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Philippe Crisp and Paul Brackley

In the United Kingdom, many sport coaching career paths are considered to be focused on skills development, competence, and leadership within the context of performance. However, sport coaching also sits substantially within the community and youth sectors, where sport is seen to facilitate various social policy issues. Aligning nonperformance-related coaching contexts to existing formal qualifications schemes is problematic, given they frequently emphasize athlete and team performance. While an emerging base of studies examining community sports coaching exists, further insight and perspectives of in situ learning and coach support in this context are needed. Using observations, evaluation, and feedback centered on practitioner competence and confidence, and conducted over a 2-year period with 13 new community/grassroots sports coaches working with Albion in the Community (the official charity of Brighton and Hove Albion Football Club), we present some of the key findings and principles that we believe underlined their practice. These principles related to how, despite the majority being appropriately qualified at national governing bodies Level 2, they generally needed additional support and expertise for their specific (community) operational environment in terms of outcomes, practice design, and challenging what was seen as a focus on providing competitive (team) environments above individual player development.

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Tommy Slater, William J.A. Mode, Mollie G. Pinkney, John Hough, Ruth M. James, Craig Sale, Lewis J. James, and David J. Clayton

Acute morning fasted exercise may create a greater negative 24-hr energy balance than the same exercise performed after a meal, but research exploring fasted evening exercise is limited. This study assessed the effects of 7-hr fasting before evening exercise on energy intake, metabolism, and performance. Sixteen healthy males and females (n = 8 each) completed two randomized, counterbalanced trials. Participants consumed a standardized breakfast (08:30) and lunch (11:30). Two hours before exercise (16:30), participants consumed a meal (543 ± 86 kcal; FED) or remained fasted (FAST). Exercise involved 30-min cycling (∼60% VO2peak) and a 15-min performance test (∼85% VO2peak; 18:30). Ad libitum energy intake was assessed 15 min postexercise. Subjective appetite was measured throughout. Energy intake was 99 ± 162 kcal greater postexercise (p < .05), but 443 ± 128 kcal lower over the day (p < .001) in FAST. Appetite was elevated between the preexercise meal and ad libitum meal in FAST (p < .001), with no further differences (p ≥ .458). Fat oxidation was greater (+3.25 ± 1.99 g), and carbohydrate oxidation was lower (−9.16 ± 5.80 g) during exercise in FAST (p < .001). Exercise performance was 3.8% lower in FAST (153 ± 57 kJ vs. 159 ± 58 kJ, p < .05), with preexercise motivation, energy, readiness, and postexercise enjoyment also lower in FAST (p < .01). Fasted evening exercise reduced net energy intake and increased fat oxidation compared to exercise performed 2 hr after a meal. However, fasting also reduced voluntary performance, motivation, and exercise enjoyment. Future studies are needed to examine the long-term effects of this intervention as a weight management strategy.

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Jordi P.D. Kleinloog, Kevin M.R. Nijssen, Ronald P. Mensink, and Peter J. Joris

The aim of this systematic review was to examine the effects of physical exercise training on cerebral blood flow (CBF), which is a physiological marker of cerebrovascular function. Relationships between training-induced effects on CBF with changes in cognitive performance were also discussed. A systematic search was performed up to July 2022. Forty-five intervention studies with experimental, quasi-experimental, or pre–post designs were included. Sixteen studies (median duration: 14 weeks) investigated effects of physical exercise training on CBF markers using magnetic resonance imaging, 20 studies (median duration: 14 weeks) used transcranial Doppler ultrasound, and eight studies (median duration: 8 weeks) used near-infrared spectroscopy. Studies using magnetic resonance imaging observed consistent increases in CBF in the anterior cingulate cortex and hippocampus, but not in whole-brain CBF. Effects on resting CBF—measured with transcranial Doppler ultrasound and near-infrared spectroscopy—were variable, while middle cerebral artery blood flow velocity increased in some studies following exercise or hypercapnic stimuli. Interestingly, concomitant changes in physical fitness and regional CBF were observed, while a relation between training-induced effects on CBF and cognitive performance was evident. In conclusion, exercise training improved cerebrovascular function because regional CBF was changed. Studies are however still needed to establish whether exercise-induced improvements in CBF are sustained over longer periods of time and underlie the observed beneficial effects on cognitive performance.

