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“La fusion d’entrainement avec les sciences du sport et la médecine du sport” Spring / printemps 2011

Volume 1 (3)

ALEX GOUGH Online interview with Alex and her coach, Wolfgang Staudinger Entrevue en ligne avec Alex et son entraîneur, Wolfgang Staudinger

Sport Research Intelligence sportive


SIRCuit Volume 1 (3) Spring / printemps 2011


SIRCuit Volume 1 (3) Spring / printemps 2011

If Issue Number 1 is any indication – WOW – this is first class. Dave Pym, Managing Director Canadian Snowsports Association

Great work on this. Congratulations. We look forward to continuing the partnership. Alex Baumann, Chief Executive Officer Own the Podium

I am not a tech guy, yet somehow I see this catching on…. Lots of potential and now no excuse for not being up to date within High Performance. Marc Bowles, ChPC, Performance Planner Canadian Sport Centre Pacific HP SIRCuit is partially funded by

Editor Creative Director Design team Content Director

Debra Gassewitz David Roberts Kim Sparling Nancy Rebel

Contributing Editor Contributors Special Thanks

Dr. Jon Kolb, OTP Cam Birtwell Penny Werthner Margaret Dupee Pierre Beauchamp Jocelyn Faubert Suzanne Leclerc Allan Wrigley Leo Thornley Heather Hynes Judy Goss Bruce Craven Willem Meeuwisse Matt Jordan Cara Thibault, OTP Paul Dorotich, OTP

Sport Information Resource Centre (SIRC) is Canada’s national sport library, established over 35 years ago. Centre de documentation pour le sport (SIRC) est la bibliothèque nationale du sport au Canada fondée il y a plus de 35 ans.

Editorial Welcome to the third and most interactive issue yet, of the High Performance SIRCuit. Within the following pages coaches will learn from our nation’s most respected and leading experts about cross training, visual perception training, maximizing an athlete’s emotional intelligence as well as concussion management.

The partnership between Own the Podium and SIRC continues to excel as together we share with you new and innovative coaching and sport science news, all with the goal of helping our athletes become the best in the world. Check out the two new sections introduced this issue: •

Athlete Focus (this month features Alex Gough) and;

Recommended Readings (from SIRC and the IST Journal Club).

Thank you to everyone for your great feedback, we love to hear from you and the suggestions have certainly been instrumental in helping to develop a publication designed to meet your needs. Best wishes,

Debra Gassewitz President & CEO, SIRC This issue of High Performance SIRCuit features a lot of great ‘click and view’ articles, videos and podcasts. We are particularly excited to have included two excellent video interviews: • Alex Gough and her coach Wolfgang Staudinger discuss their high performance program culminating in Alex’s gold medal performance at the 2011 World Championships. • Kristina Groves reflects on the importance of the art of coaching and the science of sport in elite athlete preparation. Jon Kolb, Director, Sport Science, Medicine and Innovation, OTP

Check out the video interview between Jon Kolb and Kristina Groves


Performance Performance 4

Targeted Cross-training Circuits for Elite Athletes

Mailing address: SIRC 180 rue Elgin Street, suite 1400 Ottawa, Ontario, Canada K2P 2K3 Tel: +1 (613) 231-7472 Fax: +1 (613) 231-3739

Sport Innovation

Disclaimer: Author’s opinions expressed in the articles are not necessarily those of SIRCuit, its publisher, the Editor, or the Editorial Board. SIRC makes no representations or warranties whatsoever as to the accuracy, completeness or suitability for any purpose of the content.

Competitive Intelligence

Avis de non-responsabilité: les opinions exprimées dans ces articles n’engagent ni SIRCuit, ni l’éditeur, ni le distributeur, ni le comité de rédaction. Le SIRC ne donne aucune garantie ni ne fait aucune déclaration quant à la qualité, à l’exactitude ou au caractère exhaustif de son contenu. Copyright © 2011 SIRC. All rights reserved. No part of the publication may be reproduced, stored, transmitted, or disseminated, in any form, or by any means, without prior written permission from SIRC, to whom all requests to reproduce copyright material should be directed, in writing. © 2011 SIRC. Tous droits réservés. La reproduction, le remisage, la transmission ou la diffusion en tout ou en partie de cet article sous quelque format que ce soit est interdit sans avoir obtenu au préalable la permission écrite du SIRC. Les demandes de reproduction de tout document protégé par droit d’auteur doivent être adressées par écrit au SIRC.

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Sport Psychophysiology and its usefulness with Olympic athletes & coaches Visual Perception Training: Cutting Edge Psychophysics and 3D Technology Applied to Sport Science

Emotional Intelligence

Proactive & Preventative Medicine 23

Les Commotions Cérerales dans la Sport

Departments 17 21 22 28 29

Athlete Focus - Alex Gough Upcoming Events Stay Informed with SIRC Recommended Readings from SIRC IST Journal Club 3

SIRCuit Volume 1 (3) Spring / printemps 2011

Performance Targeted Cross-training Circuits for Elite Athletes Cam Birtwell MSc CSCS

Abstract Coaches have long recognized the need to utilize a wide spectrum of activities to enhance the physical development of their athletes. This has lead to the usage of training modes that are outside of the target sport’s typical movement patterns, a practice termed “cross-training”. The main goal of cross-training is to provide a varied stress on the athlete’s physiology and psychology. This results in a training effect that can shore up gaps in physical development and add to general and specific physical preparation goals, while avoiding overuse of sport movement patterns. A common system of cross-training employed by sport coaches is the use of circuits. Circuits typically consist of a series of loaded or calisthenics exercises executed for a given time frame or goal repetitions, often with rest periods between stations. The effectiveness of such circuits can be limited by an incomplete understanding of the training objective for the session as well as by the equipment typically used. This article will discuss how to design and implement cross-training circuits that are targeted towards specific training outcomes. It will also address how to integrate non-traditional forms of circuit exercise to help maximize athlete motivation and physical development.

Résumé Les entraîneurs savent depuis longtemps qu’il faut recourir à une vaste gamme d’activités pour favoriser le développement physique des athlètes. Ils ont donc recours à des types d’entraînement comme l’entraînement croisé qui dérogent des mouvements typiques du sport d’intérêt de l’athlète. L’objectif premier de l’entraînement croisé est de procurer une variété d’agents stressants ayant un impact physiologique et psychologique. De cette façon, on arrive à consolider le développement physique de l’athlète tout en lui permettant d’atteindre des objectifs de préparation générale et spécifique à l’abri du risque de blessures dues au surentraînement. L’entraînement en circuit est couramment utilisé par les entraîneurs qui adoptent le modèle de l’entraînement croisé. Un circuit type consiste en une série d’exercices à mains libres ou avec charge réalisés en un temps donné ou en un nombre de répétitions donné; une période de repos est habituellement allouée entre chaque circuit. L’efficacité d’un circuit dépend de la compréhension de l’objectif poursuivi durant la séance ainsi que du choix d’équipement. Cet article traite de la conception et de la mise en œuvre de l’entraînement croisé pour l’atteinte d’objectifs d’entraînement spécifiques. On présente aussi des formes non traditionnelles de circuits d’exercices contribuant à maximiser la motivation et le développement physique de l’athlète.


ircuit training is a very popular conditioning modality for both sport and strength coaches. Using timed intervals of work and rest allow the coach to target energy systems and movements. Structured intervals of work and rest also create a highly efficient system for getting athletes through a workout in a timely fashion. Circuits are typically used in early season training for the purpose of General Physical Preparation (GPP) but can also be utilized for enhancing specific energy system and muscular qualities in other phases of the training year. This article will focus on the steps necessary in constructing an efficient and targeted circuit training plan. Working sequentially through the sections below will provide the framework through which to understand circuit components and how you can best integrate this type of training with your athlete group.


Targeting Energy Systems and Muscular Qualities

The first step in designing a circuit is determining the key outcomes. There are two things to consider – what energy systems are to be targeted, and which muscular qualities are to be involved. The choice of energy system will typically indicate the type of muscle action but this may not always be the case. Table 1 shows a very basic breakdown of three energy system outcomes, the muscular qualities that are typically developed, and the type of muscular action best utilized to achieve these goals. The development of maximal/relative strength and the aerobic system are omitted from table 1 intentionally. Maximal and relative strength can effectively be enhanced through the use of circuit training however this article will focus more narrowly on the muscle qualities listed in table 1. In the case of aerobic SIRCuit Volume 1 (3) Spring / printemps 2011

Energy System   Outcome  

Work time  


Anaerobic Lactic   Power  






1:2, 1:3  

Anaerobic Alactic  

Anaerobic Lactic   Capacity  

Table 1. Energy System Training Guidelines

To learn more about how targeting each of these energy systems will help your athletes’ performance, click here. Working with various athlete groups has shown that including an extra rest interval at the end of each cycle of exercises can prove beneficial in terms of reinforcing the objectives of each exercise and refining movements as needed. Regardless of the energy system being targeted, a rest of 2min between cycles of a circuit is recommended. Once the energy system goal has been identified, it is time to look at the other components of circuit design. The following categories will examine how to determine work volume, select exercises, what equipment to use, and how to structure a circuit.

Determining and Adjusting Volume of Work

The amount of training time dedicated to non-sports specific activities is often limited. The total time available to train must then be aligned with the goals for the particular session and will interact with the volume of work for your athletes. Alactic type work is best done at a relatively low volume. This will preserve movement quality, accuracy, and speed. Lactic power and capacity work can be done for longer durations and will vary depending on the level of athlete you are dealing with and their existing fitness level. Practical experience with training numerous groups of athletes has lead to the following general maximal volumes of work for each of the energy systems discussed in this article. Keep in mind that these are maximal values and all groups should start at lower volumes of work, progressing up only as adaptation occurs. Adjusting volume of work can use either or both of the coaches’ 5

Muscle Action  


Elastic, High  Velocity  

Power endurance,   muscular  endurance  

Dynamic, Moderate   to  Fast  Velocity  

Power endurance,   muscular  endurance  

system development, circuit training can be a potent stimulus via requiring heart rate recovery between work bouts (i.e. driving the aerobic system through anaerobic work). However if the goal is to target the aerobic system directly and in isolation, other methods of training may be more effective.

