Female Sports Science newsletter – June 23, 2019

Female Sports Science news articles, blog posts and research papers for June 23, 2019



Caroline Gleich Wants to See More Women Reach the Top

Adventure Journal, Shawnte Salabert from

On February 26, 2019, professional ski mountaineer Caroline Gleich fell during a run in the Wasatch Range and felt a “gut-wrenching pop” in her left knee. It was the stuff of nightmares; in the tumble, Gleich had torn her ACL. “ I was completely devastated,” she says. “I thought my whole life was over.”

Compounding the severity of the situation was the fact that Gleich was deep into training for an expedition to climb and ski Mount Everest from its north side that would depart in two months—and she had just plunked down “ungodly amounts of money,” all of it nonrefundable, to secure her slot on the team. A significant portion of that was from sponsorship funds; if she had to bail due to an injury, she’d likely have to pay it back, which could tilt her toward bankruptcy.

Luckily, her doctor gave Gleich the go-ahead to dive into rehab and make the Everest attempt, and the expedition lead—Adrian Ballinger of Alpenglow Expeditions, who actually guided the peak a few years earlier with a torn ACL—was equally supportive. After a tough acclimatization period on the mountain—and one particularly blustery day that challenged her knee’s stability (“I felt like my tibia and my femur were separating in the wind”), Gleich and her fiancée, triathlete Rob Lea, reached the summit via Everest’s north ridge on May 24.


Bird recovering from knee surgery, not sure of return date

Associated Press, Doug Feinberg from

Sue Bird isn’t sure when she’ll be back this year. The WNBA’s all-time assist leader said she has to be smart about her health as she recovers from surgery on her left knee.

“I don’t know. I’m hoping to be healthy. For me that means being smart and doing what I have to do to make sure I’m 100%,” Seattle’s star said after Seattle lost to Connecticut 81-67 on Sunday. “Do I love the fact that I might have to miss the season? No. I hate it. Hopefully time doesn’t run out on me. I think at this point in my career I can’t be stupid.”


Husker women investing in better season in hopes of returning to postseason

Lincoln Journal Star (NE), Brent C. Wagner from

… “Without question, the thing we kept hearing in their individual meetings was just that they felt very frustrated and disappointed about not playing in the postseason, and that’s something that they don’t want to get used to,” Williams said. “They’re extremely hungry to find a way to get back to that. I think all of them collectively really felt the same way.”

After the season, each player had a meeting that included each of the coaches, a sports psychologist, and the strength and conditioning coach, so they all know how they can help the player achieve their goals.

It was a great summer of strength and conditioning that helped Nebraska to a 14-game improvement and spot in the NCAA Tournament during Williams’ second season in 2018.


Team Finland legend Riikka Sallinen retires

SB Nation, The Ice Garden blog, Meredith Foster from

Finnish ice hockey forward Riikka Sallinen has called it a career.

She confirmed the news to Kirsi Teiskonlahti and YLE Urheilu on Friday, June 14, saying:

”I have been training continuously after the season, but it’s been more for the fun of it. I no longer have the burning need to really try my best to become a better player.”


World Cup Players Say Muscles and Makeup Mix Just Fine, Thanks

The New York Times, Allison McCann from

Rejecting notions about how they should present themselves as female athletes, the women are turning to colorful hair and bold lips to showcase their style and enhance performance.


Women’s World Cup: Why has USWNT’s Lindsey Horan gone unnoticed?

Yahoo Sports, Caitlin Murray from

For anyone who watched the National Women’s Soccer League last season, it wasn’t hard to pick up on who was going to be voted the league’s MVP.

Lindsey Horan was seemingly everywhere for the Portland Thorns – dishing line-breaking passes to set up her teammates, scoring goals, winning 50/50 balls, stamping out oncoming attacks, and just about everything else the Thorns did well.

But tune into a U.S. women’s national team game, and it’s not quite the same Horan. That’s not to say she isn’t influential, but she isn’t the heart of everything the U.S. does in the midfield in the same way.



Neville’s compassion for players shows new England culture

Associated Press, Rob Harris from

In the celebratory moments after England advanced to the next round of the Women’s World Cup, coach Phil Neville gently kissed the head of forward Fran Kirby in recognition of her personal journey.

