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Tathyane Krahenbuhl, Ezequiel Moreira Gonçalves, Roseane de Fatima Guimarães, Gil Guerra-Júnior and Antonio de Azevedo Barros-Filho

Purpose:

To examine the influence of participation in competitive sports on bone parameters, as assessed by quantitative ultrasound (QUS) of the phalanges in female adolescents.

Methods:

Female adolescents (n = 329, 13.0–16.7 years old) were classified into handball (n = 55), swimming (n = 49) and control (n = 225) groups. QUS was used to evaluate the amplitude-dependent speed of sound (AD-SoS) and bone transmission time (BTT), and their z-scores (zAD-SoS and zBTT) were calculated. Anthropometric measurements and Tanner’s stages were also obtained.

Results:

Swimmers had higher AD-SoS (2089 ± 43.8 m/s) and zAD-SoS (0.47 ± 0.8) than controls (2060 ± 54.0 m/s; 0.09 ± 1.0; both p ≤ .05) and both groups of athletes had higher BTT (handball: 1.44 ± 0.2 μs; swimming: 1.45 ± 0.2) and zBTT (handball: 0.71 ± 0.8; swimming: 0.72 ± 1.1) than the control group (1.37 ± 0.2 μs; 0.32 ± 0.9; all p ≤ .05). Swimmers had a higher total training time (TTT: 52.5 ± 27.6 months) and frequency of training per week (FT: 5.38 ± 0.1) compared with the handball group (35.9 ± 18.1; 3.32 ±0.8; p ≤ .05). zAD-SoS, BTT and zBTT were positively correlated with FT, while BTT and zBTT showed a positive correlation with TTT.

Conclusions:

Sports practice influences bone parameters and higher bone parameter values are related to the amount of time and frequency of weekly training. The differences in phalangeal QUS parameters are independent of the impact of weight-bearing exercise.

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Martin Buchheit, Yannick Cholley and Philippe Lambert

Purpose:

To examine in elite soccer players after traveling across 6 time zones some psychometric and physiological responses to a competitive camp in the heat.

Methods:

Data from 12 elite professional players (24.6 ± 5.3 y) were analyzed. They participated in an 8-d preseason summer training camp in Asia (heat index 34.9°C ± 2.4°C). Players’ activity was collected during all training sessions and the friendly game using 15-Hz GPS. Perceived training/playing load was estimated using session rating of perceived exertion (RPE) and training/match duration. Psychometric measures of wellness were collected on awakening before, during, and after the camp using simple questionnaires. Heart-rate (HR) response to a submaximal 4-min run (12 km/h) and the ratio between velocity and force-load (accelerometer-derived measure, a marker of neuromuscular efficiency) response to four ~60-m runs (22–24 km/h) were collected before, at the end of, and after the camp.

Results:

After a large increase, the RPE:m/min ratio decreased substantially throughout the camp. There were possible small increases in perceived fatigue and small decreases in subjective sleep quality on the 6th day. There were also likely moderate (~3%) decreases in HR response to the submaximal run, both at the end of and after the camp, which were contemporary to possible small (~8%) and most likely moderate (~19%) improvements in neuromuscular efficiency, respectively.

Conclusions:

Despite transient increases in fatigue and reduced subjective sleep quality by the end of the camp, these elite players showed clear signs of heat acclimatization that were associated with improved cardiovascular fitness and neuromuscular running efficiency.

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Oliver Faude, Anke Steffen, Michael Kellmann and Tim Meyer

Purpose:

To analyze performance and fatigue effects of small-sided games (SSG) vs high-intensity interval training (HIIT) performed during a 4-wk in-season period in high-level youth football.

Methods:

Nineteen players from 4 youth teams (16.5 [SD 0.8] y, 1.79 [0.06] m, 70.7 [5.6] kg) of the 2 highest German divisions completed the study. Teams were randomly assigned to 1 of 2 training sequences (2 endurance sessions per wk): One training group started with SSG, whereas the other group conducted HIIT during the first half of the competitive season. After the winter break, training programs were changed between groups. Before and after the training periods the following tests were completed: the Recovery-Stress Questionnaire for Athletes, creatine kinase and urea concentrations, vertical-jump height (countermovement jump [CMJ], drop jump), straight sprint, agility, and an incremental field test to determine individual anaerobic threshold (IAT).

Results:

Significant time effects were observed for IAT (+1.3%, ηp 2 = .31), peak heart rate (–1.8%, ηp 2 = .45), and CMJ (–2.3%, ηp 2 = .27), with no significant interaction between groups (P > .30). Players with low baseline IAT values (+4.3%) showed greater improvements than those with high initial values (±0.0%). A significant decrease was found for total recovery (–5.0%, ηp 2 = .29), and an increase was found for urea concentration (+9.2%, ηp 2 = .44).

Conclusion:

Four weeks of in-season endurance training can lead to relevant improvements in endurance capacity. The decreases in CMJ height and total-recovery score together with the increase in urea concentration might be interpreted as early signs of fatigue. Thus, the danger of overtaxing players should be considered.

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Henrik Gustafsson, Göran Kenttä, Peter Hassmén and Carolina Lundqvist

This study examined the factorial validity of the Eades Burnout Inventory (EABI) and the prevalence of burnout in adolescent elite athletes and whether burnout is more common in individual sports than in team sports. The EABI was distributed to 980 athletes (402 females and 578 males) in 29 different sports. Confirmatory-factor analyses revealed an acceptable factorial validity for a theoretically supported four-factor model of the EABI. Between 1% and 9% of the athletes displayed elevated burnout scores on these four subscales. The hypothesis of higher prevalence of burnout in individual sports was, however, not supported. Furthermore, no correlation between training load and burnout scores was found. These findings suggest that factors other than training load must be considered when athletes at risk for burnout are investigated.

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Vikki Krane, Douglas Joyce and Jennifer Rafeld

The relationship among person factors, situational factors, and batting performance was examined during a collegiate softball tournament. Specifically, the purposes of the present study were to examine (a) cognitive and somatic anxiety and performance as related to athletes’ trait anxiety and situation criticality, and (b) the catastrophe theory prediction that somatic anxiety would differentially relate to performance depending upon the level of cognitive anxiety. Standardized performance scores and intraindividual cognitive and somatic anxiety scores were computed for each athlete (N = 11). As hypothesized, high levels of situation criticality were associated with high levels of cognitive anxiety, but somatic anxiety did not differ in the two situations. Both person and situation factors were significant predictors of cognitive and somatic anxiety; however, the more salient factor was dependent upon the measurement of anxiety (raw scores vs. standardized score). Consistent with the catastrophe theory, somatic anxiety had a different relationship with performance in high criticality situations compared to low criticality situations.

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Alen Miletic, Radmila Kostic and Durdica Miletic

Edited by Lindsey E. Eberman

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Wayne C. Harris

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David Cook, Bruce Gansneder, Robert Rotella, Christopher Malone, Linda Bunker and DeDe Owens