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Alannah K.A. McKay, Peter Peeling, David B. Pyne, Nicolin Tee, Marijke Welveart, Ida A. Heikura, Avish P. Sharma, Jamie Whitfield, Megan L. Ross, Rachel P.L. van Swelm, Coby M. Laarakkers, and Louise M. Burke

This study implemented a 2-week high carbohydrate (CHO) diet intended to maximize CHO oxidation rates and examined the iron-regulatory response to a 26-km race walking effort. Twenty international-level, male race walkers were assigned to either a novel high CHO diet (MAX = 10 g/kg body mass CHO daily) inclusive of gut-training strategies, or a moderate CHO control diet (CON = 6 g/kg body mass CHO daily) for a 2-week training period. The athletes completed a 26-km race walking test protocol before and after the dietary intervention. Venous blood samples were collected pre-, post-, and 3 hr postexercise and measured for serum ferritin, interleukin-6, and hepcidin-25 concentrations. Similar decreases in serum ferritin (17–23%) occurred postintervention in MAX and CON. At the baseline, CON had a greater postexercise increase in interleukin-6 levels after 26 km of walking (20.1-fold, 95% CI [9.2, 35.7]) compared with MAX (10.2-fold, 95% CI [3.7, 18.7]). A similar finding was evident for hepcidin levels 3 hr postexercise (CON = 10.8-fold, 95% CI [4.8, 21.2]; MAX = 8.8-fold, 95% CI [3.9, 16.4]). Postintervention, there were no substantial differences in the interleukin-6 response (CON = 13.6-fold, 95% CI [9.2, 20.5]; MAX = 11.2-fold, 95% CI [6.5, 21.3]) or hepcidin levels (CON = 7.1-fold, 95% CI [2.1, 15.4]; MAX = 6.3-fold, 95% CI [1.8, 14.6]) between the dietary groups. Higher resting serum ferritin (p = .004) and hotter trial ambient temperatures (p = .014) were associated with greater hepcidin levels 3 hr postexercise. Very high CHO diets employed by endurance athletes to increase CHO oxidation have little impact on iron regulation in elite athletes. It appears that variations in serum ferritin concentration and ambient temperature, rather than dietary CHO, are associated with increased hepcidin concentrations 3 hr postexercise.

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Austin J. Kulp and Xihe Zhu

Background/Purpose: Before school exercise programs (BSEPs) give students time for breakfast and add time to their daily physical activity. However, the effects of BSEP on physical fitness and academic achievement in the classroom remain unclear. The purpose of this study is to examine the effects of BSEP on cardiorespiratory fitness and academic performance among fourth- and fifth-grade students. Method: A retrospective case-controlled design was used in this study. Fourth and fifth graders (N = 84) were participants, half signed up for BSEP that met once a week for 10 weeks. A retrospectively case-controlled comparison group was generated from the classmates of those in BSEP in the same school. All students took PACER and statewide academic performance assessments. Multivariate analysis of covariance for student cardiorespiratory fitness, and mathematics and reading, were conducted, adjusting for pretest performances. Analysis/Results: There were improvements for both groups in academic performances and cardiorespiratory fitness. The cardiorespiratory fitness and reading test improvements were greater in the BSEP group than those in the comparison group, controlling for their pretests. However, there was no significant difference in student mathematics test performances. Conclusion: Students in BSEP group benefited from participating in the program with greater improvement in cardiorespiratory and reading test performances than the comparison group. These findings suggested that providing a BSEP once a week for 45 min may be beneficial to fourth and fifth graders.

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A. Rui Gomes, Alexandre Gonçalves, Catarina Morais, Clara Simães, and Rui Resende

