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Rachel Bican, Linda Lowes, Lindsay Alfano, Michael McNally, Emily Durbak, Xueliang Pan, and Jill Heathcock

Background: Spontaneous upper extremity movements in infancy provide insight on neuromotor development. Spatiotemporal kinematics have been used to evaluate typical development of reaching, a foundational motor skill in infancy. This study evaluates the relationship between spontaneous upper extremity movements, not elicited by a toy, and motor skill attainment. Methods: N = 12 healthy infants (2–8 months) participated in this longitudinal study (one to four sessions). Motor skills were assessed with the Bayley Scales of Infant and Toddler Development, 3rd Edition: gross motor subtest (GM) and fine motor subtest. Spontaneous upper extremity movements were collected using 3D motion capture technology. Infants were placed in supine for three to twelve 30-s trials, and their movements were recorded. Repeated measure correlation coefficients (Rmcorr) were used to evaluate relationships between variables. Results: There were significant, moderate, positive relationships between the straight distance from start to end of a movement and (a) fine motor score (Rmcorr = .55, p = .03), (b) GM score (Rmcorr = .63, p = .01), and (c) age (Rmcorr = .56, p = .02). There was a significant, moderate, negative relationship between straightness ratio and GM score (Rmcorr = −.52, p = .047). Discussion: Fine and GM skills are related to the straight distance from start to end of a movement and the straightness ratio of underlying spontaneous upper extremity movements.

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Wolf-Stephan Rudi, Florian Maier, Dominik Schüttler, Antonia Kellnar, Anna Katharina Strüven, Wolfgang Hamm, and Stefan Brunner

Background: Although many countries have introduced strict guidelines regarding mouth and nose coverage in public to contain infection rates during the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic, more information is needed regarding the impact of wearing face masks on lactate thresholds (LT) and performance parameters during exercise. Methods: Ten healthy male and 10 healthy female subjects (age = 33.4 [10.26] y, body mass index = 23.52 [2.36] kg/m2) performed 3 incremental performance tests, wearing no mask (NM), surgical mask (SM), and filtering face piece mask class 2 (FFP2), with a cycle ergometer. The authors analyzed changes in the LT, in blood gas parameters, and in the rating of perceived exertion (RPE). Results: Performance at LT remained unchanged in subjects wearing SM or FFP2 in comparison with NM (162.5 [50.6] vs 167.2 [58.9] vs 162.2 [58.4] W with NM, SM, and FFP2, respectively, P = .24). However, the peak performance was significantly reduced wearing FFP2 compared with NM (213.8 [71.3] vs 230.5 [77.27] W, FFP2 vs NM, respectively, P < .001). Capillary pCO2 was increased while wearing SM as well as FFP2 compared with NM (29 [3.1] vs 33.3 [4] vs 35.8 [4.9] mmHg with NM, SM, and FFP2, respectively; P < .001), and pO2 decreased under maximum performance (84 [6.7] vs 79.1 [7.5] vs 77.3 [8.2] mmHg with NM, SM, and FFP2, P < .01). Importantly, rating of perceived exertion was significantly increased by wearing FFP2 compared with NM at LT according to Mader (16.7 [2.7] vs 15.3 [1.8] FFP2 vs NM, respectively, P < .01). Conclusion: Wearing face masks during exercise showed no effect on LT, limited maximum performance, and induced discrete changes in capillary pCO2 and pO2 within the physiologic range while increasing RPE at LT.

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Meaghan Hindle, Katherine Aldinger, and Geoff Dover

Context: Chronic pain is a challenge for Athletic Trainers and Athletic Therapists working in a clinical or university setting. The fear avoidance model, including catastrophizing, is well established in other health professions but is not established in Athletic Training and Athletic Therapy and may affect rehabilitation outcomes. Objective: To measure the influence of catastrophizing on rehabilitation outcomes of patients being treated in an Athletic Therapy setting. Design: Prospective single group pre–post design. Setting: Student Athletic Therapy clinic. Patients: A total of 92 patients were evaluated at initial assessment, and 49 were evaluated at follow-up. Intervention: All participants completed self-reported function questionnaires to assess level of injury and then received individualized treatments for a variety of musculoskeletal injuries. All measures were completed at initial assessment and at follow-up approximately 6 weeks later. Main Outcome Measures: The authors measured function using a variety of patient self-reported functional questionnaires: the Disability of the Arm, Shoulder, and Hand; Lower Extremity Functional Scale; the Neck Disability Index; and the Oswestry Disability Index depending on injury site. Catastrophizing was measured using the Pain Catastrophizing Scale. Results: Function significantly improved from the initial assessment to the follow-up (P > .001). Patients with acute pain experienced a significantly greater improvement in function between the initial assessment and follow-up compared with participants with chronic pain (P = .050). Those with high catastrophizing presented with lower levels of function at initial assessment (66.8%) and follow-up (72.1%) compared with those with low catastrophizing (80.8% and 87.0%, respectively). Conclusion: Similar to other studies in other professions, the function of patients with chronic pain does not improve as much compared with patients recovering from acute pain in an Athletic Therapy setting. It is important to measure patient-reported outcomes to evaluate patient rehabilitation progress. Rehabilitating patients with chronic pain is a challenge, and pain catastrophizing should be evaluated at the initial assessment since catastrophizing is associated with worse function.

