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Ivan A. Trujillo-Priego, Judy Zhou, Inge F. Werner, Weiyang Deng and Beth A. Smith

Wearable sensors are being used to measure intensity of infant physical activity across full days. The variability of infant activity intensity within and across days is important to study given the potential impact of physical activity on developmental trajectories. Using retrospective data, we analyzed the intensity of leg movements in 10 typically developing infants pre- and post-naptimes. Leg movement data were captured from 20 minutes before and after multiple events of naps across seven days for each infant. We hypothesized that leg movement intensity would be lower before a nap than after a nap potentially due to lower arousal and increased fatigue prior to attaining sleep. However, our results showed that leg movement intensity was not significantly different when comparing the 20-minute period pre- and post-naps (F(1,7) = 3.91, p = .089, ηp2=0.358). Our results are a first step in describing patterns of infant activity across days and highlights the need for further research regarding infant energy expenditure and physical activity.

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Arthur H. Bossi, Cristian Mesquida, Louis Passfield, Bent R. Rønnestad and James G. Hopker

Purpose: Maximal oxygen uptake (V˙O2max) is a key determinant of endurance performance. Therefore, devising high-intensity interval training (HIIT) that maximizes stress of the oxygen-transport and -utilization systems may be important to stimulate further adaptation in athletes. The authors compared physiological and perceptual responses elicited by work intervals matched for duration and mean power output but differing in power-output distribution. Methods: Fourteen cyclists (V˙O2max 69.2 [6.6] mL·kg−1·min−1) completed 3 laboratory visits for a performance assessment and 2 HIIT sessions using either varied-intensity or constant-intensity work intervals. Results: Cyclists spent more time at >90%V˙O2max during HIIT with varied-intensity work intervals (410 [207] vs 286 [162] s, P = .02), but there were no differences between sessions in heart-rate- or perceptual-based training-load metrics (all P ≥ .1). When considering individual work intervals, minute ventilation (V˙E) was higher in the varied-intensity mode (F = 8.42, P = .01), but not respiratory frequency, tidal volume, blood lactate concentration [La], ratings of perceived exertion, or cadence (all F ≤ 3.50, ≥ .08). Absolute changes (Δ) between HIIT sessions were calculated per work interval, and Δ total oxygen uptake was moderately associated with ΔV˙E (r = .36, P = .002). Conclusions: In comparison with an HIIT session with constant-intensity work intervals, well-trained cyclists sustain higher fractions of V˙O2max when work intervals involved power-output variations. This effect is partially mediated by an increased oxygen cost of hyperpnea and not associated with a higher [La], perceived exertion, or training-load metrics.

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Erik Trøen, Bjarne Rud, Øyvind Karlsson, Camilla Høivik Carlsen, Matthias Gilgien, Gøran Paulsen, Ola Kristoffer Tosterud and Thomas Losnegard

Purpose: To investigate how self-selected pole length (PL) of ∼84% (PL84%) compared with ∼90% (PL90%) of body height influenced performance during a 700-m time trial with undulating terrain on snow. Methods: Twenty-one cross-country skiers, 7 of whom were women, performed 4 trials at a maximal effort in a counterbalanced fashion with PL84% and PL90% separated by 20-minute breaks between trials. In trials I and II, only double poling was allowed, while in trials III and IV, skiers used self-selected classical subtechniques. Continuous speed, cyclic parameters, and heart rate were collected using microsensors in addition to a post-time-trial rating of perceived exertion (RPE). Results: The 700-m times with only double poling were significantly shorter with PL90% than PL84% (mean ± 95% confidence limits –1.6% ± 1.0%). Segment analyses showed higher speed with PL90% in uphill sections than with PL84% (3.7% ± 2.1%), with the greatest difference found for the female skiers (5.6% ± 2.9%). In contrast, on flat terrain at high skiing speeds, speed was reduced with PL90% compared with PL84% (–1.5% ± 1.4%); this was only significant for the male skiers. During free choice of classical subtechniques, PL did not influence performance in any segments, choice of subtechnique, or cycle rate during the trials. No differences in rating of perceived exertion or heart rate between PLs were found. Conclusions: PL90% improved performance in uphills at low speeds when using double poling but hindered performance on flat terrain and at higher speeds compared with self-selected PLs. Choice of PL should, therefore, be based on racecourse topography, preferred subtechniques, and the skier’s physiological and technical abilities.

