Applied Sports Science newsletter – September 3, 2019

Applied Sports Science news articles, blog posts and research papers for September 3, 2019


A Bears player explained why more NFL players will want to retire early — and then Andrew Luck went through with it

Business Insider, Scott Davis from

  • In March, Chicago Bears cornerback Prince Amukamara told Business Insider that he believes fewer players want to play 15-20 years and more players will retire early.
  • Amukamara said players today want to make as much money as they can, win as much as they can, then get out of the league relatively early.

    Wayne Rooney, MLS players tweet their travel grievances

    Pro Soccer USA, Chris Fuhrmeister from

    Many of us have been there. A delayed flight turns a routine trip into a day-long headache. Maybe weather was the culprit, or maybe there was some sort of organizational incompetence at play. Either way, we cope by channeling anger and frustration into a seething tweet, at-ing the airline with the irrational hope that this expression of rage and injustice will somehow bring cosmic forces together and release us from Terminal C limbo.

    Major League Soccer players, it turns out, are just like us.

    But instead of taking to social media to torch Delta or United or any other behemoth that will hardly notice the complaints, their posts are subtweets directed at MLS commissioner Don Garber and league owners.


    Lucy Bronze in spotlight by responding to my challenge, says Phil Neville

    The Guardian, Suzanne Wrack from

    Phil Neville believes that Lucy Bronze’s response to his challenge a year ago to add “goals, personality and character” to her game has launched her into global view, following her Uefa Women’s Player of the Year award and a place on the Fifa best player shortlist. “That’s what she has done in the 12-month period,” he said. “And I still think she can do better.”

    Lyon right-back Bronze, who will likely find herself tried in midfield again by the manager when the team play Norway on Tuesday night in a rematch of June’s World Cup quarter-final, is struggling to find the balance between an unrelenting drive to be the best and, as a player who likes to avoid the limelight, handling the attention that being the best brings.

    “I still don’t believe I’m worthy of being there just yet,” she said modestly. “I think anyone who knows me will tell you I want to be the best at everything. It’s not to put anyone else down, it’s not for the glory – it’s just for the self-motivation, the belief that I’ve always had.


    Michael Orozco blazes Pathway to Professional soccer trail

    Los Angeles Times, Kevin Baxter from

    Michael Orozco knew from a young age that he wanted to be a professional soccer player. And he thought he had the talent to make that happen.

    To prove it he had to leave Orange County for Mexico before he was old enough to drive, embarking on a journey that took half a lifetime and included stops with seven teams in two countries, robbing him of valuable time at home with friends and family.

    Seventeen years later, he has no regrets.

    “I’m happy for what I did,” said Orozco, who grew up in Anaheim and trained in the academy system of Mexican club San Luis Potosi.


    ‘Houston is home’ Inside Dana Holgorsen’s big rebuild

    ESPN College Football, Sam Khan Jr. from

    … It’s late June and Dana Holgorsen is smiling.

    It’s the coaching staff’s last day in the office before summer vacation, one of his favorite pastimes. (“When it’s offseason, it’s offseason,” tight ends coach Shannon Dawson says. “That line of distinction isn’t made with every staff, I can promise you.”) Holgorsen is brimming with positive energy.

    Sporting a black UH visor, a white polo and black shorts, he looks ready to hit the golf course. He may have squeezed in nine holes before strolling into the office this morning. He speaks glowingly of Orange Beach, Alabama, an enclave for Gulf Coast beachgoers near the Florida border that serves as an annual vacation spot for Holgorsen and his crew.

    “It’s relaxing,” says Ryan Dorchester, Holgorsen’s director of football operations. “It’s not a spoken rule, but the goal is not to sit there and talk about football all day. And 90% of the conversation is about football.”


    For Gregg Popovich, leading USA Basketball is a true calling

    Associated Press, Tim Reynolds from

    Even now, U.S coach Gregg Popovich remains a military man.

    Nearly a half-century after his graduation from the U.S. Air Force Academy, it hasn’t been uncommon in recent San Antonio Spurs offseasons for Popovich to return for workouts on the wooded trails of that campus in Colorado. He’d be gasping thin air found at 7,700 feet above sea level, lungs heaving, mind racing.