According to the Leadership Efficacy Model, leadership efficacy depends on leaders’ tendency to make linear relationships between leadership philosophy, practice, and criteria (i.e., congruence of leadership cycles). Moreover, efficacy increases if coaches make these linear relationships by using the optimal leadership profile and by considering the antecedent factors of leadership (characteristics of the leader, team members, and organizational conditions; i.e., favorability of conditions for leadership). This study compared the perceptions of athletes and their coaches regarding leadership cycles, and tested the moderator role of optimal leadership profile and leadership favorability in the relationship between leadership cycles and leadership efficacy. This study included 92 football athletes (ages less than 17 and 19 years) and respective coaches (n = 5). The evaluation protocol included measures of leadership cycles, leadership styles, leadership favorability, and sport performance perception. Athletes and coaches agreed on coaches’ need to increase their practice and criteria, but athletes also considered that coaches should better clarify their philosophy. Regression analyses confirmed that leadership congruency predicts higher perceptions of team performance in athletes. Moreover, optimal leadership profile and higher leadership favorability were associated with higher team and individual performance. However, these two factors did not moderate the relationship between leadership congruency and efficacy.

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Steffen Greve, Kira Elena Weber, Björn Brandes, and Jessica Maier

Purpose: A previous study about a long-term internship implemented in the Master’s program of eleven physical education preservice teachers showed that the preservice teachers had low performance scores in the area of Instructional Support. These results left many questions unanswered, so the written self-reflections of the preservice teachers were investigated. Method and Results: A quantitative content analysis of their written reflections, based on the dimensions of the Classroom Assessment Scoring System K–3, showed that the participants pay little attention to the domain of Instructional Support. A qualitative content analysis showed that the preservice teachers relied on self-made experiences and the advice given by their mentors from school who pay little attention to Instructional Support. Discussion and Conclusion: Instructional Support should be given a higher priority in the context of long-term internships and in accompanying reflective assignments, especially with regard to differentiation and inclusion of all students.

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Samuel Mettler, Georgette Lehner, and Gareth Morgan

Compared with adult athletes, rather little is known about supplementation behavior in adolescent athletes. This study’s aim was to determine elite adolescent athletes’ supplement use and sources of information relating thereto. A total of 430 (87%) of 496 questioned athletes returned the anonymized questionnaire. Thereof, 84% consumed at least one weekly supplement and 97% indicated some supplement intake during the previous 4 weeks. On average, 13.3 supplement servings were consumed per week. The 25th, 50th, and 75th percentile was 4.5, 10.5, and 20.0 servings per week, with a maximum of 67. The most prevalent supplements in use were multimineral products (41% of all athletes), multivitamins (34%), Vitamin C (34%), and Vitamin D (33%). Male athletes consumed significantly more Vitamin C and D, sports drinks, protein powder, and recovery products compared with female athletes; whereas, women consumed more iron supplements. The three most important motives for supplement use were recovery support (40%), health maintenance (39%), and performance enhancement (30%). The most frequent answers to the question “who recommended that you use supplements” were family/friends (36%), a physician (27%), and a trainer/coach (25%). The main three information sources about the supplements in use were the persons who recommended the supplementation (56%), the internet (25%), and information provided by supplement suppliers (11%). A positive doping attitude was associated with the consumption of performance enhancing supplements (p = .017). In conclusion, this study among elite adolescent Swiss athletes indicates a widespread and large-scale use of dietary supplements, which was associated with a low level of information quality.

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Rhys J. Thurston, Danielle M. Alexander, and Mathieu Michaud

Learning disabilities and neurodevelopmental disorders are the most prevalent disabilities that affect learning. This paper will provide practical recommendations and observations for coaching athletes with three common learning disabilities (dyslexia, dysgraphia, and dyscalculia) and two neurodevelopmental disorders (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and autism spectrum disorder). Adapted from the literature and in conjunction with previous experiences, the authors provided a range of recommendations for coaches to consider implementing within their practices. The recommendations place an emphasis on the knowledge, strategies, and behaviors of the coach and their role in providing an inclusive, safe, and accessible space for athletes—with or without disabilities—rather than problematizing the disability or the person. Coaches are encouraged to consider their coaching environment (i.e., structure, physical elements, equipment), communication styles (i.e., language, delivery, feedback), and behaviors (e.g., frequent check-ins, review of material). Furthermore, coaches are encouraged to critically reflect on their preconceived biases, assumptions, and experiences with disability and how these play a role in influencing their coaching practices.Considering the prevalence of people with learning disabilities or neurodevelopmental disorders, it is essential for coaches to have access to disability-specific information while remaining cognizant of the needs of the individual when providing an inclusive environment for all.