Applied Sports Science newsletter – July 26, 2021

Applied Sports Science news articles, blog posts and research papers for July 26, 2021


Tokyo Olympics 2021: Caeleb Dressel, US swimming, how many medals will he win, 100m freestyle vs Kyle Chalmers

FOX Sports, AFP from

… “There’s never been anybody like him in the sport,” Keenan Robinson, director of sports medicine and science for USA Swimming, said. “Just as a pure athlete.”

Asked him what casual fans will think when they lay eyes on Dressel at the Games, Robinson said:“That is a swimmer?”

How playing three sports helped Joe Mack become a top MLB draft pick

The Buffalo News, Rachel Lenzi from

DJ Svihlik visited Western New York at the beginning of May to scout Joe Mack, Williamsville East’s catcher. But Svihlik, the Miami Marlins’ director of amateur scouting, watched Mack play volleyball before he saw him catch for the Flames.

The two hours Svihlik spent watching Mack on the volleyball court against Hamburg helped the Marlins in their decision to draft Mack, who was a three-sport athlete at Williamsville East. In the course of about five months this school year, he played basketball, volleyball and baseball. He trained for baseball while playing the other two sports.

About two months after Svihlik’s visit, the Marlins selected Mack at No. 31 in the first round of the MLB draft on Sunday in Denver.

“To watch him play basketball all winter, and for me to fly up there, watch him play volleyball and the next morning, be on the field, hitting (batting practice) at 8 o’clock in the morning, that’s very impressive when young players will do that,” Svihlik told reporters Sunday on a video conference after the completion of the first round. “You can’t understate how important it is, that they are playing multiple sports.”

A Team USA Athlete Reveals the Hidden Costs of Going to the Olympics

VICE, Money, Katie Way from

Sprint kayak athlete Shaye Hatchette on crowdfunding, training on a shoestring budget, and the financial strain of going for the gold.

All 8 years I’ve played in the NWSL, I’ve worked at least 2 additional jobs during season.

Twitter, Emily Menges from

I’m eternally grateful for those employers who understood and worked with my schedule, but I’ll fight like crazy so the players who come next can just play soccer. #NoMoreSideHustles

Carli Lloyd on the 5 Factors Responsible for Amazing Career Longevity Going Into the Tokyo Olympics

SELF, Johanna Gretschel from

… Whether it’s penning a powerful op-ed in the New York Times, or voicing her NFL dreams, Lloyd has never shied away from expressing her thoughts and promoting women’s sports. She’s also one of many female Olympians who are actively disproving the notion that you can’t compete at an elite level well into your 30s and beyond. SELF caught up with Lloyd to learn more about how she’s playing her best soccer after 17 years on the pitch.

1. Experiment to keep growing.

“Each year I’ve played, I’ve tried to break barriers,” Lloyd says. That means not being afraid to experiment and try new things, like tweaking her diet, or implementing more double workout days. Most recently, she began working with a new strength coach, Chris Halladay, after her knee injury last fall. Halladay encouraged her to embrace new kinds of training, including what she calls a “neurological-based physics approach to sports performance and movement.”

‘She’s truly doing it for herself’ – Jessica Pegula’s rise from tennis obscurity to the Olympics

ESPN Olympics, D'Arcy Maine from

… For the second time in her career, Pegula was out of tennis for nearly a year. And this time, knowing all that it would take to return and all the far-flung places on the tennis map she would have to go to get back to where she started, her mind went another direction.

“I didn’t even know if I wanted to come back,” Pegula said.

Even Pegula’s family wondered how much longer she could hang on. It wasn’t as if she would have to worry about a way to support herself if she decided to quit the sport — her parents Terry and Kim Pegula, owners of the Buffalo Bills and Buffalo Sabres, have a net worth of more than $5 billion.

“I remember thinking, ‘Why would she want to keep doing this?'” Kim Pegula said. “There are other women whose families are relying on them through tennis but she doesn’t have that worry. She doesn’t have to do this and her life would be so much easier if she didn’t [play]. But it’s because she loves this sport and she’s truly doing it for herself.”

Exclusive: The Role Of USC’s High Performance In The 2032 Olympics

Australia Ministry of Sport from

Following the announcement of the 2032 Olympic and Paralympic Games hosting rights being awarded to Brisbane, and by extension, the Sunshine Coast and Gold Coast, Ministry of Sport spoke to University of Sunshine Coast (USC) head of physical performance in high performance sport, Dr Mark McKean.

On the way high performance sport will evolve across South-East Queensland in the lead up to the 2032 Olympics, Dr McKean said the region will become a common host of many more major international sporting events.

“It’s massively going to change the current sporting landscape across South-East Queensland,” Dr McKean said.

“The increased investment in facilities and infrastructure alone will change the way places like the Sunshine Coast are utilised going forward.

Why Steve Cooper’s Swansea tenure shows how Championship clubs could be run

FourFourTwo, Richard Jolly from

Steve Cooper’s time at Swansea yielded few goals and ultimately wasn’t rewarded with promotion – but there’s plenty to admire about the way the Swans are being run

MLB to test electronic device for catchers to give signals to pitchers

ESPN MLB, Alden Gonzalez from

The practice of catchers using their fingers to flash a combination of signs for pitchers to decipher, a strategy that is almost as old as the sport itself, could be on the verge of becoming obsolete.

