Applied Sports Science newsletter – August 11, 2017

Applied Sports Science news articles, blog posts and research papers for August 11, 2017


Amy Cragg On Her Bronze Medal At The World Championships Marathon, Women's Running, Caitlyn Pilkington from

… “I knew I would remember it forever, the point that made the race go good or go bad,” Cragg says about those final steps into history. “The pain was worth it to try and hopefully make the race go in my favor.”

She knew she was in the best shape of her life going into the marathon and that there was potential to do something special with such a deep field of talented runners. However, snagging a medal wasn’t necessarily her first thought; with a group that included Olympic bronze medalist and reigning world champion Mare Dibaba, a top-10 finish felt like a good day. And likening the majority of the race to a “jog” up until 35K meant that final 5K was going to be hammer time.

“I knew very early on it was going to be a slow race with a strong finish,” explains Cragg. “However, at 20K I was like, Okay, now it’s going to go. And it didn’t go. And at 25K I was waiting and it still didn’t go. It was kind of crazy that people waited so long [to make moves].”


WNBA’s Briann January will spend offseason as Arizona State assistant

USA Today Sports, Nicole Auerbach from

… January, 30, now realizes that what her father told her about martial arts and basketball — it will help you when you fall, for example — has been true. And perhaps it’s helped her, over the course of her exceptional collegiate career at Arizona State, her now nine-year WNBA career and her foray into coaching, more than she ever could have imagined.

“There are so many things that you learn within martial arts that carries over into not only just basketball, but life,” January says. “One of the major things for me is just to be able to recenter myself. There’s so much going on — when you’re on the court and you have a few bad possessions. Or somebody’s not shooting well. You’ve got to get somebody locked in. There are a lot of moving parts and you just sometimes just got to take a second and be able to regroup, center yourself real quick, and then focus, really lock in at the task at hand, which probably is the next possession. That is the biggest thing for me, as well as just being able to move my body. To avoid body contact and just roll off of people. Whether it’s a post player trying to post you up and pulling the chair, swimming over. Keeping your balance. Those type of things.


Raiders WR Roberts hopes better health leads to better play

Associated Press, Josh Dubow from

After a promising first season in the NFL, Oakland Raiders receiver Seth Roberts stalled a bit in year two as he was plagued by inconsistent play and dropped passes.

There might have been a reason for that as Roberts played through the 2016 season with a double sports hernia injury suffered in training camp and never revealed by the team.

“It was tough mentally,” Roberts said Wednesday. “I just had to stay in it. It was a real struggle but I made it happen. I got through the season. It wasn’t my best and I didn’t feel my best but I made it happen. I had to do it.”


How Many NFL Players Are in the “Best Shape” of Their Lives?

The Ringer, Danny Kelly from

Just how many guys can be in peak physical condition in one summer? A lot — and if they’re telling the truth, it could matter this season.


The decline of Australian sporting performances

Ian King from

Australia’s sports performances are in decline. Yes, it’s a generalization, and if this is not the case in your sport, I am happy for you. However. to showcase this suggestion, I have selected five sports or sporting events that possess a proud and long history of international dominance or success. Sports interwoven in the Australian cultural psyche. And then, more importantly, I will address the question why I believe this is happening.

The five sports or sporting events I will reflect upon include swimming, tennis, rugby union, cricket and the Summer Olympic Games.


The facts behind early sport specialization and increased injuries

USA Today High School Sports, Garland Cooper from

From shin splints to sprained ankles, most student-athletes encounter a few bumps in the road. But new evidence suggests that specializing in a single sport makes them increasingly prone to serious injury.

In fact, a study conducted by the National Federation of State High School Associations found that high school athletes who specialized were 70 percent more likely to suffer an injury. And a recent study in the American Journal of Sports Medicine states that specialization not only increased risk of injury, but also contributed to burnout, such as loss of motivation, lack of enjoyment, stress and anxiety, and mood disturbances.

The culprit? Overuse syndrome. And adolescents are especially susceptible because their bodies are still developing.


An introduction to coordination dynamics

Tim Buszard, skill acquisition research blog from

Coordination is everywhere we look. We coordinate our limbs when we walk. We coordinate our fingers when we write. We even coordinate our movements with another person’s movements.

The study of coordination has been coined “coordination dynamics”. In the book “Coordination Dynamics: Issues and Trends” (2008), Scott Kelso, a leading figure in the field, described the science of coordination dynamics as:

“It explicitly addresses coordination within and between levels of description and organization. Coordination Dynamics thus aims to characterise the nature of the coupling within a part of the system (e.g., the firing of cells in the heart or neurons in a part of the brain), between different parts of a system (e.g., parts of the brain, parts of the body, members of an audience), and between different kinds of systems (e.g., stimuli and responses, organisms and environments, perception and action, etc.). Ultimately Coordination Dynamics is concerned with how things come together in space and time, and how they split apart.”


