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  • Author: María Fernández-González x
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Carlos Lago-Peñas, María A. Fernández-Villarino, Iván González-García, Patricio Sánchez-Fernández and Jaime Sampaio

Abstract

The aim of the current study was (i) to identify how important was a good season start in relation to elite handball teams’ performance, and (ii) to examine if this impact was related to the clubs’ financial budget. The match performances and annual budgets of all teams were collected from the Spanish Professional Handball League during ten seasons. The dependent variable was the difference between the ranking of each team in accordance to the annual budget and the ranking of each team at the end of the season. A k-means cluster analysis classified the clubs according to their budget as High Range Budget Clubs (HRBC), Upper-Mid Range Budget Clubs (UMRBC), Lower-Mid Range Budget Clubs (LMRBC) and Low Range Budget Clubs (LRBC). Data were examined through linear regression models. Overall, the results suggested that the better the team performance at the beginning of the season, the better the ranking at the end of the season. Each position in the ranking above expected in accordance to the budget of the teams in Rounds 3, 4 or 5 improved by 0.47, 0.50 or 0.49, respectively, in the ranking at the end of the season (p<0.05). However, the impact of the effect depended on the clubs’ annual budget. For UMRBC, LMRBC and LRBC a good start to the season had a positive effect on the final outcome (p<0.05). Nevertheless, for HRBC, a good or a bad start of the season did not explain their final position. These variables can be used to develop accurate models to estimate final rankings. UMRBC, LMRBC and LRBC can benefit from fine-tuning preseason planning in order to accelerate the acquisition of optimal performances.

Open access

Daniel Spears, Inés Fernández-Linsenbarth, Yasmina Okan, María Ruz and Felisa González

Abstract

Previous research suggests that utilitarian decisions to moral dilemmas often stem from analytic, controlled cognitive processes. Furthermore, processing disfluency can trigger analytic thinking and improve performance on tasks that require logic and cognitive reflection. In the present study we investigated how processing fluency affects the readiness with which people give utilitarian responses to both personal and impersonal dilemmas. Participants were presented in two different experimental blocks with dilemmas written in both easy- (fluent) and hard-to-read (disfluent) fonts. We expected that dilemmas written in a disfluent font would be associated with more utilitarian responses. Results supported this prediction, albeit only when the disfluent dilemmas appeared first, showing that participants endorsed more utilitarian actions in the disfluent condition than in the fluent condition across dilemma types. These data suggest that increasing processing disfluency by manipulating the font affects decisions in the moral domain.

Open access

Olga Escuredo, María Fernández-González, María S. Rodríguez-Flores, Ana Seijo-Rodríguez and María C. Seijo-Coello

Summary

Honeys were studied in order to know the relationships between their botanical origin, the total content of phenols and flavonoids, and the 2.2-diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl (DPPH) radical scavenging activity. The principal floral resources for honeybees in the studied area were Castanea sativa, Rubus, Eucalyptus, Erica, and Cytisus.

Results showed the influence of Erica and Castanea in the phenol content, flavonoids content, and the antioxidant activity of honeys. The presence of Erica in honeys was related to the highest phenol content; so heather honeys had a mean content of 178.9 mg/100g. Honeys with high Castanea pollen content had the highest value of flavonoids (7.7 mg/100g) and a minor value of half maximal inhibitory concentration (IC50) (9.4 mg/ml). Eucalyptus and blackberry were the honeys with minor contents of these compounds. A stepwise linear regression was used to estimate the phenol content of honeys. The contribution of Erica and Castanea was highlighted in the obtained model (R2 = 0.61), with significant p-value (< 0.01).

Open access

José María González Ravé, Alejandro Legaz-Arrese, Fernando González-Mohíno, Inmaculada Yustres, Rubén Barragán, Francisco de Asís Fernández, Daniel Juárez and Juan Jaime Arroyo-Toledo

Abstract

This study used a power rack device to evaluate the effects of 2 different approaches to resisted swim training loads on swimming strength and performance. Sixteen male, youth national-level swimmers (mean age, 16.22 ± 2.63 years; body height, 169 ± 10.20 cm; body mass, 61.33 ± 9.90 kg) completed a 6-week specific strength-training program, and were then randomly assigned to one of the two groups: a standard training group (GS, n = 8) and a flat pyramid-loading pattern group (GP, n = 8). Strength and power tests along with specific swimming tests (50-m crawl and 50-m competition-style time trials) were conducted at baseline (pre-test), before the third week (mid-test), and after 6 weeks of intervention (post-test). Isokinetic swim bench tests were conducted to obtain measurements of force production and power, and 1RM tests with the power rack system were conducted to measure the maximum drag load (MDL) and specific swimming power. Following 6 weeks of intervention, the mean MDL increased (p < 0.05) by 13.94%. Scores for the 50-m competition style and 50-m crawl time trials improved by 0.32% and 0.78%, respectively, in the GP; however, those changes were not statistically significant. The GS significantly increased their time in the 50-m competition style by 2.59%, and their isokinetic force production decreased by 14.47% (p < 0.05). The 6-week strength-training program performed with the power rack device in a pyramidal organization was more effective than a standard linear load organization in terms of producing improvements in the MDL; however, it did not produce significant improvements in performance. The use of a strength-training program with a pyramidal organization can be recommended for specific strength-training in young swimmers during a preparatory period. However, in our study, that program did not produce significant changes in 50-m crawl and main competition style performance.