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Fernando Santos, Daniel Gould, and Leisha Strachan

Research on positive youth development (PYD)-focused coach education programs have provided valuable insights on how to increase youth sport coaches’ ability to facilitate PYD. Variables such as key program stakeholders’ behaviors (e.g., parents) and course instructors’ behaviors, however, have not been studied. This paper offers suggestions for conceptualizing and organizing research on PYD-focused coach education programs and interventions that expand beyond coaches. Specifically, research on PYD-focused coach education programs should consider including sport leaders and parents in such interventions, and provide training for coach instructors to teach youth sport coaches how to facilitate PYD. Conducting this type of research will help researchers have greater real world impact and facilitate an understanding of the sustainability of PYD behaviors.

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Tarkington J. Newman, Fernando Santos, António Cardoso, and Paulo Pereira

Coaches’ role in positive youth development (PYD) has been extensively studied around the globe. Coach education has been considered crucial in helping foster PYD outcomes, such as emotional regulation, goal setting, and leadership. Thus, several researchers have attempted to provide a comprehensive understanding about how experiential learning could be utilized within PYD-focused coach education programs. The purpose of this article was to provide insight on the implications for research and practice associated with the integration of experiential learning opportunities within PYD-focused coach education. The authors shed light on how the existent literature on experiential learning may help bridge the gap between the delivery of PYD-focused coach education programs and actual coaching practices. Implications for research and practice are discussed in order to provide insight on how PYD-focused coach education programs could be configured to effectively train coaches and enhance their ability to promote PYD outcomes, such as life skill development, among youth athletes across a range of contexts.

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Fernando Santos, Leisha Strachan, Daniel Gould, Paulo Pereira, and Cláudia Machado

Team captains play an important role in promoting positive life-skills development (PLSD) in their teammates. However, little research has been conducted to understand how team captains perceive the value of PLSD in high-performance sport. Therefore, the purpose of the present study was to understand how team captains integrate PLSD in high-performance sport. The participants in this study were 10 team captains from high-performance sports with teammates ranging from 14 to 38 years old. Data collection was conducted through 2 semistructured interviews. Results indicated that participants considered themselves PLSD-focused leaders and acknowledged the need to develop specific PLSD strategies. Nevertheless, team captains recognized the need to obtain support from their coaches to implement PLSD. Moving forward, coaches could provide a support system for athlete leaders to further enhance their ability to promote PLSD in high-performance sport.

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Fernando Santos, Martin Camiré, Dany J. MacDonald, Henrique Campos, Manuel Conceição, and Ana Silva

Coach education courses can be designed to help youth sport coaches improve their ability to foster positive youth development (PYD). To date, few studies have investigated coaches’ perspectives on their participation in PYD-focused coach education courses, and even less have observed coaches in the act of coaching before, during, and after course delivery to assess the extent to which they are implementing course material. The purpose of the present study was to conduct a process and outcome evaluation of a PYD-focused coach education course that was delivered online. Participants were seven Portuguese youth sport coaches who coached athletes between 10 and 18 years of age. Data were collected through non-participant qualitative observations, field notes, semi-structured interviews, and reflective journals. Process evaluation findings indicated that the coaches felt the course was well structured and appropriately delivered, yet limited in its ability to effect change due to the absence of a practical component. Outcome evaluation findings showed how coaches made efforts to implement the course material in their coaching practice, but their implementation efforts were met with limited success. Overall, the findings suggest that although online coach education courses are of interest to coaches due to their flexibility, they could be supplemented by practical components to enhance coaches’ ability to implement course content.

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Patricia Gaion, Michel Milistetd, Fernando Santos, Andressa Contreira, Luciane Arantes, and Nayara Caruzzo

Coaching positive youth development (PYD) represents a challenge for many participation and high-performance coaches across the globe, including in Brazil. Coach education has been acknowledged as a formal learning context that may help prepare coaches to effectively foster PYD outcomes and provide high-quality developmental experiences for athletes across different sport contexts. Therefore, the purpose of this paper is to describe the key concepts and existing guidelines for coaching and coach education in Brazil, and provide context-specific recommendations for coach education to include PYD materials. Coaching in Brazil includes a long preparation period that includes diversified opportunities for coach learning. However, there are some discrepancies between the objectives and outcomes prioritized by governing bodies and sport organizations and how learning contexts are framed. In other words, although PYD is considered to be a necessary endeavor, it is not explicitly included in any coach education program. Moving forward, we provide several recommendations, through a bottom-up approach, in order to embed PYD within the Brazilian sport system.

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Fernando Santos, Nuno Corte-Real, Leonor Regueiras, Leisha Strachan, Cláudia Dias, and António Fonseca

Over the last decades positive development (PD) has served as a framework for several investigations within the sport science community. In fact, multiple researchers have analyzed youth coaches’ role in PD. However, there is recent interest in exploring high performance coaching due to the complexity of the coaching practice, the different developmental needs presented by players, and the relevance of PD within this particular environment. The purpose of this study was to understand the perspectives of Portuguese football coaches about the importance of PD in high performance coaching. The participants in the study were ten male Portuguese football coaches who trained athletes between the ages of 16 and 39 years of age. Findings showed that coaches viewed winning and on field performance as top priorities in their coaching philosophy, but recognized the importance of PD. Coaches also envisioned the determinant role youth coaches have in this domain. Coaches conceptualized PD as an overarching framework that could be used across the developmental spectrum to convey a range of PD outcomes in high performance contexts such as teamwork, respect for others and transfer to other life domains. Moving forward, coach education courses should help coaches develop strategies to foster PD.

