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Samuele Joseph and Duncan Cramer

The present study examined elite cricket batsmen’s experiences of sledging to establish its frequency, effects, and the coping strategies used by players. Sledging in cricket is the practice whereby players seek to gain an advantage by insulting or verbally intimidating the opposing batter. Semistructured interviews were conducted on 10 elite batsmen. Interviews were transcribed and content analysis was conducted to elucidate themes. Several similar factors were reported for both the frequency of sledging and its effectiveness, the most influential being the period of innings, state of the game, and in-game pressure. The majority of the reported effects of sledging were negative, most notably, an altered perception of self, an altered state of mind, decreased batting ability, and over arousal. Numerous associated coping strategies were mentioned, the most frequently used being variations of self-talk. Other noteworthy coping strategies included routines, external support, showing frustration, avoidance coping, and relaxation techniques. Overall, players perceived that sledging had a substantial effect on a batter and their level of performance.

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

& Biddle, 2000 ; McCarthy, Allen, & Jones, 2013 ; Nieuwenhuys & Oudejans, 2012 ). In particular, “sledging” in cricket ( Joseph & Cramer, 2011 ) is identified as a tactic aimed at gaining a psychological advantage over opponents through cognitive interference and emotion induction. In the inquest into

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Katrina Wynnyk and Nancy Spencer-Cavaliere

The purpose of this qualitative case study was to explore children with disabilities’ social relationships and motivation to take part in sledge hockey. Harter’s (1978) theory of Competence Motivation was used as the conceptual framework. Ten children (1 girl and 9 boys) between ages 11–16 years, who experienced a range of disabilities, participated. Primary data were collected using semistructured interviews, participant observations, and field and reflective notes. The thematic analysis led to four themes: (a) coach feedback, (b) parental involvement, (c) skill and belonging, and (d) (dis)ability sport. The findings revealed that interactions with significant others contributed extensively to the participant’s perceptions of competence and motivation to participate, as did the sport’s competitive nature. The findings are discussed in the context of Harter’s theory and the children’s sport and adapted physical activity inclusion literature.

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Øyvind Sandbakk, Matt Spencer, Gertjan Ettema, Silvana Bucher Sandbakk, Knut Skovereng, and Boye Welde

Purpose:

To investigate performance and the associated physiological and biomechanical responses during upper-body repeated-sprint work.

Methods:

Twelve male ice sledge hockey players from the Norwegian national team performed eight 30-m sprints with start every 30 s and an active recovery between sprints. Time was captured every 10 m by photocells, cycle length and rate were determined by video analyses, and heart rate and blood lactate concentration were measured by conventional methods.

Results:

The percentage sprint decrement was 7% over the 8 trials, with significant reductions in performance from the previous trial already on the second trial (all P < .05). Furthermore, cycle rate was reduced by 9% over the 8 trials (P < .05). Similar changes in performance and kinematic patterns were evident for all 10-m phases of the sprints. Heart rate gradually increased to 94% of maximal (178 ± 10 beats/min) over the 8 trials, and the mean reduction in heart rate was 7 ± 2 beats/min during the 22–24 s of active recovery for all trials (all P < .05). The blood lactate concentration increased to the athletes’ maximal levels over the 8 sprints (P < .05).

Conclusions:

This is the first study to investigate performance, physiological, and biomechanical aspects of self-propelled upperbody repeated-sprint work. The observed sprint decrement over the 8 trials was associated with reductions in cycle rates and high physiological demands. However, no kinematic and physiological characteristics were significantly correlated to repeated-sprint ability or the sprint decrement.

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Julia Kathrin Baumgart and Øyvind Sandbakk

Purpose:

To investigate on-ice repeated-sprint and sports-specific-technique abilities and the relationships to aerobic and anaerobic off-ice capacities in world-class ice sledge hockey players.

Methods:

Twelve Norwegian national team players performed 8 repeated maximal 30-m sprints and a sports-specific-technique test while upper-body poling on ice, followed by 4 maximal upper-body strength tests and 8-s peak power and 3-min peak aerobic-capacity (VO2peak) tests while ergometer poling.

Results:

The fastest 30-m sprint time was 6.5 ± 0.4 s, the fastest initial 10-m split-time 2.9 ± 0.2 s, and the corresponding power output 212 ± 37 W. Average 30-m time during the 8 repeated sprints was 6.7 ± 0.4 s, and the sprint-time decrement was 4.3% ± 1.8%. Time to execute the sport-specific-technique test was 25.6 ± 2.7 s. Averaged 1-repetition-maximum strength of the 4 exercises correlated with the fastest 30-m sprint time (r = –.77), the fastest initial 10-m split time (r = –.72), the corresponding power output (r = .67), and the average 30-m sprint time (r = –.84) (all P < .05). Peak power of the 8-s ergometer sprint test correlated with the highest initial 10-m power (r = .83, P < .01) and the average 30-m sprint time (r = –.68, P < .05). Average 3-min ergometer power (r = –.86, P < .01) and VO2peak (r = –.67, P < .05) correlated with the sprint-time decrement. All off-ice variables except VO2peak correlated with technique-test time (r = –.58 to .73, all P < .05).