Major League Baseball will begin testing new technology that allows catchers to electronically communicate signs to pitchers at one of the lower minor league levels within the next couple of weeks, a system designed to both quicken the pace of play and suppress illegal sign-stealing methods.

A memo introducing the new system, a copy of which was obtained by ESPN, was sent to officials of the eight teams that make up Low-A West on Friday. In it, MLB announced plans to begin testing on Aug. 3 a pitcher-catcher communication device developed by a company called PitchCom.

Lightweight wearable thermoelectric cooler with rationally designed flexible heatsink consisting of phase-change material/graphite/silicone elastomer

Journal of Materials Chemistry from

In this paper, we propose a lightweight wearable thermoelectric (TE) cooler with a rationally designed flexible heatsink. Heatsinks are commonly designed for use with stationary applications, and are consequently rigid and heavy. These traditional heatsinks are incompatible with wearable applications, which must be durable, mechanically flexible, and lightweight while maintaining performance. This paper presents a flexible heatsink based on a ternary composite of silicone elastomer, phase-change material, and graphite powder; this combination is needed to achieve high flexibility and durability as well as the optimum heat capacity and thermal conductivity. Those factors are key requirements for a heatsink to optimize the cooling performance of a TE cooler and maintain a longer cooling capacity. With our optimized ternary composite flexible heatsink, we achieved a cooling temperature of ∼5 K at 0.5 W input power and kept cooling for more than 5 h under ambient conditions. On-body testing of the wearable TE cooler with flexible heatsink was also performed to demonstrate potential applications in the real-world. Our work provides fundamental insights to designing wearable TE devices and paves the way for innovative solutions for on-body thermal management applications such as clothing, hats, seat cushions, and other portable devices.

Joe and Clara Tsai Foundation commits $220M to Wu Tsai Human Performance Alliance

ESPN, Stephania Bell from

… “When you’re close to these athletes and you see what they’re going through, you start to wonder, ‘How could that have been prevented? What is the right time to return to play? What is the correct kind of healing, including diet, including timing, including sleep?” Wu Tsai said. “And if it’s not science-based, then it becomes anecdotal and it’s less reliable. I think we want to put that scientific rigor into it so the regimens we put them through can become standard.

“Seeing how devastating these injuries can be for athletes as individuals but also to the team in general, we just felt that this was a role where we should step up.”

With a $220M philanthropic investment from the foundation, the Alliance will pursue a set of scientific “moonshots” to uncover the fundamental principles of human performance and pioneer new technologies to transform how people train, heal and perform throughout their lifespan. By comprehensively studying athletes of various ages, genders, ethnicities, abilities and disciplines, the goal is to discover the biological principles that govern optimum performance, from the molecular level to the whole body.

B-Secur collaborates with TI to deliver ECG/EKG monitoring for wearable devices

New Electronics (UK), Neil Tyler from

B-Secur has developed an electrocardiogram (EKG/ECG) solution based on the Texas Instruments (TI) AFE4950 analogue front end (AFE) for photoplethysmography (PPG) and EKG/ECG sensing.

Intended to accelerate the design of next-generation consumer wearables, the integration provides high-performing sensing capabilities for wearable devices like premium smartwatches and Wi-Fi-connected optical heart-rate monitors, and enables advanced features for identification, wellness and health monitoring in Internet of Things (IoT) devices.

What’s riskier for young soccer players, practice or game time?

EurekAlert! Science News, American Academy of Neurology from

For young soccer players, participating in repetitive technical training activities involving heading during practice may result in more total head impacts but playing in scrimmages or actual soccer games may result in greater magnitude head impacts. That’s according to a small, preliminary study released today that will be presented at the American Academy of Neurology’s Sports Concussion Conference, July 30-31, 2021.

“Headers are a fundamental component to the sport of soccer. Therefore, it is important to understand differences in header frequency and magnitude across practice and game settings,” said study author Jillian Urban, PhD, MPH, of Wake Forest School of Medicine in Winston-Salem, N.C. “Practices are more amenable to change than games. Therefore, understanding how we can restructure practice to reduce head impact exposure while teaching fundamental skills needed to safely play the sport is critical to improving head impact safety in the sport.”

Special hamburgers to help athletes win Olympic medals

Innovation Origins, Press Release from

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To help Dutch athletes perform well at the Olympic Games, various sports innovations have been developed at the Technical University (TU) of Delft in the Netherlands. In Tokyo, for example, athletes will be cycling on the fastest possible track bike, the entire Dutch team will be wearing a cool cap to cool down, a supercomputer will be sending sailors detailed wind forecasts and the Paralympic wheelchair basketball women will be receiving essential data on their training performance.

More innovations for Tokyo are described in the book Innoveren met impact, published by TU Delft together with Sportinnovator, the TU Delft announced in a press release. The Papendal Sports Center, another party in the Sportinnovator network besides TU Delft, has, for example, developed a special hamburger.

How Important is Attacking Balance to a Team’s Success?

Analytics FC, Josh Hobbs from

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