Professional soccer players are exposed to large amounts of physiological and psychological stress, which can increase infection risk and threaten availability for training and competition. Accordingly, it is important for practitioners to implement strategies that support player well-being and prevent illness. This case study demonstrates how a scientifically supported and practically applicable nutrition and lifestyle strategy can reduce infection incidence in an illness-prone professional soccer player. In the 3 months before the intervention, the player had 3 upper-respiratory tract infections (URTIs) and subsequently missed 3 competitive matches and 2 weeks’ training. He routinely commenced morning training sessions in the fasted state and was estimated to be in a large daily energy deficit. Throughout the 12-week intervention, the amount, composition, and timing of energy intake was altered, quercetin and vitamin D were supplemented, and the player was provided with a daily sleep and hygiene protocol. There was a positive increase in serum vitamin D 25(OH) concentration from baseline to Week 12 (53 n·mol-1 to 120 n·mol-1) and salivary immunoglobulin-A (98 mg·dl-1 to 135 mg·dl-1), as well as a decline in the number of URTI symptoms (1.8 ± 2.0 vs. 0.25 ± 0.5 for Weeks 0–4 and Weeks 8–12, respectively). More important, he maintained availability for all training and matches over the 12-week period. We offer this case study as a real-world applied example for other players and practitioners seeking to deploy nutrition and lifestyle strategies to reduce risk of illness and maximize player availability.
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Mayur K. Ranchordas, Laurent Bannock, and Scott L. Robinson
Marie A. Johanson, Megan Armstrong, Chris Hopkins, Meghan L. Keen, Michael Robinson, and Scott Stephenson
Stretching exercises are commonly prescribed for patients and healthy individuals with limited extensibility of the gastrocnemius muscle.
To determine if individuals demonstrate more dorsiflexion at the ankle/rear foot and less at the midfoot after a gastrocnemius-stretching program with the subtalar joint (STJ) positioned in supination compared with pronation.
Randomized controlled trial.
22 volunteers with current or recent history of lower-extremity cumulative trauma and gastrocnemius tightness (10 women and 4 men, mean age 28 y) randomly assigned to stretching groups with the STJ positioned in either pronation (n = 11) or supination (n = 11).
3-wk home gastrocnemius-stretching program using a template to place the subtalar joint in either a pronated or a supinated position.
Main Outcome Measures:
A 7-camera Vicon motion-analysis system measured ankle/rear-foot dorsiflexion and midfoot dorsiflexion of all participants during stretching with the STJ positioned in both pronation and supination before and after the 3-wk gastrocnemius-stretching program.
A 2-way mixed-model ANOVA revealed a significant interaction (P = .019). At posttest, the group who performed the 3-week stretching program with the STJ positioned in pronation demonstrated more increased ankle/rear-foot dorsiflexion when measured with the STJ in pronation than the group who performed the 3-wk stretching program with the STJ positioned in supination. No significant main effect of stretching group or interaction for dorsiflexion at the midfoot was detected (P = .755 and P = .820, respectively).
After a 3-wk gastrocnemius-stretching program, when measuring dorsiflexion with the STJ positioned in supination, the participants who completed a 3-wk gastrocnemius stretching program with the STJ positioned in pronation showed more increased dorsiflexion at the ankle/rear foot than participants who completed the stretching program with the STJ positioned in supination.
Katherine Q. Scott-Andrews, Rebecca E. Hasson, Alison L. Miller, Thomas J. Templin, and Leah E. Robinson
This study examines the associations of physical activity and gross motor skills in parent–child dyads. Parent–child dyads (N = 61, 84% mothers, children aged 8–11 years) participated in this study. Anthropometrics were self-reported through Qualtrics. Physical activity was assessed using accelerometers. Motor skills were measured through four skills: catch, kick, throw, and jump. These skills were assessed using process (i.e., performance criteria of the Test of Gross Motor Development-3) and product (i.e., catch percentage and jump distance) measures. A complete motor skill score was computed by standardizing both process and product scores and summing them. Correlation coefficients and ordinary least square regressions were computed to examine the associations of physical activity and motor skills. Parents’ and children’s moderate to vigorous physical activity were significantly associated (β = 0.30 ± 0.11; p = .008). Parents’ and children’s motor skills were significantly associated (β = 0.46 ± 0.18; p = .012). Understanding parent determinants can support effective interventions targeting children’s low physical activity levels and improving motor competence. Our results highlight the importance of parents’ physical activity and motor skills, which are significantly associated with those of their children. These parent factors may be a key consideration for effective family-based physical activity interventions.