Applied Sports Science newsletter – October 4, 2021

Applied Sports Science news articles, blog posts and research papers for October 4, 2021


Meet Anze Macek, Luka Doncic’s Slovenian Trainer

D Magazine, Iztok Franko from

The Mavericks superstar had all of three weeks off this summer. Here’s how he navigated the most grueling summer of his career.

Vegas Golden Knights’ Robin Lehner accuses NHL teams of medical malpractice

ESPN NHL, Emily Kaplan from

Vegas Golden Knights goalie Robin Lehner accused NHL teams of medical malpractice, including offering benzodiazepines and Ambien to players without prescriptions.

Lehner made the allegations on Twitter on Saturday in an effort, he told ESPN, to call attention to the surgery stalemate between his former teammate Jack Eichel and the Buffalo Sabres.

‘Time to push’: Inside Buster Posey’s recovery regimen on his likely last day off

KNBR (San Francisco), Danny Emerman from

… Posey, 34, has had major hip surgery and a gruesome ankle injury. Keeping the catcher’s body fresh has been a major factor in Posey’s All-Star season for the historically excellent Giants (106-54). He hasn’t spent any time on the injured list in 2021, yet has sat out 49 games — 30.6% of the season before Saturday.

The coaching staff’s plan for Posey is consistent with their cautious handling of the rest of the team, with the balance of posting versus pushing through injuries generally tilted in the favor of long-term health and peak performance.

After starting four straight games, something he hasn’t done all season, Posey isn’t in the starting lineup Saturday against the Padres. It’s likely the last time he’ll rest in 2021, with the playoffs around the corner.

An oral history of Tom Brady’s ascension to the greatest QB in NFL history, part 1

NBC Sports Boston, Tom E. Curran from

Tom Brady didn’t come out of nowhere. The notion that he did — that no one envisioned him taking over for Drew Bledsoe – is an easy-to-swallow storyline increasingly pushed as the years pass. But it just isn’t true.

In late September of 2001, the second-year quarterback from Michigan was already nipping at Bledsoe’s heels. Brady’s ascent began almost the moment he entered Foxboro Stadium as the 199th pick. Bledsoe, meanwhile, had plateaued at 29.

He was still highly regarded around the league for his toughness, leadership, size and arm strength. But within the walls at the soon-to-be-demolished Foxboro Stadium, Bledsoe’s price tag and limitations had head coach Bill Belichick, Director of Player Personnel Scott Pioli, and others privately concerned with whether Bledsoe would be part of the team’s success or an obstacle to it.

Belichick and Pioli worked shoulder-to-shoulder in building the Patriots of the 2000s. Their job was monumental. And Bledsoe was a complex part of it.

Alex Nylander, Kirby Dach among Blackhawks using training camp to regain fitness

Chicago Sun Times, Ben Pope from

Nylander, after missing all of last season recovering from knee surgery, is just now “getting his conditioning back to the level it needs to be.”

Scientists Closer to Understanding How Diverse Neurons are Made

Columbia University, Zuckerman Mind Brain Behavior Institute from

Your brain is made up of nerve cells that come in an incredible array of shapes, sizes, and functions, working together to grant you the ability to think, move and sense the world. Yet every one of these cells contains exactly the same genes: about 20,000. How is this possible? How can the same set of genes be used to generate so many different kinds of nerve cells in the brain?

Using fruit fly embryos, the lab of Minoree Kohwi, PhD, Zuckerman Institute principal investigator, has found one piece of the puzzle. Her latest research, which examines how neurons form, highlights the importance of the physical location of genes within the nucleus of the neuroblast, the stem cell from which the neurons are born. We sat down to talk with Dr. Kohwi, also an assistant professor of neuroscience at Columbia’s Vagelos College of Physicians & Surgeons, and Tanguy Lucas, PhD, a postdoctoral research fellow in her lab, about their new discoveries on the link between genome architecture and neural diversity,

Q&A: Studying how the brain controls natural movements just got easier

Stanford University, Wu Tsai Neurosciences Institute from

… a team affiliated with the Wu Tsai Neurosciences Institute at Stanford has developed custom technology that can capture all the complexity of naturalistic animal behavior and synchronize it with wireless recordings of brain activity.

Carlisle’s approach brings welcome change to Indiana Pacers

The Sacramento Bee, Associated Press, Michael Marot from

… So when president of basketball operations Kevin Pritchard changed directions by making the inevitable coaching change, Pacers players quickly embraced Rick Carlisle’s approach.

“So far, so good,” center Myles Turner said during Indiana’s annual media day. “For me, it’s more of a philosophy change. I want to show I’m more of a two-way player and I think now I’ll be more utilized that way, which is what I’ve been seeking here for a couple of years.”

The selection of Carlisle may seem an odd fit given Pritchard’s preference last October to hire a young, new-age coach with the potential to make Indiana a title contender.

‘I’ve got normal hours now, in until six or seven every night’ – Gary Dicker embracing novel role with Brighton

The42 (Ireland), Gavin Cooney from

An interesting trend is taking root at English football academies: the signing of an overage player-coach for the club’s U23 side.

Former Irish U21 international Gary Dicker has returned to Brighton to take up the role, and a couple of weeks after he was appointed, another Irishman, Paul McShane, assumed a similar job at Manchester United.

