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Sergio Sellés-Pérez, José Fernández-Sáez, Alberto Férriz-Valero, Jonathan Esteve-Lanao and Roberto Cejuela

Abstract

The number of recreational athletes completing a Half-Ironman triathlon has increased exponentially in recent years. However, there is a lack of research on how to train for this kind of an event. The purpose of this study was thus to analyse triathletes’ changes in performance and body composition following a triathlon-specific training period. Fourteen male amateur triathletes completed a 7-week period of general training and a 13-week period of specific training for a Half-Ironman triathlon. Anthropometric measures and performance tests were carried out to assess the effects of the specific training program. Results showed that the pre-test value of VO2max for cycling was inversely correlated not only with the percentage of change in cycling performance, but also with the percentage change in several variables of running performance. In swimming, inverse correlations were observed between the time of the first 800 m test and the time percentage change for this test, but not with the percentage change in the performance of other segments of the race. Moreover, the somatotype component of endomorphy and the fat mass percentage of the first anthropometry were highly correlated with the percentage change in VO2max in the run segment. These results highlight the importance of providing individualised training, considering that the same training program had a different impact on recreational triathletes belonging to the same group. Amateur athletes with higher initial performance levels probably need a greater amount of training to achieve improved adaptation.

Open access

Shen Zhang, Weijie Fu and Yu Liu

Abstract

We aimed to explore the biomechanical differences between the anticipated drop jump and unanticipated drop landing. Twelve male collegiate basketball players completed an anticipated drop jump and unanticipated drop landing with double legs from a height of 30 cm. Kinematics, impact force, soft tissue vibrations, and electromyographic (EMG) amplitudes of the dominant leg were collected simultaneously. The anticipated drop jump showed more flexed lower limbs during landing and increased range of motion compared to the unanticipated drop landing. The anticipated drop jump also had lower impact force, lesser soft tissue vibration, and a greater damp coefficient at the thigh muscles compared with the unanticipated drop landing. Significant increases in the EMG amplitudes of the tibialis anterior, lateral gastrocnemius, rectus femoris, and biceps femoris were observed in the anticipated drop jump during the pre/post-activation and downward phases. The anticipated drop jump presented more optimized landing posture control with more joint flexion, lower impact force, less soft tissue vibrations, and full preparation of muscle activations compared with the unanticipated drop landing.

Open access

Jonas Rohleder and Tobias Vogt

Abstract

In artistic gymnastics, athletes need to compose their floor exercise routines in accordance with the Code of Points which is provided by the International Gymnastics Federation. In view of the latest rule modifications subsequent to the 2016 Olympic Games, this study investigates recent changes in judges’ scorings with respect to changes in the characteristics of floor exercise routines in world elite male gymnasts. Therefore, all floor exercise routines (n = 25) performed in the men’s floor exercise finals at the World Championships in 2013 (WC13), 2015 (WC15) and 2017 (WC17) were examined using video analysis. Gymnasts’ scores (difficulty, execution and final scores), element group distributions and further exercise characteristics (e.g., the total amount of somersaults, twists, and landing errors) were defined as variables. Decreases in difficulty and execution scores were revealed for WC17 compared to WC15 and WC13, respectively (p < .01). Additionally, a decrease in the number of backward jumped elements was observed at WC17 (p < .01), whereas the number of forward jumped elements increased (p < .01). Furthermore, a significantly increased number of landing errors (p < .05) negatively correlated with the decrease in execution (p < .001) and final scores (p < .05). To conclude, current compositional trends in men’s floor exercise encourage to include difficult forward jumps and multiple twisting connections in consideration of prudent teaching with respect to the gymnasts’ individual abilities and the decisive influence of stick landings.

Open access

Athanasios Tsoukos, Sotirios Drikos, Lee E. Brown, Konstantinos Sotiropoulos, Panagiotis Veligekas and Gregory C. Bogdanis

Abstract

This study examined whether anthropometric and fitness tests might successfully predict selection of young female volleyball players for a junior national team. Sixty four female players (age: 14.4 ± 0.5 y, body height: 1.76 ± 0.05 m, body mass: 63.9 ± 6.4 kg) underwent a selection procedure for the junior national team. Anthropometric data and speed and power test results were obtained and players were graded for their performance in a volleyball tournament. Selected players differed from the non-qualified in body height (3.4%; p = 0.001), standing reach height (2.6%; p = 0.001), the sum of skinfolds (15.4%; p = 0.035), body mass index (BMI; 7.1%; p = 0.005) and spike jump and reach (SJR) (2.5%; p = 0.001). Selected players were classified in the 99.2 ± 1.6 percentile in body height and in the 51.4 ± 20.6 percentile in the BMI, which were significantly different from those of the non-qualified players (95.4 ± 7.0 and 66.7 ± 18.6, p = 0.02 and p = 0.004, respectively). Stepwise discriminant analysis yielded a discriminant function (p < 0.001, η2 = 0.78) that was highly loaded by height, SJR and the BMI (r = 0.79, r = 0.74 and r = -0.53, respectively). Cross validation results showed that selection was correctly predicted in 15 out of the 20 selected players (predictive accuracy: 75.0%) and in 35 out of the 44 non-qualified players (predictive accuracy: 79.5%). In conclusion, body height, the BMI and SJR height successfully discriminated between selected and non-qualified elite young female junior national team volleyball players. The equal vertical jump, sprint and agility of selected and non-qualified players, highlight the importance of body height and the BMI for selection of elite junior female volleyball players.

