Applied Sports Science newsletter – October 13, 2021

Applied Sports Science news articles, blog posts and research papers for October 13, 2021


Luka Doncic breaking the physical stereotypes of a professional basketball player

AS, Jennifer Bubel from

Anze Macek, Luka Doncic’s personal trainer this demanding summer, spoke to AS about the Slovenian guard’s physique, training methods, and how he prepares.

Michal Kempny’s left leg needed rehab after repeated trauma. So did his mind.

The Washington Post, Samantha Pell from

Michal Kempny’s offseason was essentially spent rewiring his own brain.

After Kempny experienced three major injuries to his left leg in the last two and a half years, his central nervous system — which controls most functions of the body and mind — had essentially forgotten that it worked.

Tests and exercises with a trainer early this summer showed the cerebellum in Kempny’s brain — the part that coordinates movement — wasn’t doing its job. That’s when Kempny’s long rehabilitation process — both for his leg and his own mind — began.

However, after a long summer filled with rehab and workouts plus the entirety of training camp, on Saturday, the Capitals assigned Kempny to the team’s American Hockey League affiliate in Hershey, Pa. (pending waivers). It was an indication they believe that Kempny needs more time to get up to speed and also let them clear up $1.125 million of Kempny’s $2.5 million salary this season. It’s just another setback in his NHL comeback.

‘It’s going to happen’: Scott Frost and Nebraska are keeping the faith

ESPN College Football, Andrea Adelson from

… Four years in, they are not rolling just yet. But in a sit-down interview with ESPN last week before the Michigan game, Frost said he finally senses a shift around the entire program. His message — that they are only a few plays away now — has clearly resonated with a fan base that, for the most part, seems to be buying in. Frost, after all, is one of them.

“We’ve been close for a while,” Frost said. “We’re really close now. We’ve got a team that can compete with just about anybody. Then, once you’ve built that team, it’s learning how to win, then it’s learning how to handle winning. We’re right in the middle of all that.”

New athletic director Trev Alberts, who like Frost, played for Tom Osborne at Nebraska, said he is not worried about what happened before his arrival in July. Alberts cited a lack of unity among the university, athletics administration and football program, which may have hurt Frost at least at the outset.

How Barcelona, Villarreal and other European clubs are competing with MLS for America’s top talent

ESPN FC, Bruce Schoenfeld from

… In the abstract, it seems desirable to have the world’s most advanced clubs nurturing young American hopefuls. More well-coached talent in the ecosystem will provide better competition for the existing youth teams. And if these academies provide the best players with a direct route to European leagues, it can only help the U.S. men’s national team in the short term, and ultimately American soccer as a whole. “The more you see American players shining on television, the more American kids will be eager to start playing,” said Dan Hunt, the president of FC Dallas.

Yet the emerging players at those academies probably don’t aspire to play in MLS. “It’s delicate,” Hunt said. “We’ll definitely lose kids over time. It will take some talent out of the talent pool.”

10 Relative Age Effect Myths

Twitter, Rob Reed from

1. This is just about Q1s and Q4s

Q2 and Q3 are important too!
e.g. Birth Quarter % for the last 4 Eng U19 World Cups 34.5, 36.2, 15.5 & 13.8

Smart displays that show information through fabric may be the next wave of wearable tech

University of Waterloo (Canada), Waterloo News from

Researchers have developed an innovative display that shows information through clothes and other fabrics.

The new technology, which the researchers are calling PocketView, uses LED lights to display basic information. It can function as a stand-alone piece of tech or could be incorporated into existing or next-generation smart devices.

Researchers created prototypes that mimic smartphones, pens, key fobs and other shapes and sizes. The display shines through fabrics to show notifications for email or messages, time, weather or other forms of basic information.

Science and Culture: Looking to “junk” food to design healthier options

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Amy McDermott from

… What counts as a healthier product is also subjective, notes Christopher Simons, a sensory scientist at The Ohio State University in Columbus. The distinction is often framed by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) dietary guidelines, he says, a series of recommendations provided by the U.S. government every five years since 1980. The guidelines offer tips for a healthful diet and note foods to limit, specifically those high in added sugars, saturated fat, salt, and alcoholic drinks. Combined, these foods shouldn’t exceed 15% of daily calories, according to the latest 2020–2025 recommendations (2). But the U.S. population, notes that report, is already getting more than 13% of total calories per day from added sugar alone, largely from sodas, snacks, sweetened coffees and teas, and candy.

We’re wired to like the tastes of sugar and salt, notes biopsychologist Julie Mennella at the Monell Chemical Senses Center in Philadelphia, PA. “These chemicals are binding receptors in the tongue and in the [gastrointestinal] tract, and neuropathways link the receptors to many areas of the brain including reward-related circuits,” she says. Sweet taste, in particular, is so pleasurable that rats consistently prefer it over cocaine, heroin, or methamphetamine in preclinical choice studies (3, 4). Evolving preferences for sweetness, a signal of high-calories, and salt, a necessary mineral, probably benefitted hunter-gatherers. Today, so many processed foods are high in these ingredients that people are overconsuming to the point of developing diet-related diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, and some cancers (5). “It’s an elegant system, but in this current food environment, you can see how we’re vulnerable,” Mennella says.

