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Jožef Šimenko and Vedran Hadžić

Purpose: This study investigates bilateral performance with the Special Judo Fitness Test (SJFT) and its associations with competition performance (CP) and competition volume (CV) in judo. Methods: The SJFT compared movement patterns of the dominant (D) and nondominant (ND) sides on a sample of 27 youth judoka. Repeated-measures analysis of variance was used to determine differences in SJFT execution to the D and ND side, and for associations, the Pearson correlation was used (P < .05). Results: The total number of throws is significantly higher on the D side, with better performance in the final SJFT index. The CP showed positive correlations with the D side of SJFT executions in the second part of SJFT (P = .042) and the total number of throws (P = .036). On the ND side, the CP showed a positive correlation with the second part of the SJFT (P = .014), a negative correlation with the third part of the SJFT (P = .035), and a positive correlation in the total number of throws (P = .027). CV shows significant correlations with all parameters of the SJFT in the D and ND sides, with stronger correlations on the ND side. Conclusions: The study presents significantly better performance in judokas’ D side in SJFT. Associations between CP and CV with the SJFT were significant in connection to both body sides. It highlights the importance of bilateral movement development and good execution of the throwing techniques for the D and ND body sides of youth judoka to achieve greater CP all year round.

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Felipe Guimarães Teixeira, Paulo Tadeu Cardozo Ribeiro Rosa, Roger Gomes Tavares Mello, and Jurandir Nadal

Purpose: The study aimed to identify the variables that differentiate judo athletes at national and regional levels. Multivariable analysis was applied to biomechanical, anthropometric, and Special Judo Fitness Test (SJFT) data. Method: Forty-two male judo athletes from 2 competitive groups (14 national and 28 state levels) performed the following measurements and tests: (1) skinfold thickness, (2) circumference, (3) bone width, (4) longitudinal length, (5) stabilometric tests, (6) dynamometric tests, and (7) SJFT. The variables with significant differences in the Wilcoxon rank-sum test were used in stepwise logistic regression to select those that better separate the groups. The authors considered models with a maximum of 3 variables to avoid overfitting. They used 7-fold cross validation to calculate optimism-corrected measures of model performance. Results: The 3 variables that best differentiated the groups were the epicondylar humerus width, the total number of throws on the SJFT, and the stabilometric mean velocity of the center of pressure in the mediolateral direction. The area under the receiver-operating-characteristic curve for the model (based on 7-fold cross validation) was 0.95. Conclusion: This study suggests that a reduced set of anthropometric, biomechanical, and SJFT variables can differentiate judo athlete’s levels.

Open access

Alannah K.A. McKay, Trent Stellingwerff, Ella S. Smith, David T. Martin, Iñigo Mujika, Vicky L. Goosey-Tolfrey, Jeremy Sheppard, and Louise M. Burke

Throughout the sport-science and sports-medicine literature, the term “elite” subjects might be one of the most overused and ill-defined terms. Currently, there is no common perspective or terminology to characterize the caliber and training status of an individual or cohort. This paper presents a 6-tiered Participant Classification Framework whereby all individuals across a spectrum of exercise backgrounds and athletic abilities can be classified. The Participant Classification Framework uses training volume and performance metrics to classify a participant to one of the following: Tier 0: Sedentary; Tier 1: Recreationally Active; Tier 2: Trained/Developmental; Tier 3: Highly Trained/National Level; Tier 4: Elite/International Level; or Tier 5: World Class. We suggest the Participant Classification Framework can be used to classify participants both prospectively (as part of study participant recruitment) and retrospectively (during systematic reviews and/or meta-analyses). Discussion around how the Participant Classification Framework can be tailored toward different sports, athletes, and/or events has occurred, and sport-specific examples provided. Additional nuances such as depth of sport participation, nationality differences, and gender parity within a sport are all discussed. Finally, chronological age with reference to the junior and masters athlete, as well as the Paralympic athlete, and their inclusion within the Participant Classification Framework has also been considered. It is our intention that this framework be widely implemented to systematically classify participants in research featuring exercise, sport, performance, health, and/or fitness outcomes going forward, providing the much-needed uniformity to classification practices.

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Joelle Leonie Flueck and Karsten Koehler

Purpose: Wheelchair athletes experience a reduction in fat-free mass due to the underlying condition and/or muscle disuse. This leads to a lower resting energy expenditure (REE), as well as a lower energy expenditure during exercise or daily activities. Traditional markers of low energy availability (LEA), including amenorrhea and low bone mineral density, are often inconclusive in wheelchair athletes. This case study provides data from a professional female wheelchair badminton player with multiple sclerosis who presented with a reduced measured-to-predicted REE ratio (REEratio), a common indicator of LEA in able-bodied athletes. Furthermore, a nutrition and exercise intervention was conducted to restore REE. Methods: REE and body composition were measured using indirect calorimetry and dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry, respectively. The predicted REE of the REEratio was calculated using 2 separate approaches. An REEratio <0.9 was considered an indicator for LEA. A nutrition and exercise intervention was implemented to normalize REE and induce weight loss through increased meal frequency, a 200- to 400-kcal/d increase in energy intake, and added endurance exercise. Results: The athlete (33 y, 78 kg, 154 cm) initiallly showed an REEratio of 0.65 to 0.70, which increased to 1.00 to 1.09 after 1 year. The athlete lost 11.8 kg, almost exclusively (11 kg) in the form of fat mass. The athlete reported reduced fatigue and higher perceived fitness. Conclusion: The nutrition and exercise intervention successfully restored energy status, induced sustainable weight loss, and reduced fatigue in a wheelchair athlete with multiple sclerosis with presumed LEA. Methods to assess LEA in this population require further validation.

