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John Matthew Barlow

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Tim Woodman, Matthew Barlow and Recep Gorgulu

We present two novel tests of Wegner’s (1994) theory of ironic processes of mental control using a hockey penalty-shooting task (Study 1) and a dart throwing task (Study 2). In Study 1 we aimed to address a significant limitation of ironic effects research in a performance setting by differentiating nonironic performance error from specifically ironic performance error. When instructed not to miss in a specific direction, anxious performers did so a significantly greater number of times; importantly, there was no difference in nonironic error, which provides the first specific support for Wegner’s theory in a performance setting. In Study 2, we present the first examination of the precision of ironic errors. When anxious, participants performed not only more ironically but also performed more precisely in the to-be-avoided zone than when they were not anxious. We discuss the results in the context of the importance of specific instructions in coaching environments.

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Benjamin D. Jones, Tim Woodman, Matthew Barlow and Ross Roberts

Despite a plethora of research on moral disengagement and antisocial behavior, there is a dearth of literature that explores personality in the context of these undesirable attitudes and behaviors. We provide the first examination of personality, specifically narcissism, as a predictor of moral disengagement and antisocial behavior in sport. Given that narcissism is negatively related to empathy and positively related to feelings of entitlement, it is more likely for narcissists to disengage morally and to behave antisocially. We thus hypothesized that narcissism would predict antisocial behavior via moral disengagement. Across 12 team contact sports (n = 272), bootstrapped mediation analyses confirmed this indirect effect, which remained significant when controlling for motivational climate, social desirability, sex and sport type. Coaches and practitioners would do well to consider the darker side of personality in targeting moral disengagement and its behavioral consequences in team sports.

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Kevin Till, Ben Jones, John O’Hara, Matthew Barlow, Amy Brightmore, Matthew Lees and Karen Hind

Purpose:

To compare the body size and 3-compartment body composition between academy and senior professional rugby league players using dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA).

Methods:

Academy (age 18.1 ± 1.1 y, n = 34) and senior (age 26.2 ± 4.6 y, n = 63) rugby league players received 1 total-body DXA scan. Height, body mass, and body-fat percentage alongside total and regional fat mass, lean mass, and bone mineral content (BMC) were compared. Independent t tests with Cohen d effect sizes and multivariate analysis of covariance (MANCOVA), controlling for height and body mass, with partial eta-squared (η2) effect sizes, were used to compare total and regional body composition.

Results:

Senior players were taller (183.2 ± 5.8 vs 179.2 ± 5.7 cm, P = .001, d = 0.70) and heavier (96.5 ± 9.3 vs 86.5 ± 9.0 kg, P < .001, d = 1.09) with lower body-fat percentage (16.3 ± 3.7 vs 18.0 ± 3.7%, P = .032, d = 0.46) than academy players. MANCOVA identified significant overall main effects for total and regional body composition between academy and senior players. Senior players had lower total fat mass (P < .001, η 2 = 0.15), greater total lean mass (P < .001, η 2 = 0.14), and greater total BMC (P = .001, η 2 = 0.12) than academy players. For regional sites, academy players had significantly greater fat mass at the legs (P < .001, η 2 = 0.29) than senior players.

Conclusions:

The lower age, height, body mass, and BMC of academy players suggest that these players are still developing musculoskeletal characteristics. Gradual increases in lean mass and BMC while controlling fat mass is an important consideration for practitioners working with academy rugby league players, especially in the lower body.

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Matthew Barlow, Tim Woodman, Caradog Chapman, Matthew Milton, Daniel Stone, Tom Dodds and Ben Allen

People who have difficulty identifying and describing their emotions are more likely to seek out the experience of emotions in the high-risk domain. This is because the high-risk domain provides the experience of more easily identifiable emotions (e.g., fear). However, the continued search for intense emotion may lead such individuals to take further risks within this domain, which, in turn, would lead to a greater likelihood of experiencing accidents. Across three studies, we provide the first evidence in support of this view. In Study 1 (n = 762), alexithymia was associated with greater risk taking and a greater propensity to experience accidents and close calls. In Study 2 (n = 332) and Study 3 (n = 356), additional bootstrapped mediation models confirmed these relationships. The predictive role of alexithymia remained significant when controlling for sensation seeking (Study 1) and anhedonia (Study 2 and Study 3). We discuss the practical implications of the present model as they pertain to minimizing accidents and close calls in the high-risk domain.

