Publications by authors named "Damir Sekulic"

115 Publications

Match Running Performance in UEFA Champions League: Is There a Worthwhile Association with Team Achievement?

Biology (Basel) 2022 Jun 6;11(6). Epub 2022 Jun 6.

Faculty of Kinesiology, University of Split, 21000 Split, Croatia.

Although running performance (RP) is considered an important factor of success in soccer, there is a lack of studies to examine this issue in highest-level soccer competition, such as UEFA Champions League (UCL). Therefore, the main objective of this study was to analyse players' RP according to the achievement of their teams in UCL. In addition, position specific RP of the players who competed in the UCL was evaluated. The players' RPs ( = 244) were collected during UCL group stage matches ( = 20) in the 2020/21 season using semiautomatic optical system InStat Fitness. A team's achievement was defined by qualification of the team from the group stage into the knockout stage of the UCL, and by total group points earned at the end of the UCL group stage. Linear mixed models and Pearson's correlation were used to examine differences in players' RP according to the achievement of their teams. Results indicated (i) similar values of RP irrespective of whether the teams qualified from the group stage into the knockout stage of the UCL, and (ii) trivial-to-small correlations between RP and total group points. Such findings show that players' RP was poorly related to the achievement of their teams in the UCL group stage, indicating trivial influence of RP on success in elite-level soccer.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/biology11060867DOI Listing
June 2022

The effect of mid-season coach turnover on running match performance and match outcome in professional soccer players.

Sci Rep 2022 Jun 23;12(1):10680. Epub 2022 Jun 23.

Department of Biological and Motor Sport Bases, University School of Physical Education, Wrocław, Poland.

The aim of this research was to examine the physical match performance and match outcome before and after coach turnover in professional soccer teams compared with a control group containing coaches working continuously for 3 consecutive seasons. Analysed data included 325 performances of teams led by dismissed coaches (DC), 313 of teams led by new coaches (NC), and 580 of teams led by unchanged coaches (UnC). Variables, such as average number of collected points, total distance (TD), total distance per minute (TD/min), high-speed running (HSR), sprinting and number of high-intensity runs (NHIR), were analysed in the last 15 games of DC and 15 matches of NC. These periods were divided into 3 blocks out of 5 matches (5-match blocks). NC collected a significantly higher number of points than DC (p = 0.015), whereas average points collected by UNC were significantly greater than DC (p < 0.001 and NC (p = 0.012). TD and TD/min for DC were significantly lower (p < 0.001) compared with both NC and UnC, whereas significant differences in HSR (p = 0.003) and NHIR (p = 0.03) were identified between DC and NC. The current study reported that mid-season coach turnover may result in short-term improvement in team results and physical match performance. However, this effect disappears after a period of approximately 5 games.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41598-022-14996-zDOI Listing
June 2022

Out-of-School Sports Participation Is Positively Associated with Physical Literacy, but What about Physical Education? A Cross-Sectional Gender-Stratified Analysis during the COVID-19 Pandemic among High-School Adolescents.

Children (Basel) 2022 May 20;9(5). Epub 2022 May 20.

Department of Physical and Occupational Therapy, Faculty of Movement, Sports and Health, Sciences, "Vasile Alecsandri" University of Bacau, 600001 Bacau, Romania.

Physical literacy (PL) is one of the main concepts related to lifelong physical activity (PA) and physical fitness (PF), but there is a lack of information on factors that might be associated with PL in adolescents from southeastern Europe. This study aimed to evaluate the associations between PF, participation and achievement in physical education (PE), out-of-school participation in sports, and PL in high school adolescents from Croatia. Participants were 298 high school students aged 14-18 years (191 females). Variables included school age, PE grade, sports participation, anthropometric indices, four PF tests, and PL (evidenced by CAPL-2-knowledge and understanding questionnaire (CAPL-2-KU) and PLAYself questionnaire). Gender-stratified analyses of differences were conducted using the t-test for independent samples or the Mann-Whitney test. Associations between variables were calculated with Pearson's product moment correlation or Spearman's rank order correlation. PF was positively correlated CAPL-2-KU in both genders. PE grade was significantly associated with PLAYself score (Pearson's correlation = 0.36 and 0.38, < 0.001 for boys and girls, respectively) but not with the CAPL-2-KU score. School age was not correlated with PL among boys, but there was a significant but negligible correlation between CAPL-2-KU and school age in girls (<2% of the common variance). Adolescents involved in sports had better PL and PF compared with adolescents not involved in sports. In conclusion, participation in out-of-school sports offers a good base for developing PL. Although this study took part over the COVID-19 pandemic period when the regular PE curriculum was significantly altered, the poor associations between school age and PL could lead to the assumption that the current PE curriculum does not allow for improvement of PL in later high school age, which warrants further investigation.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/children9050753DOI Listing
May 2022

Analysis of the associations between Salivary cortisol-, alpha-amylase-, and testosterone-responsiveness with the physical contact nature of team handball: a preliminary analysis.

J Sports Med Phys Fitness 2022 May 27. Epub 2022 May 27.

Faculty of Kinesiology, University of Split, Split, Croatia.

Background: This study evaluated endocrine responsiveness (ER) to physical stress (contact vs. non-contact nature of play) during team handball matches, according to the playing positions, thereby contextualizing the contact nature of the handball match.

Methods: The participants were ten male team handball players (24.1 ± 3.17 years, 188.2 ± 6.42 cm, 94.6 ± 9.6 kg) divided into two groups: contact playing positions (CPP) and non-contact playing positions (NCPP). To evaluate the ER, the salivary cortisol (C), testosterone (T), and alpha-amylase (AA) concentrations were assessed before the game, during the halftime break, and after the match. Moreover, playing time (PT) and the number of contacts (NC) were counted post-match by video analysis. To determine possible differences between PT and the NC in the first and second halves of the match, a paired-sample t-test was used. The differences among ER-measures were calculated by the magnitude-based Cohen's effect size. Possible associations between NC and ER were analysed by comparing CPP and NCPP in C, T, and AA.

Results: The CPP group performed significantly more physical contacts, while there was no difference in playing time between the groups. A stronger C response was evidenced in players with a longer playing time. During the game, the C response was directly determined by physical contact, with CPP players showing a stronger C response than NCPP players.

Conclusions: This study provided evidence of the importance of contact actions during matches and training sessions, as a parameter of calculating training loads and preparing strategies for recovery and injury prevention. Further studies examining larger samples are warranted.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.23736/S0022-4707.22.13963-0DOI Listing
May 2022

The Effect of the COVID-19 Lockdown on the Position-Specific Match Running Performance of Professional Football Players; Preliminary Observational Study.

Int J Environ Res Public Health 2021 11 21;18(22). Epub 2021 Nov 21.

Faculty of Kinesiology, University of Split, 21000 Split, Croatia.

