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Luke Hogarth, Mark McKean, Max McKenzie, and Tyler Collings

Purpose: This study established the relationship between isometric midthigh pull (IMTP) peak force and court-based jumping, sprinting, and change of direction (COD) performance in professional netball players. The change in IMTP peak force in response to sport-specific training was also examined. Methods: IMTP peak force and court-based jumping, sprinting, and COD were collected in 18 female athletes contracted to a Suncorp Super Netball team. Linear regression models established the relationship between absolute and normalized strength values and court-based performance measures in the participant cohort. Changes in IMTP peak force and court-based performance measures were examined following 2 consecutive preseason training blocks in a subset of participants. Results: The IMTP peak force values normalized to body mass were found to be determinants of court-based jumping, sprinting, and COD performance in the participant cohort (R 2 = .34–.65, P ≤ .016). The participants showed increases in absolute (mean ± SE = 398 ± 68.5 N, P < .001, Hedge g = 0.70 [−0.05 to 1.35]) and normalized IMTP peak force (mean ± SE = 4.6 ± 0.78 N·kg−1, P < .001, Hedge g = 0.47 [−0.04 to 0.97]) over 2 consecutive training blocks that coincided with improvements in jumping, sprinting, and COD performances. Conclusion: IMTP peak force is a determinant of court-based jumping, sprinting, and COD performance and is sensitive to training in professional netball players. These results support the utility of the IMTP test to monitor the development and maintenance of maximal lower body muscular strength in these athletes.

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Sarah Labudek, Lena Fleig, Carl-Philipp Jansen, Franziska Kramer-Gmeiner, Corinna Nerz, Clemens Becker, Jochen Klenk, and Michael Schwenk

This study examined the applicability of the health action process approach (HAPA) to walking duration in older adults and the added value of extending the HAPA by intrinsic motivation. Self-reports from older adults (N = 309; M age = 78.7, 70–95 years) regarding activity-related intrinsic motivation and HAPA variables were collected at the baseline of a fall prevention intervention study. Walking duration at ≥3 metabolic equivalents of task was measured for 7 days via body-worn accelerometers. Two structural equation models with walking duration as a manifest outcome were specified. In both models, the model fit was acceptable, but intention and planning were not associated with walking duration. Intrinsic motivation was significantly related to most HAPA variables and walking duration. Variance explained for walking duration was R 2 = .14 in the HAPA and R 2 = .17 in the extended model. For explaining older adults’ walking duration, intrinsic motivation, but not HAPA-based intention and planning, seemed to be important.

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Nathan Morelli, Nicholas R. Heebner, Courtney J. DeFeo, and Matthew C. Hoch

Objective: To determine the influence of a cognitive dual task on postural sway and balance errors during the Concussion Balance Test (COBALT). Methods: Twenty healthy adults (12 females, eight males; aged 21.95 ± 3.77 years; height = 169.95 ± 9.95 cm; weight = 69.58 ± 15.03 kg) partook in this study and completed single- and dual-task versions of a reduced COBALT. Results: Sway velocity decreased during dual-task head rotations on foam condition (p = .021, ES = −0.57). A greater number of movement errors occurred during dual-task head rotations on firm surface (p = .005, ES = 0.71), visual field flow on firm surface (p = .008, ES = 0.68), and head rotations on foam surface (p < .001, ES = 1.61) compared with single-task conditions. Cognitive performance was preserved throughout different sensory conditions of the COBALT (p = .985). Discussion: Cognitive dual tasks influenced postural control and destabilized movements during conditions requiring advanced sensory integration and reweighting demands. Dual-task versions of the COBALT should be explored as a clinical tool to identify residual deficits past the acute stages of concussion recovery.

