Applied Sports Science newsletter – June 19, 2020

Applied Sports Science news articles, blog posts and research papers for June 19, 2020


The not-so-rapid rise of Spencer Dinwiddie, and the case he has to make, James Herbert from

… “First, I’m a basketball player,” he said, “and I try to have the most well-rounded game possible. But people forget when I was recruited out of high school, I was recruited as a passer.” He continued by walking me through his career, explaining that he only became a scorer in college because that’s what the team needed. The same was true in Brooklyn. He cited his 4:1 assist-to-turnover ratio in 2017-18.

“With Kyrie and KD, if you’re telling me I get to come out here and pass to two phenomenal scorers and get 10 assists a game and maybe be in second gear a lot of times with my scoring, I’m fine,” he said. “If I average 14 and 10 and we win a title, but KD averages 35 and Ky averages 25 or whatever it would be, like, I’m good with that. I’m more than fine with that. That’s more in line with how I played the game growing up than it is a lot of the other spurts and seasons that I’ve put together since I’ve been older.”

Bruins’ Kevan Miller focused on taking care of body and mind

The Patriot Ledger (MA), Mike Loftus from

Kevan Miller, who has undergone four surgeries to repair a fractured kneecap, says the experience has been as challenging mentally as it has been physically.

After you’ve been through surgery four times in a little less than a year, progress is measured in baby steps.

Kevan Miller is living that, almost literally. Tying his shoes and putting on jeans the way he did before he fractured his kneecap on April 4, 2019, are actions worthy of celebration. Walking up and down stairs “somewhat normally” means another box is close to being checked.

Miller, the Bruins’ 32-year-old defenseman, was selected last week by the local chapter of the Professional Hockey Writers Association as the team’s nominee for the NHL’s Masterton Memorial Trophy, which recognizes “perseverance, sportsmanship and dedication to hockey.” If Miller outpolls the league’s 30 other nominees, he’ll win without having played a single game in the 2019-20 season.

He’s not going to give up trying to play in 2020-21, though.

Veteran Canada ‘keeper Erin McLeod happy to be back after painful foot injuries

Yahoo Sports, The Canadian Press from

… “To step on the field … with Marta and players like Ali Riley, Ali Krieger and some of the best players in the world. I get to do this every day,” she added.

While McLeod says it’s important to remember the “hard times,” at 37 her expectations are modest.

“I have no goals right now … I’m proud of what I’ve done,” said McLeod, a world-class ‘keeper who has represented Canada 118 times. “I still work really hard and pay attention to detail … So whatever happens now, happens.”

Assessing and Enhancing Deceleration Capacities with Jonas Dodoo

YouTube, John Kiely from

Assessing and Developing Deceleration capacities in team sports players. Coach-oriented, practical exploration with the excellent Jonas Dodoo @eatsleeptrain
at our recent Deceleration workshop. [video, 25:56]

Pre-season fitness testing in elite soccer: integrating the 30-15 Intermittent Fitness Test into the weekly microcycle

Sport Performance & Science Reports from

Fitness testing is an important part of the pre-season player screening process (1).Depending on cultures and preferences, various submaximal or maximal tests are used in soccer, including continuous linear (e.g., tread-mill tests, Vam-Eval (2)), continuous non-linear (20-m shut-tle test (3)) or intermittent non-linear (e.g., Yo-Yo (4)and 30-15 Intermittent Fitness Tests, 30-15IFT (5)) protocols. Among these, the 30-15IFT remains the only test that can mimic the physiological demands of most team and racket sports, and be used i) as a performance measure (peak test running speed, VIFT) (6), ii) to assess a players’ locomotor profile (7) and iii) to improve high-intensity interval training (HIIT) prescription (8, 9). There is however little consensus concerning the optimal timing of the 30-15IFT programming,i.e., when is the best time to implement the 30-15IFT within the pre-season phase?

In fact, there are often two approaches that are considered.On the one hand, it could be intuitive to test players first thing upon return to the club after the break, which immediately allows a clear picture of a players’ fitness status in order to individualize their program.

Choosing Challenge

Character Lab, Angela Duckworth from

… [Larry] Tesler embodied what developmental psychologists call mastery behaviors—the inclination to seek out challenges, invest effort in learning, persist when difficulty mounts, and rebound from failure.

The opposite is to shrink from challenge, put in bare minimum effort, give up at the slightest resistance, and lose hope when stymied.

“If I ever hear somebody say something’s impossible or extremely difficult, almost impossible,” Tesler said, “it’s a challenge and I always try to do it.” For example, Tesler spent a lot of time trying to prove Fermat’s Last Theorem, which had remained unsolved for more than 300 years. He never succeeded (though the mathematician Andrew Wiles eventually did.)

Mental fatigue in sport.

Medium, sswitch from

Mental fatigue in sport is a major contribution to an athletes performance. Look at how we ask athletes to lead their lives now. Optimise fuel, recovery, and minimise fatigue wherever possible. Athletes now-days have longer and more gruelling competitive seasons than their predecessors and in turn this means they are at risk of much higher mental fatigue levels. Sport at high level now is not just sport, it is a combination of business deals, sponsorship, worldwide travel, long competitive seasons and family commitments. Performing well is not the only way athletes win, they must optimise their entire lives in order to achieve the level required of them today.

