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Michael J. Davies, Warren Young, Damian Farrow and Andrew Bahnert

Purpose:

To compare the agility demands of 4 small-sided games (SSGs) and evaluate the variability in demands for elite Australian Football (AF).

Methods:

Fourteen male elite Australian Football League (AFL) players (mean ± SD; 21.7 ± 3.1 y, 189.6 ± 9.0 cm, 88.7 ± 10.0 kg, 39.4 ± 57.1 games) completed 4 SSGs of 3 × 45-s bouts each with modified designs. Video notational analysis, GPS at 5 Hz, and triaxial accelerometer data expressed the external player loads within games. Three comparisons were made using a paired t test (P < .05), and magnitudes of differences were reported with effect size (ES) statistics.

Results:

Reduced area per player (increased density) produced a small increase in total agility maneuvers (SSG1, 7.2 ± 1.3; SSG2, 8.8 ± 4.1), while a large 2D player load was accumulated (P < .05, ES = 1.22). A reduction in players produced a moderate (ES = 0.60) total number of agility maneuvers (SSG 3, 11.3 ± 6.1; SSG 2, 8.3 ± 3.6); however, a greater variability was found. The implementation of a 2-handed-tag rule resulted in a somewhat trivial decline (P > .05, ES = 0.16) in agility events compared with normal AFL tackling rules (SSG 2, 8.3 ± 3.6; SSG 4, 7.8 ± 2.6).

Conclusions:

SSG characteristics can influence agility-training demand, which can vary considerably for individuals. Coaches should carefully consider SSG design to maximize the potential to develop agility for all players.

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Blake D. McLean, Donald Strack, Jennifer Russell and Aaron J. Coutts

The National Basketball Association (NBA) has an extremely demanding competition schedule, requiring its athletes to compete in 82 regular-season games over a 6-mo period (∼3.4 games/wk). Despite the demanding schedule and high value of athletes, there is little public information on the specific game and training demands required to compete in the NBA. Although provisions in the NBA collective-bargaining agreement allow for research designed to improve player health and broaden medical knowledge, such information is sparse in the available literature. In relation to the physical demands of the NBA, the current lack of information likely results from multiple factors including limited understanding of (basketball-related) emerging technologies, impact of specific league rules, and steps taken to protect players in the age of Big Data. This article explores current limitations in describing specific game/training demands in the NBA and provides perspectives on how some of these challenges may be overcome. The authors propose that future collaborations between league entities, NBA clubs, commercial partners, and outside research institutions will enhance understanding of the physical demands in the NBA (and other health- and performance-related areas). More detailed understanding of physical demands (games, practices, and travel) and other health-related areas can augment player-centered decision making, leading to enhanced player care, increased availability, and improved physical performance.

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Pauline Maillot, Alexandra Perrot, Alan Hartley and Manh-Cuong Do

The purposes of this present research were, in the first study, to determine whether age impacts a measure of postural control (the braking force in walking) and, in a second study, to determine whether exergame training in physically-simulated sport activity would show transfer, increasing the braking force in walking and also improving balance assessed by clinical measures, functional fitness, and health-related quality of life in older adults. For the second study, the authors developed an active video game training program (using the Wii system) with a pretest-training-posttest design comparing an experimental group (24 1-hr sessions of training) with a control group. Participants completed a battery comprising balance (braking force in short and normal step conditions), functional fitness (Senior Fitness Test), and health-related quality of life (SF-36). Results show that 12 weeks of video game-based exercise program training improved the braking force in the normal step condition, along with the functional fitness of lower limb strength, cardiovascular endurance, and motor agility, as measured by the Senior Fitness Test. Only the global mental dimension of the SF-36 was sensitive to exergame practice. Exergames appear to be an effective way to train postural control in older adults. Because of the multimodal nature of the activity, exergames provide an effective tool for remediation of age-related problems.

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Natalie L. Myers, Guadalupe Mexicano and Kristin V. Aguilar

. Future research should investigate this metric in both team sports and individual-based sports. Finally, sRPE measures were only calculated for practice and game training; further research may be needed to investigate workload with respect to resistance and cross-training activities. In conclusion, there

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Mathieu Lacome, Ben M. Simpson, Yannick Cholley, Philippe Lambert and Martin Buchheit

– 2720 . doi:10.1519/JSC.0b013e31824294c4 10.1519/JSC.0b013e31824294c4 9. Hill-Haas SV , Coutts AJ , Rowsell GJ , Dawson BT . Generic versus small-sided game training in soccer . Int J Sports Med . 2009 ; 30 ( 9 ): 636 – 642 . PubMed doi:10.1055/s-0029-1220730 10.1055/s-0029

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Mathieu Lacome, Ben M. Simpson, Yannick Cholley and Martin Buchheit

AL , Paul D , Dellal A . Effects of a periodized small-sided game training intervention on physical performance in elite professional soccer . J Strength Cond Res . 2012 ; 26 ( 10 ): 2748 – 2754 . PubMed doi:10.1519/JSC.0b013e318242d2d1 10.1519/JSC.0b013e318242d2d1 23001394 4. Hill-Haas SV

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Ashleigh J. Sowle, Sarah L. Francis, Jennifer A. Margrett, Mack C. Shelley and Warren D. Franke

Extension, 47 , 1 – 5 . Maillot , P. , & Perrot , A. ( 2012 ). Effects of interactive physical-activity video-game training on physical and cognitive function in older adults . Psychology and Aging, 27 ( 3 ), 589 – 600 . PubMed doi: 10.1037/a0026268 McAuley , E. , Wójcicki , T.R. , Gothe

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Davide Ferioli, Diego Rucco, Ermanno Rampinini, Antonio La Torre, Marco M. Manfredi and Daniele Conte

-0433 30569788 3. Delextrat A , Martinez A . Small-sided game training improves aerobic capacity and technical skills in basketball players . Int J Sports Med . 2014 ; 35 ( 5 ): 385 – 391 . PubMed ID: 24129991 24129991 4. Castagna C , Impellizzeri FM , Chaouachi A , Ben Abdelkrim N , Manzi

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Martina A. Maggioni, Matteo Bonato, Alexander Stahn, Antonio La Torre, Luca Agnello, Gianluca Vernillo, Carlo Castagna and Giampiero Merati

. 2013 ; 8 : 410 – 418 . PubMed ID: 23237782 doi:10.1123/ijspp.8.4.410 10.1123/ijspp.8.4.410 23237782 10. Delextrat A , Martinez A . Small-sided game training improves aerobic capacity and technical skills in basketball players . Int J Sports Med . 2014 ; 35 : 385 – 391 . PubMed ID: 24129991

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Heita Goto and James A. King

from micro-technology is not suitable for assessing internal load in collision-based activities . Int J Sports Physiol Perform . 2016 ; 12 : 957 – 61 . doi:10.1123/ijspp.2016-0069 20. Hill–Haas S , Coutts A , Rowsell G , Dawson B . Generic versus small sided game training in soccer . Int