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Brandon M. Wellington, Michael D. Leveritt and Vincent G. Kelly

Context:

Repeat-high-intensity efforts (RHIEs) have recently been shown to occur at critical periods of rugby league matches.

Purpose:

To examine the effect that caffeine has on RHIE performance in rugby league players.

Methods:

Using a double-blind, placebo-controlled, crossover design, 11 semiprofessional rugby league players (age 19.0 ± 0.5 y, body mass 87.4 ± 12.9 kg, height 178.9 ± 2.6 cm) completed 2 experimental trials that involved completing an RHIE test after either caffeine (300 mg caffeine) or placebo (vitamin H) ingestion. Each trial consisted of 3 sets of 20-m sprints interspersed with bouts of tackling. During the RHIE test, 20-m-sprint time, heart rate (HR), rating of perceived exertion (RPE), and blood lactate were measured.

Results:

Total time to complete the nine 20-m sprints during the caffeine condition was 1.0% faster (28.46 ± 1.4 s) than during the placebo condition (28.77 ± 1.7 s) (ES = 0.18, 90%CI –0.7 to 0.1 s). This resulted in a very likely chance of caffeine being of benefit to RHIE performance (99% likely to be beneficial). These improvements were more pronounced in the early stages of the test, with a 1.3%, 1.0%, and 0.9% improvement in sprint performance during sets 1, 2, and 3 respectively. There was no significant difference in RPE across the 3 sets (P = .47, 0.48, 1.00) or mean HR (P = .36), maximal HR (P = .74), or blood lactate (P = .50) between treatment conditions.

Conclusions:

Preexercise ingestion of 300 mg caffeine produced practically meaningful improvements in RHIE performance in rugby league players.

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Amy Elizabeth Whitehead, Brendan Cropley, Tabo Huntley, Andy Miles, Laura Quayle and Zoe Knowles

This study aimed to design, implement and evaluate a protocol encompassing Think Aloud (TA) as a technique to facilitate reflection-in-action and delayed reflection-on-action to aid coach learning. Six British, male rugby league coaches, who reported little previous exposure to reflective practice, consented to participate. Participants were: (a) instructed on how to engage in TA; (b) observed in practice using TA; (c) provided with individual support on delayed reflective practice on their first coaching session and use of TA; (d) observed in practice using TA a second time; and (e) engaged in a social validation interview regarding their experiences of TA. Analysis of in-action verbalizations revealed a shift from descriptive verbalizations to a deeper level of reflection. Both immediate and post eight week social validation interviews revealed that coaches developed an increased awareness, enhanced communication, and pedagogical development. The participants also recommended that TA can be a valuable tool for: (a) collecting in-event data during a coaching session; and (b) developing and evidencing reflection for coaches. Future recommendations were also provided by the participants and consequently, this study offers a unique technique to reflective practice that has the potential to meet the learning development needs of coaches.

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Michael J.A. Speranza, Tim J. Gabbett, David A. Greene, Rich D. Johnston, Andrew D. Townshend and Brett O’Farrell

The ability to execute proficient and effective tackles is a critical skill for success in collision sports such as rugby league or rugby union. 1 , 2 Recent studies have suggested that proficient tackle ability may play a role in the prevention of injury and concussions. 3 , 4 Furthermore, it is

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Nick Dobbin, Jamie Highton, Samantha Louise Moss and Craig Twist

The anthropometric and physical characteristics of rugby league players, including stature, body mass, body composition, speed, strength, power, change-of-direction speed, and intermittent running ability, 1 can influence career progression, 2 , 3 discriminate between selected and nonselected

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Jonathan D. Connor, Robert G. Crowther and Wade H. Sinclair

Evasive maneuvers, such as the side- or split-step, are common occurrences in all playing levels of rugby league (RL). These maneuvers are employed to either evade defenders or increase the difficulty of a defender making a tackle ( Gabbett, 2012 ), with previous research focused on the

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Rich D. Johnston

Rugby league is a collision sport that requires players to successfully execute technical skills while completing external load such as high-speed running, accelerations, and contact efforts. 1 During competition, players typically cover 90 to 100 m·min −1 and a collision frequency of 0.4 to 0

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Martyn Rothwell, Joseph Stone and Keith Davids

, in rugby league football a ball offers itself to players for kicking when traveling on the ground or for intercepting with their hands when it is moving through the air; a slow opponent invites a quicker player to run past him/her; a hard pitch offers itself to be sidestepped upon. Recently, Rietveld

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Tannath J. Scott, Heidi R. Thornton, Macfarlane T.U. Scott, Ben J. Dascombe and Grant M. Duthie

-intensity intermittent nature of team-sport match play, including in rugby league, 2 – 5 it is important to accurately measure the physical output of these demands. As such, high-intensity-running (HIR) distance is often considered an important measure in physical match-play output and commonly reported. 4 , 5 This

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Michael J.A. Speranza, Tim J. Gabbett, David A. Greene, Rich D. Johnston and Andrew D. Townshend

The tackle is one of the most crucial elements in the collision sports of rugby league and rugby union. 1 , 2 Tackling proficiency, the ability to dominate the tackle contest, and the tolerance of physical impacts are fundamental to success in these sports. 1 It has been shown that winning teams

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Jonathan P. Norris, Jamie Highton and Craig Twist

Controlled match simulations have been developed for rugby league that replicate the movement activities of both whole-match 1 and interchange players. 2 Simulations are useful given the large intermatch variation observed as a result of the technical and tactical demands of competitive rugby