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Andrea Stracciolini, Caitlin M. McCracken, William P. Meehan III, and Matthew D. Milewski

Purpose: To study mental health, sleep duration, and daytime sleepiness in young athletes. Methods: A cross-sectional questionnaire study was conducted. The main outcome measures included sleep duration and daytime sleepiness. Results: Study participants included 756 athletes with a mean age of 13.5 years. A total of 39% (n = 296/756) reported not meeting current sleep recommendations for age. Athletes >12 years and with a self-reported anxiety and/or depression history were less likely to meet sleep recommendations and showed higher daytime sleepiness (adjusted odds ratio [aOR] = 1.29, 95% confidence interval [CI] [1.2, 1.4], β [SE] = 3.06 [0.74], respectively). Athletes with goal-oriented reasons for playing versus enjoyment (52% vs. 35%, aOR = 1.70, 95% CI [1.12, 2.58]) were less likely to meet sleep recommendations. Night time internet access and weeknight homework hours were negatively associated with sleep recommendations (aOR = 1.68, 95% CI [1.68, 2.47] and aOR = 3.11, 95% CI [1.82, 5.3]) and positively associated with daytime sleepiness (β [SE] = 1.44 [0.45] and 2.28 [0.59]). Conclusions: Many young athletes are not meeting sleep recommendations. Associated factors include mental health, reasons for play, internet access, and homework demand.

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Kellyanne J. Redman, Logan Wade, Vincent G. Kelly, Mark J. Connick, and Emma M. Beckman

Purpose: Tackling is a fundamental skill in collision sports such as rugby league. Given the complexity of tackling and multitude of strength and power variables available for analysis, this study aimed to predict tackle outcomes in professional rugby league based on strength and power principal components (PCs). Methods: Twenty-eight rugby league players participated in this study. Maximal strength was assessed via 1 repetition maximum on the back squat, bench press, and bench pull. Lower-body vertical and horizontal power were evaluated using a countermovement jump and standing broad jump. A postmatch analysis of 5 National Rugby League matches was conducted to examine tackling outcomes. PC analysis was performed on the strength and power assessments. The first PCs were retained in each analysis, and a series of Spearman rank-order correlations were conducted between the tackle outcomes and the retained PCs. The PCs significantly related to tackle outcomes were included in the multiple regression analyses to estimate their effect on tackle outcomes. Results: Strength PC was a significant predictor of play-the-ball speed in attack, accounting for 54% of the variance. Countermovement jump PC was a significant predictor of postcontact meters, explaining 19% of the variance. Conclusions: These findings demonstrate that a range of tackle outcomes may be predicted from strength and power components. The coaching staff may choose to develop programs and testing designed to focus on these components, which may further develop players’ tackle outcomes during competition.

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Liam McCarthy, Hans Vangrunderbeek, and David Piggott

Despite its obvious importance, we argue that assessment as a feature of coach education programmes has been overlooked in the peer-reviewed published literature. As a result, it is suggested that approaches to assessing sport coaches within coach education programmes can sometimes be ill considered and lead to suboptimal experiences for multiple stakeholders. To address this problem situation, we tentatively propose five interconnected principles of assessment in the first section of this article. These include the integration of teaching, learning, and assessment; assessment as a means of developing metacognitive skills; authentic/practice-based assessment; clearly and transparently foregrounding success criteria; and collaboration within assessment activities. By considering these principles, we suggest that there is much to be gained by the coach education community. In the second section, we showcase how these principles have been adopted within a football coach education programme in Flanders (Belgium). With this example, we explain why assessment became a central concern of the organisation and how they developed an effective assessment approach. Finally, we invite considered discussion and comments on our paper, with a view to starting a conversation in an area that is scarcely spoken about.

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Jihong Park, Kyeongtak Song, and Sae Yong Lee

