26 November 2009

sleep to train motor learning

Sleep success: How to make ZZZs = memory@new scientist

Catherine Siengsukon of the University of Kansas Medical Center in Kansas City reviewed the evidence for "offline practice" – practising skills during sleep – earlier this year. She reckons that motor learning – training brain areas that control muscles - during sleep could help rehabilitate young, brain-damaged patients.

EM sleep seems to be important for perceptual memory, "like when you're learning to play darts", while the consolidation of "declarative" memories – facts and events – happens during deep slow-wave sleep.

25 November 2009

MOU between Loughborough University and Waseda University in Japan

Loughborough joins Japan in global $14m sports science programme@Loughborough University

Loughborough University has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Waseda University in Japan as part of a global $14m programme designed to increase collaborative research in sport sciences and physical activity.

An initial three areas of research have been identified between the two Universities: the use of physical activity to prevent chronic disease, muscle physiology and sport performance, and the role sport plays in a socio-cultural context.

24 November 2009

Singapore's Foreign Sports Talent Scheme

Foreign athletes welcomed if they raise standard of Singapore sports@CNA

Singapore will continue to embrace talented foreign athletes who want to represent the country, as long as they raise the standard of sports here, according to Minister for Community Development, Youth and Sports Vivian Balakrishnan.

Dr Balakrishnan revealed that the Foreign Sports Talent (FST) Schemes currently make up 4.6 per cent of the total number of athletes among the development and national squads of the seven key sports in the country.

There are currently 19 FSTs out of 97 badminton players, and 11 FSTs out of 85 table tennis players.

Dr Balakrishnan also laid down the three principles that guide the FST policy: openness to global talent, fairness in treatment of FSTs and local-born athletes, and ensuring the integration of the foreign-born athletes into society.

Singapore athletes preparation for YOG

S$2.6m disbursed to prepare Singapore athletes for YOG@CNA

S$2.6 million out of over S$6 million set aside for the 2010 Youth Olympic Games has already been disbursed to prepare Singapore athletes. The remaining amount will be given out over the next few months.

The 26 National Sports Associations (NSAs) whose sports will be competing in the Games were also given more details about the qualification criteria.

Singapore can send up to 130 athletes – both individual and teams – for the Games, but not all sports will have automatic qualifications.

17 November 2009

3D swim modeling to enhance performance

Maths to speed swimmers@CSIRO

CSIRO and the Australian Institute of Sport (AIS) are creating computer models of swimmers that can swim through virtual water.

The goal is to help individual swimmers find their ideal stroke techinique.

Once the virtual model is created, its performance will be compared to the real person, to make sure it matches reality.

AUS talent 'hot spots' study

Sports talent 'hot spots' being studied@SMH

Queensland's Griffith University is leading research into identifying potential elite athletes, which could be the key to improving Australia's international sporting success.

Rather than the standard biophysical measures, the university hopes to uncover reasons why some towns and regions like Wagga, which they call "hot-spots", produce more elite athletes than others.

The university is working with the Australian Sports Commission, Australian Institute of Sport, Cricket Australia, Tennis Australia and the Australian Football League following a $300,000 grant last month from the Australian Research Council.

Over the next three years researchers would study factors such as the family support for elite athletes, whether there was a strong club system, socio-cultural factors, psychological factors, how recruiters perceived talent, home-town advantage and whether the hot-spots have strong socio-capital.

no funding boost for AUS

No funding boost for sport: review@Brisbane Times

The federal government-commissioned report has dismissed the AOC's calls for an extra $100 million a year for 10 years for elite sports, saying that money would be better spent elsewhere.

It also takes issue with the AOC's quest to reclaim "top five" status on the medal table at the 2012 London Olympics and future Games, saying that target is not sensible and not an appropriate measure of Australian performance.

16 November 2009

NZ budget for 2010

SPARC ramps up high performance investment to new level@SPARC

SPARC is investing a record $6.3 million in 19 national sport organisations’ high performance programmes and projects following the 2010 contestable investment round.

In addition to the contestable high performance programme investment, $816,500 is being provided to national sport organisations for 2010 in service credits. Service credits cover the cost of sports medicine, sports science and athlete development services provided through the New Zealand Academy of Sport.

13 November 2009

ASC online tools and resources for coaches

The Australian Sports Commission (ASC) has produced eight new coaching and officiating videos which are now available on the ASC website ranging from mentoring, coaching juniors and intermediate coaching general principles.


Also few factsheets available.




UK sport biosensor project

New Technology Will Help Improve Athletes’ Performance@EPSRC

EPSRC funded scientists are developing a range of miniaturised wearable and track-side sensors, computer modelling tools and smart training devices to help British athletes improve their performance.

The Elite Sport Performance Research in Training with Pervasive Sensing (ESPRIT) has received £6 million from EPSRC and £2 million from UK Sport for a five year project. The research is being led by Imperial College London and supported by researchers at Queen Mary University of London and Loughborough University.

11 November 2009

Sports Sci J@Sep-Oct 09

This is the latest sports science journal update.