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Jessica L. Bigg, Alexander S.D. Gamble, and Lawrence L. Spriet

Purpose: The purpose of this study was to quantify the internal load of male varsity ice hockey players, using both sessional rating of perceived exertion (sRPE) and the heart rate–derived physiological measure of training impulse (TRIMP), during training sessions and competitions throughout an entire season. Methods: Twenty-seven male varsity ice hockey players (22.1 [1.1] y, 85.9 [5.4] kg, 181.3 [5.1] cm) were included in this longitudinal prospective cohort study. Results: The internal load was significantly higher (P < .001) for games (sRPE: 403 [184] arbitrary units [AU], TRIMP: 98 [59] AU) compared with training sessions (sRPE: 281 [130] AU, TRIMP: 71 [35] AU). The regular season had the highest internal load compared with the preseason and postseason. There was evidence of microcycle periodization with training sessions several days prior to game days having the highest internal load (both sRPE and TRIMP) and tapering down as the subsequent training sessions approached game day. For positional comparisons, the goalies had higher sRPE (346 [151] AU, P < .001) and TRIMP (99 [64] AU, P < .001) compared with defense (sRPE: 295 [130] AU, TRIMP: 65 [29] AU) and forwards (sRPE: 264 [123] AU, TRIMP: 70 [30] AU) for training sessions, but no significant differences were present for competitions. Finally, there was an overall moderate and statistically significant relationship between the sRPE and TRIMP internal load measures (r = .434, P < .001). Conclusions: Internal load was greater during competitions versus training sessions in male varsity ice hockey players, and the microcycle assessment demonstrated that training sessions were tailored to game day. Mesocycle assessment revealed the highest internal loads during the regular season due to dense game scheduling and a short season.

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Kihan Kim, Hojun Sung, Yeayoung Noh, and Kimoon Lee

This study investigated the determinants of television viewership and its relation to broadcasters’ choices of matches for live telecasts. Also, factors driving the broadcasters’ choices were examined. A panel data set from the 2018 Korea Baseball Organization league pennant race was analyzed. Broadcasters’ choice order of matches and the actual television ratings of each match were regressed on a series of antecedent factors related to the game characteristics and audience preferences. It was found that the broadcasters’ choice order of matches positively affected the television ratings, suggesting that the broadcasters’ decisions were well reflected in the actual viewership. It also appeared that broadcasters’ choices were based on popularity and team performance/quality, whereas viewers showed preference for current games’ on-field performance. There was no evidence of audience preference for games with higher outcome uncertainty, whereas the broadcasters tended to choose games with more certain, rather than uncertain, outcomes. Theoretical and practical implications of the findings were discussed.

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Dana M. Lis, Matthew Jordan, Timothy Lipuma, Tayler Smith, Karine Schaal, and Keith Baar

Background: Exercise and vitamin C-enriched collagen supplementation increase collagen synthesis, potentially increasing matrix density, stiffness, and force transfer. Purpose: To determine whether vitamin C-enriched collagen (hydrolyzed collagen [HC] + C) supplementation improves rate of force development (RFD) alongside a strength training program. Methods: Using a double-blinded parallel design, over 3 weeks, healthy male athletes (n = 50, 18–25 years) were randomly assigned to the intervention (HC + C; 20 g HC + 50 mg vitamin C) or placebo (20 g maltodextrin). Supplements were ingested daily 60 min prior to training. Athletes completed the same targeted maximal muscle power training program. Maximal isometric squats, countermovement jumps, and squat jumps were performed on a force plate at the same time each testing day (baseline, Tests 1, 2, and 3) to measure RFD and maximal force development. Mixed-model analysis of variance compared performance variables across the study timeline, whereas tests were used to compare the change between baseline and Test 3. Results: Over 3 weeks, maximal RFD in the HC + C group returned to baseline, whereas the placebo group remained depressed (p = .18). While both groups showed a decrease in RFD through Test 2, only the treatment group recovered RFD to baseline by Test 3 (p = .036). In the HC + C group, change in countermovement jumps eccentric deceleration impulse (p = .008) and eccentric deceleration RFD (p = .04) was improved. A strong trend was observed for lower limb stiffness assessed in the countermovement jumps (p = .08). No difference was observed in maximal force or squat jump parameters. Conclusion: The HC + C supplementation improved RFD in the squat and countermovement jump alongside training.

