Applied Sports Science newsletter – July 6, 2021

Applied Sports Science news articles, blog posts and research papers for July 6, 2021


As WNBA’s youth shine, these older stars have mastered aging gracefully, Hayley McGoldrick from

When watching Paige Bueckers play as a freshman at the University of Connecticut, knowing that top high school prospect Azzi Fudd would be joining her and Aaliyah Edwards in the fall, thoughts about the future of the WNBA popped into everyone’s heads.

Musings about the 2024 draft class and how stacked it would be flooded timelines after Bueckers and Caitlin Clark battled it out. Even after the 2019 draft, a class headlined by Jackie Young, Arike Ogunbowale, Katie Lou Samuelson and 2019 Rookie of the Year Napheesa Collier — to name just a few — the conversation turned to the “future” of the league’s landscape.

Whenever young stars make a splash in the NCAA or in their rookie year, thinking about where they’ll be in five years is always an interesting conversation point – mostly interesting because, in five years, the league could be without many who are playing their best basketball this season.

Individual acceleration-speed profile in-situ: A proof of concept in professional football players

Journal of Biomechanics from

Assessing football players’ sprint mechanical outputs is key to the performance management process (e.g. talent identification, training, monitoring, return-to-sport). This is possible using linear sprint testing to derive force–velocity-power outputs (in laboratory or field settings), but testing requires specific efforts and the movement assessed is not specific to the football playing tasks. This proof-of-concept short communication presents a method to derive the players’ individual acceleration-speed (AS) profile in-situ, i.e. from global positioning system data collected over several football sessions (without running specific tests). Briefly, raw speed data collected in 16 professional male football players over several training sessions were plotted, and for each 0.2 m/s increment in speed from 3 m/s up to the individual top-speed reached, maximal acceleration output was retained to generate a linear AS profile. Results showed highly linear AS profiles for all players (all R2 > 0.984) which allowed to extrapolate the theoretical maximal speed and accelerations as the individual’s sprint maximal capacities. Good reliability was observed between AS profiles determined 2 weeks apart for the players tested, and further research should focus on deepening our understanding of these methodological features. Despite the need for further explorations (e.g. comparison with conceptually close force–velocity assessments that require, isolated and not football-specific linear sprint tests), this in-situ approach is promising and allows direct assessment of football players within their specific acceleration-speed tasks. This opens several perspectives in the performance and injury prevention fields, in football and likely other sprint-based team sports, and the possibility to “test players without testing them”.

The unbelievable importance of Force velocity curve in running

Running Shoes Guru from

We understand that each athlete, like yourself, have your own goals and reasons for training. Although, We find that most train to increase performance. And to utilise the scientific evidence and methods out there will make the journey as easy and pain-free as possible (hmm okay, some pain from time to time) But listen and learn and you will possess solid run performances and low injury risks all thanks to science.

To that end, in this article, we will understand a very important scientific concept of force velocity curve and its importance in improving running performance.

Are you coming along?

Athletes ’embrace the freak-out’ ahead of Tokyo Olympics

Los Angeles Times, David Wharton from

In the year leading up to the Tokyo Olympics, Connor Fields was having trouble with nerves. His problem? It seems he wanted to feel more nervous.

The gold-medal BMX racer, forced to wait around for his third consecutive Summer Games because of the COVID-19 pandemic, got together with fellow riders to discuss raising the stakes on their daily routine.

They wanted something more than just practice, peddling furiously around a course day after day, leaning through banked turns and flying off jumps.

“We were on simulation [races] to stay sharp and get the butterflies,” Fields says. “You know, even bet lunch on it.”

Nine Israeli startups scoring big in sports-tech – Whether you’re 10 or 100 years old, a pro-athlete or just beginning your career, there is a sports-tech solution out there to help you improve your game.

Geektime (Israel), Aliza Mayer from

Are professional athletes more skilled today than they were in previous generations? Some may argue no; the most talented players of all time have already made their appearances in sports. Others are watching sports develop and adapt, seeing individuals improve their game like never before. For the latter perspective, this is not just because people are becoming more athletic, but because modern sports technologies allow players to monitor, analyze, share, and enjoy their careers– improving game by game. It has also allowed for a virtuous cycle of engaging more fans as the players progress. The fan is motivated to engage with sports from a multifaceted perspective, from virtual gaming to all-inclusive streaming. Israel’s startup nation has greatly contributed to the advancement of the sports-tech world. In fact, Israel has introduced over 200 successful sports startups to the arena, and counting. Whether you want to watch, engage, or train better, these Israeli startups each have a home-run solution for you

Body-coupled energy harvesting can power multiple wearable devices

Physics World, Raudel Avila from

Delivering power to skin-interfaced wearable devices typically relies on wires, batteries or conventional air-coupled wireless power transfer (WPT). But wires restrict movement and batteries need to be recharged and replaced. WPT, meanwhile, is limited by distance and power transmission can be obstructed by obstacles. Looking ahead, the next generation of biomedical skin-interfaced wearables must sustain prolonged operation – critical for applications such as continuous health monitoring.

