Athletes don’t benefit from relying on a coach for too long

Press release:

BINGHAMTON, NY — Athletes increasingly relying on a coach over the course of a season may be a sign that they aren’t progressing in their development, according to new research from Binghamton University.

On the other hand, inspirational coaches will find that their athletes will become less reliant on them over time.

“Being increasingly needed by your athletes as time goes on is not a good sign,” says Chou-Yu Tsai, assistant professor of management in Binghamton University’s School of Management. “If your athletes no longer need your leadership and guidance as time goes on, that should be seen as a positive sign that you’ve helped them in their development.”

Tsai, who studies leadership in a number of contexts, including athletics, worked with a research team consisting of San-Fu Kao of National Tsing Hua University and Robert Schinke of Laurentian University. They set out to discover how a coach’s leadership style affected athlete evaluations of their competency over time.

The researchers evaluated how nearly 250 Division I collegiate basketball players felt about their coaches at different points over the course of a season. They focused on a coach’s ability to enact transformational leadership, or the ability to develop athletes to their full potential.

“Transformational coaches empower their players in ways beyond just playing a sport. They help players develop meaning and instill pride, and encourage them to go above and beyond for the good of the team,” said Tsai.

They found that coaches who enacted high transformational leadership had a decrease in perceived coaching competency by their athletes over time. In other words, the more a coach inspired a player to achieve their full potential, the less the athlete relied on their coaching.

In contrast, they found that coaches with low transformational leadership skills had an increase in perceived coaching competency by their athletes over the course of the season. This means that players may rely more on their uninspiring coaches over time.

“If you’re not gaining some sort of independence from your coach, you may feel like you need that coach even more,” said Tsai. “This probably isn’t a good sign.”

Tsai said it’s important for coaches to understand how their leadership style interacts with player perceptions of them.

“Coaches may incorrectly think they did something wrong if their athletes aren’t as reliant on them anymore,” said Tsai. “On the contrary, our research indicates that this kind of independence is a sign that you demonstrated good leadership behaviors.”

As for how to become a transformational leader, Tsai recommends that coaches focus on the personal development of their athletes.

“Transformational coaches don’t want athletes to only become better players. They mentor their athletes and help them become better people as well,” said Tsai.

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The study, “Investigation of the interaction between coach transformational leadership and coaching competency change over time,” has been published in the International Journal of Sports Science & Coaching.

Is the Running Cadence Important?

Inside running community there is often a massive amount of discussion as well as obsession for the running form or method with no shortage of viewpoints, a lot of comments from guru’s with lots of dogma rather than much research to back up nearly all of it. The perspectives from the so-called gurus and how an athlete should actually run can be quite varied and quite often contrary, which can often leave the typical runner rather baffled. There are several factors with the various running methods for instance how and where the foot contacts the ground along with the placement from the leg and pelvis. One that lately got a great deal of focus was the cadence. The cadence is related to how quick the legs turn over, generally calculated as the quantity of steps taken each minute.

There are a number of methods to ascertain the cadence and you will find apps you can use to ascertain the cadence. It’s just a matter of keeping track of the number of steps the athlete normally takes in a time period and after that standardizing that to 1 minute. There was clearly just lately an increasing movement touting for athletes to cut short their step length while increasing the rate that the legs turn over ie raise the cadence. The dogma was that if you can get the cadence close to 180 steps/minute then that is by some means a significant way to decrease the risk for exercise related injury while increasing performance. This 180 steps/minute was popularized by the well-known running coach Jack Daniels. He based this on his studies of athletes and their step cadences at the 1984 Olympics. Daniels broadly pushed the 180 as an well suited for all runners to shoot for.

Since that time, the research has demonstrated that this cadence in athletes is normally fairly varied with a few as little as 150-160 while others are around 200 steps a minute. It can seem like it is a pretty individual thing with no one best cadence. It can appear that every runner will probably have their very own perfect cadence and will also differ between runners. Shortening the stride length to raise the cadence does appear to have some positive aspects and that’s based on a number of studies, however what is not supported is raising it to that particular mythical 180 that has been widely suggested. It can help with runners that are overstriding and help them learn never to stride so far forward when running. It does seem to assist athletes who have complications with their knees as it can lessen the strains there, but it will however raise the stresses in other places, therefore any alterations needs to be carried out little by little , cautiously and step by step.

What exactly is most significant with regard to runners to know is that this is very individual and it is a matter of working out all on your own or with the assistance of an experienced running technique mentor precisely what is right for you as the individual. One point that has come out around most of the buzz close to cadence would be to not be enticed by the latest trend or expert and try to look for the a lot more reasonable and regarded opinions.

Athletes using sport supplements are more open to doping — study

Media Release:

Athletes using legal performance enhancing and medical sport supplements are more likely to dope than those using sport foods and superfoods, a new study reveals.

While some sport supplements may be necessary for an athlete’s programme, taking ergogenic and medical sport supplements may inadvertently lead to sports people developing favourable attitudes towards doping

Researchers at the University of Birmingham and Canterbury Christ Church University are calling for bespoke anti-doping education for athletes using such supplements to prevent them turning to banned substances.

In the first study of its kind, the researchers surveyed 573 athletes competing at club, country, national and international level about their use of four types of sport supplements:

  • Ergogenic, such as creatine – used to improve performance;
  • Medical, such as iron – used to treat clinical issues and nutrient deficiencies;
  • Sport foods/drinks, such as protein bars – providing a source of nutrients; and
  • Superfoods, such as goji berries – which claim to optimise health and performance.

Publishing their findings in Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport, the researchers note that athletes using ergogenic and medical sport supplements to improve performance, through boosting strength and shortening recovery between training sessions can develop the belief that doping is another means to improve performance.

