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Miranda J. Menaspà, Paolo Menaspà, Sally A. Clark and Maurizio Fanchini

-rate-based methods, was comparable with outcomes of previous studies in team sport disciplines. For example, the s-RPE has been shown to be a valid method to assess training load in basketball (range = .70–.82), 29 Australian football (.83), 3 youth soccer (range = .50–.78), 4 elite soccer (range = .52–.85), 10

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Brendan H. Lazarus, William G. Hopkins, Andrew M. Stewart and Robert J. Aughey

. PubMed doi:10.1123/ijspp.2014-0447 10.1123/ijspp.2014-0447 26217046 18. Robertson SJ , Joyce DG . Informing in-season tactical periodisation in team sport: development of a match difficulty index for Super Rugby . J Sports Sci . 2015 ; 33 : 99 – 107 . PubMed doi:10.1080/02640414.2014.925572 10

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Jade A.Z. Haycraft, Stephanie Kovalchik, David B. Pyne and Sam Robertson

Australian football is a dynamic team sport that requires players to display high levels of physical fitness in aerobic capacity, speed, agility, power, and strength. 1 – 3 The Australian Football League’s (AFL) participation pathway consists of 2 streams: (1) the local participation pathway and

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Matthew Finberg, Rebecca Braham, Carmel Goodman, Peter Gregory and Peter Peeling

Purpose:

To assess the efficacy of a 1-off electrostimulation treatment as a recovery modality from acute teamsport exercise, directly comparing the benefits to contrast water therapy.

Methods:

Ten moderately trained male athletes completed a simulated team-game circuit (STGC). At the conclusion of exercise, participants then completed a 30-min recovery modality of either electrostimulation therapy (EST), contrast water therapy (CWT), or a passive resting control condition (CON). Twenty-four hours later, participants were required to complete a modified STGC as a measure of next-day performance. Venous blood samples were collected preexercise and 3 and 24 h postexercise. Blood samples were analyzed for circulating levels of interleukin-6 (IL-6) and C-reactive protein (CRP).

Results:

The EST trial resulted in significantly faster sprint times during the 24-h postrecovery than with CON (P < .05), with no significant differences recorded between EST and CWT or between CWT and CON (P > .05). There were no differences in IL-6 or CRP across all trials. Finally, the perception of recovery was significantly greater in the EST trial than in the CWT and CON (P < .05).

Conclusions:

These results suggest that a 1-off treatment with EST may be beneficial to perceptual recovery, which may enhance next-day performance.

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Chris Gibbs, Norm O’Reilly and Michelle Brunette

Without exception, all professional sport teams in North America use social media to communicate with fans. Sport communication professionals use Twitter as one of the strategic tools of engagement, yet there remains a lack of understanding about how users are motivated and gratified in their Twitter use. Drawing on a specific sample from the Twitter followers of the Canadian Football League, the researchers used semistructured in-depth interviews, content analysis, and an online survey to seek an understanding of what motivates and satisfies Twitter followers of professional sport teams, measured through the gratifications sought and the fulfillment of these motives through the perceived gratifications obtained. The results add to the sport communications literature by finding 4 primary gratifications sought by Twitter users: interaction, promotion, live game updates, and news. Professional sport teams can improve strategic fan engagement by better understanding how Twitter followers use and seek gratification in the social-media experience.

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Jonathan D. Bartlett, Fergus O’Connor, Nathan Pitchford, Lorena Torres-Ronda and Samuel J. Robertson

Purpose:

The aim of this study was to quantify and predict relationships between rating of perceived exertion (RPE) and GPS training-load (TL) variables in professional Australian football (AF) players using group and individualized modeling approaches.

Methods:

TL data (GPS and RPE) for 41 professional AF players were obtained over a period of 27 wk. A total of 2711 training observations were analyzed with a total of 66 ± 13 sessions/player (range 39–89). Separate generalized estimating equations (GEEs) and artificial-neural-network analyses (ANNs) were conducted to determine the ability to predict RPE from TL variables (ie, session distance, high-speed running [HSR], HSR %, m/min) on a group and individual basis.

