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Sports, Volume 4, Issue 4 (December 2016)

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Research

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Open AccessArticle Airflow-Restricting Mask Reduces Acute Performance in Resistance Exercise
Sports 2016, 4(4), 46; doi:10.3390/sports4040046
Received: 3 August 2016 / Revised: 12 September 2016 / Accepted: 18 September 2016 / Published: 23 September 2016
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Abstract
Background: The aim of this study was to compare the number of repetitions to volitional failure, the blood lactate concentration, and the perceived exertion to resistance training with and without an airflow-restricting mask. Methods: Eight participants participated in a randomized, counterbalanced, crossover study.
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Background: The aim of this study was to compare the number of repetitions to volitional failure, the blood lactate concentration, and the perceived exertion to resistance training with and without an airflow-restricting mask. Methods: Eight participants participated in a randomized, counterbalanced, crossover study. Participants were assigned to an airflow-restricting mask group (MASK) or a control group (CONT) and completed five sets of chest presses and parallel squats until failure at 75% one-repetition-maximum test (1RM) with 60 s of rest between sets. Ratings of perceived exertion (RPEs), blood lactate concentrations (Lac), and total repetitions were taken after the training session. Results: MASK total repetitions were lower than those of the CONT, and (Lac) and MASK RPEs were higher than those of the CONT in both exercises. Conclusions: We conclude that an airflow-restricting mask in combination with resistance training increase perceptions of exertion and decrease muscular performance and lactate concentrations when compared to resistance training without this accessory. This evidence shows that the airflow-restricting mask may change the central nervous system and stop the exercise beforehand to prevent some biological damage. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environment and Sport Performance)
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Open AccessArticle Muscle- and Mode-Specific Responses of the Forearm Flexors to Fatiguing, Concentric Muscle Actions
Sports 2016, 4(4), 47; doi:10.3390/sports4040047
Received: 26 July 2016 / Revised: 9 September 2016 / Accepted: 22 September 2016 / Published: 30 September 2016
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Abstract
Background: Electromyographic (EMG) and mechanomyographic (MMG) studies of fatigue have generally utilized maximal isometric or dynamic muscle actions, but sport- and work-related activities involve predominately submaximal movements. Therefore, the purpose of the present investigation was to examine the torque, EMG, and MMG responses
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Background: Electromyographic (EMG) and mechanomyographic (MMG) studies of fatigue have generally utilized maximal isometric or dynamic muscle actions, but sport- and work-related activities involve predominately submaximal movements. Therefore, the purpose of the present investigation was to examine the torque, EMG, and MMG responses as a result of submaximal, concentric, isokinetic, forearm flexion muscle actions. Methods: Twelve men performed concentric peak torque (PT) and isometric PT trials before (pretest) and after (posttest) performing 50 submaximal (65% of concentric PT), concentric, isokinetic (60°·s−1), forearm flexion muscle actions. Surface EMG and MMG signals were simultaneously recorded from the biceps brachii and brachioradialis muscles. Results: The results of the present study indicated similar decreases during both the concentric PT and isometric PT measurements for torque, EMG mean power frequency (MPF), and MMG MPF following the fatiguing workbout, but no changes in EMG amplitude (AMP) or MMG AMP. Conclusions: These findings suggest that decreases in torque as a result of fatiguing, dynamic muscle actions may have been due to the effects of metabolic byproducts on excitation–contraction coupling as indicated by the decreases in EMG MPF and MMG MPF, but lack of changes in EMG AMP and MMG AMP from both the biceps brachii and brachioradialis muscles. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Comparıson of the Heart Rate and Blood Lactate Responses of Different Small Sided Games in Young Soccer Players
Sports 2016, 4(4), 48; doi:10.3390/sports4040048
Received: 18 August 2016 / Revised: 21 September 2016 / Accepted: 26 September 2016 / Published: 29 September 2016
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Abstract
The purpose of this study was to compare the percentage of maximum heart rate (%HRmax), blood lactate (La), and rating of perceived exertion (RPE, CR-10) responses across different formats of small-sided games (SSG) in elite young soccer players. Fourteen players (average