Muscle Qualities   Developed  

Elastic, Fast  to  High   Velocity  

eye and objective values. Coaches should be able to determine when work rate and/or technique and quality are decreasing and make a judgement based on those factors on when to terminate a session. Tracking repetitions performed in each work interval can help by providing objective feedback and is of special interest for tracking improvement in the alactic energy domain. Alactic: <20min total training time, 20-40 intervals of 5-10s work Lactic Power: 20-30min total training time, 20-30 intervals of 15-30s work Lactic Capacity: 30-40 min total training time, 20-30 intervals of 30-60s work

Exercise Selection

Movements that are to be performed either rapidly or in a fatigued state should involve gross motor patterns that are simple to learn and easy to master. Intricate exercises that require constant coaching and refinement are best used in other contexts. With athletes new to this type of training the emphasis should be placed on the development of proper movement patterns in advance of applying any intense work. Athletes should be able to squat, lunge, pull and push with control, proper range of motion, and consistency if they are to be involved in a circuit training program. Depending on the age and training experience of the athlete, a 2 to 4 week block of technique development may be necessary.

Targeting Muscles and Movements

Circuits can be used for both GPP and specific preparation (SPP) goals. Depending on which of these is the objective, the movement selection will likely change. The GPP phase of training is ideal for training movements that are less specific to the sport involved. This will help promote balanced development of the athlete by challenging them with movements outside of their usual sporting actions. This may help prevent overuse injuries SIRCuit Volume 1 (3) Spring / printemps 2011

through repeating specific sports actions and will provide a welcome psychological change for athletes, especially those involved in cyclic sports (swimming, rowing, and cycling). As much variety as possible should be created in movement patterns and equipment used.

Equipment Type  

Early in the GPP phase, circuits should utilize the prime movers of the athlete’s sport, but should to a greater extent involve those muscle groups and movements that function in opposition. For example, swimmers use a large amount of pulling musculature in their upper body and involve their legs primarily in an extended position when swimming. A GPP circuit should therefore involve those actions but also a moderate amount of pushing for the upper body and work for the lower body that involves significant bending at the hips and knees.

Suspension Systems   (rings,  TRX®)  


Medicine balls  

Dragging/Pushing Sleds   Other  (rowing  ergometer,   Airdyne®  bike,  stairs)    


Portable, simulates  competition   demands  

Limited progression,  need  other   items  for  certain  movements  

Portable, increased  stability   demands,  flexible  uses  

Need an  anchor  point,  can  be   expensive  

Portable, excellent  for  elastic  or   basic  loaded  movement  

Kettlebells and   Dumbbells  

Need a  solid  wall  for  throws,   open  space  

Portable, good  for  dynamic  and   muscular  endurance  activity  

Can require  more  coaching  in  a   circuit  format  

Useful for  all  energy  systems,   involve  large  muscle  mass  

Expensive, availability  (stairs)  

Unique stimulus,  excellent  for   development  in  all  energy  systems  

Space and  proper  surface  

Table 2. Types of Equipment for Use in Circuits

As the competitive season approaches, the focus switches to SPP and movements should become more targeted towards sporting actions while still involving a background of non-sports-specific exercises. Movement variety should be reduced in order to control volumes of work and avoid undue muscular soreness and fatigue.

Movement combinations

Traditional circuit training has often utilized a system where work for different areas of the body is alternated. This system is very effective due to the fact that a work interval for one area (legs) can serve as a rest interval for another area (upper body pushing muscles). Rotating through muscle groups therefore can be of extra benefit when training time is short. Generally, movements for GPP circuits can be defined in one of the following categories: upper body push, upper body pull, lower body, whole body integrated. Some circuit plans also designate a “core” component however that may or may not be involved already in some of the other movement types. Alternating between upper and lower body movements is very effective, with whole body exercises best placed at the end of each cycle through the circuit when an extended rest is available.

With the exception of the last category, the equipment listed above is highly adaptable and free-ranging. The portability of each piece can help create a flexible environment in which to create and change circuits as needed, as well as providing almost limitless combinations of movements.

Building the Circuit

The next step is combining the objectives for the energy system, movement patterns, and involved muscles, with the equipment available to create an effective and efficient circuit. It will be useful to move through in that order when designing the session. The examples below look at an acyclic sport (rugby) with the goal of training Anaerobic Lactic Capacity and at a cyclic sport (rowing) with the objective of Anaerobic Alactic development.

Conclusion and Further Investigation

This article is by no means a comprehensive manual on how to construct and adapt circuits to your athletes. However it works to provide a framework to identify the goals of the circuit session and how to build an efficient workout with the time and tools at hand. Experience designing and implementing circuits with your athletes will help determine appropriate volumes of work and movement sequences specific to your population. ∆ For further information, click here

Selecting Equipment

It is useful to examine what type of equipment is available before creating the structure of exercises for your circuit. Traditional forms of circuit training have relied heavily on strength training machines. While this practice will typically shorten the learning process in terms of technique, it is also of limited use for athletes – who need to utilize their body to create and absorb forces in three dimensional space. The categories in Table 2 outline some basic types of equipment that will be very effective at creating a varied and comprehensive training stimulus.



Cam Birtwell is a Strength and Conditioning Coach with the Canadian Sports Centre Pacific based in Victoria, BC. He has been involved with strength and conditioning program design and implementation for athletes since 2001. He is certified as a Strength and Conditioning Specialist with the NSCA and holds a Master’s Degree in Exercise Physiology from the University of Victoria. Currently, Cam works with National and International level athletes in Swimming, Lightweight Men’s Rowing, and Triathlon.

SIRCuit Volume 1 (3) Spring / printemps 2011

Building the Circuit Anaerobic Lactic Capacity Circuit Example 1: Rugby 1. Energy system: Anaerobic Lactic Capacity (work time – 30s, rest time – 60s, rest between cycles – 2min) 2. Movement patterns: upper body push, lower body push, upper body pull, whole body integrated 3. Involved muscles – all prime movers of the body 4. Equipment available: medicine balls, suspended rings, dumbbells, Airdyne bike 5. Volume: 4 cycles – 8min total work (16 intervals), 30 min total session


Prowler ®  sled  pull   with  rope   Prowler  ®  push   Medball  quarter   squat  throws   Medball  Vertical   Scoop  throws    



Rest 35  


Athlete drives  sled  quickly  forward   with  a  sprinting  action  




4 throws  



4 throws  



Feet stationary,  athlete  pulls  sled   via  rope  hand  over  hand  as  fast  as   possible    

Athlete propels  ball  as  high  as   possible  vertically  by  pushing   through  legs  and  arms  

Athlete propels  ball  as  high  as   possible  through  rapid  extension  of   hips  and  knees  



Anaerobic Lactic Capacity Video One cycle through the circuit CLICK HERE

Anaerobic Alactic Capacity Circuit Example 2: Rowing 1. Energy system: Anaerobic Alactic (work time – 7s, rest time – 35s, rest between cycles – 2min) 2. Movement patterns: upper body pull, lower body push, upper body push, whole body integrated 3. Involved muscles – all prime movers of the body 4. Equipment available: rope + pulling sled, pushing sled (Prowler ®), Medicine ball 5. Volume: 6 cycles – approximately 3 min total work (24 intervals), 30 min total session (with 2 min rest between cycles) Resulting Circuit: Exercise

Medicine Plyo  Chest   Pass  to  wall   Vertical  Jump  from   Seated   Ring  Inverted  Row   Airdyne  Bike



Rest 60s  


Repeat jumps  from  seated  on  a   bench  










Repeated rebound  throws  from  a   standing  position  

Pronated grip,  stiff  body,  pulling   chest  up  to  rings   Cycle  max  effort  




Anaerobic Alactic Capacity Video One cycle through the circuit CLICK HERE

SIRCuit Volume 1 (3) Spring / printemps 2011

Sport Innovation Sport psychophysiology and its usefulness with Olympic athletes and coaches Penny Werthner, PhD, University of Ottawa, and Margaret Dupee, University of Ottawa, MA

Abstract The ability to focus and effectively manage one’s level of intensity and arousal, at the right moment in time, are key components to successful performance at the Olympic level of sport. The goal of all sport psychologists and mental training consultants should be to work with athletes and coaches to help them discover ‘who they are’, what they need, and how to develop the skills necessary to ensure they are able to very consistently perform at the top level under the enormous stress that is the Olympic Games. The goal of this on-going area of research, which began as a project funded by Own The Podium, in preparation for the Vancouver 2010 winter Olympic Games, is to help athletes and coaches optimize management of their stress response, through self-awareness and self-regulation, of the activation levels of their autonomic and central nervous systems. EEG and psychophysiological stress assessments and 30-40 hours of a bioneurofeedback training intervention, based on analysis of the assessment, are conducted. To date, both athletes and coaches involved have stated that the bioneurofeedback intervention helped the athletes in managing the stress of training and competition, and that it was a factor in producing better performances. Key Words Elite athletes and coaches, optimal performance, sport psychophysiology, biofeedback, neurofeedback.

