Applied Sports Science newsletter – February 20, 2020

Applied Sports Science news articles, blog posts and research papers for February 20, 2020


Atletico Madrid vs. Liverpool FC: How Thomas Partey risked everything to follow European football dream – CNN

CNN, Dermot Corrigan from

It’s a story of flight and resilience to become a professional footballer in one of European football’s top leagues. Of having to work three times as hard as other players because you’re “African.” And having succeeded in fulfilling that ambition not forgetting about those who have made that journey from Africa in search of a similar dream.

When the call did come to leave Ghana for Spain, an 18-year-old Thomas Partey knew he couldn’t tell anybody — not even his parents.

As the now Atletico Madrid midfielder prepares for Tuesday’s Champions League last-16 first leg against Liverpool, Partey tells CNN Sport that no one else could know what was going down as his club Tema Youth would demand a transfer fee even though they were not officially entitled to one.


Walker Buehler not rusty after offseason routine change, Ken Gurnick from

Walker Buehler is the latest Dodgers pitcher to confirm a change in his offseason throwing routine.

“I didn’t take as much time off,” Buehler said Monday, after joining Tony Gonsolin as the first Dodgers pitchers to throw live batting practice. “It’s becoming like a thing. I talked to Max Scherzer at the All-Star Game about it.”

Clayton Kershaw and Kenley Jansen also said they kept their throwing arms moving during the offseason, having shut down completely in past years and finding it harder to knock off the rust when throwing resumed.


Ritz on Running: Personalizing and Adapting Your Training Plan

PodiumRunner, Dathan Ritzenhein from

… Usually, however, it’s not 65 degrees, overcast with no wind. You don’t always sleep and eat well, and life stress isn’t minimal. You’re bound to get sick at some point, an injury might arise or you might just have to take care of your family obligations. Even if you are really good a having a routine, obstacles will invariably arise. Many athletes underestimate how much that can effect training in both the short and long term. It doesn’t mean your goals always have to change but often you need to adjust in the days around that obstacle to make sure you get yourself back on track.

Buying a training plan is a great option for someone who needs to have guidance in their training, but if you know you can’t hold yourself to account, you might consider getting a coach who you can communicate with regularly. Several site, such as the platform I use, FinalSurge, have many great options for whichever kind of athlete you are. If you can be honest with yourself, and adjust, a plan might be fore you. Otherwise look for one of those trusted coaches to help you along the way.


I know that this may be an unpopular view but I feel that I have to be honest as someone who has researched in this area for 20 y.

Twitter, Kirsy Sale from

… We, the scientific community, have not yet reached a consensus on the direction or magnitude of changes that occur during the menstrual cycle and as such it is impossible for us to guide women’s sport on this basis


“What I learnt from swimming with live heart rate.”

Medium, FORM from

… Before FORM partnered with Polar® to bring live heart rate to the pool last year, precisely measuring your effort during a swim was a big challenge.

Scott, Director of Strategic Partnerships at FORM, describes the first time swimming with live HR as a real ‘ah ha’ moment.

“It blew my mind. To get that instant feedback, in the moment, was crazy to me. Getting your heart rate at the wall versus while you swim is night and day.”


Functional Overreaching in Endurance Athletes: A Necessity or Cause for Concern?

Sports Medicine journal from

There are variable responses to short-term periods of increased training load in endurance athletes, whereby some athletes improve without deleterious effects on performance, while others show diminished exercise performance for a period of days to months. The time course of the decrement in performance and subsequent restoration, or super compensation, has been used to distinguish between the different stages of the fitness–fatigue adaptive continuum termed functional overreaching (FOR), non-functional overreaching (NFOR) or overtraining syndrome. The short-term transient training-induced decrements in performance elicited by increases in training load (i.e. FOR) are thought be a sufficient and necessary component of a training program and are often deliberately induced in training to promote meaningful physiological adaptations and performance super-compensation. Despite the supposition that deliberately inducing FOR in athletes may be necessary to achieve performance super-compensation, FOR has been associated with various negative cardiovascular, hormonal and metabolic consequences. Furthermore, recent studies have demonstrated dampened training and performance adaptations in FOR athletes compared to non-overreached athletes who completed the same training program or the same relative increase in training load. However, this is not always the case and a number of studies have also demonstrated substantial performance super-compensation in athletes who were classified as being FOR. It is possible that there are a number of contextual factors that may influence the metabolic consequences associated with FOR and classifying this training-induced state of fatigue based purely on a decrement in performance may be an oversimplification. Here, the most recent research on FOR in endurance athletes will be critically evaluated to determine (1) if there is sufficient evidence to indicate that inducing a state of FOR is necessary and required to induce a performance super-compensation; (2) the metabolic consequences that are associated with FOR; (3) strategies that may prevent the negative consequences of overreaching.


VUB test helps athletes avoid ‘overtraining syndrome’

Flanders Today (Belgium), Andy Furniere from

To become a top athlete, there’s no arguing that limits of physical endurance have to be pushed, over and over again. But athletes also need to get enough rest – both physical and mental – or they risk developing “overtraining syndrome”, which can curtail their physical abilities permanently.

To ensure that athletes don’t cross this line, researchers at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB) have designed the diagnostic Top test.

