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An Analysis of Positional Generic and Individualized Speed Thresholds Within the Most Demanding Phases of Match Play in the English Premier League

Ronan Kavanagh, Kevin McDaid, David Rhodes, Jack McDonnell, Rafael Oliveira, and Ryland Morgans

Objectives: To analyze the positional distances covered above generic and individualized speed thresholds within the most demanding phases of match play. Categorized by position, 17 English Premier League players’ match data were analyzed over 2 consecutive seasons (2019–20 and 2020–21). The most demanding phases of play were determined using a rolling average across 4 periods of 1, 3, 5, and 10 minutes. Distance covered in the time above the standard speed of 5.5 m/s was analyzed, with individualized metrics based on the maximal aerobic speed (MAS) test data. Results: Central defenders displayed lower values for high-intensity periods when compared with fullbacks, midfielders, and wide midfielders for both generic and individualized metrics. MAS during 1-minute periods was significantly higher for forwards when compared with central defenders (82.9 [18.9] vs 67.5 [14.8] for maximum high-speed running [HSR] and 96.0 [15.9] vs 75.7 [13.8] HSR for maximum MAS activity). The maximum effect size differences between the central midfielders, wide midfielders, and fullbacks for HSR and MAS measures under the maximum HSR criterion was 0.28 and 0.18 for the 1-minute period, 0.36 and 0.19 for the 3-minute period, 0.46 and 0.31 for the 5-minute period, and 0.49 and 0.315 for the 10-minute period. Conclusions: Individualized speed metrics may provide a more precise and comparable measure than generic values. Data appear to be consistent across playing positions except for central defenders. This information may allow practitioners to directly compare individualized physical outputs of non–central defenders during the most demanding phases of play regardless of the players’ positional group. This may provide coaches with important information regarding session design, training load, and fatigue monitoring.

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From Theory to Practice: A Worldwide Cross-Sectional Survey About Flywheel Training in Basketball

Omar Younes-Egaña, Stephen P. Bird, and Julio Calleja-González

Purpose: This study aimed to comprehensively investigate the global implementation of flywheel training (FT) by basketball strength and conditioning (S&C) coaches in various contexts, encompassing daily practice, games, and sessions. Methods: Survey data were collected from 117 basketball S&C coaches who participated in a 24-question online survey. The survey was structured into 6 key areas, including country and competition, S&C coach context, training methodology, flywheel and competition, postactivation performance enhancement, and recovery. Results: Notably, all respondents emphasized the necessity of a familiarization period with flywheel technology, with a substantial 96% indicating that FT yielded improved player performance on the court. The predominant mention was the conical pulley system. During the season, the prevalent approach involved integrating FT into training twice a week, allocating <15 minutes per session, often in conjunction with traditional strength training. A diverse array of lower-body closed kinetic chain exercises were reported, encompassing squats, decelerations, and backward lunges. Intriguingly, FT implementation on match days was unlikely (77%), with the primary aims cited as injury prevention (34%) and enhancing players’ strength levels during various phases of the regular season (27%). Conclusions: Recognizing its inherent limitations, this descriptive study provides valuable contextual insights and practical applications for professional basketball practitioners grappling with the utilization of FT.

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The Influence of a Multistage Mountain-Bike Race on Neuromuscular Activation and Synergies: A Case Study

Maaike M. Eken, Sarah L. Arnold, Jordy Thijssen, Milou van der Schaaf, Louise Engelbrecht, and Robert P. Lamberts

Introduction: This case study aimed to describe potential changes in neuromuscular activation and synergies after an 8-day cross-country mountain-bike stage race. Methods: A peak power output test was performed 5 days before the race. Two days before the start and after 7 days of racing, the athlete performed a power-based Lamberts Submaximal Cycling Test, including surface electromyography, and completed a Daily Analysis of Life Demands of Athletes questionnaire. Neuromuscular activation, in terms of root mean square, timing (onset-offset) of muscle activation, and synergies, was obtained from electromyography recordings. Results: The athlete reported an increase in symptoms of experienced stress after the stage race on the Daily Analysis of Life Demands of Athletes questionnaire. Both biceps femoris and tibialis anterior muscles showed a reduction in normalized amplitude after the stage race. In addition, the number of synergies that was necessary to describe neuromuscular activation increased from 2 to 3. Conclusions: In this case study, the increase in synergies suggests that, after the stage race, the athlete showed a more complex muscle-recruitment pattern. This may indicate that muscle coordination can change when muscle fatigue occurs; however, further research is needed to confirm these results in a larger sample.

