This article reflects a response to the case of a freshman student-athlete lacrosse player who was in the process of transitioning into a Division I environment. Within the context of the case response, guidelines were provided for assessment of the student-athlete at four separate, yet interrelated levels of psychological development. These levels were: as a person; as a student-athlete who exists in a high-risk environment; as a teammate; and as a performer in the sport of lacrosse. Relatedly, it was suggested how the strengths and needs of this individual could be assessed and how resulting needs assessment information could be used in the design of an individual plan for the student-athlete. As such, it was suggested that the individual plan would most likely center on helping the individual to become increasingly aware of herself as a person and performer, to offer guidance in adhering to her physical rehabilitation, and to develop a routine for her daily preparation and for monitoring her practice and game performances. The case response concludes with a description of a framework for determining the student-athlete’s readiness for engaging in the plan and its activities.
Virginie de Bressy de Guast, Jim Golby, Anna Van Wersch and Fabienne d’Arripe-Longueville
This study presents a complete psychological skills training (PST) program with a wheelchair athlete and examines the program effectiveness using a mixed-method approach. After initial testing, the athlete followed a two-month program of self-confidence building, motivational, visualization/relaxation, and injury management techniques. Quantitative and qualitative methods were used to examine the impacts on performance and psychological abilities. The triangulated results suggest that the PST program was perceived as effective by the athlete in terms of his sporting performances and mental skills. The characteristics and implications of a PST program with this wheelchair athlete are discussed, as well as the study limitations and the perspectives for future research.
Gabriel Brizuela Costa, Miguel Polo Rubio, Salvador Llana Belloch and Pedro Pérez Soriano
This study, with a top T-52 class athlete, determines the relationship between stroke frequency (SF) and push time (PT) and wheelchair velocity (Wv) using different handrim diameters (HD) and the effect of different HDs on the athlete’s heart rate (HR) and blood lactate (LACT) at competition speeds. Wv shows a linear-direct relationship with SF but a linear-inverse relationship with PT (p < .001 in both cases). Using bigger handrims (0.37 m instead of 0.36 m), SF increases 6%, while PT decreases 27% (at 24 Km·h–1). HR (p < .0001) increases with Wv and is also affected by HD with differences between the 0.34 m—0.36 m handrim group (lower values) and the 0.37 m handrim (higher values). Significant interaction (p < .0001) is identified between HD and Wv. LACT results seem to follow the same direction as HR. This methodology helped the athlete to choose the optimum HD, and his achievements (some world records) indicate that HD optimization could be highly profitable in sport terms.
Fung Kuen Koo
This qualitative study explores how older Hong Kong Chinese Australians perceive aging and to what extent this perception affects their participation in physical activities. The main methods used were in-depth interviews with 22 participants ranging in age from 60 to 91 years. Interviews were translated from Chinese (Cantonese) and transcribed into English. Content analysis was used to find recurring themes from the interview data. The main findings indicate that the perception of aging is to some extent influenced by culture. Some participants defined aging as being measured in years, and others defined it by the state of one’s physical health, appearance, and capacity to continue fulfilling one’s social roles. These perceptions strongly influenced their preferences for and participation in physical activities. Acknowledging the fact that Chinese-speaking people are not culturally homogeneous, this article makes some recommendations to health service providers with regard to the development of appropriate physical activity programs.
Massimiliano Pau, Federica Corona, Bruno Leban, Simona Piredda, Maria Marcella Vacca and Gioia Mura
Considering the relevant amount of time spent by children at school, it is essential to ensure that suitable levels of physical activity (PA) are guaranteed. This study aimed to assess possible changes induced in the amount and type of PA performed following the 2 schedules in Italian primary schools, namely regular and full time (30–40 h/week respectively).
A sample of 169 children wore a triaxial accelerometer 24h/day for 7 consecutive days. Raw data were processed to calculate the number of steps, amount and intensity of the PA performed in morning, afternoon and evening time slots.
During weekday afternoon times (1:30 to 4:30 PM), children attending the full-time schedule spent significantly less time in sedentary behavior with respect to those who attend the regular time (54.7% vs. 60.0%, P < .001) and more time in moderate-to-vigorous activity (18.0% vs. 15.0%, P = .004). No differences between morning and evening times were found.
The structure of the full time schedule, which includes a second recess, promotes higher and more intense levels of PA during the afternoon. Such information represent a useful input in planning differential PA activities for children attending the regular time to achieve similar PA levels for the whole school population.
Andy Roosen, Matthew T.G. Pain and Mickaël Begon
Much research is ongoing into improving the accuracy of functional algorithms to determine joint centers (JC), but there has been limited testing using human movement data. This paper is in three parts: Part 1, errors in determining JCs from real human movement data using the SCoRE method; Part 2, variability of marker combinations during a punch; Part 3, variability in the JC due to reconstruction. Results indicate determining the JC of the shoulder or elbow with a triad of markers per segment with an accuracy greater than 20 mm is unlikely. Part 2 suggests conducting a pilot study with abundant markers to obtain triads, which are most stable due to differences of 300–400% in variability between triads. Variability due to the choice of reference frame for reconstruction during the punch ranged from 2.5 to 13.8 mm for the shoulder and 1.5 to 21.1 mm for the elbow. It would appear more pertinent to enhance the practical methods in situ than to further improve theoretical accuracy of functional methods.
