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Comparative Effects of Advanced Footwear Technology in Track Spikes and Road-Racing Shoes on Running Economy

Dustin P. Joubert, Garrett M. Oehlert, Eric J. Jones, and Geoffrey T. Burns

Purpose: Determine the effects of advanced footwear technology (AFT) in track spikes and road-racing shoes on running economy (RE). Methods: Four racing shoes (3 AFT and 1 control) and 3 track spikes (2 AFT and 1 control) were tested in 9 male distance runners on 2 visits. Shoes were tested in a random sequence over 5-minute trials on visit 1 (7 trials at 16 km·h−1; 5-min rest between trials) and in the reverse/mirrored order on visit 2. Metabolic data were collected and averaged across visits. Results: There were significant differences across footwear conditions for oxygen consumption (F = 13.046; P < .001) and energy expenditure (F = 14.710; P < .001). Oxygen consumption (in milliliters per kilogram per minute) in both the first AFT spike (49.1 [1.7]; P < .001; d z  = 2.1) and the other AFT spike (49.3 [1.7]; P < .001; d z  = 1.7) was significantly lower than the control spike (50.2 [1.6]), which represented a 2.1% (1.0%) and 1.8% (1.0%) improvement in RE, respectively, for the AFT spikes. When comparing the subjects’ most economic shoe by oxygen consumption (49.0 [1.5]) against their most economic spike (49.0 [1.8]), there were no statistical differences (P = .82). Similar statistical conclusions were made when comparing energy expenditure (in watts per kilogram). Conclusions: AFT track spikes improved RE ∼2% relative to a traditional spike. Despite their heavier mass, AFT shoes resulted in similar RE as AFT spikes. This could make the AFT shoe an attractive option for longer track races, particularly in National Collegiate Athletic Association and high school athletics, where there are no stack-height rules.

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Interview With Jane MacNeille, Senior Vice President of Player Communications at LIV Golf

Trajan Cunningham

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Pacing Strategies in Elite Individual-Medley Swimmers: A Decision-Tree Approach

Chin-Kuei Yang, Yu-Chia Hsu, and Chen-Kang Chang

Purpose: This study aimed to examine pacing strategies and identify the stroke that has the most significant impact on overall performance in men’s and women’s 200-m and 400-m individual-medley events from 2000 to 2021. Methods: The time in each lap and overall race was retrieved from the World Aquatics website. The standardized time for each stroke in individual medley was calculated by dividing the actual time by a reference time specific to each stroke. The reference time was derived from the respective laps in single-stroke finals in the 2017 World Swimming Championships. The decision-tree method was used for analysis. The dependent variables were qualified or nonqualified in heats and semifinals, and winning medals in finals. The independent variables were the ratio of standardized time in each stroke to the sum of standardized time in all 4 strokes. Results: Swimmers who spent a higher ratio of standardized time in the butterfly stroke (>0.236–0.245) are associated with a higher likelihood of winning medals or qualifying for the next stage in most men’s and women’s 200-m and 400-m individual medley. Butterfly exhibited the highest normalized importance that distinguished medalists from nonmedalists in the finals. The front-crawl stroke is the second most important determinant in medalists in men’s and women’s 200-m individual medley, whereas backstroke and breaststroke were the second most important in men’s and women’s 400-m individual medley, respectively. Conclusion: Individual-medley swimmers who were excellent in butterfly and conserved energy in butterfly had a higher likelihood of success.

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Visual Performance and Sports: A Scoping Review

Liam Lochhead, Jiren Feng, Daniel M. Laby, and Lawrence G. Appelbaum

Vision is central to success in nearly all sports, and there is an emerging body of research investigating the links between visual abilities and athletic performance. This preregistered scoping review seeks to clarify the topics of study, methodologies used, populations under investigation, researchers, and disciplines driving this field. Systematic searches of English-language articles were conducted in PubMed and Web of Science, with additional literature identified through bibliographic searches. Six hundred sixty-seven articles published between 1976 and 2023 were identified with 547 empirical studies, 58 review articles, 20 commentaries, and 4 meta-analyses, among others. Among the empirical papers, 411 reported on visual assessments and 98 on vision training interventions. The most represented sports included baseball, soccer, basketball, and cricket, with over 150 articles reporting on professional, elite, or Olympic athletes. This scoping review describes the breadth of this emerging field, identifies its strengths and weaknesses, and provides recommendations for future improvement.

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International Society of Research and Advocacy for Developmental Coordination Disorder (ISRA-DCD)—15th Biannual Conference and International Motor Development Research Consortium (I-MDRC)—6th Assembly

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Adapted Physical Activity Across the Life Span

Paul R. Malinowski, Paul H. Warner, and Wesley J. Wilson,

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Are Young Female Basketball Players Adequately Prepared for a Force–Velocity Jumping and Sprinting Assessment?

