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Thiago Oliveira Borges, Nicola Bullock, David Aitken, Gregory R. Cox and Aaron J. Coutts

Purpose: To compare the metabolic cost of paddling on different commercially available kayak ergometers using a standardized kayak incremental exercise protocol. Methods: Six male sprint kayak athletes undertook an incremental exercise protocol on 3 different kayak ergometers utilizing a randomized counterbalanced pair-matched design. Results: Mean maximal aerobic power on the WEBA ergometer (265 [14] W) was significantly higher than on the Dansprint (238 [9] W) and KayakPro® (247 [21] W, P < .01, effect size [ES] = 0.80). At the fifth stage, absolute oxygen consumption on the WEBA (3.82 [0.25] L·min−1) was significantly lower (P < 0.05, ES = 0.20) than KayakPro and Dansprint (4.10 [0.28] and 4.08 [0.27] L·min−1, respectively). Blood lactate concentration response at the sixth stage was significantly lower for the WEBA (3.5 [0.8] mmol·L−1), compared with KayakPro and Dansprint (5.4 [1.2] and 5.6 [1.5] mmol·L−1, P = .012, ES = 0.20). Stroke rate was significantly higher, without any effect of pacing during the submaximal stages for the Dansprint, compared with the WEBA (P < .001, ES = 0.28) and KayakPro (P < .001, ES = 0.38). A pacing effect was present at the maximal stage for all ergometers. Conclusions: This study demonstrated that paddling on different kayak ergometers when controlling power output elicits different metabolic and work outputs. It is recommended that scientists and coaches avoid testing on different ergometers and regularly calibrate these devices. Moreover, when an ergometer has been calibrated against a first principle device, it is necessary to consider calibration of various drag settings, due to their impact on stroke rate. Further research should explore the relationship between drag settings and stroke rate.

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Jordan L. Fox, Cody J. O’Grady and Aaron T. Scanlan

Purpose: To investigate the relationships between external and internal workloads using a comprehensive selection of variables during basketball training and games. Methods: Eight semiprofessional, male basketball players were monitored during training and games for an entire season. External workload was determined as PlayerLoad: total and high-intensity accelerations, decelerations, changes of direction, and jumps and total low-intensity, medium-intensity, high-intensity, and overall inertial movement analysis events. Internal workload was determined using the summated-heart-rate zones and session rating of perceived exertion models. The relationships between external and internal workload variables were separately calculated for training and games using repeated-measures correlations with 95% confidence intervals. Results: PlayerLoad was more strongly related to summated-heart-rate zones (r = .88 ± .03, very large [training]; r = .69 ± .09, large [games]) and session rating of perceived exertion (r = .74 ± .06, very large [training]; r = .53 ± .12, large [games]) than other external workload variables (P < .05). Correlations between total and high-intensity accelerations, decelerations, changes of direction, and jumps and total low-intensity, medium-intensity, high-intensity, and overall inertial movement analysis events and internal workloads were stronger during training (r = .44–.88) than during games (r = .15–.69). Conclusions: PlayerLoad and summated-heart-rate zones possess the strongest dose–response relationship among a comprehensive selection of external and internal workload variables in basketball, particularly during training sessions compared with games. Basketball practitioners may therefore be able to best anticipate player responses when prescribing training drills using these variables for optimal workload management across the season.

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Nick Dobbin, Cari Thorpe, Jamie Highton and Craig Twist

Purpose: To examine the within- and between-sexes physical performance, well-being, and neuromuscular function responses across a 4-day international touch rugby (Touch) tournament. Methods: Twenty-one males and 20 females completed measures of well-being (fatigue, soreness, sleep, mood, and stress) and neuromuscular function (countermovement jump height, peak power output, and peak force) during a 4-day tournament with internal, external, and perceptual loads recorded for all matches. Results: Relative and absolute total, low-intensity (females), and high-intensity distance were lower on day 3 (males and females) (effect size [ES] = −0.37 to −0.71) compared with day 1. Mean heart rate was possibly to most likely lower during the tournament (except day 2 males; ES = −0.36 to −0.74), whereas rating of perceived exertion-training load was consistently higher in females (ES = 0.02 to 0.83). The change in mean fatigue, soreness, and overall well-being was unclear to most likely lower (ES = −0.33 to −1.90) across the tournament for both sexes, with greater perceived fatigue and soreness in females on days 3 to 4 (ES = 0.39 to 0.78). Jump height and peak power output were possibly to most likely lower across days 2 to 4 (ES = −0.30 to −0.84), with greater reductions in females (ES = 0.21 to 0.66). Well-being, countermovement jump height, and peak force were associated with changes in external, internal, and perceptual measures of load across the tournament (η 2 = −.37 to .39). Conclusions: Elite Touch players experience reductions in well-being, neuromuscular function, and running performance across a 4-day tournament, with notable differences in fatigue and running between males and females, suggesting that sex-specific monitoring and intervention strategies are necessary.

