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Philip Sullivan and Laura Tennant

Intercollegiate student-athletes appear to be a high-risk population with respect to mental health. Student athletic therapists are one of the groups with whom these athletes may be comfortable disclosing concerns. The current study investigated the relationship between mental health literacy and mental health referral efficacy in a sample of intercollegiate student therapists. One hundred and eleven student athletic therapists (81 female, 29 male, 1 nondiscloure) competed a revised version of the multicomponent mental health literacy measure and a four-item measure of mental health referral efficacy. T tests revealed statistically significant differences in mental health literacy by gender and personal history, and a multiple linear regression revealed a significant model predicting referral efficacy from mental health literacy. There are several implications of these results, particularly when working with a high-risk population of student-athletes.

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Andreas Kuettel, Natalie Durand-Bush, and Carsten H. Larsen

The purpose of this study was (a) to investigate gender differences in mental health among Danish youth soccer players, (b) to discover the mental health profiles of the players, and (c) to explore how career progression and mental health are related. A total of 239 Danish youth elite soccer players (M = 16.85, SD = 1.09) completed an online questionnaire assessing mental well-being, depression, anxiety, along with other background variables. Female players scored significantly lower on mental well-being and had four times higher odds of expressing symptoms of anxiety and depression than males. Athletes’ mental health profiles showed that most athletes experience low depression while having moderate mental well-being. Depression, anxiety, and stress scores generally increased when progressing in age, indicating that the junior–senior transition poses distinct challenges to players’ mental health, especially for female players. Different strategies to foster players’ mental health depending on their mental health profiles are proposed.

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Eleftherios Paraskevopoulos, Georgios Gioftsos, Georgios Georgoudis, and Maria Papandreou

Adherence to exercise rehabilitation has been shown to be an important factor that may influence successful treatment. In professional athletes, a significant reduction in exercise adherence delays recovery. The aim of this study was to explore barriers to and facilitators of exercise rehabilitation adherence in injured volleyball athletes. Eight professional volleyball athletes were recruited, and qualitative data were collected using semistructured interviews. All athletes had completed their rehabilitation program after they had suffered a musculoskeletal injury. All data were analyzed using thematic analysis after the investigators ensured that saturation had been reached. Pain was identified as a significant barrier to exercise adherence by all athletes. The provision of social support, including mental, practical, and task related, also had a significant positive impact. The athletes’ ability to develop the necessary coping strategies and confidence on performing exercises at home was also mentioned as a factor that affected exercise adherence, although less often.

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Benjamin J.I. Schellenberg, Jérémie Verner-Filion, and Patrick Gaudreau

Athletes can respond to positive experiences in sport by engaging in savoring—that is, by attempting to prolong or amplify their positive feelings. In this research, the authors tested if savoring was predicted by levels of harmonious or obsessive passion for sport and if savoring was associated with symptoms of burnout. In Study 1 (n = 499), the authors found that savoring was positively associated with harmonious passion and negatively associated with obsessive passion. In addition, savoring predicted lower levels of burnout and played an indirect role in the relationship between both passion types and burnout. The authors replicated these findings in Study 2 (n = 298), with collegiate-level athletes, prospectively, over the course of a season. Overall, athletes with strong levels of harmonious passion appear to be most likely to engage in savoring, a response that may protect them from experiencing higher levels of burnout.

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Christine E. Pacewicz and Alan L. Smith

Interpersonal exchanges may contribute to athletes’ motivational and well-being experiences through their contribution to athletes’ feelings of loneliness. Loneliness is understudied in sport, yet it is potentially salient in connecting social relationships with motivational processes and well-being of athletes. The purpose of the current research was to examine (a) the association of aspects of teammate relationships with athletes’ perceptions of burnout and engagement and (b) whether loneliness explained these associations. Adolescent athletes (N = 279) completed established measures of teammate relationships, loneliness, burnout, and engagement. The mediational model was invariant between boys and girls. Loneliness mediated the relationship of social support (β = −0.14, 0.10), corumination (β = 0.09, −0.06), and appraisal of peer rejection (β = 0.11, −0.08) with burnout and engagement, respectively. Continued examination of athletes’ loneliness will extend understanding of athletes’ motivational and well-being experiences and inform the promotion of adaptive sport experiences.

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Naser Nawayseh and Saleh AlBaiti

In recent years, whole-body vibration (WBV) training has received an increasing interest in the sports and medical fields. However, there has been inconsistency among several studies regarding the effect of WBV training on the human body, which is partly due to the lack of the existence of guidelines for using WBV training machines. To understand the effect of WBV training on the human body and build the needed regulations, it is essential first to understand the biodynamic responses to vibration which represent how vibration is transmitted to and through the human body. The purpose of this study is to systematically review previous studies that measured biodynamic responses when using WBV training machines to highlight inconsistencies in their results and provide possible reasons for them. An extensive literature search was performed on the SCOPUS database to obtain relevant studies. One hundred and fifty-six potentially relevant studies were obtained but after further screening, 23 papers from 2007 to 2020 met inclusion criteria and were included in the study. The papers were analysed with respect to acceleration, transmissibility, interface force, and apparent mass during different vibration settings, body posture, age, and sex. Results and conflicts among studies were highlighted and possible explanations for the inconsistency were provided.

