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Jeffrey J. Martin, Brigid Byrd, Michele Lewis Watts and Maana Dent

The purpose of the current study was to predict both general and sport-specific quality of life using measures of grit, hardiness, and resilience. Seventy-five adults (74 men, 1 woman) who are wheelchair basketball athletes participated in the current study. Twenty-six percent of the variance in life satisfaction was accounted for. Both hardiness and resilience accounted for meaningful variance, as indicated by their significant beta weights. Twenty-two percent of the variance in sport engagement was predicted; resilience and grit accounted for meaningful variance, as indicated by their significant beta weight. The regression results indicate that athletes reporting the highest levels of grit and resilience tended to also be the most engaged in their sport, and athletes with high levels of hardiness and resilience reported the highest quality of life. The descriptive results support an affirmation model of disability for the current sample of wheelchair athletes in that they reported moderate to strong levels of resiliency, grit, hardiness, sport engagement, and a high quality of life.

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Edward J. Smith, Ryan Storey and Mayur K. Ranchordas

Bouldering competitions are held up to International level and governed by the International Federation of Sport Climbing. Bouldering has been selected to feature at the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo, however, physiological qualities and nutritional requirements to optimize performance remain inadequately defined due to large gaps in the literature. The primary goals of training include optimizing the capacity of the anaerobic energy systems and developing sport-specific strength, with emphasis on the isometric function of the forearm flexors responsible for grip. Bouldering athletes typically possess a lean physique, similar to the characteristics of sport climbers with reported body fat values of 6–12%. Athletes strive for a low body weight to improve power to weight ratio and limit the load on the extremities. Specialized nutritional support is uncommon and poor nutritional practices such as chronic carbohydrate restriction are prevalent, compromising the health of the athletes. The high intensity nature of bouldering demands a focus on adequate carbohydrate availability. Protein intake and timing should be structured to maximize muscle protein synthesis and recovery, with the literature suggesting 0.25–0.3 g/kg in 3–4 hr intervals. Supplementing with creatine and b-alanine may provide some benefit by augmenting the capacity of the anaerobic systems. Boulderers are encouraged to seek advice from nutrition experts to enhance performance, particularly important when weight loss is the desired outcome. Further research is warranted across all nutritional aspects of bouldering which is summarized in this review.

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Heather Myers, Mary Poletti and Robert J. Butler

Context:

The Upper Quarter Y-Balance Test (YBT-UQ) is a unique movement test where individuals perform at the limits of their stability, requiring the coordination of balance, proprioception, range of motion, and stabilization. It is not yet clear if performance on the YBT-UQ differs between sports with dissimilar emphasis on upper-extremity performance.

Objective:

To compare performance on the YBT-UQ between wrestlers, whose sport requires some degree of closed-chain activity, and baseball players, whose sport is primarily open kinetic chain in nature.

Design:

Cross-sectional.

Setting:

High school preparticipation physical assessment.

Participants:

24 healthy high school male wrestlers (mean age 16.12 ± 1.24 y) and 24 healthy high school male baseball players (mean age 15.79 ± 1.25 y).

Interventions:

All subjects performed the YBT-UQ, which requires reaching in 3 directions while maintaining a push-up position.

Main Outcome Measures:

The variables of interest include the maximum reach in each direction, as well as the composite score. In addition, asymmetries between limbs for each reach direction were compared.

Results:

Wrestlers performed significantly better than baseball players in the medial direction, inferolateral direction, and in composite scores. In the medial direction, wrestlers exhibited greater scores (P < .01) on both left and right limbs, 10.5 ± 10.2%LL and 9.95 ± 10.2%LL, respectively. Significant differences (P < .01) were also observed in the inferolateral direction, with a difference of 11.3 ± 12.0%LL on the left and 8.7 ± 11.0%LL on the right. Composite scores were higher (P < .01) for the wrestlers, with a difference of 7.0% on the left and 7.1% on the right.

Conclusions:

This study suggests that wrestlers perform better on the YBT-UQ than baseball players. The findings may suggest sport-specific normative data for the YBT-UQ in high school athletes.

