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Sommer Christie, Maurizio Bertollo, and Penny Werthner

The purpose of this study was to investigate the effectiveness of a sensorimotor rhythm (SMR) neurofeedback training (NFT) and biofeedback training (BFT) intervention on ice hockey shooting performance. Specifically, the purpose was to examine (a) whether an NFT/BFT program could improve ice hockey shooting performance, (b) whether the implementation of an SMR-NFT intervention leads to neurological adaptations during performance, and (c) whether such neurological changes account for improvement in shooting performance. Using a longitudinal stratified random control design, results demonstrated that while both SMR-NFT/BFT and control groups improved performance, the rate of improvement for the SMR-NFT/BFT group was significantly higher than the control. Participants in the SMR-NFT/BFT group demonstrated the ability to significantly increase SMR power from pre- to postintervention in the lab. However, no significant changes in SMR power were found during shooting performance. This result may be suggestive of differing cortical activity present during motor-skill preparation.

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Sara Biondi, Cristiana Conti, Emmanouil Georgiadis, and Maurizio Bertollo

The current case study reports an intervention with a young volleyball athlete who was diagnosed with cancer during his early sporting career. The athlete requested both performance-enhancement support and psychotherapeutic intervention (the latter during his illness) from his sport psychologist. The article explores the transition from sport psychology intervention, which started before the appearance of the disease, to psychotherapy and the reflections concerning this unique situation. The fluctuation of the athlete alongside the mental health continuum ranging from a normal (illness-free) state to a mental-illness state was taken into consideration. The theoretical framework adopted by the sport psychologist/psychotherapist consisted of the integration of different approaches: the psychobiosocial model of Individual Zone for Optimal Functioning and relational psychoanalysis, both oriented around the existentialism counseling approach. Reflections on the case include the changes of setting and the development of the relationship between the psychologist/psychotherapist and the athlete during the two intervention phases.

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Carla Cristiane Silva, Maurizio Bertollo, Felipe Fossati Reichert, Daniel Alexandre Boullosa, and Fábio Yuzo Nakamura

Purpose:

To examine which body position and indices present better reliability of heart rate variability (HRV) measures in children and to compare the HRV analyzed in different body positions between sexes.

Method:

Twenty eutrophic prepubertal children of each sex participated in the study. The RR intervals were recorded using a portable heart rate monitor twice a day for 7 min in the supine, sitting, and standing positions. The reproducibility was analyzed using the intraclass correlation coefficient (ICC; two way mixed) and within-subject coefficient of variation (CV).Two-way ANOVA with repeated measures was used to compare the sexes.

Results:

High levels of reproducibility were indicated by higher ICC in the root-mean-square difference of successive normal RR intervals (RMSSD: 0.93 and 0.94) and Poincaré plot of the short-term RR interval variability (SD1: 0.92 and 0.94) parameters for boys and girls, respectively, in the supine position. The ICCs were lower in the sitting and standing positions for all HRV indices. In addition, the girls presented significantly higher values than the boys for SDNN and absolute high frequency (HF; p < .05) in the supine position.

Conclusions:

The supine position is the most reproducible for the HRV indices in both sexes, especially the vagal related indices.

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Jahan Heidari, Jürgen Beckmann, Maurizio Bertollo, Michel Brink, K. Wolfgang Kallus, Claudio Robazza, and Michael Kellmann

Monitoring recovery in the context of athletic performance has gained significant importance during recent years. As a systematic process of data collection and evaluation, the monitoring of recovery can be implemented for various purposes. It may help prevent negative outcomes of training or competition, such as underrecovery, overtraining, or injuries. Furthermore, it aims to establish routines and strategies necessary to guarantee athletes’ readiness for performance by restoring their depleted resources. Comprehensive monitoring of recovery ideally encompasses a multidimensional approach, thereby considering biological, psychological, and social monitoring methods. From a biological perspective, physiological (eg, cardiac parameters), biochemical (eg, creatine kinase), hormonal (eg, salivary cortisol), and immunological (eg, immunoglobulin A) markers can be taken into account to operationalize training loads and recovery needs. Psychological approaches suggest the application of validated and reliable psychometric questionnaires (eg, Recovery–Stress Questionnaire for Athletes) to measure a subjective perception of recovery, as well as the subjective degree of training- or competition-induced fatigue. Social aspects also play a role in performance monitoring and may hence provide essential performance-related information. The implementation of a monitoring routine in athletic environments represents a continuous process that functions as an effective addition to training and depends on a range of conditions (eg, organizational regulations, commitment of athletes). Current research in the field of monitoring aims to establish individualized monitoring regimens that refer to intraindividual reference values with the help of innovative technological devices.

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Selenia di Fronso, Fabio Y. Nakamura, Laura Bortoli, Claudio Robazza, and Maurizio Bertollo

The aim of the study was to examine differences in stress and recovery across gender and time (preseason and play-offs) in a sample of amateur basketball players of the Italian league (C division). Fifty amateur basketball players (33 men and 17 women) age 17–30 y (23.5 ± 9.19 y) participated in the study. Twenty-eight athletes (16 men and 12 women) completed the Recovery-Stress Questionnaire for Sport (RESTQ-Sport) in the preseason phase, after a training period of 21 days, and in the competition phase during the play-off period. Repeated-measures MANOVA showed significant differences by gender and preparation phase. Univariate follow-up ANOVA highlighted differences by gender on physical recovery, sleep quality, and self-efficacy, with higher scores in men. Moreover, differences between preseason and competition phases were shown on emotional stress and fatigue, with higher scores on emotional stress and lower scores on fatigue in the competition phase. These findings suggest that RESTQ-Sport could be a useful tool for coaches to monitor stress/recovery balance in male and female team-sport athletes during different periods of the season.

