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Mark R. Noon, Emma L.J. Eyre, Matthew Ellis, Tony D. Myers, Rhys O. Morris, Peter D. Mundy, Ryan Penny and Neil D. Clarke

Purpose: To investigate the influence of recruitment age on retention and release across the development pathway and to explore the influence of anthropometric and physical characteristics on retention and release at different ages throughout the development pathway and the likelihood of obtaining a professional contract. Methods: Following receipt of ethics approval, a cross-sectional study tracking 4 cohorts of players over 5 years assessed 76 male youth football players (11–16 y) from an English football academy on 3 occasions annually in anthropometry, countermovement jump height, and linear (30 and 15 m) and multidirectional sprint time. Players were categorized based on their start and release date. Results: Starting early (ie, before U12) in an academy was a key indicator of obtaining a professional contract, representing 87% of the players signed. Bayesian regression models suggest that the majority of differences in physical characteristics between players that were released and retained are trivial, small, and/or uncertain. Players who attained a professional contract at 18 had slower 15- and 30-m sprint times at U13 to U15 (P > 0 = .87–.99), slower multidirectional sprint times at U14 (P > 0 = .99), and lower countermovement jump height at U13 to U16 (P > 0 = .88–.99) compared with players who did not gain a contract. Conclusion: Players recruited early have an increased likelihood of gaining a professional contract. Physical assessments lack utility when used in isolation as a talent-identification tool.

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Marni J. Simpson, David G. Jenkins and Vincent G. Kelly

Purpose: To examine potential differences in internal and external workload variables between playing positions and between training drills and games within an elite netball team during training and competition. Methods: Nine elite female netballers were monitored during 15 games and all training sessions over 28 weeks. Workload variables assessed were relative PlayerLoad (PL per minute), accelerations, decelerations, jumps, changes of direction, high-intensity events, medium-intensity events, low-intensity events, PL in a forward direction, PL in a sideways direction, PL in a vertical direction, and summated heart-rate zones using heart-rate monitors and inertial measurement units. Results: Conditioning and match play during training were the only drills that matched or exceeded game workloads. Workloads during small-sided games were lower than game workloads for all variables. In games, goalkeeper, goal attack, and goal shooter had a greater frequency of jumps compared with other positions. Midcourt positions had a greater frequency of low-intensity events in a game. Conclusions: Workloads during small-sided games were lower than game workloads across all external and internal variables; therefore, netball staff should modify these small-sided games if they wish them to develop game-based qualities. Specific game workload variables indicate that there are differences within some positional groups; coaches need to be aware that positional groupings may fail to account for differences in workload between individual playing positions.

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Ric Lovell, Sam Halley, Jason Siegler, Tony Wignell, Aaron J. Coutts and Tim Massard

Purpose: To examine the concurrent and construct validity of numerically blinded ratings of perceived exertion (RPEs). Methods: A total of 30 elite male youth soccer players (age 16.7 [0.5] y) were monitored during training and matches over a 17-wk in-season period. The players’ external loads were determined via raw 10-Hz global positioning system. Heart rate (HR) was collected continuously and expressed as Bannister and Edwards training impulses, and minutes >80% of the players predetermined the maximum HR by the Yo-Yo Intermittent Recovery Test Level 1. RPE was collected confidentially 10 to 15 min after training/matches using 2 methods: (1) a traditional verbal response to the 0 to 100 category-ratio “centiMax” scale (RPE) and (2) numerically blinded RPE centiMax scale (RPEblind) with the response selected manually via a 5 × 7-in tablet “slider.” The RPE and RPEblind were divided by 10 and multiplied by the duration to derive the sessional RPE. Linear mixed models compared ratings, and within-subject repeated-measures correlations assessed the sessional RPE versus HR and external load associations. Results: There were no differences between the RPE and RPEblind (0.19; 95% confidence intervals, −0.59 to 0.20 au, P = .326) or their session values (13.5; 95% confidence intervals, −17.0 to 44.0 au, P = .386), and the ratings were nearly perfectly correlated (r = .96). The associations between the sessional RPE versus HR and external load metrics were large to very large (r = .65–.81), with no differences between the RPE methods (P ≥ .50). The RPEblind also reduced verbal anchor clustering and integer bias by 11% and 50%, respectively. Conclusions: RPEblind demonstrated concurrent and construct validity versus the traditional method, and may be used in situations where practitioners have concerns regarding the authenticity of athlete ratings.