Why nutrition labels are not useful for athletes

mysportscience blog, Asker Jeukendrup from

… Nutrition labels on food products need to comply with strict guidelines. These guidelines may vary from country to country, but most guidelines require listing of the total carbohydrate, fat and protein amounts as well as a few other key nutrients. For example, food labels need to list the amount of sugar specifically and in some countries (like the US), the amount of added sugar needs to be listed. In addition, salt content may need to be listed. Then nutrition values are expressed in different ways: per 100 grams of a product, per serving and as a percentage of recommended daily intake. All estimates are for a person who expends 2000kcal per day. Please note that this is a (very) inactive person (because it is unfortunately the reality that our society is (very) sedentary on average.

Requirements for some nutrients increase with energy expenditure

Athletes may expend 2000 kcal (or more during their training alone) and athletes who are in training will rarely expend as little as 2000 kcal. For the average person in our society who hardly moves, the percentages on the package may be appropriate, they may not be for the athlete.

In a parity driven league, FC Cincinnati needs patience

US Soccer Players, Jason Davis from

… Since its move into MLS from the USL Championship, FC Cincinnati has been unable to make itself competitive in the top division. Distinct miscalculations going into the team’s first MLS campaign not only set the team back in year one, but carried into later seasons. The latest change of leadership on the soccer side of the organization is yet another attempt to fix problems born of those initial decisions. Changing views in MLS on how to best maximize the salary budget within the unique rule book suggests that this might be the update that turns FC Cincinnati around.

What [Chris] Albright represents is MLS expertise. For Cincinnati, it’s accepting what has the best chance of working in this league. It comes after an initial reliance on USL experience and then European influence to find success. Both of those were justifiable choices in theory that simply didn’t get the rewards the team expected.

The league’s parity-driven model is responsible for convincing clubs that with the right set of ideas, they can win championships without exorbitant spending on its roster.

Back-to-back salary cap champion Lightning are envy of NHL

Associated Press, Stephen Whyno from

Long before the Tampa Bay Lightning showed they were the best hockey team by winning the Stanley Cup back to back, they proved to be the class of the NHL in something far more mundane to the average fan: managing the salary cap.

With a little luck along the way, general manager Julien BriseBois made all the right moves to position his team for consecutive championships. Exploiting every loophole and unafraid to give up assets to shed salary and make the money work, he went all in and it paid off.

“The stars kind of aligned for us,” BriseBois said.

So, why don’t more teams follow the Lightning’s lead? Many try, but few have an elite goaltender like Andrei Vasilevskiy and other homegrown players at premium positions. Most GMs also tend to take fewer risks than BriseBois.

The most treacherous stretch of the NHL schedule for many teams has turned into a bit of breather of late.

Twitter, AP Sports from

San Jose, Anaheim and Los Angeles have all missed the NHL playoffs the past two years and are retooling.

How Liverpool & Man City took the role of full-back to a new level

Training Ground Guru, Rob Weaver from

… Full-backs are now attacking wing-back style players who need athleticism to get up and down the pitch, as well as the ability to run with the ball and cross with quality.

This has been in line with a tendency for wide players to come inside, meaning full-backs are required to provide width. As wingers tend to possess these attacking attributes – and are used to playing in these wide positions – coaches have been converting them into full-backs.

However, the role of the full-back has evolved even further in recent seasons, with Liverpool and Manchester City leading the way. That’s what this article – and a chapter of my book Record Breakers – is about.

The Role of Technology in Brazil’s World Cup Dream

Hudl Blog, Tony Sprangers from

… “Before the call-up stage we analyse all of our athletes, including those around the world and within Brazil,” said [Bruno] Baquete. “Essentially, we analyze the games in the stadiums and via video analysis where we create and database footage that has strategic importance to our selection and development processes.

This is especially useful during this pandemic period, as we can’t go to the stadiums. During the pre-call-up stage, video analysis is a fundamental tool for us to obtain images of the athletes for discussion.”

Manchester United complete signing which could impact team on and off the pitch

Manchester Evening News, Josh Williams from

Manchester United made a high-profile signing last week, although the club’s new arrival drifted under the radar in comparison to transfers for the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo and Jadon Sancho.

Rather than performing on the pitch at Old Trafford, Dominic Jordan will head up a new department for United as Director of Data Science.

It is a welcome addition to the team behind the scenes at United, with rival institutions such as Liverpool and Manchester City making strides in the world of data over the course of the past decade.

“There is so much potential for data science to benefit the club,” said Jordan upon his appointment, “from assisting with player recruitment, automatically analysing patterns of play right through to using computer vision to extract information for video feeds in real time.”

College hockey community rising to occasion to save teams, but should such a responsibility fall on fans?

USCHO, Dan Rubin from

… The reasons for RMU’s erasure are still unclear, but there are signs the Colonials’ dismissal will only be a temporary pause. Neither RMU’s men’s team nor its women’s program will suit up this year, but the athletics department, in conjunction with the Pittsburgh College Hockey Foundation, is halfway to its goal of raising $3 million to reinstate a sustainable program. There is hope on the horizon, even if over $1 million in goals still need to be met by December.

But the Colonials’ absence will remain conspicuous at a time when some college hockey programs are in a transitional state. RMU was the third program to either disband or suspend its team during this offseason after contraction initially hit the programs at Alaska Anchorage and Alabama Huntsville, and while each have different circumstances, the notable outcomes have led to the need for more awareness about each individual situation.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.