All athletes know that they need sufficient rest to recuperate from demanding physical labour and “listen to their body” when it tells them something is wrong. But this instinct is sometimes pushed aside because of ambitions to become even faster, ever better.

This can actually result in athletes becoming “overtrained”. Which is not a disaster, unless they develop the so-called overtraining syndrome.


Allen Institute’s New ‘Computer Vision Explorer’ Lets Researchers Demo SOTA CV Models

Synced from

The Allen Institute for AI (AI2) has released its new AI2 Computer Vision Explorer — a collection of demos of popular and state-of-the-art models for a variety of computer vision tasks. The tool enables researchers to try, compare, and evaluate models to decide which work best on their datasets or for their research purposes.

Tremendous progress has been made in the field of computer vision (CV) over the past decade, and thousands of research papers are published annually, with many models obtaining SOTA results on established benchmarks. It can however be challenging for even experienced researchers to decide how and where to start a particular project or to forecast how well popular models will actually perform on the data they may want or have to work with.


£250k Investment Boost for Award Winning Biotesting Business

Business News Wales (UK), Chris Kelsey from

An award winning company that has developed an at-home blood testing kit for athletes has been boosted with a £250,000 investment.

The winners of the Welsh Innovation of the Year Award at the Welsh SME Business Awards 2019, Forth, are set to turnover £1 million this year following the equity investment from the Development Bank of Wales.

Founded in 2016 by female entrepreneur Sarah Bolt, the Chepstow-based business creates personal biomarker profiles using at-home blood testing kits.



Barca Innovation Hub, Carlos Lago Peñas from

A research6 has analyzed how the return to training and competition of players who have suffered an ACL rupture. The study, published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine magazine in 2016, focused on the analysis of 78 elite teams from 16 different European countries during fifteen consecutive seasons from January 2001 to May 2015 (365 seasons analyzed and 10,157 players/seasons). A member of the technical staff of each club recorded the exposure time in minutes of each player during the training seasons and matches played with the club and the national team. The ACL injury was defined as the total rupture for the first time of the ligament or the recurring partial or total rupture in isolation or associated with other injuries of the knee joint. The players’ recovery (Return to Play, RTP) was defined as the number of days from when the injury or the reconstruction of the ligament took place, until the first day of complete training without restrictions (back to training) and the first match (back to competition).


How ultra-processed food took over your shopping basket

The Guardian, Bee Wilson from

Nearly three decades ago, when I was an overweight teenager, I sometimes ate six pieces of sliced white toast in a row, each one slathered in butter or jam. I remember the spongy texture of the bread as I took it from its plastic bag. No matter how much of this supermarket toast I ate, I hardly felt sated. It was like eating without really eating. Other days, I would buy a box of Crunchy Nut Cornflakes or a tube of Pringles: sour cream and onion flavour stackable snack chips, which were an exciting novelty at the time, having only arrived in the UK in 1991. Although the carton was big enough to feed a crowd, I could demolish most of it by myself in a sitting. Each chip, with its salty and powdery sour cream coating, sent me back for another one. I loved the way the chips – curved like roof tiles – would dissolve slightly on my tongue.

After one of these binges – because that is what they were – I would speak to myself with self-loathing. “What is wrong with you?” I would say to the tear-stained face in the mirror. I blamed myself for my lack of self-control. But now, all these years later, having mostly lost my taste for sliced bread, sugary cereals and snack chips, I feel I was asking myself the wrong question. It shouldn’t have been “What is wrong with you?” but “What is wrong with this food?”


MLB to increase minor league salaries

Yahoo Sports, Jack Baer from

After years of fighting to suppress the wages of its minor league players, Major League Baseball has issued a memo to teams instructing them to raise minimum salaries in the minors, according to the Associated Press.

The pay bump will reportedly land in the area of 38 to 72 percent for players. Players in the rookie and short-season leagues would go from a minimum weekly income of $290 to $400, Class A players from $290 to $500, Double-A players from $350 to $600 and Triple-A players from $502 to $700.

Players will still only be paid during the five-month season.


Fitness app Strava finds love-hate relationship with running

Reuters, Kate Kelland from

Only a fraction of people who run do so because they love it, and most are motivated by boosting their body image and improving their heart and mental health, according to a global survey by the fitness-tracking app Strava.


Road less traveled: Some NHL teams moving AHL squads closer

Associated Press, Pat Graham from

Jason Dickinson encountered quite a few bumps in the road on his route to the NHL. Good thing for his trusty truck.

Dickinson was up and down between the Dallas Stars and their American Hockey League affiliate, the Texas Stars, a total of 17 times during the 2017-18 season.

Sometimes, the forward would join the team from the road. And sometimes, he would make that 183.5-mile trek along the interstate in his truck.

That’s a rather easy call-up commute by league standards: From rink to rink, the average distance between NHL teams and their AHL partners is roughly 460 miles (740.3 kilometers).


There is a revolt against the Department of Player Safety, and it might be the best thing for hockey

The Hockey News, Ken Campbell from

Evander Kane didn’t hold back on the Department of Player Safety after receiving a three-game suspension, and the Sharks winger is right. The system for on-ice discipline in the NHL is broken.


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