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Fernando Santos, Martin Camiré, Dany J. MacDonald, Henrique Campos, Manuel Conceição, and Patricia Silva

Positive youth development (PYD) is a framework that has been widely used within sport research to outline sport’s potential as a developmental context. Past research has indicated how coaches play important roles in facilitating PYD through sport and yet, PYD-related material remains largely absent from mainstream coach education courses (CEC). The purpose of the current study was to examine youth sport coaches’ perspective on PYD and its worth in mainstream coach education courses. The participants were twelve Portuguese youth field hockey coaches (one female and eleven males) who coached athletes between four and eighteen years of age. Findings indicated that coaches valued PYD within their coaching philosophy, but were also highly motivated by performance and improving their players’ motor skills. The participants deemed that CEC generally lack PYD-related material, adding that practical strategies informed by the PYD approach should be inherently part of CEC delivery. The findings have practical implications for coach educators, indicating a need and a desire on the part of coaches to have PYD-related content in mainstream CEC.

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Telassin Silva Homem, Fernando Silva Guimarães, Maurício Santos Soares, Leandro Kasuki, Mônica Roberto Gadelha, and Agnaldo José Lopes

Advances in the knowledge of acromegaly are leading to an increase in the survival rate of acromegalic subjects. This study was conducted to evaluate balance control, risk of falls, and peripheral muscle function in acromegalic older adults. Seventeen older subjects with acromegaly (67 [63–73] years) and 20 paired control subjects were evaluated with balance scales, force platform, and knee isokinetic dynamometry tests. There were significant differences between the groups on several balance and gait scales, with a worse performance and greater risk of falls in the acromegalic older adults. Acromegalic older adults had lower values for peak torque, maximum repetition of the total work, and total work during extension at 240°/s. The acromegalic older adults had higher values in the medial-lateral range. Acromegaly subjects had lateral instability that compromises their body balance and increases the risk of falls. Moreover, there was a propensity for muscle fatigue in these individuals.

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Ana C. Santos-Mariano, Fabiano Tomazini, Cintia Rodacki, Romulo Bertuzzi, Fernando De-Oliveira, and Adriano E. Lima-Silva

Purpose: To investigate the effects of caffeine (CAF) on performance during high- and long-jump competitions. Methods: Using a crossover and double-blind design, 6 well-trained high jumpers and 6 well-trained long jumpers performed a simulation of a high- and long-jump competition 60 minutes after ingesting a capsule containing either 5 mg·kg−1 body mass of anhydrous CAF or a placebo. The high jumps were video recorded for kinematic analysis. The velocity during the approach run of the long jump was also monitored using photocells. Results: CAF improved jump performance (ie, the highest bar height overlap increased by 5.1% [2.3%], P = .008), as well as enhancing the height displacement of the central body mass (+1.3% [1.7%], P = .004) compared with the placebo. CAF had no ergogenic effect on jump distance (P = .722); however, CAF increased the velocity during the last 10 m of the long jump (P = .019), and the percentage of “foul jumps” was higher than that expected by chance in the CAF group (80.5% [12.5%], χ2 = 13.44, P < .001) but not in the cellulose condition (58.3% [22.9%], χ2 = 1.48, P = .224). Conclusion: CAF ingestion (5 mg·kg−1 body mass) improves high-jump performance but seems to negatively influence technical aspects during the approach run of the long jump, resulting in no improvement in long-jump performance. Thus, CAF can be useful for jumpers, but the specificity of the jump competition must be taken into account.

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Gustavo Monnerat, Carlos A.R. Sánchez, Caleb G.M. Santos, Dailson Paulucio, Rodolfo Velasque, Geisa P.C. Evaristo, Joseph A.M. Evaristo, Fabio C.S. Nogueira, Gilberto B. Domont, Mauricio Serrato, Antonio S. Lima, David Bishop, Antonio C. Campos de Carvalho, and Fernando A.M.S. Pompeu

Purpose: High cardiorespiratory capacity is a key determinant of human performance and life expectancy; however, the underlying mechanisms are not fully understood. The objective of this pilot study was to investigate biochemical signatures of endurance-performance athletes using high-resolution nontargeted metabolomics. Methods: Elite long-distance runners with similar training and anthropometrical records were studied. After athletes’ maximal oxygen consumption (V˙O2max) was measured, they were divided into 2 groups: low V˙O2max (<65 mL·kg−1·min−1, n = 7) and high V˙O2max (>75 mL·kg−1·min−1, n = 7). Plasma was collected under basal conditions after 12 hours of fasting and after a maximal exercise test (nonfasted) and analyzed by high-resolution LC–MS. Multivariate and univariate statistics were applied. Results: A total of 167 compounds were putatively identified with an LC–MS-based metabolomics pipeline. Partial least-squares discriminant analysis showed a clear separation between groups. Significant variations in metabolites highlighted group differences in diverse metabolic pathways, including lipids, vitamins, amino acids, purine, histidine, xenobiotics, and others, either under basal condition or after the maximal exercise test. Conclusions: Taken together, the metabolic alterations revealed in the study affect cellular energy use and availability, oxidative stress management, muscle damage, central nervous system signaling metabolites, nutrients, and compound bioavailability, providing new insights into metabolic alterations associated with exercise and cardiorespiratory fitness levels in trained athletes.