Résumé L’aptitude à se concentrer et à bien doser son niveau d’énergie (physique et mentale) au bon moment est un facteur clé de succès en matière de performance au niveau olympique. L’objectif de tous les psychologues du sport et des consultants en entraînement mental est d’amener l’athlète en collaboration avec l’entraîneur à découvrir « qui il est », « ce dont il a besoin » et « comment développer ses aptitudes » de façon à donner le même résultat de haut niveau sous la pression énorme des Jeux olympiques. Ce secteur de recherche a vu le jour grâce à une subvention du programme À nous le podium en préparation aux Jeux olympiques d’hiver de Vancouver 2010; l’objectif de ces recherches est d’aider l’athlète et l’entraîneur à bien gérer le stress par une prise de conscience et une maîtrise de soi en ce qui concerne les degrés d’activation du système nerveux central et périphérique, autonome inclus. À cette fin, on évalue le stress psychophysiologique et l’activité EEG et on pilote des séances d’entraînement à la bioneurorétroaction d’une durée de 30 à 40 heures. À ce jour, les athlètes et les entraîneurs qui ont pratiqué cette approche affirment que l’entraînement à la bioneurorétroaction a aidé les athlètes à bien gérer le stress de l’entraînement et de la compétition et que cet entraînement a contribué à améliorer la performance. Mots clés : athlètes d’élite et entraîneurs, performance optimale, psychophysiologie du sport, rétroaction biologique, rétroaction neurologique.


he ability to focus effectively and the ability to manage one’s level of stress and anxiety, in the pressure situations of Canadian championships, selection situations, World Championships and the Olympic Games, are the key skills both athletes and coaches need to develop to excel at the highest levels of sport. Few would disagree with this statement. And yet, the question still remains – what is the best way to develop those abilities? This article will discuss the usefulness of sport psychophysiology which is “a relatively new field that brings together an understanding of the psychophysiology of emotion with the psychology of sports performance” (Davis, Sime, & Robertson, 2007: 631). It embraces the notion that the mind and the body need to be understood and trained to work together


in order to achieve a high level of performance. Coaches, athletes, sport psychologists, and mental training consultants all agree that the manifestation of excessive stress and tension before or during competition are major threats to the ability of the athlete to meet or exceed their performance goals, and we know that such excessive stress and tension often result in an athlete’s inability to focus on the ‘correct’ cues, even though cognitively she/he certainly knows what those cues are (Davis et al., 2007; Janelle, 2002; Sime, 2003). Athletes with greater psychophysiological self-regulation over somatic (physical) and cognitive (mental) components of anxiety have a greater sense of personal control over their performance, and cope better with the stress of competition (Hatfield & Hillman, 2001). As well, Bois, SIRCuit Volume 1 (3) Spring / printemps 2011

Sarrazin, Southon, and Boiche (2009), in studying the ability to adjust physiological and psychological activation levels, found that frequent use of strategies for managing emotional control predicted superior sport performance. Logically then, management of the stress response should be a high priority for elite level athletes. Responses to stress are observed in multiple psychophysiological systems, with linkages between the nervous system, the endocrine system, and the immune system, all of which form the collective heart of the stress response (Cacioppo, 1994). Intervening at the level of the nervous system, through the use of biofeedback and neurofeedback assessment and training, can enhance an athleteâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s competitive advantage (Sime, 1985). With this in mind, work with athletes and their coaches has been focused on first, psychophysiological assessments and then training using both biofeedback and neurofeedback (BNFK), working towards enabling athletes to learn how to manage the activation levels of their autonomic and central nervous systems. In order to achieve this, each intervention is designed to optimize 4 skills: (a) an ability to sustain a calm narrow focus, (b) an ability to brief recovery (wide focus), which involves quieting both the autonomic nervous system (ANS) and central nervous system (CNS) for 1-3 minutes (c) an ability to switch between narrow focus and brief recovery at will, and (d) a deep recovery, which involves quieting the ANS and CNS for 6-20 minutes. A crucial component of all 4 skills is the ability to keep hi beta (rumination and worry) low.

Bioneurofeedback Assessment

To gain insight into each athleteâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s autonomic and central nervous system activation levels and patterns under stress and in recovery, a psychophysiological stress assessment and an 18 site EEG assessment is conducted on each athlete. The initial assessment uses the Optimal Performance Assessment (BFE Optimal Performance Suite) created by Dr. Vietta Wilson (for an example, see Charts 1 and 2), followed by a second assessment

Chart 2: The Learning Curve (TLC) (Click to enlarge)

using the The Learning Curve (TLC) 18 site EEG assessment developed by Peter Van Deusen. Measures are gathered in seven areas: EEG, sEMG, respiration rate, heart rate, heart rate variability, skin conductance and peripheral body temperature. From the data, it is possible to identify how each athlete responds to stress, their activation levels, and their ability to recover, both mentally and physically between each stressful event. In general, analysis of the assessment data to date (on more than 50 athletes) has revealed a good ability to focus and a less well developed ability to put the body and mind in recovery. With respect to the autonomic nervous system, some athletes do not return to baseline after the stressor/task and occasionally go in the opposite direction, where they became more activated in recovery. The most consistent pattern has been seen in the heart rate variability (HRV) measure. Almost without exception, athletes had higher HRV during the stressor/task than during recovery, indicating that their cardiac and pulmonary systems were more coherent during a task than in recovery. In the central nervous system, an examination of the percentage of slow, medium and fast waves revealed higher than target values in the fast waves (beta and hi beta). The temporal lobes were the area in which the athletes most often produced higher than target values.

Bioneurofeedback Training

The goal of the BNFK training is to enable the athletes to learn to identify and exercise control over the activation levels of their autonomic and central and nervous systems, first in the lab setting and ultimately when competing at various international competitions and the Olympic Games. In order to work on these 4 key skills, each training session, of approximately 1-1½ hours in length, is broken down into 3 components: 1. Quieting the autonomic nervous system. This component develops self-awareness and selfregulation of muscle tension, respiration rate, heart rate, skin conductance activity and peripheral body

Chart 1: Stress assessment Protocol (Click to enlarge)


SIRCuit Volume 1 (3) Spring / printemps 2011

temperature and is trained both eyes open and eyes closed. 2. Managing the central nervous system. The EEG modality is used to create (a) brief mental recovery (wide focus), (b) narrow focus and (c) switching states between narrow focus and brief recovery (narrow and wide focus) 3. Quieting both the autonomic nervous system and central nervous system. All 7 measures, (EEG, sEMG, respiration rate, heart rate, heart rate variability, skin conductance, and peripheral body temperature) are monitored for the physical and mental deep recovery component. A paced breathing CD is used to help them decrease activation in both systems. This deep recovery work begins as a 6 minute session (with 20 minute sessions incorporated irregularly). While the training sessions almost always incorporate each of these three components, the emphasis is individualized for each athlete. A key component to ensuring what is learned in the lab setting can be effectively and consistently transferred to the ‘real-world’ of training and competing, is the on-going dialogue between athlete and sport psychologist. During each training session, the athlete is asked various questions to encourage her/him to reflect and begin the process of understanding their own best strategies for managing his/her focus and his/her levels of stress. For example, it is not uncommon for athletes in the early stages of training to ‘overuse’ their jaw or shoulder muscles (one of the two placements for the EMG electrodes) to execute a task. Questions are regularly asked such as ‘What is the task?’ ‘What do you need to execute that task?’ ‘How does that feel for you?’ ‘How might you use this in training?’ ‘How might you use this in competition next week?’ To date, we have seen that, regardless of where athletes start, and what their particular issues are, all have learned to identify their optimal performance state and through the training, develop an improved ability to manage how physically activated they want to be, and how to sustain an effective focus when asked.

their athletes in managing the physiological and psychological stress of training and competition, and they note it is a factor in producing better and more consistent performance in both training and competition. The athletes say that they have a much deeper awareness of what focus or ‘paying attention to’ something is, what focus feels like for them, and the level of energy it takes to effectively sustain an effective focus for one to three minutes at a time. They have also said that they feel much more ‘in control’ of themselves physiologically - they are able to quickly recognize a change in their own physical state due to stress (increased muscle tension, colder hands, increased respiration) and successfully change that state prior to competing. This has, of course, increased their level of confidence as well. As one athlete said “Now I really get it – I know how to be focused, and can do that when I want – and all the rest of the time, I can be breathing, relaxed, not focused on my race – this has helped so much.” This applied research, using sport psychophysiology with high performance athletes and their coaches, is on-going with various winter sports, such as freestyle ski and curling and with the summer sport of canoe/kayak, as well as athletes in diving and swimming. We would like to acknowledge the generous research funding, from 2007-2010, from Own the Podium, an organization created to lead the development of Canadian sports to achieve podium performances at the Olympic and Paralympic Games. We would like to thank the incredible technical support team at Thought Technology for ensuring that our equipment was always fully functional. As well, in order to develop and implement this unique combination of a biofeedback/neurofeedback training intervention, we would like to acknowledge that we drew upon a rich array of knowledge and techniques developed by the following individuals: Dr. Vietta Wilson, Drs. Lynda and Michael Thompson, Dr. Nicolina Pavlov, Peter Van Deusen, Dr. Francois Dupont, Dr. Richard Gervirtz, Dr. Paul Lehrer, and Dr. Les Fehmi. ∆

For references, click here

The athletes and coaches’ feedback so far has been very favourable, although the athletes do state that it is a great deal of work learning how to manage their physical and mental states. The coaches feel the training in BNFK is definitely helping Penny Werthner is the Director and Associate Dean, University of Ottawa, School of Human Kinetics, researching (i) how individuals, particularly elite coaches and athletes, learn most effectively; (ii) performance psychology, and the use of bioneurofeedback with Olympic athletes and coaches, to optimize performance; (iii) stress and burnout in coaching; (iv) women and coaching. more ...

Coach Dominick Gauthier speaking about how BNFK helped Alex Bilodeau CLICK HERE


SIRCuit Volume 1 (3) Spring / printemps 2011


SIRCuit Volume 1 (3) Spring / printemps 2011

Sport Innovation Visual Perception Training: Cutting Edge Psychophysics and 3D Technology Applied to Sport Science

Pierre Beauchamp, PhD, Peak Sport Performance Mindroom & Jocelyn Faubert, Ph.D., Director, Visual Psychophysics & Perception Laboratory, University of Montreal & Chief Science Officer, CogniSens Athletics Inc. Abstract This article will outline new training technology for enhancing perceptual-cognitive skills of athletes achieved through training with a 3D ‘cave’ environment. CogniSens Athletics ( specializes in applying neurobiological science and technology for performance applications in the sports, medical and military environments. The science behind the technologies (Neurotracker, Neurominder and NeuroBalance) has been developed by Dr. Jocelyn Faubert and his team. Dr. Faubert is Director of the “Visual Psychophysics and Perception Laboratory’ based at the University of Montreal. These technologies are designed for both performance enhancement and concussion management. NeuroTracker can be used for a) performance enhancement, b) reduced risk of injury, and c) as a baseline reference for post-concussion returnto-play protocol: a) Performance enhancement: NeuroTracker is a unique perceptual-cognitive training device to improve athletic performance. NeuroTracker trains an athlete to absorb and process complex movement and distribute his attentional resources throughout the visual field. The trained athlete will decrease his response time during play action and increase time available to make decisive decisions. b) Reduction of risk of injury: with improved peripheral vision awareness, the athlete can anticipate avoidable collisions and thereby reduce risk of injury. c) Baseline reference for post concussion Return-to-Play decision: NeuroTracker maps and stimulates high-level cognitive functions directly related to performance. The baseline reference of the healthy athlete provides the target Return-to-Play objective reference to ensure the athlete is fully recovered from his concussion injury, thereby reducing the risk of recurring concussions.

