Applied Sports Science newsletter – July 8, 2021

Applied Sports Science news articles, blog posts and research papers for July 8, 2021


Van der Poel’s coach explains what makes him different from the rest of us

CyclingTips, Dane Cash from

… “What surprises me always the most is his adaptability,” [Kristof] De Kegel told CyclingTips. “His body is so fast – we have some standards, we have some theories, which we all know from out of the sports science: The base buildup has to be so [many] weeks, and then when that is okay, you need that time to build up intensity, and then the rider will be good. And then we need a bit of taper. With Mathieu, it’s all way shorter. His body adapts way quicker to the stimulus that we give his body. That’s the big difference.”

In short, Van der Poel isn’t just naturally better at riding than almost anyone else on the peloton; he’s also good at getting even better. That goes beyond what De Kegel calls his natural adaptability too. Van der Poel has instincts. Really, really good instincts. He’s also a good communicator.

“It’s always very important as an athlete that you can always communicate with your coach and try to tell him what you feel exactly,” De Kegel said.

NBPA president Chris Paul addresses critics of compact schedule, says it was a ‘conversation’ before the season

ESPN NBA, Dave McMenamin from

This year’s NBA Finals won’t just crown a league champion; they will bring to a close one of the most arduous seasons in NBA history. The league pushed through the COVID-19 pandemic with a shortened offseason and a 72-game compact schedule only to have the playoffs marred by a slew of injuries to some of its most high-profile players.

On the eve of Game 1 of the Finals on Monday, Phoenix Suns star Chris Paul — who serves as the president of the National Basketball Players Association — addressed the criticism the league and the NBPA have received for the quick turnaround and how it could have affected player health.

Bud Dupree working to get back “as soon as I can”

NBC Sports, ProFootballTalk, Charean Williams from

… “Just training hard every day right now, man,” Dupree told NFL Network on Monday. “ACL recovery, rehab, I mean, it’s been one of the most progress [sic] things I have dealt with so far. Each week you see different levels of progress. You see different things change in your body. So I’m working hard to be back as soon as I can, but that’s up to the coaching staff at the end of the day, like when they want me to be on the field and how comfortable they feel with me coming off the injury.”

Super Bowl champion and pandemic orderly Laurent Duvernay-Tardif – Be bigger than your sport

ESPN NFL, Laurent Duvernay-Tardif from

In July 2020, Kansas City Chiefs offensive lineman Laurent Duvernay-Tardif became the first NFL player to opt out of the 2020 NFL season. Duvernay-Tardif opted instead to continue his work at a long-term care facility in his hometown of Montreal during the coronavirus pandemic. A medical school graduate from McGill University in Canada, Duvernay-Tardif, 30, started assisting as an orderly shortly after he won Super Bowl LIV with the Chiefs in February 2020. In his opt-out announcement on social media, Duvernay-Tardif called the decision one of the most difficult of his life. Prior to opting out, Duvernay-Tardif had been the Chiefs’ starting right guard for the past five seasons, and he played every offensive snap during the team’s Super Bowl win over the San Francisco 49ers.

Throughout the pandemic, Duvernay-Tardif continued to train for a return to the football field. In a June minicamp, his starting spot was occupied by a rookie, sixth-round draft pick Trey Smith. In a few weeks, he will have the opportunity at training camp to earn back his job.

Resilient Vasilevskiy gives Lightning edge moving forward

Associated Press, Fred Goodall from

… “You can’t just take experience and throw it on the ice and sit here and say you’re going to win. You have to work for it,” Cooper said.

“We played some extremely solid games in these situations, but the bottom line is it’s your work ethic that gets you there,” Cooper added. “To win the Stanley Cup, you have to earn it. The other team’s not going to give it to you.”

How Movement and Gestures Can Improve Student Learning

KQED Mindshift, Deborah Farmer Kris from

… In her book, [Annie Murphy] Paul argues that if we want to extend the capacity of our brain – and engage in deeper, more creative learning – we need to capitalize on other body systems, on our surroundings and on our relationships. “The way to get better at thinking and learning is not to keep pushing the brain and certainly not to blame ourselves for its failures, but to reach outside the brain and transcend its limits by bringing in these external resources.”

How England finally learned to trust the country’s flair players

The Guardian, Ed Aarons from

… “Our game has evolved and if you look back 20 years, society has also changed a lot,” he says. “We have seen a massive influence from overseas since Arsène Wenger took over at Arsenal and that has also included a lot of skilful players. They brought with them their training habits and all of that has helped to encourage the development of more technically gifted players. It was a natural evolution.”

Allpress adds: “We were very insular as a country before but once our kids started playing with these overseas stars on a daily basis, you could see the influence they were having. You can almost see people like Foden thinking: ‘Oh, I can do that.’ It’s almost like it’s all right to be that kind of player now.”

How can we uplift our colleagues’ ideas at work or in the classroom?

Twitter, New York University from

prof Patricia Satterstrom and researchers at @Yale
and @Harvard
studied the voice cultivation process to determine the best pathways for teams to support new ideas:

Synthetic biology circuits can respond within seconds

MIT News from

Synthetic biology offers a way to engineer cells to perform novel functions, such as glowing with fluorescent light when they detect a certain chemical. Usually, this is done by altering cells so they express genes that can be triggered by a certain input.

