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Volume 34 (2024): Issue 4 (Jul 2024)

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Volume 38 (2024): Issue 4 (Jul 2024)

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Volume 43 (2024): Issue 3 (Jul 2024)

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Intraday Variation of Ankle Dorsiflexion in Short-Track Speed Skaters

Jules Claudel, Émilie Turner, and Julien Clément

Purpose: Optimal ankle dorsiflexion range of motion plays a vital role in attaining the essential crouched posture necessary for excelling in speed skating. The purpose of this study was to determine how the ankle dorsiflexion angle evolves throughout a day of training and to identify the factors that influence this angle. Methods: Thirty short-track speed skaters, from 2 teams, participated in this study. The maximum ankle dorsiflexion angle was obtained in a lunge position facing a wall, using a digital inclinometer. All measures were obtained 3 times per side, 6 times per day, on 2 training days separated by at least a week. We conducted multiple tests to study the impact of repetition, day, side, team level, sex, and moment on the ankle dorsiflexion angle. Results: The 3 times repeated measures and the 2 days of training did not have a significant influence on the results. There was a statistically significant difference between the first time point of the day and the 5 other time points for both ankles. Moreover, the influence of sex and team level was not statistically significant. Conclusions: The results indicate that there are significant changes in ankle dorsiflexion range of motion but only after the first warm-up of the day. Such findings could enable team staff to enhance athletes’ precompetition preparation and tailor ankle mobility training regimens more effectively.

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Recommendations for Implementation of Dog Therapy Intervention in the Athletic Training Facility

Rebecca Covach, Lindsey Keenan, and Emily Duckett

Dog therapy is implemented in various healthcare fields because of its unique ability to reduce perceived anxiety and hormonal stress, increase positive patient relationships with practitioners, and assist with demonstrating procedures. However, implementation of dog therapy in a clinical athletic training setting is not frequently discussed in relevant literature. This article outlines recommendations for the use and efficacy of therapy dogs in an athletic training facility, based on data from several studies across various healthcare fields. We provide information regarding best practice recommendations to incorporate therapy dogs into athletic training services, as well as the necessary administrative aspects and safeguards. Athletic trainers can use these recommendations and framework to explore the implementation of dog therapy into clinical practice.

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A Two-Sample Examination of the Relationship Between Trait Emotional Intelligence, Burnout, and Coping Strategies in Athletes

Pia Zajonz, Robert S. Vaughan, and Sylvain Laborde

Competitive sport has the potential to increase chronic stress and, hence, the risk of burnout. The aim of this paper was, first, to examine the relationship between athlete burnout and trait emotional intelligence (TEI) and, second, to look at the mediating role of coping strategies between TEI and athlete burnout. In two samples of athletes (N 1 = 290; N 2 = 144), we conducted correlation analyses linking dimensions of TEI with athlete burnout and found negative correlations. We then tested a structural equation model in the second sample, hypothesizing an indirect link between TEI and athlete burnout via coping strategies. Results showed a mediation effect of emotion-focused to problem-focused coping between TEI and athlete burnout. Avoidance coping showed a positive direct effect on athlete burnout. Further research should investigate effective coping strategies and clarify whether emotional intelligence training may be used to protect athletes from developing burnout.

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The Amount and Pattern of Reciprocal Compensations Predict Performance Stability in a Visually Guided Finger Force Production Task

Valéria Andrade, Nicole S. Carver, Francis M. Grover, Scott Bonnette, and Paula L. Silva

Previous work suggests that synergistic activity among motor elements implicated in force production tasks underlies enhanced performance stability associated with visual feedback. A hallmark of synergistic activity is reciprocal compensation, that is, covariation in the states of motor elements that stabilizes critical performance variables. The present study examined if characteristics of reciprocal compensation are indicators of individuals’ capacity to respond adaptively to variations in the resolution of visual feedback about criterion performance. Twenty healthy adults (19.25 ± 1.25 years; 15 females and five males) pressed two sensors with their index fingers to produce a total target force equivalent to 20% of their maximal voluntary contraction under nine conditions that differed in the spatial resolution of real-time feedback about their performance. By combining within-trial uncontrolled manifold and sample entropy analyses, we quantified the amount and degree of irregularity (i.e., non-repetitiveness) of reciprocal compensations over time. We found a U-shaped relationship between performance stability and gain. Importantly, this relationship was moderated by the degree of irregularity of reciprocal compensation. Lower irregularity in reciprocal compensation patterns was related to individuals’ capacity to maintain (or minimize losses in) performance under changes in feedback resolution. Results invite future investigation into how interindividual variations in reciprocal compensation patterns relate to differences in control strategies supporting adaptive responses in complex, visually guided motor tasks.

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Exploring an Alternative to Record Motor Competence Assessment: Interrater and Intrarater Audio–Video Reliability

Cristina Menescardi, Aida Carballo-Fazanes, Núria Ortega-Benavent, and Isaac Estevan

The Canadian Agility and Movement Skill Assessment (CAMSA) is a valid and reliable circuit-based test of motor competence which can be used to assess children’s skills in a live or recorded performance and then coded. We aimed to analyze the intrarater reliability of the CAMSA scores (total, time, and skill score) and time measured, by comparing the live audio with the video assessment method. We also aimed to assess the interrater reliability using both audio- and video coding on a sample of 177 Spanish children. We found moderate-to-excellent inter- and intrarater video–audio intraclass correlation coefficients for the CAMSA score, time measured, time score, and skill score. Nonsignificant differences were found between video and audio recordings in the CAMSA score, time measured, and time score. Our findings support the rationale that different raters and scoring methods can accurately assess the participants’ motor competence level using the CAMSA Spanish version.

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Leveraging the Momentum

Luke Donovan

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Superstars Really Are Scarce: Shohei Ohtani and Baseball Attendance

Christopher T. Imbrogno and Brian M. Mills

We estimate the superstar effects in Major League Baseball, focusing on a particularly unique international athlete, Shohei Ohtani, using a fixed effects panel regression with multiway clustering. Ohtani’s scarce talent as both a pitcher and a hitter provides the potential to have outsized influence on demand at home (superstar effect) and away (superstar externality) games, providing new marketing opportunities for the league. We compare Ohtani’s impact on attendance with other top pitchers, particularly after large attendance drops attributed to the COVID-19 pandemic, suggesting that his superstardom played a key role in bringing fans back to baseball games. Results revealed a large attendance externality, especially after the pandemic, that increased away attendance by up to 40% in 2021 specifically (and up to 20% overall). We propose that Ohtani provides an opportunity for Major League Baseball to leverage a recognizable face of baseball and leverage superstar value that was previously shown to be in decline.