Resumé Ce texte a pour but de souligner de nouvelles technologies en entraînement qui optimisent les capacités perceptivo-cognitives d’athlètes à l’aide d’un environnement fermé 3D. CogniSens Athletics ( concentre ses efforts à appliquer les sciences neurobiologiques et la technologie à l’évaluation de la performance dans le monde sportif, médical et militaire. Les technologies que sont le Neurotracker™, le Neurominder™ et le NeuroBalance™ ont pu voir le jour grâce aux recherches scientifiques du très réputé Dr. Jocelyn Faubert et de son équipe du Laboratoire de psychophysique et de perception visuelle de l’Université de Montréal, dont il est directeur. Les technologies développées visent à optimiser la performance et à gérer les commotions cérébrales. Le NeuroTracker™ permet a) d’optimiser la performance, b) réduire les risques de blessure et c) d’agir comme référence pour le protocole de retour au jeu post-commotion cérébrale : a) Optimiser la performance : Le NeuroTracker™ est une technologie d’entrainement perceptivo-cognitive visant l’amélioration athlétique. Il évalue la rapidité avec laquelle un athlète peut poursuivre et maintenir son attention simultanément sur plusieurs objets en mouvement, peaufinant ainsi des capacités de haut niveau. Le corollaire d’un tel entrainement est la réduction du temps de réponse durant le jeu et l’augmentation du temps disponible pour prendre des décisions stratégiques. b) Réduire les risques de blessure : Grâce à une vision et une acuité spatiale améliorée, l’athlète peut plus aisément anticiper et éviter des collisions, réduisant donc les risques de blessure. c) Une référence pour la décision de retour au jeu post-commotion cérébrale : Le NeuroTracker stimule des capacités cognitives de haut niveau qui sont directement reliées à la performance. Ce système permet d’identifier la «signature perceptive» d’un athlète en bonne forme et cette dernière agira comme valeur étalon afin déterminer le temps exact du retour au jeu de l’athète et réduisant ainsi les risques de commotions récurrentes.


thletes and coaches are always looking for an extra edge to help them perform in their sport. Most athletes and coaches spend 90 percent of their time working on technical, tactical and physical components of sport performance. But in sport where split-second timing can make


all the difference, exceptional visual skills are a must. Many sport science studies have demonstrated that experts or athletes at the top of their game have much better dynamic visual skills than non-experts (Williams et al, 1994; Zwierko, 2007). Professional athletes and coaches know that because visual skills play such SIRCuit Volume 1 (3) Spring / printemps 2011

key roles in sport performance, they could be the key factor that prevents a good athlete from becoming an exceptional one or conversely, superior visual skills can propel a good athlete to higher levels of performance. Vision is defined as the ability to process or interpret information that is seen, while vision perception training is the process of improvement of perceptual-cognitive abilities for interpreting images and/or dynamic scenes. Visual perception may be the most important and selective of all brain processes involved in sports; whereby attempting to observe movements in motion that occur in sport places significant demands on an athlete’s visual perceptual skills. Essentially, the eyes send information to the brain where it is integrated and interpreted as a three- dimensional (3D) binocular image and then sends out appropriate motor signals to the muscles (Williams, Davids, & Williams, 1999). If the visual system is not receiving messages accurately or quickly enough, athletic performance may suffer. Consequently, it is important for coaches and athletes to understand the important role visual perception training plays in sport performance.

different players on their team, the opposing players, the boards and the constantly moving puck at variable speeds appropriately termed player movement dynamics (Faubert & Sidebottom, in press). As the developmental level increases in each sport, so will the rapidity and complexity of the play, such that the determining factor as to whether an athlete succeeds at the elite levels of sport will be his perceptual-cognitive processing under pressure situations (Williams, Davids, & Williams,1999). Skilled athletes are proficient in the anticipation of opponent’s movements and superior to novices in peripheral awareness in team sports (Williams, 2000). Research has shown that playing experience is not a determining factor when testing for visual anticipatory skills between elite and sub-elite athletes (Vaeyaens, Lenoir, Williams, Mazyn & Philippaerts, 2007). As a result, elite athletes do not learn these perceptual-cognitive based skills through traditional sports training, yet these critical skills are trainable at all levels (Williams & Hodges, 2005; Williams et al, 2006).

How do we create effective simulations for training purposes? The answer may well lie within virtual reality. Historically, coaches have relied on 2D video replay for training purposes. Efficient visual perception requires good brain However, one can ask, are 2D video images the most effective training medium for sport? In virtual environments, athletes, function Expert performers in sport such as Wayne Gretzky in hockey and can move their heads, eyes and limbs to explore multisensory 3-D integration where they can interact with objects (Psokta, Michael Jordan in basketball 1995). These virtual reality were also able to perform at Growing up, I was always environments or “caves” their best when time was of the small guy, I couldn’t beat allow one or several athletes the essence - like on the last to interact utilizing controllers people with my strength. My shot of the final playoff game or “data gloves”. Few or the perfect cross-ice pass eyes and my mind have to do sport organizations and/or to an open teammate without most of the work. researchers have explored looking to set-up a perfectly Wayne Gretzky the potential of virtual reality timed pass for the game environments with the winning goal. Sport science exception of baseball batting caves (Anderson, 1993) and table research has demonstrated that these expert performers are not only endowed with excellent peripheral vision, but are also expert tennis (Todorov, Shadmehr, & Bizzi, 1997), yet these systems decision makers at the same time (Starkes & Anderson, 2003). have been used in training surgeons (Tendick, et al, 2000) and Decision-making, although less obvious than other sport skills, NASA pilots (Allerton, 2000) and military special forces teams. is an important skill set that can distinguish expert athletes from Consequently, the aim of this article focuses mainly on factors elite and novice performers. Decision skill is the ability of an within the athlete’s control utilizing a 3D technology to improve athlete to quickly anticipate and accurately select the best option perceptual cognitive skills such as peripheral vision and decision from a variety of options that may appear while in motion and making for improved sport performance.

often while an object – ball or puck is in motion simultaneously. In coaching terms, it’s the athlete’s ability to read and react to the situation. While Michael Jordan and Wayne Gretzky may not have been the fastest or strongest in their respective sports, their ability to accurately predict the game’s next open man/play means they appear to have all the time in the world. “Growing up, I was always the small guy,” Gretzky has said. “I couldn’t beat people with my strength. My eyes and my mind have to do most of the work.” One of the critical tasks for athletes during a game is to perceive and integrate complex moving patterns while allocating attentional resources to


3D NeuroTracker Technology

The science behind the CogniSens NeuroTracker perceptualcognitive training system is driven by world-leading neurophysicist Dr. Jocelyn Faubert, who is Director of the Visual Psychophysics and Perception Laboratory based at the University of Montreal. The NeuroTracker technology has emerged from combining the fields of neurophysics, virtual reality technology, and sport science. Consequently, it represents a truly innovative, yet scientifically valid approach toward perceptual-cognitive training of athletes (Faubert, 2001).

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the four spheres are correctly identified the next trail is faster. Repeated trials following a staircase procedure allows athletes to both expand the amount of movement information they can absorb in the field and process that information more efficiently until a training speed threshold is established (Levitt, 1971).

Figure 1: One of the CAVE’s (Cave Automatic Virtual Environment) in Faubert’s lab.

At first glance, NeuroTracker is a new training technology for enhancing multiple object tracking achieved through neurophysical or perceptual-cognitive training. NeuroTracker trains an athlete to absorb and process complex movement and distribute his attentional resources throughout the visual field. As a result of this training, the athlete will be able to decrease his anticipatory response time in terms of reading the play, make quicker decisions during play action and increase the time available to choose the best play option (Faubert & Sidebottom, In press). The Neurotracker training system was developed in collaboration with a leading team in the English Premier League (Football) and is currently utilized by teams in the English Premier League, the National Hockey League (Hockey), the Top 14 French Rugby League (Rugby) and US NCAA varsity teams. These professional teams have implemented this technology through their Directors of Sport Science and have developed monitoring and tracking systems for scientific research that is integrated within their yearly training plans. Preliminary research is very optimistic and will be published shortly (Faubert & Sidebottom, in press). Figure 2: CogniSens NeuroTracker Core Training CLICK HERE

CogniSens NeuroTracker Core training itself is relatively simple, with most athletes fully engaged in the training within a minute’s instruction. Essentially four spheres are targeted for tracking and then blend with another four. These spheres then move randomly through true 3D space, deflecting and crossing over each other. Each Neurotracker play session is six seconds and knowledge of results (KR) with a correct score acts as feedback for the athlete. With correct identifications, the speed and difficulty increases for each athlete’s threshold over the 15 trials. Although simple to attempt, this is a complex perceptual cognitive process that activates significant mental resources. The main core program starts at a given speed and if the four spheres are not correctly identified the next trial will be slower and correspondingly if


Multiple object tracking (MOT) research suggests that multifocal attention mechanisms are necessary to process such information (Cavanagh & Alvarez, 2005). The ability to track multiple objects in a dynamic sports environment has been identified as essential to anticipatory response and decision making in team sports (Williams, Hodges, North & Barton, 2006). These skills are not only relevant to team sports which constantly overwhelm athletes with scenes of complex and dynamic motion, but also relevant to individual sports such as fencing, karate, taekwondo, where athletes are required to discriminate and process cues from their opponents bodies simultaneously while carrying out an attack or counter attack (Mouton & Oberle, 2007). Finally, the 3D conditions within the cave environment contribute to what is known as binocular 3D visual stereoscopy, which allows for 50% greater gain in speed thresholds (Tinjust, Allard & Faubert, 2008) than you would in a 2D video environment.