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Javier Yanci, Daniel Castillo, Aitor Iturricastillo, Matías Henríquez, Alba Roldan, and Raúl Reina

This study aimed to analyze whether there are differences and associations in the physical responses in international-level cerebral palsy footballers between official matches and 2v2 small-sided games (2v2-SSG). One hundred seventy international cerebral palsy footballers participated in this study during three international championships. The physical responses of mean and maximum velocities, total distance, distance covered at different intensities, short-term actions, and player load were collected during 2v2-SSG and the real competition. The mean velocity, total distance, jogging, medium- and high-intensity distances, the number of moderate/high accelerations, decelerations, and player load were relatively higher in the 2v2-SSG than in the official matches. Even though the 2v2-SSG could become an appropriate drill to include during the classification process, due to the differences between a 2v2-SSG and the official competition, it is necessary to deepen the scientific knowledge for developing observation methods during real competition to strengthen the relationships between eligible impairments and activity limitation.

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Micah C. Garcia and David M. Bazett-Jones

Purpose: Running programs are designed to progress training loads by manipulating the duration, frequency, and/or intensity of running sessions. While some studies use journals to monitor training load, others have used wearable technology. The purpose of this study was to compare the validity of self-reported and global positioning system (GPS)–watch-derived measures of external and internal loads in high school cross-country runners. Methods: Twenty-two high school cross-country runners participated in the study during fall 2020. Participants recorded running sessions using a GPS watch and self-reported the running session using an electronic journal. External (distance and duration) and internal loads (session rating of perceived exertion [sRPE], average, and maximum heart rate) were retrieved from the GPS watch and electronic journal. Correlations compared relationships, and Bland–Altman plots compared agreements between GPS-watch-derived and self-reported measures of training loads. Results: We found moderate relationships between self-reported and GPS-watch-derived measures of external loads (distance: r = .76, moving duration: r = .74, and elapsed duration: r = .70) and poor relationships between internal loads (sRPE vs average heart rate: ρ = .11, sRPE vs maximal heart rate: ρ = .13). We found mean differences of −0.8 km (95% = –6.3 to +4.8 km) for distance, −4.5 minutes (95% = −27.8 to +33.2 min) for moving duration, and 2.7 minutes (95% = –27.8 min to +33.2 min) for elapsed duration. Conclusions: High school runners overreported running distance and duration using self-reports, and self-reported and GPS-watch-derived measures of internal loads demonstrated poor agreement. Coaches and clinicians should use caution when comparing results from studies using different methods of monitoring training loads.

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Georgia Romyn, Gregory D. Roach, Michele Lastella, Dean J. Miller, Nathan G. Versey, and Charli Sargent

Purpose: This study examined the impact of sleep inertia on physical, cognitive, and subjective performance immediately after a 1- or 2-hour afternoon nap opportunity. Methods: Twelve well-trained male athletes completed 3 conditions in a randomized, counterbalanced order—9 hours in bed overnight without a nap opportunity the next day (9 + 0), 8 hours in bed overnight with a 1-hour nap opportunity the next day (8 + 1), and 7 hours in bed overnight with a 2-hour nap opportunity the next day (7 + 2). Nap opportunities ended at 4:00 PM. Sleep was assessed using polysomnography. Following each condition, participants completed four 30-minute test batteries beginning at 4:15, 4:45, 5:15, and 5:45 PM. Test batteries included a warm-up, self-ratings of readiness to perform, motivation to perform and expected performance, two 10-m sprints, 2 agility tests, a 90-second response-time task, and 5 minutes of seated rest. Results: Total sleep time was not different between conditions (P = .920). There was an effect of condition on readiness (P < .001), motivation (P = .001), and expected performance (P = .004)—all 3 were lower in the 8 + 1 and 7 + 2 conditions compared with the 9 + 0 condition. There was no effect of condition on response time (P = .958), sprint time (P = .204), or agility (P = .240), but a large effect size was observed for agility. Conclusions: After waking from a nap opportunity, agility may be reduced, and athletes may feel sleepy and not ready or motivated to perform. Athletes should schedule sufficient time (∼1 h) after waking from a nap opportunity to avoid the effects of sleep inertia on performance.

Open access

James A. Betts

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Janelle Griffo, Kahyun Nam, Hans van der Mars, Pamela Kulinna, and Allison Ross

Children’s health is affected by physical activity (PA) opportunities throughout the school day. Schools are a central venue for children meeting physical activity recommendations, and multiple areas, such as recess, have been established to protect against childhood obesity and overweight. Senate Bill 1083 is a law that addresses recess policies in Arizona that calls for students in Grades K–5 receive at least two recess periods per day. The purposes of this study were to explore Arizona charter and public elementary (K–5) school’s adherence to Senate Bill 1083 as well as investigate the barriers, if any, to implementing recess. A modified version of the School Physical Activity Policy Assessment survey was administered to members of the Arizona Health and Physical Education organization. Findings from the survey show that Arizona schools are not providing the recommended number of recess periods per day, and there are multiple barriers to recess implementation. Further investigations and bill modifications are needed.