Applied Sports Science newsletter – August 2, 2018

Applied Sports Science news articles, blog posts and research papers for August 2, 2018


The Odell Beckham you don’t see is what impresses Giants

New York Post, Zach Braziller and Paul Schwartz from

The one-handed catches, game-breaking speed and stop-on-a-dime cuts have of course left an impression on Pat Shurmur through six practices. But the new Giants coach seems just as impressed by Odell Beckham Jr.’s actions away from the cameras and the adoring fans.

“This guy loves to play football, he trains extremely hard, he’s totally engaged in the meetings behind the scenes — the things that the world is not aware of — and he’s got a lot of passion for the game,” Shurmur said before Monday’s training camp practice. “We were just out in a walk-through and I saw three or four times when he was talking to different players about certain techniques within the play.”

Beckham, a full participant so far in camp as he waits on a new contract extension from the Giants, has shown no ill effects from the fractured left ankle that limited him to four games a year ago. He’s shown burst and the same athleticism that has netted him three Pro Bowl selections. Just as importantly, the superstar wide receiver seems fully invested in his teammates and doing whatever he can to make the Giants a winner, his new coach believes.


New England Patriots release injured WR Jordan Matthews

ESPN NFL, Mike Reiss from

Wide receiver Jordan Matthews, who injured his right hamstring in Sunday’s fourth practice of training camp, was released by the New England Patriots on Wednesday.

Because he was injured, the Patriots first placed Matthews on injured reserve and then reached an injury settlement with the receiver that allows him to play again later this season, if healthy.

Matthews had signed a one-year, $1 million contract with $300,000 guaranteed ($170,000 pure guarantee, $130,000 workout bonus) with the Patriots in April, and he was vying for a roster spot at a position headlined by Julian Edelman and Chris Hogan. With Edelman set to serve a four-game suspension for violating the NFL’s PED policy to open the season, some viewed that as possibly increasing Matthews’ chances of sticking.


Miguel Cabrera trying to stay upbeat about recovery

Associated Press, Noah Trister from

Miguel Cabrera can now say it with a good deal of certainty: Baseball is harder than it looks on TV.

“It’s so easy when you watch the game on TV. It’s so slow,” the Detroit slugger said. “The game is so simple on TV.”

It’s not nearly as simple on the field, of course, and right now all Cabrera can do is watch. The Tigers lost their star first baseman in the middle of June to a ruptured biceps tendon, and he’s out for the season. Detroit was in a rebuilding mode anyway, but losing one of the team’s top hitters was a significant blow.


Comparing Coaching Philosophies

Driveline Baseball, Michael O’Connell from

Performance isn’t a top down mechanical only ‘problem’ but something that have multiple variables to attend too.

To us, this can be first reframed in simpler terms as a comparison to the older school coaching model. We should acknowledgement that both problems keeping athletes from improving and solutions helping athletes to improve can come from many different areas. … There isn’t one mechanical model to box athletes into. There are multiple ways that coaches can go about improving an athlete’s movement besides directly coaching it.


Associations between adductor strength; flexibility and self-reported symptoms in elite professional footballers: a case series

Science and Medicine in Football journal from

Objectives: Measures of adductor strength, flexibility and self-reported symptoms offer insights into footballer hip/groin health. Understanding their relationship may further determine their suitability for use. Design: Clinical case series Method: Eighteen professional footballers completed two adductor squeeze tests (short and long lever), the HAGOS (sport) and Bent Knee Fall Out (BKFO); 2 days post-match, during a period of 4 months. Results: Adductor strength reduced beyond the minimal detectable change (MDC) on 16 occasions for the long-lever squeeze (MDC = 7%) and 7 occasions for short-lever squeeze (MDC = 15%). On 17 occasions, participant BKFO scores reduced beyond the MDC (21%). A relationship between both squeeze tests and HAGOS (sport) was observed explaining 12% variance for short-lever (R2 = 0.121, p = 0.006) and 7% for long-lever (R2 = 0.065, p = 0.046) tests. The BKFO showed no statistically significant (P = > 0.05) correlation to either squeeze test (rp = 0.153/0.193) or HAGOS (sport) (rp = 0.182). Conclusion: This study adds to literature surrounding monitoring of hip/groin measures in footballers. The long-lever adductor squeeze detected meaningful changes more frequently than the short-lever. Both tests shared weak, albeit statistically significant relationships with HAGOS (sport), whilst the BKFO did not. A larger prospective study is warranted to increase confidence in selecting these measures in this setting.


How night shifts disrupt metabolism

National Institutes of Health, NIH Health Matters from

You wake up, feel hungry, and fall asleep each day around repeating 24-hour “circadian” cycles controlled by your body’s internal clocks. These clocks are synchronized by a central pacemaker in the brain. Cycles of light and dark are important for the function of the brain’s master clock. Other cycles, such as the behavioral activities of eating and fasting or sleeping and waking, are important for peripheral clocks in the liver, gut, and other tissues.