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Aviv Emanuel, Isaac Isur Rozen Smukas and Israel Halperin

Background: Despite the progress made in the study of subjective measures in resistance training, some questions remain unanswered. Here the authors investigated if ratings of perceived exertion (RPE) can predict task failure and bar velocity across exercises and loads as a primary outcome and whether a battery of subjective measures differ as a function of the lifted loads as a secondary outcome. Methods: In this preregistered study, 20 resistance-trained subjects (50% female) first completed a 1-repetition-maximum test of the barbell squat and bench press. In the second and third sessions, they completed 2 sets of squats followed by 2 sets of bench press to task failure, using 70% or 83% of 1-repetition maximum, while bar velocity was recorded. RPE scores were recorded after every repetition. In addition to RPE, rating of fatigue, affective valence, enjoyment, and load preferences were collected after set and session completion. Results: Across conditions, RPE was strongly correlated with reaching task failure (r = .86) and moderately correlated with bar velocity (r = −.58). The model indicates that an increase in 1 RPE unit is associated with an 11% shift toward task failure and a 4% reduction in bar velocity, with steeper slopes observed in the heavier condition. Negligible differences were observed between the load conditions in rating of fatigue, affective valence, enjoyment, and load preference. Conclusion: RPE scores, collected on a repetition-by-repetition basis, accurately reflected reaching task failure across loads and conditions. Hence, RPE can be used to prescribe repetition numbers during ongoing sets. The negligible differences between load conditions in rating of fatigue, affective valence, enjoyment, and load preference indicate that when sets are taken to task failure, loads can be selected based on individual preferences.

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Martin Buchheit

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Hairui Liu, Wei Wang, Chunhe Zhang and Peter A. Hastie

Purpose: The purpose of this study was to examine the effects of Play Practice (PP) instruction on badminton performance in college students. Method: A total of 66 students from the United States and China participated in units following either the principles of PP or skill-focused instruction. A nonequivalent control/comparison group experimental design with premeasure and postmeasure was used in this study. Separate analyses of variance with repeated measures (Time × Group) were conducted to examine the effects of PP and skill-focused instruction for each of the four dependent variables: (a) forehand clear, (b) wall volley, (c) game performance, and (d) tactical understanding. Results: Both PP and skill-focused instruction conditions were effective in improving participants’ skills from pretest to posttest. However, PP was also effective in improving participants’ game performance. Conclusion: PP effectively developed both fundamental skills and tactical aspects of badminton without diminishing the transfer effect from practice to games.

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Risto Marttinen, Brianna Meza and Sara B. Flory

Purpose: The purpose of this study was to explore how a student-centered curriculum engaged participants in critical analysis of the “female ideal” and to identify perceived barriers to physical activity. Method: Participants were nine fifth and sixth grade Hispanic/Latina or mixed race girls, and two researchers at an urban elementary school in Southern California. Participants met one to two times per week in an after-school program. Data sources included researcher and participant journals, field notes, and semistructured interviews. Trustworthiness and credibility were established through prolonged engagement, member checks, and peer reviewer. Results: Two themes permeated the data. The first theme involved boys acting as a barrier to physical activity. The second theme involved alignment with the ideal female body. Discussion: This study highlights how boys still act as barriers to girls’ physical activity in many school settings, but also identifies how role models for girls have increased girls’ ability to critically examine media messages.

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Collin C. Brooks and Jaimie M. McMullen

Purpose: This study explored one physical education teacher’s engagement in an online professional learning community and her perceptions of its impact on her own feelings of isolation. Sense of community theory was used as a lens to explore the data. Method: Using a single instrumental case study design, the participant of this study was a female physical education teacher. The data were collected through semistructured interviews, public tweets (Twitter), and informal participant communication (Voxer). The data were analyzed using categorical aggregation, and codes with similar meanings were combined to develop themes. Results: Three themes were evident across data sources that represented her perceptions of participation in an online professional learning community: (a) taking initiative, (b) different support systems, and (c) stages of social media participation. Conclusion: Social media can provide a sense of community for physical education teachers, allowing them to feel less isolated.

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Hans Vangrunderbeek and Hans Ponnet

From an international perspective, it is indispensable to shed light on the education and certification of sports coaches within different countries in order to exchange good practices and facilitate international collaboration. This article highlights the past, present and future of coach education in Flanders, Belgium. A historical overview of the main initiatives of public, private and academic partners and their shifting relationships with regard to coach education provides insight into the establishment of the current Flemish School for Coach Education, a unique cooperative association between the public government, private sports federations and academic institutes for physical education. Key elements of the Flemish coach education system are presented: mission, organisation and partnerships, framework, competence model, learning pathways/culture and quality assurance. Important future steps involve the transition from a linear framework to a context-specific and nonlinear alternative, based on long-term athlete and coach development models, rethinking coach competences for all programs and implementing a blended learner-based approach with more focus on unmediated, nonformal mediated and internal learning situations.