The COVID-19 pandemic interrupted professional football in the 2019/2020 season, and football experts anticipate that the consequences of lockdown measures will negatively affect the physical performance of players once competition restarts. This study aimed to evaluate position-specific match running performance (MRP) to determine the effect of COVID-19 lockdowns on the physical performance of professional football players. Players' MRPs ( = 124) were observed in matches before and after the COVID-19 lockdown in the 2019/2020 season of the highest level of national competition in Croatia and were classified according to player position: central defenders (CD; = 42), fullbacks (FB; = 20), midfielders (MF; = 46), and forwards (FW; = 16). The MRPs were measured using Global Positioning System, and included the total distance covered, low-intensity running (≤14.3 km/h), running (14.4-19.7 km/h), high-intensity running (≥19.8 km/h), total accelerations (>0.5 m/s), high-intensity accelerations (>3 m/s), total decelerations (less than -0.5 m/s), and high-intensity decelerations (less than -3 m/s). The results indicated that, in matches after the COVID-19 lockdown, (i) CDs and FBs featured lower running and high-intensity running (t-value: from 2.05 to 3.51; all < 0.05; moderate to large effect sizes), (ii) MFs covered a greater distance in low-intensity running and achieved a lower number of total accelerations, and total and high-intensity decelerations (t-value: from -3.54 to 2.46; all < 0.05, moderate to large effect sizes), and (iii) FWs featured lower high-intensity running (t-value = 2.66, = 0.02, large effect size). These findings demonstrate that the physical performances of football players from the Croatian first division significantly decreased in matches after the COVID-19 lockdown. A combination of inadequate adaptation to football-specific match demands and a crowded schedule after the competition was restarted most likely resulted in such an effect.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/ijerph182212221DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8624781PMC
November 2021

Differential impact of COVID-19 lockdown on physical activity in younger and older adolescents - prospective study.

Med Pr 2021 Dec 26;72(6):633-643. Epub 2021 Nov 26.

University of Split, Split, Croatia (Faculty of Kinesiology).

Background: Insufficient physical activity levels (PAL) during adolescence is a major public health concern, which is even more pronounced during the COVID-19 pandemic due to restricting movement opportunities. This study aimed to identify PAL changes and examine the age-specific determinants of PAL in younger and older adolescents during the COVID-19 lockdown.

Material And Methods: This study included 859 high-school students from Bosnia and Herzegovina stratified into 2 age groups: younger (N = 420, 14-16 years of age), and older adolescents (N = 439, 16-18 years of age). Participants were tested over 2 testing waves: before the COVID-19 lockdown (January 2020) and during the COVID-19 lockdown (April 2020). Variables included PAL assessed by the Physical Activity Questionnaire for Adolescents, sports factors, and parental factors.

Results: The PAL significantly declined as a result of lockdown measures in the total sample (from 2.76±0.79 to 2.50±0.82). Larger absolute and relative decline of PAL was evidenced in younger adolescents. Sport participation positively influenced PAL before lockdown, with no significant influence during the lockdown. Older adolescents whose mothers were better educated were less likely to be in high risk group with regard to a large decline of PAL as a result of COVID lockdown (OR = 0.50, 95% CI: 0.21-0.84).

Conclusions: Results of the study suggest that parental education influences health-related behaviors and that parental education is a protective factor against a decrease in PAL during the COVID-19 pandemic. Main educational agents (i.e., school and parents) should pay more attention to provide children and adolescents adequate information and develop their health literacy, which will hopefully positively impact children's PAL even in challenging situations similar to COVID-19 lockdown. Med Pr. 2021;72(6):633-43.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.13075/mp.5893.01180DOI Listing
December 2021

Performance of Professional Soccer Players before and after COVID-19 Infection; Observational Study with an Emphasis on Graduated Return to Play.

Int J Environ Res Public Health 2021 11 7;18(21). Epub 2021 Nov 7.

Faculty of Kinesiology, University of Split, 21000 Split, Croatia.

The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic in sport has been the subject of numerous studies over the past two years. However, knowledge about the direct impact of COVID-19 infection on the performance of athletes is limited, and the importance of studies on this topic is crucial during the current pandemic era. This study aimed to evaluate the changes in the match running performance (MRP) of professional soccer players that occurred as a result of COVID-19 infection after fulfilling all of the prerequisites for a safe return to play (RTP). The participants were 47 professional soccer players from a team which competed in first Croatian division (21.6 years old on average) during the 2020/21 season. The total sample was divided into two subgroups based on the results of a PCR test for COVID-19, where 31 players tested positive (infected) and 16 tested negative. We observed the PCR test results (positive vs. negative PCR), the number of days needed to return to the team, number of days needed to RTP after quarantine and isolation, and MRP (10 variables measured by a global positioning system). The number of days where the infected players were not included in the team ranged from 7 to 51 (Median: 12). Significant pre- to post-COVID differences in MRP for infected players were only found for high-intensity accelerations and high-intensity decelerations (-test = 2.11 and 2.13, respectively; < 0.05, moderate effect size differences), with poorer performance in the post-COVID period. Since a decrease of the MRP as a result of COVID-19 infection was only noted in two variables, we can highlight appropriateness of the applied RTP. However, further adaptations and improvements of the RTP are needed with regard to high-intensity activities.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/ijerph182111688DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8583593PMC
November 2021

Principles of Rapid Weight Loss in Female Sambo Athletes.

Int J Environ Res Public Health 2021 10 28;18(21). Epub 2021 Oct 28.

Faculty of Sport and Physical Education, University of Novi Sad, 21000 Novi Sad, Serbia.

In combat sports, competitors are separated into weight divisions, to create equality between the athletes. Consequently, rapid weight loss (RWL) is a common practice in combat sports. Although the methods used to induce RWL are similar among athletes, currently, there are limited data concerning the RWL methodologies used by sambo athletes. Therefore, this study aimed at determining RWL procedures among female sambo athletes. Participants in the study were top-level athletes competing at the World Sambo Championship held in Novi Sad. A total sample of 47 female sambo athletes, of whom 24 were seniors (27.3 ± 4 year/age, 1.61 ± 0.09 m/height, 61.8 ± 8.87 kg/weight) and 23 juniors (18.7 ± 0.8 year/age, 1.66 ± 0.07 m/height, 63.7 ± 12.1 kg/weight), were examined in the study. To determine RWL methods, data were collected through a standardized questionnaire. As a result, 88.7% of the female sambo athletes declared that they intentionally cut their weight before the competition. The most commonly used methods were gradual dieting, followed by sauna, fluid restriction, and skipping meals. The most considerable influence on the RWL strategies of athletes came from coaches and personal trainers, while physicians and dietitians were far less influential. The results obtained from this representative sample highlight the most common practices concerning weight cutting prior to competition among females. Therefore, there is a need to inform and educate both athletes and coaches about the potentially harmful effects of RWL in combat sports.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/ijerph182111356DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8583233PMC
October 2021

The Impact of Scholastic Factors on Physical Activity Levels during the COVID-19 Lockdown: A Prospective Study on Adolescents from Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Children (Basel) 2021 Oct 1;8(10). Epub 2021 Oct 1.

