Applied Sports Science newsletter – October 11, 2021

Applied Sports Science news articles, blog posts and research papers for October 11, 2021


Diana Taurasi won’t cite fatigue after Phoenix Mercury lose Game 1 of WNBA Finals to Chicago Sky

ESPN WNBA, Mechelle Voepel from

Guard Diana Taurasi had every reason to claim fatigue took a toll on her after the Phoenix Mercury’s 91-77 loss Sunday to the Chicago Sky in Game 1 of the WNBA Finals. After all, the Mercury finished a tough five-game semifinal series at Las Vegas on Friday night, followed by the birth of Taurasi and wife Penny Taylor’s daughter at 4:34 a.m. Saturday back here in Phoenix.

But Taurasi didn’t cite weariness in explaining her season-high six turnovers.

“I was pretty pathetic with the basketball today. That’s on me,” Taurasi said. “We can’t turn the ball over like that, especially not in the Finals. That’s just me being a bad basketball player. We’ll adjust some things and hopefully will be in better position to get out of those traps.”

Richard Sherman’s ‘amazing’ trip from the couch to starting Bucs cornerback

Tampa Bay Times, Rick Stroud from

After only three days of practice, Richard Sherman found himself in the most unusual circumstance of his career. He was starting, but not starring for the Bucs in a critical game at New England.

Sherman, 33, played 58 of the team’s 59 snaps on defense in the 19-17 win over the Patriots. He recorded a team-best seven tackles and recovered a fumble, but also was flagged for pass interference.

“It’s amazing,” coach Bruce Arians said. “He played really, really well. You know, he had the one penalty, but no, I was really, really pleased with Sherm and (defensive back) Pierre (Desir). I thought they both went out and played really, really good.”

We spend up to a third of our lives sleeping, yet many of us struggle to get a decent night’s rest. The need for sleep

Twitter, Raconteur from

3 Workouts That Teach Pain Tolerance

TrainingPeaks, Matt Fitzgerald from

Endurance racing is painful. Whether it’s the slow burn of an Ironman triathlon or the acid bath of a 5K road race, each type of endurance event inflicts intense suffering in some form. Athletes who are better able to tolerate the discomfort that comes with competing have an advantage over those with a lesser tolerance. Former 5000-meter American record holder Bob Kennedy said it well: “One thing about racing is that it hurts. You better accept that from the beginning or you’re not going anywhere.”

The good news is that athletes can increase their tolerance of race pain through training. Research has shown that workouts that induce high levels of discomfort increase pain tolerance independently of their effects on physical fitness.

Change of direction frequency off the ball: new perspectives in elite youth soccer

Science & Medicine in Football journal from


The aim of this study was to investigate the frequency of change of directions (COD) and examine the influences of position, leg dominance and anthropometrics on COD in elite youth soccer match play.

Twenty-four elite male English Premier League (EPL) academy players (19.0 ± 1.9 years) were individually recorded during ten competitive U18s and U23s matches. Video footage of individual players was analysed using a manual notation system to record COD frequency, direction, estimated angle and recovery time. The influences of position, anthropometrics and leg dominance were accounted for.

Elite youth soccer players performed on average 305 ± 50 CODs with on average 19.2 ± 3.9 seconds of recovery. The frequency of CODs was independent of position, leg dominance, anthropometry and occurred equally between left and right direction and forwards and backwards direction. CODs were mostly ≤90° (77%) and there were significantly less CODs in the 2nd half (−29, ES = 1.23, P< 0.001). The average and peak within match demands within 15 and 5-minute periods were 49 and 62 CODs, and 16 and 25 CODs, respectively. Conclusion

This study is the first to illustrate COD frequencies of elite youth soccer match play, providing practitioners guidance to prepare soccer players for competitive match demands.

Tracking muscle activity with clothes on your back – Printing metals onto cloth makes for comfortable, low-cost, and effective biosensors.

EurekAlert!, American Institute of Physics from

Bioelectrical sensors on the skin can be used to measure electrical signals in the body, like heart activity and muscle contraction. While that provides valuable information for clinicians, current bioelectrical sensor technology can be ineffective, uncomfortable, expensive, and difficult to manufacture.

In APL Materials, by AIP Publishing, researchers from the University of Utah and Gyeongsang National University in South Korea have developed a bioelectrical sensor that is convenient and low-cost.

