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.
Alannah K.A. McKay, Trent Stellingwerff, Ella S. Smith, David T. Martin, Iñigo Mujika, Vicky L. Goosey-Tolfrey, Jeremy Sheppard, and Louise M. Burke
Miriam Götte, Regine Söntgerath, Gabriele Gauß, Joachim Wiskemann, Mirko Buždon, and Sabine Kesting
The diagnosis of cancer as well as accompanying acute and late effects of treatment are influencing physical activity behavior of patients with childhood cancer and survivors. Research has shown that a pediatric cancer diagnosis is associated with impairments of physical performance, and function, as well as reduced physical, and psychosocial, health conditions. From an ethical perspective, lack of knowledge of health care providers, lack of physical activity promotion, and environmental, and structural barriers to physical activity restrict children’s right to move and actively engage in physical activities. Network ActiveOncoKids is a German-wide initiative with the main goal of enabling children, adolescents, and young adults with exercise opportunities during and after cancer treatment. Since the network’s foundation in 2012, Network ActiveOncoKids focuses on: (1) physical activity support for patients and families, (2) policy change to establish structures and guidelines, and (3) generating evidence through scientific projects. The purpose of this paper is to present an overview of Network ActiveOncoKids structure, aims, and projects. This topical review will highlight the network’s structural development, research work, and implementation progress of exercise programs for patients with pediatric cancer and survivors, link international collaborations, and discuss future directions.
Dionne A. Noordhof, Xanne A.K. Janse de Jonge, Anthony C. Hackney, Jos J. de Koning, and Øyvind Sandbakk
Jordyn Vienneau, Sandro Nigg, and Benno M. Nigg
This study compared electromyography of five leg muscles during a single walking task (WALK) to a dual task (walking + cognitive task; COG) in 40 individuals (20 M and 20 F) using a wavelet analysis technique. It was hypothesized that muscle activation during the dual task would differ significantly from the walking task with respect to both timing (H1) and frequency (H2). The mean overall intensity for the COG trials was 4.1% lower for the tibialis anterior and 5.5% higher for the gastrocnemius medialis than in the WALK trials. The changes between the WALK and COG trials were short 50 ms bursts that occurred within 100 ms of heel strike in the tibialis anterior, and longer activation periods during the stance phase in the gastrocnemius medialis. No changes in overall intensity were observed in the peroneus longus, gastrocnemius lateralis, or soleus. Furthermore, no clear frequency bands within the signal could further characterize the overall changes in muscle activity during the COG task. This advances our understanding of how the division of attentional resources affects muscle activity in a healthy population of adults.
Graig M. Chow, Lindsay M. Garinger, Jaison Freeman, Savanna K. Ward, and Matthew D. Bird
The aim of this study was to investigate expert practitioners’ approaches to conducting a first sport psychology session with individual clients as there is sparse empirical literature on this topic. Nine expert Certified Mental Performance Consultants completed a semistructured interview where they discussed experiences conducting a first meeting with an athlete. Primary objectives included establishing the relationship, setting guidelines and expectations, understanding the client’s background, identifying presenting concerns, and formulating the treatment plan and building skills. Building rapport was an aspect used to establish the relationship while discussing confidentiality was utilized to set guidelines. Important strategies employed to increase the perceived benefits to services included conveying the consulting approach and philosophy. Lessons learned centered around doing too much and not appreciating individual differences of clients. Findings show expert consultants aim to achieve similar broad objectives in the first session and provide a basis for best practices in this area.
Li Yi, Shirlene D. Wang, Daniel Chu, Aditya Ponnada, Stephen S. Intille, and Genevieve F. Dunton
Background: Recent studies have shown potentially detrimental effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on physical activity (PA) in emerging adults (ages 18–29 y). However, studies that examined the effects of COVID-19 on PA location choices and maintenance for this age group remain limited. The current study investigated changes in PA location choices across 13 months during the pandemic and their associations with PA maintenance in this population. Methods: Emerging adults (N = 197) living in the United States completed weekly survey on personal smartphones (May 2020–June 2021) regarding PA location choices and maintenance. Mixed-effects models examined the main effects of PA location choice and its interaction with weeks into the pandemic on participants’ PA maintenance. Results: On a given week, participants performing PA on roads/sidewalks or at parks/open spaces were 1½ and 2 times as likely to maintain PA levels, respectively. Moreover, after September 2021, weeks when individuals performed PA on roads/sidewalks had a protective effect on PA maintenance. Conclusions: Performing PA on roads/sidewalks and at parks/open spaces was associated with PA maintenance during the COVID-19 pandemic. PA promotion and intervention efforts for emerging adults during large-scale disruptions to daily life should focus on providing programmed activities in open spaces to maintain their PA levels.