Applied Sports Science newsletter – March 20, 2020

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


Mike Smith Q&A, Part I: On Galen Rupp’s Commitment, Restructuring His Training & That 24×400 Workout

Let's Run, Jonathan Gault from

… [Galen] Rupp turned to Mike Smith, the 39-year-old coach who guided Northern Arizona University to NCAA cross country titles in 2017 and 2018. Though Rupp remains based in Portland and Smith in Flagstaff, the two have met in person for some sessions since Smith began coaching Rupp in December. Rupp’s first major race under Smith was a smashing success, as he ran 2:09:20 to win the US Olympic Marathon Trials in Atlanta on February 29, 42 seconds ahead of runner-up Jake Riley.

One week after the Trials, Smith agreed to speak to LetsRun’s Jonathan Gault for a phone interview, with no subject off-limits. LetsRun is presenting the interview in two parts. Part I, in which Smith discusses the Trials, Rupp’s preparations, and the changes he’s made to Rupp’s training, is below


Molly Seidel’s Ultimate Trial

Strava, Katherine Turner from

… It’s a sad story that is eerily familiar to many athletes involved in elite running: An incredibly talented athlete falls into the trap of believing that lighter = better. Early success quickly spirals into broken bones and a series of frustrating comeback attempts. More often than not said talented athlete slowly drops off people’s radar – chalked up as another talent that flew too close to the sun.

Molly seemed to be following this well-laid path. Shortly following her indoor NCAA victory she broke a bone in her back – an injury that is synonymous with the hormone imbalances and low bone density that come as a result of under-fueling. When she graduated college 18 months later the professional contract offers had almost dried up and she’d barely stepped foot on a start line during her final year in college. Molly did what she’d known for a while she needed to do: checked into an eating disorder treatment program. What followed was a more painful battle than any Molly had ever had to wage on the track.

“Approaching my own treatment, I went into it with the mentality of, I’m willing to dedicate to this as fully as I would to my training.


Expert Muscle Repair and Conditioning with Jurdan Mendiguchia

SimpliFaster Blog, Jurdan Mendiguchia from

Jurdan Mendiguchia is the Director of ZENTRUM Rehab & Performance Center, as well as a sports physical therapist working in a high elite environment (soccer, basketball, track and field, football, etc.). He consults on rehab and injury prevention for soccer (Europe), and NBA, NFL, and track and field athletes and teams. Additionally, Mendiguchia is a lecturer with some clinical research manuscripts published mainly around hamstring injury.

Freelap USA: The hamstring has received a lot of attention recently with discussions on sonography. Could you explain why other muscle groups may need attention? For example, the adductor magnus and hip flexors are also part of the equation, but we don’t see testing equipment or sonography on those muscles.

Jurdan Mendiguchia: Historically, we are used to focusing on and treating the exact injury location, but for example, what happens at the same time or concomitantly to the hypothetical moment where the injury occurs during the late swing phase of sprinting? The timing of the maximum biceps femoris length was synchronous with peak biceps femoris and gluteus maximus forces, contralateral iliopsoas peak length and forces, and also that of the peak pelvic anterior tilt. Therefore, if we assume strain as the major determinant of tissue failure, the peak length of the biceps femoris during the late swing phase of sprinting appeared to be influenced by the actions of the muscles crossing the hip joint as well as by the pelvic anterior tilt.


Limited training facilities lead Olympic hopefuls to adapt

ESPN Olympic Sports, Kelly Cohen from

While many are focusing on the start of the 2020 Summer Olympics in late July, some U.S. athletes are eyeing an earlier date: June 19.

That’s when the U.S. Olympic trials begin, and as the coronavirus pandemic wreaks havoc on the sports world, athletes training for the pinnacle of their careers are focusing on what they can control — even as there is limited access to training facilities and gyms throughout the country.

A spokesman for the U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Committee told ESPN that there are roughly 200 athletes at the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colorado, and 50 at the facility in Lake Placid, New York.


LSU’s training room remains open amid coronavirus concerns; ‘we’re here if they need anything’

The Advocate (Baton Rouge, LA), Brooks Kubena from

The LSU athletic training facility is quiet, real quiet.

On any normal March morning, the room might have a casual bustle: a handful of athletes receiving treatment for recent bang-ups and injuries, other healthy players just sitting around, their voices filling the room with jokes and chatter and laughter.

Instead, the facility is nearly empty.
LSU lands three-star Florida safety Dakota Mitchell amid coronavirus cancellations

About four to five athletes from all LSU’s sports will trickle in during the morning, LSU athletic training director Jack Marucci said, and maybe four to five more will come through in the afternoon.


MLS: Fitness concerns real and the measures to combat them

Fansided, MLS Multiplex blog, Andrew Dowdeswell from

… For Major League Soccer, teams are currently in the midst of a 30-day postponement. That could yet be extended, but for now, games are scheduled to return on the weekend of April 11th/12th. Thay would represent a month on the sidelines.

Even more pertinent than the lack of games, however, is the present moratorium on training. As per the health advice of the government, MLS suspended all first-team training until the end of this week. The training moratorium applies to first-team training, reserve teams and academies and will see all club-based activities suspended for the foreseeable future. It is highly likely that the ban is extended beyond the present Friday 20th deadline.


Autograft choice influences ACL reconstruction rates of young athletes

Healio, Orthopedics Today from

Young athletes have a higher chance of subsequent ACL graft revision years after initial reconstruction if opting for a hamstring tendon autograft rather than a bone-patella-bone autograft, according to findings from a recently published study.

