Applied Sports Science newsletter – March 13, 2020

Applied Sports Science news articles, blog posts and research papers for March 13, 2020


Josh McCown: The Real-Life Diet of the Journeyman Who Has Played in the NFL Since 2002

GQ, Alex Shultz from

The 40-year-old quarterback and pickup hoops legend has some advice for his younger self. Mostly: start stretching.


MLB Comeback Stories Developing During 2020 Spring Training

Bleacher Report, Zachary D. Rymer from

There are good reasons why Major League Baseball’s Comeback Player of the Year awards aren’t issued during spring training. Chief among them is the fact that the games don’t count.

Nevertheless, there are some feel-good stories taking shape this spring.

We counted at least eight that are worth talking about. They involve veteran players who are at least two years removed from their last good season and who are in now in the process of putting up eye-popping numbers in Cactus League and Grapefruit League games.


NRL Jillaroos: Fitter, Faster, Stronger and Safer with Griffith Sports Science

Griffith University (AU), Griffith News from

We’ve done quite a bit of research on the game demands of women’s rugby league and injury prevention, so it’s more than just providing a service. We are collaborating on sports science research across a number of areas.

“The physiology and physical characteristics of these women has changed over the past 10 years as more elite athletes play the game. Our research is helping move the game forward at all levels and we want to help the NRL Jillaroos reach their potential,” Associate Professor Minahan said.


Recovery timeline following resistance training in professional female soccer players: Science and Medicine in Football: Vol 0, No 0

Science and Medicine in Football journal from

Objective: Determine the time-course of recovery after a resistance training session (RT) in female soccer players.

Methods: Ten Brazilian female professional soccer players undertook testing prior to and at immediately, 24 and 48 h post-RT. RT was a high-speed and low-load session, consisting of three sets of six repetitions of lower body exercises at 50%1RM. Tests included countermovement jump (CMJ) and 20 m sprint, with the best and mean efforts recorded. Delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS), total quality recovery (TQR) and Brazilian Mood Scale (BRAMS) were collected. Repeated measures ANOVA with effect sizes (ES) assessed the time-course of recovery (α=0.05).

Results: Mean and best CMJ performance decreased immediately post-RT (p<0.05, ES=−0.49; −0.65, respectively), though no significant differences and trivial-small effects existed at 24h (p>0.05, ES=−0.15; −0.08) and 48h (p>0.05, ES=0.14; −0.21). No significant differences and trivial-small effects were evident at any time for mean or best 10m (p>0.05, ES=−0.18–0.26) or 20m (p>0.05, ES=−0.08–0.19) performance. DOMS, TQR, fatigue and vigor did not change following RT (p>0.05; ES=-0.51-0.48).

Conclusion: Light-load, high-speed RT induces only small, immediate changes in CMJ, without prolonged suppression of recovery parameters. Such training seems feasible for inclusion in competitive micro-cycles at least 24h prior to the next match.


Exercise Induces Different Molecular Responses in Trained and Untrained Human Muscle

Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise journal from

Human skeletal muscle is thought to have heightened sensitivity to exercise stimulus when it has been previously trained (i.e., it possesses “muscle memory”). We investigated whether basal and acute resistance exercise-induced gene expression and cell signaling events are influenced by previous strength training history.
Accordingly, 19 training naïve women and men completed 10 weeks of unilateral leg strength training, followed by 20 weeks of detraining. Subsequently, an acute resistance exercise session was performed for both legs, with vastus lateralis biopsies taken at rest and 1 h after exercise in both legs (memory and control).
The phosphorylation of AMPKThr172 and eEF2Thr56 was higher in the memory leg than in the control leg at both time points. Post-exercise phosphorylation of 4E-BP1Thr46 and Ser65 was higher in the memory leg than in the control leg. The memory leg had lower basal mRNA levels of total PGC1α, and, unlike the control leg, exhibited increases in PGC1α–ex1a transcripts after exercise. In the genes related to myogenesis (SETD3, MYOD1, and MYOG), mRNA levels differed between the memory and the untrained leg; these effects were evident primarily in the male subjects. Expression of the novel gene SPRYD7 was lower in the memory leg at rest and decreased after exercise only in the control leg, but SPRYD7 protein levels were higher in the memory leg.
In conclusion, several key regulatory genes and proteins involved in muscular adaptations to resistance exercise are influenced by previous training history. Although the relevance and mechanistic explanation for these findings need further investigation, they support the view of a molecular muscle memory in response to training.