    As a student, he’d go there to think. As a graduate, he’s done the same.

    “What you learn there is to get over yourself,” said Popovich, a five-time NBA champion coach with the Spurs. “It’s not about you.”


    General versus sports-specific injury prevention programs in athletes: A systematic review on the effects on performance

    PLOS One; Ashley Plummer, Hendrik Mugele , Kathrin Steffen, Josefine Stoll, Frank Mayer, Juliane Müller from


    Injury prevention programs (IPPs) are an inherent part of training in recreational and professional sports. Providing performance-enhancing benefits in addition to injury prevention may help adjust coaches and athletes’ attitudes towards implementation of injury prevention into daily routine. Conventional thinking by players and coaches alike seems to suggest that IPPs need to be specific to one’s sport to allow for performance enhancement. The systematic literature review aims to firstly determine the IPPs nature of exercises and whether they are specific to the sport or based on general conditioning. Secondly, can they demonstrate whether general, sports-specific or even mixed IPPs improve key performance indicators with the aim to better facilitate long-term implementation of these programs?

    PubMed and Web of Science were electronically searched throughout March 2018. The inclusion criteria were randomized control trials, publication dates between Jan 2006 and Feb 2018, athletes (11–45 years), injury prevention programs and included predefined performance measures that could be categorized into balance, power, strength, speed/agility and endurance. The methodological quality of included articles was assessed with the Cochrane Collaboration assessment tools.

    Of 6619 initial findings, 22 studies met the inclusion criteria. In addition, reference lists unearthed a further 6 studies, making a total of 28. Nine studies used sports specific IPPs, eleven general and eight mixed prevention strategies. Overall, general programs ranged from 29–57% in their effectiveness across performance outcomes. Mixed IPPs improved in 80% balance outcomes but only 20–44% in others. Sports-specific programs led to larger scale improvements in balance (66%), power (83%), strength (75%), and speed/agility (62%).

    Sports-specific IPPs have the strongest influence on most performance indices based on the significant improvement versus control groups. Other factors such as intensity, technical execution and compliance should be accounted for in future investigations in addition to exercise modality. [full text]


    Few training sessions between return to play and first match appearance are associated with an increased propensity for injury: a prospective cohor… – PubMed – NCBI

    British Journal of Sports Medicine from


    It has been hypothesised that injury risk after return to play following an injury absence is influenced by the amount of training completed before return to competition.

    To analyse if the number of completed training sessions between return to play and the first subsequent match appearance was associated with the odds of injury in men’s professional football.

    From a cohort study, including 303 637 individual matches, 4805 first match appearances after return to play following moderate to severe injuries (≥8 days absence) were analysed. Rate ratios (RRs) were used to compare injury rates in the first match appearances with the average seasonal match injury rate. Odds ratios (ORs) were used to analyse associations between the number of completed training sessions and general (all injuries), muscle, and non-muscle injury odds.

    Injury rate in the first match after return to play was increased by 87% compared with the average seasonal match injury rate (46.9 vs 25.0/1000 hours, RR=1.87; 95% CI 1.64 to 2.14). The odds of injury dropped 7% with each training session before the first match (OR 0.93; 95% CI 0.87 to 0.98). The same association was found for muscle injuries (OR 0.87; 95% CI 0.79 to 0.95) but not for non-muscle injuries (OR 0.99; 95% CI 0.91 to 1.07).

    Injury rates in the first match after injury are higher than the average seasonal match injury rate, but the propensity for player injury is decreased when players complete more training sessions before their first match.


    What’s a NormaTec? The compression therapy elite athletes love

    CNET, Amanda Capritto from

    The merging of technology and fitness has certainly offered up some interesting, giggle-worthy devices. I mean, who’d have thought we’d see roundtables of athletes chilling in space suits?

    Except, they aren’t going to space. They’re just recovering from their last workout and preparing for the next. The suits themselves are complex, but what they actually do is straightforward: They’re compressing and decompressing, encouraging blood flow throughout the athlete’s bodies.

    Here’s how this simple but helpful recovery technique works.