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Matthew J. Barlow, Antonis Elia, Oliver M. Shannon, Angeliki Zacharogianni and Angelica Lodin-Sundstrom

Introduction: The purpose of the present study was to assess the effects of acute nitrate (NO3)-rich beetroot juice (BRJ) supplementation on peripheral oxygen saturation (SpO2), heart rate (HR), and pulmonary gas exchange during submaximal static and dynamic apnea. Methods: Nine (six males and three females) trained apneists (age: 39.6 ± 8.2 years, stature: 170.4 ± 11.5 cm, and body mass: 72.0 ± 11.5 kg) performed three submaximal static apneas at 60%, 70%, and 80% of the participant’s current reported personal best time, followed by three submaximal (∼75% or personal best distance) dynamic apneas following the consumption of either a 70-ml concentrated BRJ (7.7 mmol NO3) or a NO3-depleted placebo (PLA; 0.1 mmol NO3) in double-blind randomized manner. HR and SpO2 were measured via fingertip pulse oximetry at the nadir, and online gas analysis was used to assess pulmonary oxygen uptake (V˙O2) during recovery following breath-holds. Results: There were no differences (p < .05) among conditions for HR (PLA = 59 ± 11 bpm and BRJ = 61 ± 12 bpm), SpO2 (PLA = 83% ± 14% and BRJ = 84% ±9%), or V˙O2 (PLA = 1.00 ± 0.22 L/min and BRJ = 0.97 ± 0.27 L/min). Conclusion: The consumption of 7.7 mmol of beetroot juice supplementation prior to a series of submaximal static and dynamic apneas did not induce a significant change in SpO2, HR, and V˙O2 when compared with placebo. Therefore, there is no apparent physiological response that may benefit free divers as a result of the supplementation.

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Sam Lowings, Oliver Michael Shannon, Kevin Deighton, Jamie Matu and Matthew John Barlow

Nitrate supplementation appears to be most ergogenic when oxygen availability is restricted and subsequently may be particularly beneficial for swimming performance due to the breath-hold element of this sport. This represents the first investigation of nitrate supplementation and swimming time-trial (TT) performance. In a randomized double-blind repeated-measures crossover study, ten (5 male, 5 female) trained swimmers ingested 140ml nitrate-rich (~12.5mmol nitrate) or nitrate-depleted (~0.01mmol nitrate) beetroot juice. Three hours later, subjects completed a maximal effort swim TT comprising 168m (8 × 21m lengths) backstroke. Preexercise fractional exhaled nitric oxide concentration was significantly elevated with nitrate compared with placebo, Mean (SD): 17 (9) vs. 7 (3)p.p.b., p = .008. Nitrate supplementation had a likely trivial effect on overall swim TT performance (mean difference 1.22s; 90% CI -0.18–2.6s; 0.93%; p = .144; d = 0.13; unlikely beneficial (22.6%), likely trivial (77.2%), most unlikely negative (0.2%)). The effects of nitrate supplementation during the first half of the TT were trivial (mean difference 0.29s; 90% CI -0.94–1.5s; 0.46%; p = .678; d = 0.05), but there was a possible beneficial effect of nitrate supplementation during the second half of the TT (mean difference 0.93s; 90% CI 0.13–1.70s; 1.36%; p = .062; d = 0.24; possibly beneficial (63.5%), possibly trivial (36.3%), most unlikely negative (0.2%)). The duration and speed of underwater swimming within the performance did not differ between nitrate and placebo (both p > .30). Nitrate supplementation increased nitric oxide bioavailability but did not benefit short-distance swimming performance or the underwater phases of the TT. Further investigation into the effects of nitrate supplementation during the second half of performance tests may be warranted.