Faculty of Kinesiology, University of Split, 21000 Split, Croatia.

Scholastic factors (academic achievement) are hypothesized to be important determinants of health-related behaviors in adolescents, but there is a lack of knowledge on their influence on physical activity levels (PAL), especially considering the COVID-19 pandemic and the imposed lockdown. This study aimed to investigate the associations between scholastic factors and PAL before and during the pandemic lockdown. The participants were adolescents form Bosnia and Herzegovina ( = 525, 46% females), who were observed prospectively at the baseline (before the pandemic lockdown) and during the lockdown in 2020 (follow-up). The scholastic factors (grade point average, behavioral grade, school absences, unexcused absences) were evidenced at the baseline (predictors). The outcome (PAL) was evaluated using the Physical Activity Questionnaire for Adolescents at the baseline and the follow-up. Gender, age, parental/familial conflict, and sport participation were observed as confounders. No significant influence of the predictors on PAL were evidenced at the baseline or at the follow-up. The scholastic variables were significantly associated with the changes of PAL which occurred due to pandemic lockdown, with a lower risk for negative changes in PAL among adolescents who were better in school (OR = 0.56, 95%CI: 0.34-0.81, and OR = 0.66, 95%CI: 0.34-0.97, for the grade point average and behavioral grade, respectively). Students who do well in school are probably more aware of the health benefits of proper PAL, and therefore are devoted to the maintenance of their PAL even during the home-confinement of lockdown. Public health authorities should focus more on helping adolescents to understand the importance and benefits of proper PAL throughout the school system.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/children8100877DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8534587PMC
October 2021

Relative Training Load and Match Outcome: Are Professional Soccer Players Actually Undertrained during the In-Season?

Sports (Basel) 2021 Oct 8;9(10). Epub 2021 Oct 8.

Faculty of Kinesiology, University of Split, 21000 Split, Croatia.

Previous studies examined training/match ratios (TMr) to determine the training load relative to the match load, but the influence of the relative training load (RTL) on success in soccer is still unknown. Therefore, this study aimed to investigate the possible influence of RTL on final match outcome in soccer (win, draw, and loss). Running performances (RP) of soccer players (n = 21) in the Croatian highest national soccer competition were analyzed during the season 2020-2021. Data were measured by the global positioning system in 14 official matches and 67 training sessions. RTL was assessed by TMr, which were calculated as the ratio of RP during training and match in the same week, evaluating the following measures: TDr (total distance ratio), LIDr (low-intensity distance ratio), RDr (running distance ratio), HIDr (high-intensity distance ratio), ACCr (total accelerations ratio), DECr (total decelerations ratio), HI-ACCr (high-intensity accelerations ratio), HI-DECr (high-intensity decelerations ratio). All TMr were examined separately for each training session within in-season microcycles (categorized as days before the match day, i.e., MD minus). Spearman correlations were used to identify association between match outcome and TMr. The results indicated negative associations between match outcome and TDr, LIDr, ACCr and DECr on MD-1 and MD-2). In contrast, positive associations were evidenced between match outcome, and HIDr on MD-3 and TDr, LIDr, ACCr and DECr on MD-5 ( < 0.05; all moderate correlations). These findings demonstrate that final match outcome in soccer was associated with greater RTL of (i) high-intensity running three days before the match, (ii) total and low-intensity running, accelerations and decelerations five days before the match, and (iii) lower RTL of total and low-intensity running, accelerations and decelerations one and two days before the match.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/sports9100139DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8541344PMC
October 2021

Acute Effects of Different Plyometric and Strength Exercises on Balance Performance in Youth Weightlifters.

Front Physiol 2021 14;12:716981. Epub 2021 Sep 14.

Research Laboratory: Education, Motor Skills, Sports and Health (EM2S, UR15JS01), Higher Institute of Sport and Physical Education of Sfax, University of Sfax, Sfax, Tunisia.

High-intensity muscle actions have the potential to temporarily improve the performance which has been denoted as postactivation performance enhancement. This study determined the acute effects of different stretch-shortening (fast vs. low) and strength (dynamic vs. isometric) exercises executed during one training session on subsequent balance performance in youth weightlifters. Sixteen male and female young weightlifters, aged 11.3±0.6years, performed four strength exercise conditions in randomized order, including dynamic strength (DYN; 3 sets of 3 repetitions of 10 RM) and isometric strength exercises (ISOM; 3 sets of maintaining 3s of 10 RM of back-squat), as well as fast (FSSC; 3 sets of 3 repetitions of 20-cm drop-jumps) and slow (SSSC; 3 sets of 3 hurdle jumps over a 20-cm obstacle) stretch-shortening cycle protocols. Balance performance was tested before and after each of the four exercise conditions in bipedal stance on an unstable surface (i.e., BOSU ball with flat side facing up) using two dependent variables, i.e., center of pressure surface area (CoP SA) and velocity (CoP V). There was a significant effect of time on CoP SA and CoP V [(1,60)=54.37, =1.88, <0.0001; F(1,60)=9.07, =0.77, =0.003]. In addition, a statistically significant effect of condition on CoP SA and CoP V [(3,60)=11.81, =1.53, <0.0001; F(3,60)=7.36, =1.21, =0.0003] was observed. Statistically significant condition-by-time interactions were found for the balance parameters CoP SA (<0.003, =0.54) and CoP V (<0.002, =0.70). Specific to contrast analysis, all specified hypotheses were tested and demonstrated that FSSC yielded significantly greater improvements than all other conditions in CoP SA and CoP V [<0.0001 (=1.55); =0.0004 (=1.19), respectively]. In addition, FSSC yielded significantly greater improvements compared with the two conditions for both balance parameters [<0.0001 (=2.03); <0.0001 (=1.45)]. Fast stretch-shortening cycle exercises appear to be more effective to improve short-term balance performance in young weightlifters. Due to the importance of balance for overall competitive achievement in weightlifting, it is recommended that young weightlifters implement dynamic plyometric exercises in the fast stretch-shortening cycle during the warm-up to improve their balance performance.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fphys.2021.716981DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8476920PMC
September 2021

Associations of Vitamin D Levels with Physical Fitness and Motor Performance; A Cross-Sectional Study in Youth Soccer Players from Southern Croatia.

Biology (Basel) 2021 Aug 5;10(8). Epub 2021 Aug 5.

Faculty of Kinesiology, University of Split, 21000 Split, Croatia.

