Applied Sports Science newsletter – September 28, 2021

Applied Sports Science news articles, blog posts and research papers for September 28, 2021


A’s Chris Bassitt defies all odds in miraculous return to mound, Mercury News , Shayna Rubin from

… For the first time since Aug. 17, the All-Star took the mound to start a baseball game. Undeterred by a potentially career-ending incident in which a 100 mph line drive fractured his face, Bassitt defied odds, leapt mental hurdles with ease, beat the six-week projected recovery timeline and returned looking just like the ace he was before surgery.

Bassitt’s emotional return to the mound couldn’t have gone much better Thursday at the Coliseum. In the three innings pitched he allowed no runs, one hit and collected four strikeouts.

“Everybody got a charge out of that and I thought we had a little different energy in our dugout because of it,” manager Bob Melvin said.

Canadian goalkeeper Stephanie Labbé opens up on struggles during Tokyo Olympics

Coast Reporter, Canadian Press from

Stephanie Labbé, whose heroics in goal helped Canada win gold at the Tokyo Olympics, says she could not train for part of the Games because of “high levels of anxiety and multiple panic attacks.”

The 34-year-old from Stony Plain, Alta., who has shared her mental health struggles in the past, has opened up again to publicize FIFPRO’s “Are You Ready To Talk” — a mental health awareness program from the organization representing 65,000 pro footballers worldwide.

A rib injury forced Labbé out of Canada’s opening game against host Japan at the Olympics. Ultimately the verdict was she could continue playing, albeit in pain. Labbé missed just one game, returning to lead Canada to penalty shootout wins over Brazil in the quarterfinal and Sweden in the final.

But it came with a cost, as Labbé explains in an essay, released by FIFPRO, titled “Winning the Olympics isn’t enough to cure mental health.”

Gordon Hayward, James Borrego on same page regarding load management

USA Today Sports, Michael Mulford from

Sadly, Charlotte Hornets wing Gordon Hayward is no stranger to finding himself on the injury report.

This season, he and Hornets coach James Borrego hope to change that by managing Hayward’s minutes and potentially his availability in back-to-back games.

On Monday at Media Day, Hayward spoke about being on the same page as Borrego regarding his minutes. “I understand it and it’ll be a constant communication with JB and the staff in order to best maximize me. I want to be playing my best basketball at the end of the year.”

A Crucial Season for Zion and the Pelicans Is Starting on the Wrong Foot

The Ringer, Dan Devine from

New Orleans is coming off of three consecutive sub-.500 seasons, it just fired Stan Van Gundy and hired Willie Green to be its third head coach in as many years, and the rumblings over the potential future plans of its franchise cornerstone are getting louder and louder: This is shaping up to be an awfully consequential season for the Pelicans. The kind that you hope to sprint out of the gates quickly; the kind that you’d really like to get off on the right foot.

Well, media day in New Orleans did focus on the right foot. Unfortunately, though, it was Zion Williamson’s right foot, which he evidently broke this summer.

In his opening remarks to reporters on Monday, Pelicans executive vice president of basketball operations David Griffin explained that Williamson had undergone surgery to repair a fractured bone in his right foot before summer league. Williamson attributed the injury to “overdoing it with my training” after a season in which he made his first All-Star Game, but the Pelicans stumbled to a disappointing 31-41 mark that left them two games outside the play-in tournament.

‘It’s how you handle the pain’: Pep Guardiola prepares City players for PSG

The Guardian, Louise Taylor from

Pep Guardiola has said his Manchester City players need to brace themselves for “pain” and having to “suffer” when they face Paris Saint-Germain in their Champions League encounter on Tuesday night. City are in the French capital for their second Group A fixture and will come up against what is arguably football’s most formidable attacking trident.

Guardiola says he is not entirely sure how any team, including City, can stop Kylian Mbappé, Neymar and Lionel Messi if they are in the mood. “We have to be compact, help each other and know we’re going to suffer and have pain,” said City’s manager. “It’s how you handle the pain;. They’re so good, these type of teams; you have to be able to suffer for 90 minutes.”