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Mitchell J. Finlay, Craig A. Bridge, Matt Greig, and Richard M. Page

Purpose: The purpose of this study was to assess the efficacy of upper-body punch-specific isometric (ISO) and elastic resistance (ER) conditioning activities (CAs) on the punch force and neuromuscular performance of amateur boxers. Methods: Ten male senior elite amateur boxers (19.7 [1.2]| y; height 180.9 [7.0] cm; mass 78.7 [9.6] kg) visited the laboratory on 4 separate occasions. Initially, the participants performed baseline physical tests comprising bench-press 1-repetition maximum and countermovement jumps. On the other 3 occasions, the boxers performed maximal punches against a vertically mounted force plate and maximal countermovement jumps prior to and following an ISO or ER CA, as well as a control trial. Results: No interactions between CA × time were found in all performance variables. As observed by mean changes, effect sizes, and signal:noise ratio, both the ISO and ER, but not the control trial, consistently produced small to moderate, worthwhile increases in punch force and rate of force development, with the greatest increases in performance typically observed in the ISO trial. No meaningful improvements were observed in countermovement jump performance in all trials, indicative of a localized postactivation performance enhancement effect. Conclusion: In conclusion, the ISO and ER CAs may be implemented in an amateur boxers’ warm-up to acutely enhance punch-force variables, although the ISO punch appears to be the superior CA to improve punch-specific performance. The CAs used in the present study may also be relevant to other combat sports inclusive of a striking element.

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Emma Streatch, Natasha Bruno, and Amy E. Latimer-Cheung

Quality experiences in sport programming for children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) can promote physical and psychosocial benefits and long-term quality participation (QP). Unfortunately, children with ASD often experience sport participation barriers and, consequently, participate less in sport compared with children without disabilities. This study investigated QP priorities and strategies that could foster QP for children with ASD. Caregivers (n = 13), volunteers (n = 26), and staff (n = 14) involved in sport programming for children with ASD rated experiential elements of QP using the Measure of Experiential Aspects of Participation. In addition , a two-round Delphi survey with staff (Round 1: n = 11; Round 2: n = 13) generated 22 strategies for promoting QP—each rated highly with regard to importance (5.69–6.85 on a 7-point scale). Strategies were substantiated with published research evidence. Findings informed the development of a QP tool designed to help instructors implement identified strategies in hopes of improving sport experiences for children with ASD.

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Louis Moustakas and John Bales

Sport coaching policies in Europe lack a guiding framework, and there is limited knowledge about good practices within those policies. This lack of guidance stands in stark contrast to the growing role and importance, from both a practical and a policy perspective, that coaches play in Europe. It is against this background that the Policy, Evidence, and Knowledge in Coaching (PEAK) project was initiated to strengthen the policy foundations of sports coaching in Europe. To do so, the Policy, Evidence, and Knowledge in Coaching project aimed to develop coaching policy recommendations for national authorities and sport federations on the European continent. In the following, we present the main policy recommendations for national authorities as well as the extensive process that led to the formulation of those recommendations. Based on this work, nine recommendations featuring a total of 61 indicators were developed. Overall, we contend that the policy foundation for an effective coaching system includes clarity on who the policies are for, how the results of the policy will be measured, the education, regulation, and support of the workforce, and addressing the inclusion of underrepresented groups.

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Cindy H.P. Sit, Wendy Y.J. Huang, Stephen H.S. Wong, Martin C.S. Wong, Raymond K.W. Sum, and Venus M.H. Li

Background: Following the 2019 Hong Kong Para Report Card, the 2022 Hong Kong Para Report Card aimed to provide an updated and evidence-based assessment for nine indicators related to physical activity in children and adolescents with special educational needs and to assess the results using a SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats) analysis. Methods: Using a systematic process, the best available data on nine indicators were searched from the past 10 years and were assessed by a research work group. Letter grades were assigned and considered by stakeholders and auditors. Results: Four indicators were assigned a letter grade (overall physical activity: F [mixed device-measured and self-reported data]; sedentary behaviors: D [device-measured data]; active transportation: D−; government strategies & investment: C+). SWOT analysis highlighted opportunities for facilitating children and adolescents with special educational needs to achieve health recommendations. Conclusion: There were deteriorating trends in physical activity and sedentary behaviors. Effective, multilevel, and cross-sector interventions are recommended to promote active behavior in children and adolescents with special educational needs.