Vitamin D level is known to be a factor potentially influencing physical fitness, but few studies have examined this phenomenon among youth athletes. We aimed to evaluate the associations of vitamin D levels (as measured by 25-hydroxyvitamin D concentrations-25(OH)D) with various physical fitness and motor performance tests in youth football (soccer) players. This cross-sectional study included a total of 52 youth soccer players (15.98 ± 2.26 years old) from Southern Croatia. The participants were evaluated at the end of the winter period and data were collected of anthropometric measures (body mass and body height), vitamin D status (25(OH)D levels), physical fitness tests (sprints of 10 and 20 m, 20 yards test, the countermovement jump, the reactive strength index (RSI)) and motor performance tests (the soccer-specific CODS, the soccer-specific agility, and static balance). Among the studied players, 54% had 25(OH)D insufficiency/deficiency, showing a lack of 25(OH)D is widespread even in youth athletes living at a southern latitude. The 25(OH)D level was correlated with sprint 20 m, 20 yards tests, and RSI, showing a greater role of 25(OH)D in physical fitness tests where energetic capacity is essential than in sport-related motor performance tests where skills are crucial. Our results support the idea that vitamin D can play a determinant role in physical fitness tests with a clear physiological component, but is not crucial in motor performance tests related to specific sports where skills are a key component. Future studies should investigate the effects of vitamin D supplementation on the performance in physical fitness and motor performance tests among youth athletes.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/biology10080751DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8389772PMC
August 2021

Differential Effects of Resistance- and Endurance-Based Exercise Programs on Muscular Fitness, Body Composition, and Cardiovascular Variables in Young Adult Women: Contextualizing the Efficacy of Self-Selected Exercise Modalities.

Medicina (Kaunas) 2021 Jun 25;57(7). Epub 2021 Jun 25.

Faculty of Sport, University of Ljubljana, 10000 Ljubljana, Slovenia.

There is an evident lack of research simultaneously investigating endurance training (ET) and resistance training (RT) with regard to their potential influence on fitness and health status in young women. This study aimed to determine the effects of RT and ET three times a week over an eight-week period on anthropometric/body composition indices, blood pressure (BP), and muscular fitness in apparently healthy young women who participated in a self-preferred program. The sample of participants comprised 57 young healthy women (23.9 ± 3.08 years, 165.5 ± 5.8 cm, 66.8 ± 7.2 kg) divided into ET ( = 18), RT ( = 19), and non-exercising (C) ( = 20) groups. The variables consisted of anthropometric/body composition indices (body mass, BMI, body fat, and lean body mass), muscular fitness variables (lower body strength, upper body strength, abdominal strength, dynamometric force, and flexibility), and cardiovascular parameters (resting heart rate and systolic and diastolic BP). A pre- and post-testing design, with factorial analysis of variance for repeated measurements (ANOVA: Group × Measurement), including a consecutive post hoc test, was applied. The ANOVA indicated a similar improvement in body composition (increase in lean body mass and decrease in body fat percentage), resting heart rate, and flexibility in both of the exercise groups, with no significant changes in the C group. RT improved the participants' strength and force capacities to a greater extent than ET. BP showed a trend of improvement in both of the training groups, but without statistically significant pre- to post-changes. Correlation analysis calculated with variables of pre- to post-differences (VDs) indicated poor associations between VDs, indicating relative independence of the obtained effects for the different variables in each training group. Although this investigation comprised apparently healthy young women, numerous positive changes indicated the efficacy of both programs in a relatively short period of time. While the participants in this study self-selected training programs, the evidenced positive effects can be at least partially related to this fact.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/medicina57070654DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8304697PMC
June 2021

Evidencing the Influence of the COVID-19 Pandemic and Imposed Lockdown Measures on Fitness Status in Adolescents: A Preliminary Report.

Healthcare (Basel) 2021 Jun 5;9(6). Epub 2021 Jun 5.

Faculty of Kinesiology, University of Split, 21000 Split, Croatia.

It was established that the COVID-19 pandemic resulted in decreased physical activity levels, potentially leading to reduced physical fitness. The aim of this research was to investigate the impact of the COVID-19 lockdown on fitness indices in adolescents. We observed high school adolescents (33% girls; aged 15-17 years) divided into two cohorts. The first cohort (control; = 48) included adolescents who were in school during the 2018/2019 year, while the second cohort (lockdown; = 66) was observed during the school year 2019/2020 when COVID-19 lockdown measures were imposed. Variables included body height, body mass, BMI, sit-ups, and the 600 m dash. Both cohorts were tested at the beginning and at the end of the observed school years. A factorial analysis of variance for repeated measurements evidenced an improvement in sit-ups and the 600 m dash in the control, and a decrease of the same capacities in the lockdown cohort. In the lockdown cohort, a decrease in muscular fitness was more evident in boys than in girls. No differential changes between cohorts were evidenced in anthropometrics. Results suggest that the COVID-19 lockdown negatively influenced muscular fitness status in adolescents, especially in boys.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/healthcare9060681DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8228249PMC
June 2021

Indices of Cardiovascular Health, Body Composition and Aerobic Endurance in Young Women; Differential Effects of Two Endurance-Based Training Modalities.

Healthcare (Basel) 2021 Apr 11;9(4). Epub 2021 Apr 11.

Faculty of Kinesiology, University of Split, 21000 Split, Croatia.

Endurance training (ET) has multiple beneficial effects on cardiovascular health (CVH), but there is an evident lack of knowledge on differential effects of various types of ET on indices of CVH in women. The aim of this study was to analyse the effectiveness of two different types of ET on changes in indicators of CVH in apparently healthy adult women. The sample included 58 women (24 ± 3 years; height: 165 ± 6 cm, mass: 66.7 ± 7.2 kg, BMI: 24.3 ± 2.5 kg/m, at baseline) divided into one control non-exercising group ( = 19), and two exercising experimental groups (EE). The first EE participated in choreographed aerobic-endurance training (CAT; = 19), while the second participated in treadmill-based endurance exercise (TEE; = 20) during the experimental protocol (8 weeks, 24 training sessions). The testing included pre- and post-exercise protocols and measures of anthropometric/body composition indices, lipid panel, and endurance capacity. Two-way analysis of variance for repeated measurements with consecutive post hoc analysis was applied to the "group" and "measurement" variables. The main significant ANOVA effects found for measurement, and "Group x Measurement" interaction ( < 0.05) were found for all variables but body height. The EE induced positive changes in lipid panel variables, anthropometric/body-build status, and endurance capacity. However, TEE improved endurance capacity to a greater extent than CAT. The results suggest that that the optimal exercise intensity and self-chosen type of physical-activity may result in positive effects on indices of CVH, even in women of young age and good health status.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/healthcare9040449DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8069629PMC
April 2021

Evidencing the influence of pre-pandemic sports participation and substance misuse on physical activity during the COVID‑19 lockdown: a prospective analysis among older adolescents.

Int J Occup Med Environ Health 2021 May 22;34(2):151-163. Epub 2021 Mar 22.

University of Split, Split, Croatia (Faculty of Kinesiology).