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The purpose of this study was to compare the percentage of maximum heart rate (%HRmax), blood lactate (La), and rating of perceived exertion (RPE, CR-10) responses across different formats of small-sided games (SSG) in elite young soccer players. Fourteen players (average age 16.7 ± 0.6 years; height 177.6 ± 4.1 cm; body mass 66.3 ± 4.7 kg; average training age 6.7 ± 1.6 years; percentage of body fat 8.4 ± 2.6%) volunteered to perform the YoYo intermittent recovery test (level 1) and eight bouts of soccer drills including 2-a-side, 3-a-side, and 4-a-side games without goalkeepers in random order at two-day intervals. Heart rates were monitored throughout the SSGs, whereas the RPE and venous blood lactate were determined at the end of the last bout of each SSG. The differences in La, %HRmax, and RPE either across the different SSGs or between the bouts were identified using 3 × 8 (games × exercise bouts) two-way analysis of variance with repeated measures. Significant differences were found in terms of La, RPE, and %HRmax among the different types of SSG (p ≤ 0.05). 3-a-side and 4-a-side games elicited significantly higher responses than 2-a-side games in terms of %HRmax (p ≤ 0.05), whereas 4-a-side games resulted in significantly lower La and RPE responses compared to 2-a-side and 3-a-side games. The results of this study show that physiological responses differ according to the numbers of players involved in small-sided games. Therefore, it can be concluded that 3-a-side and 4-a-side games could be more effective in improving high intensity aerobic performance than 2-a-side games, which in turn are more appropriate for developing anaerobic performance. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Performance in Soccer)
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Open AccessArticle Effect of Carbohydrate Intake on Maximal Power Output and Cognitive Performances
Sports 2016, 4(4), 49; doi:10.3390/sports4040049
Received: 30 July 2016 / Revised: 20 September 2016 / Accepted: 26 September 2016 / Published: 9 October 2016
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Abstract
The present study aimed to assess the beneficial effect of acute carbohydrate (7% CHO) intake on muscular and cognitive performances. Seventeen high levels athletes in explosive sports (fencing and squash) participated in a randomized, double-blind study consisting in series of 6 sprints (5s)
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The present study aimed to assess the beneficial effect of acute carbohydrate (7% CHO) intake on muscular and cognitive performances. Seventeen high levels athletes in explosive sports (fencing and squash) participated in a randomized, double-blind study consisting in series of 6 sprints (5s) with a passive recovery (25s) followed by 15 min submaximal cycling after either maltodextrine and fructose (CHO) or placebo (Pl) intake. Cognitive performances were assessed before and after sprint exercise using a simple reaction time (SRT) task at rest, a visual scanning task (VS) and a Go/Nogo task (GNG) during a submaximal cycling exercise. Results showed a beneficial effect of exercise on VS task on both conditions (Pl: −283 ms; CHO: −423 ms) and on SRT only during CHO condition (−26 ms). In the CHO condition, SRT was faster after exercise whereas no effect of exercise was observed in the Pl condition. According to a qualitative statistical method, a most likely and likely positive effect of CHO was respectively observed on peak power (+4%) and tiredness (−23%) when compared to Pl. Furthermore, a very likely positive effect of CHO was observed on SRT (−8%) and a likely positive effect on visual scanning (−6%) and Go/Nogo tasks (−4%) without any change in accuracy. In conclusion acute ingestion of 250 mL of CHO, 60 min and 30 min before exercise, improve peak power output, decrease muscular tiredness and speed up information processing and visual detection without changing accuracy. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sport Nutrition for Health and Performance)
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Open AccessArticle Relationship between Procedural Tactical Knowledge and Specific Motor Skills in Young Soccer Players
Sports 2016, 4(4), 52; doi:10.3390/sports4040052
Received: 6 October 2016 / Revised: 7 November 2016 / Accepted: 10 November 2016 / Published: 17 November 2016
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Abstract
The purpose of this study was to investigate the association between offensive tactical knowledge and the soccer-specific motor skills performance. Fifteen participants were submitted to two evaluation tests, one to assess their technical and tactical analysis. The motor skills performance was measured through
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The purpose of this study was to investigate the association between offensive tactical knowledge and the soccer-specific motor skills performance. Fifteen participants were submitted to two evaluation tests, one to assess their technical and tactical analysis. The motor skills performance was measured through four tests of technical soccer skills: ball control, shooting, passing and dribbling. The tactical performance was based on a tactical assessment system called FUT-SAT (Analyses of Procedural Tactical Knowledge in Soccer). Afterwards, technical and tactical evaluation scores were ranked with and without the use of the cluster method. A positive, weak correlation was perceived in both analyses (rho = 0.39, not significant p = 0.14 (with cluster analysis); and rho = 0.35; not significant p = 0.20 (without cluster analysis)). We can conclude that there was a weak association between the technical and the offensive tactical knowledge. This shows the need to reflect on the use of such tests to assess technical skills in team sports since they do not take into account the variability and unpredictability of game actions and disregard the inherent needs to assess such skill performance in the game. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Performance in Soccer)
Open AccessArticle Goal Format in Small-Sided Soccer Games: Technical Actions and Offensive Scenarios of Prepubescent Players
Sports 2016, 4(4), 53; doi:10.3390/sports4040053
Received: 12 July 2016 / Accepted: 23 November 2016 / Published: 25 November 2016
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Abstract
The aim of this study was to investigate the influence of the number of goal-posts and the positioning of goal-posts used within small-sided games on the frequency of technical actions and offensive scenarios performed by prepubescent players within soccer. The participants were eight
