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Douglas J. Casa, Samuel N. Cheuvront, Stuart D. Galloway and Susan M. Shirreffs

Seasonal environmental changes can create unique challenges for year-long training among track-and-field athletes. However, the competitive track-and-field season is held in the summer months of the northern hemisphere and major international track-and-field competitions, such as the World

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Patrycja Lipinska, Sian V. Allen and Will G. Hopkins

Purpose:

Pacing has a substantial effect on endurance performance. The authors characterize pacing and identify its parameters for optimal performance in 1500-m freestyle swimming.

Methods:

Web sites provided 50-m lap and 1500-m race times for 330 swims of 24 elite male swimmers. Pacing for each swim was characterized with 7 parameters derived from a general linear model: linear and quadratic coefficients for the effect of lap number; reductions from predicted time for first, second, penultimate, and last laps; and lap-time variability. Scatter plots of race time vs each parameter for each swimmer were used to identify optimum values of parameters.

Results:

Most scatterplots showed only weak relationships between the parameter and performance, but one-third to one-half of swimmers had an optimum value of the parameter that was substantially different from their mean value. A large improvement in performance time (1.4% ± 0.9%, mean ± SD) could be achieved generally by reversing the sign of the linear parameter to make the slowest lap occur earlier in the race. Small to moderate improvements might also accrue by changing the quadratic parameter, by making the first and second laps slower and the penultimate and last laps faster, and reducing lap-time variability.

Conclusions:

This approach to analysis of pacing may help improve performance in swimmers and other endurance athletes in sports with multiple laps, but data from many competitions are required.

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Robert F. Chapman, Abigail S. Laymon and Todd Arnold

Subjects with scores on the Functional Movement Screen (FMS) assessment of ≤14 or with at least 1 bilateral asymmetry have been shown to have greater future injury incidence than subjects with FMS scores >14 or no movement asymmetries.

Purpose:

To determine if FMS injury risk factors extend to longitudinal competitive performance outcomes in elite track and field athletes.

Methods:

Elite track and field athletes were examined (N = 121), each completing an FMS before the 2011 competitive season. Best competition marks for the year were obtained from athletes’ actual performances for 2010 and 2011. Performance change between 2010 and 2011 was examined in cohorts of FMS scores ≤14 (LoFMS) vs >14 (HiFMS), athletes with bilateral asymmetry in at least 1 of the 5 FMS movements vs athletes with no asymmetry, and athletes who scored 1 on the deep-squat movement vs athletes who scored 2 or 3.

Results:

HiFMS had a significantly different change in performance from 2010 to 2011 (0.41% ± 2.50%, n = 80) compared with LoFMS (−0.51% ± 2.30%, P = .03, n = 41). Athletes with no asymmetries had a longitudinal improvement in performance (+0.60% ± 2.86%, n = 50) compared with athletes with at least 1 asymmetry (−0.26% ± 2.10%, P = .03, n = 71). Athletes who scored 1 on the deep-squat movement had a significantly different change in performance (−1.07 ± 2.08%, n = 22) vs athletes who scored 2 (0.13% ± 2.28%, P = .03, n = 87) or 3 (1.98% ± 3.31%, P = .001, n = 12).

Conclusion:

Functional movement ability, known to be associated with the likelihood of future injury, is also related to the ability to improve longitudinal competitive performance outcomes.

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Dean Ritchie, Will G. Hopkins, Martin Buchheit, Justin Cordy and Jonathan D. Bartlett

Context:

Training volume, intensity, and distribution are important factors during periods of return to play.

Purpose:

To quantify the effect of injury on training load (TL) before and after return to play (RTP) in professional Australian Rules football.

Methods:

Perceived training load (RPE-TL) for 44 players was obtained for all indoor and outdoor training sessions, while field-based training was monitored via GPS (total distance, high-speed running, mean speed). When a player sustained a competition time-loss injury, weekly TL was quantified for 3 wk before and after RTP. General linear mixed models, with inference about magnitudes standardized by between-players SDs, were used to quantify effects of lower- and upper-body injury on TL compared with the team.

Results:

While total RPE-TL was similar to the team 2 wk before RTP, training distribution was different, whereby skills RPE-TL was likely and most likely lower for upper- and lower-body injury, respectively, and most likely replaced with small to very large increases in running and other conditioning load. Weekly total distance and high-speed running were most likely moderately to largely reduced for lower- and upper-body injury until after RTP, at which point total RPE-TL, training distribution, total distance, and high-speed running were similar to the team. Mean speed of field-based training was similar before and after RTP compared with the team.

Conclusions:

Despite injured athletes’ obtaining comparable TLs to uninjured players, training distribution is different until after RTP, indicating the importance of monitoring all types of training that athletes complete.

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Øyvind Sandbakk, Guro Strøm Solli and Hans-Christer Holmberg

performance in connection with sport competitions of varying duration is called for. In the present review, we summarize scientific knowledge concerning sex differences in world-record performance and the influence of sport discipline and competition duration. Furthermore, we discuss how physiological factors

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Amelia Carr, Kerry McGawley, Andrew Govus, Erik P. Andersson, Oliver M. Shannon, Stig Mattsson and Anna Melin

Cross-country sprint skiing competitions involve four very high-intensity efforts of 2–4 min, performed over 3–4 hr, commencing with a qualification heat completed as an individual time trial and followed by three subsequent head-to-head heats separated by ∼20–25 min ( Sandbakk et al., 2011

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Barry S. Mason, Viola C. Altmann and Victoria L. Goosey-Tolfrey

Paralympic sports, a classification system exists in order to minimize the impact of impairment on the outcomes of competition. 2 Classification in WR is largely dependent on the physical assessment of trunk and arm function. Point scores between 0 and 1.5 are awarded to represent trunk function. Both arms

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Jeremiah J. Peiffer, Chris R. Abbiss, Eric C. Haakonssen and Paolo Menaspà

variable nature of competition. 1 , 6 A greater understanding of this variability is important to more accurately quantify training and racing load, thereby informing the development of more efficient and effective training and racing strategies. Studies examining the physical demands of cycling have

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Adrien Bouchet, Thomas W. Doellman, Mike Troilo and Brian R. Walkup

Sport apparel firms fiercely compete for the sponsorship of international football (soccer) clubs’ kits (shirts, shoes, and other apparel). This competition, along with increased media visibility, has resulted in a significant growth in deal values in recent years. For instance, Adidas announced in

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Randy O. Frost and Katherine J. Henderson

This exploratory study examined the relationship of perfectionism (from a recently devised multidimensional measure) with female athletes' reactions to athletic competition and coaches' ratings of reactions to mistakes during competition. Athletes who rated high in Concern Over Mistakes (one dimension of perfectionism) reported more anxiety and less self-confidence in sports, displayed a general failure orientation toward sports, reacted negatively to mistakes (by their report and by coaches' ratings), and reported more negative thinking in the 24 hours prior to competition. A second dimension of perfectionism, High Personal Standards, was associated with a success orientation toward sports and more dreams of perfection prior to competition. The possible influence of perfectionism on motivation and performance in sports is discussed.