Are Elite Soccer Teams’ Preseason Training Sessions Associated With Fewer In-Season Injuries? A 15-Year Analysis From the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) Elite Club Injury Study

American Journal of Sports Medicine from


Preseason training develops players’ physical capacities and prepares them for the demands of the competitive season. In rugby, Australian football, and American football, preseason training may protect elite players against in-season injury. However, no study has evaluated this relationship at the team level in elite soccer.

The aim of this study was to investigate whether the number of preseason training sessions completed by elite soccer teams was associated with team injury rates and player availability during the competitive season. It was hypothesized that elite soccer teams who participate in more preseason training will sustain fewer injuries during the competitive season.
Study Design:

Descriptive epidemiology study.

We used the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) injury dataset to analyze 44 teams for up to 15 seasons (total, 244 team-seasons). Separate linear regression models examined the association between the number of team preseason training sessions and 5 in-season injury measures. Injury-related problems per team were quantified by totals of the following: (1) injury burden, (2) severe injury incidence, (3) training attendance, (4) match availability, and (5) injury incidence.

Teams averaged 30 preseason training sessions (range, 10-51). A greater number of preseason training sessions was associated with less injury load during the competitive season in 4 out of 5 injury-related measures. Our linear regression models revealed that for every 10 additional preseason training sessions that the team performed, the in-season injury burden was 22 layoff days lower per 1000 hours (P = .002), the severe injury incidence was 0.18 severe injuries lower per 1000 hours (P = .015), the training attendance was 1.4 percentage points greater (P = .014), and the match availability was 1.0 percentage points greater (P = .042). As model fits were relatively low (adjusted R2 = 1.3%-3.2%), several factors that contribute to in-season injury outcomes were unaccounted for.

Teams that performed a greater number of preseason training sessions had “healthier” in-season periods. Many other factors also contribute to in-season injury rates. Understanding the benefit of preseason training on in-season injury patterns may inform sport teams’ planning and preparation.


WSC Sports, the NBA and starting the personalised video evolution

SportsPro Media, Steven Impey from

… Having identified sports media as a gap in the market, WSC started out by building relatively simple software that highlights individual moments and storylines within a game of basketball. As part of its evolution, the next step was to adapt the technology to different sports, and to create algorithms that would essentially enable its software to differentiate one sport from another.

“You never start out successful,” Arnon says, reflecting on the company’s early years. “Our company started out small but, ever since, we have continued to expand. The US has been a very progressive market, so we started out by travelling a lot between the States and home, and what we have been trying to do ever since is to keep a really high level of service and let our customers know that we will do whatever it takes to succeed.

“We are now powering a lot of different touch points where fans meet our customers. It started with the NBA, but we are now supporting 15 different sports, and the technology is very specific to each sport.


The Red Recovery Policy

WHOOP Recovery from

… WHOOP rolled out a new policy whereby if a WHOOP team member wakes up with a Red Recovery they are asked to Work From Home. A Red Recovery on WHOOP signals that their body is run down. That could mean that they are getting sick: We have seen WHOOP data predict that an individual has sickness or illness before they feel symptoms. That could also mean that their body is more susceptible to getting sick. Either way, it’s in our team’s best interest and their personal best interest if they Work From Home until they are no longer in the Red.


DARPA Awards $22M for ‘Smart’ Device that Regenerates Muscle

University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, News Releases from

… When more than 20% of a muscle is damaged, as is common for soldiers wounded in recent overseas conflicts, the tissue can’t regenerate and a stiff scar forms in place of the missing muscle, which often leads to significant disability.