Co-author Christopher Ring, Professor in Psychology at the University of Birmingham, commented: “Our results have important implications for coaches, nutritionists and sport doctors – they must appreciate that athletes who are administered ergogenic and medical sport supplements may develop more favourable attitudes towards doping.

“An athlete using these supplements may come to believe that using chemically active substances is an acceptable way of enhancing sport performance. This belief could then later develop into a rationalisation that doping is just another means to enhance performance.”

Two in five athletes surveyed (42%) used ergogenic supplements, whereas one in five used medical sport supplements (18%) and sport foods and drinks (21%). Superfoods were rarely used (2%). Over half (53%) used at least one sport supplement.

Researchers note that future research such explore how use of one supplement type may lead to another and eventually the use of banned substances – for example, superfood use leads to ergogenic and medical supplement use, which may in turn, lead to doping.

Do Foam Rollers Work?

Foam rolling is one thing that’s been becoming more popular among professional athletes as well as gym fans as a additive to their exercise sessions. These types of cylinder shaped foams of different densities and kinds are used and the muscles are rolled over them. Foam rolling is a sort of self myofascial release treatment. The target or claim is because they are intended to break up adhesions inside the muscle tissue, and help assist in stretches, and help as part of the warm up and to also to encourage recovery from physical exercise. Fitness professionals as well as believed authorities are touting their use. On the other hand, regardless of the remarks of all the rewards, you can find not much science to support if foam rolling really tends to make any difference or not. Irregardless, foam rollers are usually a relatively low priced method of manual therapy because the equipment is cheap and you don’t require the more expensive expertise of a healthcare professional.

The foams are cylindrical in form and can be found in various sizes and hardness’s from soft to firm plus some are made for particular areas of the body, for example the PediRoller for the plantar surface of the feet produced by a Podiatrist. The foam roller is positioned on the floor and the muscles to be dealt with is rolled over it. The concept is that you simply roll the muscles on the foam roller backward and forward at an even speed to get results on any kind of tightness and myofascial conditions within that muscle tissue. As the foam roller is moveable, they are often used at the gym, the running track or at home without having guidance.

The chief alleged features for foam rolling tend to be increased flexibility to improve the range of movement; a better sports performance if using the foam roller as part of the warm-up regimen; and increased recovery just after exercise and also a lessing of the signs and symptoms of delayed onset muscle tenderness (DOMS). Due to the absence of research which has been done with this niche there is lots of confusion between professionals with many proclaiming that these gains remain just theoretical and also the complete idea is only a theory since not all of those rewards are usually supported, especially in the long-term by strong data.

There is some fair proof which points too foam rolling gives you numerous shorter-term benefits for mobility, although nothing demonstrates it may help in the long term. It could be helpful as part of a warmup routine to really make the muscle tissues even more geared up for training. The research that’s been published is evident that there are no negative consequences on athletic results. The science data on using the foam roller soon after activity could have a modest affect on helping DOMS. There is no research what-so-ever that foam rolling improves cellulite, fixes the posture, or helps scar tissue, or sciatica and lower back pain.

It is still early days for the research on foam rolling and some if not more of these promoted features may or may not have more or greater science to back up the utilization. For sports athletes there isn’t a reason that foam rolling may not be helpful during warm-up routines mainly because it can seem to improve mobility in the short term and might be of use in after training recuperation.

What impact did Arthur Lydiard have on running?

Arthur Lydiard had been a very significant distance running coach coming from New Zealand and his legacy has had substantial influence over the training of runners today. Arthur Lydiard has been recognized for making running or jogging popular in the late 60’s and early 1970’s. Many have even proposed that Arthur Lydiard possibly even created jogging. He coached many Olympic winners from NZ in the 1960s (Peter Snell, Barry Magee and Murray Halberg) together a tremendous impact via some other mentors on various other prominent NZ runners for example John Walker who was the first person to run greater than 100 sub-4 minute miles and also run a mile faster than 3 minutes and 50 second. He was born 6 July 1917 and passed on on 11 December 2004 at the age of 87. He has had been given a number of accolades in his own NZ and in Finland where his guidance became accountable for an increase of Finnish distance running during the early 70’s. The publication, Runners World named Lydiard as the coach of the century as part of their millennium issue. As an athlete himself, Lydiard took part in the marathon at the 1950 British Empire Games, finishing thirteenth having a time of 2hr 54m. Lydiard’s influence on running continues to be enormous and way over and above his personal achievements as a runner himself.

As for Lydiard’s running approach, he believed in separating the season into unique training periods or stages. The base or background time period was the endurance phase which was comprised of at least ten weeks of highest miles that the runner is capable of doing in order to improve their aerobic foundation or background. That’s where his common 100 miles each week originated from as he deemed this to be the optimum. He strongly suggested for the lengthier runs would be about 20 miles. These kinds of distances are run at a pace that was slightly below the anaerobic threshold and is maintained as a stable aerobic speed. The aim should be to build the largest endurance foundation possible for the subsequent phases. The subsequent period had been the uphill training phase which usually chiefly consist of uphill bounding or springing exercises to build power in the legs which was commonly carried out three times a week. Some middle and long distance aerobic work is still done throughout this period which may go on for approximately four or so weeks. The subsequent 4 or so week period was called the sharpening or speed period in which some anaerobic interval and speed work training is completed so the athlete may improve your speed. After that 4 week phase, the difficult running is backed off and the concentration will then be on remaining sharp and fresh for racing.

Many think about it unlikely that any coach are ever going to have more impact on the coaching methods of middle and long distance runners than him. The plan which he created transformed middle and long distance training with regard to the level of work he believed a runner must be undertaking. The running plans was comprised of lots of working hard. The majority of coaching programs made use of by runners nowadays can track their origins back to what was recommended by Arthur Lydiard.