Objectives: The physical activity level (PAL) has significantly decreased as a result of the social distancing and lockdown related to the COVID‑19 pandemic, but there is a lack of knowledge on the correlates of PAL during the pandemic. The aim of this research was to examine the influence of pre-pandemic sports participation and substance use and misuse (SUM) on PAL during the COVID‑19 pandemic.

Material And Methods: The study included 661 high-school students from Bosnia and Herzegovina (aged 15-18 years, 292 females). The investigation included 2 testing waves: before the COVID‑19 pandemic (baseline, January 2020) and during the COVID‑19 lockdown (follow-up, April 2020). The variables included PAL as measured by the , sports factors, and SUM.

Results: Sports factors at baseline were positively correlated with PALs at both baseline and follow-up. Smoking tobacco negatively affected PALs at both baseline and follow-up. Alcohol consumption was positively correlated with PAL at baseline but had no effect on PAL at follow-up.

Conclusions: This study confirmed the importance of sports participation in maintaining PAL during challenging situations, such as the COVID‑19 lockdown. The substance-specific influence of SUM on PAL before and during the lockdown points to evident social and cultural aspects of SUM behaviors in adolescents. Further studies evidencing the cumulative effects of PAL decline during the lockdown are warranted. Int J Occup Med Environ Health. 2021;34(2):151-63.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.13075/ijomeh.1896.01733DOI Listing
May 2021

Analysis of the Relationship between Tobacco Smoking and Physical Activity in Adolescence: A Gender Specific Study.

Medicina (Kaunas) 2021 Feb 27;57(3). Epub 2021 Feb 27.

Faculty of Kinesiology, University of Split, 21000 Split, Croatia.

: Although smoking and the physical activity level (PAL) are important determinants of health status in adolescence, there is a lack of information on the relationship between smoking and PAL in early adolescence. The objective of this study was to evaluate the gender-specific relationship between smoking and PAL in 14-to-16-year-old adolescents. : The sample included 650 adolescents (337 girls, 14.7 ± 0.5 years at first testing wave) from Bosnia and Herzegovina. During the first testing wave, participants were tested using structured questionnaires. Second testing was commenced after approximately 20 months (16.4 ± 0.6 years). The variables were age, gender, socioeconomic status, living environment, cigarette smoking (predictors), and PAL (criterion). Predictors were measured at the first wave, and criterion at the first-wave and second-wave. : For girls, smoking was negatively correlated to PAL at the first-wave (OR: 0.75, 95% CI: 0.55-0.95) and at the second-wave (OR: 0.73, 95% CI: 0.71-0.96). No significant association between smoking and PAL was found for boys. Results suggest that adolescent boys and girls do not follow the equal trajectories when it comes to relationships between smoking and PAL. : In developing promotional public health actions related to a decrease of smoking and increase of PAL, a gender-specific approach is highly recommended. Further studies analyzing the cause-effect relationship between consumption of other types of psychoactive substances and PAL in this age group are warranted.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/medicina57030214DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7996893PMC
February 2021

Does aerobic performance define match running performance among professional soccer players? A position-specific analysis.

Res Sports Med 2021 Jul-Aug;29(4):336-348. Epub 2021 Feb 14.

Faculty of Kinesiology, University of Split, Split, Croatia.

Aerobic performance is considered an important determinant of match running performance in soccer, but studies have rarely investigated this issue in top-level players. This study examined the possible associations between direct measures of aerobic performance and match running performance in elite soccer players. Aerobic performance was tested at the beginning of the season in laboratory settings. The match-running performance was measured by a global positioning system over a competitive half-season for a total of 82 match performances in professional players from Croatia (age: 23.76 ± 2.64; body height: 181.62 ± 7.09 cm; body mass: 77.01 ± 6.34 kg) and clustered as central player (n = 57) and side player (n = 25) performance. No significant differences in aerobic performance were noted between central and side players. The anaerobic threshold was correlated with high-speed running (19.8-25.1 km/h), sprint running (>25.1 km/h), and high-intensity running (>19.8 km/h) among side players (r = 0.52, 0.53, and 0.59, respectively; p < 0.01). For central players, the aerobic threshold was correlated with the total distance covered, low-intensity running (<14.3 km/h), and distance covered in the zone of running (14.4-19.7 km/h) (r = 0.47, 0.49, and 0.39; p < 0.01, 0.01, and 0.03, respectively). Conditioning for central players should include activities with intensities corresponding to aerobic thresholds, while conditioning of side players should be focused on the development of anaerobic thresholds.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/15438627.2021.1888107DOI Listing
June 2021

Familial and Parental Predictors of Physical Activity in Late Adolescence: Prospective Analysis over a Two-Year Period.

Healthcare (Basel) 2021 Jan 29;9(2). Epub 2021 Jan 29.

Faculty of Kinesiology, University of Split, 21000 Split, Croatia.

Children's health behaviors are highly influenced by their parents and family. This study aimed to prospectively evaluate the parental/familial factors associated with physical activity levels (PALs) among older adolescents. The participants were 766 adolescents, who were prospectively observed at baseline (when they were 16 years of age), at first follow-up measurement (FU1; 17 years of age), and second follow-up measurement (FU2; 18 years of age). Sociodemographic factors (age, gender, socioeconomic status, and sport participation) and parental/familial variables were evaluated at baseline. PALs (evidenced by the Physical-Activity Questionnaire-for-Adolescents) were prospectively evidenced at baseline, FU1, and FU2. Factorial analysis of variance for repeated measurements showed a significant decrease in PALs during the study course (F = 83.05, < 0.001). Sport participation and male gender were significant predictors of PALs at baseline, FU1, and FU2. Logistic regression, controlled for sport participation and male gender, evidenced paternal education as a significant predictor of baseline PALs. Parental conflict was a significant predictor of PALs in all three testing waves. The significant influence of paternal education on the children's PALs existed from younger adolescence until the age of 17 years. The association between parental conflict and PALs developed in older adolescence. These results should be used in the development of specific and targeted interventions aimed at the improvement of PALs and a reduction of sedentarism in youth.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/healthcare9020132DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7912008PMC
January 2021

Physiological and Anthropometric Determinants of Performance Levels in Professional Futsal.

Front Psychol 2020 12;11:621763. Epub 2021 Jan 12.

Faculty of Kinesiology, University of Zagreb, Zagreb, Croatia.

