Applied Sports Science newsletter – October 12, 2021

Applied Sports Science news articles, blog posts and research papers for October 12, 2021


Players ‘desperate’ to be part of England squad now, says Gareth Southgate

The Guardian, David Hytner from

… When Southgate offered late calls to Ben Chilwell, James Ward-Prowse and Tammy Abraham, each was there like a shot.

“The most important thing of my five years has been the connection with the fans and coming back from the lack of confidence and a sort of apathy,” Southgate said. “Trying to get players to come … we had pull-outs at the first camp. I’d only taken over temporarily but there were several players that weren’t interested in coming. Now the players are desperate to be a part of it, even if they haven’t quite been in the initial squad.”

To repeat. This is Andorra, the kind of challenge that big-name England players could be forgiven for not wanting to prioritise, one in which they would seem to have little to gain and plenty to lose.

Eovaldi, Rasmussen bring varied experience to key Game 3

Associated Press, Kyle Hightower from

There aren’t many secrets between the Tampa Bay Rays and Boston Red Sox.

It’s why managers Kevin Cash and Alex Cora have no problem sending out pitchers for their pivotal Game 3 AL Division Series matchup Sunday who have vastly different experiences on big stages.

Boston’s going with right-hander Nathan Eovaldi, who has been the mound in some of the franchise’s biggest Game 3s in recent memory.

Sleep Strategies for Athletic Performance and Recovery!

Perfect Sports from

… “Sleep is the foundation of a good performance. You cannot train and have a good performance if you do not have the basic recovery you get from sleep,” says Dr. Jonathan Charest, director of athlete services at the Centre of Sleep and Human Performance in Calgary. “One of the metaphors I use with athletes I work with is that sleep is like a dishwasher that you start in the evening – it washes away all the toxins you accumulate during the day while you’re sleeping so you wake up fresh, and clean, and you can take on your day, training and competition.”

How Hard Should I Train the Day Before a Big Workout?

TrainingPeaks, Matt Fitzgerald from

… I learned an important lesson on this topic when I collaborated with elite run coach Brad Hudson on a book titled Run Faster from the 5K to the Marathon. The training plans Brad created for the book featured a number of big workouts that were preceded by a moderately challenging run the day before rather than the expected easy run or rest. For example, a Friday interval workout might come after a Thursday progression run culminating in a 3-mile acceleration from marathon pace to 5K pace.

Do a Moderately Challenging Workout the Day Before…

USMNT point to depth, fitness, mentality as tools to “physically wear down opponents”, Charles Boehm from

Even as US men’s national team players and staff feel firsthand the wear and tear from a cycle of three huge matches in seven days punctuated by thousands of miles of air travel across oceans and continents, there’s a growing recognition that Concacaf’s repeatedly-delayed and intensely-compacted road to Qatar 2022 presents them with key advantages over smaller nations with less depth.

“Certainly it is tough on the body. The amount of travel that we have to do is tough. But in the end, we’re still at an advantage,” said USMNT midfielder Cristian Roldan on Tuesday. “We have a deep enough squad to rotate guys, to get guys on the field without a drop-off in quality. And that’s the most important thing for us, that’s the attitude we have.

“We have to embrace the challenge, we have to embrace the travel conditions, the short rest, and get on with it. The important thing for us is to get results. And if we embrace the tough environments and accept that it’s going to be tough, we’ll be all right. We’ll be just fine.”

Why Don’t We Know How Periods Affect Exercise?

New York Magazine, The Cut, Maggie Lange from

Never once, not in my 15 years of monthly bleeding, did it occur to me that a physical process like menstruation might be linked to literally anything else happening in my body. Then, a few months ago, an authoritative and intimidatingly fit friend mentioned feeling a surge of energy while lifting weights, and attributed this to a phase in her menstrual cycle. Well, well, well! Here was a revelation. How could I have missed this relationship between periods and exercise, I wondered, and was it just because of a boring, old-timey sexist taboo? But also: What’s actually the relationship here? The hunt for answers began. If my period influenced my abilities, energy, or feelings around exercise, I needed to know exactly how.

As I would with anything related to the bodily experience, I went looking for some rigorous, scientific research about this connection. But unfortunately — and unsurprisingly — there really isn’t any.