However, there is often a long lag time between an event such as detecting a molecule and the resulting output, because of the time required for cells to transcribe and translate the necessary genes. MIT synthetic biologists have now developed an alternative approach to designing such circuits, which relies exclusively on fast, reversible protein-protein interactions. This means that there’s no waiting for genes to be transcribed or translated into proteins, so circuits can be turned on much faster — within seconds.

“We now have a methodology for designing protein interactions that occur at a very fast timescale, which no one has been able to develop systematically. We’re getting to the point of being able to engineer any function at timescales of a few seconds or less,” says Deepak Mishra, a research associate in MIT’s Department of Biological Engineering and the lead author of the new study.

eDiamond: A life-changing glucose monitoring solution for diabetics

TheScienceBreaker, Jessica Hanna from

… In our recent study, we introduce a novel glucose monitoring system, eDiamond, which uses electromagnetic waves to directly monitor blood glucose levels. Our system consists of a glove and an arm band that can continuously monitor blood glucose variations. The design of the sensors integrated inside the glove and the arm band mimics the arteries and veins network of the hand and arm respectively. By directing the electromagnetic waves from our system specifically toward the blood network, we achieved a level of higher sensitivity. Furthermore, the system can be personalized to fit the needs and preferences of each patient.

Smart Underpants: A New “Brief” In Health Monitoring

Forbes, Bernard Marr from

Rumor has it that underwear is getting a lot more interesting these days.

In fact, your undergarments are actually getting smarter, thanks to AI innovation in the e-textile industry.

Myant Inc., a leading innovation hub for wearables, has developed smart underwear that could become one of the most reliable and effective ways to detect and prevent health issues. The underwear current includes biometric sensors that measure things like sleep quality, activity, stress level, temperature, and electrocardiography (ECG)*.

BMI: We know it’s flawed, so why do we still use it?

BBC Science Focus Magazine. Dr. Giles Yeo from

… BMI is cheap and easy to calculate, and is therefore easily scalable. And critically, despite being imperfect for measuring fatness in particularly athletic individuals, the sad fact is the VAST majority of the population are not rugby or powerlifter types. As a result, for most of us, the higher our BMI, the more fat we tend to carry, thus BMI is a suitable proxy for tracking weight and health of entire populations.

BMI, however, shouldn’t be used by health care professionals, or anyone else for that matter, as a be-all and end-all to inform treatment or advice for individual patients. It has to be used in context with other information, such as fasting insulin and glucose levels, blood pressure, as well as family history of metabolic disease. In fact, the UK Parliament Women and Equalities Committee recently published a report recommending that the use of BMI in determining if an individual’s weight is healthy should be scrapped immediately, as it contributes to health issues such as eating disorders and people’s mental health by disrupting body image and inviting social stigmas.

How to stop mindless snacking and other bad habits keeping you from weight loss

TODAY Show, A. Pawlowski from

That habit of eating candy every afternoon can sabotage weight loss and impact all aspects of health — from a blood sugar spike to brain fog to tooth decay — and if it feels impossible to break, that’s by design.

The brain is a “habit machine,” built that way by evolution to help make navigating life easier, said Russell Poldrack, a neuroscientist and psychology professor at Stanford University in California.

Habits automate routine tasks, such as making breakfast or choosing the route to work, helping us avoid decision paralysis at every step, he writes in his recently-published book, “Hard to Break: Why Our Brains Make Habits Stick,” told TODAY.

“People sometimes think about habits as a bad thing, but habits are there because they let us not have to think about what we’re doing as we go throughout the world,” Poldrack told TODAY.

Wimbledon 2021 – The rise, fall and hopefulness of American men’s tennis

ESPN Tennis, Bill Connelly from

… At the end of 1982, his rookie season on tour, Brad Gilbert ranked 54th in the world. That would currently rank sixth among American men; four decades ago, it ranked 24th. Americans occupied five of the top nine spots at that point, led by a top two of John McEnroe and Jimmy Connors, and eight others above Gilbert would crack the top 10 at some point in their careers. (That list doesn’t even include third-ranked Ivan Lendl, who would change his nationality from Czech to American late in his career.) That year, Americans had occupied seven of the eight spots in the Wimbledon quarterfinals, five more at the US Open and, the week after McEnroe and Gene Mayer had led the U.S. over France in the Davis Cup final, six in December’s Australian Open.

NCAA v. Alston Ruling Refuels Athlete Insurance Market

Sportico, Daniel Libit and Michael McCann from

While the practical consequences of the Supreme Court’s decision in NCAA v. Alston will likely remain unsettled for months, those involved in the business of insuring college athletes with pro potential are already licking their chops.

“The brokers are seeing this an opportunity to write a tremendous amount of business,” said David Brookbank, a consultant who advises a number of universities and power conferences on disability insurance for athletes.

Up until now, the NCAA has allowed schools to pay the premiums of players’ disability policies and loss-of-value riders—coverage that is triggered if an athlete suffers an injury that directly and substantially impacts their future earnings as a rookie—but only out of the limited pots of money provided to each institution’s Special Assistance Fund or Student Athlete Opportunity Fund. Those monies, provided by the NCAA through a portion of its basketball tournament proceeds, are also meant to cover a host of other expenses related to athlete welfare and academic support.

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