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Sophie Knights, Emma Sherry, Mandy Ruddock-Hudson and Paul O’Halloran

The purpose of this research was to explore the experience of transition and life after sport in a group of retired professional athletes. A total of 45 retired athletes from three national football leagues took part in semistructured interviews. Two overarching themes emerged from the data analysis: (a) preparing for transition and planning for retirement and (b) supportive environment. For athletes in this study, four main factors were identified as critical to promoting a positive transition. The nature of the transition also directly affected athletes’ experience of retirement from sport and, thus, their experience of flourishing in life after sport. The majority of participants in this study indicated that they lacked support from their sporting club and governing bodies both during their transition and in retirement. Planning for retirement and preparing for the future positively affected their ability to flourish in retirement. Recommendations for sport managers and athlete support services are provided.

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Alexander S.D. Gamble, Jessica L. Bigg, Tyler F. Vermeulen, Stephanie M. Boville, Greg S. Eskedjian, Sebastian Jannas-Vela, Jamie Whitfield, Matthew S. Palmer and Lawrence L. Spriet

Several previous studies have reported performance decrements in team sport athletes who dehydrated approximately 1.5–2% of their body mass (BM) through sweating. This study measured on-ice sweat loss, fluid intake, sodium balance, and carbohydrate (CHO) intake of 77 major junior (JR; 19 ± 1 years), 60 American Hockey League (AHL; 24 ± 4 years), and 77 National Hockey League (NHL; 27 ± 5 years) players. Sweat loss was calculated from pre- to post-exercise BM plus fluid intake minus urine loss. AHL (2.03 ± 0.62 L/hr) and NHL (2.02 ± 0.74 L/hr) players had higher sweat rates (p < .05) than JR players (1.63 ± 0.58 L/hr). AHL (1.23 ± 0.69%; p = .006) and NHL (1.29% ± 0.63%; p < .001) players had ∼30% greater BM losses than JR players (0.89% ± 0.57%). There was no difference in fluid intake between groups (p > .05). Sodium deficits (sodium loss − intake) were greater (p < .05) in AHL (1.68 ± 0.74 g/hr) and NHL (1.56 ± 0.84 g/hr) players compared with JR players (1.01 ± 0.50 g/hr). CHO intake was similar between groups (14–20 g CHO/hr), with 29%, 32%, and 40% of JR, AHL, and NHL players consuming no CHO, respectively. In summary, sweat rates were high in all players, but the majority of players (74/77, 54/60, and 68/77 of JR, AHL, and NHL, respectively) avoided mild dehydration (>2% BM) during 60 min of practice. However, ∼15%, 41%, and 48% of the JR, AHL, and NHL players, respectively, may have reached mild dehydration and increased risk of performance decrements in a 90-min practice.

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Per G. Svensson, Seungmin Kang and Jae-Pil Ha

The purpose of this study was to examine the influence of shared leadership and organizational capacity on organizational performance and innovative work behavior (IWB) in sport for development and peace. An electronic survey was distributed to 1,120 sport for development and peace practitioners. A total of 215 completed surveys were recorded for a response rate of 19.2%. Structural equation modeling revealed significant relationships between shared leadership and both organizational performance and IWB. In addition, shared leadership fully mediated the relationship between capacity and IWB, and partially mediated the relationship between capacity and organizational performance. Altogether, the results indicate that shared leadership and capacity combined to explain a significant proportion of variance in performance and IWB. The results provide empirical support for the significant role of shared leadership in sport for development and peace. In addition, the significant direct and indirect effects in the tested model highlight the value of examining both capacity and shared leadership.

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Philip von Rosen and Maria Hagströmer

Background: This study investigates the association between self-rated health and the time spent in sedentary behavior (SB), low light-intensity physical activity (LLPA), high light-intensity physical activity (HLPA), and moderate to vigorous physical activity (MVPA), by controlling for demographics, socioeconomic status, and chronic diseases. Methods: A total of 1665 participants (55% women) completed a questionnaire about demographics, chronic diseases, and anthropometric characteristics and provided objective physical activity data on time in SB, LLPA, HLPA, and MVPA, using an ActiGraph 7164 accelerometer. Association between self-rated health and activity data was explored in a compositional data analysis. Results: The multinomial logistic regression analysis showed a significantly lower time spent in MVPA in proportion to time in other movement behaviors (SB, LLPA, and HLPA) for participants who rated their health as alright or poor compared with excellent (P < .001). Participants with poor, compared with excellent health, spent about a third of the time in MVPA (17 vs 50 min), marginally higher time in HLPA (134 vs 125 min), more time in LLPA (324 vs 300 min), and similar time in SB (383 vs 383 min), accounting for confounders and time in other movement behaviors. Conclusions: Promoting MVPA, as opposed to time in other movement behaviors, is suggested to be beneficial for excellent self-rated health.