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The “Making” of World-Class Athletes Is Still a Case for Humble Admissions

Ralph Beneke

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The Relationships Between External and Internal Training Loads in Mixed Martial Arts

Christopher Kirk, Carl Langan-Evans, David R. Clark, and James P. Morton

Purpose: As a multidisciplined combat sport, relationships between external and internal training loads and intensities of mixed martial arts (MMA) have not been described. The aim of this study was to determine the external loads and intensities of MMA training categories and their relationship to internal loads and intensities. Methods: Twenty MMA athletes (age = 23.3 [5.3] y, mass = 72.1 [7.2] kg, stature = 171.5 [8.4] cm) were observed for 2 consecutive weeks. Internal load and intensity (session rating of perceived exertion [sRPE]) were calculated using the Foster RPE for the session overall (sRPE-training load [TL]) and segmented RPE (segRPE-TL) for each training category: warm-up, striking drills, wrestling drills, Brazilian jiujitsu (BJJ) drills, striking sparring, wrestling sparring, BJJ sparring, and MMA sparring. External load and intensity were measured via Catapult OptimEye S5 for the full duration of each session using accumulated Playerload (PLdACC) and PLdACC per minute (PLdACC·min−1). Differences in loads between categories and days were assessed via Bayesian analysis of variance (BF10 ≥ 3). Predictive relationships between internal and external variables were calculated using Bayesian regression. Results: Session overall sRPE-TL = 448.6 (191.1) arbitrary units (AU); PLdACC = 310.6 (112) AU. Category segRPE-TL range = 33.8 (22.6) AU (warm-up) to 122.8 (54.6) AU (BJJ drills). Category PLdACC range = 44 (36.3) AU (warm-up) to 125 (58.8) AU (MMA sparring). Neither sRPE-TL nor PLdACC changed between days. PLdACC was different between categories. Evidence for regressions was strong-decisive except for BJJ drills (BF10 = 7, moderate). R 2 range = .50 to .77, except for warm-up (R 2 = .17), BJJ drills (R 2 = .27), BJJ sparring (R 2 = .49), and session overall (R 2 = .13). Conclusions: While MMA training categories may be differentiated in terms of external load, overall session external load does not change within or between weeks. Resultant regression equations may be used to appropriately plan MMA technical/tactical training loads.

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The Validity of Perceptual Recovery Status on Monitoring Recovery During a High-Intensity Back-Squat Session

Nicholas A. Buoncristiani, Grant Malone, Whitley J. Stone, Scott Arnett, Mark A. Schafer, and Danilo V. Tolusso

Adaptations to resistance training and subsequent performance can be undermined by inadequate interset recovery. Methods typically used to monitor recovery were developed for longitudinal use, making them time-inefficient within singular exercise bouts. If valid, perceptual recovery status (PRS) may be used as an efficient and inexpensive assessment tool to monitor individual recovery. Purpose: The aim of this study was to assess the validity of PRS on monitoring recovery during a high-intensity back-squat session. Methods: Ten healthy men participated in the 2-session study (separated by at least 48 h). Session 1 included anthropometrics, PRS familiarization, and a 1-repetition-maximum back squat. Session 2 included a high-intensity protocol (5 sets of 5 repetitions; 5-min interset recovery; 85% of 1-repetition maximum). PRS was obtained before the first set and during the last 30 seconds of each 5-minute recovery; rating of perceived exertion (RPE) was also collected. A linear position transducer collected mean barbell velocity (MBV). Repeated-measures correlations assessed the common intraindividual relationships of PRS scores to intraset MBV and RPE, respectively. Results: A very large, positive correlation appeared between PRS and MBV (r [95% CI] = .778 [.613 to .878]; P < .0001). A large, negative correlation emerged between PRS and RPE (r [95% CI] = −.549 [−.737 to −.282]; P < .001). Conclusions: Results indicate that PRS can be a means for practitioners to monitor individualized recovery. PRS tracked well with RPE, strengthening its utility in a practitioner-based setting. Findings provide insight into the practicality of PRS for recovery monitoring. It could be used alongside other measures (eg, MBV and countermovement jump) to individually program and maintain performance.