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Xiu Hu, Shaojun Lyu, Min Mao, Jianwei Zhang, Wei Sun, Cui Zhang, and Qipeng Song

The team developed the newly compiled eight methods and five steps of Tai Chi (EMFSTC), which includes introductory routines to Tai Chi characterized by simple structures. This study examined the effectiveness of EMFSTC practice on balance control. A total of 31 participants were randomly assigned to EMFSTC (n = 15, age = 66.4 ± 1.7 years, received 16-week EMFSTC practice) or control (n = 16, age = 66.7 ± 1.8 years, received no practice) groups. Significant group by training interactions were observed. After EMFSTC practice, balance control improved, as indicated by decreased root mean square and mean velocity of center of pressure, proprioception threshold during knee extension, and plantar tactile sensitivity threshold at the arch. EMFSCT can be an effective rehabilitation modality to improve balance control among older adults.

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Valters Abolins and Mark L. Latash

We present a review on the phenomenon of unintentional finger action seen when other fingers of the hand act intentionally. This phenomenon (enslaving) has been viewed as a consequence of both peripheral (e.g., connective tissue links and multifinger muscles) and neural (e.g., projections of corticospinal pathways) factors. Recent studies have shown relatively large and fast drifts in enslaving toward higher magnitudes, which are not perceived by subjects. These and other results emphasize the defining role of neural factors in enslaving. We analyze enslaving within the framework of the theory of motor control with spatial referent coordinates. This analysis suggests that unintentional finger force changes result from drifts of referent coordinates, possibly reflecting the spread of cortical excitation.

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Luk Devorski, David M. Bazett-Jones, L. Colby Mangum, and Neal R. Glaviano

Context: Lumbopelvic-hip complex (LPHC) exercises are used to increase stabilization within the human body. Torso-elevated side support (TESS), foot-elevated side support (FESS), prone bridge plank (PBP), and V-sit are common LPHC exercises. Objective: To evaluate muscle activation in the shoulder girdle and LPHC during 4 LPHC exercises and evaluate the reasoning for termination. Study Design: Cross-sectional study. Setting: Laboratory. Patients or Other Participants: Seventeen healthy participants (12 males and 5 females; age: 21.47 [3.16] y, height: 179.73 [8.92] cm, mass: 76.89 [11.17] kg). Main Outcome Measures: Participants completed 2 repetitions of the TESS, FESS, PBP, and V-sit until failure. Surface electromyography of the middle deltoid, latissimus dorsi, middle trapezius, rectus abdominis, erector spinae, external oblique, and gluteus medius were recorded and normalized to maximum voluntary isometric contraction (MVIC). The duration of exercise and subjective reasoning for termination of exercise was completed following the 4 tasks. Results: The TESS and PBP had significantly greater middle deltoid muscle activation (TESS: 55.66% [24.45%] MVIC and PBP: 42.63% [18.25%] MVIC) compared with the FESS (10.10% [10.04%] MVIC) and V-sit (2.21% [1.94%] MVIC), P < .05. The TESS produced significantly greater external oblique activity (78.13% [32.32%] MVIC) than the PBP (54.99% [19.54%] MVIC), P < .05. Due to shoulder fatigue and pain, 41.1% and 17.0% of participants terminated the TESS, respectively. The PBP was terminated due to abdominal fatigue (41.1%) and upper-extremity fatigue (47.0%). Conclusions: The V-sit resulted in isolated activity of the abdominal portion of the LPHC. The FESS had increased global co-contraction of the LPHC compared with the TESS. The PBP and TESS had significant muscle activation in the upper-extremity.

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Shauna Ericksen, Geoff Dover, and Richard DeMont

Clinical Scenario: Injury prevention programs are becoming standard practice for reducing sports-related injuries, but most programs focus on musculoskeletal elements. Psychological factors can be strong predictors of sports-related injuries and there is recent evidence that suggests psychological interventions can be effective at reducing injury risk. It is unclear if injury prevention programs that focus on psychological factors are an important inclusion for athletic trainers/therapists. Athletes can be exposed to different psychological factors based on sport type including team or individual sports, which can increase their risk of injury. While psychological interventions can reduce injuries by addressing psychological symptoms, it is unclear if the interventions are effective for at-risk athletes in addition to athletes who are not suffering from any psychological factors. Currently, there are no guidelines or recommendations for athletic trainers/therapists to address psychological factors with the purpose of injury prevention. Clinical Question: Are psychological intervention programs effective in reducing sports-related injury risk and are they clinically relevant to athletic trainers/therapists for implementation in all settings? Summary of Findings: The authors searched the literature for studies investigating the use of psychological intervention programs to reduce sports-related injuries in an athletic population. The search returned 6 possible papers (2 systematic reviews without meta-analysis, 1 systematic review with a meta-analysis, 2 meta-analyses, and 1 randomized control trial not included in the systematic reviews). The authors narrowed our appraisal to one systematic review and one randomized controlled trial. The review contained all the studies from the previous review papers including 3 studies which performed screening procedures. The collection of evidence demonstrates positive effects associated with implementing psychological intervention techniques to reduce sports injury rates in all athletes; at-risk athletes, not at-risk athletes, and individual and team-sport athletes. Bottom Line: There is sufficient evidence supporting the use of a psychological-based intervention by athletic trainers/therapists to effectively reduce the number of injury occurrences in the athletic population. Direct comparisons of effectiveness between team and individual sports was not conducted in the research, but a substantial representation of both sport types existed. The current evidence includes a variety of athletic populations, at-risk and not at-risk, different sport types, and competition levels. Athletic trainers/therapists should consider the integration of psychological disciplines in current injury prevention practices to address the psychological concerns which put athletes at additional risk for injury. Strength of Recommendation: Grade B evidence exists to support the use of psychological intervention strategies in a well-developed injury prevention plan. Sports medicine practitioners can help athletes reduce stress, increase mindfulness, and be more aware of mental health practices which helps reduce injury risk.