Extending the Perceptual-Cognitive Limits of Elite Athletes

In team-sports cognitive skills are central to a whole range of performance demands. This has been well founded in sports science literature with the contrasts between elite and subelite athletes being minimal physiologically but large mentally (Ripoll, 1991; Man et al, 2007). Simultaneous demands (i.e., time pressure) across many mental skills easily overwhelm players, causing cognitive interference and limiting performance. 3D-multiple object tracking is a core perceptual skill and is highly trainable. Increased proficiency in this area can free up processing resources for other mental skills. Consequently, with training, athletes become more confident as they move through the various levels of the training staircase. For teams, the value added is that with improved individual confidence, quicker decision-making skills, and improved peripheral awareness, athletes are better able to respond to performance situations under pressure which ultimately will improve team toughness.

Neural Plasticity: Training your Mind

By far the greatest advantage of NeuroTracker is the pronounced effects of perceptual-cognitive training on the mind. In terms of actual time spent tracking spheres, 1 hour produces an average improvement of over 50%. This has been confirmed scientifically both with the general population and with elite athletes in the field. It is now well recognized in neuroscience that training the mind is possible and the brain is highly plastic (Mahncke, et al, 2006). Neuroplasticity is the reason these gains are attainable, as the brain is remarkably good at rewiring itself SIRCuit Volume 1 (3) Spring / printemps 2011

anatomically to adapt to intensive functional tasks (Draganski & May, 2008; Ma, et al, 2010). Brain imaging studies have demonstrated complete neural reorganization as a result of training (Kupers, Chebat, Madsen, Paulson, & Ptito, 2010).

Training Principles

A true sports science methodology can be applied perfectly with NeuroTracker training. Core perceptual-cognitive skills are targeted for training in a way that is similar to doing squats to build up leg power for generic gains in sprinting, plyometrics and box- jumping. Maximal stimulation is achieved by an intelligent staircase procedure that pushes an athlete above and below their NeuroTracker perceptual-cognitive threshold. The six minute Neurotracker training sessions are highly practical and can even be integrated into circuit training routines with physical exercises. The phenomenon of ‘distributed learning’ means that small amounts of training spread out over time increases these effects due to the role of rest and recovery.

CogniSens Cave

NeuroTracker perceptual-cognitive conditioning takes place in a CogniSens Cave, in which up to 5 five athletes can train at the same time. This light controlled structure can be setup in a gym, with only a single power cable required outside of the cube. An 8ft wide true 3D environment is created with the latest technology in ultra-short range projection and wireless shutter glasses.

Neurotracker Programs

NeuroTracker training is provided through a spectrum of nine different programs: a) standard, b) advanced and c) team programs. Standard programs use scientific measurement procedures useful for the assessment of cognitive agility and improvement rates based on a core test. Subsequently, the athlete moves through the staircase of programs that increases cognitive processing or ‘brain speed’ in processing information encouraging automaticity. Peak speed is assessed after each session and is

tracked and monitored for each athlete. Advanced programs layer additional perceptual tasks onto standard training, these relate generically to in-field tactical tracking skills, attentional focusing and defender training. Team programs bring psychological dimensions into NeuroTracker testing, conditioning athletes to work cooperatively or under pressure competitively in one-on-one and/or two-ontwo situations. Future programs will highlight sport specific situations athletes find themselves. Examples include goaler training on penalty kicks in soccer, goaler training on penalty shots or shots from the point with men in front obstructing the view in ice hockey, etc. (Savelsbergh, Van der Kamp,Williams, & Ward, 2005).

Meaningful Results

Large amounts of NeuroTracker data is generated from the 15 mini trials comprised within each session. Knowledge of results (KR) is provided continuously to the athletes throughout the sessions. Scores and progress rates are displayed automatically in graph form at the end of each test, and all the details of results go straight into a database. Any or all data is available instantly to coaches through simple yet powerful Motion Charts. These reports reveal significant trends quickly and intuitively in a range of displays (e.g., rates of improvements for all their players, and/or comparison of their players by position and/or recruits to existing players by position, etc.).

Example of Motion Reports

Performance Profiles: Invaluable Intelligence

The results of NeuroTracker perceptual-cognitive training represents a vanguard for cognitive assessment of athletes, as the data provides a direct indicator of perceptual performance capabilities which include complex motion integration, distributed attentional control, fluid-rapid processing and visual working memory. This new form of intelligence for athletes can complement other assessments (eg., technical stills, physical conditioning, psychological profiles, rest & recovery tests, performance statistics, etc) for a fuller understanding of each player’s overall skill-set termed a performance profile. As an emerging sports technology, NeuroTracker is particularly valuable for recruitment testing as it provides an untapped area for performance assessment.

NeuroTracker Standard Programs


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Applied Results

NeuroTracker can also be performed on an exercise bike in the CogniSens Cave, where results correlated with biofeedback data can then reveal the extent of physiological fatigue on each athlete’s concentration, and may well provide a method for conditioning resistance (Alvarez & Franconeri, 2007).

NeuroTracker trains an athlete to absorb and process complex movement and distribute his attentional resources throughout the visual field. The trained athlete will decrease his anticipatory response time during play action and increase time available to make decisive decisions (Haywood, 1984; Hodges et al, 2005; Mori, Ohtani & Immanaka, 2002). A range of other benefits exist outside of the principle gains of performance enhancement. NeuroTracker provides a medical role for supporting assessment of concussions. Typically, NeuroTracker perceptual-cognitive ability will be drastically reduced under the effects of mTBIs (mild traumatic brain injuries), which compromise critical highlevel visual resources (e.g., visual search, visual perceptual processing, visual scanning, peripheral vision etc.). Such tests present quantitative and unbiased objective evidence for when a player is back in game shape (Rogers & Landers, 2005).

Finally, injured athletes can get a great deal out of NeuroTracker, as the training is non-physical and can be carried out intensively. It allows a player to return to competition with significantly increased abilities, boosting confidence at a critical period during the rehabilitation process. Athletes injured long term can be identified for cognitive and peripheral regression brought about through a sustained lack of game stimulation (BrosseauLachaine, Gagnon, Forget & Faubert, 2008). In these cases NeuroTracker conditioning can then be applied to accelerate perceptual-cognitive regeneration.


In conclusion, we have proposed a new perceptual-cognitive training tool for sports vision training. We have demonstrated the relevance of vision training for peak sports performance. Specifically, we have introduced the Neurotracker system functioning in a 3 D virtual reality cave. Initial results for CogniSens NeuroTracker 3D perceptual-cognitive vision training with professional teams in English Premier League (Football), National Hockey League (Hockey), Top 14 (Rugby) and NCAA Varsity has proven to be very successful. Finally, we have also demonstrated the perception-cognitive training may have other sports related benefits such as injury reduction, concussion return-to-play management, and reduction of fatiguerelated decision errors so critical in elite sport performance. ∆

For references, ckick here

Dr. Pierre ‘Red’ Beauchamp is an internationally renowned sport performance coach and Founder of Peak Sport Performance Mindroom. Dr. Beauchamp holds a doctorate in Sports Psychology (University of Montreal) and Masters/Bachelors’ degrees from McGill University. His groundbreaking sport science Mindroom has achieved world-wide recognition through the utilization of cutting edge technology to enhance sport performance and to prepare elite athletes to perform on demand and under pressure. more ...


Dr. Faubert’s facility is recognized as one of the world’s leading research centers in human perceptual-cognitive performance. Dr. Faubert has built a multi-disciplinary team of more than 30 researchers and PhD students currently exploring complex motion-perception, neural stimulation, neural-training, and neural rehabilitation. more ...

SIRCuit Volume 1 (3) Spring / printemps 2011

Athlete Focus Alex Gough

Born: 12/05/1987 Gender: Female Birth Place: Calgary, Alberta, Canada Residence: Calgary, Alberta, Canada Height: 171.0 cm Weight: 70.0 kg Graduated: National Sport School, Calgary, Alberta, Canada

A surprise 2006 Olympian who finished 20th at just 18 years of age. Veteran of the past three World Championships, set a new Canadian record with a 4th-place finish in 2009. A breakthrough 2008-2009 season included five top-10 finishes, best result 6th, and a final mark of 8th overall on the season. Discovered luge while following her friends to a recruitment camp at Canada Olympic Park. Outside of luge, she enjoys skiing, rock climbing, hiking, swimming, scuba diving and water sports. Spent March 2009 (her month off) volunteering at an orphanage in Zimbabwe.

Click to watch â&#x20AC;&#x153;Interview with Wolfgang Staudinger and Alex Goughâ&#x20AC;?


SIRCuit Volume 1 (3) Spring / printemps 2011

Competitive Intelligence


nowledge can give an athlete the competitive edge. Competitive intelligence equips coaches, sport scientists and practitioners with the latest information that may assist in the quest to put an athlete on the podium. SIRC receives thousands of publications from around the world each year ranging from peer reviewed journals to practical guides and our information specialists are constantly reviewing and indexing the various articles.