Deborah Fearnley, Louise Sutton, John O’Hara, Amy Brightmore, Roderick King and Carlton Cooke
The Vendée Globe is a solo round-the-world sailing race without stopovers or assistance, a physically demanding challenge for which appropriate nutrition should maintain energy balance and ensure optimum performance. This is an account of prerace nutritional preparation with a professional and experienced female racer and assessment of daily nutritional intake (NI) during the race using a multimethod approach. A daily energy intake (EI) of 15.1 MJ/day was recommended for the race and negotiated down by the racer to 12.7 MJ/day, with carbohydrate and fluid intake goals of 480 g/day and 3,020 ml/day, respectively. Throughout the 99-day voyage, daily NI was recorded using electronic food diaries and inventories piloted during training races. NI was assessed and a postrace interview and questionnaire were used to evaluate the intervention. Fat mass (FM) and fat-free mass (FFM) were assessed pre- (37 days) and postrace (11 days) using dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry, and body mass was measured before the racer stepped on the yacht and immediately postrace. Mean EI was 9.2 MJ/day (2.4–14.3 MJ/day), representing a negative energy balance of 3.5 MJ/day under the negotiated EI goal, evidenced by a 7.9-kg loss of body mass (FM –7.5 kg, FFM –0.4 kg) during the voyage, with consequent underconsumption of carbohydrate by ~130 g/day. According to the postrace yacht food inventory, self-reported EI was underreported by 7%. This intervention demonstrates the practicality of the NI approach and assessment, but the racer’s nutrition strategy can be further improved to facilitate meeting more optimal NI goals for performance and health. It also shows that evaluation of NI is possible in this environment over prolonged periods, which can provide important information for optimizing nutritional strategies for ocean racing.
Craig Twist, Jamie Highton, Matthew Daniels, Nathan Mill and Graeme Close
Player loads and fatigue responses are reported in 15 professional rugby league players (24.3 ± 3.8 y) during a period of intensified fixtures. Repeated measures of internal and external loads, perceived well-being, and jump flight time were recorded across 22 d, comprising 9 training sessions and matches on days 5, 12, 15, and 21 (player exposure: 3.6 ± 0.6 matches). Mean training loads (session rating of perceived exertion × duration) between matches were 1177, 1083, 103, and 650 AU. Relative distance in match 1 (82 m/min) and match 4 (79 m/min) was very likely lower in match 2 (76 m/min) and likely higher in match 3 (86 m/min). High-intensity running (≥5.5 m/s) was likely to very likely lower than match 1 (5 m/min) in matches 2–4 (2, 4, and 3 m/min, respectively). Low-intensity activity was likely to very likely lower than match 1 (78 m/min) in match 2 (74 m/min) and match 4 (73 m/min) but likely higher in match 3 (81 m/min). Accumulated accelerometer loads for matches 1–4 were 384, 473, 373, and 391 AU, respectively. Perceived well-being returned to baseline values (~21 AU) before all matches but was very likely to most likely lower the day after each match (~17 AU). Prematch jump flight times were likely to most likely lower across the period, with mean values of 0.66, 0.65, 0.62, and 0.64 s before matches 1–4, respectively. Across a 22-d cycle with fixture congestion, professional rugby league players experience cumulative neuromuscular fatigue and impaired match running performance.
Eric C. Haakonssen, David T. Martin, Louise M. Burke and David G. Jenkins
Body composition in a female road cyclist was measured using dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (5 occasions) and anthropometry (10 occasions) at the start of the season (Dec to Mar), during a period of chronic fatigue associated with poor weight management (Jun to Aug), and in the following months of recovery and retraining (Aug to Nov). Dietary manipulation involved a modest reduction in energy availability to 30–40 kcal · kg fat-free mass−1 · d−1 and an increased intake of high-quality protein, particularly after training (20 g). Through the retraining period, total body mass decreased (−2.82 kg), lean mass increased (+0.88 kg), and fat mass decreased (−3.47 kg). Hemoglobin mass increased by 58.7 g (8.4%). Maximal aerobic- and anaerobic-power outputs were returned to within 2% of preseason values. The presented case shows that through a subtle energy restriction associated with increased protein intake and sufficient energy intake during training, fat mass can be reduced with simultaneous increases in lean mass, performance gains, and improved health.
Penny Harris Rosenzweig and Stella L. Volpe
Iron plays an important role in thyroid hormone metabolism; thus, iron deficiency anemia may lead to alterations in resting metabolic rate (RMR). Based on this premise, two iron-deficient-anemic female athletes, 18 (A 1) and 21 (A2) years of age, were supplemented with 23 mg/day of elemental iron to assess its effects on iron and thyroid hormone status and RMR at 0, 8, and 16 weeks. Anemia was clinically corrected in both subjects (hemoglobin: Al = 11.0 to 13.0 to 12.6 g/dL and A2 = 11.5 to 13.9 to 12.6 g/dL, 0 to 8 to 16 weeks, respectively). Serum ferritin (SF) concentration also improved in both subjects (Al: 5.0 to 11.0 to 15.0 ng/dL and A2: 5.0 to 16.0 to 20.0 ng/dL; 0 to 8 to 16 weeks, respectively); however, 16 weeks of iron supplementation did not fully replete iron stores. A2 increased dietary iron and ascorbic acid intakes from 8 to 16 weeks, possibly accounting for her higher SF concentrations. RMR and total thyroxine changed over time: Al increased while A2 decreased in these variables. Although clinical correction of iron deficiency anemia occurred after 16 weeks of low-level iron supplementation, RMR and thyroid hormone metabolism were oppositely affected in the two subjects.