Conclusion:

Maximal strength and power are associated with the ability to sprint fast and rapid execution of a technically complex test, whereas mode-specific endurance capacity is particularly important for maintenance of sprint ability in ice sledge hockey.

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Jessica R. Fairbairn and Kellie C. Huxel Bliven

important consideration to mitigating injury. 5 – Sledge hockey and wheelchair curling reported a higher risk of upper-extremity injury compared with other winter parasports (eg, alpine skiing, Nordic skiing, biathlon). 6 Clinical Bottom Line Evidence supports the high prevalence of overuse shoulder

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Floor Morriën, Matthew J. D. Taylor, and Florentina J. Hettinga

Purpose:

To provide an overview of biomechanical studies in Paralympic research and their relevance for performance in Paralympic sports.

Methods:

The search terms paralympic biomechanics, paralympic sport performance, paralympic athlete performance, and paralympic athlete were entered into the electronic database PubMed.

Results:

Thirty-four studies were found. Biomechanical studies in Paralympics mainly contributed to performance enhancement by technical optimization (n = 32) and/or injury prevention (n = 6). In addition, biomechanics was found to be important in understanding activity limitation caused by various impairments, which is relevant for evidence-based classification in Paralympic sports (n = 6). Distinctions were made between biomechanical studies in sitting (41%), standing (38%), and swimming athletes (21%). In sitting athletes, mostly kinematics and kinetics in wheelchair propulsion were studied, mainly in athletes with spinal-cord injuries. In addition, kinetics and/or kinematics in wheelchair basketball, seated discus throwing, stationary shot-putting, hand-cycling, sit-skiing, and ice sledge hockey received attention. In standing sports, primarily kinematics of athletes with amputations performing jump sports and running and the optimization of prosthetic devices were investigated. No studies were reported on other standing sports. In swimming, mainly kick rate and resistance training were studied.

Conclusions:

Biomechanical research is important for performance by gaining insight into technical optimization, injury prevention, and evidence-based classification in Paralympic sports. In future studies it is advised to also include physiological and biomechanical measures, allowing the assessment of the capability of the human body, as well as the resulting movement.

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James R. Debenham, William I. Gibson, Mervyn J. Travers, Amity C. Campbell, and Garry T. Allison

Context:

Eccentric exercises are increasingly being used to treat lower-limb musculoskeletal conditions such as Achilles tendinopathy. Despite widespread clinical application and documented efficacy, mechanisms underpinning clinical benefit remain unclear. Positive adaptations in motor performance are a potential mechanism.

Objective:

To investigate how an eccentric loading intervention influences measures of stretch-shortening-cycle (SSC) behavior during a hopping task.

Design:

Within-subjects repeated-measures observational study.

Setting:

University motion-analysis laboratory.

Participants:

Healthy adults.

Interventions:

A single intervention of 5 sets of 10 eccentric plantar-flexion contractions at 6 repetitions maximum using a commercial seated calf-raise machine.

Main Outcome Measures:

Lower-limb stiffness, sagittal-plane ankle kinematics, and temporal muscle activity of the agonist (soleus) and antagonist (tibialis anterior) muscles, measured during submaximal hopping on a custom-built sledge-jump system.

Results:

Eccentric loading altered ankle kinematics during submaximal hopping; peak angle shifted to a less dorsiflexed position by 2.9° and ankle angle precontact shifted by 4.4° (P < .001). Lower-limb stiffness increased from 5.9 to 6.8 N/m (P < .001), while surface EMG measures of soleus occurred 14–44% earlier (P < .001) after the loading intervention.

Conclusions:

These findings suggest that eccentric loading alters SSC behavior in a manner reflective of improved motor performance. Decreased ankle excursion, increased lower-limb stiffness, and alterations in motor control may represent a positive adaptive response to eccentric loading. These findings support the theory that mechanisms underpinning eccentric loading for tendinopathy may in part be due to improved “buffering” of the tendon by the neuromuscular system.

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Valeria Rosso, Laura Gastaldi, Walter Rapp, Stefan Lindinger, Yves Vanlandewijck, Sami Äyrämö, and Vesa Linnamo

Paralympic cross-country (XC) sit-skiing is a Paralympic discipline in which athletes are skiing seated because they have an impairment in function or structure of the lower extremities, pelvis, and/or trunk. XC sit-skiers ski using a sledge mounted on a pair of XC skis, named sit-ski, and a couple

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Marie Lund Ohlsson, Jonas Danvind, and L. Joakim Holmberg

flexion-extension. 20 Cross-country sit-skiing is an endurance Paralympic sport in which the athletes sit in a sledge that is mounted on a pair of skis and propel themselves using poles. Even though, to the authors’ knowledge, there has been no study of injury prevalence in cross-country sit-skiing, we