Emotional Intelligence A Commentary on the Literature Nancy Rebel, Director of Library Services, SIRC

This article is also available as a podcast, click here to listen


s can be asserted by most of us in our every day occurrences, emotions play a large role in how we deal with the environment around us. How we are feeling, optimistic or pessimistic, puts a lens on how we view a single situation. On a “feeling good” day, we are able to cope with and respond to a situation that on a “feeling bad” day we may have more difficulty with. Researchers suggest that by being aware of how we are feeling in a given situation and then taking those feelings and adapting them to the situation we can guide ourselves to a more successful outcome. In many realms, this is called Emotional Intelligence (EI). In the sporting context this implies that the better an athlete is at recognizing their emotions, and effectively managing them and using them to improve their situation, the more successful their performance will be. Research indicates that individuals with better emotional intelligence typically perform with greater success than individuals who have less effective ways of dealing with emotions (Clements, 2005). Emotional intelligence has been defined as “an individual’s ability to perceive, utilize, understand, and manage emotions” (Mayer & Salovey, 1997). As such, it has been recognized that constructs such as perceiving emotion and managing emotion are considered to be important in maximizing sport performance (Meyer & Fletcher, 2007). In the sporting context, emotional intelligence can then be seen to aid in two ways: 1) performance success and 2) minimization of the effects of stress. There are several models of emotional intelligence referred to in the research literature:


1) Salovey & Mayer (1990): Ability-based Model. This theory is framed within the context of intelligence with a focus on the abilities through which people deal with their own emotions and the emotions of others. Emotional intelligence is then defined as “the ability to monitor one’s own and others’ feelings and emotion, to discriminate among them and to use this information to guide one’s thinking and actions” (Salovey & Mayer, 1990) or “the ability to perceive emotion, integrate emotion to facilitate thought, understand emotions and to regulate emotions to promote personal growth”. According to Salovey & Mayer there are four types of abilities: • Perceiving emotions – self-awareness and awareness of others • Using emotions – for thinking and problem solving • Understanding emotions – comprehension of the relationships among emotions (and that emotions evolve over time) • Managing emotions – regulation of self and others In extrapolating from this model to the sport context, researchers theorize that emotional intelligence can help explain ‘the process through which people [athletes] recognize which emotions appear to help performance and which emotions might hamper performance.’ (Lane et al, 2010) 2) Bar-On (2000): Emotional-Social Model (Personality). This model is based in the context of personality theory as a theory of well-being. It suggests that emotional intelligence is concerned with understanding oneself and others, understanding social SIRCuit Volume 1 (3) Spring / printemps 2011

relationships, and being able to adapt to and cope with changes in the social environment. Bar-On suggests that emotional intelligence is a trait that can be developed over time with training. 3) Goleman (1995, 1998, 2000): Mixed Model (Ability and Personality). The theory presents emotional intelligence in the context of performance based upon emotional competencies. These emotional competencies are not innate but can be learned and developed in order to achieve high performance. Four main constructs of the model: • Self-awareness – reading one’s emotions and recognizing their impact in decision-making • Self-management – controlling one’s emotions and adapting to the circumstances • Social awareness – comprehension of others’ emotions and the social context • Relationship management – the ability to inspire, influence, and develop others while managing conflict In the sport context, researchers see that sport talent while important is not enough to develop exceptional athletes. Working hard to develop talent combined with technical advancement and emotional self-awareness will encourage ownership and empowerment in the success of an athlete. 4) Newman (2007): a theory of emotional intelligence within the context of leadership, an “emotional capital” model, wherein leaders high in emotional capital possess the enhanced ability to guide people to action by engaging emotion as behavior motivation. Variations in emotions relate to variations in sport performance. Emotional intelligence relates to the individual’s belief in how they can manage emotions (Lane et al, 2010). The premise of emotional intelligence in most models seems to stem from the concept of managing emotion through self-awareness. Emotional intelligence is the ability to be aware of feelings, evaluate how they affect behavior, and shift to a state of mind that better suites the situation (Averett, 2008). Emotion is a source of power, but the real source of power comes in knowing how to manage them. Sport is an activity that is full of emotion. It is the athlete’s awareness of the emotion and their ability to integrate and/or separate from these emotions that allow them to succeed. Self-awareness is an important aspect of psychological skills training that can and should be addressed as a part of athletic training. All athletes experience success and setbacks, it is their response to them through emotional intelligence, that can make the difference (Morgan, 2001). In the scientific literature not only are there a number of theories of emotional intelligence, each comes with its method of measurement. As each theory has its detractors, each method of measurement has its criticisms. Researchers claim that ability


EI measures conformity or knowledge not ability and other researchers claim that self-report measures can be faked by presenting an excessive positive bias. Measures that are used in Emotional Intelligence research can include the following: Emotional Competence Inventory (ECI), Emotional Quotient Inventory (EQ-i), and the Emotional Intelligence Inventory (EIS). To this day, researchers continue to agree that emotional intelligence does play a role in the sport context, but there is a requirement for more research into the measurement and appropriate application of the models to sport performance. In the end it can be agreed upon that optimal performance comes when athletes are empowered and able to take ownership of strategies and decision-making by being able to identify, learn from and use their strengths and weaknesses. ∆

Resources Videos

THE ESi ATHLETIC PERFORMANCE INDICATOR New Edge Performance, in association with RocheMartin, has isolated 10 key competencies characteristic of high performers.

Click image for video


Crombie, D., Lombard, C., & Noakes, T. (2011). Increasing Emotional Intelligence in Cricketers: An Intervention Study. International Journal of Sports Science & Coaching, 6(1), 69-86. Crombie, D., Lombard, C., & Noakes, T. (2009). Emotional intelligence scores predict team sports performance in a national cricket competition. International Journal of Sports Science & Coaching, 4(2), 209-224. Devonport, T. J., & Lane, A. M. (2009). Reflecting on the delivery of a longitudinal coping intervention amongst junior national netball players. Journal of Sports Science & Medicine, 8(2), 169-178. Grubb III, W. L., & McDaniel, M. A. (2007). The fakability of Bar-On’s Emotional Quotient Inventory Short Form: Catch me if you can. Human Performance, 20(1), 43-59. For more references, please CLICK HERE

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What coaches can do 1.

Emphasize emotion as a resource not a problem.


Use an open communication style that will encourage athletes to be open and honest in their emotional selfevaluation.


Provide athletes with a basic understanding of the nature and function of emotions in their specific sport (Clements, 2005), to develop an awareness of how emotions can be used to their advantage during competition.


Train the athlete mind as much as the body, so that when emotions come into play they can be turned into a positive force. Use adrenaline as an extra source of energy.


Train for increased bursts of positive emotion as well as negative, in order to help avoid reckless behavior that can sometimes result.


Make athletes aware that negative emotions such as anger burn energy, increasing heart rate and blood pressure, using up fuel needed for performance and taking away focus.


Prepare for possible scenarios, so that you can work with them if they crop up, providing athletes with a sense of control.


Athletes should keep logs about their physical and emotional states after workouts and events and use the information to set future goals.


Work with athletes to recognize patterns of behavior and how they influence their own behavior (individual sport athletes) and how they may interact with teammates (team sport).


Ask athletes to develop two responses to tough situations, one that helps and one that hurts performance. Train athletes to make their own conscious decisions about which responses will lead to success.


Nancy Rebel is the Director of Library Services at SIRC. Nancy is responsible for content management of SIRCâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s collection and its catalog database design. Nancy has been responsible for: the content submissions for the world-renowned SportDiscus database; aiding in the coordination of in-house and international terminology submissions and organizational structure of SIRCs internationally recognized SIRCThesaurus as Editor.

SIRCuit Volume 1 (3) Spring / printemps 2011

Upcoming Events For more events, check out the SIRC Conference Calendar. Click on the “month” below to see all events for that month.

Pour d’autres événements, veuillez consulter le calendrier SIRC des congrès. Ci-dessous, choisissez le mois pour voir tous les événements de ce mois

July 2011 Jul 12-17 Jul 14-16 Jul 19-24

The 13th European Congress of Sport Psychology Madeira, Portugal Canadian Academy of Sport & Exercise Medicine (CASEM) Sport Medicine Conference St. John’s, Newfoundland, Canada The 2012 International Convention on Science, Education and Medicine in Sport (ICSEMIS 2012) Glasgow, Scotland

August 2011 Aug 5-8

Aug 13-16 Aug 18-20

Third International Conference on Science in Society Washington, DC 2011 FISU Conference Shenzhen University, Shenzhen, P.R.China International Sports Science + Sports Medicine Conference (ISSSMC) Newcastle Upon Tyne, England

September 2011 Sep 6-8

Sep 8-11 Sep 27-30

The British Association of Sport and Exercise Sciences Conference 2011 University of Essex 6th Conference on Kinesiology Opatija, Croatia 5th ISN International Sports Medicine and Sports Science Conference 2011 (SMSS2011) Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

October 2011

Oct 27-30 Oct 27-30

7th EFSA - European Congress of Sports Medicine and the 3rd Central European Congress Salzburg Congress Centre Sports Medicine and Science Conference Millennium Hotel, Queenstown, New Zealand Physiotherapy Conference 2011 Brisbane, Australia

November 2011 Nov 8-10

Nov 11-13

The SPIN Summit Toronto, Ontario, Canada Petro-Canada Leadership Conference Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Merging the  art  of  coaching  with  the  science  of  sport.   Fusionner  l’art  de  l’entraînement  avec  la  science  du  sport.  

November 8-­‐10    


Oct 6-9


Conference details  can  be  found  at:    

Les détails  de  la  conférence  sont   disponibles  à:  

novembre 8-­‐10     Toronto


SIRCuit Volume 1 (3) Spring / printemps 2011

Stay Informed with SIRC Dear SIRC: I am looking for resources that discuss how emotional intelligence relates to an athleteâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s performance. Specifically are there ways to increase the emotional intelligence of an athlete?

Answer Dear SIRC: I will be giving a presentation on concussion in sport and would like to make it as interesting and timely as possible. Could you guide me to where I can find the most recent concussion resources that are available?


Did you know...

Research results have indicated that expert coaches relied on their education, organizational skills, experience, work ethic, and knowledge to further their coaching careers and successfully perform their job at the highest levels.

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Coaching education and leadership training programs should focus on developing a growth mindset about leadership abilities.

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A winning record may indicate that a coach is effective, but may not necessarily mean that a coach is great.

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Proactive & Preventative Medicine Les Commotions Cérerales dans la Sport Où en sommes-nous? Suzanne Leclerc, MD, Ph.D., Louis De Beaumont, Ph.D., Maryse Lassonde, Ph.D.

This article is also available in English.