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

Purpose: To compare the concurrent validity of session-rating of perceived exertion (sRPE) workload determined face-to-face and via an online application in basketball players. Methods: Sixteen semiprofessional, male basketball players (21.8 [4.3] y, 191.2 [9.2] cm, 85.0 [15.7] kg) were monitored during all training sessions across the 2018 (8 players) and 2019 (11 players) seasons in a state-level Australian league. Workload was reported as accumulated PlayerLoad (PL), summated-heart-rate-zones (SHRZ) workload, and sRPE. During the 2018 season, rating of perceived exertion (RPE) was determined following each session via individualized face-to-face reporting. During the 2019 season, RPE was obtained following each session via a phone-based, online application. Repeated-measures correlations with 95% confidence intervals were used to determine the relationships between sRPE collected using each method and other workload measures (PL and SHRZ) as indicators of concurrent validity. Results: Although all correlations were significant (P < .05), sRPE obtained using face-to-face reporting demonstrated stronger relationships with PL (r = .69 [.07], large) and SHRZ (r = .74 [.06], very large) compared with the online application (r = .29 [.25], small [PL] and r = .34 [.22], moderate [SHRZ]). Conclusions: Concurrent validity of sRPE workload was stronger when players reported RPE in an individualized, face-to-face manner compared with using a phone-based online application. Given the weaker relationships with other workload measures, basketball practitioners should be cautious when using player training workloads predicated on RPE obtained via online applications.

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Byungmo Ku, Megan MacDonald, Bridget Hatfield and Kathy Gunter

The purpose of this study was to test a modified conceptual model of the associations between parental supports and physical activity (PA) orientations and the PA behaviors of young children with developmental disabilities (DDs). In total, 135 parents of young children with DDs completed a questionnaire, which consisted of 67 questions. A pathway analysis indicated that tangible and intangible parental supports were significantly associated with PA behaviors in young children with DDs (β = 0.26, p = .01, and β = 0.24, p = .02, respectively). Tangible parental support was positively associated with parents’ PA behaviors and PA enjoyment (β = 0.22, p < .001, and β = 0.13, p = .04, respectively). Intangible parental support was positively associated with parents’ PA behaviors and PA importance (β = 0.19, p = .05, and β = 0.33, p < .001, respectively). In addition, parental PA behaviors and parents’ perceptions of their children’s motor performance were both directly associated with PA behaviors in young children with DDs. These results highlight the importance of parental support and PA orientations in relation to the PA behaviors of young children with DDs.

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Fabio Bertapelli, Ken Pitetti, Ruth A. Miller, Adam Jaeger, Michael Loovis, Wilson D. do Amaral-Junior, Marcos M. de Barros-Filho and Gil Guerra-Junior

Youth with intellectual disabilities (IDs) demonstrate below-criteria motor competence (MC) compared with typically developing (TD) youth. Whether differences in MC exist for youth with ID from different countries is unknown. This study examined the MC of youth with ID from Brazil (BR) and the United States (US) and compared it with norms for TD youth as established by the Bruininks–Oseretsky Test of Motor Proficiency (BOT-2). The authors measured 19 BOT-2 test items for bilateral coordination, balance, and upper limb coordination of 502 youth (BR = 252, US = 250) with ID (6–21 years). Raw scores were converted to %ceiling (percentile of highest expected scores). For all test items, no significant differences were seen between BR and US participants in %ceiling scores. Participants from both countries demonstrated equivalent to slightly below BOT-2 norms in 14 of the 19 test items, with lowest scores seen in contralateral synchronizing bilateral coordination, balancing on one leg, and ball handling.