There is an evident lack of studies examining the pursuit of excellence in futsal. The aims of this study were to evaluate anthropometric and physiological variables that may contribute to distinguishing among performance levels in professional futsal players and to evaluate correlates of those variables. The participants were 75 male professionals (age = 25.1 ± 5.1 years, body height = 182.3 ± 6.2 cm, body mass = 80.8 ± 10.4 kg), who were divided into performance levels using two criteria: (i) starters (first teams) vs. non-starters (substitutes) and (ii) top-level players (members of the national team and players who participated in top-level team competition in Europe) vs. high-level players (team players competing at the highest national competitive rank). Variables included anthropometrics (body height and mass, BMI, body fat percentage), generic tests of physiological capacities [5- and 10-m sprints, countermovement jump, broad jump, 20-yard test, reactive strength index (RSI)], and futsal-specific fitness tests [kicking speed by dominant and non-dominant leg, futsal-specific tests of change of direction speed, and reactive agility (FSRAG) involving/not involving dribbling the ball]. Top-level players outperformed high-level players in RSI, broad jump, kicking speed, and FSRAG involving dribbling. Starters achieved better results than non-starters in fewer variables, including kicking speed and RSI. Body fat percentage negatively influenced FSRAG involving dribbling, and RSI. FSRAG, RSI, and kicking speed were significantly correlated, indicating the similar physiological background of these capacities. The findings suggest that enhanced reactive strength and the ability to rapidly change direction speed in response to external stimulus while executing futsal-specific motor tasks (e.g., dribbling), along with players' ability to kick the ball speedily, can be considered essential qualities required for advanced performance in futsal. Consequently, futsal strength and conditioning training should be targeted toward lowering relative body fat, maximizing lower-body reactive strength and including futsal-specific skills (e.g., dribbling, shooting) in reactive agility drills.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2020.621763DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7835319PMC
January 2021

Pre-Planned and Non-Planned Agility in Patients Ongoing Rehabilitation after Knee Surgery: Design, Reliability and Validity of the Newly Developed Testing Protocols.

Diagnostics (Basel) 2021 Jan 19;11(1). Epub 2021 Jan 19.

Faculty of Kinesiology, University of Split, 21000 Split, Croatia.

Background: Due to its association with the risk of falling and consequent injury, the importance of agility is widely recognized, but no study so far has examined the different facets of agility in an untrained/clinical population. The aim of this study was to evaluate the reliability, validity, and correlates of newly developed tests of non-planned agility (NPA) and pre-planned agility (PPA) in an untrained/clinical sample.

Methods: The sample comprised 38 participants older than 40 years (22 females, age: 56.1 ± 17.3 years, height: 170.4 ± 10.8 cm, mass: 82.54 ± 14.79 kg) who were involved in a rehabilitation program following total knee arthroplasty and knee arthroscopy. Variables included age, gender, type of surgery, history of fall, anthropometrics/body composition, and newly developed tests of NPA and PPA.

Results: The results showed the high inter-testing- (ICC > 0.95, CV < 9%), and intra-testing-reliability (ICC > 0.96, CV < 9) of the newly developed tests. PPA and NPA were found to be valid in differentiation between age groups (>50 yrs. vs. <50 yrs.), and genders, with better performance in younger participants and males. Only NPA differentiated participants according to type of surgery, with better performance in those who had arthroscopic surgery, than those who had total knee arthroplasty. No differences in NPA and PPA were established between groups based on fall-history. In females, the body mass (Pearson's = 0.58 and 0.59, < 0.001) and body fatness (Pearson's = 0.64 and 0.66, < 0.001) were negatively correlated, while the lean body mass (Pearson's = 0.70 and 0.68, < 0.001) was positively correlated with PPA and NPA. The NPA and PPA were highly correlated (Pearson's = 0.98, < 0.001).

Conclusions: We found that the proposed tests are reliable when evaluating agility characteristics in an untrained/clinical population after knee arthroplasty/arthroscopy. Further evaluation of the specific validity of the proposed tests in other specific subsamples is warranted.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/diagnostics11010146DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7835766PMC
January 2021

Predicting Injury Status in Adolescent Dancers Involved in Different Dance Styles: A Prospective Study.

Children (Basel) 2020 Dec 16;7(12). Epub 2020 Dec 16.

Faculty of Sport, University of Ljubljana, 1000 Ljubljana, Slovenia.

The positive effects of dance on health indices in youth are widely recognized, but participation in dance is accompanied with a certain risk of injury. This prospective study aimed to investigate injury occurrence and to evaluate the possible influences of specific predictors on the occurrence of musculoskeletal problems and injuries in adolescent dancers. Participants were 126 dancers (21 males; 11-18 years), who were competitors in the urban dance, rock and roll, and standard/Latin dance genres. Predictors included sociodemographic factors, anthropometric/body build indices, sport (dance) factors, and dynamic balance. The outcome variable was injury status, and this was evaluated by the Oslo Sports Trauma Research Centre Overuse Injury Questionnaire (OSTRC). Predictors were evaluated at baseline, and outcomes were continuously monitored during the study period of 3 months. During the study course, 53% of dancers reported the occurrence of a musculoskeletal problem/injury, and dancers suffered from an average of 0.72 injuries over the study period (95% CI: 0.28-1.41), giving a yearly injury rate of 280%. Gender and dance styles were not significantly related to the occurrence of injury. Higher risk for injury was evidenced in older and more experienced dancers. Dynamic balance, as measured by the Star Excursion Balance Test (SEBT), was a significant protective factor of injury occurrence, irrespective of age/experience in dance. Knowing the simplicity and applicability of the SEBT, continuous monitoring of dynamic balance in adolescent dancers is encouraged. In order to prevent the occurrence of musculoskeletal problems/injuries in youth dancers, we suggest the incorporation of specific interventions aimed at improving dynamic balance.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/children7120297DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7765997PMC
December 2020

Position Specific Running Performances in Professional Football (Soccer): Influence of Different Tactical Formations.

Sports (Basel) 2020 Dec 10;8(12). Epub 2020 Dec 10.

Faculty of Kinesiology, University of Split, 21000 Split, Croatia.

Running performances (RPs) are known to be important parameters of success in football (soccer), but there is a lack of studies where RPs are contextualized regarding applied tactical solutions. This study aims to quantify and analyze the differences in position-specific RPs in professional football, when games are played with three defensive players (3DP) and four defensive players (4DP). The participants here include professional football players (M ± SD, age 23.57 ± 2.84 years, body height 181.9 ± 5.17 cm, body mass 78.36 ± 4.18 kg) playing at the highest competitive level in Croatia. RPs were measured by global positioning system and classified into four groups based on playing positions: central defenders (CD; n = 47), wide defenders (WD; n = 24), midfielders (MF; n = 48), or forwards (FW; n = 19). Analysis of variance and discriminant canonical analysis are used to identify differences between 3DP and 4DP tactical solutions in terms of the RPs for each playing position. The number of accelerations and decelerations most significantly contributed to the differentiation of 3DP and 4DP among MFs (Wilks λ = 0.31, < 0.001), with higher occurrences with 3DP. For CDs, total distance, and high-intensity running were higher in 3DP (Wilks λ = 0.66, < 0.001). No multivariate differences were found for FW and WD players in terms of the RPs between 3DP and 4DP tactical formations. The characteristics and differences shown in this study may provide useful information for coaching staff regarding changing in-season tactical formations. Additionally, the results are useful for optimizing training programs for football players with different playing positions. When changing from 4DP to 3DP tactical formations, WDs training programs should include more of high-intensity running, while MFs training programs should be more based on short intensity activities (accelerations and decelerations).
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/sports8120161DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7763170PMC
December 2020

Parental and Familial Factors Influencing Physical Activity Levels in Early Adolescence: A Prospective Study.

