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Salman Nazary-Moghadam, Mahyar Salavati, Ali Esteki, Behnam Akhbari, Sohrab Keyhani and Afsaneh Zeinalzadeh

Objectives: The current study assessed the intrasession and intersession reliability of the knee flexion–extension Lyapunov exponent in patients with anterior cruciate ligament deficiency and healthy individuals. Study Design: University research laboratory. Methods: Kinematic data were collected in 14 patients with anterior cruciate ligament deficiency and 14 healthy individuals walked on a treadmill at a self-selected, low, and high speed, with and without cognitive load. The intraclass correlation coefficient, standard error of measurement, minimal metrically detectable change, and percentage of coefficient of variation were calculated to assess the reliability. Results: The knee flexion–extension Lyapunov exponent had high intrasession reliability, with intraclass correlation coefficients ranging from .83 to .98. In addition, the intersession intraclass correlation coefficient values of these measurements ranged from .35 to .85 regardless of group, gait speed, and dual tasking. In general, relative and absolute reliability were higher in the patients with anterior cruciate ligament deficiency than in the healthy individuals. Conclusions: Although knee flexion–extension Lyapunov exponent demonstrates good intrasession reliability, its low intersession reliability indicates that changes of these measurements between different days should be interpreted with caution.

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Brittany Mann, Allison H. Gruber, Shane P. Murphy and Carrie L. Docherty

Context: The lateral ankle sprain is one of the most common lower-extremity injuries in sports. Previous research has found that some prophylactic ankle supports reduce the risk of recurrent ankle sprains and provide extra support to the joint. However, there is a continued concern that these supports may negatively influence performance. Objective: To determine if wearing an ankle brace influences athlete performance and ankle kinematics during functional performance tests. Design: Repeated measures. Setting: University gymnasium. Other Participants: Male and female recreational or competitive athletes (n = 20). Intervention: Participants performed 3 trials of a standing long jump, vertical jump, 40-yard sprint, and T-drill under each of the following 3 conditions: wearing traditional lace-up brace (brace 1), modified lace-up brace (brace 2), and no-brace. Main Outcome Measures: A 2-dimensional motion capture camera was used to measure ankle range of motion (ROM) in the sagittal plane during the vertical and standing long jumps and in the frontal plane during the cutting phase of the T-drill. Performance of each test and ankle ROM were compared between each of the braced conditions. Results: Ankle braces did not influence performance in speed or agility functional performance tests (P > .05). Ankle braces negatively affected performance of the standing long jump (P = .01) and vertical jump (P = .01). There was no significant difference between brace or no-brace conditions in ankle inversion ROM during the T-drill (P > .05). Both brace conditions restricted ROM in the sagittal plane during the vertical and standing long jumps (P < .05). Conclusions: Braced conditions restricted sagittal plane ROM during the vertical jump and long jump. This decrease in ROM explains the decline in functional performance also seen during these tests.

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Robert J. Aughey

Previous research has suggested elite Australian footballers undertake pacing strategies to preserve high intensity activity later in matches. However, this research used GPS with slow sample rates, did not express performance relative to minutes played during games and used lowly ranked players.

Methods:

Therefore in this study movement was recorded by GPS at 5 Hz. Running performance was expressed per period of the match (rotation) divided into low-intensity activity (LIA, 0.10 to 4.17 m⋅s–1); high-intensity running (HIR, 4.17 to 10.00 m⋅s–1) and maximal accelerations (2.78 to 10.00 m⋅s–2). All data were expressed relative to the first period of play in the match and the magnitude of effects was analyzed with the effect size (ES) statistic and expressed with confidence intervals.

Results:

The total and LIA distance covered by players did not change by a practically important magnitude during games (ES< 0.20). High intensity running was reduced in both rotations of the second quarter, Q3R2 and both rotations of the fourth quarter (ES -0.30 ± 0.14; -0.42 ± 0.14; -0.30 ± 0.14; -0.42 ± 0.14; and -0.48 ± 0.15 respectively). Maximal acceleration performance was reduced in Q1R2, and each rotation of the second half of matches.

