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Courtney Sullivan, Johann C. Bilsborough, Michael Cianciosi, Joel Hocking, Justin T. Cordy and Aaron J. Coutts

Objectives:

To determine the physical activity measures and skill-performance characteristics that contribute to coaches’ perception of performance and player performance rank in professional Australian Football (AF).

Design:

Prospective, longitudinal.

Methods:

Physical activity profiles were assessed via microtechnology (GPS and accelerometer) from 40 professional AF players from the same team during 15 Australian Football League games. Skill-performance measure and player-rank scores (Champion Data Rank) were provided by a commercial statistical provider. The physical-performance variables, skill involvements, and individual player performance scores were expressed relative to playing time for each quarter. A stepwise multiple regression was used to examine the contribution of physical activity and skill involvements to coaches’ perception of performance and player rank in AF.

Results:

Stepwise multiple-regression analysis revealed that 42.2% of the variance in coaches’ perception of a player’s performance could be explained by the skill-performance characteristics (player rank/min, effective kicks/min, pressure points/min, handballs/min, and running bounces/min), with a small contribution from physical activity measures (accelerations/min) (adjusted R 2 = .422, F 6,282 = 36.054, P < .001). Multiple regression also revealed that 66.4% of the adjusted variance in player rank could be explained by total disposals/min, effective kicks/min, pressure points/min, kick clangers/min, marks/min, speed (m/min), and peak speed (adjusted R 2 = .664, F 7,281 = 82.289, P < .001). Increased physical activity throughout a match (speed [m/min] β – 0.097 and peak speed β – 0.116) negatively affects player rank in AF.

Conclusions:

Skill performance rather than increased physical activity is more important to coaches’ perception of performance and player rank in professional AF.

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David W. Franklin

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Patrice R. Rougier and Samir Boudrahem

Past studies have emphasized the beneficial effect of additional visual feedback (VFB) on the capacity of healthy adults to decrease the amplitudes of the center-of-pressure minus center-of-gravity (CP-CGv) movements. To better assess these capacities, 56 subjects were asked to stand still on a force platform and to use the visual information provided. Dependency coefficients, based on their capacity to lower their CP-CGv movements and therefore relax their lower limb muscles, as well as parameters aimed at characterizing their postural strategies were measured across VFB conditions including (1) CP displacements in real time (VFBCP0), (2) CP displacements with a 600-ms delay (VFBCP600), and (3) CP-CGv displacements with a 600-ms delay (VFBCP-CG600). A non-VFB condition (eyes open) was also included. Several linear correlations were used to specify the relation between subjects’ capacity to relax, compared with the VFBCP0 condition, across the three remaining conditions. The data highlight the complementary nature of the VFB conditions and establish the postural control behaviors necessary to use these VFB protocols efficiently.

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Michael Carter, Scott Rathwell and Diane Ste-Marie

Investigations into the strategies that are used by participants when they control their knowledge of results (KR) schedule during practice have predominantly relied on multiple-choice questionnaires. More recently, open-ended questions have been used to allow participants to produce their own descriptions rather than selecting a strategy from a predetermined list. This approach has in fact generated new information about the cognitive strategies used by learners to request KR during practice (e.g., Laughlin et al., 2015). Consequently, we examined strategy use in self-controlled KR learning situations using open-ended questions at two different time points during practice. An inductive thematic content analysis revealed five themes that represented participants’ unique strategies for requesting KR. This analysis identified two dominant KR strategies: “establish a baseline understanding” in the first half of practice and “confirm a perceived good trial” in the second half of practice. Both strategies were associated with superior retention compared with a yoked group, a group that was unable to engage in KR request strategies because KR was imposed rather than chosen. Our results indicate that the learning advantages of self-controlled KR schedules over yoked schedules may not only depend on what strategy is used, but also when it is used.

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Mary Barnum and Carrie Graham

Edited by Malissa Martin

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Sara Nottingham and Jolene Henning

Edited by Christine Lauber

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Nathalie Anne Roussel, Margot De Kooning, Jo Nijs, Patrick Cras, Kristien Wouters and Liesbeth Daenen

This study evaluated whether dancers with pain experience more sensory changes during an experimentally induced sensorimotor incongruent task and explored the relationship between sensorimotor incongruence and self-reported measures (e.g., Short Form 36-questionnaire (SF-36), psychosocial variables and physical activity). Forty-four dancers were subjected to a bimanual coordination test simulating sensorimotor incongruence (i.e., performing congruent and incongruent arm movements while viewing a whiteboard or mirror) and completed standardized questionnaires. Significantly more dancers experienced sensory changes during the performance of incongruent movements while viewing a mirror (p < .01), but the intensity of the reported sensations was very low. No differences were observed between dancers with and without baseline pain, but significant negative associations were found between sensorimotor incongruence and subscores of the SF-36. Sensorimotor incongruence can provoke small sensory changes in dancers but appears unrelated to baseline pain symptoms. Sensorimotor incongruence appears to be related to quality of life.

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Sara Nottingham and Jolene Henning

Edited by Christine Lauber

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Marco Testa, Tommaso Geri, Alessio Signori and Silvestro Roatta

The assessment of the individual ability of modulating and coordinating the right and left bite force is poorly investigated. The present study describes a methodology for the assessment of the bilateral control of the biting force and evaluates the test-retest reliability in a sample of 13 healthy subjects. By modulating the intensity and the left/right balance of the biting force, the subject was able to drive a cursor on the screen to “reach and hold” targets, randomly generated within the physiological “range of force” of the subject. The average motor performance was evaluated by the mean cursor-target distance = 13 ± 5%, the Offset Error = 9 ± 5% and the standard deviation of the force vector = 17.7 ± 6.1% (expressed as % of the target). Mean distance and standard deviation indices had acceptable reliability. This technique improves the characterization of the mandibular motor function and it may have a relevant role for the assessment and rehabilitation of the neuromusculoskeletal disorders affecting the orofacial system.

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Michael Duncan, Elizabeth Bryant, Mike Price, Samuel Oxford, Emma Eyre and Mathew Hill

This study examined postural sway in children in eyes open (EO) and eyes closed (EC) conditions, controlling for body mass index (BMI) and physical activity (PA). Sixty two children (aged 8–11years) underwent sway assessment using computerized posturography from which 95% ellipse sway area, anterior/posterior (AP) sway, medial/lateral (ML) sway displacement and sway velocity were assessed. Six trials were performed alternatively in EO and EC. BMI (kg/m2) was determined from height and mass. PA was determined using sealed pedometry. AP amplitude (p = .038), ML amplitude (p = .001), 95% ellipse (p = .0001), and sway velocity (p = .012) were higher in EC compared with EO conditions. BMI and PA were not significant as covariates. None of the sway variables were significantly related to PA. However, sway velocity during EO (p = .0001) and EC (p = .0001) was significantly related to BMI. These results indicate that sway is poorer when vision is removed, that BMI influences sway velocity, but that pedometer-assessed PA was not associated with postural sway.