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Bruno P. Melo, Aline C. Zacarias, Joyce C.C. Oliveira, Letícia M. De Souza Cordeiro, Samuel P. Wanner, Mara L. Dos Santos, Gleide F. Avelar, Romain Meeusen, Elsa Heyman, and Danusa D. Soares

We aimed to investigate the combined effects of aerobic exercise (EXE) and cocoa flavanol (COCOA) supplementation on performance, metabolic parameters, and inflammatory and lipid profiles in obese insulin-resistant rats. Therefore, 32 male Wistar rats (230–250 g) were fed a high-fat diet and a fructose-rich beverage for 30 days to induce insulin resistance. Next, the rats were randomized into four groups, orally administered placebo solution or COCOA supplementation (45 mg·kg−1), and either remained sedentary or were subjected to EXE on a treadmill at 60% peak velocity for 30 min, for 8 weeks. Blood samples and peripheral tissues were collected and processed to analyze metabolic and inflammatory parameters, lipid profiles, and morphological parameters. Supplementation with COCOA and EXE improved physical performance and attenuated body mass gain, adipose index, and adipocyte area. When analyzed as individual interventions, supplementation with COCOA and EXE improved glucose intolerance and the lipid profile reduced the concentrations of leptin, glucose, and insulin, and reduced homeostasis assessment index (all effects were p < .001 for both interventions), while ameliorated some inflammatory mediators in examined tissues. In skeletal muscles, both COCOA supplementation and EXE increased the expression of glucose transporter (p < .001 and p < .001), and combined intervention showed additive effects (p < .001 vs. COCOA alone or EXE alone). Thus, combining COCOA with EXE represents an effective nonpharmacological strategy to treat insulin resistance; it could prevent Type 2 diabetes mellitus by improving physical performance, glucose metabolism, neuroendocrine control, and lipid and inflammatory mediators in the liver, pancreas, adipose tissue, and skeletal muscle in obese male insulin-resistant rats.

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Jim Watkins

Thirteen institutions left the Southern Conference to form the Southeastern Conference during 1932. Why did these schools leave the Southern Conference? Previous historical research portrays the large size of the Southern Conference and the desire to pass academic reforms as reasons for the Southeastern Conference’s formation. This article argues that the university presidents and other administrators at Southeastern Conference institutions formed it to enhance the legitimacy of their member institutions. Throughout the Great Depression, the conference’s administrators pursued increased legitimacy by attempting to reform academic eligibility rules, allowing football games to be broadcast over the radio, awarding athletic scholarships, allowing member institutions to compete in emerging postseason football bowl games, and hiring a commissioner. This instance of conference realignment is historically significant because some of the policies implemented by the Southeastern Conference contributed to its rise as one of the top revenue-generating conferences in college athletics.

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Bent R. Rønnestad, Timo Andre Bakken, Vetle Thyli, Joar Hansen, Stian Ellefsen, and Daniel Hammarstrøm

Purpose: Accumulated time at a high percentage of peak oxygen consumption (VO2peak) is important for improving performance in endurance athletes. The present study compared the acute physiological and perceived effects of performing high-intensity intervals with roller ski double poling containing work intervals with (1) fast start followed by decreasing speed (DEC), (2) systematic variation in exercise intensity (VAR), and (3) constant speed (CON). Methods: Ten well-trained cross-country skiers (double-poling VO2peak 69.6 [3.5] mL·min−1·kg−1) performed speed- and duration-matched DEC, VAR, and CON on 3 separate days in a randomized order (5 × 5-min work intervals and 3-min recovery). Results: DEC and VAR led to longer time ≥90% VO2peak (P = .016 and P = .033, respectively) and higher mean %VO2peak (P = .036, and P = .009) compared with CON, with no differences between DEC and VAR (P = .930 and P = .759, respectively). VAR, DEC, and CON led to similar time ≥90% of peak heart rate (HRpeak), mean HR, mean breathing frequency, mean ventilation, and mean blood lactate concentration ([La]). Furthermore, no differences between sessions were observed for perceptual responses, such as mean rate of perceived exertion, session rate of perceived exertion or pain score (all Ps > .147). Conclusions: In well-trained XC skiers, DEC and VAR led to longer time ≥90% of VO2peak compared with CON, without excessive perceptual effort, indicating that these intervals can be a good alternative for accumulating more time at a high percentage of VO2peak and at the same time mimicking the pronounced variation in exercise intensities experienced during XC-skiing competitions.

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Robin Pla, Arthur Leroy, Yannis Raineteau, and Philippe Hellard

Purpose: To quantify the impact of successive competitions on swimming performance in world-class swimmers. Methods: An entire data set of all events swum during a new competition named the International Swimming League was collected. A Bayesian linear mixed model has been proposed to evaluate whether a progression could be observed during the International Swimming League’s successive competitions and to quantify this effect according to event, age, and gender. Results: An overall progression of 0.0005 (0.0001 to 0.0010) m/s/d was observed. The daily mean progression (ie, faster performance) was twice as high for men as for women (0.0008 [0.00 to 0.0014] vs 0.0003 [−0.0003 to 0.0009] m·s−1). A tendency toward higher progression for middle distances (200 and 400 m) and for swimmers of a higher caliber (above 850 FINA [Fédération Internationale de Natation] points) was also observed. Swimmers between 23 and 26 years of age seemed to improve their swimming speed more in comparison with the other swimmers. Conclusions: This new league format, which involves several competitions in a row, seems to allow for an enhancement in swimming performance. Coaches and their support staff can now adapt their periodization plan in order to promote competition participation.