When you stay awake all night or otherwise go against natural light cycles, your health may suffer. Long-term disruption of circadian rhythms has been linked to obesity, diabetes, and other health problems related to the body’s metabolism.

Previous studies have shown that some metabolites—the products of metabolism—in blood can have daily rhythms. An international research team led by Drs. Hans P. A. Van Dongen and Shobhan Gaddameedhi at Washington State University investigated whether disruptions in these rhythms are influenced by the central pacemaker in the brain or reflect behavioral activities, such as working the night shift. The study was funded in part by NIH’s National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS). Results were published online in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences on July 10, 2018.


The use of a smart-textile garment during high-intensity functional training. A Pilot Study. – PubMed – NCBI

Journal of Sports Medicine & Physical Fitness from


Wearable devices are common in the health and fitness industry and provide valuable information to improve and achieve fitness goals. The Hexoskin shirt (Hx) is one such device that has been shown to be valid and reliable. The purpose of this pilot study was to compare the Hx to established methods during a maximal graded exercise test (TM) and a High-Intensity Functional Training (HIFT) session.

Ten healthy individuals (31.0 ± 7.6 years, 76.4 ± 11.4 kg; 1.7 ± 0.1 m) volunteered for this study and completed a TM and a HIFT exercise session. During both testing sessions, respiratory measures [Respiratory Rate (RR), and Respiratory Volume (RV)] were assessed using a portable metabolic system (Cosmed K4b2; K4), and heart rate (HR) was determined via ECG in a standard 12-lead configuration. The Hx was worn during both sessions.

During TM, a 4% difference was noted for HR during cool down, while exercising HR and RV, along with RR during cool down were all under 10%. During HIFT, HR at rest and cool down, as well as RR during exercise were less than 10%. The variation between technologies for the remaining variables ranged between 12.3 – 39.9% and 10.9 – 41.1% for TM and HIFT, respectively.

The Hx smart garment may be utilized to provide select cardiorespiratory data in a TM and HIFT session. We recommend that the validity and reliability be fully established before the Hx smart garment is entirely utilized for all cardiorespiratory data and research purposes in a field-based environment.


Clinical Validation of Biometric Wearables and Applying Accurate Biometrics Towards Compelling User Experiences

Valencell from

There is plentiful publically available wearables data for the purposes of providing interesting and meaningful insights on lifestyle, health, fitness, and more. In this webinar, we highlight some clinically validated use cases for wearables and hearables and explain how to validate biometric wearable sensors against established clinical benchmarks to prevent “garbage-in/garbage-out” with wearable products.


Validity and Reliability of Global Positioning System Units (STATSports Viper) for Measuring Distance and Peak Speed in Sports. – PubMed – NCBI

Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research from

Previous evidence has proven that large variability exists in the accuracy of different brands of global positioning systems (GPS). Therefore, any GPS model should be validated independently, and the results of a specific brand cannot be extended to others. The aim of this study is to assess the validity and reliability of GPS units (STATSports Viper) for measuring distance and peak speed in sports. Twenty participants were enrolled (age 21 ± 2 years [range 18 to 24 years], body mass 73 ± 5 kg, and height 1.78 ± 0.04 m). Global positioning system validity was evaluated by comparing the instantaneous values of speed (peak speed) determined by GPS (10 Hz, Viper Units; STATSports, Newry, Ireland) with those determined by a radar gun during a 20-m sprint. Data were analyzed using the Stalker (34.7 GHz, USA) ATS Version software as gold standard. Distance recorded by GPS was also compared with a known circuit distance (400-m running, 128.5-m sports-specific circuit, and 20-m linear running). The distance bias in the 400-m trial, 128.5-m circuit, and 20-m trial was 1.99 ± 1.81%, 2.7 ± 1.2%, and 1.26 ± 1.04%, respectively. Peak speed measured by the GPS was 26.3 ± 2.4 km·h, and criterion was 26.1 ± 2.6 km·h, with a bias of 1.80 ± 1.93%. The major finding of this study was that GPS did not underestimate the criterion distance during a 400-m trial, 128.5-m circuit, and 20-m trial, as well as peak speed. Small errors (<5%, good) were found for peak speed and distances. This study supported the validity and reliability of this GPS model.


Wrist-worn Accelerometry for Runners: Objective Quantification of Training Load

Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise journal from

Purpose This study aimed to apply open-source analysis code to raw habitual physical activity data from wrist-worn monitors to: 1) objectively, unobtrusively and accurately discriminate between ‘running’ and ‘non-running’ days; and 2) develop and compare simple accelerometer-derived metrics of external training load with existing self-report measures.