Jessica Rial-Vázquez, Iván Nine, María Rúa-Alonso, Juan Fariñas, Roberto Fernández-Seoane, Pedro Jiménez-Reyes, Miguel Fernández-del-Olmo, and Eliseo Iglesias-Soler

Purpose: The aim of this study was to explore the interday reliability of mechanical variables obtained from the horizontal and vertical force–velocity (FV) profiles in adolescent female basketball players. If found to be reliable, the associations between FV parameters (theoretical maximal force, velocity, and power), squat jump (SJ) height, 30-m sprint, and change of direction (COD) times were evaluated. Methods: After familiarization, SJ against incremental loads, 30-m sprint, and 505-COD tests were obtained twice in 36 adolescent female basketball players (age = 15.4 [1.2] y). Results: Reliability for vertical FV parameters was unacceptable, whereas 505-COD times and FV horizontal parameters (except for theoretical maximal power) showed a moderate to high reliability. 505-COD time was correlated with FV horizontal parameters (range: r = −.821, −.451), and a large association was observed with both SJ height (r = −.678, −.600) and 30-m sprint time (r = .813, .858). Conclusions: Due to low levels of strength, our athletes were not adequately prepared to obtain a reliable vertical FV profile. Practitioners can expect acceptable reliability of the horizontal FV profile. Given the association between COD performance and SJ height and 30-m sprint time, we encouraged practitioners with limited equipment at their disposal to use COD and/or 30-m sprint tests.

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Effects of Brief Mindfulness Training on Basketball Free-Throw Shooting Performance Under Pressure: A Randomized Controlled Trial of Dosage Response

Jessyca N. Arthur-Cameselle and Linda A. Keeler

Studies have indicated that as little as 15 min of mindfulness training (MT) positively affects sport performance under pressure, but the minimum amount of MT required to induce effects is unclear. The current experiment tested the effects of MT of different lengths on free-throw shooting under pressure. Forty-six participants (78% men) with competitive basketball experience completed pretest mindfulness and anxiety surveys and shot under low pressure. Using performance-based matched assignment, participants were randomly distributed into groups. On another day, participants completed audio trainings (6-min MT, 15-min MT, or control) and then shot under high pressure. Under high pressure, anxiety and mindfulness states did not differ among groups, nor were there group differences in average shooting percentage. However, only the control group performed worse on the second shot under high pressure compared with low pressure, suggesting possible protection effects of MT. Findings are discussed regarding application and possible interactions between traits, motivation, and incentive values.

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Energetics of a World-Tour Female Road Cyclist During a Multistage Race (Tour de France Femmes)

Jose L. Areta, Emily Meehan, Georgie Howe, and Leanne M. Redman

Despite the increased popularity of female elite road cycling, research to inform the fueling requirements of these endurance athletes is lacking. In this case study, we report for the first time the energetics of a female world-tour cyclist competing in the 2023 Tour de France Femmes, an 8-day race of the Union Cycliste Internationale. The 29-year-old athlete presented with oligomenorrhea and low T3 before the race. Total daily energy expenditure assessed with the doubly labeled water technique was 7,572 kcal/day (∼4.3 physical activity levels), among the highest reported in the literature to date for a female. Crank-based mean maximal power was consistent with female world-tour cyclists (5 min, mean 342 W, 4.8 W/kg; 20 min 289 W, 4.1 W/kg). The average daily energy intake measured with the remote food photography method (Stage Days 1–7) was 5,246 kcal and carbohydrate intake was 13.7 g/kg (range 9.7–15.9 g/kg), and 84 g/hr during stages, and an average fat intake of 15% of daily energy intake. An estimated 2,326 kcal/day energy deficit was evidenced in a 2.2 kg decrease in body mass. Notwithstanding the high carbohydrate intake, the athlete was unable to match the energy requirements of the competition. Despite signs of energy deficiency preexisting (oligomenorrhea and low T3), and other further developing during the race (weight loss), performance was in line with that of other world-tour cyclists and a best personal performance was recorded for the last stage. This case study emphasizes the need for further research to inform energy requirements for female athletes’ optimal performance and health.

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Mindfulness and Psychological Inflexibility in Portuguese Adolescent Athletes: A Novel Framework for Understanding the Link Between Shame and Sports Anxiety

Sara Margarida Simões de Oliveira, Marina Isabel Vieira Antunes Cunha, António Fernando Boleto Rosado, Mariana Saraiva, and Cláudia Rute Carlos Ferreira

This study aimed to test a comprehensive model in adolescent athletes that explores the effect of shame on sports anxiety and whether psychological inflexibility and mindfulness influence this association. The sample study included 210 young Portuguese athletes from different competitive sports. The path analysis results confirmed the adequacy of the proposed model, which explained 49% of the variance in sports anxiety. Results demonstrated that athletes who experienced higher levels of shame tended to exhibit elevated levels of sports anxiety through lower levels of mindfulness and higher psychological inflexibility. The study offers new empirical data that may be relevant for clinical and sport psychology practitioners. These findings seem to underline the importance of addressing shame and, consequently, sports anxiety in adolescent athletes by developing greater psychological flexibility and, inherently, more mindfulness skills among adolescent athletes who are in a phase of their lives where sport can play a crucial role.