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Tom R. Eaton, Aaron Potter, François Billaut, Derek Panchuk, David B. Pyne, Christopher J. Gore, Ting-Ting Chen, Leon McQuade and Nigel K. Stepto

Heat and hypoxia exacerbate central nervous system (CNS) fatigue. We therefore investigated whether essential amino acid (EAA) and caffeine ingestion attenuates CNS fatigue in a simulated team sport–specific running protocol in a hot, hypoxic environment. Subelite male team sport athletes (n = 8) performed a repeat sprint running protocol on a nonmotorized treadmill in an extreme environment on 4 separate occasions. Participants ingested one of four supplements: a double placebo, 3 mg.kg-1 body mass of caffeine + placebo, 2 × 7 g EAA (Musashi Create)+placebo, or caffeine + EAA before each exercise session using a randomized, double-blind crossover design. Electromyography (EMG) activity and quadriceps evoked responses to magnetic stimulation were assessed from the dominant leg at preexercise, halftime, and postexercise. Central activation ratio (CAR) was used to quantify completeness of quadriceps activation. Oxygenation of the prefrontal cortex was measured via near-infrared spectroscopy. Mean sprint work was higher (M = 174 J, 95% CI [23, 324], p < .05, d = 0.30; effect size, likely beneficial) in the caffeine + EAA condition versus EAAs alone. The decline in EMG activity was less (M = 13%, 95% CI [0, 26]; p < .01, d = 0.58, likely beneficial) in caffeine + EAA versus EAA alone. Similarly, the pre- to postexercise decrement in CAR was significantly less (M = −2.7%, 95% CI [0.4, 5.4]; p < .05, d = 0.50, likely beneficial) when caffeine + EAA were ingested compared with placebo. Cerebral oxygenation was lower (M = −5.6%, 95% CI [1.0, 10.1]; p < .01, d = 0.60, very likely beneficial) in the caffeine + EAA condition compared with LNAA alone. Coingestion of caffeine and EAA appears to maintain muscle activation and central drive, with a small improvement in running performance.

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Peter M. Fowler, Rob Duffield, Donna Lu, Jeremy A. Hickmans and Tannath J. Scott

Purpose:

To examine the effects of 24-h travel west across 11 time zones on subjective jet-lag and wellness responses together with self-reported sleep and upper respiratory symptoms in 18 professional rugby league players.

Methods:

Measures were obtained 1 or 2 d before (pretravel) and 2, 6, and 8 d after travel (post-2, post-6, and post-8) from Australia to the United Kingdom (UK) for the 2015 World Club Series.

Results:

Compared with pretravel, subjective jet-lag remained significantly elevated on post-8 (3.1 ± 2.3, P < .05, d > 0.90), although it was greatest on post-2 (4.1 ± 1.4). Self-reported sleep-onset times were significantly earlier on post-2 than at all other time points (P < .05, d > 0.90), and large effect sizes suggested that wake times were earlier on post-2 than on post-6 and post-8 (d > 0.90). Although significantly more upper respiratory symptoms were reported on post-6 than at pretravel (P < .05, d ˃ 0.90), no incidence of injury and negligible changes in wellness and muscle strength and range of motion (P > .05, d < 0.90) were evident after travel.

Conclusions:

Results suggest that westward long-haul travel between Australia and the UK exacerbates subjective jet-lag and sleep responses, along with upper respiratory symptoms, in professional rugby league players. Of note, the increase in self-reported upper respiratory symptoms is a reminder that the demands of long-haul travel may be an additional concern in jet-lag for traveling athletes. However, due to the lack of sport-specific performance measures, it is still unclear whether international travel interferes with training to the extent that subsequent competition performance is impaired.

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Johanna M. Hurtubise, Cheryl Beech and Alison Macpherson

Context:

There is a lack of research on sex differences for severe injuries across a variety of sports at the collegiate level.

Objective:

To compare differences in injury severity and concussion between sexes and collegiate sports.

Design:

Descriptive epidemiological study.

Participants:

1,657 injuries were analyzed from collegiate teams at York University.

