Applied Sports Science newsletter – March 16, 2020

Applied Sports Science news articles, blog posts and research papers for March 16, 2020


Steph Curry showcasing how injury caution helps stars, hurts NBA

NBC Sports Philadelphia, Tom Haberstroh and Chase Hughes from

… Curry has been itching to come back. He privately targeted this game against the Washington Wizards as his return to the court and has been preparing as such behind the scenes. Whispers about the March 1 target date reached the public in mid-January and when reports surfaced a week ago that Curry would come back March 1, the Warriors weren’t exactly thrilled.

Shortly after the injury on Oct. 30, the Warriors sat down with Curry and his camp at Chase Center with an extremely detailed spreadsheet outlining the day-to-day rehabilitation schedule with specific target metrics and plans for each progression. Brandon Payne, Curry’s longtime trainer, was in that room and came out of it with confidence that Curry would be back stronger than ever.

“Really well planned out and detailed,” Payne said.


Jake Riley and His Coach Were ‘Broken.’ Now, They’re Going to the Olympics

Runner's World, Taylor Dutch from

… After the American flag was draped over his shoulders, Riley found his coach, Lee Troop, at the finish. Like Riley, Troop endured his own version of heartbreak that made him question his role as a coach. But together, they both found a second chance and embraced the opportunity.

“We went through a lot of very personal stuff at a very similar time,” Riley told Runner’s World. “My return to activity and getting back to being a professional runner coincides with him deciding that he wanted to continue coaching. We found a new enthusiasm and a life in the sport.”


The Team and Training That Got Abdi Ready for the Trials’ Podium

PodiumRunner, Hannah Borenstein from

A loose group of runners from around the world who share Somali roots has had a remarkable year so far. Here’s how they train.


Trailblazing NBA Women Coaches

espnW, Charlotte Gibson from

About a third of NBA teams now employ a woman coach. Here, the coaches discuss their ascension in the men’s league.


For fringe NFL prospects, scramble is on not to let their dreams die

SB Nation, Big Blue View blog, Ed Valentine from

… There is, though, another subset of hopeful young football players facing more than the loss of a one-day experience that will soon be little more than an annoying memory when their NFL paychecks begin to roll in.

That would be the long shots. The young men from small schools, the ones who weren’t invited to the Combine, the ones hoping to use the Pro Days and “30-visits” to impress one team — just one — enough to draft them in the late rounds, sign them as an undrafted free agent or extend them a rookie camp invitation. Failing that, these young men would take an opportunity in the XFL, CFL or probably even the Arena Football League.

These are the young men being hurt right now by the NFL’s necessary and proper decision to take their coaches and scouts off the road and to halt prospect visits to team facilities. By the decisions of campuses around the country to close and to suspend any form of athletic activity on campus.


Rest and Relaxation- The First Step for Poor Sleepers

Fatigue Science, Eric Renaghan from

One important job as a performance coach in sports is to balance both the training and recovery with our players. Currently, I am an NHL strength and conditioning coach for the St. Louis Blues, but my role extends beyond the weight room and hockey rink. Sleep is a major component of recovery, and supporting a good night’s rest is everything in sport.

Our athletes are perpetually exploring ways of sustaining elite performances. Sleep is arguably the best method available to do so. With endless stressors, high-pressure scenarios, and chaotic travel schedules, it can be difficult to find the off switch when the time comes for sleep.

In this article, I share my some personal “bio hacks” for resting more effectively. I also explain why we need to consider more effective strategies for rest, with the ultimate goal of setting ourselves up for higher quality sleep.


Nearly 3,000 Major Sports Teams Globally Rely on This Secret Weapon

Women in Sports Tech, Alysse Soll from

… Anita Sirotic, Product Director at Catapult, puts it this way, “Sports science is a driving cog in the machine which helps players to improve.” In her role, she connects the dots and brings together information housed in separate silos of a sports organization to deliver a recommended training program tailored to optimize an athlete’s performance.

Consider the conductor of an orchestra. Disparate instruments positioned in distinct sections: strings, percussion, woodwind, brass, piano and a harp (or two). Each instrument represents a key element of the symphony and needs to be individually tuned and harmonized with the others for an optimal performance. Each musician needs to be at his or her best, so the orchestra is at its best. Now consider sports scientists as the conductor of a sports team, identifying and integrating the key elements for an athlete’s individual success and harmonizing that for the team’s success. Quite the program.


Get Faster, Stronger and Fitter Through the Power of Data

Trojan Family Magazine, Eric Lindberg from

Malcolm Jones MS ’19 focuses on a computer screen as pictures of balls from different sports flash across it. The rules of the game: Tap only on the footballs. His fingers flick back and forth on the display. The balls soon disappear, and Jones learns his score — prompting a self-deprecating laugh.

“I have great hand-eye coordination, but I have no depth perception,” he says.

This is more than a game for fun. It’s part of testing that measures abilities like peripheral vision and object tracking. For athletes, it’s thought that improvements in these tasks translate to better decisions and reaction times in competition.

The program symbolizes something else, too: the emergence of sports science.


The NFHS Voice: Should technology aid performances in high school sports?

MaxPreps from

… It is impossible that the early rules writers could have envisioned the advances in technology and how some of these improvements challenge rules writing today. Although the question about whether to utilize instant replay for game-ending plays has drawn much attention, some of the personal technology items – and the increasing presence of drones at athletic events – are more onerous.

With high-tech watches, and electronic devices such as cell phones and tablets, the ability to view and process data during actual competition is readily available, which leads to the ethical question of whether this use of technology unfairly aids performance.