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Timothy J. Gibbons and Marie-Louise Bird

Background: The training of abdominal muscles has a positive impact on the functional capacity of healthy adults, being applied practically in fields of athletics and fitness through rehabilitation for lower back pain. Objective: The study compares abdominal muscle activity while performing graded isometric exercises on stable and unstable surfaces. The authors also examined perceived stability and comfort for the different surfaces. Methods: A total of 30 young, healthy adults performed 3 graded isometric exercises on a Pilates table, foam roller, and Oov (a newly developed tool). Ultrasound investigation measured transversus abdominis, internal oblique abdominis, and external oblique abdominis thickness during each task, comparing muscle thickness between conditions using general linear modeling. Results: Core abdominal activation was greater on the foam roller than the Oov and Pilates table during crook lying (bilateral leg support). Both Oov and foam roller elicited greater contralateral transversus abdominis and internal oblique abdominis thickness than the Pilates table during tabletop and straight leg raises (unilateral leg exercises). For transversus abdominis only, the foam roller elicited more muscle thickness than the Oov during straight leg raises. The Oov was rated more comfortable than the foam roller. Discussion: Exercises performed on the Oov and foam roller elicit core greater abdominal muscle thickness than those performed on a Pilates table. Unilateral leg exercises in a supine position elicit more contralateral muscle thickness than those with bilateral leg support. Conclusions: These results provide information to support choices in exercise progression from flat stable to more unstable surfaces and from those with bilateral foot support to unilateral foot support. The Oov was more comfortable that the foam roller, and this may help with exercise adherence.

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Jungyun Hwang, I-Min Lee, Austin M. Fernandez, Charles H. Hillman and Amy Shirong Lu

Purpose: This study examined differences in energy expenditure and bodily movement among children of different weight status during exergames that varied in mode and intensity. Methods: Fifty-seven 8- to 12-year-old children including overweight/obesity (n = 28) and normal weight (n = 29) played three 10-minute interval Xbox One exergames (Fruit Ninja, Kung-Fu, and Shape Up) categorized based on predominantly upper-, whole-, or lower-limb movement, respectively. The authors measured bodily movement through accelerometry and obtained energy expenditure and metabolic equivalent (MET) via indirect calorimetry. Results: Energy expended during gameplay was the highest in Shape Up (P < .01) and higher in Kung-Fu than Fruit Ninja (P < .01). Absolute energy expenditure was significantly higher in overweight/obese children (P < .01), but not when controlling for body mass across 3 exergames (P > .05). Based on the MET cut-points, overweight/obese children spent more time at light intensity (<3 METs) for Fruit Ninja (P < .05) and Shape Up (P < .01), but less time at vigorous intensity (≥6 METs) for Kung-Fu (P < .01) and Shape Up (P < .01). Lower-limb movements during Shape Up were less in overweight/obese children (P = .03). Conclusion: Although children in both groups expended similar energy relative to their body mass during gameplay, overweight/obese children spent more time at light intensity but less time at vigorous intensity with fewer movements especially while playing a lower limb–controlled exergame.

