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Mary D. Fry, Candace M. Hogue, Susumu Iwasaki, and Gloria B. Solomon

Psychological coping skills in sport are believed to be central to athlete performance and well-being. This study examined the relationship between the perceived motivational climate in elite collegiate sport teams and player psychological coping skills use. Division I athletes (N = 467) completed a questionnaire examining their perceptions of how caring, task-, and ego-involving their teams were and their use of sport specific psychological coping skills (i.e., coping with adversity, peaking under pressure, goal setting/mental preparation, concentration, freedom from worry, confidence/achievement motivation, and coachability). Structural equation modeling revealed positive relationships between perceptions of a task-involving climate and confidence/achievement motivation (β = 0.42) and goal setting/mental preparation (β = 0.27). Caring climate perceptions were positively associated with coachability (β = 0.34). These findings illustrate how encouraging athletes and coaches to create a caring, task-involving climate may facilitate athletes’ use of psychological coping skills and set athletes up to perform their best and have a positive sporting experience.

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Nathan Harrison, W. Zach Garrett, and Mark K. Timmons

Context: Fatigue of the scapular stabilizing muscles resulting from repeated arm motion has been reported to alter scapular kinematics, which could result in shoulder pathology, especially impingement. Objective: This study aimed to examine the effects of fatigue of the serratus anterior muscle on scapular kinematics, specifically, decrease scapular posterior tilt and upward scapular rotation during arm elevation. Design: Repeated measures. Setting: Laboratory. Participants: Thirty participants were included in the investigation. Interventions: Scapular kinematics and shoulder strength were measured before and immediately following a serratus anterior fatigue protocol. Main Outcome: Scapular 3-dimensional position during arm elevation. Results: No difference in upward rotation of the scapula between prefatigue and postfatigue conditions (ascending: P = .188; descending: P = .798). Scapular posterior tilt decreased during arm elevation following the fatigue protocol between 60° and 90° and 90° and 120° of arm elevation during the ascent (P = .004) and the descent (P = .013). Fatigue by arm elevation angle interaction was found for clavicular elevation during the ascent (P = .050) between 90° and 120° of arm elevation. Scapular internal rotation increased during the ascent (P = .027). There was no difference in clavicular protraction between the prefatigue and postfatigue conditions (ascending: P ≤ .001; descending: P ≤ .001). Conclusion: Fatigue of the serratus anterior decreases posterior scapular tilt and greater clavicular elevation and scapular internal rotation at higher arm elevation angles. These findings are consistent with the scapular kinematic patterns associated with shoulder pain. Improving serratus anterior endurance might delay the changes in scapular kinematics associated with repeated arm motion and shoulder injury mechanisms.

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Brice Picot, Romain Terrier, Nicolas Forestier, François Fourchet, and Patrick O. McKeon

The Star Excursion Balance Test (SEBT) is a reliable, responsive, and clinically relevant functional assessment of lower limbs’ dynamic postural control. However, great disparity exists regarding its methodology and the reported outcomes. Large and specific databases from various population (sport, age, and gender) are needed to help clinicians when interpreting SEBT performances in daily practice. Several contributors to SEBT performances in each direction were recently highlighted. The purpose of this clinical commentary is to (a) provide an updated review of the design, implementation, and interpretation of the SEBT and (b) propose guidelines to standardize SEBT procedures for better comparisons across studies.

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Francesca A. Harvey and Eric Schussler

Due to increasing rugby participation in the United States, understanding the factors affecting injury rate during participation have gained in importance. The primary objective of this research is to determine the effect of experience on injury rate in collegiate union rugby. Forty-three participants (23 men and 20 women) from the club rugby team participated over the course of one season. Injury data were analyzed by high (3+) and low (<3) seasons of experience. Twenty-four unique injuries were identified for an overall rate of 36.14 injuries per 1,000 exposures. Females with low experience (n = 14) had a rate of 47.34/1,000 exposures; females with high experience (n = 19) had a rate of 34.38/1,000 exposures. Males with low experience (n = 10) had a rate of 28.57/1,000 exposures; males with high experience (n = 13) had a rate of 42.06/1,000 exposures. Inexperienced female participants and experienced male participants showed higher rate of injury during rugby play. Identifying this at-risk group can aid coaches and responsible health care providers in making safer training and game play decisions.

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Eric Schussler, Ryan S. McCann, Nicholas Reilly, Thomas R. Campbell, and Jessica C. Martinez

The effect of subconcussive impacts on balance are not well known. The purpose of this study is to determine the effect of subconcussive impacts on dynamic balance over the course of a rugby season. Significant negative linear correlations were found between total peak linear acceleration and dominant leg (r = −.585, p = .046) and bilateral score (r = −.615, p = .033); also between total impacts over 10g and dominant leg (r = −.653, p = .021), nondominant leg (r = −.687, p = .014), and the combined total (r = −.731, p = .007). Results indicate subconcussive impacts may affect dynamic balance over the course of a competitive season of women’s collegiate rugby.

