Applied Sports Science newsletter – March 25, 2020

Applied Sports Science news articles, blog posts and research papers for March 25, 2020


LA Clippers forward Kawhi Leonard is having the best season of his career. Here’s how he’s doing it

NBA (Canada), Matthew Blum from

Before the season came to a halt, Kawhi Leonard was having the greatest offensive regular season of his career. We’ve become conditioned to only focus on his playoff achievements but it’s time to recognize how outstanding Leonard has been this season.


Tokyo Games: Majority of US athletes support postponing, survey says

USA Today Sports; Nancy Armour Rachel Axon Christine Brennan Jeff Metcalfe Tom Schad from

… The virtual town hall on Saturday followed calls by USA Swimming and USA Track & Field, the two federations with the most athletes at the Rio Olympics, to postpone the Tokyo Games because of the novel coronavirus pandemic that has brought much of the world to a standstill. At the end of the two-hour meeting, the athletes and members of the Athletes Advisory Council in attendance were asked three questions:

  • Do you support the postponement of the 2020 Olympic/Paralympic Games?
  • Do you support the 2020 Olympic/Paralympic Games going on as scheduled?
  • When are you comfortable with the IOC making a decision to hold, postpone or cancel the Games?

    Matt Skura learned economic reality of being injured

    ProFootballTalk, Darin Gantt from

    Getting injured last season cost Matt Skura at least a million bucks. Oddly enough, the money the Ravens saved on the deal helped them sign the guy involved in the play that injured Skura.

    The Ravens center was lost to a Week 12 knee injury, and because he’s recovering from a torn ACL, MCL, and PCL, the Ravens tendered the restricted free agent at the lowest level possible, which is $2.133 million.

    Doing so came with some risk, as another team could sign their former starting center away with no compensation, since he was undrafted. Had he been healthy, he’d have almost certainly gotten at least the second-round tender of $3.259 million. That’s a significant hit for a guy who made $1.8 million in three years, and $645,000 last year.


    Dyche outlines Burnley’s plans as club shutdown

    Lancashire Telegraph, Charlotte Coates from

    … “We had put together a plan, but that plan had to be flexible due to on-going news from the Government and the powers-that-be,” said boss Dyche.

    “Once the situation escalated, and in line with that advice, we changed the plan rapidly and got the players out of the building to return to their families and made clear to them – using the advice of the Government and our own doctor – the simple but effective measures needed for everyone to try and remain healthy and limit the spread of the virus.

    “The players will now be with their families for a period, with an on-going plan to remain fit.


    Paul Parker: Gary Neville is right to say Premier League stars should play nine days in a row – Premier League 2019-2020

    Eurosport UK from

    Paul Parker tells pampered top-flight players they must not use tiredness as an excuse when football season resumes.

    I saw Gary Neville saying something about players would play games every day for nine days if they had to when the football season eventually resumes. Well, I think Gary is quite right in a certain way because Gary’s quite old school in his way of thinking. He would, I would.

    To be perfectly honest, players in the Championship and below would quite easily play three games a week and not moan. If, at the start of a 38-week playing season, you were told you would have to play three times a week, those players would get on with it.


    What Pitchers Need to Know About Ramping-Up When Baseball Returns

    SportTechie, Joe Lemire from

    … preseason training for both pros and amateurs is already a time populated with the most ligament and labrum injuries, but this year’s indefinite hiatus on sports because of the coronavirus adds a new wrinkle for pitchers who don’t have a scheduled date for Opening Day. [Ron Wolforth] spoke with SportTechie about those injury risks, his training recommendations, and technologies that can help pitchers.


    Raptors’ fitness is in good hands, if even at a distance

    The Chronicle Herald, Postmedia News, Mike Ganter from

    Keeping 17 NBA bodies finely tuned and chiselled is no easy feat at the best of times.

    But try doing it without being able to take any of those 17 into the gym, or even see them face to face for what looks like it will be at least a month and probably longer, and the job becomes infinitely tougher.

    That is the task that falls to Raptors strength and conditioning coach Jon Lee.

    But instead of tough, Lee is finding he has a lot of help from within these days, most of it coming from various veterans on the team.


    Rapids boss Robin Fraser trying to maintain team’s fitness amid coronavirus pandemic

    The Denver Post, Jake Shapiro from

    Earlier this month COVID-19 halted MLS play two matches into the 2020 season. Now the league has postponed all games until May 10 with the possibility of pushing back the championship to December.