The sensor measures electromyography (EMG) signals that are generated in muscles when they contract. EMG signals are useful for studying muscle fatigue and recovery, and they have the potential to inform diagnosis and treatment of neuromuscular diseases.

(It keeps happening) Please, don’t oversell your program/product when talking to non-experts who occupy leadership roles.

Twitter, Xavi Schelling from

Good leaders will ask experts to vet your claims, and if they don’t live up to expectations it may severely undermine your credibility for the future

Iker Casillas’ Sportboost startup accelerator gets La Liga backing

SportsPro Media, Ed Dixon from

Spanish soccer’s La Liga and the ESIC Business & Marketing School have been announced as partners of sports startup accelerator Sportboost.

Founded by former Real Madrid goalkeeper and Fifa World Cup winner Iker Casillas, Sportboost aims to turn sports-related startups into sector-leading companies. Its programme will offer advisory resources, business development, institutional relations, and access to financing to carry out successful entrepreneurship projects.

New Big Ten opportunity too much to pass up for Ohio State’s Dr. James Borchers

Columbus Dispatch, Adam Jardy from

It was going to take a special set of circumstances for Dr. James Borchers to consider a career move.

A native Ohioan with extensive roots at Ohio State, Borchers was entering his eighth season as team physician for the same football program where he walked on and earned four varsity letters as a long-snapper. Then Big Ten commissioner Kevin Warren presented an opportunity. After helping steer the conference through the COVID-19 pandemic, Borchers offered the position of the league’s first chief medical officer.

Thursday, the hire was made official, and Warren publicly introduced Borchers during his opening remarks at Big Ten basketball media day. Standing at midcourt at Gainbridge Fieldhouse, Borchers said it was a chance he simply couldn’t pass up.

Food Insecurity among College Athletes

Sports Medicine Research, Podcast, Jeffrey B. Driban from

Welcome to Sports Med Res’ this week in review podcast where we highlight the news in sports medicine research from the week ending on October 1, 2021. This week’s podcast focused on food insecurity among college athletes. [audio, 5:32]

De Bruyne, Guardiola views on player burnout are correct – We need a holistic solution

ESPN FC, Gabriele Marcotti from

Last April, Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola sounded the alarm, complaining that UEFA and FIFA were “killing” the players by scheduling too many games with not enough recovery time. “No player can sustain, not just [the] physicality, [but also the] mentality to be ready every day to compete against opponents to win the game.”

Earlier this week, Kevin De Bruyne, one of Guardiola’s players at City, said he played with two painkilling injections against Italy at Euro 2020 and that “if I’d known beforehand what it would do to my ankle, I wouldn’t have played.” And last week, FIFPRO, the international players’ union, issued their report on player workload.

They found, not surprisingly, that many top players are severely overworked.

The 2021 @usopen was the first Grand Slam since 1997 in which there were neither of the Williams sisters, Nadal or Federer. Despite missing these stars, the 2021 US Open may have been the most compelling Grand Slam tournament during this period.

Twitter, Alex Fassone from

The men’s singles tournament had the most sets played and joint most deciding sets. It also featured the most total games played of any non-Wimbledon slam. Interestingly, 14 of the top 15 total game counts have come at Wimbledon. 2/8

Do sports injury prevention strategies pay off?

Twitter, British Journal of Sports Medicine from

Read the latest #systematicreview on the economic aspects of injury prevention thanks to @EvertVerhagen

Yus Your Illusion: Yusmeiro Petit and the Well-Hidden Power of Pitcher Deception

The Ringer, Ben Lindbergh from

Modern pitching is all about speed and spin, but some soft-tossing pitchers use deception to defy their pedestrian radar-gun readings. Now, new technology could uncover their secrets and settle one of baseball’s final unquantified frontiers.

Billionaire Joe Tsai wants WNBA players to have better travel accommodations after recent disasters

Business Insider India, Meredith Cash from

Joe Tsai is putting his money – and his connections – where his mouth is.

The billionaire businessman known best as the Executive Vice Chairman of Chinese tech giant Alibaba is also the owner of the WNBA’s New York Liberty and the NBA’s Brooklyn Nets. He’s been a vocal proponent of women’s sports equity ever since he bought the Liberty in January 2019, and now, he’s trying to funnel resources into his franchise and beyond to benefit the entire league.

Tsai’s latest target? Commercial airplane travel.

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