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Practical Use of the Navigate Pain Application for the Assessment of the Area, Location, and Frequency of the Pain Location in Young Soccer Goalkeepers

Abstract

Next to winning, minimizing injuries during training and matches is one of the primary goals of professional team sports games. Soreness and pain can be early indicators and risk factors for acute or long‐term injuries. Monitoring pain intensity and duration, as well as potential sources, are useful for planning practices and can be effective means for preventing injury. The aim of this study was to assess the areas and locations of pain in young soccer goalkeepers during a training camp, and to differentiate the area and frequency between pain arising from the muscles (MP), joints (JP), or as a result of an impact (IP). Recordings of the MP, JP, and IP location along with the area were performed using digital body mapping software (Navigate Pain Android app, Aalborg University, Denmark) installed on a tablet personal computer at the end of each training day across a 5‐day training camp. There was a significant difference in the area between the three types of pain (p < 0.001). The post hoc analysis revealed statistically significant differences between the pixel areas of IP versus JP (p < 0.001), IP versus MP (p < 0.001), and JP versus MP (p < 0.001). There was no significant time‐effect for the IP area between 1‐5 days of training (p = 0.610), neither for MP (p = 0.118) or JP (p = 0.797) and no significant difference for all three pain areas between the front and the back side of the body. The body regions most often reported for MP were thighs, while for JP they were groin and hips, and for IP the hips, shoulders, and forearms were most frequently indicated. This is the first study to map and report the pain distribution associated with training across a 5‐day training camp in soccer goalkeepers, and these findings emphasize the value of using digital pain drawings clinically as well as for monitoring the health status of soccer players.

Open access
Predicting Competition Performance in Short Trail Running Races with Lactate Thresholds

Abstract

Trail running is a popular sport, yet factors related to performance are still not fully understood. Lactate thresholds have been thoroughly investigated in road running and correlate strongly with race performance, but to date few data are available about the value in trail running performance prediction. We examined 25 trail runners (age 31.2 ± 5.1 years, BMI 22.2 ± 1.82 kg/m2) with an initial graded exercise test for measurement of VO2max (59.5 ± 5.2 ml.kg‐1.min‐ 1) and lactate thresholds (LT): LTAET (LT aerobic) 1.03 ± 0.59 mmol/l; 11.2 ± 1.1 km/h), IAT (individual lactate threshold) (2.53 ± 0.59 mmol/l; 15.4 ± 1.6 km/h) and LT4 (lactate threshold at 4 mmol/l) (16.2 ± 1.9 km/h). All runners subsequently participated in a 31.1 km XS trail race and 9 runners in a 21 km XXS trail race. Race performance times correlated negatively with the XS trail run (LTAET: r = ‐0.65, p < 0.01; LT4: r = ‐0.87, p < 0.01; IAT: r = ‐0.84, p < 0.01) and regression analysis showed that race performance could be predicted by: LT4: ‐324.15×LT4+13195.23 (R2 = .753, F1,23 = 70.02, p < 0.01). A subgroup analysis showed higher correlations with race performance for slower than faster runners. No correlations were found with the XXS race. Lactate thresholds can be of value in predicting trail race performance and help in designing training plans.

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Reaction to a Visual Stimulus: Anticipation with Steady and Dynamic Contractions

Abstract

Reacting fast to visual stimuli is important for many activities of daily living and sports. It remains unknown whether the strategy used during the anticipatory period influences the speed of the reaction. The purpose of this study was to determine if reaction time (RT) differs following a steady and a dynamic anticipatory strategy. Twenty‐two young adults (21.0 ± 2.2 yrs, 13 women) participated in this study. Participants performed 15 trials of a reaction time task with ankle dorsiflexion using a steady (steady force at 15% MVC) and a dynamic (oscillating force from 10‐20% MVC) anticipatory strategy. We recorded primary agonist muscle (tibialis anterior; TA) electromyographic (EMG) activity. We quantified RT as the time interval from the onset of the stimulus to the onset of force. We found that a dynamic anticipatory strategy, compared to the steady anticipatory strategy, resulted in a longer RT (p = 0.04). We classified trials of the dynamic condition based on the level and direction of anticipatory force at the moment of the response. We found that RT was longer during the middle descending relative to the middle ascending and the steady conditions (p < 0.01). All together, these results suggest that RT is longer when preceded by a dynamic anticipatory strategy. Specifically, the longer RT is a consequence of the variable direction of force at which the response can occur, which challenges the motor planning process.

Open access
Regulation of Stride Length During the Approach Run in the 400‐M Hurdles

Abstract

This research aims to clarify the stride adjustment in the approach of the 400‐m hurdles, and to examine the relationship with 400‐m hurdle performance. Seven male 400‐m hurdlers volunteered for this study. Participants ran three times from the start to the second hurdle. The standard deviation of toe‐hurdle distance and standard deviation of stride length at each step from the start to the first hurdle were calculated. The maximum value of the standard deviation of toe‐hurdle distance was defined as the position at which the athlete starts stride adjustment. The relationships between each variable, 400‐m hurdle personal best, and the ratio of 400‐m hurdle personal best and 400‐m running personal best (400 m/400‐m hurdles) were examined. Results concluded that standard deviation of toe‐hurdle distance gradually increased after the start, reached the maximum value in the latter half of the approach section, and then decreased until the takeoff. Standard deviation of stride length increased significantly from 4 steps before the takeoff. From these trends, it was suggested that athletes seemed to start stride adjustment from the middle stage to the latter half of the approach by sensing stride error accumulation in the middle of the approach. The strides immediately before the takeoff were markedly involved in stride adjustment. Furthermore, the stride adjustment technique to reduce maximum accumulation error of stride evaluated in the approach section was considered associated with the smooth running of the entire 400‐m hurdle race.