This topic has generated a great deal of discussion, and some high school sports allow limited use of technology devices by coaches during games. However, when athletes are competing against each other on the field or court, the stakes should be even. No competitor in high school sports should gain an unfair advantage over an opponent based on anything other than his or her athletic preparedness for a contest.


Concussions in U.S. youth soccer players: results from the U.S. soccer online concussion survey: Science and Medicine in Football: Vol 0, No 0

Science and Medicine in Football journal, Editorial, Adam Beavan from

Purpose: This study aimed to describe incidence rates of concussion from alarge online survey of United States (U.S.) male and female youth soccer players; and to compare rates by age group, sex, competitive level, and practices compared to games.Methods: The survey was conducted through US Soccer consisting of three sections; demographic data, soccer heading exposure and awareness of US Soccer heading guidelines, and concussion data. Results: Respondents (n = 8,104) completed aretrospective online survey during the fall 2016 season representing 101,699 (42,048 girls; 41%) youth soccer players aged 7–14. Outcomes were concussion prevalence per 100 players and incidence per 10,000 athletic exposures (AE). Total concussion incidence for the sample was 8.48/10,000 athlete exposures (AE). Games (rather than practice) and older age (11–14) players had higher rates of concussion (Games: IRR = 5.67, Older Age: IRR = 2.68). Fewer than 1 in 5 concussions (47/253; 19%) occurred during attempted purposeful heading of the ball.Discussion: Overall, 82% (208/253) of all reported concussions received some form of clinical care. A majority of players sought care following their concussion suggesting that awareness and education efforts are having a positive effect on behavior.


UNC’s athletic trainer Doug Halverson has been valuable

Raleigh News & Observer, Jonathan Alexander from

… “It’s just kind of felt groundhog day like,” [Doug] Halverson said in a recent interview with The News & Observer. “There was a period there, where it felt like every day I was walking in with a new issue, or a new injury that we were trying to manage.

“So you’re always trying to feel like you’re getting your head above water, and as soon as you feel like you’re making progress, something else happens.”

The injuries and illnesses the Tar Heels have dealt with have come at significant times and stretches during UNC’s 2019-20 season. It’s a big reason why the Tar Heels have struggled so much. They’ve lost 18 games this year, the second-most in program history and came into the tournament as the 14-seed. That was a first.

Read more here:


Are youth sports safe during the coronavirus pandemic?

Sports Illustrated, Michael McKnight from

From its beginnings, sport has been defined by close human proximity. The earliest wrestling matches have evolved into competitions with limited physical contact, like golf or tennis, while others such as basketball and soccer remain intimate and can therefore present risk during the current COVID-19 pandemic.

SI engaged in separate conversations with Dr. Chris Koutures, a pediatric and sports medicine specialist in Anaheim Hills, Calif. who has worked with USA Volleyball, US Figure Skating and numerous collegiate programs (and has three children, ages 16, 13 and 13), and Dr. Edward Cheng, a pulmonary critical care physician in Los Angeles (and the father of a 5- and 7-year-old), to clarify what’s safe and what isn’t, particularly for young athletes.


Indoor athletes at risk of vitamin D deficiency: Study

Nutra Ingredients, Danielle Masterson from

College athletes participating in indoor sports may be vitamin D deficient, which poses a risk for injury or poor performance.


Bone mineral density in young adults: the influence of vitamin D status, biochemical indicators, physical activity and body composition | SpringerLink

Archives of Osteoporosis journal from


The aim of the study was to assess the associations of bone mineral density and bone mass with physical activity levels, vitamin D, phosphorus, magnesium, total cholesterol and triglyceride concentration and body composition in young women and men. Physical activity has the most significant effect on bone status especially in men.

The aim of the study was to assess the associations of bone mineral density and bone mass with physical activity levels, vitamin D, phosphorus, magnesium, total cholesterol and triglyceride concentration and body composition in young women and men.

One hundred subjects aged 19–24 years were included. Bone mineral density (BMD) in distal and proximal parts was evaluated by forearm densitometry. Body composition was analysed with the use of JAWON-Medical-x-scan. The following biochemical indicators were analysed: 25(OH) D and 1,25(OH)2D, magnesium, phosphorus, total cholesterol and triglycerides. Physical activity levels were assessed by interview.

Significant correlations between BMD and physical activity, skeletal muscle mass and body fat percentage were revealed in men. Among women, considerably weaker correlations of BMD with body composition and physical activity were noted than in men. BMD in the distal part correlated only with lean body mass, soft lean mass and body fat percentage. The strongest relationship between physical activity and bone mineral status parameters was noted for BMD in men. In women, physical activity did not affect BMD.

Physical activity has the most significant effect on bone status especially in men. [full text]


Warriors to make key roster decisions with limited information

San Jose Mercury News, Bay Area News Group, Wes Goldberg from

… So the Warriors will most likely have to make do with what they saw in the 13 games since they revamped the team at the trade deadline.

In that time, Stephen Curry and Andrew Wiggins played just 27 minutes together, and zero alongside Draymond Green. That makes it hard to evaluate the on-court fit, but the Warriors remain bullish on Wiggins’ ability to play off Curry, Green and Klay Thompson (who should return healthy next season from an ACL tear).

Those four will account for roughly $130 million in salary, more than the projected $115 million salary cap. However, as general manager Bob Myers pointed out during a press conference on Wednesday, the league’s financial hit from the coronavirus will impact the cap. It’s hard to project by how much, exactly, but it’s safe to say it will be reduced by several million.


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