Methods Seven-day wrist-worn accelerometer (GENEActiv, Activinsights Ltd, Kimbolton, UK) data obtained from 35 experienced runners (age, 41.9±11.4 years; height 1.72±0.08 m; mass 68.5±9.7 kg; Body Mass Index, 23.2±2.2 kg.m2; 19 [54%] women) every other week over 9-18 weeks were date-matched with self-reported training log data. Receiver-Operating-Characteristic analyses were applied to accelerometer metrics (‘Average Acceleration’, ‘Most Active-30mins’, ‘Mins≥400mg’) to discriminate between ‘running’ and ‘non-running’ days and cross-validated (leave one out cross-validation; LOOCV). Variance explained in training log criterion metrics (Miles, Duration, Training Load) by accelerometer metrics (‘Mins≥400mg’, ‘WL(workload)400-4000mg’) was examined using linear regression with LOOCV.

Results ‘Most Active-30mins’ and ‘Mins≥400mg’ had >94% accuracy for correctly classifying ‘running’ and ‘non-running’ days, with validation indicating robustness. Variance explained in Miles, Duration and Training Load by ‘Mins≥400mg’ (67-76%) and ‘WL400-4000mg’ (55-69%) was high, with validation indicating robustness.

Conclusion Wrist-worn accelerometer metrics can be used to objectively, unobtrusively and accurately identify running training days in runners, reducing the need for training logs or user input in future prospective research or commercial activity tracking. The high percentage of variance explained in existing self-reported measures of training load by simple, accelerometer-derived metrics of external training load supports the future use of accelerometry for prospective, preventative and prescriptive monitoring purposes in runners.


Purdue researchers look to decrease sports concussions

WLFI tv from

The Purdue Neurotrauma Group is looking into ways to minimize concussions among college football players.

A study by the NCAA found that over a four-year span, 7 percent of football player injuries were concussions.

Eric Nauman, a professor of mechanical engineering at Purdue University, said he hopes the group’s research will create a new push for safety: “Whether it is new equipment, new treatment methods — we’re actually working on a lot of detection algorithms — whatever it is that needs to happen to make sports safer, that’s the direction we’re heading.”

The team’s target is to identify the mechanisms that lead to traumatic head injuries.


Andrews Institute receives $1M grant to research regenerative medicine

Pensacola News Journal, Kevin Robinson from

The state of Florida just gave a huge vote of confidence — and a huge chunk of change — to a Gulf Breeze research institute that’s blazing trails in the field of regenerative medicine.

The Andrews Research & Education Foundation — an independent nonprofit on the Andrews Institute for Orthopaedics & Sports Medicine campus — recently received a $1 million grant from the Florida Department of Health to support research into the healing properties of stem cells.

The foundation is already having success with a cartilage regrowth treatment that could make knee replacement surgeries obsolete. The new state funding will allow the foundation to expand its research even further, potentially making regenerative medicine safer, more accessible and more affordable for everyone.


Nick Saban Has Six New Assistants — and Will Probably Still Win

The New York Times, Ray Glier from

… Saban has six new assistant coaches. Brent Key, an offensive line coach, is the only assistant in the same role as 2017. Saban also has a new offensive coordinator and new defensive coordinator. Running backs coach Burton Burns, the last remaining assistant coach from Saban’s first Alabama staff, retired from coaching in January. Mike Locksley is Saban’s seventh offensive coordinator at Alabama.

In this era of the college football coach as chief executive — fund-raiser, spokesman, visionary — staff turnover like this would be an impediment for some coaches, but not for Saban. He has managed similar situations before, cycling through 39 assistants since arriving at Alabama in 2007 while winning at an absurd pace (132-20). Perhaps it is because Saban has figured out how to be a different kind of leader — a very hands-on C.E.O.


Will Europe Start Buying Major League Soccer’s Stars?

The New York Times, Kevin Draper from

… Davies said in an interview on Monday that consistent minutes in M.L.S. at a young age had been vital to his development, even as he acknowledged “everyone’s fear of going to the big club and not making it.”

European soccer has had plenty of experience with American flameouts. Tim Howard and Clint Dempsey may have excelled abroad, but Freddy Adu and Landon Donovan proved less successful.

For now, Davies, like most young players making such a move, is focusing on the upside. “If you go there at a young age,” he said, “you can develop way more than if you go there already in your prime.”


MLB offense rebounds in July after a historic drop

Associated Press, Ronald Blum from

Offense is on the rebound in Major League Baseball.

After a historic drop during the season’s first three months that concerned the sport’s leadership, the big league batting average in July was .255, according to the Elias Sports Bureau, raising the season’s average from .246 to .248. Unless it goes up to at least .251 during the final two months, the season average would be the lowest since .244 in 1972.

There were 6,546 hits and 6,195 strikeouts in July, reversing an anomaly in which strikeouts exceeded hits in two of the first three full months.


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