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Jacob Walther, Roy Mulder, Dionne A. Noordhof, Thomas A. Haugen, and Øyvind Sandbakk

Purpose: To quantify peak age and relative performance progression toward peak age in cross-country skiing according to event type, sex, and athlete performance level. Methods: International Ski Federation (FIS) points (performance expressed relative to the best athlete) of athletes born between 1981 and 1991, competing in junior world championships or finishing top 30 in world championships or Olympics, were downloaded from the FIS website. Individual performance trends were derived by fitting a quadratic curve to each athletes FIS point and age data. Results: Peak age was 26.2 (2.3) years in distance and 26.0 (1.7) years in sprint events. The sex difference in peak age in sprint events was ∼0.8 years (small, P = .001), while there was no significant sex difference in peak age in distance events (P = .668). Top performers displayed higher peak ages than other athletes in distance (mean difference, ±95% confidence limits = 1.6 y, ±0.6 y, moderate, P < .001) and sprint events (1.0, ±0.6 y, moderate, P < .001). FIS point improvement over the 5 years preceding peak age did not differ between event types (P = .325), while men improved more than women in both events (8.8, ±5.4%, small, P = .002 and 7.5, ±6.4%, small, P = .002). Performance level had a large effect on improvement in FIS points in both events (P < .001). Conclusion: This study provides novel insights on peak age and relative performance progression among world-class cross-country skiers and can assist practitioners, sport institutions, and federations with goal setting and evaluating strategies for achieving success.

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Víctor Rodríguez-Rielves, Alejandro Martínez-Cava, Ángel Buendía-Romero, José Ramón Lillo-Beviá, Javier Courel-Ibáñez, Alejandro Hernández-Belmonte, and Jesús G. Pallarés

Purpose: To examine the reproducibility (intradevice and interdevice agreement) of the Rotor 2INpower device under a wide range of cycling conditions. Methods: Twelve highly trained male cyclists and triathletes completed 5 cycling tests, including graded exercise tests at different cadences (70–100 rpm), workloads (100–650 W), pedaling positions (seated and standing), and vibration conditions (20–40 Hz) and an 8-second maximal sprint (>1000 W). An intradevice analysis included a comparison between the power output registered by 3 units of Rotor 2INpower, whereas the power output provided by each one of these units and the gold-standard SRM crankset were compared for the interdevice analysis. Among others, statistical calculations included the standard error of measurement, expressed in absolute (in watts) and relative terms as the coefficient of variation (CV). Results: Except for the graded exercise test seated at 100 rpm/100 W (CV = 10.2%), the intradevice analysis showed an acceptable magnitude of error (CV ≤ 6.9%, standard error of measurement ≤ 12.3 W) between the 3 Rotor 2INpower. Similarly, these 3 units showed an acceptable agreement with the gold standard in all graded exercise test situations (CV ≤ 4.0%, standard error of measurement ≤ 13.1 W). On the other hand, both the intradevice and interdevice agreements proved to be slightly reduced under high cadences (intradevice: CV ≤ 10.2%; interdevice: CV ≤ 4.0%) and vibration (intradevice: CV ≤ 4.0%; interdevice: CV ≤ 3.6%), as well as during standing pedaling (intradevice: CV ≤ 4.1%; interdevice: CV ≤ 2.5%). Although within the limits of an acceptable agreement, measurement errors increased during the sprint tests (CV ≤ 7.4%). Conclusions: Based on these results, the Rotor 2INpower could be considered a reproducible tool to monitor power output in most cycling situations.

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Erin E. Dierickx, Samantha E. Scarneo-Miller, and Douglas J. Casa

Emergency action plans (EAPs) are considered best practice for the preparation of catastrophic events in sports and, when adequate, can effectively improve patient outcomes. The EAPs should include a collaboration of all personnel involved in the sporting activities, with high school coaches being well-positioned to implement these plans. Therefore, coaches can have a direct influence on the health and safety of their athletes through their involvement in an emergency response. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the understanding and adoption of EAPs as reported by coaches. A web-based questionnaire assessed adoption of an EAP; decisional stages for adoption of components of an EAP; and various characteristics (e.g., access to an athletic trainer facilitators and barriers). A total of 720 responses were included in this study. Nearly 25% of coaches reported being unaware if their school had an EAP, and coaches were more likely to adopt a comprehensive EAP if their school had access to an athletic trainer. A majority of coaches perceived financial assistance as a facilitator and financial limitations as a barrier for EAP implementation. The findings of this investigation illustrate the need for improved coaches’ educational awareness of emergency preparedness strategies within the high school setting.

