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Brendan L. Pinto, Daniel Viggiani, and Jack P. Callaghan

The lumbar extensor spinae (LES) has an oblique orientation with respect to the compressive axis of the lumbar spine, allowing it to counteract anterior shear forces. This mechanical advantage is lost as spine flexion angle increases. The LES orientation can also alter over time as obliquity decreases with age and is associated with decreased strength and low back pain. However, it is unknown if LES orientation is impacted by recent exposures causing adaptations over shorter timescales. Hence, the effects of a 10-minute sustained spine flexion exposure on LES orientation, thickness, and activity were investigated. Three different submaximally flexed spine postures were observed before and after the exposure. At baseline, orientation (P < .001) and thickness (P = .004) decreased with increasingly flexed postures. After the exposure, obliquity further decreased at low (pairwise comparison P < .001) and moderately (pairwise comparison P = .008) flexed postures. Low back creep occurred, but LES thickness did not change, indicating that decreases in orientation were not solely due to changes in muscle length at a given posture. Activation did not change to counteract decreases in obliquity. These changes encompass a reduced ability to offset anterior shear forces, thus increasing the potential risk of anterior shear-related injury or pain after low back creep-generating exposures.

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Mike Rayner and Tom Webb

In December 2019, a novel coronavirus (COVID-19) was detected in three patients from the city of Wuhan, China. By January 2020, COVID-19 was declared a widespread pandemic creating a global health crisis, resulting in millions of people contracting the virus and thousands losing their lives. Alongside the wide-reaching health crisis, the impact of COVID-19 had significant economic and societal effects leaving a historical legacy, which will affect countries throughout the world for a considerable period of time. As COVID-19 spread around the globe, the way people socialize, work, and study essentially changed forever. Therefore, this essay provides an insight into the rapid process that universities across the globe undertook to transition their teaching operations online. Projects and pedagogic reviews that traditionally would have taken months or years to devise were compressed into days, as the pandemic necessitated that traditional concerns about online teaching were cast aside. Consequently, this essay discusses these new educational platforms in sport management education and their future role in developing professionals who will be at the forefront of an unprecedented industry growth in the years and decades after COVID-19.

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Jack P. Callaghan

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Ali Brian, Angela Starrett, Adam Pennell, Pamela Haibach-Beach, Emily Gilbert, Alexandra Stribing, Sally Taunton Miedema, and Lauren Lieberman

Youth with visual impairments are more likely to be overweight than peers without visual impairments and often struggle with their locomotor skills. Locomotor development can combat unhealthy body weight statuses by supporting physical activity behaviors. There are no longitudinal investigations concerning the locomotor skill and body mass index (BMI) developmental trajectories of youth with visual impairments. The purpose of this study was to examine the 3-year developmental trajectory of the locomotor skills and BMI of youth with visual impairments including differential effects of self-reported gender and degree of vision. Participants (N = 34, M age = 11.75 years, 47% female) showed severely delayed and arrested locomotor development with increases in BMI across 3 years regardless of self-reported gender or degree of vision. Participants failed to breech a proficiency barrier of motor competence to combat against increases in BMI across time. Additional longitudinal inquiries are needed.

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Jay Scherer

In 1976, amidst a period of détente in the Cold War, the Government of Canada officially hosted an inaugural open-play invitational ice hockey tournament. A detailed narration of these events, pieced together from archival sources, allows scholars to understand the negotiations to prepare the political terrain for the event, including efforts to secure the official endorsement of the International Ice Hockey Federation for a tournament sponsored by the Government of Canada in exchange for Canada’s return to international competition in 1977; the participation of various countries and their respective hockey governing bodies, especially the Soviet Union, in an international tournament featuring professional players; and an agreement with the North American professional hockey cartels, especially the National Hockey League, to allow star players to participate in the event. The success of the 1976 Canada Cup accelerated the commodification and commercialization of hockey both in North America and globally—a process that was increasingly driven by the interests and aspirations of the National Hockey League. At the center of this history is one increasingly powerful—and avaricious—character: Alan Eagleson.