Results:

Prediction error for the individualized ANN (root-mean-square error [RMSE] 1.24 ± 0.41) was lower than the group ANN (RMSE 1.42 ± 0.44), individualized GEE (RMSE 1.58 ± 0.41), and group GEE (RMSE 1.85 ± 0.49). Both the GEE and ANN models determined session distance as the most important predictor of RPE. Furthermore, importance plots generated from the ANN revealed session distance as most predictive of RPE in 36 of the 41 players, whereas HSR was predictive of RPE in just 3 players and m/min was predictive of RPE in just 2 players.

Conclusions:

This study demonstrates that machine learning approaches may outperform more traditional methodologies with respect to predicting athlete responses to TL. These approaches enable further individualization of load monitoring, leading to more accurate training prescription and evaluation.

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Matthew C. Varley, Arne Jaspers, Werner F. Helsen and James J. Malone

Purpose:

Sprints and accelerations are popular performance indicators in applied sport. The methods used to define these efforts using athlete-tracking technology could affect the number of efforts reported. This study aimed to determine the influence of different techniques and settings for detecting high-intensity efforts using global positioning system (GPS) data.

Methods:

Velocity and acceleration data from a professional soccer match were recorded via 10-Hz GPS. Velocity data were filtered using either a median or an exponential filter. Acceleration data were derived from velocity data over a 0.2-s time interval (with and without an exponential filter applied) and a 0.3-second time interval. High-speed-running (≥4.17 m/s2), sprint (≥7.00 m/s2), and acceleration (≥2.78 m/s2) efforts were then identified using minimum-effort durations (0.1–0.9 s) to assess differences in the total number of efforts reported.

Results:

Different velocity-filtering methods resulted in small to moderate differences (effect size [ES] 0.28–1.09) in the number of high-speed-running and sprint efforts detected when minimum duration was <0.5 s and small to very large differences (ES –5.69 to 0.26) in the number of accelerations when minimum duration was <0.7 s. There was an exponential decline in the number of all efforts as minimum duration increased, regardless of filtering method, with the largest declines in acceleration efforts.

Conclusions:

Filtering techniques and minimum durations substantially affect the number of high-speed-running, sprint, and acceleration efforts detected with GPS. Changes to how high-intensity efforts are defined affect reported data. Therefore, consistency in data processing is advised.

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Jean Harvey, Alan Law and Michael Cantelon

This paper maps the current ownership patterns of North American major professional sports franchises in order to assess the extent to which they are interconnected with media/entertainment conglomerates. First, the 120 franchises are classified according to owner’s industrial sector. Second, five models of linkages between franchises and media/entertainment corporations are followed by case studies representative of each. The paper concludes that indeed empirical evidence supports the alleged increasing control of North American pro sport franchises by large media/entertainment conglomerates. However, the paper also demonstrates that the phenomenon involves much more diversity than the major conglomerates commonly identified in the current literature. Finally, the paper discusses the impacts of this trend on sport, as well as on fans.

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James M. Gladden and Daniel C. Funk

This study broadens the understanding of brand management in sport by creating the Team Association Model, a scale that identifies dimensions of brand associations, a major contributor to the creation of brand equity. Utilizing Keller’s (1993) theoretical framework of consumer-based brand equity, a thorough review of the sport literature was conducted which identified 16 potential dimensions. These 16 dimensions are derived with reference to Keller’s categorization of brand associations into ATTRIBUTE (success, head coach, star player, management, stadium, logo design, product delivery, and tradition), BENEFIT (identification, nostalgia, pride in place, escape, and peer group acceptance), and ATTITUDE (importance, knowledge, and affect). In order to evaluate the applicability of each potential dimension, a scale is developed, pre-tested, and tested on a national sample of sport consumers. Results of the confirmatory factor analysis of provided support for this paper’s theoretical notion that 16 distinct constructs underlie brand associations in sports.

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Terry Orlick

This article shares personal perspectives and experiences that emerged as a result of 15 years of consulting with athletes representing numerous sports at both Summer and Winter Olympic Games. The importance of listening closely to athletes, respecting their input, and meeting their individual needs is emphasized. Consultants are cautioned against using batteries of standardized personality assessment inventories as these infringe upon the athletes’ time without providing practical information. Effectiveness in this field requires firsthand experience with sport, a full understanding of the psychology of excellence, and a willingness to learn directly from the athletes themselves. One-on-one contact, adaptability to individual needs, good interpersonal skills, applied sportpsych knowledge, and persistence in application are also important. It is recommended that registration of consultants in the field of applied sport psychology be contingent upon direct evaluation by athletes.