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Hayley M. Ericksen, Caitlin Lefevre, Brittney A. Luc-Harkey, Abbey C. Thomas, Phillip A. Gribble and Brian Pietrosimone

Context: High vertical ground reaction force (vGRF) when initiating ground contact during jump landing is one biomechanical factor that may increase risk of anterior cruciate ligament injury. Intervention programs have been developed to decrease vGRF to reduce injury risk, yet generating high forces is still critical for performing dynamic activities such as a vertical jump task. Objective: To evaluate if a jump-landing feedback intervention, cueing a decrease in vGRF, would impair vertical jump performance in a separate task (Vertmax). Design: Randomized controlled trial. Patients (or Other Participants): Forty-eight recreationally active females (feedback: n = 31; 19.63 [1.54] y, 1.6 [0.08] cm, 58.13 [7.84] kg and control: n = 15; 19.6 [1.68] y, 1.64 [0.05] cm, 60.11 [8.36] kg) participated in this study. Intervention: Peak vGRF during a jump landing and Vertmax were recorded at baseline and 4 weeks post. The feedback group participated in 12 sessions over the 4-week period consisting of feedback provided for 6 sets of 6 jumps off a 30-cm box. The control group was instructed to return to the lab 28 days following the baseline measurements. Main Outcome Measures: Change scores (postbaseline) were calculated for peak vGRF and Vertmax. Group differences were evaluated for peak vGRF and Vertmax using a Mann–Whitney U test (P < .05). Results: There were no significant differences between groups at baseline (P > .05). The feedback group (−0.5 [0.3] N/kg) demonstrated a greater decrease in vGRF compared with the control group (0.01 [0.3] N/kg) (t(46) = −5.52, P < .001). There were no significant differences in change in Vertmax between groups (feedback = 0.9 [2.2] cm, control = 0.06 [2.1] cm; t(46) = 0.46, P = .64). Conclusions: While the feedback intervention was effective in decreasing vGRF when landing from a jump, these participants did not demonstrate changes in vertical jump performance when assessed during a different task. Practitioners should consider implementing feedback intervention programs to reduce peak vGRF, without worry of diminished vertical jump performance.

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Heidi A. Wayment, Ann H. Huffman, Monica Lininger and Patrick C. Doyle

Social network analysis (SNA) is a uniquely situated methodology to examine the social connections between players on a team, and how team structure may be related to self-reported team cohesion and perceived support for reporting concussion symptoms. Team belonging was positively associated with number of friendship ties (degree; r = .23, p < .05), intermediate ties between teammates (betweenness; r = .21, p < .05), and support from both teammates (r = .21, p < .05) and important others (r = .21, p < .05) for reporting concussion symptoms. Additionally, an SNA-derived measure of social influence, eigenvector centrality, was associated with football identity (r = .34, p < .01), and less support from important others (r = –.24, p < .05) regarding symptom reporting. Discussion focuses on why consideration of social influence dynamics may help improve concussion-related education efforts.

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Jason P. Brandenburg and Luisa V. Giles

Blueberries are abundant with anthocyanins possessing antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. As these properties combat fatigue and promote recovery, blueberry supplementation may enhance performance and recovery. Thus, the objectives were to examine the effects of two blueberry supplementation protocols on running performance, physiological responses, and short-term recovery. Using a randomized, double-blind, placebo (PLA)-controlled crossover design, 14 runners completed an 8-km time trial (TT) after supplementation with 4 days of blueberries (4DAY), 4 days of a PLA, or 2 days of placebo followed by 2 days of blueberries (2DAY). Heart rate and ratings of perceived exertion were monitored during the TT. Blood lactate, vertical jump, reactive strength index, and salivary markers were assessed before and after. No significant differences were observed for time to complete the TT (PLA: 3,010 ± 459 s; 2DAY: 3,014 ± 488 s; 4DAY: 3,011 ± 423 s), heart rate, ratings of perceived exertion, or any of the salivary markers. An interaction effect (p = .027) was observed for blood lactate, with lower post-TT concentrations in 4DAY (5.4 ± 2.0 mmol/L) than PLA (6.6 ± 2.5 mmol/L; p = .038) and 2DAY (7.4 ± 3.4 mmol/L; p = .034). Post-TT decreases in vertical jump height were not different, whereas the decline in reactive strength index was less following 4DAY (−6.1% ± 13.5%) than the other conditions (PLA: −12.6% ± 10.1%; 2DAY: −11.6% ± 11.5%; p = .038). Two days of supplementation did not influence performance or physiological stress. Although 4 days of supplementation did not alter performance, it blunted the increase in blood lactate, perhaps reflecting altered lactate production and/or clearance, and offset the decrease in dynamic muscle function post-TT, as indicated by the reactive strength index differences.