Open access
The Relationship Between Pistol Olympic Shooting Performance, Handgrip and Shoulder Abduction Strength

Abstract

The ability to stabilize the gun, a crucial factor for performance in air pistol Olympic shooting, is thought to be strongly related to the muscular work of the shooter´s shoulder and forearm. The objective of the present study was to confirm this relationship by analysing the influence of maximal finger flexor forces and maximal isometric shoulder force on performance in female air pistol shooting. Twenty‐three female pistol shooters participated in the study. Handgrip and shoulder force data were recorded under competition conditions, during the official training time of national Spanish championships on the day previous to the competition and at the official training stands. Performance was measured as the total score of 40 shots at competition. Linear regressions between performance and age, weight, height, training experience, body mass index (BMI), mean and maximal finger flexor and shoulder forces were calculated. Significant correlations were found between performance and a) training hours b) peak finger flexor force relative to the BMI, and c) peak isometric force of the shoulder abduction relative to the BMI. The study concludes that there is a statistically significant correlation between performance and muscular forces exerted by the athletes relative to their BMI. Appropriate muscular strength training programs are therefore necessary in female air pistol Olympic shooting.

Open access
Relationships Between the Expression of the ACTN3 Gene and Explosive Power of Soccer Players

Abstract

Muscle strength and maximal speed are factors determining athlete’s results during competition. Their association with ACTN3 gene activity has been documented. The purpose of this study was the analysis of ACTN3 gene expression during a 2 month training cycle of soccer players and its correlation with the countermovement jump (CMJ) and squat jump (SJ). The study group consisted of 22 soccer players (aged 17‐18). The study material included peripheral blood lymphocytes. The relative expression (RQ) of the ACTN3 gene was analyzed by qPCR and performed before and after the two‐month training cycle. Before the training cycle low expression levels of ACTN3 (median RQ = 0.95) were observed, yet after the training cycle they were elevated (median RQ = 1.98) ( p = 0.003). There was an increase in performance of both jumps: SJ (p = 0.020) and CMJ (p = 0.012) at the end of the training cycle. A simultaneous increase in the ACTN3 gene expression level and height in both jump tests was observed in 73% of athletes (p > 0.05). There were no significant relationships between the ACTN3 gene expression level and the results of the CMJ and SJ. However, explosive strength is a complex feature shaped by many different factors and it could be the reason why we did not observe correlations between these variables.

Open access
Trends of Goal Scoring Patterns in Soccer: A Retrospective Analysis of Five Successive FIFA World Cup Tournaments

Abstract

This study analysed the 795 goals scored during a total of 320 matches played in five successive FIFA World Cup tournaments (1998–2014). Data were obtained through YouTube videos and analysed by means of Longomatch software. The variables analysed included the number of goals scored per half (45‐min period), per 15‐min period, and per 30‐min period of extra time, goal scoring zones, goals scored by substitutes, types of goals scored, and goals scored according to the playing position. With regard to 15‐min period analysis, most goals were scored between the 76th and 90th minutes (24.7%) of the game in all five World Cup competitions. Chi‐square analyses showed no significant (p > 0.05) differences in the frequency of goal scoring patterns per 45‐min and 15‐min periods in the five World Cup tournaments. Most goals were scored from inside the goal (23.8%) and penalty (14.6%) areas. The greatest number of goals was scored by strikers (54.2%), followed by midfielders (33.3%) and defenders (2.3%). These findings provide practical implications for improving goal‐scoring performance in soccer.

Open access
Variability of Technical Actions During Small‐Sided Games in Young Soccer Players

Abstract

The purpose of this study was three‐fold: (i) to test the between‐sessions variability of 3 vs. 3 and 6 vs. 6 formats in under‐11 players, (ii) to assess the within‐session variability of 3 vs. 3 and 6 vs. 6 formats, and (iii) to investigate the variations of technical actions between formats. Sixteen soccer players (10.1 ± 0.3 years old) participated in this study. Both formats of play were played twice within an interval of one week to test the between‐session variability and the variables of conquered balls (CBs), received balls (RBs), lost balls (LBs), attacking balls/passes (ABs) and shots (Ss) were analyzed using the Performance Assessment in Team Sports instrument in all matches. Moderate variations on the sum of sets during the 3 vs. 3 and 6 vs. 6 formats were observed in all variables. Considering the variations of technical actions made between sets in the 3 vs. 3 format, likely moderate increases were found in set 2 vs. 1 in terms of RB (37.5%, [‐2.7;94.2]), and likely small decreases were found in set 3 vs. 2 for the same variable (‐18.3%, [‐37.8;7.3]). In the 6 vs. 6 format, only possibly small increases were found for set 3 vs. 1 in S (22.5%, [‐7.0;61.3]). Generally (sum of sets), the variables standardized per minute revealed almost certain very large decreases in the 6 vs. 6 vs. the 3 vs. 3 format in the variables of CB (‐67.9%, [‐75.3;‐55.9]), LB (‐66.0%, [‐73.9;‐55.7]), RB (‐65.6%, [‐74.8;‐ 53.1]) and S (‐87.6%, [‐93.1;‐77.7]). The results of this study suggest that both formats of play are too noisy to be reproducible. The 3 vs. 3 format largely increased the number of individual technical actions.

Open access
eSports Evolution in Football Game Series

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
A Foucauldian Analysis on Discourse in Primary School Physical Education Classes in Singapore

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