Jazz announce that VP of performance health care Mike Elliott has “decided to pursue other opportunities outside of the organization.”

Twitter, Tim MacMahon from

Utah star Donovan Mitchell clashed with Elliott during ankle rehab process and due to decision for Mitchell to sit out playoff opener.

KC NWSL building soccer training facility in Riverside, MO.

The Kansas City Star, Shaun Goodwin from

Kansas City’s women’s pro soccer team is deepening its roots, announcing on Friday its intent to build a $15 million training facility just north of the river. The new development, located in Riverside, targets completion in 2022.

The state-of-the-art venue will be funded exclusively by members of the team’s ownership group, club officials said. It will be located just off Interstate 635 and Horizons Parkway.

“The training facility gives a tangible sign of the three driving forces for our club: our players, our community and our passion to create the future of women’s sports,” KC NWSL co-owner Angie Long said. “Our team will spend more time together here than anywhere, so it’s thrilling for us to bring it to life so quickly.”

In Vivo Monitoring of Glucose Using Ultrasound-Induced Resonance in Implantable Smart Hydrogel Microstructures | ACS Sensors

ACS Sensors journal from

A novel glucose sensor is presented using smart hydrogels as biocompatible implantable sensing elements, which eliminates the need for implanted electronics and uses an external medical-grade ultrasound transducer for readout. The readout mechanism uses resonance absorption of ultrasound waves in glucose-sensitive hydrogels. In vivo glucose concentration changes in the interstitial fluid lead to swelling or deswelling of the gels, which changes the resonance behavior. The hydrogels are designed and shaped such as to exhibit specific mechanical resonance frequencies while remaining sonolucent to other frequencies. Thus, they allow conventional and continued ultrasound imaging, while yielding a sensing signal at specific frequencies that correlate with glucose concentration. The resonance frequencies can be tuned by changing the shape and mechanical properties of the gel structures, such as to allow for multiple, colocated implanted hydrogels with different sensing characteristics or targets to be employed and read out, without interference using the same ultrasound transducer, by simply toggling frequencies. The fact that there is no need for any implantable electronics, also opens up the path toward future use of biodegradable hydrogels, thus creating a platform that allows injection of sensors that do not need to be retrieved when they reach the end of their useful lifespan.

Qualcomm Wearable Ecosystem Accelerator program to help accelerate wearables adoption and reduce product development times

Qualcomm, On Q blog from

… We’re investing heavily in the growing wearables market segment. Significant investment in our Snapdragon Wear platforms over the last five years has resulted in over 40 million units shipped to more than 100 countries worldwide. Platforms like the Snapdragon Wear 4100+ power many of the latest smartwatches and wearables on the market, help to provide super-fast performance and connectivity along with ultra-low power platforms.

What makes wearables truly stand out is their ubiquity. We see the market hyper-segmenting in a way where there’s a wearable for virtually anyone, anywhere, and in any industry that can vastly improve productivity and provide useful quality-of-life improvements. Smartwatch demand leads the way, with devices offering both consumers and enterprise users valuable health, fitness, environmental, and productivity data. Another fast-growing wearable segment is smart trackers for kids, pets, and seniors. These small devices can be worn on the wrist, around the neck, or clipped to a backpack to provide location data, quick access to emergency services, and crash and fall detection.

Supersapiens Energy Band brings glucose tracking to athlete’s wrists

Wareable (UK), James Stables from

… Supersapiens is a connected skin patch that can read glucose levels from interstitial fluid.

Its glucose sport biosensor wearable device is very similar to the Libre 2 that sits underneath the skin, and uses NFC to transmit data to the companion app.

It’s powered by the Abbott Libre Sense sensor, but the Supersapians service is designed for endurance athletes to better understand fuelling for training and competition, rather than for medical purposes. The Energy Band connects to the Libre Sense sensor, to give easy-to-read real time insights.

