Applied Sports Science newsletter – July 30, 2021

Applied Sports Science news articles, blog posts and research papers for July 30, 2021


The future is bright for Houston’s No. 2 NBA draft pick Jalen Green

The Undefeated, Marc Spears from

At 17 years old, Jalen Green showed a commitment to basketball that impressed his coaches. Three times a week, he began his day at 4:30 a.m. to drive 55 miles from Napa California, to Dublin, California, for a 6 a.m. workout with Golden State Warriors star Stephen Curry. After the workout, Green drove back to Napa in time for class at Napa Christian. And after the school day, he went to practice for two hours with the Prolific Prep Academy’s basketball program.

“Jalen was on a mission the day he walked on our campus,” Philippe Doherty, co-director of Prolific Prep Academy, said to The Undefeated. “He wanted to be the best, the No. 1 player in the country, but more importantly, he wanted to get better. He pushed himself to great lengths to get better at all facets of the game. Jalen constantly pushed himself and demanded more of himself because he knew he had a higher ceiling than most.”

Olympics 2021: How science helps runners

Vaughan Today, BBC World Service, Fernando Duarte from

… Scholars like [Steve Hack] believe it’s a combination of factors that start with increased participation in track events around the world. Then comes the access to better training methods.

“More and more athletes around the world are taking advantage of elite training and the help of sports science and technology to improve their chances of running faster,” Hack adds.

The proof is that the Under-10 club has expanded beyond the usual powers of the United States and Jamaica and countries like Britain and Canada – all of which have won at least one medal, an Olympic gold in the men’s 100m.

Elite Athletes Don’t Sleep As Much As You Think

Outside Online, Alex Hutchinson from

It’s the simplest and cheapest performance booster available, so why don’t elite athletes take advantage of it?

‘Tough mental preparation’ key to Team GB’s hopes against Australia

The Guardian, Suzy Wrack from

Manager Hege Riise has sought to instil resilience while also looking after players’ wellbeing at the Olympics

When Berhalter went to Qatar: A camp that never was and the lessons learned, Charles Boehm from

The USMNT were hours away from staging their 2020 January camp in Doha to give players and staff exposure to the environment they aim to compete in come November 2022, only for regional instability to force a last-second relocation to Florida. Head coach Gregg Berhalter had already gotten a glimpse of the project that’s taken root on the shores of the Persian Gulf.

“Back in 2019, I was able to go over there and meet with the coaching staff, spend some time with them, see Aspire, look at potential stadiums for the World Cup and just get a feel for Doha in general,” said Berhalter on Wednesday. “So I was pretty familiar with their setup, pretty familiar with what they do and their philosophy and their game model. But it’s been nice to see it in action against Concacaf teams. That’s the great unknown, is how’s the game model going to translate against difficult Concacaf opponents, and I think they’ve been managing through in a good way.”

Apple Watch’s data ‘black box’ poses research problems

The Verge, Nicole Wetsman from

A Harvard biostatistician is rethinking plans to use Apple Watches as part of a research study after finding inconsistencies in the heart rate variability data collected by the devices. He found that the data collected during the same time period appeared to change without warning.

“These algorithms are what we would call black boxes — they’re not transparent. So it’s impossible to know what’s in them,” JP Onnela, associate professor of biostatistics at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and developer of the open-source data platform Beiwe, told The Verge.

De-Identifying Medical Patient Data Doesn’t Protect Our Privacy

Stanford University, Stanford Institute for Human-Centered Artificial Intelligence, Katharine Miller from

When we visit a doctor in the United States, we sign a privacy statement acknowledging that although our health status and mental health issues are private, our health information can be shared for various legitimate purposes including public health and research.

What the privacy statement doesn’t explain is that, when our health data is used for these specific purposes, it must be “de-identified” in compliance with the federal Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). That is, key information like names, birthdates, gender, and other factors must be removed. But that doesn’t mean our records are actually kept private.

“There’s a mismatch between what we think happens to our health data and what actually happens to it,” says Nigam Shah, professor of medicine (biomedical informatics) and of biomedical data science at Stanford University and an affiliated faculty member of the Stanford Institute for Human-Centered Artificial Intelligence. “We need to maintain privacy when analyzing healthcare data, but de-identification is an imperfect way to do that,” Shah says.

The cutting-edge tech helping NZ athletes shave seconds from their times

The Spinoff (NZ), Mirjam Guesgen from

When our Olympic athletes train for their events, it’s no longer enough to have a coach standing on the sidelines keeping an eye on what’s going on. These days, performance monitoring tech is now a staple in every top New Zealand athlete’s training regime.

Non-invasive deep dive into the body

Innovation in Textiles blog from

A new soft and stretchy ultrasound patch can be worn on the skin to monitor blood flow through major arteries and veins deep inside a person’s body.

