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Marco J. Konings, Jordan Parkinson, Inge Zijdewind and Florentina J. Hettinga

been emphasized recently in the context of pacing. 2 , 5 Perceptual cues provided by the environment can invite athletes to respond, thereby evoking adaptations of pacing behavior. 2 , 5 In this sense, an opponent can be perceived as an important environmental cue that represents action possibilities

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Rob Gray, Anders Orn and Tim Woodman

sets of studies bring up an important issue that, to our knowledge, has not been previously studied: How does information about an opponent’s tendencies affect potential pressure-induced performance errors? With the recent proliferation of the use of sports analytics in most sports, teams have begun

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Charles B. Corbin

Male and female subjects (N = 80), ranging in age from 17 to 25 years, participated in a study designed to determine if the sex of the sex of the subject, the sex of the subject's opponent, or the perceived ability of the subject's opponent, (good vs. poor ability) affected subjects' self confidence after competing at a task (TV Pong Game) of “neutral” sex orientation. a 2 x 2 x 2 mixed factorial design, with 10 subjects assigned to each cell, was used. All subjects competed in five games against a confederate and in all cases subjects lost all but the second of the five games. Data were treated using an ANCOVA, with preperformance confidence being used as the covariate. Ragardless of sex of the opponent, females expressed postperformance confidence levels equal to males after performing against an opponent thought to be poor in ability, but they were significantly less cofident after performing against opponents perceived to be good in ability. These findings are consistent with those of Argote, Fisher, McDonald, and O'Neal (1976), who note that the performance expectations of females tend to be unstable and change with single encounters, whereas males are less likely to allow one failure to affect performance assessments.

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Olaf S. Noorbergen, Marco J. Konings, Dominic Micklewright, Marije T. Elferink-Gemser and Florentina J. Hettinga

Purpose:

To explore pacing behavior and tactical positioning during the shorter 500- and 1000-m short-track competitions.

Methods:

Lap times and intermediate rankings of elite 500- and 1000-m short-track-skating competitors were collected over the 2012–13 season. First, lap times were analyzed using a MANOVA, and for each lap, differences between sex, race type, final ranking, and stage of competition were determined. Second, Kendall tau-b correlations were used to assess relationships between intermediate and final rankings. In addition, intermediate rankings of the winner of each race were examined.

Results:

Top-placed athletes appeared faster than bottom-placed athletes in every lap in the 500-m, while in the 1000-m no differences were found until the final 4 laps (P < .05). Correlations between intermediate and final rankings were already high at the beginning stages of the 50-m (lap 1: r = .59) but not for the 1000-m (lap 1: r = .21).

Conclusions:

Although 500- and 1000-m short-track races are both relatively short, fundamental differences in pacing behavior and tactical positioning were found. A fast-start strategy seems to be optimal for 500-m races, while the crucial segment in 1000-m races seems to be from the 6th lap to the finish line (ie, after ± 650 m). These findings provide evidence to suggest that athletes balance between choosing an energetically optimal profile and the tactical and positional benefits that play a role when riding against an opponent, as well as contributing to developing novel insights in exploring athletic behavior when racing against opponents.

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Andrew M. Murray and Matthew C. Varley

Purpose:

To investigate the influence of score line, level of opposition, and timing of substitutes on the activity profile of rugby sevens players and describe peak periods of activity.

Methods:

Velocity and distance data were measured via 10-Hz GPS from 17 international-level male rugby sevens players on 2–20 occasions over 4 tournaments (24 matches). Movement data were reported as total distance (TD), high-speed-running distance (HSR, 4.17−10.0 m/s), and the occurrence of maximal accelerations (Accel, ≥2.78 m/s2). A rolling 1-min sample period was used.

Results:

Regardless of score line or opponent ranking there was a moderate to large reduction in average and peak TD and HSR between match halves. A close halftime score line was associated with a greater HSR distance in the 1st minute of the 1st and 2nd halves compared with when winning. When playing against higher-compared with lower-ranked opposition, players covered moderately greater TD in the 1st minute of the 1st half (difference = 26%; 90% confidence limits = 6, 49). Compared with players who played a full match, substitutes who came on late in the 2nd half had a higher average HSR and Accel by a small magnitude (31%; 5, 65 vs 34%; 6, 69) and a higher average TD by a moderate magnitude (16%; 5, 28).