Résumé Les commotions cérébrales dans le sport : - où en sommes-nous? Objectif : Revoir l’état des connaissances actuelles sur les commotions cérébrales, leurs impacts sur les diverses fonctions cérébrales, les outils disponibles pour l’évaluation et les options thérapeutiques pour minimiser les séquelles à long terme. Depuis la dernière décennie, la recherche sur les commotions cérébrales a été très active. Elle nous a permis de mieux identifier les différents impacts sur le cerveau et de commencer à comprendre les risques encourus lors de commotions cérébrales répétées. Les outils d’évaluation utilisés principalement en recherche, tels que les tests neuropsychologiques, l’électroencéphalographie (EEG), l’imagerie par résonance magnétique fonctionnelle, et la spectroscopie suggèrent que les séquelles associées aux commotions cérébrales sont essentiellement de nature cellulaire; c’est-à-dire, qu’elles affectent les fonctions cérébrales et non le tissu cérébral lui-même. C’est pourquoi un CT-Scan demeure normal même lors de commotions sévères, à moins qu’il n’y ait un saignement intra-crânien associé. De par la nature de l’atteinte cérébrale, jusqu’à présent, le REPOS de toute activité physique, incluant parfois le retrait scolaire, demeure le seul traitement efficace et sécuritaire. Le travail interdisciplinaire avec l’entraîneur, le préparateur physique, le thérapeute et le médecin, ainsi que l’éducation et la prévention sont indispensables à la réussite d’une participation et d’un retour au jeu sécuritaire de l’athlète.

Abstract Sport related concussion: - where are we? Objective: To review the current knowledge on sport related concussion, its impact on various brain functions, the tools available for evaluation and treatment to decrease or minimize the long-term sequelae. Since the last decade, research on concussion has been plentiful. It proved to be very useful in getting us a better idea on how concussive events alter brain cells as well as to uncover the possible sequelae associated with repeated concussions. Assessment tools used mostly in research settings, such as neuropsychological tests, electroencephalogram (EEG), functional magnetic resonance and spectroscopy, showed that concussion appears to induce intracellular disturbances, which gives rise to neurofunctional impairments in the absence of marked brain tissue damage. Indeed, CT-scan typically is normal even immediately after a severe concussion unless there is intracranial bleeding. Until now, complete REST after a concussion, including no physical activities and sometimes withdrawal from school, remains the only effective and safe treatment. Successful rehabilitation after a concussion gains significantly from interdisciplinary work involving proactive coaches, trainers, therapists, and doctors. Education, fair play, prevention are other important key factors for safe participation in sport.


u cours de la dernière décennie, la recherche sur les commotions cérébrales a été très active. Elle nous a notamment permis de mieux identifier les différents impacts sur le cerveau et de mieux comprendre les risques encourus lors de commotions cérébrales répétées. Les risques de subir un traumatisme crânio-cérébral sont présents dans la majorité des sports, mais ceux-ci sont d’autant plus associés à la pratique des sports de contact.


La commotion cérébrale est l’une des blessures les moins bien reconnues par les athlètes. Une étude réalisée auprès de joueurs de la ligue canadienne de football a montré que 4 joueurs sur 5 ne reconnaissaient pas avoir subi une commotion cérébrale, même s’ils présentaient des symptômes de commotion au questionnaire (DELANEY JS, 2000; 10). Une étude plus récente faite auprès de jeune joueur de hockey a montré que même pour des médecins SIRCuit Volume 1 (3) Spring / printemps 2011

observant une partie de hockey seulement 36,5% des commotions ont pues être suspectées (Echlin 2010). Une plus grande vigilance doit donc être appliquée, et encore plus chez les enfants pour lesquels le cerveau est toujours en cours de développement.

Comme on peut le constater dans la grille de symptômes, un traumatisme crânio-cérébral telle qu’une commotion cérébrale peut affecter plusieurs fonctions cérébrales. Une atteinte des fonctions cognitives est très souvent notée et se manifeste sous la forme de troubles de mémoire, de concentration et d’attention. Pour Outils d’évaluation évaluer ces atteintes Il est important de rappeler cognitives, certains qu’il n’est pas nécessaire de outils ont été perdre conscience pour avoir subi une commotion cérébrale. Concussion: Q&A with Dr. Charles Tator développés, tels que le SCAT 2 ( McCrory La majorité des athlètes Cliquer sur l’image pour visualiser le vidéo P, 2009) et des tests commotionnés vont d’abord informatisés comme présenter des symptômes de céphalées, d’étourdissements, de sensation d’être au l’IMPACT ( Chez les jeunes ralenti, d’impression de brouillard dans la tête et de troubles enfants ou lors de cas plus complexes caractérisés par une de mémoire. L’échelle de symptômes du tableau ci-joint période de récupération prolongée, l’intervention d’un décrit la majorité des symptômes immédiats et tardifs neuropsychologue sera parfois nécessaire pour suivre et lors d’une commotion cérébrale. L’utilisation d’une telle évaluer l’atteinte cognitive. Outre la présence des divers grille est l’un des meilleurs outils accessibles à tous pour symptômes énumérés ci-haut, l’équilibre peut aussi être évaluer et suivre le rétablissement suite à une commotion touché. Le BESS (balance error scoring system) est un autre outil validé facile à utiliser par les professionnels de cérébrale (Lovell 1998 & 2003, Erlanger 2003). la santé pour évaluer ce type d’atteinte (Guskiewicz KM, 2001) (voir image 1). La recherche nous a permis de découvrir d’autres techniques en imagerie aidant à la compréhension et à l’évaluation des différentes atteintes associées. Plusieurs études ayant utilisé les potentiels évoqués cognitifs (EEG) ont permis de déceler des séquelles cognitives résiduelles liées à la commotion cérébrale dont les répercussions se manifesteraient de façon accrue avec l’âge (De Beaumont

Cliquer sur l’image pour agrandir

Image 1 : The Balance Error Scoring System (BESS). Performed on a firm surface (A, B, C) and on a foam surface (D, E, F). Erreurs: • Main qui qitte la crête iliaque • Soulever l’avant-pied ou les talons

• Ouverture des yeux • Pas, trébuchement, ou chute • Quitter la position d’évaluation pour plus de 5 secs


• Déplacement de la hanche de lus de 30 de flexion ou abduction • 1 point/erreur, durée : 20 secs/position

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enclenchés lors de toute situation d’apprentissage moteur (De Beaumont et al., sous presse). Ces difficultés motrices semblent de plus en lien avec plusieurs dérèglements neurométaboliques enregistrés dans les aires motrices, tels que récemment validés à l’aide de la spectroscopie par résonance magnétique. Enfin, les difficultés cognitives et motrices post-commotionnelles s’amplifient avec l’âge (De Beaumont et al, 2009). Alors que les atteintes cognitives et motrices ne sont perceptibles qu’à l’aide de techniques neurophysiologiques de pointe tel que les EEG chez le jeune athlète, les anciens athlètes sexagénaires présentant des antécédents de commotion cérébrale subie dans leur vingtaine présentent désormais des atteintes cliniques observables de la Image 2 : Anatomy of a Concussion mémoire, de l’attention et de la vitesse d’exécution motrice (De Beaumont et al., 2009). L’application des techniques L et al., 2009). L’EEG permet l’enregistrement de l’activité de neuroimagerie de pointe en milieu clinique devrait, dans à la surface du cerveau (cortex cérébral) lorsque le patient un avenir rapproché, fournir des outils indispensables au effectue une tâche qui requiert la mise à contribution de suivi longitudinal des athlètes et constituera une priorité fonctions cognitives, ces dernières étant majoritairement pour le traitement des athlètes tout au long des différentes tributaires de l’activation du cortex cérébral. Malgré phases de leur vie. l’absence d’anomalies structurales révélées à l’imagerie par résonance magnétique (IRM) ou au CT scan, il est Traitement possible, à l’aide de l’EEG, de détecter certaines anomalies Il est essentiel de s’assurer qu’un joueur ayant subi une de l’activité neuronale qu’entraîne la commotion cérébrale. commotion cérébrale ne retourne pas au jeu tant et aussi En effet, le coup à la tête provoque une collision du cerveau longtemps que les symptômes persistent. Le seul traitement contre les parois de la boîte crânienne qui entraîne une disponible pour le moment est le REPOS de toute activité cascade neurométabolique durant laquelle les neurones physique et un repos d’activités mentales incluant le sont privés d’un apport normal en oxygène (Giza CC travail scolaire. Au stade actuel de nos connaissances, and DA Hovda, 2001) (voir image 2). Les symptômes fonctionnels après une commotion cérébrale semblent associés à une importante atteinte du métabolisme du neurone, qui s’affaire durant cette période à lutter pour sa survie, délaissant l’exercice de ses fonctions habituelles assurant un bon fonctionnement cognitif. L’EEG s’avère ainsi un outil de choix d’investigation des atteintes Étape 1 : Aucune activité physique, repos cognitives des athlètes commotionnés. complet incluant parfois retrait/diminution des tâches scolaires. Outre ces séquelles cognitives de nature attentionnelle, Étape 2 : Activités physiques légères les commotions cérébrales ont également des effets comme la marche, le vélo au niveau moteur : des données récentes indiquent des Étape 3 : Activités physiques sans contact. problèmes d’apprentissage moteur et une atteinte visible Possibilité de reprendre l’entraînement du système moteur suite à une commotion cérébrale. musculaire. Une récente étude a montré une diminution marquée Étape 4 : Entraînement sur le terrain sans des capacités d’apprentissage moteur lors d’une tâche contact de répétition d’une séquence motrice effectuée avec les Étape 5 : Entraînement sur le terrain avec doigts de la main dominante (temps de réponse allongé). contact Ces effets semblent en relation avec une suppression des Étape 6 : retour au jeu et à la compétition. mécanismes cellulaires de plasticité cérébrale qui sont

Les règles de retour au jeu sont les suivantes :


