Applied Sports Science newsletter – March 18, 2020

Applied Sports Science news articles, blog posts and research papers for March 18, 2020


Paul Glatzel – Liverpool’s highly regarded young striker battling back from injury, Neil Jones from

Striker was on the fringes of the first team when disaster struck but conversations with Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Joe Gomez have kept spirits up

If any footballer is due a bit of good fortune, it’s Paul Glatzel.

He may have only turned 19 last month, but the Liverpool youngster has already had enough bad luck to last a lifetime. He’d been flying in the summer, too.


Desiree Linden on Recovering and Recalculating: “It’s Uncertain for Everybody”

Women's Running, Erin Strout from

… On physically recovering from the Trials:

The Olympic Marathon Trials course through downtown Atlanta was brutal, with 1,389 feet of climbing and nearly the same amount of descending. The winds were gusty on race day, too, adding to the variables that made it a difficult day for many.

“Maybe the hills were a good thing because you were never using the same muscle group for too long. There was so much up and down, unlike Boston where your quads get hammered because of all the downhill. Anyway, I think that’s why I felt better than I usually do after a race. It was not a super hot pace, either, which is another factor. Anyway, I’m not accustomed to feeling fine after a race—usually I take two weeks off, then try to run after sitting on my butt for all that time, and it feels terrible. So, getting up the next day and running was foreign to me. I shook out that race effort, jogging for a couple of days afterward, and that seemed to flush it out. Running seems to help, which is kind of annoying [laughing].”


Penn State Football: For Galt The Next Step Is The Recovery, Not The Workout, Ben Jones from

What do you do when a strength program is reaching its peak? That’s the question facing Penn State strength and condition coach Dwight Galt as the Nittany Lions continue to rise up the physical charts in the weight room as well as the rankings on the field. … “So you know the world we live in with the NFL being such a dominant thing. I think we will definitely continue to grow. If I can see anything happening. I think it’s velocity based, speed based, and not just speed by linear speed but speed of movement, whether it’s how fast you can punch the guy across from you how fast you can come over cut. You know those kind of those are things that we will probably continue to push even more, and find more creative ways to get guys we maximize the potential there.”



Indiana Football makes big splash with strength coach

247 Sports, Nick Kosko from

Indiana Football made a splash on their coaching staff ahead of the 2020 season. They announced Aaron Wellman as their new Senior Assistant Athletic Director for Football Performance.

Not only does Wellman bring a wealth of experience, Indiana is making him quite wealthy. According to Jon Blau of The Herald Times, Wellman will be the third highest paid strength coach in the country.


Coronavirus could push CU Buffs spring football practice to “May or June,” AD says

The Denver Post, Sean Keeler from

The CU Buffs’ first spring football session under new coach Karl Dorrell could soon be slated for the summer.

“Is there a possibility that you could have spring practice in May or June? That’s a possibility,” CU athletic director Rick George told reporters during a Tuesday afternoon conference call. “We certainly would push for that, given the new staff and given preparedness for the upcoming year.”

CU was originally to have begun its spring football calendar Monday before concerns over the spread of coronavirus scuttled those plans. The campus, like its Pac-12 peers, is currently closed and students are taking classes remotely.


Husker athletes who remain on campus are getting their space

247 Sports, Husker 247, Brian Christopherson from

Bill Moos estimates half of the Husker athletes are still on campus amid the coronavirus pandemic that has much of the normal operating procedures of this country off track.

In a week in which all classes are canceled at UNL prior to spring break, with sports practices paused and the games of spring altogether canceled, the Husker athletic director said, “This is pretty much 100 percent of what we’re focused on right now.”

By the end of last week, after talks with coaches and athletic department staff, Moos concluded the best place to be for the student-athletes was in Lincoln where there are medical professionals in the building, food and proper nutrition available, as well as academic and even psychological help on hand.


How your personality changes as you age

BBC Future, Zaria Gorvett from

Our personalities were long thought to be fixed by the time we reach our 30s, but the latest research suggests they change throughout our lives – and bring some surprising benefits.