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Erratum. Is Just Moving Enough for Girls? The Moderation Role of Gross Motor Development Level in the Association Between Physical Activity and Cognition

Journal of Teaching in Physical Education

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A Modified Delphi Research Study on Fundamental Movement Skill Complexity for Teaching and Learning Physical Literacy

Homa Rafiei Milajerdi, Anna Thacker, Mahboubeh Ghayour Najafabadi, Christoph Clephas, and Larry Katz

Purpose: To establish a consensus on the complexity of 16 fundamental movement skills (FMS). Initially, complexity was defined as how difficult it would be to teach FMS to children and for the children to learn them. Method: The study was conducted using a modified Delphi method and a mobile application called Move Improve® to showcase video demonstrations of 16 FMS. Six experts discussed and rated the complexity of each FMS using a 5-point Likert scale until a 75% consensus was obtained during three rounds. Result: Dribble was rated as the most complex (average five) and run as the least (average one). The highest percentage of consensus at 100% was obtained for dribble, overhead throw, run, and skip during Round 3. Conclusion: Eye–hand or eye–foot coordination, laterality, and the environment were deemed as the most influential factors when rating the complexity of FMS.

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Preservice Physical Education Teachers’ Perceptions of Health-Related Fitness Self-Testing in a Teaching Methods Course

Xiaolu Liu, Jingwen Liu, and Rachel Gurvitch

Purpose: This study explored how preservice physical education teachers (PPETs) perceive health-related fitness testing (HRFT) administered in a self-testing format with the aim to enhance their HRFT learning and better prepare them for future HRFT implementation. Methods: The study utilized a constructive phenomenological research design. A total of 11 PPETs participated in the study. Data were collected through a focus group interview, individual interviews, observation and field notes, and written assignments. Two researchers analyzed the data in NVivo 12. Results: Three findings were concluded from the data. First, the administration of self-testing engaged PPETs in active learning of HRFT. Second, PPETs reported positive attitudes toward self-testing when their needs for competence, autonomy, and relatedness were satisfied. Lastly, PPETs identified challenges and proposed suggestions for completing and administrating HRFT. Conclusions: Self-testing may be used as an alternative approach to preparing PPETs for HRFT. More research is needed to examine the effectiveness and reliability of self-testing in educational settings.

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Relationships Between Students’ Emotional Experiences and Cognitive and Physical Achievement During a Middle School Hybrid Sport Education Tactical Model Season

Kelly L. Simonton, Tristan Wallhead, and Ben D. Kern

Purpose: Despite evidence regarding emotions’ impact on learners, there remains a paucity of research examining the relationships between student emotions and achievement within contemporary instructional models. Grounded in the Control-Value Theory of Achievement Emotions, changes in middle school students’ motivational beliefs, emotions, and learning outcomes across one hybrid Sport Education Tactical Model season were examined. Methods: Middle school students (N = 72) completed pre–post surveys regarding their control-value beliefs and emotions. They also completed physical and cognitive tests, and daily physical activity tracking. Repeated measures of multivariate covariance and regression were tested. Results: Students’ perceived control improved, while their extrinsic value reduced. Emotions did not significantly change, while cognitive exam scores and game performance increased. Conclusion: Emotions varied and influenced intentions for play as opposed to learning and achievement. The study provides preliminary insights into the complexity of how student emotions connect to their motivation and learning within the hybrid Sport Education Tactical Model.