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Victor H. de Freitas, Lucas A. Pereira, Eberton A. de Souza, Anthony S. Leicht, Maurizio Bertollo, and Fábio Y. Nakamura

Purpose:

This study examined the sensitivity of maximal (Yo-Yo Intermittent Recovery [IR] 1 and 2) and submaximal (5’-5’) tests to identify training adaptations in futsal players along with the suitability of heart-rate (HR) and HR-variability (HRV) measures to identify these adaptations.

Methods:

Eleven male professional futsal players were assessed before (pretraining) and after (posttraining) a 5-wk period. Assessments included 5’-5’ and Yo-Yo IR1 and IR2 performances and HR and HRV at rest and during the IR and 5’-5’ tests. Magnitude-based-inference analyses examined the differences between pre- and posttraining, while relationships between changes in variables were determined via correlation.

Results:

Posttraining, Yo-Yo IR1 performance likely increased while Yo-Yo IR2 performance almost certainly increased. Submaximal HR during the Yo-Yo IR1 and Yo-Yo IR2 almost certainly and likely, respectively, decreased with training. HR during the 5’-5’ was very likely decreased, while HRV at rest and during the 5’-5’ was likely increased after training. Changes in both Yo-Yo IR performances were negatively correlated with changes in HR during the Yo-Yo IR1 test and positively correlated with the change in HRV during the 5’-5’.

Conclusions:

The current study has identified the Yo-Yo IR2 as more responsive for monitoring training-induced changes of futsal players than the Yo-Yo IR1. Changes in submaximal HR during the Yo-Yo IR and HRV during the 5’-5’ were highly sensitive to changes in maximal performance and are recommended for monitoring training. The 5’-5’ was recommended as a time-efficient method to assess training adaptations for futsal players.

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Maurizio Bertollo, Selenia di Fronso, Edson Filho, Vito Lamberti, Patrizio Ripari, Victor Machado Reis, Silvia Comani, Laura Bortoli, and Claudio Robazza

We conducted a counterbalanced repeated measure trial to investigate the effect of different internal and external associative strategies on endurance performance. Seventeen college-aged students were randomly assigned to three experimental conditions to test the notion that different attention-performance types (optimal Type 1, functional Type 2, and dysfunctional Type 3) would influence endurance time on a cycling task. Specifically, Type 1 represented an effortless and automatic, “flow-feeling” attentional mode. Type 2 referred to an associative focus directed at core components of the task. Type 3 represented an attentional focus directed at irrelevant components of the task. Participants completed three time-to-exhaustion-tests while reporting their perceived exertion and affective states (arousal and hedonic tone). Results revealed that Type 1 and Type 2 attentional strategies, compared with Type 3 strategy, exerted functional effects on performance, whereas a Type 3 strategy was linked to lower performance, and lower levels of arousal and pleasantness. Applied implications are discussed.

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Silvio Maltagliati, Attilio Carraro, Géraldine Escriva-Boulley, Maurizio Bertollo, Damien Tessier, Alessandra Colangelo, Athanasios Papaioannou, Selenia di Fronso, Boris Cheval, Erica Gobbi, and Philippe Sarrazin

Purpose: To identify motivational determinants explaining Physical Education teachers’ behaviors promoting students’ physical activity (PA) amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. Method: Nine hundred thirty-one Italian and French teachers completed a questionnaire assessing motivational determinants (self-determined motivation, self-efficacy, perceived ease and usefulness toward digital technologies, engagement at work), their intention and behaviors promoting PA, in reference to before and during the pandemic. Path analyses tested the associations of changes in motivational determinants with changes in intention and behaviors. Results: Increases in autonomous, controlled motivation, self-efficacy, and perceived usefulness toward digital technologies, and a decrease in amotivation were associated with an increase in the intention to promote PA. In turn, an increase in intention, but also in self-efficacy, autonomous motivation, and perceived usefulness toward digital technologies were paired with an increase in behaviors promoting PA. Conclusion: Implications regarding the commitment of Physical Education teachers to challenging pedagogical situations, such as promoting PA amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, are discussed.

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Michael Kellmann, Maurizio Bertollo, Laurent Bosquet, Michel Brink, Aaron J. Coutts, Rob Duffield, Daniel Erlacher, Shona L. Halson, Anne Hecksteden, Jahan Heidari, K. Wolfgang Kallus, Romain Meeusen, Iñigo Mujika, Claudio Robazza, Sabrina Skorski, Ranel Venter, and Jürgen Beckmann

The relationship between recovery and fatigue and its impact on performance has attracted the interest of sport science for many years. An adequate balance between stress (training and competition load, other life demands) and recovery is essential for athletes to achieve continuous high-level performance. Research has focused on the examination of physiological and psychological recovery strategies to compensate external and internal training and competition loads. A systematic monitoring of recovery and the subsequent implementation of recovery routines aims at maximizing performance and preventing negative developments such as underrecovery, nonfunctional overreaching, the overtraining syndrome, injuries, or illnesses. Due to the inter- and intraindividual variability of responses to training, competition, and recovery strategies, a diverse set of expertise is required to address the multifaceted phenomena of recovery, performance, and their interactions to transfer knowledge from sport science to sport practice. For this purpose, a symposium on Recovery and Performance was organized at the Technical University Munich Science and Study Center Raitenhaslach (Germany) in September 2016. Various international experts from many disciplines and research areas gathered to discuss and share their knowledge of recovery for performance enhancement in a variety of settings. The results of this meeting are outlined in this consensus statement that provides central definitions, theoretical frameworks, and practical implications as a synopsis of the current knowledge of recovery and performance. While our understanding of the complex relationship between recovery and performance has significantly increased through research, some important issues for future investigations are also elaborated.