“It’s a perfect situation for me, I’m still young enough to play and train and I’m getting some coaching at the same time at a fantastic club”, Dicker tells The42. “At this stage of my career, it’s looking to the next step.”

Asymmetry in sprinting: an insight into sub‐10 and sub‐11 s men and women sprinters – Bissas

Scandinavian Journal of Medicine & Science in Sports from

We evaluated sprint mechanical asymmetry in world-class competitors and evaluate whether inter-limb sex-based differences in sprinting mechanics exist. The eight finalists in the men’s and women’s 100 m events at the 2017 IAAF World Championships were studied. Five high-speed cameras (150 Hz) were used to capture two consecutive steps of the whole body between 47.0 m and 55.5 m from the start, while four additional cameras (250 Hz) focussed on the lower extremities. A total of 33 spatio-temporal, touchdown and toe-off joint angles, and horizontal and vertical foot velocity parameters were extracted through three-dimensional analysis. Group mean asymmetry scores were assessed using the symmetry angle (SA) where scores of 0% and 100% represent perfect symmetry and perfect asymmetry, respectively. Although considered generally low (SA < 3% for 22 out of 33 parameters), the magnitude of mechanical asymmetry varied widely between sprinters of the same sex. However, there was no mean SA scores difference between men and women for any stride mechanical parameters (all P≥0.064). Asymmetry scores were inconsistent between parameters and phases (touchdown vs toe-off instants), and sprinting mechanics were generally not related to asymmetry magnitudes. In summary, low to moderate asymmetry is a natural phenomenon in elite sprinting. Asymmetry was inconsistent between parameters and competitors during near maximum-velocity running, yet mean values for a given parameter generally did not differ between sexes. Sprinters’ performances were not related to their SA scores.

Amazon Wades Deeper Into Wearables

Front Office Sports, FOS Sunday from

Big tech companies and incumbent startups alike are becoming increasingly infatuated with wearable technologies — namely wrist worn trackers.

On Tuesday, Amazon announced a plethora of new products and features related to its health and fitness services, including:

  • Halo Fitness, an interactive home workout service similar to Apple Fitness+
  • Halo Nutrition, a highly personalized meal planning service
  • Halo View, a new wearable device with a screen akin to the Apple Watch

  • Data Blind Spots: What Top Teams and Coaches Miss Without New Tech

    Sportico, Raf Keustermans from

    … As any coach will tell you, the little things matter. Margins make champions. More accurate tracking of player starts, stops and turns can give coaches better information for game-planning and deploying personnel. A scientifically sound method for measuring stamina levels and injury risk could offer insight into the health of an aging superstar that makes or breaks a season.

    Currently, we’re working with three English Premier League clubs that have integrated LiDAR technology and its outputs into their daily analyses. Another 10 clubs are undergoing pilot projects with the technology. Their main focus is on hyper-accurate physical data, working with performance, sports science and strength and conditioning departments. The work is oriented around some of those analytical “blind spots,” focusing on delivering insights into acceleration and deceleration, change of direction, turns and fatigue monitoring. Additionally, some clubs are working on using the technology on talent development for their academies, baselining players on key metrics versus first-team players—highlighting differences and areas for improvement. Thus far several clubs are using the data to make changes to training drills and programs, exposing players in training sessions to the forces and intensity levels of games. Additionally, the data is being used to help develop an architecture for player rehab.

    Milwaukee Bucks Partner With World-class Performance and Nutrition Brand Science in Sport | Milwaukee Bucks

    Milwaukee Bucks from

    The Milwaukee Bucks and Science in Sport (SiS) have formed an innovative partnership aimed at supporting the Bucks’ world-class sports science team. As part of the partnership, SiS has become the Official Vitamins & Supplements Partner of the Milwaukee Bucks.

    In collaboration with the Bucks’ best-in-class performance team, led by Vice President of Performance Troy Flanagan, SiS will support the Bucks through their Performance Solutions model. This model will allow for extensive research and knowledge projects to better understand the NBA athlete and the creation of player-specific custom products, including vitamins & supplements, curated by SiS and Bucks team nutritionists.

    Let’s Redefine “Productivity” for the Hybrid Era

    Harvard Business Review, Jaime Teevan from

    … As work pushed into our homes, helpful boundaries began to blur. Almost half (49%) of Microsoft employees in one study reported working longer hours, and only 9% reported working fewer. In a global study of workers external to Microsoft one year into the pandemic, 54% said they felt overworked and 39% reported feeling exhausted.

    We also lost a lot of the benefits of working together in the office. Participants in our studies reported that creative work like group brainstorming was more difficult while remote. There’s also mounting evidence of lost connection to coworkers. A recent paper we published in Nature Human Behavior found that our networks at work are becoming more siloed, presenting risks to innovation, knowledge transfer, and ultimately, productivity.

    Study after study has shown that it’s not enough to be guided by simple measures of productivity as we figure out how to move to hybrid work. While it may be tempting to equate high levels of employee activity with success, doing so misses the factors that drive long-term, sustainable innovation. We must expand the way we think about productivity to focus on well-being, social connections, and collaboration and the innovation they bring to drive business success.

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