Sep-Oct 09


Game-Based Training for Improving Skill and Physical Fitness in Team Sport Athletes. IJSSC

An Integrative Definition of Coaching Effectiveness and Expertise. IJSSC

High-Intensity Training in Football. IJSPP

Do footedness and strength asymmetry relate to the dominant stance in swimming track start? JSS

Effect of Plyometric Training on Swimming Block Start Performance in Adolescents. JSCR

Fitness Profiling in Soccer: Physical and Physiologic Characteristics of Elite Players. JSCR

Strength & Conditioning

The Association Between Motor Skill Competence and Physical Fitness in Young Adults. RQES

Correcting the Use of the Term "Power" in the Strength and Conditioning Literature. JSCR

Negative effect of static stretching restored when combined with a sport specific warm-up component. JSMS

Effects of Sit-up Training versus Core Stabilization Exercises on Sit-up Performance. MSSE

A Comparison of Successful and Unsuccessful Attempts in Maximal Bench Pressing. MSSE

Relationships Among Jumping Performances and Sprint Parameters During Maximum Speed Phase in Sprinters. JSCR

Neuromuscular Adaptations to Training, Injury and Passive Interventions: Implications for Running Economy. SM


The Analysis and Utilization of Cycling Training Data. SM

Test Validation in Sport Physiology: Lessons Learned From Clinimetrics. IJSPP

Computer Simulations Assessing the Potential Performance Benefit of a Final Increase in Training During Pre-Event Taper. JSCR

Reliability and Generality of Measures of Acceleration, Planned Agility, and Reactive Agility. IJSPP

Relation between Individualized Training Impulses and Performance in Distance Runners. MSSE

Improving the prediction of sweat losses during exercise. JAP

Cold Fluids Improve Exercise Performance in the Heat By Slowing the Rate of Heat Gain. MSSE

Evidence against a 40°C core temperature threshold for fatigue in humans. JAP

Comparison of Progressive Maximal Swimming Tests in Elite Female Water Polo Players. IJSPP

Effects of Ramadan fasting on physical performance and metabolic, hormonal, and inflammatory parameters in middle-distance runners. APNM

The ‘So What’ Factor: Statistical versus Cinical Significance. IJSM


BJSM reviews: A–Z of supplements: dietary supplements, sports nutrition foods and ergogenic aids for health and performance Part 1. BJSM

BJSM reviews: A–Z of supplements: dietary supplements, sports nutrition foods and ergogenic aids for health and performance Part 2. BJSM

Evaluation of Nutritional Intake in Canadian High-Performance Athletes. CJSM

Development and Validation of a Food Pyramid for Swiss Athletes. IJSNEM

Caffeine and Anaerobic Performance: Ergogenic Value and Mechanisms of Action. SM

Biomechanics and technology development

Ubiquitous computing in sports: A review and analysis. JSS

A Comparison of Video and Accelerometer Based Approaches Applied to Performance Monitoring in Swimming. IJSSC

Sports Medicine

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) Consensus Statement on periodic health evaluation of elite athletes March 2009. BJSM

Sports Injuries During the Summer Olympic Games 2008. AJSM

Illness Monitoring in Team Sports Using a Web-Based Training Diary. CJSM

Preparticipation cardiovascular screening in young athletes. BJSM

Incidence and aetiology of sudden cardiac death in young athletes: an international perspective. BJSM

Return to play? Practical considerations for young athletes with cardiovascular disease. BJSM

Popular drugs in sport: descriptive analysis of the enquiries made via the Drug Information Database (DID). BJSM

Psychology and motor control

The role of confidence in world-class sport performance. JSS

Emotional Intelligence Scores Predict Team Sports Performance in a National Cricket Competition. IJSSC

Talent ID and development

Relationships among birth-month distribution, skeletal age and anthropometric characteristics in adolescent elite soccer players. JSS

The relative age effect in a professional football club setting. JSS

Genetic research and testing in sport and exercise science: A review of the issues. JSS


09 November 2009

Learning points from Coach Education Conference 09

3rd Annual Evolution of the Athlete: Coach Education Conference (2-3 Nov 2009@Brisbane, Australia)


"Leadership in elite sport" Craig Bellamy (Head Coach, Melbourne Storm, NRL team)

- Leadership = to know the role and to do the best you can
- Positive thinking + realistic thinking
- Importance of off field activities

"Managing individuals in winning teams" John Fitzgerald (Optus Davis Cup Captain, Tennis Australia)

- 6C = communication, clarification, character, compassion, confidence, commitment
- Expectation = to play at best effort possible

"Developing the learning environment in sport" Glenn Stewart (High Performance Manager, West Coast Eagles)

- Leaning environment = to change actions, you need data to convince
- Team learning environment = vision → assess → FB → Info transmit (eg VARK, drills) → FB from players → re-assess
- Personal practical knowledge (PPK) = can learn 90% when you share info to others (x reading only 10%)

Concurrent session

"Quantification of training load" David Martin (Senior Sport Physiologist, Australian Institute of Sport)

- Simplify the relationship between training and performance
- What is the difference between good and bad forms?
- Daily log is insurance

"Gold medal programming" Chris O'Brien (Head Rowing Coach, Victorian Institute of Sport)

- Humanistic approach: focus on individual
- Back to the basics and repeat it!

"Designing practice" Megan Rendell (Sports Scientist - Skill Acquisition, QLD Academy of Sport)

- Adaptable, transfer, confidence, pressure, persistent, decision making
- Less is best (eg use analogy and questions)
- Block practice → random practice

"The TID coach" Juanita Weissensteiner (Research Coordinator, National Talent Identification & Development, Australian Sports Commission)

- TID and development as one package
- Biological and cognitive maturity.

06 November 2009

Eco-friendly YOG

YOG athletes to get involved in environmental initiatives@CNA

Members of the public pledged their commitment towards cultivating environmentally-friendly habits, by leaving their footprints on clay to form an art piece.

The art piece will be on display during the 2010 YOG, and is part of a programme to encourage athletes to learn about environmental sustainability.

The organising committee is partnering with HortPark to promote
environmentally-friendly practices among athletes taking part in the Games.

This is part of its Culture and Education Programme, and will see athletes exploring HortPark's gardens to learn more about human impact on the ecosystem.