Aiming to create power-autonomous skin-interfaced wearable devices, researchers at the National University of Singapore (NUS) used the human body as a medium to simultaneously recover power in devices at the waist, wrist, arm, ankle and thigh from a single power source, such as a mobile phone in a pocket. Alternatively, the device can harvest energy from nearby electromagnetic waves in the ambient environment, which are coupled onto the skin surface to create a low-loss transmission path.

Next generation smart shirt powered by 5G

Innovation in Textiles blog from

… As a new remote health monitoring technology, the YouCare smart shirt is said to enable the detection of a combination of bio parameters that have never before all been detected by textile sensors, such as a “real” electrocardiogram, a respiratory act analysis, the components of sweat, muscle effort and body temperature. The shirt allows the transmission of data via ZTE’s ultra-fast 5G connection and is a fully textile-based product with no metal components that is washable and easy to use.

Everyone should decide how their digital data are used — not just tech companies

Nature, Comment; Jathan Sadowski, Salome Viljoen, Meredith Whittaker from

… In our view, the current model, in which the digital traces of our lives are monopolized by corporations, threatens the ability of society to produce the rigorous, independent research needed to tackle pressing issues. It also restricts what information can be accessed and the questions that can be asked. This limits progress in understanding complex phenomena, from how vaccine coverage alters behaviour to how algorithms influence the spread of misinformation.

Instead, we call for the creation, management and curation of behavioural data in public data trusts.

Access denied

This political economy of data puts social scientists in a difficult position. Access comes with conditions: companies have an active interest in the questions researchers ask (or don’t) as well as the data they can access and how it is analysed. And it is rarely possible for scientists to determine what information was not included when the gatekeepers do grant access, or how the data were generated in the first place.

Can a smart basketball make you a better player? There’s a good chance.

Input magazine, Ian Servantes from

It’s a motion countless basketball players at every level have taken at the free throw line. The ball is tossed with a backward spin from approximately chest level, bouncing back up to be repeated as desired.

Normally, it’s a calming routine, a way to gain composure for what should be the easiest shot in the sport but is anything but. With a new smart basketball, however, the action takes on a whole new meaning. Earlier this year, a company named Siq soft-launched its smart basketball capable of keeping track of your shot count in addition to several hyper-specific data points. It syncs with an app on your phone via Bluetooth, and to start the connection you simply send the ball on its way to a bounce with a backward spin.

Why Doctors Don’t Recommend Cannabis for Pain

Cleveland Clinic, Health Essentials from

In recent years, the number of states that have approved cannabis for both medicinal and recreational use has grown substantially. Yet many doctors are still reluctant to endorse cannabis as a treatment for various ailments — and with good reason.

One group, the International Association for the Study of Pain (IASP), issued a statement in February 2021 saying, “There is not enough high-quality human clinical safety and efficacy evidence to allow IASP to endorse the general use of cannabis and cannabinoids for pain at this time.”

To get a better understanding of why the IASP issued the statement and what the group is looking for in the future, we spoke to psychologist Judith Scheman, PhD.

Why the Olympics are harder on marijuana than pro sports, Associated Press from

Though pro leagues are slowly adjusting to the reality that marijuana is not a performance-enhancing drug, it remains squarely on the banned list for Olympic sports.

That reality will force American sprinter Sha’Carri Richardson to miss the Olympics this month.

Shortly after she won the Olympic trials in Oregon last month, she tested positive for chemicals found in marijuana. Though it was acknowledged the drug was not used for performance-enhancing purposes, Richardson still had her results erased and received a one-month ban.

A few questions about marijuana policy in sports:

Q: If marijuana isn’t thought to enhance performance, then why is it still banned?

Will the Hawks Become the New Model for NBA Rebuilds?

The Ringer, Jonathan Tjarks from

Atlanta just missed the Finals, but it hasn’t missed on a draft pick in years. Without Luka or luck, GM Travis Schlenk just pulled off one of the most impressive makeovers in recent memory.

Steve Cohen’s Mets not covering housing for many minor leaguers

New York Daily News, Dennis Young from

As Steve Cohen took over the Mets, he repeatedly emphasized his desire to rebuild the Mets’ depleted farm system. When he called the Dodgers a model franchise, he didn’t cite their blockbuster spending; he said he admired their “really strong farm system.”

But when it comes to investing in minor leaguers, the Mets aren’t the Dodgers of the East Coast. They aren’t even the Phillies of the NL East.

They remain, it turns out, the same old Mets when it comes to the farms.

Denmark’s Euro 2020 semifinal run fueled not only on emotion

Sports Illustrated, Jonathan Wilson from

There’s a big element of destiny to Denmark’s run at the Euros, but don’t discount the quality of the play and the shared solidity across the squad.

How do you scout a new coach? Five pieces of advice

Google Translate, The Correspondent (NL), Michael de Hoog from

The Netherlands needs a new national team coach for the men. In 2017 I spoke to three experts about scouting a good coach. One of their pieces of advice: invite as many candidates as possible for an interview. You never know what idea you’ll hear that you never thought of yourself.

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