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John F. Fitzpatrick, Kirsty M. Hicks, and Philip R. Hayes

Purpose: To compare the dose–response relationship between traditional arbitrary speed thresholds versus an individualized approach, with changes in aerobic fitness in professional youth soccer players. Methods: A total of 14 youth soccer players completed a 1500-m time trial to estimate maximal aerobic speed (MAS, km·h−1) at the start and at the end of a 6-week period. Training load was monitored on a daily basis during this study. External load measures were total distance covered and total acceleration and deceleration distance >2 m·s−2. Arbitrary high-speed running measures were meters covered and time spent at >17 km·h−1 (m > high-speed distance, t > high-speed distance) and 21 km·h−1 (m > very-high-speed distance, t > very-high-speed distance). Individualized high-speed running measures were meters covered and time spent at >MAS km·h−1 (m > MAS, t > MAS) and 30% anaerobic speed reserve (m > 30ASR, t > 30ASR). In addition, internal load measures were also collected: heart rate exertion and rating of perceived exertion. Linear regression analysis was used to establish the dose–response relationship between mean weekly training load and changes in aerobic fitness. Results: Very large associations were found between t > MAS and changes in aerobic fitness (R 2 = .59). Large associations were found for t > 30ASR (R 2 = .38) and m > MAS (R 2 = .25). Unclear associations were found for all other variables. Conclusion: An individualized approach to monitoring training load, in particular t > MAS, may be a more appropriate method than using traditional arbitrary speed thresholds when monitoring the dose–response relationship between training load and changes in aerobic fitness.

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Philip R. Hayes, Kjell van Paridon, Duncan N. French, Kevin Thomas, and Dan A. Gordon


The aim of this study was to develop a laboratory-based treadmill simulation of the on-course physiological demands of an 18-hole round of golf and to identify the underlying physiological responses.


Eight amateur golfers completed a round of golf during which heart rate (HR), steps taken, and global positioning system (GPS) data were assessed. The GPS data were used to create a simulated discontinuous round on a treadmill. Steps taken and HR were recorded during the simulated round.


During the on-course round, players covered a mean (±SD) of 8,251 ± 450 m, taking 12,766 ± 1,530 steps. The mean exercise intensity during the on-course round was 31.4 ± 9.3% of age-predicted heart rate reserve (%HRR) or 55.6 ± 4.4% of age-predicted maximum HR (%HRmax). There were no significant differences between the simulated round and the on-course round for %HRR (P = .537) or %HR max (P = .561) over the entire round or for each individual hole. Furthermore, there were no significant differences between the two rounds for steps taken. Typical error values for steps taken, HR, %HRmax, and %HRR were 1,083 steps, ±7.6 b·min-1, ±4.5%, and ±8.1%, respectively.


Overall, the simulated round of golf successfully recreated the demands of an on-course round. This simulated round could be used as a research tool to assess the extent of fatigue during a round of golf or the impact of various interventions on golfers.

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Adam J. Nichol, Philip R. Hayes, Will Vickery, Emma Boocock, Paul Potrac, and Edward T. Hall

Social structure remains an equivocal term in (sport) sociology. Our understandings of its constitution and role in causally influencing behavior are arguably underdeveloped. Using a critical realist approach, this paper examined how structural entities and reflexive agency combined to influence behavior in an elite youth cricket context (e.g., athletes, coaches). A methodological bricolage was used to generate data and Elder-Vass’s theorizing provided the principal heuristic device. The analysis illustrated how coaches acted on behalf of norm circles in their attempts to shape dispositions of athletes. In turn, athletes engaged in a process of dialectical iteration between reflexive deliberation and (intersectional) dispositions, which influenced their social action in this organizational context. This study holds significance for researchers and practitioners concerned with social influence.

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Adam J. Nichol, Edward T. Hall, Will Vickery, and Philip R. Hayes

A widely accepted role of the sport coach is to elicit positive athlete ‘outcomes’ (e.g., enhanced performance, wellbeing, confidence etc.). However, evidence concerning the relationships between coaching practice and athlete outcomes is fragmented leaving researchers and practitioners little clarity to inform their work. Through a systematic search protocol and critique conducted through the lens of critical realism, this paper provides an overview of 208 English language peer-reviewed studies investigating relationships between coaching practice and athlete outcomes, and how current approaches may facilitate or hinder our understanding. Findings indicate research has predominantly utilised quantitative, cross-sectional or correlational approaches, with limited explicit consideration of paradigmatic influences. Discourse is dominated by psychological theorising (e.g., motivation), with studies generally employing single-method research designs and engaging a singular perspective (e.g., the athlete). Thus, we have a broad understanding of some coaching practice variables that may influence athlete outcomes (i.e., the what), but lack more interpretive and causal explanations of how and why practice is influential, accounting for the inherently complex and multi-faceted nature of the coaching process. Future research directions are proposed, which it is hoped will extend our understanding of the often intricate, heterogeneous influence of coaching practice, supporting coach educators and coaches.