“The goal of this study was to determine the incidence of both ACL graft revisions and contralateral ACL tears resulting in subsequent [ACL reconstruction]ACLR,” researchers wrote. “The intention of this analysis was to provide assistance to a physician in the office discussing autograft choice with a patient before ACLR.”

In this multiyear, multicenter consortium, 770 athletes between the ages of 14 and 22 years who were injured while participating in sports were enrolled to complete a questionnaire of baseline demographics, injury descriptors, sports participation levels, comorbidities, surgical knee history and outcome measures. Patients underwent either a hamstring tendon autograft (36%) or a bone-patella-bone (BTB) autograft (64%). A 6-year follow-up showed 19.7% of patients underwent subsequent surgery.


Sources: NBA directs teams to close practice facilities

ESPN NBA, Tim Bontemps from

The NBA sent out a memo Thursday afternoon stating that, starting Friday, all 30 NBA teams must close their practice and training facilities to players and staff until further notice, sources told ESPN.

Thursday’s memo was an update on ones sent out by the league earlier this week, in which it outlined how teams should handle players and staff coming in and out of their buildings as the league remains on an indefinite hiatus due to the coronavirus, and how players and coaches should be isolated from one another to limit potential spreading of the virus among team members.


Chronic Ankle Instability Starts Earlier Than We Thought

Sports Medicine Research, Alexandra F DeJong from

Approximately 1 in 5 adolescent athletes had chronic ankle instability, and they tended to report impaired function and health-related quality of life outcomes compared to other adolescent athletes. These findings support the need for ankle sprain prevention and intervention programs into adolescent sport settings.


Time before return to play for the most common injuries in professional football: a 16-year follow-up of the UEFA Elite Club Injury Study

British Journal of Sports Medicine from

Objectives The objective was to describe the typical duration of absence following the most common injury diagnoses in professional football.

Methods Injuries were registered by medical staff members of football clubs participating in the Union of European Football Association Elite Club Injury Study. Duration of absence due to an injury was defined by the number of days that passed between the date of the injury occurrence and the date when the medical team allowed the player to return to full participation. In total, 22 942 injuries registered during 494 team-seasons were included in the study.

Results The 31 most common injury diagnoses constituted a total of 78 % of all reported injuries. Most of these injuries were either mild (leading to a median absence of 7 days or less, 6440 cases = 42%) or moderate (median absence: 7–28 days, 56% = 8518 cases) while only few (2% = 311 cases) were severe (median absence of >28 days). The mean duration of absence from training and competition was significantly different (p < 0.05) between index injuries and re-injuries for six diagnoses (Achilles tendon pain, calf muscle injury, groin adductor pain, hamstring muscle injuries and quadriceps muscle injury) with longer absence following re-injuries for all six diagnoses Conclusions The majority of all time loss due to injuries in professional football stems from injuries with an individual absence of up to 4 weeks. This article can provide guidelines for expected time away from training and competition for the most common injury types as well as for its realistic range. [full text]


How Sleep & Nutrition Interact

Sigma Nutrition, Alan Flanagan from

The relationship between nutrition and sleep may be considered in terms of a two-way interaction: 1. the impact of sleep (timing and duration) on diet; and 2. the impact of diet (both overall diet and specific nutrients) on sleep

This bi-directional relationship does not exist in a vacuum, and it is important to have a brief primer on the role of sleep and biological rhythms in human health. It is intrinsically obvious that sleep serves some vital functions for health, given that the state of sleep presents a significant evolutionary risk: i.e. we are unaware and unresponsive for one third of every 24 hour day. Our understanding of why this state is an evolutionary requirement has advanced substantially, with sleep serving vital roles in global cognitive function, from learning and memory to clearing metabolic waste accumulated during the waking state.


SiS’ launches personalised nutrition service for athletes

Nutra Ingredients, Liza Laws from

Sports nutrition company Science in Sport (SiS) has launched a service aimed at providing tailor made solutions for athletes to elevate sporting performance.


OptaPro Analytics Forum 2020 – Tactical insight through team personas

YouTube, Opta from

David Perdomo Meza and Daniel Girela present at the OptaPro Analytics Forum.

Their presentation builds on a ‘team personas’ concept originally showcased by David at the 2018 Forum, applying Opta data to identify playing styles which are effective against certain formations or playing styles in the EFL Championship. [video, 27:09]


Breaking the feedback loop: When people don’t correct their errors

Statistical Modeling, Causal Inference, and Social Science blog, Andrew Gelman from

… I think this is a big deal. The self-correcting nature of science, or of politics, is a lot harder to occur when powerful figures in the system refuse to self-correct. It also provides a bad example for others and promotes an our-team-versus-their-team attitude.


INSIGHT: A Crescendo of Calls for Student-Athletes’ Right to Play and Get Paid

Bloomberg Law, Mintz Levin; Tyrone Thomas, Keith Carroll, Randy K. Jones, Aaron Fenton from

The NCAA faces criticism for its policies on student-athlete compensation and transfer eligibility. Mintz attorneys examine California’s new law that allows for endorsements and conflicts with NCAA rules, how other states and Congress are considering similar laws, and litigation to watch in 2020.

Increasingly, college athletes are asserting their rights against their principal regulatory body, the NCAA. Recently, this has been most visible in the debate surrounding student-athlete compensation. But players, the media, and concerned fans have also championed student-athletes’ rights with regard to other important—though less visible—rules, including transfer eligibility and post-season bans.

As student-athletes become more empowered and interested entities take up their cause in 2020, watch out for increased criticism of current NCAA policy in the areas of amateurism standards and eligibility. Whether through modified NCAA policy, federal legislation, or judicial intervention, there will be continued movement in this area in 2020.


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