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Lance P. Kaltenbaugh and Jennifer Parsons

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Liam McCarthy, Ashley Allanson, and John Stoszkowski

As sports coaching continues to professionalize, the demand for and importance placed upon high-quality education and development programs for sports coaches is increasing. As a result, the landscape of provision is changing, and there is now a recognition of the key role that higher education institutes play in the education, development, and assessment of sports coaches. In this insights article, the authors argue that as there is a scarcity of research focused solely on assessment as a feature of coach education programs, there is something to be gained from examining how higher education institutes assess sports coaches. This represents an important contribution to the research literature, given that assessment is a feature of nearly all coach education programs and that the attainment of a specific award communicates to stakeholders (e.g., employers, athletes, parents) that a precise standard of practice has been met. As such, the authors identify how some higher education institutes are addressing the issue of assessment with sports coaches and highlight a series of assessment principles, alongside practical examples from the literature, which are intended to stimulate conversation in what the authors argue is an important area of study.

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Ryota Ashizawa, Kazuma Yamashita, Koki Take, Kengo Okawara, Eri Mochizuki, Asuka Sakamoto, and Yoshinobu Yoshimoto

The purpose of this single-masked randomized clinical trial was to examine whether nonleisure-time physical activity guidance (NLTPAG) improves physical activity levels in patients after minor ischemic stroke. Patients who had been hospitalized for minor ischemic stroke in an acute care hospital (National Health Institute Stroke Scale ≤ 5) were randomized to either an NLTPAG group (n = 17) or a leisure-time physical activity guidance group (n = 16). NLTPAG focused on reducing sedentary behavior and increasing the frequency of walking for shopping and household activities to improve physical activity levels in daily life. Physical activity levels significantly improved only in participants in the NLTPAG group (initial assessment: metabolic equivalents of task = 12.6; final assessment: metabolic equivalents of task = 14.8; p = .035, r = .51). These results suggest that NLTPAG may be effective for improving physical activity levels in patients after minor ischemic stroke.

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Joseph O.C. Coyne, Aaron J. Coutts, Robert U. Newton, and G. Gregory Haff

Purpose: To investigate the relationships between internal and external training load (TL) metrics with elite international women’s basketball performance. Methods: Sessional ratings of perceived exertion, PlayerLoad/minute, and training duration were collected from 13 elite international-level female basketball athletes (age 29.0 [3.7] y, stature 186.0 [9.8] cm, body mass 77.9 [11.6] kg) during the 18 weeks prior to the International Basketball Federation Olympic qualifying event for the 2016 Rio Olympic Games. Training stress balance, differential load, and the training efficiency index were calculated with 3 different smoothing methods. These TL metrics and their change in the last 21 days prior to competition were examined for their relationship to competition performance as coach ratings of performance. Results: For a number of TL variables, there were consistent significant small to moderate correlations with performance and significant small to large differences between successful and unsuccessful performances. However, these differences were only evident for external TL when using exponentially weighted moving averages to calculate TL. The variable that seemed most sensitive to performance was the change in training efficiency index in the last 21 days prior to competition (performance r = .47–.56, P < .001 and difference between successful and unsuccessful performance P < .001, f2 = 0.305–0.431). Conclusions: Internal and external TL variables were correlated with performance and distinguished between successful and unsuccessful performances among the same players during international women’s basketball games. Manipulating TL in the last 3 weeks prior to competition may be worthwhile for basketball players’ performance, especially in internal TL.

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Anis Aloulou, Francois Duforez, Damien Léger, Quentin De Larochelambert, and Mathieu Nedelec

Purpose: To evaluate the effects of sporting activities, training loads, and athletes’ characteristics on sleep among high-level adolescent athletes, in a controlled training and academic environment. Methods: A total of 128 high-level adolescent athletes (age = 15.2 [2.0] y), across 9 different sports, completed common sleep questionnaires and were monitored daily (7.3 [2.7] d) during a typical in-season training period. Sleep was analyzed using actigraphy and sleep diaries, whereas training load was evaluated using the session rating of perceived exertion, and muscle soreness and general fatigue were reported with the aid of visual analog scales. Separate linear mixed-effects models were fitted, including the athlete as a random effect and the following variables as fixed effects: the sport practiced (categorical predictor), daily training load, age, and sex. Different models were used to compare sleep variables among sports and to assess the influence of training load, age, and sex. Results: The mean total sleep time was 7.1 (0.7) hours. Swimmers presented increased sleep fragmentation, training loads, perceived muscle soreness, and general fatigue compared with athletes who engaged in other sports. Independent of any sport-specific effects, a higher daily training load induced an earlier bedtime and reduced total sleep time and perceived sleep quality, with higher sleep fragmentation. Moreover, female athletes experienced increased total sleep time and worse sleep quality in response to stress compared with those in males. Conclusion: In a controlled training and academic environment, high-level adolescent athletes did not achieve the recommended sleep duration. Impaired sleep quality and quantity could be partially explained by increased training loads.