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Should the Coaches of Elite Female Handball Teams Focus on Collective Efficacy or Group Cohesion?

Jean-Philippe Heuzé, Grégoire Bosselut, and Jean-Philippe Thomas

The purpose of this study was to examine the direction of the effect between cohesion and collective efficacy in elite female handball teams. A total of 84 female handball players completed 2 questionnaires at 2 time periods during the competitive season (i.e., early and midseason). Relationships were examined across time at an individual level after statistically controlling for previous group performance. Regression analyses including the autoregressive influence indicated that early-season collective efficacy positively predicted variance in midseason individual attractions to the group-task (ATG-T) after controlling for early-season ATG-T scores. In elite female handball teams, findings only supported collective efficacy as an antecedent of task cohesion and suggested that coaches should promote strategies dedicated to foster athletes’ beliefs about their team efficacy.

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Frequent Carbohydrate Ingestion Reduces Muscle Glycogen Depletion and Postpones Fatigue Relative to a Single Bolus

Campbell Menzies, Michael Wood, Joel Thomas, Aaron Hengist, Jean-Philippe Walhin, Robbie Jones, Kostas Tsintzas, Javier T. Gonzalez, and James A. Betts

The timing of carbohydrate ingestion and how this influences net muscle glycogen utilization and fatigue has only been investigated in prolonged cycling. Past findings may not translate to running because each exercise mode is distinct both in the metabolic response to carbohydrate ingestion and in the practicalities of carbohydrate ingestion. To this end, a randomized, cross-over design was employed to contrast ingestion of the same sucrose dose either at frequent intervals (15 × 5 g every 5 min) or at a late bolus (1 × 75 g after 75 min) during prolonged treadmill running to exhaustion in six well-trained runners ( V ˙ O 2 max 61 ± 4 ml·kg−1·min−1). The muscle glycogen utilization rate was lower in every participant over the first 75 min of running (Δ 0.51 mmol·kg dm−1·min−1; 95% confidence interval [−0.02, 1.04] mmol·kg dm−1·min−1) and, subsequently, all were able to run for longer when carbohydrate had been ingested frequently from the start of exercise compared with when carbohydrate was ingested as a single bolus toward the end of exercise (105.6 ± 3.0 vs. 96.4 ± 5.0 min, respectively; Δ 9.3 min, 95% confidence interval [2.8, 15.8] min). A moderate positive correlation was apparent between the magnitude of glycogen sparing over the first 75 min and the improvement in running capacity (r = .58), with no significant difference in muscle glycogen concentrations at the point of exhaustion. This study indicates that failure to ingest carbohydrates from the outset of prolonged running increases reliance on limited endogenous muscle glycogen stores—the ergolytic effects of which cannot be rectified by subsequent carbohydrate ingestion late in exercise.