The authors examined whether changes in heart-rate (HR) variability (HRV) could consistently track adaptation to training and race performance during a 32-wk competitive season. An elite male long-course triathlete recorded resting HR (RHR) each morning, and vagal-related indices of HRV (natural logarithm of the square root of mean squared differences of successive R−R intervals [ln rMSSD] and the ratio of ln rMSSD to R−R interval length [ln rMSSD:RR]) were assessed. Daily training load was quantified using a power meter and wrist-top GPS device. Trends in HRV indices and training load were examined by calculating standardized differences (ES). The following trends in week-to-week changes were consistently observed: (1) When the triathlete was coping with a training block, RHR decreased (ES −0.38 [90% confidence limits −0.05;−0.72]) and ln rMSSD increased (+0.36 [0.71;0.00]). (2) When the triathlete was not coping, RHR increased (+0.65 [1.29;0.00]) and ln rMSSD decreased (−0.60 [0.00;−1.20]). (3) Optimal competition performance was associated with moderate decreases in ln rMSSD (−0.86 [−0.76;−0.95]) and ln rMSSD:RR (−0.90 [−0.60;−1.20]) in the week before competition. (4) Suboptimal competition performance was associated with small decreases in ln rMSSD (−0.25 [−0.76;−0.95]) and trivial changes in ln rMSSD:RR (−0.04 [0.50;−0.57]) in the week before competition. To conclude, in this triathlete, a decrease in RHR concurrent with increased ln rMSSD compared with the previous week consistently appears indicative of positive training adaptation during a training block. A simultaneous reduction in ln rMSSD and ln rMSSD:RR during the final week preceding competition appears consistently indicative of optimal performance.
Jamie Stanley, Shaun D’Auria and Martin Buchheit
Neele R. Mattausch, Kirsten Domnik, Karsten Koehler, Wilhelm Schaenzer and Hans Braun
John Kenny, SarahJane Cullen and Giles D. Warrington
“Ice-mile” swimming presents significant physiological challenges and potential safety issues, but few data are available. This study examined deep body temperature (BT), respiratory rate (RR), and swim performance in 2 swimmers completing an ice-mile swim of 1 mile (1600 m) in water less than 5°C.
Two male cold-water-habituated swimmers completed a 1-mile lake swim in 3.9°C water. For comparative purposes, they completed an indoor 1-mile swim in 28.1°C water. The Equivital physiological monitoring system was used to record BT and RR before, during, and after each swim. Total time to complete the swims and 400-m splits were recorded.
One swimmer became hypothermic after 27 min while swimming, reaching BT of 33.7°C at swim’s end. On exiting the water the swimmers experienced large BT after-drops of –3.6°C and –2.4°C, reaching low points of 33.2°C and 31.3°C 38 and 23 min postswim, respectively. Respiratory rate and swim pace decreased over the course of the ice-mile swim for both swimmers. Swim pace for 1 swimmer declined sharply in the final 400-m lap of the ice mile when he was hypothermic. Both swimmers remained hypothermic 60 min postswim (34.2°C and 33.4°C).
Ice-mile swimmers may become hypothermic while swimming, and the postswim BT after drop may expose them to dangerous levels of hypothermia. Pace and RR should be monitored as proxies for a swimmer’s physiological state. Postswim recovery should also be monitored for hypothermia for at least 1 h.
Mike Sleap, Barbara Elliott, Martha Paisi and Helen Reed
There are concerns about the future health of young people due to inactive lifestyles. However, evidence about their physical activity levels is not extensive, especially with regard to affluent young people. This study aimed to investigate whether young people from affluent backgrounds met public health recommendations for physical activity.
Diary accounts of lifestyle activity were collected from 219 students ages 9 to 15 y attending a fee-paying school in England.
Pupils spent an average of 121 min per day participating in physical activities of at least moderate intensity, considerably more than public health recommendations of 60 min per day. However, almost a quarter of these young people engaged in less than 60 min of physical activity per day of at least moderate intensity.
The picture to emerge was one of a balance between sedentary pursuits like television and homework and physical activities such as sport and active play.
Motohide Miyahara and Alena Wafer
The teaching process and outcome in a skill theme program and a movement concepts program were described and analyzed in seven children with developmental coordination disorder. It was hypothesized that the skill theme program would improve targeted skills and perceived physical competence, whereas the movement concepts program would improve self-esteem and creativity. The seven children were taught individually by the same student teachers twice a week for a period of five weeks in one of the teaching methods. After a vacation, the teachers changed their teaching strategies and taught the same children using the alternative method. Although the hypothesis was generally supported, the children’s response to and progress in the programs varied. Possible factors influencing the variation were discussed.
