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Adam Nicholls, Remco Polman, David Morley and Natalie J. Taylor

An aim of this paper was to discover whether athletes of different pubertal status, chronological age, and gender reported distinct coping strategies in response to stress during a competitive event in their sport. A secondary aim was to examine pubertal status group, chronological age, and gender differences in coping effectiveness. Participants were adolescent athletes (n = 527), classified as beginning-pubertal (n = 59), midpubertal (n = 189), advanced-pubertal (n = 237), and postpubertal (n = 22). Findings revealed that there were small, but significant differences in how athletes of different pubertal status and chronological age coped. There were also significant differences between how athletes of different pubertal status perceived the effectiveness of their coping strategies. Interestingly, our results suggested that the relationship between pubertal status and coping and coping effectiveness is different from the relationship between chronological age and coping and coping effectiveness.

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Ian W. Maynard, Brian Hemmings and Lawrence Warwick-Evans

The primary aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of a somatic intervention technique. Subjects (N = 17) completed a modified version of the Competitive State Anxiety Inventory 2 (CSAI-2), which assessed both intensity and direction (debilitative-facilitative) of state anxiety within one hour of a soccer league match. During the match, player performances were evaluated using intraindividual criteria. Subjects were then allocated to control (n = 8) and experimental (n = 9) groups on the basis of their somatic anxiety intensity and direction scores. Following an 8-week intervention, subjects were again assessed during a second soccer match. A series of twoway analyses of variance with one repeated measure revealed significant interactions for cognitive anxiety intensity, somatic anxiety intensity, and somatic anxiety direction. This study provided further support for the “matching hypotheses” in that a compatible treatment proved most effective in reducing the targeted anxiety.

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Ian W. Maynard, Martin J. Smith and Lawrence Warwick-Evans

The aims of this field-based study were to evaluate the effects of a cognitive intervention technique and to further examine the anxiety–performance relationship in semiprofessional soccer players. Participants completed a composite version of the Competitive State Anxiety Inventory-2 (CSAI-2) 20 minutes before three soccer league matches. Two experimental groups, one suffering from debilitative cognitive anxiety (n = 8), one suffering from debilitative somatic anxiety (n = 8), undertook a 12-week cognitive intervention. Player performances were evaluated using intraindividual criteria. A series of two-way analyses of variance (group and event), with repeated measures on the second factor, indicated significant Group × Event interactions for cognitive anxiety intensity and direction, and somatic anxiety intensity and direction, yet failed to reveal significant interactions or main effects for the performance measures. This study provided partial support for the “matching hypothesis” in that a compatible treatment proved more effective in reducing the targeted anxiety in both experimental groups.

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Kai C. Bormann, Paul Schulte-Coerne, Mathias Diebig and Jens Rowold

The goal of this study is to examine the effects of coaches’ transformational leadership on player performance. To advance existing research, we examine (a) effects on individual and team performance and (b) consider joint moderating effects of players’ win orientation and teams’ competitive performance on the leadership– individual performance link. In a three-source sample from German handball teams, we collected data on 336 players and 30 coaches and teams. Results showed positive main effects of transformational leadership’s facet of articulating a vision (AV) on team and individual performance and negative main effects of providing an appropriate model (PAM) on team performance. With regard to moderating effects, AV increased and PAM decreased individual performance when both moderators were low, and intellectual stimulation had a positive effect when both were high. This study expands insights into the potential and limitation of transformational leadership with a strong focus on the role of situational contingencies.

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Andrea Nicolò, Ilenia Bazzucchi and Massimo Sacchetti

Purpose:

To verify the accuracy of predicting performance in the severe-intensity domain by means of end-test power output (EP) and the work performed above EP (WEP) obtained from a 3-min all-out test in competitive cyclists.

Methods:

Ten welltrained cyclists performed a ramp incremental test and a 3-min all-out familiarization test. Subsequently, they performed a 3-min all-out experimental test to obtain EP and WEP and a 10-min time trial (TT). The actual 10-min-TT mean power output was then compared with the power output predicted as P = WEP/T lim + EP, where T lim corresponds to 600 s. The ramp-test peak power output (PPO) was compared with PPO predicted as PPO=EP+2WEP S, where S represents the ramp slope (0.5 W/s).

Results:

The actual (347 ± 30 W) and predicted (376 ± 48 W) 10-min TT mean power output were correlated (r = .87, P = .001) but significantly different (P < .01). The coefficient of variation (CV) between the predicted and actual performance was 5.6% ± 4.4%. The error of prediction was positively correlated to EP (r = .80, P = .005) and negatively correlated to WEP (r = –.71, P = .021). No significant difference was found between the 10-min-TT mean power output and EP (351 ± 53 W). The actual (438 ± 30 W) and predicted (472 ± 41 W) ramp PPO were correlated (r = .88, P < .001) but significantly different (P < .001). The CV between the predicted and actual PPO was 5.2% ± 3%. The error of prediction was positively correlated to EP (r = .63, P = .051).