Healthcare (Basel) 2020 Dec 2;8(4). Epub 2020 Dec 2.

Faculty of Kinesiology, University of Split, 21000 Split, Croatia.

Parental/familial factors are important determinants of the physical activity level (PAL) in children and adolescents, but studies rarely prospectively evaluate their relationships. This study aimed to evaluate the changes in physical activity levels among adolescents from Bosnia and Herzegovina over a two-year period and to determine parental/familial predictors of PAL in early adolescence. A total of 651 participants (50.3% females) were tested at baseline (beginning of high school education; 14 years old on average) and at follow-up (approximately 20 months later). The predictors included sociodemographic characteristics (age, gender) and parental/familial factors (socioeconomic status of the family, maternal and paternal education, conflict with parents, parental absence from home, parental questioning, and parental monitoring). Physical activity levels were evidenced by the Physical Activity Questionnaire for Adolescents (PAQ-A; criterion). Boys were more active than girls, both at baseline (-test = 3.09, < 0.001) and at follow-up (-test = 3.4, < 0.001). Physical activity level decreased over the observed two-year period (-test = 16.89, < 0.001), especially in boys, which is probably a consequence of drop-out from the sport in this period. Logistic regression evidenced parental education as a positive predictor of physical activity level at baseline (OR [95% CI]; 1.38 [1.15-170], 1.35 [1.10-1.65]), and at follow-up (1.35 [1.11-1.69], 1.29 [1.09-1.59], for maternal and paternal education, respectively). Parents with a higher level of education are probably more informed about the importance of physical activity on health status, and thus transfer this information to their children as well. The age from 14 to 16 years is likely a critical period for maintaining physical activity levels in boys, while further studies of a younger age are necessary to evaluate the dynamics of changes in physical activity levels for girls. For maintaining physical activity levels in adolescence, special attention should be paid to children whose parents are less educated, and to inform them of the benefits of an appropriate physical activity level and its necessity for maintaining proper health and growth.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/healthcare8040532DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7761556PMC
December 2020

Aerobic fitness and game performance indicators in professional football players; playing position specifics and associations.

Heliyon 2020 Nov 3;6(11):e05427. Epub 2020 Nov 3.

Faculty of Kinesiology, University of Split, Split, Croatia.

The aim of this study was to identify associations between aerobic fitness (AF) and game performance indicator (GPI) in elite football. Participants were professional football players (males, n = 16; age: 23.76 ± 2.64; body height: 181.62 ± 7.09 cm; body mass: 77.01 ± 6.34 kg). AF testing was conducted by direct measurement and included VO2max, running speed at aerobic threshold (AeT), and running speed at anaerobic threshold (AT). The GPI were collected by the position-specific performance statistics index (InStat index). The players were observed over one competitive half-season, resulting in 82 game performances, grouped according to the positions in game: defenders (n = 39), midfielders (n = 32) and forwards (n = 11). VO2max was not found to be a good discriminator of AF among different playing positions. AeT (F-test = 26.36. p = 0.01) and AT (F-test = 7.25, p = 0.01) were highest among midfielders, and lowest among forwards. No correlations were found between AF and GPI. This study confirmed that AeT and AT are better indicators of AF than VO2max in football players at different playing positions. The lack of associations between AF and GPI was discussed with regard to calculation of InStat as a GPI.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.heliyon.2020.e05427DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7644917PMC
November 2020

Contextualizing Parental/Familial Influence on Physical Activity in Adolescents before and during COVID-19 Pandemic: A Prospective Analysis.

Children (Basel) 2020 Sep 3;7(9). Epub 2020 Sep 3.

Faculty of Kinesiology, University of Split, 21000 Split, Croatia.

Parental and familial factors influence numerous aspects of adolescents' lives, including their physical activity level (PAL). The purpose of this study was to evaluate the changes in PAL which occurred during the COVID-19 pandemic, and to evaluate influence of sociodemographic and parental/familial factors on PAL levels before and during pandemic in adolescents from Bosnia and Herzegovina. The sample included 688 adolescents (15-18 years of age; 322 females) who were tested on two occasions: in January 2020 (baseline; before the COVID-19 pandemic) and in April 2020 (follow-up; during the COVID-19 pandemic lockdown). Variables included PAL (measured by the Physical Activity Questionnaire for Adolescents-PAQ-A) as well as sociodemographic-, parental-, and familial factors. A significant decline in PALs was recorded between baseline and follow-up (-test: 11.88, < 0.001). Approximately 50% of adolescents underwent sufficient PAL at baseline, while only 24% of them were achieving sufficient PAL at the time of follow-up measurement. Paternal education was positively correlated (OR (95%CI): baseline: 6.63 (4.58-9.96), follow-up: 3.33 (1.19-7.01)), while familial conflict was negatively correlated (baseline: 0.72 (0.57-0.90), follow-up: 0.77 (0.60-0.99)) with PALs before and during the pandemic. This study highlights the importance of the parent-child relationship and parental/familiar support in promoting physical activity both during regular life and during crises and health challenging situations like the COVID-19 pandemic.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/children7090125DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7552694PMC
September 2020

Factors associated with physical activity levels in late adolescence: a prospective study.

Med Pr 2020 Dec 26;71(6):637-647. Epub 2020 Aug 26.

University of Ljubljana, Ljubljana, Slovenia (Faculty of Sport).

Background: Reaching an appropriate physical activity level (PAL) in adolescence is an important public health problem. This study aimed to evaluate factors associated with PAL and changes in PAL in late adolescence.

Material And Methods: The sample involved 411 adolescents (201 girls) who were 16 years of age at study baseline; the participants completed a structured validated questionnaire at baseline (the beginning of the third grade of high school) and again at follow-up (the end of the fourth grade; when they were 18 years of age). Variables were obtained at both testing waves and included the following predictors: sociodemographic indices (sex, socioeconomic status, parental education), sports factors (participation in individual and team sports, competitive sports achievement, experience in sports), and PAL (the primary outcome), which was measured using the Physical Activity Questionnaire for Adolescents.

Results: A significant decrease in PAL between baseline and follow-up testing was evidenced (t-test = 6.17, p < 0.001). A logistic regression model calculated with a dichotomized outcome (normal PAL vs. low PAL), and sex as a covariate, showed a significant influence of participation in team sports and maternal education on PAL, both at baseline (OR = 1.56, 95% CI: 1.11-1.87; OR = 1.38, 95% CI: 1.02-1.90) and at follow-up (OR = 1.45, 95% CI: 1.01-1.90; OR = 1.35, 95% CI: 1.08-1.70, for team sports and maternal education, respectively).