The idea is to better understand how well fuelled you are for training and competition – and the Energy Band adds a real-time component, which will be of interest to endurance athletes concerned about in-race nutrition.

Dr. Sara Gottfried on why metabolic health is not one-size-fits-all, especially for women

Levels, Expert Q&A from

The legendary physician-scientist explains why women may struggle with keto, the hormones you’re not thinking about, and why genetics aren’t destiny

Understanding risk factors for disordered eating symptomatology in athletes: A prospective study

PLOS One, Hannah Stoyel et al. from

Disordered eating and eating disorders have huge impact on athletic health and performance. Understanding risk factors for disordered eating development is paramount to protecting the health and performance of these athletes. This project tested a model longitudinally to test whether body dissatisfaction (mediated by negative affect) and societal pressures (mediated by internalisation) predicted bulimic symptomatology at 1 year. The study recruited 1017 male and female athletes in a range of sports at three time points over a year. Cross-lag meditation modelling in MPLUS was utilised to test the hypothesised model. Results indicated that societal pressures mediated by general internalisation led to bulimic symptomatology and that gender and sport type do moderate the relationships. However, measurement issues indicate that scales not originally created for athletes may not reliably measure athletes’ experience. This research highlights how understanding how to better assess risk factors and disordered eating related concepts in athletes is a key next step. The study is unique in its longitudinal design and in its sampling of a wide range of sports in both male and female athletes.

Exploring sports nutritionists’ and players’ perspectives of nutrition practice within English professional football during the COVID-19 pandemic

Science & Medicine in Football journal from

The outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, and the subsequent suspension of all football-related activity, caused significant disruption to the daily habits of professional football players and support staff. Even when the most severe restrictions were lifted, strict control measures remained in place which likely continued to impact upon nutrition support and intake of players. Thus, this study aimed to understand how restrictions impacted upon nutrition support within professional football, as well as identify how these experiences could inform future practice. Interviews were conducted with twelve sports nutritionists and twelve male professional football players to explore their perspectives of nutrition provision during the COVID-19 pandemic. Thematic analysis indicated three common outcomes: (a) Sub-optimal Nutrition Provision; (b) Reduction in Time with or Access to Players, and; (c) Adaption of Nutrition Practice and/or Dietary Habits. In sum, football clubs should consider the immediate and short-term impact of COVID-19 restrictive measures as players’ transition back to normality. Specifically, clubs should provide sports nutritionists with greater capacity to control the nutrition provision, including portion size and food quality. Looking ahead, sports nutritionists are encouraged to reflect upon the novel opportunities that have emerged and consider how these may enhance long-term practice.

Business of Sports Institute at UT McCombs School Founded by Gift from Accenture

University of Texas at Austin, UT News from

A new sports education and research venture unlike any other in the United States that will meet a pressing need in the sports industry is coming to The University of Texas at Austin.

Accenture has donated the founding $1.4 million gift to establish a Business of Sports Institute in the McCombs School of Business at UT Austin. The new institute will bring together all the advantages of a top business school at a major research institution with an elite sports program and combines those with the expertise in sports business consulting and analytics that Accenture brings to this multiyear partnership.

“There is no other major business school in the country bringing on-field, on-court performance analytics into the curriculum, into the research lab, and to sports industry leaders like we are,” said Ethan Burris, faculty director of the McCombs School’s Center for Leadership and Ethics, in which the new institute will be housed. “Talent management, performance metrics, sports-adjacent verticals and branding — there are a ton of topic areas we are poised to tackle.”

Footy Q&A with Dr Sam McIntosh

Victoria University (Australia), News from

… What is the most interesting piece of data you have identified this season?

“Earlier in the year I worked on a research project looking into the extent to which player performance differs between various leagues. All players who are drafted/recruited into the AFL come from a vast array of leagues with differing standards of competition. I think the most interesting data I’ve come across this season were the results of this project, which allow us to better translate a player’s ability to perform across various leagues.”

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