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Allison H. Gruber, Shuqi Zhang, Jiahao Pan, and Li Li

The running footwear literature reports a conceptual disconnect between shoe cushioning and external impact loading: footwear or surfaces with greater cushioning tend to result in greater impact force characteristics during running. Increased impact loading with maximalist footwear may reflect an altered lower-extremity gait strategy to adjust for running in compliant footwear. The authors hypothesized that ankle and knee joint stiffness would change to maintain the effective vertical stiffness, as cushioning changed with minimalist, traditional, and maximalist footwear. Eleven participants ran on an instrumental treadmill (3.5 m·s−1) for a 5-minute familiarization in each footwear, plus an additional 110 seconds before data collection. Vertical, leg, ankle, and knee joint stiffness and vertical impact force characteristics were calculated. Mixed model with repeated measures tested differences between footwear conditions. Compared with traditional and maximalist, the minimalist shoes were associated with greater average instantaneous and average vertical loading rates (P < .050), greater vertical stiffness (P ≤ .010), and less change in leg length between initial contact and peak resultant ground reaction force (P < .050). No other differences in stiffness or impact variables were observed. The shoe cushioning paradox did not hold in this study due to a similar musculoskeletal strategy for running in traditional and maximalist footwear and running with a more rigid limb in minimalist footwear.

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Sadie Rose Adado and Kenneth E. Games

Integrative patient-centered care (PCC) models encompass all dimensions of the patient, including physical well-being, evidence-based shared decision making, and determinants of health as they relate to quality of life. The purpose of this study was to explore parental experiences with the principles of PCC, related to the healthcare of their dependent after interactions with a provider. Using an observational design, our results demonstrated that parents of adolescent athletes rated PCC concepts as “very important” and the care delivered in relation to PCC by providers as “very effective.” PCC is perceived as valuable to parents, and therefore, athletic trainers must continue to develop and integrate PCC in the delivery of care within their clinical practice.

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Timothy L. Miller and Rose Backs

Presented here is the case of a 16-year-old male cross-country runner with chronic leg pain who was diagnosed with popliteal artery entrapment syndrome. An extensive workup was performed on the athlete that eventually included a postexercise arteriogram to reach the diagnosis. Ultimately the athlete’s symptoms required him to undergo bilateral leg surgeries to decompress the popliteal arteries. Extensive collaboration between athletic trainers, physical therapists, orthopedic surgery, sports medicine, and vascular surgery was required to treat the athlete’s condition and return him to distance running.

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Patrick D. Fischer, Keith A. Hutchison, James N. Becker, and Scott M. Monfort

Cognitive function plays a role in understanding noncontact anterior cruciate ligament injuries, but the research into how cognitive function influences sport-specific movements is underdeveloped. The purpose of this study was to determine how various cognitive tasks influenced dual-task jump-landing performance along with how individuals’ baseline cognitive ability mediated these relationships. Forty female recreational soccer and basketball players completed baseline cognitive function assessments and dual-task jump landings. The baseline cognitive assessments quantified individual processing speed, multitasking, attentional control, and primary memory ability. Dual-task conditions for the jump landing included unanticipated and anticipated jump performance, with and without concurrent working memory and captured visual attention tasks. Knee kinematics and kinetics were acquired through motion capture and ground reaction force data. Jumping conditions that directed visual attention away from the landing, whether anticipated or unanticipated, were associated with decreased peak knee flexion angle (P < .001). No interactions between cognitive function measures and jump-landing conditions were observed for any of the biomechanical variables, suggesting that injury-relevant cognitive-motor relationships may be specific to secondary task demands and movement requirements. This work provides insight into group- and subject-specific effects of established anticipatory and novel working memory dual-task paradigms on the neuromuscular control of a sport-specific movement.

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Karini Borges dos Santos, Paulo Cesar Barauce Bento, Carl Payton, and André Luiz Felix Rodacki

This study described the kinematic variables of disabled swimmers’ performance and correlated them with their functional classification. Twenty-one impaired swimmers (S5–S10) performed 50-m maximum front-crawl swimming while being recorded by four underwater cameras. Swimming velocity, stroke rate, stroke length, intracycle velocity variation, stroke dimensions, hand velocity, and coordination index were analyzed. Kendall rank was used to correlate stroke parameters and functional classification with p < .05. Swimming velocity, stroke length, and submerged phase were positively correlated with the para swimmers functional classification (.61, .50, and .41; p < .05, respectively), while stroke rate, velocity hand for each phase, coordination index, and intracyclic velocity variation were not (τ between −.11 and .45; p > .05). Thus, some objective kinematic variables of the impaired swimmers help to support current classification. Improving hand velocity seems to be a crucial point to be improved among disabled swimmers.