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Justin A. Haegele, Chunxiao Li and Wesley J. Wilson

The purpose of this study was to examine the relationship between interpersonal/intrapersonal mindfulness, contact anxiety, and attitudes toward students with visual impairments among certified adapted physical educators. Participants included 115 certified adapted physical educators who completed a 31-item online survey, composed of a 10-item demographic questionnaire, a 14-item mindfulness in teaching scale, a four-item intergroup anxiety scale, and a three-item attitude scale. Hierarchical multiple regression analyses revealed that intrapersonal mindfulness was a negative predictor of contact anxiety (β = −0.26, p = .007) and contact anxiety negatively predicted attitudes (β = −0.22, p = .02). A mediation analysis revealed that intrapersonal mindfulness had an indirect effect on attitudes through contact anxiety, b = 0.09, SE = 0.05, 95% confidence interval [0.006, 0.22]. Collectively, both intrapersonal and interpersonal mindfulness appear to be responsible for the formation of attitudes, but with different underlying processes involved.

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Irineu Loturco, Michael R. McGuigan, Valter P. Reis, Sileno Santos, Javier Yanci, Lucas A. Pereira and Ciro Winckler

This study aimed to investigate the association between the optimum power load in the bench press (BP), shoulder press (SP), and prone bench pull (PBP) exercises and acceleration (ACC) and speed performances in 11 National Team wheelchair basketball (WB) players with similar levels of disability. All athletes were previously familiarized with the testing procedures that were performed on the same day during the competitive period of the season. First, athletes performed a wheelchair 20-m sprint assessment and, subsequently, a maximum power load test to determine the mean propulsive power (MPP) in the BP, SP, and PBP. A Pearson product–moment correlation was used to examine the relationships between sprint velocity (VEL), ACC, and the MPP in the three exercises. The significance level was set as p < .05. Large to very large significant associations were observed between VEL and ACC and the MPP in the BP, SP, and PBP exercises (r varying from .60 to .77; p < .05). The results reveal that WB players who produce more power in these three exercises are also able to accelerate faster and achieve higher speeds over short distances. Given the key importance of high and successive ACCs during wheelchair game-related maneuvers, it is recommended that coaches frequently assess the optimum power load in BP, SP, and PBP in WB players, even during their regular training sessions.

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Athanasios Kabasakalis, Stefanos Nikolaidis, George Tsalis and Vassilis Mougios

Purpose: To evaluate and compare the effects of 2 sprint interval training (SIT) sets of different distances on biochemical markers indicative of metabolism, stress, and antioxidant capacity in competitive swimmers and, to investigate the potential influence of gender on these markers. Methods: Twenty-four adolescent, well-trained swimmers (12 men and 12 women) participated in the study. In a random and counterbalanced order, the swimmers completed 2 SIT sets (8 × 50 m and 8 × 25 m) in freestyle with maximal intensity on different days. Work-to-rest ratio was 1:1 in both sets. Blood samples were drawn preexercise, immediately postexercise, and 1 hour postexercise to evaluate the effects of the SIT sets on a number of biochemical parameters. Results: Swimming speed was higher at 8 × 25 m. The 2 SIT sets induced significant increases in lactate, glucose, insulin, glucagon, cortisol, and uric acid (P ≤ .001). No differences in these parameters were found between sets, except for irisin (higher in 8 × 50 m; P = .02). Male swimmers were faster and had higher lactate and uric acid concentrations, as well as lower reduced glutathione concentration, than female swimmers (P < .01). Conclusions: The 2 swimming SIT sets induced increases in most of the biochemical markers studied. The 2-fold difference between sets in distance did not differentiate the effects of sprint interval exercise on most biochemical parameters. Thus, low-volume SIT sets seem to be effective stimuli for competitive swimmers.