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A Biomechanical Review of the Techniques Used to Estimate or Measure Resistive Forces in Swimming

Gina B.D. Sacilotto, Nick Ball, and Bruce R. Mason

Resistive or drag forces encountered during free swimming greatly influence the swim performance of elite competitive swimmers. The benefits in understanding the factors which affect the drag encountered will enhance performance within the sport. However, the current techniques used to experimentally measure or estimate drag values are questioned for their consistency, therefore limiting investigations in these factors. This paper aims to further understand how the resistive forces in swimming are measured and calculated. All techniques outlined demonstrate both strengths and weaknesses in the overall assessment of free swimming. By reviewing all techniques in this area, the reader should be able to select which one is best depending on what researchers want to gain from the testing.

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Periodization and Physical Performance in Elite Female Soccer Players

Jocelyn K. Mara, Kevin G. Thompson, Kate L. Pumpa, and Nick B. Ball

Purpose:

To investigate the variation in training demands, physical performance, and player well-being across a women’s soccer season.

Methods:

Seventeen elite female players wore GPS tracking devices during every training session (N = 90) throughout 1 national-league season. Intermittent high-speed-running capacity and 5-, 15-, and 25-m-sprint testing were conducted at the beginning of preseason, end of preseason, midseason, and end of season. In addition, subjective well-being measures were selfreported daily by players over the course of the season.

Results:

Time over 5 m was lowest at the end of preseason (mean 1.148 s, SE 0.017 s) but then progressively deteriorated to the end of the season (P < .001). Sprint performance over 15 m improved by 2.8% (P = .013) after preseason training, while 25-m-sprint performance peaked at midseason, with a 3.1% (P = .05) improvement from the start of preseason, before declining at the end of season (P = .023). Training demands varied between phases, with total distance and high-speed distance greatest during preseason before decreasing (P < .001) during the early- and late-season phases. Endurance capacity and well-being measures did not change across training phases.

Conclusions:

Monitoring training demands and subsequent physical performance in elite female soccer players allow coaches to ensure that training periodization goals are being met and related positive training adaptations are being elicited.

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The Effects of a Field-Based Priming Session on Perceptual, Physiological, and Performance Markers in Female Rugby Sevens Players

Billy R.J. Mason, Andrew J. McKune, Kate L. Pumpa, Jocelyn K. Mara, Alexander C. Engel, Liam P. Kilduff, and Nick B. Ball

Purpose: This study aimed to determine the effects of a field-based priming session on perceptual, physiological, and performance responses in female rugby sevens athletes. Methods: Thirteen highly trained female rugby sevens players (age: 20.7 [2.0] y; height: 169.3 [4.8] cm; weight: 68.8 [7.9] kg) completed either a 20-minute field-based priming session or a control condition. Perceptual, physiological, and performance variables were collected at baseline (PRE) and 5 (POST5), 30 (POST30), and 120 minutes (POST120) postintervention. Data were analyzed using Bayesian mixed effects models. Results: The priming protocol had a larger increase in mental readiness (maximum a posteriori [MAP] = 20, 95% high-density intervals [HDI] = −4 to 42, probability of direction [PD]% = 95, % in region of practical equivalence [ROPE] = 9.7), physical readiness (MAP = 20.1, 95% HDI = −4.6 to 42.1, PD% = 93, % in ROPE = 10.6), and testosterone (MAP = 14.9, 95% HDI = 0.5 to 27.7, PD% = 98, % in ROPE = 5.6) than the control POST30. Cognitive performance decreased POST120 in the priming condition for congruent (MAP = 0.02, 95% HDI = −0.06 to 0.00, PD% = 95, % in ROPE = 6.4) and incongruent tasks (MAP = 0.00, 95% HDI = −0.07 to 0.00, PD% = 98, % in ROPE = 3.2) when compared with the control. Conclusions: Perceptual and physiological markers improved POST30 in the priming condition. Findings indicate that perceptual and physiological responses to priming were not coupled with performance improvements. Priming was not accompanied by perceptual, physiological, or performance improvements at POST120.