Conclusions:

EP and WEP obtained from a 3-min all-out test overestimate severe-intensity performance in competitive cyclists.

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Melissa Skein, Rob Duffield, Geoffrey M. Minett, Alanna Snape and Alistair Murphy

Purpose:

This study examined the effects of overnight sleep deprivation on recovery after competitive rugby league matches.

Methods:

Eleven male amateur rugby league players played 2 competitive matches, followed by either a normal night’s sleep (~8 h; CONT) or a sleep-deprived night (~0 h; SDEP) in a randomized fashion. Testing was conducted the morning of the match, immediately postmatch, 2 h postmatch, and the next morning (16 h postmatch). Measures included countermovement-jump (CMJ) distance, knee-extensor maximal voluntary contraction (MVC) and voluntary activation (VA), venous-blood creatine kinase (CK) and C-reactive protein (CRP), perceived muscle soreness, and a word–color recognition cognitive-function test. Percent change between postmatch and 16-h postmatch was reported to determine the effect of the intervention the next morning.

Results:

Large effects indicated a greater postmatch to 16-h-postmatch percentage decline in CMJ distance after SDEP than in CONT (P = .10–.16, d = 0.95–1.05). Similarly, the percentage decline in incongruent word–color reaction times was increased in SDEP trials (P = .007, d = 1.75). Measures of MVC did not differ between conditions (P = .40–.75, d = 0.13–0.33), although trends for larger percentage decline in VA were detected in SDEP (P = .19, d = 0.84). Furthermore, large effects indicated higher CK and CRP responses 16 h postmatch in SDEP than in CONT (P = .11–.87, d = 0.80–0.88).

Conclusions:

Sleep deprivation negatively affected recovery after a rugby league match, specifically impairing CMJ distance and cognitive function. Practitioners should promote adequate postmatch sleep patterns or adjust training demands the next day to accommodate the altered physical and cognitive state after sleep deprivation.

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Rebecca T. Viner, Margaret Harris, Jackie R. Berning and Nanna L. Meyer

The purpose of this study was to assess energy availability (EA) and dietary patterns of 10 adult (29–49 years) male (n = 6) and female (n = 4) competitive (USA Cycling Category: Pro, n = 2; 1–4, n = 8) endurance cyclists (5 road, 5 off-road), with lower than expected bone mineral density (BMD; Z score < 0) across a season. Energy intake (EI) and exercise energy expenditure during preseason (PS), competition (C), and off-season (OS) were estimated from 3-day dietary records, completed once per month, across a cycling season. BMD was measured by DXA at 0 months/5 months/10 months. The Three-Factor Eating Questionnaire (TFEQ) was used to assess cognitive dietary restraint. Seventy percent of participants had low EA [(LEA); < 30 kcal·kg fat-free mass (FFM)−1·day−1] during PS, 90% during C, and 80% during OS (range: 3–37 kcal·kg FFM−1·day−1). Ninety percent of cyclists had LEA during ≥ 1 training period, and 70% had LEA across the season. Seventy percent of cyclists were identified as restrained eaters who consciously restrict EI as a means of weight control. Mean daily carbohydrate intake was below sport nutrition recommendations during each training period (PS: 3.9 ± 1.1 g·kg−1·day−1, p < .001; C: 4.3 ± 1.4 g·kg−1·day−1, p = .005; OS: 3.7 ± 1.4 g·kg−1·day−1, p = .01). There were no differences in EA and EI·kg−1 between male and female cyclists and road and off-road cyclists. Low EI, and specifically low carbohydrate intake, appears to be the main contributor to chronic LEA in these cyclists. Adult male and female competitive road and off-road cyclists in the United States may be at risk for long-term LEA. Further studies are needed to explore strategies to prevent and monitor long-term LEA in these athletes.

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Bruce D. Hale

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Kyle McDonald

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Conor D. Osborough, Carl J. Payton and Daniel J. Daly

The purpose of this study was to determine the relationships between swimming speed (SS), stroke length (SL), and stroke frequency (SF) for competitive single-arm amputee front crawl swimmers and assess their relationships with anthropometric characteristics. Thirteen highly trained swimmers (3 male, 10 female) were filmed underwater from a lateral view during seven increasingly faster 25-m front crawl trials. Increases in SS (above 75% of maximum SS) were achieved by a 5% increase in SF, which coincided with a 2% decrease in SL. At SSmax, interswimmer correlations showed that SF was significantly related to SS (r = .72; p < .01) whereas SL was not. Moderate but nonsignificant correlations suggested that faster swimmers did not necessarily use longer and slower strokes to swim at a common submaximal speed when compared with their slower counterparts. No correlations existed between SL and any anthropometric characteristics. Biacromial breadth, shoulder girth, and upper-arm length all significantly correlated with the SF used at SSmax. These findings imply that as a consequence of being deprived of an important propelling limb, at fast swimming speeds SF is more important than SL in influencing the performance outcome of these single-arm amputee swimmers.