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The aim of this study was to investigate the influence of the number of goal-posts and the positioning of goal-posts used within small-sided games on the frequency of technical actions and offensive scenarios performed by prepubescent players within soccer. The participants were eight male prepubescent soccer players (12.1 ± 0.5 years). The participants were video recorded for 20 min playing four different formats of 4v4 small-sided games: (1) standard two goal game; (2) four goal game, one goal in each corner; (3) two goal game with goal-posts positioned 9.14 m/10 yd infield, scoring only through the back of the goal; (4) four goal-game, one goal positioned 9.14 m/10 yd infield in each corner, scoring through either the front or back of each goal. Chi-squared tests of independence were utilized to statistically explore the impact of the different small-sided game formats. There were significant associations (p < 0.05) observed between the different small-sided game formats and the frequency of turns, dribbles, shots, goals and overlaps performed. For example, players performed more turns in small-sided game format two and more shots during small-sided game format four. It is suggested coaches should consider using a variation of the number and positioning of goal-posts in small-sided games as an effective training tool in the development of prepubescent soccer players. This will enable coaches to vary the focus of sessions, and develop specific technical and tactical actions within a situation similar to that of real match-play. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Performance in Soccer)
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Open AccessArticle Identification of Defensive Performance Factors in the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa
Sports 2016, 4(4), 54; doi:10.3390/sports4040054
Received: 29 September 2016 / Revised: 9 November 2016 / Accepted: 21 November 2016 / Published: 30 November 2016
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Abstract
The aim of this study was to determine the efficacy of defensive play in elite football, to identify variables associated with the direct recovery of ball possession, and to propose a model for predicting the success of defensive transitions. We analyzed 804 transitions
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The aim of this study was to determine the efficacy of defensive play in elite football, to identify variables associated with the direct recovery of ball possession, and to propose a model for predicting the success of defensive transitions. We analyzed 804 transitions in the final stages of the Fedération Internationale Football Association (FIFA) World Cup 2010, and investigated the following variables using univariate, bivariate, and multivariate analyses: duration of defensive transition, possession loss zone, position of players at the start and end of the defensive transitions, defensive organization, general defensive approach, time of the match, position of defense, zone in which the offensive transition ends, match status, and outcome of the defensive transition. We found that the defensive transitions started most frequently in the middle offensive zone (48.9%), with an organized defense set-up (98.8%), and were unsuccessful on 57.2% of occasions. The bivariate analysis showed that the variable most strongly associated with direct recovery of the possession of the ball (p = 0.018) is the area in which the ball is lost, and the multivariate analysis showed that the duration of the defensive transition can be used as a performance indicator, with transitions lasting between 0 and 15 s associated with a higher likelihood of directly recovering the ball. This work has allowed us to identify a pattern of tactical-strategic behavior with major probabilities of success in the defensive transitions. These results will be able to be used by coaches to improve the performance of their teams in this type of situation in the game. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Performance in Soccer)
Open AccessArticle A Three-Dimensional Movement Analysis of the Spike in Fistball
Sports 2016, 4(4), 55; doi:10.3390/sports4040055
Received: 16 July 2016 / Revised: 21 November 2016 / Accepted: 30 November 2016 / Published: 2 December 2016
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Abstract
Due to its relevancy to point scoring, the spike is considered as one of the most important skills in fistball. Biomechanical analyses of this sport are very rare. In the present study, we performed a three-dimensional kinematic analysis of the fistball spike, which
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Due to its relevancy to point scoring, the spike is considered as one of the most important skills in fistball. Biomechanical analyses of this sport are very rare. In the present study, we performed a three-dimensional kinematic analysis of the fistball spike, which helps to specify performance parameters on a descriptive level. Recorded by four synchronized cameras (120 Hz) and linked to the motion capture software Simi Motion® 5.0, three female fistball players of the second German league (24–26 years, 1.63–1.69 m) performed several spikes under standardized conditions. Results show that the segment velocities of the arm reached their maximum successively from proximal to distal, following the principle of temporal coordination of single impulses. The wrist shows maximum speed when the fist hits the ball. The elbow joint angle performs a rapid transition from a strong flexion to a (almost) full extension; however, the extension is completed after the moment of ball impact. In contrast, the shoulder joint angle increases almost linearly until the fistball contact and decreases afterward. The findings can be used to optimize the training of the spike. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Relationships and Predictive Capabilities of Jump Assessments to Soccer-Specific Field Test Performance in Division I Collegiate Players
