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Elaine Tor, David L. Pease and Kevin A. Ball

The swimming start is highly influential to overall competition performance. Therefore, it is paramount to develop reliable methods to perform accurate biomechanical analysis of start performance for training and research. The Wetplate Analysis System is a custom-made force plate system developed by the Australian Institute of Sport—Aquatic Testing, Training and Research Unit (AIS ATTRU). This sophisticated system combines both force data and 2D digitization to measure a number of kinetic and kinematic parameter values in an attempt to evaluate start performance. Fourteen elite swimmers performed two maximal effort dives (performance was defined as time from start signal to 15 m) over two separate testing sessions. Intraclass correlation coefficients (ICC) were used to determine each parameter’s reliability. The kinetic parameters all had ICC greater than 0.9 except the time of peak vertical force (0.742). This may have been due to variations in movement initiation after the starting signal between trials. The kinematic and time parameters also had ICC greater than 0.9 apart from for the time of maximum depth (0.719). This parameter was lower due to the swimmers varying their depth between trials. Based on the high ICC scores for all parameters, the Wetplate Analysis System is suitable for biomechanical analysis of swimming starts.

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David B. Pyne and Rick L. Sharp

The aquatic sports competitions held during the summer Olympic Games include diving, open-water swimming, pool swimming, synchronized swimming, and water polo. Elite-level performance in each of these sports requires rigorous training and practice to develop the appropriate physiological, biomechanical, artistic, and strategic capabilities specific to each sport. Consequently, the daily training plans of these athletes are quite varied both between and within the sports. Common to all aquatic athletes, however, is that daily training and preparation consumes several hours and involves frequent periods of high-intensity exertion. Nutritional support for this high-level training is a critical element of the preparation of these athletes to ensure the energy and nutrient demands of the training and competition are met. In this article, we introduce the fundamental physical requirements of these sports and specifically explore the energetics of human locomotion in water. Subsequent articles in this issue explore the specific nutritional requirements of each aquatic sport. We hope that such exploration will provide a foundation for future investigation of the roles of optimal nutrition in optimizing performance in the aquatic sports.

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Angela Lumpkin, Judy Favor and Lacole McPherson

While the number of high school girls’ teams has dramatically increased since Title IX, the number of female head coaches has not. In the 10 most popular high school sports in 2011-2012, only three (volleyball, swimming and diving, and competitive spirit squads) had more than 44% female head coaches. The purpose of this study was to investigate whether females or males are coaching high school girls’ sport teams and whether female coaches are attaining head coaching positions in the most popular high school girls’ sports. Additionally, the study sought to understand better why males and females choose to become head coaches of high school girls’ sport teams and what factors might cause head high school girls’ coaches to resign from coaching. In the 21–30 age group, there were more female than male head coaches of girls’ teams, but after age 40, male head coaches vastly outnumbered female head coaches. Of the coaches with 12 or more years of experience, only 33% were females. Time away from family, player issues, inadequate compensation, and time away from other activities were the top reasons high school coaches might resign.

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Louise M. Burke, David B. Pyne and Richard D. Telford

Oral supplementation with creatine monohydrate (Cr.H20) has been reported to increase muscle creatine phosphate levels. The aim of the present study was to determine the effect of such supplementation on performance of a single-effort sprint by elite swimmers. Thirty-two elite swimmers (M = 18, F = 14; age = 17-25 years) from the Australian Institute of Sport were tested on two occasions, 1 week apart. Tests performed were 25-m, 50-m, and 100-m maximal effort sprints (electronically timed with dive start, swimmers performing their best stroke), each with approximately 10 min active recovery. A 10-s maximal leg ergometry test was also undertaken. Swimmers were divided into two groups matched for sex, stroke/event, and sprint time over 50 m, and groups were randomly assigned to 5 days of Cr.H20 supplementation (4 · day−1 x 5 g Cr.H20 + 2 g sucrose, n = 16) or placebo (4 · day−1 x 5 g Poly cose + -2 g sucrose, n = 16) prior to the second trial. Results revealed no significant differences between the group means for sprint times or between 10-s maximal leg ergometry power and work. This study does not support the hypothesis that creatine supplementation enhances single-effort sprint ability of elite swimmers.