Open access

Adam Wylęgała, Bogumiła Sędziak-Marcinek, Jan Pilch and Edward Wylęgała

Abstract

Physical exertion leads to the rise in tear osmolarity. However, previous studies have been conducted mostly on males and did not consider sex differences and the possible alteration in blinking during physical exercise. Sixteen women and 18 men aged 25.09 ± 1.70 were divided into equal groups with eyes open and shut. Participants performed 8-min medium-intensity exercise and 5-min intense exercise on a cycloergometer. Tear osmolarity (in mOsm/L) was evaluated before ( T0), after medium-intensity (T1) and intense exercise (T2). The blinking rate was assessed in a group with eyes open. Tear brake up time was measured in T0 and T1. With tear osmolarity measuring 305.72 ± 1.22 and 313.56 ± 1.90 for men and women, respectively, we observed significant differences in T1. In T2, tear osmolarity in men was 303.3 ± 1.28 vs. 310.87 ± 1.36 in women. The blinking rate decreased from 14.24 ± 2.54/min in T0 to 9.41 ± 2.83/min in T1. There was a statistically significant change in tear osmolarity in both groups, that is, in the group with eyes shut from 300.53 ± 1.37 in T0 to 308.06 ± 1.55 in T1 to 304.88 ± 1.54 in T2. In the group with eyes open, tear osmolarity increased from 300.29 ± 1.37 in T0 to 310.76 ± 1.55 in T1 and then dropped to 308.88 ± 1.54 in T2. Tear brake up time measured in T0 was 14.7 ± 1.43 vs. 13.53 ±1.48 in the open eyes condition. Due to physical exercise, short-term changes in tear osmolarity are partially caused by altered blinking. Sex differences in tear osmolarity in response to exertion may confirm the relationship between total body water and tear osmolarity.

Open access

Ho Jin Chung, Ho Keat Leng and Chanmin Park

Abstract

This study aims to investigate the discourse in physical education (PE) classes among primary school students in Singapore and reveal the distinctive governing epistemological structure. Eight primary school students were interviewed, and an archaeological analysis based on Foucault’s thoughts and works was employed. The findings of this study provided a deeper understanding of PE discourse and offered a unique perspective on the conditions for such discourse to happen. A Foucauldian approach is thus a useful tool for policymakers when designing the PE curriculum and syllabus.

Open access

Kacper Zagała and Artur Strzelecki

Abstract

Sport used to be practiced and watched only live. Over time, it started to be broadcast by the radio or television. The development of sport on the Internet has led to the emergence of eSports and professionalization of virtual sports competitions. For some gamers playing computer games has turned into competition and later into the professionalization of the game. This paper explores the topic of electronic sports and virtual competition. It discusses eSports and the accompanying behaviors and practices. Authors delivered taxonomy of video game types, game modes and current phenomenon of both online and land-based tournaments as well eSports leagues. The paper also illustrates how gamers are preparing themselves for tournaments and a crucial role of gamers’ motivation. Authors present the FIFA football games series and its eSports application. The adopted research method allowed to obtain answers from n=452 gamers. Results show that 60% of gamers have been spending more than 7 hours a week playing games. More than half of gamers have been playing for more than ten years. Most players play in games because it is considered as a hobby. Most of the gamers consider eSports as a sport. Most of the players are also spectators, who had watched in streaming at least one eSports tournament We find that FIFA game series has an extensive eSports platform and filled the gap by exploring it. Gamers usually play 40 games each weekend in FIFA eSports league but casual eSports gamers and spectators rarely take part in land-based tournaments.

Open access

R. Scott Kretchmar

Abstract

Loy and Morford focus on “agon” as an important window through which to understand human life and development. Competition in war and sport was culturally significant then, and it is culturally significant today, albeit in modified forms. In this commentary, I attempt to do two things – first, identify implications of some conceptual distinctions, and second, point out normative questions raised by the Loy/Morford analysis. I find it worthwhile to differentiate clearly between tests and contests. If the historical and sociocultural spotlight were turned on sporting “tests” rather than “contests”, that is, on trying to solve physically demanding problems well rather than trying to solve them better than at least one other party, then another story than the agonal account could be told. War would probably no longer serve as the best historical and prehistorical analogue for sport. Rather, it might be hunting. I add, that, on one hand, competitive sport is far less violent and, therefore, far more defensible today than it was previously. On the other hand, joy in playing is often sacrificed on the altar of any number of extrinsic rewards. Success, even gained by questionable means, replaces skill-based and virtue-generated achievement. This threatens the connection endorsed by MacIntyre between practices and virtues.

Open access

Ejgil Jespersen

Abstract

When reading the masterpiece about “The Agon Motif” by John W. Loy and W. Robert Morford (2019), I was struck by their recurrent reference to the pursuit of honor in agonal sport contests, as it has become common sense to replace honor with dignity in modernity. I take the German social-philosopher Axel Honneth (1995) as a prime example of spelling out the replacement of honor with dignity in what he names “the struggle for recognition”. In a historical perspective, however, it looks like, that dignity can be understood as a distribution of honor rather than as an oppositional concept of honor. Recognition should not only be conceptualized at the categorical level, but also understood in terms of ‘comparative recognition’, which sorts members of a group into an intra-group hierarchy based on their relative merits and, thereby, pave the way for self-esteem (Mark, 2014). Furthermore, Honneth (2008) develops his concept of recognition to a two-level one by including a primordial recognition in terms of mimesis based upon his former concept of basic self-confidence. It is a kind of elementary responsiveness, which always and necessarily contains an element of involuntary openness or devotedness in the bodily-affective sphere. Therefore, I suggest taking mimesis as the precondition of honor into account and understanding dignity as a distribution of honor in the institution of modern sport.