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Timothy J. Fulton, Marissa N. Baranauskas, and Robert F. Chapman

Some track-and-field national governing bodies send athletes to World Championship and Olympic Games (WC/OG) to gain experience that may positively impact future success, even though athletes may not be expected to place high or medal. However, it is unclear if this strategy is advantageous for future medal attainment. Purpose: To determine if participation and/or advancement at a track-and-field athlete’s first WC/OG influences the odds of future medaling. Methods: Performances of US track-and-field athletes who made their first WC/OG team during 2000–2013 were tracked through 2016 to stratify athletes into categories. Athletes who medaled on their first team or never made a subsequent team (ie, no experience) were compared with athletes who did not medal on their first team but made subsequent teams (ie, experience). The experience group was further divided into athletes who advanced or did not advance out of the initial round at their first competition for a secondary analysis. Odds ratios (ORs) were calculated using logistic regression to measure the association between experience level and medaling. Results: A significant OR was obtained for advanced versus did not advance (OR = 2.29, 95% confidence interval, 1.07–4.89, P = .03), but not for experience versus no experience (OR = 1.04, 95% confidence interval, 0.60–1.78, P = .91) group. Conclusions: Advancing out of the initial round of competition during an athlete’s first WC/OG competition is associated with increased odds of future medaling. National governing bodies should consider this “experience threshold” during team selection processes.

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Kim Nguyen, Robert J. Coplan, Kristen A. Archbell, and Linda Rose-Krasnor

The goal of this study was to explore coaches’ beliefs about the role of child and adolescent shyness in team sports. Participants were (N = 496) coaches of children and adolescents from team sport organizations across Canada. Coaches responded to open-ended questions asking about the benefits of team sports participation for shy children and adolescents, as well as the special contributions that shy team members may make to a sports team. Among the results, coaches cited improvements in social skills most often as the primary benefits of engaging in team sports for shy team members. Coaches most frequently listed promoting social inclusion, quiet leadership, and being coachable as specific contributions of shy team members. Some age differences were also noted. Results are discussed in terms of implications of shyness for children and adolescents who participate in organized team sports.

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Erin Centeio, Kevin Mercier, Alex Garn, Heather Erwin, Risto Marttinen, and John Foley

The purpose of this study was to investigate physical education teachers’ perceptions of implementing online physical education during the COVID-19 pandemic as well as to explore their needs with regard to support for future teaching experiences. A total of 4,302 teachers completed four open-ended questions as part of a larger survey. Deductive and inductive qualitative analysis led to three themes: (a) Teachers’ Proud Moments, (b) Help! So Many Obstacles, and (c) Future Challenges. Teachers stated many successes and challenges that they experienced through the COVID-19 pandemic. Many items specifically focused on use and access to technology, student participation, and meeting students’ needs in various ways. Results can provide guidance for how to address the essential components of physical education in the online environment. In addition, results may provide insight to those who educate, train, and prepare teachers to teach in a virtual and/or physically distanced environment.

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Tiago Duarte, Diane M. Culver, and Kyle Paquette

In this paper, the authors reflect on the current literature and the evolution of coach communities of practice and how the coach development area has embraced Wenger-Trayner’s social learning theory. Studies examining parasport coach development interventions, specifically those using a landscape of practice approach, are lacking. This paper is the third in a series about increasing learning capability in the wheelchair curling landscape. The authors utilized a collaborative approach to assess the learning value created through a 13-month social learning intervention. Four composite vignettes based on the coaches’ pathways and residency within the landscape were created from the data generated and analyzed using the value creation framework. The vignettes illustrate the many dimensions of learning values experienced by the coaches. This paper advances the literature surrounding social learning theory by providing examples of the novel concept of different dimensions of learning value. Applied implications are included.

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Fleur Pawsey, Jennifer Hoi Ki Wong, Göran Kenttä, and Katharina Näswall

Sport coaching is a profession that is often demanding and one in which psychological burnout is problematic. Recovery from work demands is known to be important in preventing burnout, but research has paid little attention to short-term recovery for coaches. The present study therefore focused on day-to-day recovery. Specifically, the authors investigated the role of mindfulness in recovery, given previously established empirical relationships between mindfulness and recovery processes. The authors used an intensive diary study design to gather daily data from a sample of 46 sport coaches, over a period of 28 consecutive days. Multilevel modeling allowed data analysis at the intraindividual level, providing insights into daily recovery processes for individual coaches. The results showed that increases in daily mindfulness, relative to coaches’ individual mean levels, were predictive of higher levels of recovery-related variables (energy and mood) through mechanisms of reduced rumination and improved sleep. The present study highlights mindfulness as a potential path to daily recovery and the prevention of burnout among coaches. The study lays groundwork for the investigation of mindfulness training as a recovery-promoting intervention for coaches, potentially through easily accessible means, such as app-based training delivery and the incorporation of informal mindfulness practice into daily activities.

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Stiliani “Ani” Chroni, Kristen Dieffenbach, and Sigurd Pettersen

The aim of the study was to explore what sport federations look for when recruiting elite athletes into coaching, and what resources are offered to retiring elite athletes transitioning to coaching careers. The authors interviewed 10 federation officials representing eight different sports, winter and summer, individual and team sports. Thematic analysis was employed and four “what recruiters look for” higher-order themes were found, including: having the whole package essential for coaching, personal attributes displayed in their time as an athlete, singular dedication to the sport, and knowing them from their time as an athlete. Three higher-order themes surrounding resources were identified, on the support provided to those going from athlete-to-coach to facilitate a stable start, professional development, and holistic wellbeing. These resources were also considered in relation to the phase at which they were offered in the transition process, such as upon hiring, early on in the career, and as ongoing ones. While a standard or universal approach to this does not appear to exist, practices and approaches were identified here that were considered within the scope of the existing research and can be used to inform future coach development work.