England’s 1-0 victory over Argentina came on the 11th anniversary of Kirby’s mother dying from a brain hemorrhage.

“We’re a family,” Neville said. “Fran is a special person who misses her mum.”


The Effect of Valgus Control Instruction Exercises on Pain, Strength, and Functionality in Active Females With Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome

Sports Health journal from


Patellofemoral pain syndrome (PFPS) is sometimes related to excessive hip adduction and internal rotation, as well as knee valgus during weightbearing activities in females. Research on injury prevention and rehabilitation strategies has shown the positive effects of valgus control instruction (VCI) exercise programs in training.

A VCI program would result in a positive change in pain, eccentric hip muscle torque, and performance in females with PFPS.
Study Design:

Controlled laboratory study.
Level of Evidence:

Level 1.

Sixty-four amateur female volleyball players from our university (age, 18-25 years) with PFPS and equal years of exercise experience were randomly divided into VCI (n = 32; age, 22.1 ± 5.88 years) and control (n = 32; age, 23.1 ± 6.49 years) groups. Function (single, triple, and crossover hops), strength (hip abductor and external rotators), pain (visual analog scale), and knee valgus angle (single-leg squat) were assessed at baseline and after intervention.

There was a significant difference before and after implementation of the VCI program with regard to pain (49.18% ↓, P = 0.000), single-leg hop test (24.62% ↑, P = 0.000), triple-hop test (23.75% ↑, P = 0.000), crossover hop test (12.88% ↑, P = 0.000), single-leg 6-m timed hop test (7.43% ↓, P = 0.000), knee dynamic valgus angle (59.48% ↓, P = 0.000), peak abductor to adductor eccentric torque ratio (14.60% ↑, P = 0.000), peak external (59.73% ↑, P = 0.023) and internal rotator (15.45% ↑, P = 0.028) eccentric torques, and the ratio of peak external to internal rotator eccentric torque (40.90% ↑, P = 0.000) (P < 0.05). Conclusion:

PFPS rehabilitation and prevention programs should consider VCI exercises to decrease pain, improve strength, and increase athletes’ functional performance.
Clinical Relevance:

This study investigated the effect of VCI exercises on knee valgus angle, pain, and functionality of individuals with PFPS. The VCI program improves performance, knee dynamic valgus angle, and strength in participants with PFPS. A controlled and optimal knee valgus angle during a functional task is the most important factor for injury prevention specialists. VCI training can be used as a supplemental method to prevent and treat lower extremity injury in patients with PFPS.


How Argentina’s national team went from non-existent to the Women’s World Cup in two years

Yahoo Sports, Doug McIntyre from

… Before the Japan match, Argentina hadn’t faced an international opponent since February. While the favored U.S. was preparing for the World Cup with a ballyhooed three-game send-off series, the Argentines scheduled tuneups against collegiate foes.

Still, things are a lot better than they used to be. When the squad reconvened in 2017, the AFA refused to pay for travel for players who lived more than 400 kilometers from Buenos Aires. One head coach was assigned to the under-17, U-20 and senior teams. Twenty-five women were forced to dress in a futsal locker room designed for 12. They wore threadbare practice gear that the men’s team had used a dozen years prior.

“We were being forced to train on the turf field at the [AFA] complex when there’s 10 other impeccable grass fields,” Garton said. “It was pretty much a mess.”



Ask the Expert: Esther Goldsmith (FitrWoman)

Athletic Evolution (UK) from

Esther is a sports scientist working for Orreco (a sports science and data analytics company), primarily working in the daughter branch of the company that focuses on the female athlete; FitrWoman. Esther recently was awarded an MSc in Applied Sport and Exercise Physiology at St Marys University, where she investigated the effects of the menstrual cycle on running economy in her final research project. In a past life (or that’s what it feels like), Esther trained as a professional contemporary dancer and now likes to run quite a bit.


Computer ‘geek’ stereotype puts girls off subject

BBC News NI Education, Robbie Meredith from

Cultural stereotyping of computer users as “male, socially awkward and intense” has led to a low number of girls in NI studying computing.


sports medicine

AMA principles will further gender equity among physicians

American Medical Association from

… “The statistics on pay and leadership disparities in medicine are jarring, but sadly, unsurprising,” said AMA Board of Trustees Chair Jesse M. Ehrenfeld, MD, MPH. “Even as the number of women in medicine increases —and women now outnumber men as physicians-in-training—more must be done to spur change and eliminate the bias and discrimination that adversely affect women and, consequently, our profession.”