Conclusions: The study confirmed certain associations between the studied variables and PAL, but there was no significant influence of the observed indicators on changes in PAL in late adolescence. Further studies evaluating other predictors of changes in PAL are warranted. Med Pr. 2020;71(6):637-47.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.13075/mp.5893.01012DOI Listing
December 2020

Testosterone, cortisol and alpha-amylase levels during a handball match; analysis of dynamics and associations.

Res Sports Med 2020 Jul-Sep;28(3):360-370. Epub 2020 Apr 29.

Faculty of Kinesiology, University of Split , Split, Croatia.

This study evaluated dynamics of testosterone, cortisol and alpha-amylase during a handball match in high-level male players. Ten male professional players (24.1 ± 3.1 years, 188.2 ± 6.4 cm, 94.6 ± 9.6 kg) were tested on salivary-testosterone, -cortisol and -alpha-amylase levels before (prematch), at halftime, and immediately after the game. Analysis of variance for repeated measurements (ANOVA) with consecutive post-hoc analyses and effect-size differences were calculated to identify differences between measurements. The associations among biomarkers were determined by Pearson's product moment correlation (Pearson's ). The ANOVA indicated significant differences in testosterone (: 14.31, < 0.01; significant post-hoc differences between prematch and remaining two measurements), and alpha-amylase (: 9.78, < 0.01; significant post-hoc differences between all measurements). Significant correlations were evidenced between: (i) alpha-amylase- and testosterone-changes during 1st halftime (Pearson's : 0.81, < 0.01), and (ii) alpha-amylase- and cortisol-changes during 2nd halftime (Pearson's : 0.76, < 0.05). The results indicated specific dynamics of biomarkers during the handball match, with significant increase in alpha-amylase during the entire match and significant increase in the testosterone level during the first half of the match. Further studies are needed to evaluate the associations between real-game performance and changes in hormonal responses.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/15438627.2020.1759069DOI Listing
December 2020

Agility Testing in Youth Football (Soccer)Players; Evaluating Reliability, Validity, and Correlates of Newly Developed Testing Protocols.

Int J Environ Res Public Health 2020 01 1;17(1). Epub 2020 Jan 1.

Faculty of Kinesiology, University of Split, 21000 Split, Croatia.

Reactive agility (RAG) and change of direction speed (CODS) are important determinants of success in football (soccer), but there is an evident lack of information on reliable and valid football-specific testing procedures which will be applicable in defining sport-specific RAG and CODS in youth players. This study evaluated reliability and construct validity of newly developed tests of football-specific RAG (FS_RAG) and CODS (FS_CODS), which involved the ball kicking football technique. Additionally, factors associated with FS_RAG and FS_CODS were evaluated. The participants were youth football players (n = 59; age: 13.40 ± 1.25 years) divided according to their age into U13 (11-12 years of age; n = 29), and U15 (13-14 years of age; n = 30) categories. Additionally, performance levels (starters [first-team] vs. non-starters [substitutes]) were observed in each age category. The dependent variables were newly developed FS_RAG and FS_CODS tests. The independent variables were sprinting capacities over 10 and 20 meters (S10M, S20M), countermovement jump (CMJ), the reactive strength index (RSI), and a generic CODS test of 20 yards (20Y). The newly developed FS_CODS and FS_RAG were observed as dependent variables. Results showed appropriate intra-testing and inter-testing reliability of the FS_RAG and FS_CODS, with somewhat better reliability of the FS_CODS (ICC=0.82 and 0.79, respectively). Additionally, better reliability was evidenced in U15 than in U13 (ICC: 0.82-0.85, and 0.78-0.80 for U15 and U13, respectively). Independent samples t-test indicated significant differences between U13 and U15 in S10 (-test: 3.57, < 0.001), S20M (-test: 3.13, < 0.001), 20Y (-test: 4.89, < 0.001), FS_RAG (-test: 3.96, < 0.001), and FS_CODS (-test: 6.42, < 0.001), with better performance in U15. Starters outperformed non-starters in most capacities among U13, but only in FS_RAG among U15 (-test: 1.56, < 0.05). Multiple regression calculations indicated nonsignificant association between independent and dependent variables in U13 (FS_CODS: 19%, FS_RAG: 21% of the explained variance, both > 0.05), but independent variables explained significant proportion of both dependent variables in U15 (FS_CODS: 35%, FS_RAG: 33% explained variance, both < 0.05). The study confirmed the applicability of newly developed tests in distinguishing studied age categories of players. Results indicate that superiority in all studied fitness capacities is translated into performance level in U13. Meanwhile, FS_RAG seems to be important determinant of quality in U15.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17010294DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6981745PMC
January 2020

Reliability, Validity and Usefulness of a New Response Time Test for Agility-Based Sports: A Simple vs. Complex Motor Task.

J Sports Sci Med 2019 12 19;18(4):623-635. Epub 2019 Nov 19.

Faculty of Kinesiology, University of Split, Split, Croatia.

The importance of response time (RT) in sports is well known, but there is an evident lack of reliable and valid sport-specific measurement tools applicable in the evaluation of RT in trained athletes. This study aimed to identify the validity, reliability, and usefulness of four newly developed RT testing protocols among athletes from agility-saturated (AG) and non-agility-saturated (NAG) sports. Thirty-seven AG and ten NAG athletes (age: 20.9 ± 2.9; eleven females) volunteered to undergo: three randomized simple response time (SRT-1, SRT-2, and SRT-3) protocols that included a single limb movement, and one complex response time (CRT) protocol that included multi joint movements and whole body transition over a short distance (1.5 and 1.8m). Each RT test involved 3 trials with 5 randomized attempts per trial. Two sensors were placed at the left- and right-hand side for SRT-1 and SRT-2. Three sensors were positioned (left, middle, right) in SRT-3 and CRT. The intra-class-correlation coefficient (ICC) was calculated as a measure of reliability. Independent sample t-test, effect size (d), and area-under-the-curve (AUC) were calculated to define discriminative validity of the tests. The results showed the newly developed tests were more reliable and useful in the AG than NAG athletes (i.e., ICC between 0.68 and 0.97 versus 0.31-0.90, respectively). The RT of AG athletes was faster than that of NAG athletes in the CRT test from the left (p <0.01, = 2.40, AUC: 0.98), centre (p < 0.01, = 1.57, AUC: 0.89), and right sensor (p < 0.01, = 1.93, AUC: 0.89) locations. In contrast, there were no differences between the groups in the SRT tests. The weak correlation (i.e., r= 0.00-0.33) between the SRT and CRT tests suggests that response time of the single limb and multijoint limb movements should not be considered as a single motor capacity. In conclusion, this study showed that AG athletes had faster response time than their NAG peers during complex motor tasks. Such enhanced ability to rapidly and accurately reprogram complex motor tasks can be considered one of the essential qualities required for advanced performance in agility-based sports.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6873124PMC
December 2019
-->