Data Collection and Analysis:

Injuries were assessed by a certified or student athletic therapist and were categorized based on degree of tissue and/or joint damage as either severe or nonsevere. Severe injuries included those with third degree damage, while all others were classified as nonsevere. Injury severity was compared between the sexes and across different sports using Pearson chisquare analysis. Logistic regression was used to assess the relative contribution of each covariate.

Results:

Males sustained 1,155 injuries, with 13.3% of them being severe, while females sustained only 502 injuries, 17.7% of which were severe. The odds of sustaining severe injuries among female athletes are 1.4 times the odds of male athletes (OR: 1.40, CI 1.05−1.86). Eleven percent of all female injuries were concussions—significantly more than males (χ2 = 11.03, p = .001). The odds of female athletes having a concussion are 1.9 times the odds of a male athlete (OR: 1.85, CI 1.28−2.67).

Conclusion:

Based on our analysis, females are at an increased risk of sustaining a severe injury, particularly concussions. These findings highlight the need for future research into sex and sport-specific risk factors. This may provide information for health care professionals, coaches, and athletes for the proper prevention, on-field care, and treatment of sport injuries.

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Greg Henry, Brian Dawson, Brendan Lay and Warren Young

Purpose:

To study the validity of a video-based reactive agility test in Australian footballers.

Methods:

15 higher performance, 15 lower performance, and 12 nonfootballers completed a light-based reactive agility test (LRAT), a video-based reactive agility test (VRAT), and a planned test (PLAN).

Results:

With skill groups pooled, agility time in PLAN (1346 ± 66 ms) was significantly faster (P = .001) than both reactive tests (VRAT = 1550 ± 102 ms; LRAT = 1572 ± 97 ms). In addition, decision time was significantly faster (P = .001; d = 0.8) in LRAT (278 ± 36 ms) than VRAT (311 ± 47 ms). The correlation in agility time between the two reactive tests (r = .75) was higher than between the planned and reactive tests (r = .41–.68). Higher performance players had faster agility and movement times on VRAT (agility, 130 ± 24 ms, d = 1.27, P = .004; movement, 69 ± 73 ms, d = 0.88, P = .1) and LRAT (agility, 95 ± 86 ms, d = 0.99, P = .08; movement, 79 ± 74 ms; d = 0.9; P = .08) than the nonfootballers. In addition, higher (55 ± 39 ms, d = 0.87, P = .05) and lower (40 ± 57 ms, d = 0.74, P = .18) performance groups exhibited somewhat faster agility time than nonfootballers on PLAN. Furthermore, higher performance players were somewhat faster than lower performance for agility time on the VRAT (63 ± 85 ms, d = 0.82, P = .16) and decision time on the LRAT (20 ± 39 ms, d = 0.66, P = .21), but there was little difference in PLAN agility time between these groups (15 ± 150 ms, d = 0.24, P = .8).

Conclusions:

Differences in decision-making speed indicate that the sport-specific nature of the VRAT is not duplicated by a light-based stimulus. In addition, the VRAT is somewhat better able to discriminate different groups of Australian footballers than the LRAT. Collectively, this indicates that a video-based test is a more valid assessment tool for examining agility in Australian footballers.

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Marco Beato, Stuart A. McErlain-Naylor, Israel Halperin and Antonio Dello Iacono

Purpose: To summarize the evidence on postactivation potentiation (PAP) protocols using flywheel eccentric overload (EOL) exercises. Methods: Studies were searched using the electronic databases PubMed, Scopus, and Institute for Scientific Information Web of Knowledge. Results: In total, 7 eligible studies were identified based on the following results: First, practitioners can use different inertia intensities (eg, 0.03–0.11 kg·m2), based on the exercise selected, to enhance sport-specific performance. Second, the PAP time window following EOL exercise seems to be consistent with traditional PAP literature, where acute fatigue is dominant in the early part of the recovery period (eg, 30 s), and PAP is dominant in the second part (eg, 3 and 6 min). Third, as EOL exercises require large force and power outputs, a volume of 3 sets with the conditioning activity (eg, half-squat or lunge) seems to be a sensible approach. This could reduce the transitory muscle fatigue and thereby allow for a stronger potentiation effect compared with larger exercise volumes. Fourth, athletes should gain experience by performing EOL exercises before using the tool as part of a PAP protocol (3 or 4 sessions of familiarization). Finally, the dimensions of common flywheel devices offer useful and practical solutions to induce PAP effects outside of normal training environments and prior to competitions. Conclusions: EOL exercise can be used to stimulate PAP responses to obtain performance advantages in various sports. However, future research is needed to determine which EOL exercise modalities among intensity, volume, and rest intervals optimally induce the PAP phenomenon and facilitate transfer effects on athletic performances.