Conclusion:

When expressed per minute of game time played, total distance and low intensity activity distance are not reduced by a practically important magnitude in AF players during a match. These data are therefore inconsistent with the concept of team sport players pacing their effort during matches. However, both high intensity running and maximal accelerations are reduced later in games, indicative of significant fatigue in players.

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Thomas Heinen

The goal of this study was to investigate the visual spotting hypothesis in 10 experts and 10 apprentices as they perform back aerial somersaults from a standing position with no preparatory jumps (short flight duration condition) and after some preparatory jumps with a flight time of 1s (long flight duration condition). Differences in gaze behavior and kinematics were expected between experts and apprentices and between experimental conditions. Gaze behavior was measured using a portable and wireless eye-tracking system in combination with a movement-analysis system. Experts exhibited a smaller landing deviation from the middle of the trampoline bed than apprentices. Experts showed higher fixation ratios during the take-off and flight phase. Experts exhibited no blinks in any of the somersaults in both conditions, whereas apprentices showed significant blink ratios in both experimental conditions. The findings suggest that gymnasts can use visual spotting during the back aerial somersault, even when the time of flight is delimited. We conclude that knowledge about gaze–movement relationships may help coaches develop specific training programs in the learning process of the back aerial somersault.

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Yuji Matsuda, Yoshihisa Sakurai, Keita Akashi and Yasuyuki Kubo

Center of mass (CoM) velocity variation in swimming direction is related to swimming performance and efficiency. However, it is difficult to calculate the CoM velocity during swimming. Therefore, we aimed to establish a practical estimation method for the CoM velocity in swimming direction during front crawl swimming with underwater cameras. Ten swimmers were recorded during front crawl swimming (25 m, maximal effort) using a motion capture system with 18 underwater and 9 land cameras. Three CoM velocity estimation methods were constructed (single-hip velocity, both-hips velocity, and both-hips velocity with simulated arm velocity correction). Each model was validated against the actual CoM velocity. The difference between the single-hip velocity and the actual CoM velocity in swimming direction was significantly larger compared with that of the other 2 models. Furthermore, the accuracy of CoM velocity estimation was increased when both-hips velocity was corrected using the simulated arm velocity. The method allowed estimation of the CoM velocity with only 2 underwater cameras with a maximal difference of 0.06 m·s−1. This study established a novel and practical method for the estimation of the CoM velocity in swimming direction during front crawl swimming.

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Kai Yan Lui, Patricia Hewston and Nandini Deshpande

During sit-to-stand (STS), the vestibular system is highly stimulated in response to linear acceleration of the head and may play an important role, in addition to vision, for postural control. We examined the effects of aging on visual–vestibular interaction for postural control during STS in 15 young (22.5 ± 1.1 years) and 15 older (73.9 ± 5.3 years) participants. Vestibular information was manipulated using galvanic vestibular stimulation. Vision conditions involved normal (eyes open), suboptimal (blurring goggles), and no (eyes closed) vision. Older participants had significantly greater mediolateral peak-to-peak trunk roll (p = .025) and center of mass displacements (p < .001) than young participants. However, despite having greater mediolateral instability, older participants utilized similar strategies as young participants to overcome sensory perturbations during STS. Overall visual inputs were more dominantly used for mediolateral trunk control during STS than vestibular inputs.

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Jorge López-Fernández, Javier Sánchez-Sánchez, Jorge García-Unanue, José Luis Felipe, Enrique Colino and Leonor Gallardo