Charles A. Maher
This article reflects a response to the case of a freshman student-athlete lacrosse player who was in the process of transitioning into a Division I environment. Within the context of the case response, guidelines were provided for assessment of the student-athlete at four separate, yet interrelated levels of psychological development. These levels were: as a person; as a student-athlete who exists in a high-risk environment; as a teammate; and as a performer in the sport of lacrosse. Relatedly, it was suggested how the strengths and needs of this individual could be assessed and how resulting needs assessment information could be used in the design of an individual plan for the student-athlete. As such, it was suggested that the individual plan would most likely center on helping the individual to become increasingly aware of herself as a person and performer, to offer guidance in adhering to her physical rehabilitation, and to develop a routine for her daily preparation and for monitoring her practice and game performances. The case response concludes with a description of a framework for determining the student-athlete’s readiness for engaging in the plan and its activities.
Jessie M. Wall, Janelle L. Kwee, Marvin J. McDonald and Richard A. Bradshaw
This study was the first to explore the treatment effects of observed and experiential integration (OEI) therapy for the salient psychological barriers to performance experienced by athletes. The hermeneutic single case efficacy design was used to explore the relationship between OEI therapy and athlete psychological functioning. The participant was a student-athlete who met the criteria for the performance dysfunction (multilevel classification system of Sport psychology) category, which indicates that subclinical issues were present. After five phases of data collection, a rich case record was compiled and referenced to develop skeptic and affirmative briefs and corresponding rebuttals by two research teams of three experts (OEI clinician, non-OEI clinician, and sport expert). Three independent judges adjudicated the cases and unanimously concluded that the client changed considerably to substantially and that OEI, the therapeutic relationship, and client expectancy were active variables in the change process.
Aditi Mankad, Sandy Gordon and Karen Wallman
The present study features a psycholinguistic analysis, using Pennebaker’s (1989) emotional disclosure paradigm, of an athlete’s experience in recovering from injury. “GL,” a male athlete rehabilitating from anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction, participated in a 9-week testing protocol. A 3-day intervention was used, consisting of three 20-minute writing sessions, which promoted disclosure of negative emotions associated with injury and rehabilitation. In addition, measures of stress, mood disturbance, and self-esteem were administered from pre- to postintervention and at follow-up. Results revealed decreases in stress and mood disturbance, as well as an increase in self-esteem. Analysis of writing samples revealed increased use of linguistic markers indicating affective awareness. Findings also highlighted the importance of emotional disclosure and cognitive integration in reducing stress and enhancing understanding of injury.
Gabriel Brizuela Costa, Miguel Polo Rubio, Salvador Llana Belloch and Pedro Pérez Soriano
This study, with a top T-52 class athlete, determines the relationship between stroke frequency (SF) and push time (PT) and wheelchair velocity (Wv) using different handrim diameters (HD) and the effect of different HDs on the athlete’s heart rate (HR) and blood lactate (LACT) at competition speeds. Wv shows a linear-direct relationship with SF but a linear-inverse relationship with PT (p < .001 in both cases). Using bigger handrims (0.37 m instead of 0.36 m), SF increases 6%, while PT decreases 27% (at 24 Km·h–1). HR (p < .0001) increases with Wv and is also affected by HD with differences between the 0.34 m—0.36 m handrim group (lower values) and the 0.37 m handrim (higher values). Significant interaction (p < .0001) is identified between HD and Wv. LACT results seem to follow the same direction as HR. This methodology helped the athlete to choose the optimum HD, and his achievements (some world records) indicate that HD optimization could be highly profitable in sport terms.
Virginie de Bressy de Guast, Jim Golby, Anna Van Wersch and Fabienne d’Arripe-Longueville
This study presents a complete psychological skills training (PST) program with a wheelchair athlete and examines the program effectiveness using a mixed-method approach. After initial testing, the athlete followed a two-month program of self-confidence building, motivational, visualization/relaxation, and injury management techniques. Quantitative and qualitative methods were used to examine the impacts on performance and psychological abilities. The triangulated results suggest that the PST program was perceived as effective by the athlete in terms of his sporting performances and mental skills. The characteristics and implications of a PST program with this wheelchair athlete are discussed, as well as the study limitations and the perspectives for future research.