Applied Sports Science newsletter – July 13, 2020

Applied Sports Science news articles, blog posts and research papers for July 13, 2020


Why the world needs activist athletes today more than ever

World Economic Forum, Centre for Sport and Human Rights, Mary Harvey from

Activism in sports has a proud history in the US and around the world, and current events are making it more important than ever.

Building on this and finding a way forward will require leadership at every level of society – including from high-profile athletes.

To make a real difference, however, athletes need to be supported by all actors in sport.

You have no idea what Ashley Sanchez will do next, because neither does she

SB Nation, Black and Red United blog, André Carlisle from

… Refining and growth processes — especially for rookies — usually occur on training pitches, far away from broadcast cameras. Soccer can be a brutal, mind-wrecking sport, particularly when a player leaps to a new echelon. Bringing young talents along slowly to protect their egos until the professional game slows down for them is generally the right path to take, as it can take seasons (sometimes a move to a new club altogether) to undo the weight of public failures.

But this Challenge Cup — with matches being no less intense than regular season meetings, and with the first round of results only mattering insofar as seeding in the rounds to come — has provided the dream scenario for Sanchez to test herself against top quality competition without the hefty burden of potentially table-shifting consequences. In short, she can be her on-pitch uber-talented and intensely wicked self from the first whistle.

Pelicans’ Zion Williamson says he spent quarantine period relearning fundamentals from ‘square one’

ESPN NBA, Andrew Lopez from

… “It just felt like I was 5 years old again,” Williamson said Friday. “Just went back to square one, tried to get my body where it needs to be, get my fundamentals back to square one and start from there. So yeah, it was just like starting over at 5 again. It was a great process to learn it all over.”

A Decade Undone: Youth Disconnection in the Age of Coronavirus

The Social Science Research Council from

The number of teens and young adults disconnected from both work and school in the United States fell for the eighth year in a row, from a recession-fueled high of 14.7 percent in 2010 to 11.2 percent in 2018. The Covid-19 pandemic will cause youth disconnection rates to spike dramatically. We estimate that the number of disconnected youth will easily top six million and could swell to almost one-quarter of all young people. With students physically disconnected from schools and unemployment the highest it’s been since the Great Depression, young people with the fewest resources will be left even further behind their peers and face the highest barriers to reconnection. While it is clear that young people of all stripes will suffer, low-income people of color will be the hardest hit.

Despite overall improvements in the youth disconnection rate over the last decade, the gaps between racial and ethnic groups persisted and will be exacerbated by Covid-19. In addition, striking disparities between different geographies within the US remained. Even in economic boom times, vulnerable young people needed far more support, and in the face of Covid-19, their needs have grown.

Intellectual humility predicts mastery behaviors when learning

Learning and Individual Differences journal from

Mastery behaviors—such as seeking challenges and persisting after setbacks—can advance learning, but less is known about dispositions that promote them. In five studies (N = 1074), we find intellectual humility predicts mastery behaviors independent of a growth mindset. In Study 1, those higher in intellectual humility invested more effort to learn about a topic they initially failed to master. In Studies 2 and 3, high school students with more intellectual humility had higher mastery responses and higher teacher-reported mastery behaviors. In Study 4, intellectually humble high school students had higher mastery behaviors on a performance task. In Study 5, participants encouraged to be more intellectually humble invested more effort to learn about a topic they initially failed to master. The overall effect size across studies was 0.17 after accounting for growth mindset and gender, suggesting that intellectual humility boosts pursuit of mastery.

1 big thing: How the NBA’s “smart rings” work

Axios Sports, Kendall Baker from

When play resumes a month from now at Walt Disney World, NBA players will have the option of wearing an Oura Ring, Axios’ Jeff Tracy writes.

Why it matters: The rings track heart and respiratory rate, as well as temperature and sleep patterns. The hope is that they can be an additional line of defense against the spread of COVID-19.

Interview: I spoke with Oura CEO Harpreet Singh Rai to learn more about the product and why the NBA sought them out as a partner.

iFixit takes the Oura smart ring apart to see how it works

Engadget, Richard Lawler from

As we continue to work and live during the coronavirus pandemic, interest in technology that might help fight the disease has spiked, and one of the clearest examples of that is Oura’s smart ring. Early in June, researchers revealed data showing that, as part of a protocol of surveying and data reporting, wearers of the Oura smart ring may be able to detect symptoms of a COVID-19 infection early.

Multiple tests that include having health professionals using wearable devices are ongoing with even more participants, but once the NBA announced it would use the devices during its restarted season in Orlando, it became the most visible testbed. As people wonder if the ring can live up to the hype — and if it’s trustworthy, as Los Angeles Laker Kyle Kuzma said it “looks like a tracking device” — the folks at iFixit have done what they do, diving in and taking one apart.

‘total football’ guides UNStudio’s design of korean national football centre in seoul

designboom, Tim Spears from

… on a 450,427 square meter site located in cheonan-shi, chungnam-do, UNStudio’s design for the korean national football centre houses two stadiums – one indoor and one outdoor – and over a dozen sports field typologies, natural running tracks and indoor gymnasiums. these are all closely linked with numerous specialist sports medics and treatment centers. as the focal point for the plan, the central public plaza is enclosed by a variety of restaurants, shops and public sport facilities as well as three key pieces of architecture: the museum, indoor stadium and outdoor stadium. the masterplan also features a high-end hotel with lounge areas, spa, sauna and wellness center to offer spaces for players to rest and relax between training.

