Applied Sports Science newsletter – July 7, 2021

Applied Sports Science news articles, blog posts and research papers for July 7, 2021


Cameron Payne on how a trip home to Memphis, training with Shabazz Fitness, helped him reach NBA Finals, Clayton Collier from

The former first-round pick spent the last four years battling injuries while bouncing between the G-League and the NBA. This year, he has been the perfect next man up for Phoenix, filling in for Chris Paul as the 36-year-old battled a shoulder injury in the first round, and weathered a positive COVID-19 test before the Western Conference Finals.

At Monday’s media day news conference, Payne said a trip home to Memphis, and a return to training with Raheem Shabazz CSCS of Shabazz Fitness, helped get his career back on track.

“I went home, I went back to try to get that Memphis ‘oomph’ back in my game,” Payne said, curling his lip. “Because I kind of veered away from it. So I did a lot of time at the crib working out. And I mean, that Grit-n-Grind, the Grizzlies have that same little saying, but it’s really just a Memphis thing. We have to grind for everything we get. There’s a lot of players that have come through, and some people don’t want to see the grind going. But sometimes the grind keeps you on top of things.”

Jordan Pickford, England’s ultimate tournament animal, has come to play

The Guardian, Jonathan Liew from

… Pickford talks about needing to be “in the moment” for England. Perhaps this is an admission that he is the sort of keeper who thrives off buzz and vibes, who will always be prone to highs and lows in his career. Over the grind of a 38-game season, the gulf between his best and his worst will leave him vulnerable to criticism. But his ability to find that extra level, those extra emotional gears, can be an invaluable asset in tournament football, where outsized goalkeepers can often have an outsized impact.

This has been particularly noticeable in this tournament, which has been punctuated by numerous goalkeeping errors from Unai Simón, Martin Dubravka and Kasper Schmeichel. Pickford, by contrast, has stayed blemish-free under the highest pressure: passing soundly, punching well and choosing the right moments to venture out of his goal. In terms of his decisions, if not in terms of his decibels, Pickford seems to be more selective with his aggression these days.

Carli Lloyd Back For Fourth Olympic Games Still A Scoring Threat

Team USA, Todd Kortemeier from

There are a pair of numbers that help illustrate where the legendary international career of Carli Lloyd stands in its 17th year.

The first is 38. Lloyd turns 39 on July 16, but it was at 38 in June that she made some U.S. soccer history. In a friendly against Jamaica, Lloyd became the oldest player to score for the U.S. women, specifically at the age of 38 years, 332 days. Lloyd beat the record of Kristine Lilly, who incidentally is next up for Lloyd to pass on the U.S. all-time scoring list. For Lloyd, it was just another record among many she’s broken in her career.

“Records are records, they’re always going to be broken,” Lloyd told the Associated Press. “For me, it’s just about winning games, it’s helping the team. I don’t go searching for these records, it’s just a good reminder just to know how grateful I am to step out on the field. Nothing has ever been given to me. I’ve had to earn every single opportunity.”

A New Kind of Visual Illusion Uncovers How Our Brains Connect the Dots

New York University, News Release from

A new class of illusion, developed by a visual artist and a psychology researcher, underscores the highly constructive nature of visual perception.

The illusion, which the creators label “Scintillating Starburst,” evokes illusory rays that seem to shimmer or scintillate—like a starburst. Composed of several concentric star polygons, the images prompt viewers to see bright fleeting rays emanating from the center that are not actually there.

“The research illustrates how the brain ‘connects the dots’ to create a subjective reality in what we see, highlighting the constructive nature of perception,” explains Pascal Wallisch, a clinical associate professor in New York University’s Department of Psychology and Center for Data Science and senior author of the paper, which appears in the journal i-Perception.

The Pandemic Changed Sleep Habits. Maybe That’s a Good Thing

WIRED, Science, Sara Harrison from

A growing body of research shows that to optimize health and productivity, workers should adjust their workdays to their sleep schedules.

In short, by pushing temporal weighting strategy around, we found that the time-varying gain on MT sensory responses changed a LOT — but in the direction opposite what you’d expect.

Twitter, Alex Huk from

And we also found, in the ensemble representation, choice-correlated signals that were really big, quite distinct from the ensemble representation of stimulus motion, and which both lagged the psychophysical readout, and ramped up during the post-stimulus delay period.