Purpose: Recent studies have shown that soccer players’ responses are similar on natural grass (NG) and artificial turf (AT), but they did not control the mechanical properties of these surfaces. This work aimed to analyze the influence of the game surface on amateur soccer players’ physical and physiological responses using a soccer simulation protocol. Methods: A total of 16 amateur players performed 3 bouts of the soccer simulation protocol on AT, and, on another day, 3 bouts on NG. The mechanical properties of both surfaces were recorded. The order of surfaces was randomly established for each participant. Physiological responses of players were assessed before and after the 6-repeated-sprints test existing at the midpoint of each bout. Fatigue (% best; % diff) and general variables (total time; best time, mean time; maximum speed) for both the repeated sprint test (RST) and the agility tests (nonlinear actions at maximum speed) incorporated into the soccer simulation protocol were also analyzed. Results: The 2 surfaces displayed different mechanical properties. Physical responses were found similar for both surfaces (P > .05) before and after the RST. There were no surface differences in sprint times or fatigue variables for the RST (P > .05). The agility test was faster on AT than on NG in bout 1 (average speed [+1.17 km/h;P = .037]; agility test cut time [−0.31 s; P = .027] and best time [−0.52 s; P = .042]). Conclusions: The differences in the mechanical properties of the 2 surfaces are not sufficient to cause differences in the physiological and physical responses of soccer players, although they may affect turns and cuts.

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Wen-Hao Hsu, Evelyn J. Park, Daniel L. Miranda, Hani M. Sallum, Conor J. Walsh and Eugene C. Goldfield

This study examines how adults apply forces to regulate new walkers’ body sway directions while assisting them in standing and initiating their first steps. Eight healthy, typically developing young children who could stand independently and walk a few steps with an adult’s support participated in this study and were included for data analyses. Adults wore instrumented force gloves and placed their hands on their child’s hips to assist them in standing, then released glove contact with their child to allow their child to initiate walking. Using the glove force profiles, three phases (Stabilization, Relaxation, and Initiation) of adults’ support were determined. Results showed that adults gradually reduced their assistance in both the antero-posterior (AP) and mediolateral (ML) directions, before releasing their hands. They also influenced the directionality of their child’s center of mass (CoM) so that it was in the AP rather than ML direction. Furthermore, the behavior of the child’s CoM in the ML direction during the Initiation Phase was related to the latency with which the child initiated the first step. These findings support the view that adults play a role in modulating the directionality of the child’s body motion by transforming body sway into gait initiation.

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Jason D. Vescovi and Devon H. Frayne

Purpose:

To examine locomotor demands and metabolic-power characteristics of National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) field hockey matches.

Methods:

Using a cross-sectional design, global positioning system (GPS) technology tracked Division I field hockey players from 6 teams during 1 regular-season match (68 player observations). An ANOVA compared locomotor demands and metabolic-power characteristics among positions. Paired t tests compared dependent variables between halves.

Results:

Defenders played 5−6 min more than midfielders, whereas midfielders played 6−7 min more than forwards. Defenders covered less relative distance (98 m/min) than forwards and midfielders (110−111 m/min), as well as more low-intensity running than forwards and less high-intensity running than midfielders. Lower mean metabolic power (9.3 W/kg) was observed for defenders than forwards and midfielders (10.4 W/kg). There was no difference in playing time between halves; however, all 3 positions had a reduction in relative distance (7−9%) and mean metabolic power (8−9%) during the second half.

Conclusions:

Despite more playing time, defenders covered less relative distance and had lower mean metabolic power than other positions. Moderate-intensity, high-intensity, and sprint distance were similar between positions, highlighting the greater relative demands on forwards because they tended to have the least amount of playing time. The reduction of key metrics during the second half was similar among positions and warrants further investigation. These initial results can be used to design position-specific drills or create small-sided games that replicate match demands for NCAA athletes, thus helping establish strategies for developing physiological ability of players at this level.

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Elizabeth Coker and Terry Kaminski

The purpose of this study was to investigate the effects of visual condition (low light, full light, and full light with mirror) on balance control and technical form during two technical dance movements in a group of elite collegiate dance students. Dancers demonstrated higher center of pressure velocity indicating lower control while performing a static dance task (parallel relevé retiré) and a dynamic dance task (fondu relevé en croix) under low light conditions than either lighted condition. Measures of Western ballet technique (pelvic obliquity, knee extension, and ankle plantar flexion) showed no decrement under low light conditions. No effect of concurrent mirror feedback was found on either center of pressure velocity or technical requirements of the dance tasks.