Barca Innovation Hub, Carlos Lago Peñas from

Football matches are made up of two 45-minute playing periods. In single-elimination tournaments (Knock-Out: KO), like the final rounds of the FIFA World Cup, in case of a draw at the end of the mandatory 90 minutes, an additional 30-minute period of play, called extra time, is added to decide the winner of the match. It is very likely that during a season, most players do not play this extra time. However, this extra time in the game has an impact on the final result of the match.

Two studies have analyzed how playing extra time influences players’ physical and technical-tactical performance. The first study1 analyzed the impact of extra time for the total distance covered by the football players and the distance covered at low (<11.0 km.h-1), medium (11.1-14.0 km.h-1) and high (>14.1 km.h-1) intensity, the maximum speed, the number of sprints, and the number of low, medium and high-intensity actions. The sample was made up of 99 players that played 6 matches with extra time in the Brazil 2014 FIFA World Cup.

The results revealed that there is a loss in performance that goes from 15% to 20% with all the analyzed indicators when comparing the performance of the first half of the match to the extra time period.


How early GPS gadget maker Garmin mapped out success against the likes of Apple and Google

Fortune, Danielle Abril from

For all the time, effort, and money companies plow into the endless hunt for innovation, many of their best ideas come from within. A Procter & Gamble chemist in the 19th century figured a bar of soap that floated in the tub would enliven the bathing experience, and Ivory Soap was born. In the 1970s, a 3M employee, craving a better way to mark pages in his hymnal, modified an uncommercialized adhesive invented a few years earlier by a colleague; Post-it Notes became an iconic 3M success story. And at Garmin, a suburban Kansas City maker of navigational devices for boats, planes, and cars, a group of running-obsessed employees applied their know-how to their hobby—a move that revitalized the company when it badly needed a win.

It was the early 2000s, and Garmin had grown from its niche of making consumer devices utilizing the government’s global positioning system, or GPS, technology. Together with rival TomTom, Garmin dominated the market for in-car navigational devices, game-changing gadgets that marked the beginning of the end for foldable maps. GPS for personal fitness wasn’t popular before the Garmin jogging klatch began noodling. “They said, ‘We do all these GPS things. Why don’t we have a GPS product for runners?’ ” recalls Cliff Pemble, Garmin’s CEO and a 31-year company veteran.


Automatic, wearable-based, in-field eating detection approaches for public health research: a scoping review

npj Digital Medicine, Brooke M. Bell et al. from

Dietary intake, eating behaviors, and context are important in chronic disease development, yet our ability to accurately assess these in research settings can be limited by biased traditional self-reporting tools. Objective measurement tools, specifically, wearable sensors, present the opportunity to minimize the major limitations of self-reported eating measures by generating supplementary sensor data that can improve the validity of self-report data in naturalistic settings. This scoping review summarizes the current use of wearable devices/sensors that automatically detect eating-related activity in naturalistic research settings. Five databases were searched in December 2019, and 618 records were retrieved from the literature search. This scoping review included N = 40 studies (from 33 articles) that reported on one or more wearable sensors used to automatically detect eating activity in the field. The majority of studies (N = 26, 65%) used multi-sensor systems (incorporating > 1 wearable sensors), and accelerometers were the most commonly utilized sensor (N = 25, 62.5%). All studies (N = 40, 100.0%) used either self-report or objective ground-truth methods to validate the inferred eating activity detected by the sensor(s). The most frequently reported evaluation metrics were Accuracy (N = 12) and F1-score (N = 10). This scoping review highlights the current state of wearable sensors’ ability to improve upon traditional eating assessment methods by passively detecting eating activity in naturalistic settings, over long periods of time, and with minimal user interaction. A key challenge in this field, wide variation in eating outcome measures and evaluation metrics, demonstrates the need for the development of a standardized form of comparability among sensors/multi-sensor systems and multidisciplinary collaboration.