Hint: It’s not about willpower.

Twitter, A. Pawlowski from

“Probably the best strategy that we know to help overcome a habit is to try to figure out what the temptations are and then, to the degree that you can, get them out of your life,” says @russpoldrack

Patently harmful: fewer female inventors a problem for women’s health

McGill University, Newsroom from

“Necessity is the father of invention,” but where is its mother? According to a new study published in Science, fewer women hold biomedical patents, leading to a reduced number of patented technologies designed to address problems affecting women.

While there are well-known biases that limit the number of women in science and technology, the consequences extend beyond the gender gap in the labour market, say researchers from McGill University, Harvard Business School, and the Universidad de Navarra in Barcelona. Demographic inequities in who gets to invent lead to demographic inequities in who benefits from invention.

“Although the percentage of biomedical patents held by women has risen from 6.3% to 16.2% over the last three decades, men continue to significantly outnumber women as patent holders. As a result, health inventions have tended to focus more on the needs of men than women,” says co-author John-Paul Ferguson, an Associate Professor in the Desautels Faculty of Management at McGill University.

Dutch 3D motion capture company Xsens expands its automatic reporting for movement data | MobiHealthNews

MobiHealthNews, Sara Mageit from

Xsens has launched an Automatic Reporting feature, which presents complex movement data in an accessible report using its online MotionCloud platform.

The Netherlands-based company has also introduced its new Awinda Starter system, featuring its motion-tracking technology, which is driving research at a number of leading universities and simplifying data with readable reports and graphs.

Do You Need Potassium and Magnesium in Your Sports Drink?

TrainingPeaks, Abby Coleman from

Sodium is the main electrolyte lost in sweat and should be your main focus when considering which sports drink you want to use to hydrate. But what about other electrolytes like potassium, magnesium, and calcium? How important are they, anyway?

Wait, Weed Makes You Faster??

David Epstein, The Range Report from

… I don’t intend to add to the remarkable sum of hot takes about this on the internet. But the questions that some reporters asked me betrayed fundamental misconceptions that I think harm the public understanding of this news story. Based on the misunderstandings I’ve gleaned, below are a few points of context for anyone with a newfound interest in anti-doping policy.

Sabres hire Sam Ventura as VP of Hockey Strategy and Research

Buffalo Sabres from

The Buffalo Sabres have hired Sam Ventura as vice president of hockey strategy and research, the team announced Monday.

Ventura joins the organization after spending the past six seasons with the Pittsburgh Penguins, including three as director of analytics. He was promoted to director of hockey operations and hockey research in November 2020.

The Swissvale, Pennsylvania native joined the Penguins as a team consultant beginning in 2015, providing analysis that helped the organization capture back-to-back Stanley Cup titles in 2016 and 2017. He was promoted to director of analytics prior to the 2017-18 season.

The stats show England have been lucky, but they’re still Euros favourites

Wired UK, Omar Chaudhuri from

Gareth Southgate’s team have been fortunate not to concede yet, but other results and the win over Germany mean they’re the favourites to win the Euros

Eisenberg: Ramifications of the 17-Game Season

Baltimore Ravens, John Eisenberg from

The expansion of the NFL regular season to 17 games benefits the league financially, adding a week of games that have meaning and can be marketed and sold.

Many fans also will benefit, as they get more bang for their season-ticket buck with a game that counts replacing a preseason game in their package.

But I don’t know that you’ll find many players thinking they’re better off with another week added to a regular season that was already a physical and mental grind for them.

I’m having a hard time forgetting a throwaway comment Ravens wide receiver Sammy Watkins tossed into an interview last month. “The injury rate in the NFL is 100 percent,” he said.

NBA postseason was marred by injuries, and the league doesn’t appear to have a solution, Ryan Miller from

… The Brooklyn Nets, Los Angeles Lakers, Clippers, Denver Nuggets, and Hawks all could make a legitimate case they could have won a title if injuries hadn’t hit them at the wrong time.

But, as [Adam] Silver said, it’s not an exact science, and that might be the most frustrating thing about it because the league and its teams have been trying to make it one.

“The issue which we’re trying to get to the root of is, does resting work, frankly? Does load management work?” Silver said. “I mean, and there’s different theories out there on it, and what’s most surprising, it’s not just about injuries up this season, we’ve seen this upward trend for several years.”

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