In addition to the training loads placed on athletes, the full picture of their performance is also the additional factors sport brings to their lives. Professional athletes are not just eating, training and resting. The more successful an athlete or team is, the higher the demand. And these demands are massively mentally taxing. Take a look at the below examples that contribute to mental fatigue levels in athletes.

How mindfulness training quietly gives elite athletes an edge, Luke Fox from

… “The Bulls and the Lakers and the teams that were coached by Phil Jackson absolutely practised mindfulness, and it was taught by my friend George Mumford. It was ongoing training for the entire team.”

Speaking over the phone from California, Dr. Saltzman, a holistic physician and former gymnast herself, rattles off a list of teams and athletes who have incorporated meditation into their training and felt the benefits. There’s the Golden State Warriors, coached by Jackson disciple Steve Kerr. Pete Carroll’s Seattle Seahawks. Derek Jeter. Kobe Bryant. Tim Lincecum. The 2016 curse-curing Chicago Cubs. Tennis champs Novak Djokovic and Bianca Andreescu, who, after upsetting Serena Williams for the U.S. Open crown, dropped this jewel: “At this level everyone knows how to play tennis. The thing that separates the best from the rest is just the mindset.”

The lengthy plan to restart the NBA season features fitness rings for temperature tracking

TechCrunch, Brian Heater from

… Amid a long list of guidelines for a season broken down week by week is a surprise inclusion of the Oura smart ring. The letter notes that the wearable “may help with the early detection of the coronavirus and will track temperature, respiratory and heart rate and other measures.” The league says players will have the option of wearing the ring as a kind of safeguard designed to pick up on COVID-19 warning signs.

Toronto-based sports tech company PUSH helps athletes train smarter

Times Colonist (Canada), The Canadian Press, Neil Davidson from

… The idea came from PUSH co-founder and chief product officer Rami Alhamad, whose background is mechatronic engineering. He saw an opening to use technology to support training.

The PUSH system allows coaches to delve into some 500 exercises stored in the cloud and build a workout for their athletes. The workout is then sent to the athletes via an app.

The athletes wear an accelerometer band or attach it to their weights, then start following the exercises. The sensor tracks the movements/velocity, giving the athlete and coach real-time feedback.

3D printed deformable sensors

Science Advances, Michael C. McAlpine et al. from

The ability to directly print compliant biomedical devices on live human organs could benefit patient monitoring and wound treatment, which requires the 3D printer to adapt to the various deformations of the biological surface. We developed an in situ 3D printing system that estimates the motion and deformation of the target surface to adapt the toolpath in real time. With this printing system, a hydrogel-based sensor was printed on a porcine lung under respiration-induced deformation. The sensor was compliant to the tissue surface and provided continuous spatial mapping of deformation via electrical impedance tomography. This adaptive 3D printing approach may enhance robot-assisted medical treatments with additive manufacturing capabilities, enabling autonomous and direct printing of wearable electronics and biological materials on and inside the human body.

AIS thanks Louise Burke for immeasurable impact over three decades

Australian Institute of Sport from

Chief of Nutrition Strategy Louise Burke OAM has been with the AIS for over three decades, and has had an immeasurable impact on the organisation, and on Australian sport. Appointed as Head of Sports Nutrition in 1990, Louise initially oversaw individual and team nutrition counselling, provided individual advice to AIS & Australian national teams, created the AIS Dining Hall menus and developed educational resources for athletes around the country.

Sam Thompson: How Colchester compete for talent against the elite

Training Ground Guru, Sam Thompson from

… While Exeter’s youth policy is much-vaunted – and has already been written about on TGG – Colchester’s is less well known. The club has been Cat 2 since July 2012 and as many as seven Academy products could be in their squad for the game tonight.

We asked Sam Thompson, Academy Recruitment Officer for the U7s to U15s, to give us the lowdown on how the club identifies and develops players in a highly competitive catchment area.

The End of Average… in Sports Science

Sports Discovery blog, Jo Clubb from

When was the last time you calculated an average? Or referred to an average? Or read a finding in a study presented as an average? As a Sport Scientist, this may be a frequent occurrence, perhaps even multiple times a day. If that is the case, it may be worth reading “The End of Average: Unlocking Our Potential by Embracing What Makes Us Different” by Todd Rose. … This is a fascinating book that questions an aspect of our society that has long been accepted as the norm, using mean averages.

Dismantling the Buffalo Sabres

ESPN NHL, Greg Wyshynski from

… It’s difficult to capture the contrast between the boundless enthusiasm from that moment in February 2011 — commemorated on T-shirts and in tribute videos — and the newly established nadir of Pegula’s Sabres this week, in which seemingly everyone was fired outside of head coach Ralph Krueger and newly installed neophyte general manager Kevyn Adams, the team’s senior VP of business administration.

Goodbye, Botterill, assistant GMs Randy Sexton and Steve Greeley. Goodbye, AHL head coach Chris Taylor and AHL assistant coaches Gord Dineen and Toby Petersen. Goodbye, director of amateur scouting Ryan Jankowski and a healthy portion of his team. (Terry and Kim Pegula did get through Tuesday without accidentally firing the rest of the staff and each other, which could have left the organization in the hands of a marketing intern named Cole.)

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