Sports 2016, 4(4), 56; doi:10.3390/sports4040056
Received: 17 October 2016 / Revised: 28 November 2016 / Accepted: 30 November 2016 / Published: 3 December 2016
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Abstract
Leg power is an important characteristic for soccer, and jump tests can measure this capacity. Limited research has analyzed relationships between jumping and soccer-specific field test performance in collegiate male players. Nineteen Division I players completed tests of: leg power (vertical jump (VJ),
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Leg power is an important characteristic for soccer, and jump tests can measure this capacity. Limited research has analyzed relationships between jumping and soccer-specific field test performance in collegiate male players. Nineteen Division I players completed tests of: leg power (vertical jump (VJ), standing broad jump (SBJ), left- and right-leg triple hop (TH)); linear (30 m sprint; 0–5 m, 5–10 m, 0–10, 0–30 m intervals) and change-of-direction (505) speed; soccer-specific fitness (Yo-Yo Intermittent Recovery Test Level 2); and 7 × 30-m sprints to measure repeated-sprint ability (RSA; total time (TT), performance decrement (PD)). Pearson’s correlations (r) determined jump and field test relationships; stepwise regression ascertained jump predictors of the tests (p < 0.05). All jumps correlated with the 0–5, 0–10, and 0–30 m sprint intervals (r = −0.65–−0.90). VJ, SBJ, and left- and right-leg TH correlated with RSA TT (r = −0.51–−0.59). Right-leg TH predicted the 0–5 and 0–10 m intervals (R2 = 0.55–0.81); the VJ predicted the 0–30 m interval and RSA TT (R2 = 0.41–0.84). Between-leg TH asymmetry correlated with and predicted left-leg 505 and RSA PD (r = −0.68–0.62; R2 = 0.39–0.46). Improvements in jumping ability could contribute to faster speed and RSA performance in collegiate soccer players. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Performance in Soccer)

Review

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Open AccessFeature PaperReview Vegetarian, Gluten-Free, and Energy Restricted Diets in Female Athletes
Sports 2016, 4(4), 50; doi:10.3390/sports4040050
Received: 22 August 2016 / Revised: 2 October 2016 / Accepted: 8 October 2016 / Published: 21 October 2016
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Abstract
Female athletes who follow a diet that fails to meet energy and nutrient needs are at risk for musculoskeletal injuries, menstrual disturbances, and poor sports performance. Common nutritional concerns for the female athlete include low energy availability (EA) (i.e., energy intake from food
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Female athletes who follow a diet that fails to meet energy and nutrient needs are at risk for musculoskeletal injuries, menstrual disturbances, and poor sports performance. Common nutritional concerns for the female athlete include low energy availability (EA) (i.e., energy intake from food remaining for metabolic processes after accounting for energy expended during exercise) and inadequate dietary intakes (i.e., not meeting sports nutrition guidelines) of carbohydrates, protein, essential fatty acids (EFAs), B-vitamins, calcium, iron, and vitamin D. Low EA and the associated nutrient deficiencies are more common in athletes who compete in weight-sensitive sports (i.e., aesthetic, gravitational, and weight category sports) because low body fat and mass confer a competitive advantage. Other athletes at risk for energy and nutrient deficits include athletes following a vegetarian or gluten-free diet (GFD). Careful dietary planning can help an athlete meet energy and nutrient needs. This review covers the nutrition issues associated with low EA and special diets (i.e., vegetarian and GFD) and describes strategies to help female athletes meet their energy and nutrient needs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sport Nutrition for Health and Performance)
Open AccessReview Supplementation Strategies to Reduce Muscle Damage and Improve Recovery Following Exercise in Females: A Systematic Review
Sports 2016, 4(4), 51; doi:10.3390/sports4040051
Received: 26 July 2016 / Revised: 31 October 2016 / Accepted: 6 November 2016 / Published: 11 November 2016
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Abstract
Exercise-induced muscle damage (EIMD) caused by unaccustomed or strenuous exercise can result in reduced muscle force, increased muscle soreness, increased intramuscular proteins in the blood, and reduced performance. Pre- and post-exercise optimal nutritional intake is important to assist with muscle-damage repair and reconditioning
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Exercise-induced muscle damage (EIMD) caused by unaccustomed or strenuous exercise can result in reduced muscle force, increased muscle soreness, increased intramuscular proteins in the blood, and reduced performance. Pre- and post-exercise optimal nutritional intake is important to assist with muscle-damage repair and reconditioning to allow for an accelerated recovery. The increased demand for training and competing on consecutive days has led to a variety of intervention strategies being used to reduce the negative effects of EIMD. Nutritional intervention strategies are largely tested on male participants, and few report on sex-related differences relating to the effects of the interventions employed. This review focuses on nutritional intervention strategies employed to negate the effects of EIMD, focussing solely on females. Full article
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