Applied Sports Science newsletter – June 26, 2017

Applied Sports Science news articles, blog posts and research papers for June 26, 2017


NHL Draft: Casey Mittelstadt’s unique path from high school to likely top 10 pick

USA Today High School Sports, Tim Whelan Jr. from

… After finishing his junior year at Eden Prairie (Minn.) High last spring, Mittelstadt had several options in front of him for where he could spend the 2016-2017 hockey season. He could graduate early and enroll at the University of Minnesota, getting a jumpstart on his time with the Gophers. He could play for the Green Bay (Wis.) Gamblers of the United States Hockey League (USHL). Or, the rarer move in the bunch would be to play his senior season at Eden Prairie.

He chose the latter. Well, the latter two, actually. He started the winter in the USHL, played a high school season, then finished up back in the USHL.

“I’ve had the same teammates since I was four or five years old,” Casey Mittelstadt recently told the Hockey News. “Growing up in Minnesota, you go to the state tournament every year and it’s fun to try and win a state title. I definitely have no regrets.”


Competitive family cultivated Lauri Markkanen’s obsession with basketball

Chicago Tribune, K.C. Johnson from

… “I think Lauri is special,” Pekka [his Dad] said. “All our kids have a professional aptitude for sport, but I have never met a person who is so focused on one thing. Whatever he does — what he eats, when he sleeps — he always thinks how it affects his basketball.”

This has been a long-standing obsession.

A Finnish youth coach recently rediscovered the diary a 10-year-old Lauri kept that detailed how many hours he worked on his shot and shared the information with Pekka. Lauri spent 41/2 hours every day perfecting the form that helped him shoot 42.3 percent from 3-point range and average 15.6 points for a 32-5 team in his lone season at Arizona.


Germany’s Goretzka in demand after new diet-aided healing

Associated Press, Rob Harris from

With his lung-bursting runs, shrewd vision on the ball and versatility linking up play, Leon Goretzka’s reputation as Germany’s midfield dynamo is growing by the game.

Thanks in no small part to a change in diet.

Once lethargic and injury prone, Goretzka eradicated dairy, pork and nuts from his menu and he’s never looked back.

A debilitating bowel inflammation that used to slow his recovery from ailments has been soothed by the nutritional changes and the 22-year-old midfielder is now one of the in-demand players in Europe.


The Balancing Act- Developing Speed and Endurance

Steve Magness, Science of Running blog from

… Once we know where we are trying to end up and where the individual characteristics of our athletes lie, then we can look towards making our way towards that goal. As mentioned earlier, the workouts we do will push or pull us along that speed/endurance continuum. And our goal as a coach is to build each side to the right capacity while keeping the balance between them.

Sometimes you are intentionally out of balance. Perhaps increasing the endurance side at a slight expense to the speed during a base or foundation phase. Or letting our aerobic abilities slightly deteriorate during the end of the season while our anaerobic abilities sharpen up. At the beginning of the season, young athletes often complain of not feeling fast or being off their PR, but in many cases, this is by design. As coaches, we have intentionally gone into the season unbalanced toward the endurance side. We know that as we add intervals and races, the speed or anaerobic component will come around. But often, our athletes freak out screaming “I have no speed!” This isn’t a problem, as long as it is planned and the speed is within reach of how training can shift it.


Indiana Men’s Basketball: Clif Notes – Vol. 2

Big Ten Network from

Clif Marshall, Director of Athletic Performance for Men’s Basketball, takes us behind the scenes of some off-season workouts.


Tennessee football strength coach Rock Gullickson adjusts to ‘real change’ with freshmen

SEC Country, Mike Griffith from

Veteran NFL strength coach Rock Gullickson knew there would be some differences when he took over Tennessee’s strength and conditioning program in January.

But until these past couple weeks, the former Los Angeles Rams strength coach didn’t entirely know what he was in for.

“It’s reaching out to the 17- and 18-year-old, where my youngest guys were 21 and 22 in the NFL, so there’s a level of understanding that I have to have, as far as my teaching and how I address those guys and how I talk to them,” Gullickson told SEC Country in an exclusive interview.


Confidence can be a bad thing – here’s why

The Conversation, Stuart Beattie and Tim Woodman from

… There is no doubt that success breeds confidence, and in turn, the confidence gained from success positively influences performance – normally. However, recently, this latter part of the relationship between confidence and performance has been called into doubt. High confidence can have its drawbacks. One may only need to look at the results of the recent general election to note that Theresa May called for an early election partly based on her confidence to win an overall majority.

Our research at the Institute for the Psychology of Elite Performance at Bangor University has extensively examined the relationship between confidence and performance. So, what are the advantages and disadvantages of having high (or indeed low) levels of confidence for an upcoming task?


Preventing running-related injuries using evidence-based online advice: the design of a randomised-controlled trial

BMJ Open Sport & Exercise Medicine from

Introduction Running-related injuries (RRIs) are frequent and can lead to cessation of health promoting activities. Several risk factors for RRIs have been identified. However, no successful injury prevention programme has been developed so far. Therefore, the aim of the present study is to investigate the effect of an evidence-based online injury prevention programme on the number of RRIs.

Methods and analysis The INSPIRE trial is a randomised-controlled trial with a 3-month follow-up. Both novice and more experienced runners, aged 18 years and older, who register for a running event (distances 5 km up to 42.195 km) will be asked to participate in this study. After completing the baseline questionnaire, participants will be randomised into either the intervention group or control group. Participants in the intervention group will get access to the online injury prevention programme. This prevention programme consists of information on evidence-based risk factors and advices to reduce the injury risk. The primary outcome measure is the number of self-reported RRIs in the time frame between registration for a running event and 1 month after the running event. Secondary outcome measures include the running days missed due to injuries, absence of work or school due to injuries, and the injury location.