How to do more with your fitness tracker

Popular Science, David Nield from

f you’ve recently invested in some kind of fitness tracker, then you know they can track your steps, activity, sleeping patterns, and even your food and water consumption. Manufacturers advertise that their trackers let users set small activity goals that all add up to a healthier lifestyle. But this relatively limited application doesn’t take advantage of the sheer volume of data that these devices pump out.

You can use all that information to pick out larger patterns in your behavior and adjust your lifestyle accordingly. To do so, you don’t have to be a genius—you just need to know the right apps and tools to use. We’ve collected four different ways you can do more with your fitness tracker data, whether you want to give yourself a motivational boost or combine the input from multiple devices


A shift in the fitness wearables market spells trouble for Fitbit

MedCity News, Stephanie Baum from

… “Fitbit is at risk of being trapped in a pincer movement between the low-end fitness bands sold by Xiaomi and the fitness-led, high-end smartwatches sold by Apple.”

Fitbit’s mission to be more than just a consumer wearables producer. In recent years, it has sought to play a greater role in healthcare through consumer wellness programs and make user data more accessible to contextualize users’ health, in part to insulate the company from the fickleness of the consumer market. It will be interesting to see how this strategy continues to evolve.


Could VR help rehabilitate injured footballers?

BBC News from

A start-up in Manchester has created a virtual reality programme that offers rehabilitation for footballers using drills and exercises that gather data from the results.

Several Premier League clubs are looking at the system and hope that it will also be used to scout for players in the future.


IAAF World Athletics Championships – Two cases of norovirus identified

ESPN Athletics, PA Sport from

Two cases of norovirus have been identified after an outbreak of illness at one of the official London 2017 World Championships hotels.

Competition organisers confirmed Monday that several London 2017 competitors — staying at the same official team hotel — had suffered gastroenteritis.

And Public Health England on Tuesday said around 30 people had been affected, with laboratory testing revealing norovirus.


New Technology Could Help Reduce The Risk Of Infection In Athletic Facilities

CollegeAD, Rhett Moroses from

A new, emerging technology has Duke University partnered with Vital Vio, Inc., a healthcare technology company located in Troy, NY. Vital Vio specializes in lighting for disinfection and infection control. Duke is the first college athletic program to incorporate this lighting technology in their indoor athletic facilities (weight rooms, locker rooms, gymnasiums, etc.) to constantly kill germs and protect college communities from sicknesses.


NBA expected to approve player-resting rules

USA Today Sports, Jeff Zillgitt from

NBA owners are expected to approve player-resting rules in September designed to cut back on teams benching healthy players for regular-season games, a person with direct knowledge of the situation told USA TODAY Sports.

The person requested anonymity because he was not authorized to speak publicly until league owners officially adopt the rules at their next Board of Governors meeting.

The rules will be in place by the start of the 2017-18 season, and there will be consequences for teams that do not adhere to them.


HS Sports Participation Reaches All-Time High

Athletic Business, Jason Scott from

A survey conducted by the National Federation of State High School Associations found that more high school-aged students than ever before are participating in high school sports.

The 2016-17 High School Athletics Participation Survey revealed that the number of participants grew for the 28th consecutive year. The number of high school students playing sports has reached 7,963,535, based on data from 51 NFHS member state high school associations. That number represents an increase of 94,635 over the 2015-16 survey data, making it the largest one-year participation spike since 2008-09.


How the Earthquakes Can Maximize their Partnership with Second Spectrum

American Soccer Analysis, Kevin Minkus from

… The clearest first-mover advantage here is that San Jose has this data before anyone else. Whatever edges exist in tracking data, the Quakes have access to them for now, while the rest of MLS does not. If they fail to add their own proprietary value to the product, though, this advantage will evaporate when the rest of the league adopts the technology and everyone has access to Second Spectrum’s analytics. Whatever work San Jose does on their own with the data stays in-house, so that gives them a pretty big incentive to build their own analytics on it. This really speaks to what the nature of their partnership with Second Spectrum should look like. It suggests that they shouldn’t allow themselves to outsource all the analytics work to Second Spectrum itself.

This is tricky. Presumably Second Spectrum has all sorts of cross-sport institutional knowledge, and the Quakes should absolutely lean on them for that, but they should make sure they focus on adding their own value, as well. Having a two or three year head start on the rest of MLS in building a proprietary infrastructure for modeling, reporting, and measuring tracking data, to supplement Second Spectrum’s own product, would be tremendous.


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