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Espen Tønnessen, Ida S. Svendsen, Bent R. Rønnestad, Jonny Hisdal, Thomas A. Haugen and Stephen Seiler

One year of training data from 8 elite orienteers were divided into a transition phase (TP), general preparatory phase (GPP), specific preparatory phase (SPP), and competition phase (CP). Average weekly training volume and frequency, hours at different intensities (zones 1–3), cross-training, running, orienteering, interval training, continuous training, and competition were calculated. Training volume was higher in GPP than TP, SPP, and CP (14.9 vs 9.7, 11.5, and 10.6 h/wk, P < .05). Training frequency was higher in GPP than TP (10 vs 7.5 sessions/wk, P < .05). Zone 1 training was higher in GPP than TP, SPP, and CP (11.3 vs 7.1, 8.3, and 7.7 h/wk, P < .05). Zone 3 training was higher in SPP and CP than in TP and GPP (0.9 and 1.1 vs 1.6 and 1.5 h/wk, P < .05). Cross-training was higher in GPP than SPP and CP (4.3 vs 0.8 h/wk, P < .05). Interval training was higher in GPP than TP, SPP, and CP (0.7 vs 0.3 h/wk, P < .05). High-intensity continuous training was higher in GPP than CP (0.9 vs 0.4 h/wk, P < .05), while competition was higher in SPP and CP than in TP and GPP (1.3 and 1.5 vs 0.6 and 0.3 h/wk, P < .01). In conclusion, these champion endurance athletes achieved a progressive reduction in total training volume from GPP to CP via a shortening of each individual session while the number of training sessions remained unchanged. This decrease in training volume was primarily due to a reduction in the number of hours of low-intensity, non-sport-specific cross-training.

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Daniel Gould, Linda Petlichkoff and Robert S. Weinberg

Two studies were conducted to examine antecedents of, relationships between, and temporal changes in the cognitive anxiety, somatic anxiety, and the self-confidence components of the Martens, Burton, Vealey, Bump, and Smith (1983) newly developed Competitive State Anxiety Inventory-2 (CSAI-2). In addition, the prediction that cognitive and somatic anxiety should differentially influence performance was examined. In Study 1, 37 elite intercollegiate wrestlers were administered the CSAI-2 immediately before two different competitions, whereas in Study 2, 63 female high school volleyball players completed the CSAI-2 on five different occasions (1 week, 48 hrs, 24 hrs, 2 hrs, and 20 min) prior to a major tournament. The results were analyzed using multiple regression, multivariate multiple regression, univariate and multivariate analyses of variance, and general linear model trend analysis techniques. The findings supported the scale development work of Martens and his colleagues by verifying that the CSAI-2 assesses three separate components of state anxiety. A number of other important findings also emerged. First, the prediction was confirmed that somatic anxiety increases during the time leading to competition, while cognitive anxiety and confidence remain constant. Second, CSAI-2 subscales were found to have different antecedents, although the precise predictions of Martens and his colleagues were not supported. Third, the prediction that cognitive anxiety would be a more powerful predictor of performance than somatic anxiety was only partially supported. Fourth, the prediction that precompetitive anxiety differences between experienced and inexperienced athletes initially found by Fenz (1975) result from somatic anxiety changes was not supported. It was concluded that the CSAI-2 shows much promise as a multidimensional sport-specific state anxiety inventory, although more research is needed to determine how and why specific antecedent factors influence various CSAI-2 components and to examine the predicted relationships between CSAI-2 components and performance.