Engineers 3D-Print Personalized, Wireless Wearables That Never Need a Charge

University of Arizona, News from

The new devices, custom made to fit individuals, could mean massive improvements in the monitoring and treatment of diseases, the testing of new drugs and the ability to track personal health.

Asics Ventures Invests In Bisu

Endurance Sports Wired from

Asics Corp. announced that its investment subsidiary, Asics Ventures Corporation, has invested in Bisu, Inc., a startup developing “Bisu Body Coach,” a home health lab.

Bisu Body Coach is currently in beta and will launch with a nutrition test, consisting of a disposable microfluidic test stick, a reader to use hygienically by multiple people and a companion smartphone app.

Professional Footballers threaten data firms with GDPR legal action

BBC Wales News, Nick Hartley from

Hundreds of footballers have threatened legal action against the data collection industry, which could change how information is handled.

Led by former Cardiff City, Leyton Orient and Yeovil Town manager Russell Slade, 850 players want compensation for the trading of their performance data over the past six years.

They also want an annual fee from the companies for any future use.

How wildfire smoke, ozone threatened outdoor sports in Utah this summer

Deseret News, Amy Joi O'Donoghue from

… [Daniel] Mendoza said the extremely unhealthy air was an impetus to get air quality results on site to determine potential game-changing decisions.

It is not a situation unique to the University of Utah, or Utah for that matter, as states in the West struggle with more frequent cataclysmic wildfires that foul the air and persistent levels of ground level smog — ozone — both of which are extremely unhealthy.

Preston Mattingly is inheriting a mess. Can he turn around the farm system before it’s too late?

Phillies Nation blog, Destiny Lugardo from

In some ways, the fate of the Phillies organization lies in the hands of new director of player development Preston Mattingly. Depth has been the team’s glaring issue since the franchise emerged from the rebuild.

The Phillies know how to buy superstars. Bryce Harper and Zack Wheeler, the team’s priciest expenditures, could take home the National League’s Most Valuable Player and Cy Young Award.
Dave Dombrowski is entering his first full offseason as Phillies president of baseball operations. (Cheryl Pursell)

Building depth through free agency and trades is a different story. Of the 11 pitchers acquired via trade or free agency in the prior offseason or during the 2021 season, only three have put up a FanGraphs WAR total above replacement level. Ronald Torreyes and Travis Jankowski, their two best non-roster invitees this year, combined for over 501 plate appearances and just 0.9 fWAR.

2021 NFL analytics survey – Most and least analytically inclined teams, future GM candidates, more

ESPN NFL, Seth Walder from

The Cleveland Browns have taken over the title of the NFL’s analytically advanced franchise from a division rival.

When we surveyed analytics staffers across the league a year ago, they voted the Baltimore Ravens as the most analytically advanced — defined by a combination of the level of data-driven work produced and the degree to which that work is implemented in decision-making. But in 2021, the Browns were runaway winners, as voted by their peers in an ESPN poll.

This was the second year we’ve conducted a 13-question survey of the league’s analytics minds to gain a better understanding of the league’s quantitative landscape and how it is evolving. We sent the survey to an analytics person with each team, and 22 responded.

Earlier today we released insights from our new On-Ball Value model, with examples of how it can be used in team and player analysis

Twitter, StatsBomb from

The Thousand Brains Theory, A New AI Book You Must Read

Jesus Rodriguez, TheSequence newsletter from

Jeff Hawkins is one of my AI heroes. His book On Intelligence, is one of the clearest, most insightful works about the deep relationship between neuroscience and artificial intelligence(AI). The fascinating thing about Jeff is that he is not only a theoretician but a world-class technologist. He was one of the co-founders of Palm Computing and now is doing some groundbreaking AI work at Numenta. Now Jeff is back with a fascinating new book. A Thousand Brains: A New Theory of Intelligence has to be one of the most fascinating AI books I have read in recent years, challenging some of the core foundations of AI and proposing alternative paths.

The book proposes a unique theory of intelligence based on a very intriguing principle. When presented with an environment, instead of building one model of objects, our brain builds many models based on different inputs.

Manchester United appoints first Director of Data Science

Manchester United from

Manchester United has appointed its first Director of Data Science to drive forward the club’s use of data to help players and staff deliver success on the pitch.

Dominic Jordan, an experienced data scientist with a background in geospatial analytics, will be tasked with improving the way we connect and analyse the vast amounts of data generated across our football operations.

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