Carolina Panthers’ new Rock Hill facility will make ‘Two states, One team’ a reality

The Post and Courier (Columbia, SC), David Cloninger from

It’s half an hour from the northernmost tip of the city limits to Charlotte’s Bank of America Stadium, home of the Carolina Panthers. Despite the proximity, they’ve never really felt like a South Carolina team to this town of nearly 75,000 people, nestled just below the state line.

By the summer of 2022, that will change. A training complex based in Rock Hill will house the Panthers’ practice fields, sports medicine facility, retail and restaurants in the strongest step the franchise has made toward its motto, “Two States, One Team.”

“I guess I always had it in my brain that there was no city in South Carolina that was big enough to handle an NFL team, and Charlotte was our closest big city. To me it was OK for the Panthers to be the Charlotte team, not necessarily the North Carolina or South Carolina team,” said Chip Hutchison, a Rock Hill native whose family owns the land the Panthers will build on.

For NBA players who get coronavirus, potential lingering heart issues concern doctors

ESPN NBA, Baxter Holmes from

As NBA teams get situated in the Orlando, Florida, bubble, one question that has persisted since the start of the coronavirus pandemic is not only what happens if a player tests positive for the virus but also what lingering effects might follow.

“There are unknown effects it has on lung capacity, unknown effects it has on cardiac health,” said one general manager of a team entering the NBA bubble, speaking on the condition of anonymity. “What if a 24-year-old catches it in Orlando and, in 14 days, he quarantines and is fine, but then he has these everlasting heart problems? [Or he] gets winded so easily, or he becomes a little bit too susceptible to fatigue? … These are all the unknowns.”

There is a multistep process for anyone who tests positive, and it includes a two-week period — either from the first positive test if the player remains asymptomatic or from the resolution of symptoms — after which a physician will make a determination that isolation can end. The player will then take a cardiac screening in accordance with criteria outlined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Challenge Cup highlights multiple players returning from ACL injuries

SB Nation, All for XI blog, briafelicien from

In the 75th minute of OL Reign’s match against Sky Blue FC, Jasmyne Spencer returned to the pitch for the first time in more than a year.

She was injured in the Reign’s 2019 season opener in just the first 20 minutes, but made an impact for the Reign soon after her 2020 return, with a shot on goal that forced the “Save of the Match” out of goalkeeper Kailen Sheridan.

Milan Lab: Formation, use of data science, the work of Meersseman and the decline

Sempre Milan, Rohit Rajeev from

… Milan were a pioneer in the field of sports medicine. The now world-famous Milan Lab extended the career of many players well into the 40’s and helped Milan to a lot of silverware with its innovative methods.

In this article, we will look at the now famous Milan Lab, the brains behind Milan Lab and its decline in the last decade.

The dangers of the NBA’s short run-up to the restart

Chicago Tribune, The New York Times, Marc Stein from

One of the go-to mantras from the Gregg Popovich coaching handbook is a leaguewide credo now. No one in the NBA, as Popovich has been saying in San Antonio for years, wants to be caught “skipping steps” as the league begins the most challenging undertaking in its history.

This week, though, coaches also can’t help it. Not when the chance to hold an actual practice for the first time in months is just days away.

The focus, for now, is rightfully on the process of getting the 22 teams invited to participate in the restart of the 2019-20 season safely onto the NBA’s campus at the Walt Disney World Resort near Orlando, Florida.

MLS is Back’s 9 a.m. kickoffs present clubs with unique challenge. Will late-night starts be even tougher?

ESPN FC, Austin Lindberg from

“I haven’t played a 9 a.m. game since before high school,” Matt Besler told ESPN about Sporting Kansas City’s morning kickoff against Real Salt Lake on July 22 (watch live on ESPN and ESPN Deportes), and he’s not alone.

While these are unusual times and the MLS is Back Tournament is an unusual sporting event, Major League Soccer players usually wouldn’t play any earlier than noon.

“The last time any of these guys played a 9 a.m. game was probably youth soccer,” added Joey Harty, Sporting’s director of sports performance and science.

How Fixture Congestion Will Push Players to the Brink

Breaking The Lines, Opinion, Yara El-Shab from

European football is back, and we couldn’t be more excited. Sure, it’s not the same as before. The fake fan noise in the stadiums is a bit irritating, especially when the celebration noises come a full three minutes after a goal has been scored, and the element of watching matches in a packed pub full of strangers, the only thing you have in common being the passion and love you exude when your team scores, is not the same as streaming a match from your living room couch.

Still, the void is gone, and now we can look forward to games all throughout the summer, with the European leagues ending just in time for the Champions League to start up again in August. It is going to be nonstop football for the next few weeks, and while that is very exciting for fans, these players are entering what will probably be the most physically demanding, mentally draining, and overall hellish time of their careers.

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