Knowing how fast and how much blood flows through a patient’s blood vessels is important because it can help clinicians diagnose various cardiovascular conditions, including blood clots, heart valve problems, poor circulation in the limbs, or blockages in the arteries that could lead to strokes or heart attacks.

The new ultrasound patch developed at the University of California San Diego can continuously monitor blood flow, as well as blood pressure and heart function in real time. Wearing such a device could make it easier to identify cardiovascular problems early on.

The patch can be worn on the neck or chest and can sense and measure cardiovascular signals as deep as 14 centimetres inside the body in a non-invasive manner with high accuracy.

Getting Over Gold: Athletes and Mental Health

David Epstein, The Range Report from

In 2009, I wrote an article for Sports Illustrated about a U.S. four-man bobsled team known as the “Night Train” — so named for the sled’s matte black finish. The following year, at the Vancouver Winter Olympics, they won the first U.S. gold in 62 years. They didn’t just win, they dominated. An epic photo of the team — running over the ice, about to pile into the sled beneath gently falling snow — ran on the cover of SI.

In the years since, Steve Mesler, a three-time Olympian and member of that team, became one of my close friends. I’ve been around plenty of world champions during their moments of elation, but my friendship with Steve has given me a window into something more fascinating, more difficult, and more important: the glide descent back to Earth after a life-changing triumph.

Korey Stringer’s death 20 years ago changed football and sports safety, but not the law  | MinnPost

MinnPost, Marshall H. Tanick from

After the Vikings lineman’s death from complications of heatstroke, new protocols were adopted by the NFL and its 32 member clubs, including the Vikings, about training procedures, medical treatment, and other health-related matters.

Olympic Dream Dashed After Bike Crash and Nightmare Medical Bill Over $200K

Kaiser Health News, Samantha Young from

… In a sprint with a pack of riders at the velodrome track in eastern Pennsylvania, [Phil] Gaimon sailed over his handlebars after colliding with a fellow racer. Gaimon hit the ground hard. The result: a fractured collarbone, five broken ribs, a partially collapsed lung and a broken scapula — his worst injuries in the 10 years he had raced on pro road teams in the United States and Europe.

An ambulance whisked him to Lehigh Valley Hospital in Allentown, Pennsylvania, which is part of the health system that sponsored the cycling event. Emergency doctors admitted the athlete and he underwent surgery on his collarbone. He needed surgery on his scapula, too, which he said felt “like a collapsed taco.” But that surgery would happen days later, after he was discharged from the Pennsylvania hospital and a friend helped him find a surgeon in New York.

He chronicled the whole ordeal on his social media channels, and soon he was recuperating — painfully, but successfully — back home. And then the bills came.

The Olympics without Fans Is Harming Athletes’ Performance

Scientific American, Maddie Bender from

… From the perspective of sports psychologists, an Olympics without fans is a real-life science experiment that is helping researchers and clinicians to tease apart the true impact of a crowd of fans on its players—and on spectators at home. The strange circumstances under which the games are held may place unanticipated pressure on some athletes. On Tuesday, superstar gymnast Simone Biles dropped out of the women’s team event, telling teammates and reporters she wasn’t in the right “headspace” to compete. “It’s been really stressful this Olympic Games,” Biles told the Washington Post. “Just as a whole, not having an audience. There are a lot of different variables going into it.” Later, Biles also decided not to participate in the individual all-around event.

New players’ association aims to represent college football players amid changing NCAA landscape

ESPN College Football, Dan Murphy from

A new players’ association launched Tuesday with a goal to organize and represent college football players as they push for more rights.

The College Football Players Association (CFBPA), led by former University of Minnesota professor Jason Stahl, has assembled an advisory group of attorneys, academics and athletes. They plan to start recruiting and signing up dues-paying members this week. Their announcement is the most recent push in an ongoing effort to organize college athletes, which advocates see as the next logical move during a summer of transformative change in collegiate sports.

“This is the next step,” Stahl told ESPN. “If players don’t get organized now, it’s never going to happen. There’s so much we can do right now.”

Study: European soccer’s ‘big five’ leagues hit by €3.7bn revenue drop

SportsPro Media, PA from

Soccer clubs can hope to emerge from the crippling impact of the coronavirus pandemic as more sustainable in the long term despite new figures from finance company Deloitte showing a European-wide €3.7 billion (US$4 billion) reduction in revenue.

Key findings from Deloitte’s 30th Annual Review of Football Finance, published on 29th July, reveal the combined soccer market across the ‘big five’ European leagues contracted by 13 per cent in 2019/20, down to €25.2 billion (US$29.9 billion).

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