    Creating Digital Offerings Customers Will Buy

    MIT Sloan School of Management, Sloan Managemet Review; Jeanne W. Ross, Cynthia M. Beath, and Martin Mocker from

    … Successful digital offerings are created at the intersection of what technologies can deliver and what customers want and will pay for. That point of intersection, however, has proved to be elusive. To find it, companies must experiment repeatedly, cocreate with customers, and assemble cross-functional development teams — and the insights gleaned along the way must be shared internally.

    In this article, we discuss how several of the nearly 200 companies we’ve studied have built and exercised these capabilities.1 We also take a close look at how one company, Schneider Electric, is using them to acquire and share customer insights.


    Sticky sensors developed to detect skin’s signals

    Stanford Medicine, Scope Blog from

    Our skin is the largest organ in our body — it serves an essential role in protecting the body and transmitting sensations to the brain. But tapping in to the biological signals shared through the skin — such as flushed cheeks or a rapid pulse — is tricky.

    Now, after more than three years of work, a team of Stanford engineers think they may have cracked at least part of the puzzle with a new wearable system called BodyNet, a Stanford Engineering article explains. BodyNet features experimental stickers that pick up physiological signals emanating from the skin and wirelessly transmits these readings to a receiver attached onto clothing. The current design uses metallic ink to screen-print an antenna and a sensor onto a stretchable sticker designed to adhere to skin to track pulse and respiration, among other health indicators.


    Jacob Resch column: A call to all parents of student-athletes

    Richmond Times-Dispatch, Jacob Resch from

    … There is one additional, unheralded opportunity that parents must take advantage of to avoid what can be fatal risks to their children — the preseason meeting.

    During these meetings, certified athletic trainers or coaches will review rules, policies and responsibilities that student-athletes and their parents must adhere to, and perhaps most significantly, protocols to ensure our youth are safe and protected.

    My colleagues and I will routinely participate in these types of preseason meetings, at the invitation of coaches, to address concussions.

    Unfortunately, based on my experience at high schools here in Virginia and across the country, just 1 in 10 parents and student-athletes, at most, attend these meetings.


    EFL clubs partner with Mind for mental health project

    Sports Management magazine (UK), Tom Walker from

    A new campaign will use football to help people with mental health problems get more physically active and improve their mental wellbeing.

    Nine English Football League (EFL) clubs have partnered with mental health charity Mind to launch the next phase of the Get Set to Go programme, which will support more than 120,000 people with mental health problems across the country.

    Funded by Sport England and the National Lottery, Get Set to Go is a nationwide programme and is being expanded thanks to fundraising by the EFL and Mind’s ‘On Your Side’ partnership.


    How to thrive with a little help from your friends

    Football Medicine & Performance Association (FMPA) from

    … A quick reminder that wellbeing includes feeling; competent, autonomous, valued, supported and part of a community, gives some indication as to why social support
    can be so beneficial to our mental and social health, and in turn, physical health. But how often and how strategically do we seek and engage the support of others? My guess is that few of us use it enough. We give it low priority. Our immediate environment gives us limited opportunity. We are embarrassed to ask for support or don’t want to bother others. But are we missing out on a simple way of coping, moving on, improving and thriving?

    Almost everyone can benefit from receiving (and giving) social support, but the more strategic you are, the more you can gain.

    So how do you use it effectively? Give the following some honest consideration, and start to plan how you can use social support to help you cope and thrive more effectively.


    Meritocracy Is Killing High-School Sports

    The Atlantic, Derek Thompson from

    … “It doesn’t surprise me, but it definitely concerns me,” Tom Farrey, the executive director of the Aspen Institute’s Sports and Society Program, told me. “Evidence on the benefits of youth sports has grown by leaps and bounds over the past decade. Kids who are physically active are one-tenth as likely to be obese, less likely to have chronic disease, and more likely to stay in school.”

    The most obvious reason for the decline of high-school sports is that football, the Friday-night-lit mainstay of the high-school experience, is withering on the vine, likely due to fears about injuries and head trauma. The number of high-school boys playing the sport fell for the fifth straight year in 2018–19, and fewer male high schoolers now play football than at any other time this century. Many schools cannot field a full team and have resorted to a six-on-six version, according to the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS). America’s most popular sport on television could be close to a full-blown crisis.


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