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Laura Capranica and Mindy L. Millard-Stafford

A prevailing theory (and practical application) is that elite performance requires early childhood skill development and training across various domains, including sport. Debate continues whether children specializing early (ie, training/competition in a single sport) have true advantage compared with those who sample various sports early and specialize in a single sport later (adolescence). Retrospective data and case studies suggest either model yields elite status depending upon the sport category (ie, situational: ball games, martial arts, fencing; quantitative: track and feld, swimming, skiing; or qualitative: gymnastics, diving, figure skating). However, potential risks of early specialization include greater attrition and adverse physical/emotional health outcomes. With the advent of the IOC Youth Olympic Games, increased emphasis on global youth competition has unknown implications but also represents a potential platform for investigation. Modification of youth competition formats should be based upon multidisciplinary research on psycho-physiological responses, and technical-tactical behaviors during competition. The assumption that a simple scaled-down approach of adult competitions facilitates the development of technical/tactical skills of youth athletes is not necessarily substantiated with field-based research. Relatively little evidence exists regarding the long-term effects of rigorous training and competitive schedules on children in specific sports. It is clear that more prospective studies are needed to understand the training dose that optimally develops adaptations in youth without inducing dropout, overtraining syndrome, and/or injury. Such an approach should be sport specific as well as gender based. Until such evidence exists, coaches and sport administrators will continue to rely upon their sport-specific dogma to influence programmatic development of our most vulnerable population.

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Meghan Warren, Craig A. Smith and Nicole J. Chimera

Context:

The Functional Movement Screen (FMS) evaluates performance in 7 fundamental movement patterns using a 4-point scale. Previous studies have reported increased injury risk with a composite score (CS) of 14/21 or less; these studies were limited to specific sports and injury definition.

Objective:

To examine the association between FMS CS and movement pattern scores and acute noncontact and overuse musculoskeletal injuries in division I college athletes. An exploratory objective was to assess the association between injury and FMS movement pattern asymmetry.

Design:

Prospective cohort.

Setting:

College athletic facilities.

Participants:

167 injury-free, college basketball, football, volleyball, cross country, track and field, swimming/diving, soccer, golf, and tennis athletes (males = 89).

Intervention:

The FMS was administered during preparticipation examination.

Main Outcome Measure:

Noncontact or overuse injuries that required intervention from the athletic trainer during the sport season.

Results:

FMS CS was not different between those injured (n = 74; 14.3 ± 2.5) and those not (14.1 ± 2.4; P = .57). No point on the ROC curve maximized sensitivity and specificity; therefore previously published cut-point was used for analysis with injury (≤14 [n = 92]). After adjustment, no statistically significant association between FMS CS and injury (odds ratio [OR] = 1.01, 95% CI 0.53–1.91) existed. Lunge was the only movement pattern that was associated with injury; those scoring 2 were less likely to have an injury vs those who scored 3 (OR = 0.21, 95% CI 0.08–0.59). There was also no association between FMS movement pattern asymmetry and injury.

Conclusion:

FMS CS, movement patterns, and asymmetry were poor predictors of noncontact and overuse injury in this cohort of division I athletes.

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Matthew J. Barlow, Antonis Elia, Oliver M. Shannon, Angeliki Zacharogianni and Angelica Lodin-Sundstrom

Competitive apnea also known as free diving or breath-hold diving is an increasingly popular sport in which individuals attempt to achieve the greatest possible stationary breath-hold duration (i.e., static apnea) or maximal underwater distance or depth (i.e., dynamic apnea). During apnea, oxygen

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Josephine Blagrave and Taylor Guy

Children,” dives into the planning process for research with children. Chapter 5 guides the reader in understanding when it is most appropriate to include children in research, addressing areas such as family, medical, social science, and education. Practical considerations when conducting research with

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Greg Wood, Samuel J. Vine, Johnny Parr and Mark R. Wilson

the kicker focuses on the movements of the goalkeeper and responds by shooting in the opposite direction to which he or she dives, and keeper independent (KI), where the kicker aligns gaze with aiming intention and looks where he or she intends to shoot. Wood and Wilson ( 2010b ) uncovered a third

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Katie Lebel

need. We also provide sport content to empower our readers, in contrast to making them feel inadequate for not knowing the background or context, as other sport platforms may do. Background Education: We provide resources for our audience to learn the basics and dive deeper into certain sport topics