Are Smartphones Making Us Stupid?

Psychology Today, Christopher Bergland from

Cognitive capacity and overall brain power are significantly reduced when your smartphone is within glancing distance—even if it’s turned off and face down—according to a recent study. This new report from the University of Texas at Austin, “Brain Drain: The Mere Presence of One’s Own Smartphone Reduces Available Cognitive Capacity,” was published in the Journal of the Association for Consumer Research.

During this study, the UT Austin researchers found that someone’s ability to hold and process data significantly improved if his or her smartphone was in another room while taking a test to gauge attentional control and cognitive processes. Participants who kept their phones in a pocket or bag also outperformed those who kept their phones on the desk while taking the same test. Again, even if the phone was turned off and face down on the desk, the mere sight of one’s own smartphone seemed to induce “brain drain” by depleting finite cognitive resources.


Wearable X: Why the future of smart clothing is all about feeling

Wareable (UK), Becca Caddy from

Both technology and fashion companies have been experimenting with connected garments for a few years now.

Even now, as more and more brands create tech-enabled clothes with embedded motion sensors, haptic vibrations and NFC smarts, they still seem reserved for very specific uses. Like high-end tracking for those serious about their fitness or more accurate monitoring for newborns.

To bring smart clothing to a mainstream audience, companies need to create garments that aren’t just tech-enabled, but are also comfortable, stylish and engineered with different bodies in mind. It’s not impossible, but it’s a feat few seem to have got right so far.


How technology-enabled ‘selves-improvement’ will drive the future of personal productivity

TechCrunch, Michael Schrage from

Scheduling a meeting with a colleague? Siri can do that. Booking a business trip from New York to San Francisco? Google’s mobile app delivers. Seeking traffic updates for your morning commute? Alexa and Cortana are acoustically at your service.

Digital assistants and bots undeniably enhance our work lives in myriad ways. They’re terrific; your wish is their command. And they literally acquire more “skills” every day. But are better bots and smarter software servants truly the best way to drive people’s personal productivity?

My research suggests the answer is no. Instead of simply surrounding knowledge workers with ever-better digital assistants and bots, organizations and their workers will get greater returns investing in “selves improvement.” That is, providing digital tools, techniques and technologies that empower employees to craft high-performance versions of themselves — “selves” that are smarter, bolder, more creative, more persuasive and/or more empathic than one’s “typical” or “average” self.


Should we be screening for gambling addiction in our athletes?

BMJ Blogs: BJSM blog, Sean Carmody from

… The temptation to gamble is ubiquitous, and few sports are spared from the bombardment. Rugby League, once heralded for their principled rejection of sponsorship money from gambling companies, is now host to competitions such as the BetFred Superleague and the Ladbrokes Challenge Cup. As the late narco-terrorist Pablo Escobar noted; “Everyone has a price, the important thing is to find out what it is”. In this sporting climate, it comes as no surprise that there is a long list of athletes who have succumbed to gambling addiction.

The research on athletes and gambling is relatively limited. However, Michael Calvin (who incidentally co-wrote Joey Barton’s autobiography) sheds further light on the scale of the issue in his excellent new book “No Hunger in Paradise: The Players. The Journey. The Dream”. In interviews with important figures who are combatting the problem, he ascertains that young footballers – specifically targeted due to their premature wealth – are the subject of predatory marketing material by gambling companies. This is concerning considering research which has found that rates of problem gambling are typically highest between the ages of 18 and 24. Calvin also reports that 70% of presentations to the Sporting Chance Clinic relate to gambling addiction. These findings, coupled with the high proportion of athletes who declare bankruptcy soon after retirement (according to a 2009 Sports Illustrated article 78% of NFL players are broke within 2 years of hanging up their cleats), suggests a bleak outlook for the relationship between gambling companies and professional sport.


The dynamics of Swansea City’s transfer team: The key roles of the main players explained – and who has the final say on signings

Wales Online, Andrew Gwilym from

… Football may have changed in many ways during the Premier League era, but scouting remains at the heart of a club’s recruiting process.

Swansea have invested in this area over the last 12 months, expanding their scouting team and bringing back former manager Brian Flynn to aid the work in that department, which is headed up by David Leabeater.

Some players will catch the eye during the course of scouting missions, while others will be recommended by head coach Clement or other senior figures.


Could data analytics have prevented a painful, last-second goal in the Seattle Sounders FC match?

GeekWire, Kurt Schlosser from

If you’re a fan of the Seattle Sounders FC, you’ll grasp at anything that might explain away that painful 1-1 tie with Orlando City SC on Wednesday night at CenturyLink Field.

Back at the scene of the sports tragedy on Thursday, Dave Tenney, director of performance and sports science for the team, took a shot at the question of whether data analytics could have helped prevent the last-second goal that doomed the Souders.

Tenney was on a panel with Dr. Laila Mintas, deputy president at Sportradar U.S, during the GeekWire Sports Tech Summit.


Photos: How FC Barcelona uses football player data to win games | ZDNet

ZDNet from

… FC Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu and his team say the key pillars of the project are developing five essential areas, consisting of medical services and nutrition, sports performance, technology, team sports, and social sciences, which include social networks, a significant revenue opportunity. The Catalan team has 167.3 million followers on social media across Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.


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