good Time

Medium, METER Magazine from July 09, 2016

… Give yourself the chance to make use of the fitness you worked so hard to build. Yes, you can keep training hard and race well. But ultimately, what are you training for? To be in great shape for training? Or to try to run faster than you ever have? I cut back from 115 miles a week to 60 the week before my 51:01 10-miler, and with two days to go was bursting out of my skin with bring-it-on eagerness. I should have tapered similarly for my other key races that season.

There’s a second aspect to not wasting good time: get out there and race! You might think you’re going to be in this kind of shape for the foreseeable future. Odds are you aren’t. Don’t miss opportunities while waiting for the perfect alignment of VO2 max, competitive zest, fast course and salutary weather. Go carpe some diems while you can.


Acute Responses To Resistance And High Intensity Interval Training In Adolescents. – PubMed – NCBI

Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research from August 16, 2016

The purpose of this study was to compare the acute physiological responses within and between resistance training (RT) and high intensity interval training (HIIT) matched for time and with comparable effort, in a school setting. Seventeen early adolescents (12.9 ± 0.3 y) performed both RT (2-5 repetitions perceived short of failure at the end of each set) and HIIT (90% of age predicted maximum heart rate), equated for total work set and recovery period durations comprising of 12 ‘sets’ of 30 s work followed by 30 s recovery (total session time 12 min). Variables of interest included oxygen consumption, set and session heart rate (HR) and rate of perceived exertion (RPE), and change in salivary cortisol (SC), salivary alpha amylase (S?A), and blood lactate (BL) from pre- to post-session. Analyses were conducted to determine responses within and between the two different protocols. For both RT and HIIT there were very large increases pre- to post-trial for SC and BL, and only BL increased greater in HIIT (9.1 ± 2.6 mmol·L) than RT (6.8 ± 3.3 mmol·L). Mean set HR for both RT (170 ± 9.1 bpm) and HIIT (179 ± 5.6 bpm) was at least 85% of HR maximum. VO2 over all 12 sets was greater for HIIT (33.8 ± 5.21 mL·kg·min) than RT (24.9 ± 3.23 mL·kg·min). Brief, repetitive, intermittent forays into high, but not supra-maximal intensity exercise utilising either RT or HIIT appeared to be a potent physiological stimulus in adolescents.


Amy Cuddy on Authentic Learning and Why You Can’t Choreograph Success

Big Think from August 15, 2016

… When a task seems impossible, there’s little way to encourage motivation. Going from a D student to an A in a few weeks can really be impossible, so why bother studying when there’s no way it can happen? Losing 15 pounds by summer? Yeah right. Breaking a bad habit you’ve had for years seems near impossible, when it’s a part of who you are, so why bother trying?

This is why Amy Cuddy, social psychologist and associate professor of Business Administration at Harvard Business School, suggests keeping goals smaller in order to complete them, and to avoid being outcome focused. This is why people’s New Year resolutions fail, because many people look at a whole year, the whole 52 weeks instead of one week at a time. She recommends letting go of a fixed mindset, instead focusing on the process of improvement (and perhaps even enjoying it – gasp!) rather than the end goal. You will get to where you want to be without even realizing. [video, 5:01]


UCLA is headed in the right direction with help of mental-conditioning coach

Los Angeles Times from August 28, 2016

… [Trevor] Moawad doesn’t quantify his success through the wins and losses of the teams that employ him, though he might want to reconsider. He’s worked with Alabama since Coach Nick Saban was hired in 2007, becoming a part of teams that have gone 119-19 while winning four national championships. Stints with Florida State and the NFL’s Jacksonville Jaguars have also coincided with sustained bowl game and playoff appearances.

“He focused on something we weren’t accustomed to: how your brain works and how you think and approach different situations,” said John Parker Wilson, who played quarterback for the Crimson Tide during Saban’s first two seasons. “That helped the transition and the culture change at Alabama.”

Moawad’s role at UCLA became an unexpected topic on the fourth day of training camp. Running back Nate Starks launched into a spontaneous tribute to the consultant by referencing the team’s newfound togetherness and accountability.


How Do I Know If I’m Overtraining?, Triathlete from August 29, 2016

Athletes often ask me if they’re getting the right mix of training and rest. The answer can be quite simple: If you finish the day’s training craving more training, then you are most likely getting it right. If you find that at the end of the day, the last thing you want to do is get up and train again, then you are most likely overcooking yourself.

We have the capability through technology to track every move we make, and this can be very beneficial. However, your mind and body will give much better clues as to how you’re handling the training load than any algorithm can. For example, mood is a huge indicator. Lack of motivation is an obvious sign of needing a rest, but also pay attention to some of these clues: Do you find yourself snapping at family or coworkers? Is your mind a bit foggy? Do you have trouble sleeping or restless legs at night or do you lack an appetite in the mornings? These are a few signs that it might be time to take it easy.


Introduction to the Fundamental Capacity Screen, Gray Cook from August 29, 2016

If you expressed the ideal progression of human movement in a simple diagram, it would probably look something like this pyramid. The pyramid is constructed of three rectangular blocks of diminishing size, with one rectangle building upon another.

The first block is the base platform or foundation. It represents the ability to move through fundamental patterns—movement competency.