    The league, which is celebrating its 25th season, is currently not permitting players or staff to use team facilities. This has created a wide range of challenges given player salaries range from the millions to the tens of thousands of dollars per year. Some Colorado Rapids who live in downtown apartment complexes don’t even have gyms they can access.

    “No stone has been left unturned; they’re doing a great job,” head coach Robin Fraser said. “Chad Kolarcik is in individual in contact with everyone on just about a daily basis. The special needs of the various players concerning fitness, health and strength are all being addressed.”


    Canadian women’s soccer coach looks to reset preparation for Tokyo Olympics

    The Chronicle Journal (Canada), The Canadian Press, Neil Davidson from

    … “I haven’t very deliberately and on purpose been working on a Plan B because the Plan Bs were definitely going to Cs and Ds and Es,” said the Dane. “Are the games going to be postponed? Is it in the fall? Is it like a different venue? All that stuff.”

    “Now we can start looking at the next steps,” he added.

    For [Kenneth] Heiner-Moller, that means building a schedule around the FIFA international windows. His team’s dance card is currently empty.


    Premier League will play Russian roulette with players’ fitness if they do not get FIVE weeks training before restart

    The Sun (UK), Phil Cadden from

    … while clubs plan to give stars three weeks of training before a possible resumption at the start of May, fitness expert Raymond Verheijen believes preparation is nowhere near good enough to get up to match speed without injuries.

    Verheijen, who has worked at Barcelona, Manchester City and Wales, said: “My message would be to only restart with proper preparation.

    “Otherwise you will be gambling and playing Russian roulette with the health of players.

    “The off-season is normally four weeks and we have a four to six-week pre-season for players to regain fitness.


    With 5G, wearable devices are expected to become even more sci-fi

    Fortune, Jennifer Alsever from

    … Already, a new wave of wearables is gaining traction, albeit without relying on 5G. Smart earbuds, or “hearables,” provide information via audio including directions that can be heard only by the people wearing them. Meanwhile, nearly a dozen companies sell smart glasses, most of which are aimed at health care, exercise enthusiasts, music aficionados, and owners of smartphones with no headphone jacks.

    Wearables go beyond ears, faces, and wrists, however. Clothes are now “wearables” too, and while they’re not 5G powered yet, they highlight what may be possible down the road. For example, this month, Adidas introduced a $40 pair of insoles that measure, for instance, the number of kicks and amount of running that real-life soccer players do and award them “virtual points” for that physical activity in EA’s FIFA soccer video game. Additionally, clothing startup Wearable X makes yoga pants that alert customers when they’re using poor technique for their downward dogs.


    Creating stretchable thermoelectric generators

    Linkoping University (Sweden), News from

    For the first time, a soft and stretchable organic thermoelectric module has been created that can harvest energy from body heat. The breakthrough was enabled by a new composite material that may have widespread use in smart clothing, wearable electronics and electronic skin.


    The role of energy density in weight management

    Asker Jeukendrup from

    When trying to achieve weight loss or when trying to maintain body composition with reduced training (athletes who are in quarantine or athletes who are injured), knowledge about the energy density of foods can be extremely useful. Energy density is the amount of energy or calories in a particular weight of food and is usually presented as kcal/g. Some foods are very energy dense, other foods, usually foods that contain a lot of water and fibre have less energy per gram.

    The macronutrients, carbohydrate, fat and protein have different amounts of calories per gram. Alcohol can add energy too.


    An Athlete’s Protein Primer

    TrainingPeaks, Nicola Busca from

    Everything you ever wanted to know about how protein works in your body, and how athletes can choose the right sources for recovery and performance.


    For female athletes, the financial fallout hits especially hard

    Chicago Tribune, The New York Times, Juliet Macur from

    … [Isabelle]

    Harrison, who spends the WNBA season with the Dallas Wings, has autoimmune problems, so she wanted to get out of Italy and closer to her support system. She paid $1,000 for a one-way ticket to Texas and, on Thursday, strapped on a medical mask and flew back to the United States. She planned to hole up in a hotel outside Dallas for two weeks, in self-quarantine because she didn’t want to risk infecting others.

    “I don’t know if our season will restart or even if I will get paid now, and financially this paycheck is definitely important to me,” said Harrison, who is from Nashville and played for the University of Tennessee. “This whole situation is just so scary.”


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