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Jonathan R. Males, John H. Kerr, and Joanne Hudson

This case study examines the personal experiences of an elite athlete, coach, and sport psychology consultant (SPC) during the athlete’s preparation and performance in a recent Olympic Games. The qualitative research details how the consultancy process was affected by the athlete’s late admission of the deteriorating relationship with his coach. The concepts of closeness, commitment, complementarity, and co-orientation provided a theoretical perspective to the SPC’s interpretation of athlete performance and the interpersonal conflict that developed between athlete and coach. The basic performance demand model provided an applied perspective. The SPC’s commentary adopts a reflexive discursive style that also focuses on the SPC’s role in the consultancy process and the effectiveness of the performance demand model materials. Five important recommendations arise from the case study, and these might inform other SPCs’ future athlete–coach consultancies and interventions.

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Teun van Erp, Marcel Kittel, and Robert P. Lamberts

Purpose: To describe the intensity, load, and performance characteristics of a world-class sprinter competing in the Tour de France (TdF). Method: Power output (PO) data were collected from 4 editions of the TdF (2013, 2014, 2016, and 2017) and analyzed. Load, intensity distribution in 5 PO zones, and the maximal mean PO for multiple durations were quantified. Stages were divided in accordance with the 4 different editions of the TdF, as well as the 4 different stage types, that is, flat (FLAT), semimountainous (SMT), mountain (MT), and (team) time trials. In addition, based on their location within the stage, mountain passes were further classified as BEGINNING, MIDDLE, or END of the stage. Results: No differences in load, intensity, and performance characteristics were found when the 4 editions of the TdF were compared. Time trials were associated with higher intensities but a lower load compared to the other stage types. MT showed higher load and intensity values compared to FLAT and SMT stages. FLAT stages were higher in short maximal mean PO (≤1 min), whereas MT stages showed higher longer endurance maximal mean PO values (≥20 min). In addition, mountain passes situated at the BEGINNING of the stage were completed with a higher PO, cadence, and speed compared with mountain passes situated at the END. Conclusions: A world-class sprinter sustains a higher load and spends more time in the high-intensity zones when competing in the TdF than previously reported values suggested. To finish the MT stages as efficiently as possible, sprinters adopt a reverse pacing strategy.

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Zong-Yan Cai, Wen-Yi Wang, Yi-Ming Huang, and Chih-Min Wu

Purpose: The authors investigated the effect of foot cooling (FC) between sets in a leg press pyramid workout with resistance-trained participants. Methods: A total of 12 resistance-trained men (age = 21.8 [0.6] y; training experience = 1.7 [1] y) performed a pyramid workout, including 4 sets of 85% to 90% 1-repetition maximum leg press exercise to exhaustion with interset FC or noncooling in a repeated-measures crossover design separated by 5 days. The authors immersed the participants’ feet in 10°C water for 2.5 minutes between sets. Results: Two-way repeated-measures analysis of variance revealed that FC elicited significantly higher repetitions and electromyography (EMG) values of the vastus lateralis (simple main effect of condition) than did noncooling (P < .05) in the second (repetitions: 11 [3.5] vs 7.75 [3.2]; EMG: 63.4% [19.4%] vs 54.5% [18.4%]), third (repetitions: 8.9 [3.2] vs 6.4 [2.1]; EMG: 71.5% [17.4%] vs 60.6% [19.4%]), and fourth (repetitions: 7.5 [2.7] vs 5.1 [2.2]; EMG: 75.2% [19.6%] vs 59.3% [23.5%]) sets. The authors also detected a simple main effect of set in the FC and noncooling conditions on repetitions (P < .05) and in the FC condition on the vastus lateralis EMG values. Although the authors observed no time × trial interactions for the rating of perceived exertion, the authors observed main effects on the sets (7.7–9.6 vs 7.9–9.3, P < .05). Conclusions: Interset FC provides an ergogenic effect on a leg press pyramid workout and may offset fatigue, as indicated by higher repetitions and EMG response, without increasing perceived exertion.