The second pillar represents performance. Once you have established your ability to move, you must look at how efficient you are at that movement—movement capacity.

The top pillar of the pyramid is sport specific skill. This pillar constitutes a battery of tests to assess the athlete’s ability to do a given activity, play a specific sport or play a specific position within that sport—movement skill. It looks at the competition statistics and any specific testing relative to that sport. [video, 0:49]


‘Interscatter’ Tech Lets Implants Talk Wi-Fi | EE Times

EE Times from August 19, 2016

University of Washington researchers have developed what they call “interscatter communication” technology that backscatters (or reflects) existing signals like Bluetooth in the air, transforming wireless transmissions from one technology to another.

Specifically, the team of UW electrical engineers and computer scientists has demonstrated for the first time that Bluetooth transmissions can be used to create Wi-Fi and ZigBee-compatible signals.

As a result, the new technology can now give power-constrained devices like medical implants the ability to “talk” to other devices using standard Wi-Fi communication.


Colorado company wins in Rio at the Olympics of sports startups

Denver Business Journal from August 29, 2016

… Stryd won the competition and earned a check for 100,000 euros (equal to about $112,331 U.S. dollars)

The company makes wearable power meters that measure performance, technique muscle strength, conditions and the external running environment and calculates the metrics into a number it calls “power.”


Hollingsworth accepts new role, leaving ASC after five years

Australian Sports Commission from August 29, 2016

Australian Sports Commission (ASC) Chair John Wylie AM today announced Chief Executive Officer Simon Hollingsworth has resigned to take up the role of Deputy Secretary Budget and Finance with the Victorian Department of Treasury and Finance.

“The Board has thanked Simon for his outstanding contribution to the ASC,” Mr Wylie said. “Simon joined the Commission in September 2011 and has led significant strategic and organisational reform.


Research: Why Best Practices Don’t Translate Across Cultures

Harvard Business Review, Pamela Hinds from June 27, 2016

… Leaders, like those at this company, often assume that if a practice worked in one place, it will in another—and they want to reap the benefits of sharing common practices across locations. But they aren’t always successful. Many of us know this intuitively: best practices are optimized for a particular place and time and don’t necessarily transfer well between cultures. They’re like a shoe that doesn’t always fit. You can put the shoe on, and it may even look nice, but it will likely create blisters if the fit isn’t exactly right. That’s how it is with practices that don’t quite fit another cultural context. It isn’t that workers in other countries, such as China and India in the example above, are doing anything wrong—they’re not the cause of the blisters. My research reveals some interesting findings about how and why practices do and do not transfer well from one culture to another.

I’ve contributed to three different studies that show why certain practices fall apart and what leaders can do to avoid wasting money, squandering time, and frustrating employees.


Big data and tactical analysis in elite soccer: future challenges and opportunities for sports science | SpringerLink

SpringerPlus from August 24, 2016

Until recently tactical analysis in elite soccer were based on observational data using variables which discard most contextual information. Analyses of team tactics require however detailed data from various sources including technical skill, individual physiological performance, and team formations among others to represent the complex processes underlying team tactical behavior. Accordingly, little is known about how these different factors influence team tactical behavior in elite soccer. In parts, this has also been due to the lack of available data. Increasingly however, detailed game logs obtained through next-generation tracking technologies in addition to physiological training data collected through novel miniature sensor technologies have become available for research. This leads however to the opposite problem where the shear amount of data becomes an obstacle in itself as methodological guidelines as well as theoretical modelling of tactical decision making in team sports is lacking. The present paper discusses how big data and modern machine learning technologies may help to address these issues and aid in developing a theoretical model for tactical decision making in team sports. As experience from medical applications show, significant organizational obstacles regarding data governance and access to technologies must be overcome first. The present work discusses these issues with respect to tactical analyses in elite soccer and propose a technological stack which aims to introduce big data technologies into elite soccer research. The proposed approach could also serve as a guideline for other sports science domains as increasing data size is becoming a wide-spread phenomenon. [full text]


Are mental toughness and mental health contradictory concepts in elite sport? A narrative review of theory and evidence

Journal of Science & Medicine in Sport from August 09, 2016

Athlete development and management encompass a complex interaction of biological, psychological, and social factors. Within elite sport, multidisciplinary sport science and medicine teams play an important role in achieving an optimal balance between preventing athlete ill-health and optimizing health and performance. The psychological aspects of athlete health and performance have gained increased attention over the past two decades, with much of this research concerned with the mental health of athletes and the concept of mental toughness.
Recently, it was proposed that mental health and mental toughness are contradictory concepts in the world of elite sport. Although an interesting proposition, this claim was not substantiated. Thus, the purpose of this narrative review was to evaluate theory and evidence regarding the thesis that mental health and mental toughness are contradictory concepts in the world of elite sport, with the view to advance scholarly knowledge and inform professional practice.

Narrative review.

A critical evaluation of this literature suggests that mental toughness may represent a positive indicator of mental health, or facilitate its attainment, rather than be at odds with it.

When implemented alongside multilayered approaches to organizational change (e.g., group structures, policies), mental toughness could be used as a ‘hook’ to attract athletes into settings that can open dialogue on the importance of mental health and improve knowledge of key issues (e.g., stigma, symptoms).


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