Exclusive: How Google Uses Machine Learning to Analyze Soccer Moves

WIRED, Gear, Julian Chokkattu from

Jacquard started out as a sensor on a denim jacket, where specially woven textile on the sleeve let the wearer control actions on their phone by touching the fabric. Swipe a palm up the sleeve to change music tracks, swipe down to call an Uber. A double-tap during a bike ride would send an ETA to a pair of headphones.

But Google’s wearable sensor technology is evolving beyond just taps and swipes. The Jacquard sensor, called the Tag, can now be installed into the insole of a shoe, where it can automatically identify a series of physical motions. In its first implementation, it will track the typical movements people make when playing football (the sport Americans call soccer) like kicking, running, stopping, and accelerating again.

It’s just the latest incursion into ambient computing from Google’s Advanced Technology and Projects (ATAP) team.


‘AI everywhere’ IoT chips coming from Arm

Network World, Patrick Nelson from

Silicon microchip maker Arm is working on a new semiconductor design that it says will enable machine learning, at scale, on small sensor devices. Arm has completed testing of the technology and expects to bring it to market next year.

Artificial intelligence, implemented locally on “billions and ultimately trillions” of devices is coming, the company says in a press release. Arm Holdings, owned by Japanese conglomerate Softbank, says its partners have shipped more than 160 billion Arm-based chips to date, and that 45 million of its microprocessor designs are being placed within electronics every day.

The new machine-learning silicon will include micro neural processing units (microNPU) that can be used to identify speech patterns and perform other AI tasks. Importantly, the processing is accomplished on-device and in smaller form factors than have so far been available. The chips don’t need the cloud or any network.


Study Finds Athletes Who Play Indoor Sports at Risk of Vitamin D Deficiency

George Mason University, College of Health and Human Services from

College athletes participating in indoor sports, especially African-Americans, might be vitamin D deficient and put themselves at risk of injury or poor performance according to a study recently published in the journal Nutrients.

George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia and the Mayo Clinic Health System Sports Medicine Research in Onalaska, Wisconsin conducted this collaborative study. They assessed vitamin D status among basketball players from the George Mason Patriots men’s and women’s teams. During the 2018-2019 season, players were either allocated a high dose, low dose or no vitamin D, depending on their circulating 25-hydroxyvitamin D levels at the start of the study with the objective to identify the dosage of vitamin D3 supplementation required for optimal status.

According to, vitamin D is necessary for building and maintaining healthy bones. Without it, bones can become soft, thin and brittle and can lead to other medical issues down the road including osteoporosis as well as some types of cancer.


We Can Now Estimate the Effect of Blood Doping

Outside Online, Alex Hutchinson from

… One way of interpreting these findings, [Sergei] Iljukov says, is to conclude that for elite athletes, “a significant amount of blood transfusion could improve running times by 1 to 4 percent, depending on the distance, but on average 2 to 3 percent.” The paper compares this estimate with early studies of blood doping in elite athletes, including some old Soviet studies that don’t show up in the usual PubMed searches, which support the idea of a 1 to 4 percent range of improvement from a transfusion of 750 to 1,200 milliliters of blood.

These days, the ABP program makes it difficult to get away with adding that much blood to your system. Instead, would-be cheaters are limited to microdosing with small amounts of blood. Iljukov guesses that this might still give a one-second edge to an elite 800-meter runner—far from fair, but much better than the previous situation. Of course, this deterrent only works if the athletes in question are being regularly tested to generate sufficient data for a biological passport.

In many respects, these results are anything but surprising.


We’re not going back to normal

MIT Technology Review, Gordon Lichfield from

… researchers conclude, social distancing and school closures would need to be in force some two-thirds of the time—roughly two months on and one month off—until a vaccine is available, which will take at least 18 months (if it works at all). They note that the results are “qualitatively similar for the US.”

Eighteen months!? Surely there must be other solutions. Why not just build more ICUs and treat more people at once, for example?

Well, in the researchers’ model, that didn’t solve the problem.


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