The newly adopted principles “are a step in the right direction for the AMA, women in medicine, and toward achieving our goal of improving the health of the nation.”



Food-First Nutrition with Meghan Duggan: How to Incorporate Veggies Every Day

U.S. Anti-Doping Association, Meghan Duggan from

… As an Olympian in a high intensity sport, my approach to veggies these days is eating them all day, every day! That means I’m pretty much eating vegetables with every meal. Most days, that looks like spinach and mushrooms with eggs for breakfast, along with salads or power-bowls for lunch and dinner. This plan works regardless of my training and competition schedule because I know to keep it simple before activity and to reduce anything spicy or super flavorful. I go with combinations that sit well with my stomach, like a standard protein, plain vegetables, and brown rice.



Will the NWHL turn to D-III talent to fill its rosters?

SB Nation, The Ice Garden blog, Mike Murphy from

It’s now been over a month since NWHL free agency began. Historically, news of signings has come at a slow trickle — with the noteworthy exception of the Buffalo Beauts signing 10 players in the first 16 days of free agency last year. Thus far, 23 players have signed and reports indicate that we should expect more before the month is over.

Yesterday, Jane Morrisette became the first D-III player to sign an NHWL contract this offseason. Chances are, the UMass-Boston alumna is just the tip of the iceberg.


“We have to mainstream the women’s game”: Sarai Bareman’s Women’s World Cup pledge

SportsPro Media, Sam Carp from

Sarai Bareman, chief women’s football officer at Fifa, outlines her hopes for this summer’s Women’s World Cup, and emphasises why the spotlight must continue to shine on the women’s game beyond the next four weeks in France.


The superb Christiane Endler shows women don’t need smaller goals

The Guardian, Hope Solo from

Goalkeeping is one of the last aspects to develop in women’s soccer. That’s down to lack of resources, not lack of talent


Women’s World Cup hit by empty seats and Fifa’s warped priorities

The Guardian, Suzanne Wrack from

… If they have been focused on filling stadiums then they have failed spectacularly. Le Prévost said 20 games were sold out and that four of seven matches at the Parc des Princes were at capacity. A week later Fifa said that, actually, 14 games were sell-outs. Either way, this is staggeringly low for a major international tournament. There are 24 teams in France. We are talking significantly less than one game per team sold out.

When, on the day before the tournament started, we were told that ticket sales were at 965,000, there was hope that they would reach 1.3m. Yet the timing suggested this was almost impossible. With the semi-finals and final sold out, a drive to get big numbers to the early, less desirable, group games needed to have happened sooner. One week later a total of 1.025m tickets had been, in the words of a Fifa spokesperson, “allocated to fans around the world”.



The WNBA Travel Accommodations Problem

Grandstand Central, Dr. Rajpal Brar from

Women’s National Basketball Association players and other female athletes are at the top of their field in their respective sports. Yet their travel accommodations often have them flying in coach, stuck with typical travel delays, and enduring the common headaches that come with constant travel, let alone in huge groups with tons of luggage.

L.A. Sparks head coach Derek Fisher, who has a unique perspective on how NBA athletes are treated given the two decades he spent playing and coaching in the league, announced the need for changes to WNBA travel accommodations. The team had just come off a huge win in Minnesota over the Western Conference-leading Lynx and were continuing their road trip.

With the WNBA collective bargaining agreement (CBA) up at the end of the year, we’re likely going to hear more and more about many of the obstacles that WNBA players and teams want changed. When it comes to travel accommodations and flying coach, it’s not simply a matter of inconvenience and the reality that if you travel a lot, flying commercial and in coach is a frustration to which almost anyone can relate. For these elite athletes, efficient travel is critical to health and performance.


Women’s football has come a long way but misogyny is still not beaten

The Guardian, Sean Ingle from

While much progress has been made in recent decades today’s female coaches can still recount grim tales of sexism


Chile’s Road to the Women’s World Cup Started With an Indignity

The New York Times, Ayelén Pujol from

Dropped from FIFA’s world rankings three years ago because its federation had not scheduled a match in two years, Chile’s women’s team now has a players’ union and a lot to prove.


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