Context: It is unclear if lower-extremity joint cooling alters biomechanics during a functional movement. Objective: To investigate the effects of unilateral lower-extremity cryotherapy on movement alterations during a single-leg drop jump. Design: A crossover design. Setting: Laboratory. Patients: Twenty healthy subjects (10 males and 10 females; 23 y, 169 cm, 66 kg). Intervention(s): Subjects completed a single-leg drop jump before and after a 20-minute ankle or knee joint cooling on the right leg, or control (seated without cooling) on 3 separate days. Main Outcome Measures: Time to peak knee flexion, vertical ground reaction force, lower-extremity joint angular velocity (sagittal plane only), and angle and moment (sagittal and frontal planes) in the involved leg over the entire ground contact (GC; from initial contact to jump-off) during the first landing. Time to peak knee flexion was compared using an analysis of variance; the rest of the outcome measures were analyzed using functional analyses of variance (P < .05). Results: Neither joint cooling condition changed the time to peak knee flexion (F 2,95 = 0.73, P = .49). Ankle joint cooling reduced vertical ground reaction force (55 N at 4% of GC), knee joint angular velocity (44°/s during 5%–9% of GC), and knee varus moment (181 N·m during 18%–20% of GC). Knee joint cooling resulted in a reduction in knee joint angular velocity (24°/s during 37%–40% of GC) and hip adduction moment (151 N·m during 46%–48% of GC), and an increase in hip joint angular velocity (16°/s during 49%–53% of GC) and plantarflexion angle (1.5° during 11%–29% of GC). Conclusion: Resuming activity immediately after lower-extremity joint cooling does not seem to predispose an individual to injury during landing because altered mechanics are neither overlapping with the injury time period nor of sufficient magnitude to lead to an injury.

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Justin L. Rush, David A. Sherman, David M. Bazett-Jones, Christopher D. Ingersoll, and Grant E. Norte

Context: Arthrogenic muscle inhibition (AMI) is a common neurophysiological response to joint injury. While athletic trainers (ATs) are constantly treating patients with AMI, it is unclear how clinicians are using the available evidence to treat the condition. Objective: To investigate ATs’ general knowledge, clinical practice, and barriers for treating AMI. Methods: A cross-sectional web-based survey was utilized. The survey was distributed to a random sample of 3000 ATs from the National Athletic Trainers’ Association and through social media. 143 board certified ATs (age: 34.6 [10.3] y; experience: 11.7 [9.8] y) from various clinical settings and educational backgrounds were included in the analysis. Results: One hundred one respondents were able to correctly identify the definition of AMI. The majority of these respondents correctly reported that joint effusion (n = 95, 94.1%) and abnormal activity from joint receptors (n = 91, 90.1%) resulted in AMI. Of the 101 respondents, only 58 (57.4%) reported using disinhibitory interventions to treat AMI. The most frequently used evidence supported interventions were transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (n = 38, 65.5%), neuromuscular electrical stimulation (n = 33, 56.9%), and focal joint cooling (n = 25, 43.1%). The interventions used correctly most often based on current evidence were neuromuscular electrical stimulation (n = 29/33, 87.9%) and transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (n = 26/38, 68.4%). Overall, difficulty quantifying AMI (n = 62, 61.24%) and lack of education (n = 71, 76.2%) were most frequently perceived as barriers. Respondents that did not use disinhibitory interventions perceived lack of experience treating AMI, understanding the terminology, and access to therapeutic modalities more often than the respondents that reported using disinhibitory interventions. Conclusion: Further education about concepts and treatment about AMI is warranted for ATs. Continued understanding of ATs’ clinical practice in regard to AMI may help identify gaps in athletic training clinical education.

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James A. Betts

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Nathan P. Dawkins, Tom Yates, Cameron Razieh, Charlotte L. Edwardson, Ben Maylor, Francesco Zaccardi, Kamlesh Khunti, and Alex V. Rowlands

Background: Physical activity and sleep are important for health; whether device-measured physical activity and sleep differ by ethnicity is unclear. This study aimed to compare physical activity and sleep/rest in white, South Asian (SA), and black adults by age. Methods: Physical activity and sleep/rest quality were assessed using accelerometer data from UK Biobank. Linear regressions, stratified by sex, were used to analyze differences in activity and sleep/rest. An ethnicity × age group interaction term was used to assess whether ethnic differences were consistent across age groups. Results: Data from 95,914 participants, aged 45–79 years, were included. Overall activity was 7% higher in black, and 5% lower in SA individuals compared with white individuals. Minority ethnic groups had poorer sleep/rest quality. Lower physical activity and poorer sleep quality occurred at a later age in black and SA adults (>65 y), than white adults (>55 y). Conclusions: While black adults are more active, and SA adults less active, than white adults, the age-related reduction appears to be delayed in black and SA adults. Sleep/rest quality is poorer in black and SA adults than in white adults. Understanding ethnic differences in physical activity and rest differ may provide insight into chronic conditions with differing prevalence across ethnicities.