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Göran Kenttä, Marte Bentzen, Kristen Dieffenbach and Peter Olusoga

High-performance (HP) coaching is a demanding profession. The proportion of woman HP coaches is reported to be in the range of 8.4–20%. Mental health concerns in elite sports have recently gained attention, but mainly focusing on athletes. Beyond coach burnout, limited attention has been given to coaches’ mental health. A recent coach burnout review included only one paper that focused exclusively on women. It has been argued that women HP coaches face greater challenges in a male-dominated coaching culture. The purpose of this study was to explore challenges experienced by women HP coaches and their perceived associations with sustainability and mental health. Thirty-seven female HP coaches participated by answering a semistructured, open-ended questionnaire. All responses were analyzed using inductive thematic analysis, which resulted in two general dimensions: challenges of working as women HP coaches and sustainability and well-being as women HP coaches. Overall, results indicate that challenges reported might be common not only for all HP coaches, but also highlight gender-specific elements. Consequently, coach retention and sustainability would benefit from more attention on well-being and mental health among HP coaches.

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Lorenzo Lolli, Alan M. Batterham, Gregory MacMillan, Warren Gregson and Greg Atkinson

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Philippe Crisp

Purposeful engagement with community matters continues to underpin the U.K. government’s approach to sport and sports coaching. However, although there is an emerging body of work related to the domain of community sport coaching, the development of skills, knowledge, and competencies for sports coaches is often focused in the field of sports performance. This leaves questions regarding the nature, function, supportive coaching strategies, and contextual effectiveness for coaches working within community sport settings/initiatives. The purpose of this study is to share suggestions for how community sports programs can be best managed and facilitated by sports leaders and coaches. Results of an action research project with 13 community sport coaches in the United Kingdom are used to inform the discussion. Four approaches to community sports coaching are shown contribute to building coach–participant relationships, satisfaction, and project/practice success: (a) establish common ground, (b) develop relationships, (c) prioritize inclusivity (through establishing behavioral boundaries and through game/activity management), and (d) highlight meaningful activity and contribution to games for all participants.

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Philippe Vonnard and Sébastien Cala

The present paper looks at the different positions two major international sport federations, the Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) and the Fédération Internationale de Ski (FIS), took with respect to East Germany during the 1950s. Because these positions were greatly influenced by FIFA’s and the FIS’s prior relations with Germany and by the challenges posed by global politics, this study begins by examining these relations during the interwar period. By combining information from the FIFA, FIS, and International Olympic Committee (IOC) archives with documents from the German national archives and articles published in Switzerland’s sporting press, the authors were able to highlight differences between the two federations’ approaches and show the need for studies to go beyond an IOC-centric approach.

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Rhys J. Thurston

This study examines the concentration and attention span of young athletes and players, with a particular focus on engagement during meetings. It delves into the generational gap between young athletes and coaches and how technological advancements are shaping attitudes, concentration, and stimulation. It looks at how teachers are addressing the issue in classrooms and how coaches can adapt to teachers’ reengagement strategies to suit their young athletes’ learning needs. It draws on studies and research from regarded and respected educators as well as marketers who are dealing with the problem of attention spans during television commercials. Finally, it provides examples of how professional sporting organizations are structuring meetings to support athletes’ attention spans and learning needs.

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Ronald Gallimore

During John Wooden’s final coaching season, two psychologists systematically recorded his specific teaching acts during UCLA basketball practices. Results were presented in a 1976 Psychology Today article, which garnered little media or public attention. At the time, Coach Wooden never responded to three requests for comments—twice to prepublication manuscripts and once to the published version. This memoir recounts the backstory of the study and reports some unanticipated and surprising consequences 25 years later. First, Coach Wooden handed out photocopies of the article, and second, a review of research indicated that the 1976 study was one of the earliest systematic studies of coaching.