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Michael Burkhardt, Erin Burkholder, and John Goetschius

Context: Dynamic balance exercises are commonly utilized during ankle sprain and chronic ankle instability (CAI) rehabilitation. Blood flow restriction (BFR) has been used to enhance muscle activity during exercise and improve outcomes of traditional rehabilitation exercises in clinical populations. Objective: Examine the effects of BFR on lower-extremity muscle activation during dynamic balance exercises in individuals with CAI. Design: Crossover study design. Setting: Laboratory. Patients or Other Participants: Twenty-five (N = 25) young adults with a history of CAI. Interventions: Participants performed dynamic balance reaching exercises during 2 randomized order conditions, BFR, and control. For each condition, participants performed 2 trials of balance exercises. Each trial included 4 sets (30 × 15 × 15 × 15) of reaches in anterior, posteromedial, and posterolateral directions. For the BFR condition, the authors placed a cuff around the proximal thigh at 80% of arterial occlusion pressure. For the control condition, no cuff was worn. Main Outcome Measure(s): The authors recorded normalized electromyography muscle activation of the vastus lateralis, soleus, tibialis anterior, and fibularis longus during balance exercise trials and recorded participants’ ratings of perceived postural instability and exertion after each trial of balance exercises. Results: The authors observed greater vastus lateralis (P < .001, d = 0.86 [0.28 to 1.44]) and soleus (P = .03, d = 0.32 [−0.24 to 0.87]) muscle activation during balance exercises with BFR than control. The authors observed no differences in tibialis anterior (P = .33, d = 0.09 [−0.46 to 0.65]) or fibularis longus (P = .13, d = 0.06 [−0.50 to 0.61]) muscle activation between the conditions. The authors observed greater ratings of perceived postural instability (P = .004) and exertion (P < .001) during balance exercises with BFR than control. Conclusions: Individuals with CAI demonstrated large increases in vastus lateralis and small increases in soleus muscle activation during dynamic balance exercises with BFR. The BFR had no effect on fibularis longus and tibialis anterior muscle activation. Individuals with CAI perceived greater postural instability and exertion during dynamic balance exercises with BFR.

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Pablo Nájera-Ferrer, Carlos Pérez-Caballero, Juan José González-Badillo, and Fernando Pareja-Blanco

Purpose: This study aimed to analyze the response to 4 concurrent training interventions differing in the training sequence and in the velocity loss (VL) threshold during strength training (20% vs 40%) on following endurance and strength performance. Methods: A randomized crossover research design was used. Sixteen trained men performed 4 training interventions consisting of endurance training (ET) followed by resistance training (RT), with 20% and 40% VL, respectively (ET + RT20 and ET + RT40), and RT with 20% and 40% VL, respectively, followed by ET (RT20 + ET and RT40 + ET). The ET consisted of running for 10 minutes at 90% of maximal aerobic velocity. The RT consisted of 3 squat sets with 60% of 1-repetition maximum. A 5-minute rest was given between exercises. The oxygen uptake throughout the ET and repetition velocity during RT were recorded. The blood lactate concentration, vertical jump, and squat velocity were measured at preexercise and after the endurance and strength exercises. Results: The RT40 + ET protocol showed an impaired running time along with higher ventilatory equivalents compared with those protocols that performed the ET without previous fatigue. No significant differences were observed in the repetitions per set performed for a given VL threshold, regardless of the exercise sequence. The protocols consisting of 40%VL induced greater reductions in jump height and squat velocity, along with elevated blood lactate concentration. Conclusions: A high VL magnitude (40%VL) induced higher metabolic and mechanical stress, as well as greater residual fatigue, on the following ET performance.

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Tom Webb, Paul Gorczynski, Shakiba Oftadeh-Moghadam, and Laura Grubb

Research into the mental health of female sport match officials is scarce, despite verbal and physical abuse being commonplace. Twelve female match officials officiating male and female matches took part in semistructured interviews, investigating their experiences and understanding of their mental health. Deductive thematic analysis identified four overarching themes: male and female football environments; abuse, sexism, and homophobia in football; formal and informal support networks; and mental health knowledge and experience—accessing services. The results revealed toxic, abusive, male-dominated environments that included sexist and derogatory language, negatively affecting their mental health. The female match officials struggled to ascertain mechanisms for support and identified that the educational courses and local organizations did not provide mental health information or training, and match officials often experienced poor mental health during and after matches. Increased engagement with mental health literacy and policy change from governing bodies is required, given the unique challenges female match officials face.