“With these severe injuries it’s been drilled into us through all of our training that functional muscle replacement is not possible,” said principal investigator Stephen Badylak, D.V.M., Ph.D., M.D., professor of surgery at Pitt and deputy director of the McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine. “The sort of technology we’re developing offers hope where there otherwise would have been no hope.”

Badylak envisions creating a device that would change the environment inside larger wounds to help them heal the way smaller wounds do naturally.


How a budget AI camera is helping smaller football clubs record matches

The Next Web, Ivan Mehta from

Smartphone cameras have become really good at recording video, but you can’t expect someone to hold a phone for 90 minutes, follow the ball, and record a football match.

Professional broadcast or recording cameras are quite costly. A lot of clubs might not be able to afford it, and for bigger clubs, it’s not worth using those cameras and a crew for recording training sessions. That’s where Veo steps in.

The company has developed an AI-powered 4K camera that needs no manual intervention to record a match. You don’t need a complicated setup for it — just put it on the tripod it ships with and you’re good to go. It has two cameras that can record 180 degrees of the field in 4K resolution at 30 frames per second. The camera can record up to four hours of footage on a full charge.


How the NBA dragged its feet before suspending the season due to coronavirus

SB Nation, Mike Prada and Matt Ellentuck from

Though the NBA eventually made the prudent choice to suspend the 2019-20 season, it took several stages before acting decisively.

Here’s how the coronavirus outbreak slowly transitioned from a nagging issue in the background to one the league deemed serious enough to halt all operations within the span of 90 minutes.


The NBA makes the right move

TrueHoop, Henry Abbott from

… At 9:33 p.m. ET the NBA emailed that, after tonight’s games, the season would be suspended. As I write this, sources say players at the game in Oklahoma City are being tested.

They should build a statue of Donnie Strack. In a scary moment of history, when nobody knows how many people in any stadium might have COVID-19, Strack made the bold intervention. Who knows how many infections he prevented on the court and in the stands.


Pittsburgh’s increasingly cold relationship with the Pirates is an example of modern baseball gone awry, R.J. Anderson from

… Over the ensuing six months the Pirates traded Andrew McCutchen and Gerrit Cole, the face of the franchise and the staff ace, respectively, for underwhelming returns. Winter passed without the Pirates so much as signing a single free agent to a big-league contract. And so, when spring arrived, so too did a grievance from the Players Association, inquiring about the Pirates’ revenue-sharing spending.

With those poor optics serving as the introduction to a new era in Pirates baseball, the club needed a strong season to course-correct. A roster brimming with unknowns and misfits delivered, winning 82 games and providing management with enough inspiration to pull off the surprise deal of the summer, as the Pirates landed Chris Archer from the Tampa Bay Rays in exchange for three well-regarded youngsters.

In some cities, the winning record and bold deadline deal would have coerced locals to get back on board, to support those plucky underdogs who used new math to win an unfair game. Not so in Pittsburgh, where modern baseb


NHL senior director of player safety Patrick Burke talks process, criticism, All-Star skills

ESPN NHL, Emily Kaplan from

NHL senior director of player safety Patrick Burke joined the ESPN on Ice podcast this week. Here’s a transcript of the conversation with Emily Kaplan and Greg Wyshynski, which spans a variety of topics, including Evander Kane’s criticism of the NHL’s discipline process, why Nathan MacKinnon gets to pick and choose his events at the NHL All-Star skills competition, and the St. Louis Blues’ decision not to have a Hockey is For Everyone Night at a home game this season.


How Bill Belichick gets Super Bowl performances for bargain prices

ESPN NFL, Anthony Gulizia from

… take a look at notable trends and outliers that have shaped the Patriots’ rosters in the six years they have won titles under Belichick, as well as players on the 2020 roster who could provide the team with good value. For consistency, all dollar amounts reflect the cap hit in a given season unless noted otherwise.


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