Conclusions:

Match score line, opposition, and substitute timing can influence the activity profile of rugby sevens players. Players are likely to perform more running against higher opponents and when the score line is close. This information may influence team selection.

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Sarah M. Markowitz and Shawn M. Arent

This study examined the relationship between exertion level and affect using the framework of opponent-process theory and the dual-mode model, with the Activation-Deactivation Adjective Checklist and the State Anxiety Inventory among 14 active and 14 sedentary participants doing 20 min of treadmill exercise at speeds of 5% below, 5% above, and at lactate threshold (LT). We found a significant effect of time, condition, Time × Condition, and Time × Group, but no group, Group × Condition, or Time × Group × Condition effects, such that the 5% above LT condition produced a worsening of affect in-task compared with all other conditions whereas, across conditions, participants experienced in-task increases in energy and tension, and in-task decreases in tiredness and calmness relative to baseline. Posttask, participants experienced mood improvement (decreased tension, anxiety, and increased calmness) across conditions, with a 30-min delay in the above LT condition. These results partially support the dual-mode model and a modified opponent-process theory.

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Marco J. Konings, Olaf S. Noorbergen, David Parry and Florentina J. Hettinga

Purpose:

To gain more insight in pacing behavior and tactical positioning in 1500-m short-track speed skating, a sport in which several athletes directly compete in the same race.

Methods:

Lap times and intermediate rankings of elite 1500-m short-track-skating competitors were collected over the season 2012–13 (N = 510, 85 races). Two statistical approaches were used to assess pacing behavior and tactical positioning. First, lap times were analyzed using a MANOVA, and for each lap differences between sex, race type, final rankings, and stage of competition were determined. Second, Kendall tau b correlations were used to assess relationships between intermediate and final rankings. In addition, intermediate rankings of the winner of each race were examined.

Results:

In 1500 m (13.5 laps of 111.12 m), correlations between intermediate and final ranking gradually increased throughout the race (eg, lap 1, r = .05; lap 7, r = .26; lap 13, r = .85). Moreover, the percentage of race winners skating in the leading position was over 50% during the last 3 laps. Top finishers were faster than bottom-place finishers only during the last 5 laps, with on average 0.1- to 1.5-s faster lap times of the race winners compared with the others during the last 5 laps.

Conclusions:

Although a fast start led to faster finishing times, top finishers were faster than bottom-placed finishers only during the last 5 laps. Moreover, tactical positioning at 1 of the foremost positions during the latter phase of the race appeared to be a strong determinant of finishing position.

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Iain Greenlees, Richard Buscombe, Richard Thelwell, Tim Holder and Matthew Rimmer

The aim of this study was to examine the impact of a tennis player’s body language and clothing (general vs. sport-specific) on the impressions observers form of them. Forty male tennis players viewed videos of a target tennis player warming up. Each participant viewed the target player displaying one of four combinations of body language and clothing (positive body language/tennis-specific clothing; positive body language/general sportswear; negative body language/tennis-specific clothing; negative body language/general sportswear). After viewing the target player, participants rated their impressions of the model’s episodic states and dispositions and gave their perceptions of the likely outcome of a tennis match with the target player. Analyses of variance revealed that positive body language led to favorable episodic impressions and low outcome expectations. Analysis also indicated that clothing and body language had an interactive effect on dispositional judgments. The study supports the contention that nonverbal communication can influence sporting interactions.

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Mickaël Campo, Diane Mackie, Stéphane Champely, Marie-Françoise Lacassagne, Julien Pellet and Benoit Louvet

clubs, the activation of a superordinate social identity (e.g.,  we were all soccer players ) would theoretically lead players to feel less negative emotions (NE) toward their opponents, as they are considered to be part of the same category. In contrast, a salient categorization at the level of club

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

, inferior strength and conditioning, or the psychological and behavioral factors that can negatively affect their oppositions’ performance ( Den Hartigh, Gernigon, Van Yperen, Marin, & Van Geert, 2014 ). In particular, athletes may appraise an opponent’s psychological state and attempt to induce