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Luke Wilkins, Jen Sweeney, Zoella Zaborski, Carl Nelson, Simon Tweddle, Eldre Beukes and Peter Allen

Increasing attention has been given to address mental health issues that may be present in elite athletes. According to a recent systematic review, the prevalence of mental health issues is similar for athletes (active and retired) and the general population ( Rice et al., 2016 ). One cohort that

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Kelly Pritchett, Robert C. Pritchett, Lauren Stark, Elizabeth Broad and Melissa LaCroix

always equate to improved performance ( Close et al., 2013 ). More recent studies suggest that a substantial portion of elite athletes with a chronic spinal cord injury (SCI) have insufficient/deficient 25(OH)D status ( Barbonetti et al., 2016 ; Flueck et al., 2016a ; Pritchett et al., 2016 ), which

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Darrell L. Bonetti and Will G. Hopkins

Purpose:

To estimate variability in performance time and smallest worthwhile changes for elite fat-water canoeists competing in 200-, 500- or 1000-m events at international regattas.

Methods:

The data came from A and B finals held at 7 to 13 regattas in 2003 to 2007. A linear mixed-model analysis of log-transformed official race times provided estimates of variability as coefficients of variation and included terms to account for changes in performance between years, venues, and A and B finals.

Results:

For men, the within-athlete variation in A finals was similar in canoeing and kayaking events, with the 200-m men’s events demonstrating probably less variability than the longer events (by an overall factor of 0.75, ×/÷1.33) that may reflect differences in pacing strategies. In contrast, the within-athlete variation for women kayakers in A finals of the 500-m event was only half that of the other distances (ratio 0.54, ×/÷1.29), possibly because of differences in competitive experience or depth of competition. Predictability of performance in A finals was moderate to very high (interclass correlations 0.40 to 0.89). Within-athlete variation in the B finals was generally greater than in the A finals for the three distances for men, but there was no clear pattern for women.

Conclusion:

The smallest worthwhile changes in performance time (0.3× within-athlete variability) in canoeing and kayaking are approx. 0.3% to 0.6%. Effects of 1% to 2% in power output would be required to achieve such changes in this generally highly predictable sport.

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Andrew Mills, Joanne Butt, Ian Maynard and Chris Harwood

This study examined the factors perceived by successful coaches to underpin optimal development environments within elite English soccer academies. A semistructured interview guide was developed to interview 10 expert coaches about the environments they create for players at a key stage in their development. The interviews were transcribed verbatim and inductively content analyzed. The results identified a wide range of factors resulting in a conceptual framework that explained how these factors interact to underpin an optimal environment. Subcomponents of this framework included organizational core (e.g., advocate a player-driven ideology), adaptability (e.g., embrace novel ideas & approaches), player welfare (e.g., understand players’ world-view), key stakeholder relationships (e.g., build trust with parents), involvement (e.g., encourage players’ ideas/feedback), and achievement oriented (e.g., establish an explicit pathway to senior level). Collectively, the findings highlight the importance of establishing strong, dynamic, organizational cultures at elite youth soccer academies. Ways that academies might be helped to establish such environments are discussed.

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Trent Stellingwerff, Ingvill Måkestad Bovim and Jamie Whitfield

Middle-distance running events are highly complex from a performance optimization point of view. For example, elite middle-distance specialists need to have the aerobic system development approaching marathoners, coupled with some of the mechanical properties of elite sprinters, while concurrently

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Mathieu Lacome, Simon Avrillon, Yannick Cholley, Ben M. Simpson, Gael Guilhem and Martin Buchheit

future hamstring strain injury than those with longer fascicle length. 7 Although more evidences in a wide range of elite sport populations are still missing, this pioneer work demonstrated that both muscle strength and architecture might play a role in hamstring susceptibility to be injured. Although

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Lee Taylor, Christopher J. Stevens, Heidi R. Thornton, Nick Poulos and Bryna C.R. Chrismas

modern Olympics to date (temperatures: ∼30°C and relative humidity: ∼75%), 16 , 17 practically valid empirical data supporting cooling strategy use (eg, as described previously) would be well received by practitioners, although such data are currently lacking from elite Rugby Sevens athletes within an

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Paul A. Davis, Louise Davis, Samuel Wills, Ralph Appleby and Arne Nieuwenhuys

have at least 2 years’ playing experience at the elite (professional) level, thus meaning that they had participated in a significant number of competitive matches and as a result had experienced a range of emotion-inducing interactions with competitors. The athletes participating in the study were

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Ben T. Stephenson, Sven P. Hoekstra, Keith Tolfrey and Victoria L. Goosey-Tolfrey

Paralympic athletes are a population group with unique challenges in autonomic or behavioral thermoregulatory function, relative to able-bodied (AB) athletes. While this has been acknowledged by researchers, 1 there is still a dearth of research in elite athletes with physical impairments. The

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Christopher John Stevens, Megan L. Ross, Julien D. Périard, Brent S. Vallance and Louise M. Burke

Challenging environmental conditions involving high air temperature ( T air ) and humidity, combined with the demanding physical nature of elite endurance competition, create a risk of heat illness in elite athletes. As such, the International Olympic Committee has called for research that