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aucune médication ni traitement de quelque nature que ce soit (neuro-bio-feedback, acupuncture, ostéopathie, chiropractie, etc) ne permet une guérison plus rapide de la commotion. La durée de rétablissement dépendra de la sévérité de l’atteinte cellulaire, du nombre de commotions antérieures à l’événement actuel et de certains facteurs personnels pouvant augmenter la susceptibilité et la prédisposition aux commotions cérébrales. (McCrory P et al., 2009) Une fois les symptômes disparus, le retour au jeu doit se faire de façon progressive, comme dans toute blessure sportive. Un retour trop rapide peut parfois faire réapparaître des symptômes, indiquant que le cerveau n’est pas encore totalement rétabli. Un délai d’un minimum de 24 heures doit être respecté entre chaque étape. On ne peut franchir plus d’une étape par jour. S’il y a apparition de symptômes lors d’une étape, l’activité doit cesser, une période de 24 heures sans symptôme doit être respectée avant de reprendre les étapes de retour au jeu à l’étape précédant celle où il y a eu apparition de symptômes. Un exemple concret de l’application d’un tel protocole pour différents sports est décrit ici. Il est important de bien informer le joueur, mais aussi ses coéquipiers, l’entraîneur, le préparateur physique, et tout intervenant impliqué auprès de l’athlète de haut niveau lorsqu’on suspecte ou diagnostique une commotion cérébrale. Parfois, les symptômes initiaux seront légers, mais il est fréquent que des symptômes plus intenses et variés apparaissent dans les heures qui suivent. Il est

donc important de s’assurer qu’un athlète ayant subi une commotion cérébrale soit accompagné d’une personne de confiance dans les 24 heures qui suivent l’accident.


La commotion cérébrale est une blessure rencontrée dans plusieurs sports, elle fait partie du risque inhérent à la participation de certains sports de haut niveau. Grâce à l’avancement marqué de la recherche au cours des dernières années, nous sommes de mieux en mieux outillés pour bien les reconnaître et les dépister. Des protocoles d’intervention spécifiques ont été développés permettant ainsi une prise en charge, un suivi et un retour sécuritaire au sport. L’éducation quant à la prévention des blessures, l’enseignement de technique adéquate de contact, la sensibilisation des risques de séquelles à long terme lorsque la commotion n’est pas reconnue ou traitée adéquatement doit se poursuivre à tous les niveaux: parents, entraîneurs, athlètes, professionnels de la santé. ( aspx). Il est important de se rappeler qu’une commotion cérébrale peut se présenter de plusieurs façons et est rarement accompagnée de perte de conscience. ∆

Related Readings The cognitive effects and decrements following concussion. Sport-related concussion relevant to the South African rugby environment - A review Concussion occurrence and knowledge in Italian football (soccer). Pilot Evaluation of a Novel Clinical Test of Reaction Time in National Collegiate Athletic Association Division I Football Players. Eckner, J. T., Kutcher, J. S., & Richardson, J. K. (2010). Journal of Athletic Training, 45(4), 327-332.

Dr. Suzanne Leclerc is a sport medicine physician holding the Diploma in Sport Medicine from the Canadian Academy of Sport and Exercise Medicine. She has completed her PhD on sport related concussions; she is still involved in research on concussions and has contributed to various publications and conferences on the issue of concussion as other sport medicine topic. more ...

Louis De Beaumont est neuropsychologue clinicien et présentement stagiaire postdoctorale à l’Université McGill où il étudie la neurobiologie moléculaire de la maladie d’Alzheimer en relation avec ses facteurs de risque, tels que les commotions cérébrales et le vieillissement. more ...


Maryse Lassonde est professeur de neuropsychologie au département de psychologie de l’Université de Montréal, où elle a fondé le programme de Ph.D en neuropsychologie clinique en 1988, le seul qui soit accrédité par la Société canadienne de psychologie. more ...

SIRCuit Volume 1 (3) Spring / printemps 2011

Concussion is currently a hot topic but it is definitely not a new one. It can be seen in any sport at any age at the grassroots or elite level. With the release of professional hockey player, Bob Probert’s brain scan results and with Sydney Crosby sidelined for months, concussion has become even more mainstream.

Check out

Impact: Concussion and Sport

Wipe Out: Stories of Brain Injury

Sport Science: NFL Concussions and helmet to helmet collisions

Keeping Quiet Can Keep You Out of the Game

Keeping Quiet Can Keep You Out of the Game... a Mother’s Story

Discovery Channel’s How it’s Made: Football Helmets

• What You Need to Know About Concussion (2:24 minutes) • Taking Care After A Concussion (1:27 minutes) • Know the Facts: Understand Concussion (1:11 minutes)

Did you know...

30% of

all traumatic brain injuries

are sustained by children and youth, many of them while participating in sports and recreational activities.


SIRCuit Volume 1 (3) Spring / printemps 2011

Recommended Readings from SIRC When 30,000 articles cross your desk each year, you start to notice trends as well as the research that seems particularly strategic. We are pleased to highlight some of the key articles in various topics that have attracted our attention. Comme nous voyons passer sur nos pupitres près de 30 000 articles chaque année, nous avons une bonne idée des tendances et des axes de recherche privilégiés. Nous sommes alors très heureux de mettre en évidence quelques-uns de ces articles provenant de divers champs d’intérêt.


Olympic Performance Learning

Social Media Tools for Teaching and Learning

Differences Between Successful and Unsuccessful and Basketball Teams on the Final Olympic Tournament. Pojskić, H., Šeparovi , V., & Užičanin, E. (2009). Acta Kinesiologica, 3(2), 110-114.

The Delivery of Video-Based Performance Analysis by England Youth Soccer Coaches: Towards a Grounded Theory. Groom, R., Cushion, C., & Nelson, L. (2011). Journal of Applied Sport Psychology, 23(1), 16-32. What Coaches Value about Coaching Knowledge: A Comparative Study Across a Range of Domains. dos Santos, S., Mesquita, I., dos Santos Graca, A., & Rosado, A. (2010). International Journal of Applied Sports Sciences, 22(2), 96-112.

Equipment/Clothing Effects of Wearing Graduated Compression Garment During Eccentric Exercise.

A profile of 2008 Olympic Taekwondo competitors. Kazemi, M., Perri, G., & Soave, D. (2010). Journal of the Canadian Chiropractic Association, 54(4), 243-249.

Health & Nutrition

New Measuring and on Water Coaching Device for Rowing. Mattes, K., & Schaffert, N. (2010). Journal of Human Sport & Exercise, 5(2), 226-239.

Sport and Eating Disorders -Understanding and Managing the Risks Nutrition Knowledge, Attitude and Practice of College Sportsmen Nutritional Strategies for post-exercise recovery: a review

LTAD Long-term player development in rugby - how are we doing in South Africa? The Formation of Brazilian Female Gymnasts Taking Part in the Olympic Games (1980-2004). Schiavon, L., & Paes, R. (2011). Science of Gymnastics Journal, 3(1), 5-13.

Practical Use of the HOAC II for Clinical Decision Making and Subsequent Therapeutic Interventions in an Elite Athlete With Low Back Pain. Thoomes, E. J., & Schmitt, M. S. (2011). Journal of Orthopaedic & Sports Physical Therapy, 41(2), 108-117.


General Conditioning

Training Load in Pre-Pubertal Female Artistic Gymnastics. Burt, L. A., Naughton, G. A., Higham, D. G., & Landeo, R. (2010). Science of Gymnastics Journal, 2(3), 5-14.

Diagnosing overtraining in athletes using the two-bout exercise protocol

Tracking the performance of world-ranked swimmers. Costa, M. J., Marinho, D. A., Reis, V. M., Silva, A. J., Marques, M. C., Bragada, J. A., & Barbosa, T. M. (2010). Journal of Sports Science & Medicine, 9(3), 411-417.

The Evolution of Real Difficulty Value of Uneven Bars Routines from Elite Gymnasts in Last 5 Olympic Cycles. José, F., Carvalho, J., Côrte-Real, C., & Silva, A. (2011). Science of Gymnastics Journal, 3(1), 15-23.


Scapular-Muscle Performance: Two Training Programs in Adolescent Swimmers. Van de Velde, A., De Mey, K., Maenhout, A., Calders, P., & Cools, A. M. (2011). Journal of Athletic Training, 46(2), 160-169.

SIRCuit Volume 1 (3) Spring / printemps 2011

The IST Journal Club The goal of the IST Journal Club is to share ‘must reads’ on cutting edge performance based applications, training/competition variables, and proactive medical interventions, selected by performance service experts representing various professional disciplines associated with Integrated Support Teams.

Agonist-Antagonist Paired Set Resistance Training: A Brief Review.

Robbins, D.W., Young ,W.B., Behm, D.G and Payne, W.R. JSCR, 2010, 24(10): 28732882.

Commentary by Matt Jordan


his article is a review of the literature on the use of AgonistAntagonist Pairing in resistance training. Agonist-antagonist pairing is the pairing of opposite muscle groups (e.g. elbow flexors/elbow extensors) or biomechanically dissimilar exercises (e.g. power cleans/incline bench press or bench press/pull-up) for the purpose of improving maximal strength and muscle power. The authors’ review focuses on the following areas: • • • •

Terminology (the authors recommend adopting the term Paired Training) Proposed benefits of paired training Physiological mechanisms underpinning a paired training approach to resistance training Practical applications and considerations for future research

While the scientific research on paired training is relatively sparse and somewhat equivocal, this style of lifting can enhance time-efficiency and may have some physiological basis for improving strength and power in athletes. This article will provide the coach with a good synopsis of the literature on a very practical and commonly used approach to resistance training program design. ∆

Six Weeks of Balance Training Improves Sensorimotor Function in Individuals With Chronic Ankle Instability.

Joellen M. Sefton, PhD, ATC; Ceren Yarar, PT, MS; Charlie A. Hicks-Little, PhD, ATC; Jack W. Berry, PhD; Mitchell L. Cordova, PhD, ATC. Journal of Orthopaedic & Sports Physical Therapy. February 2011; 41(2)

Commentary by Bruce Craven


he number one predictor of injury is previous injury. With this the ultimate goal of every therapist is to be able to screen an athlete and determine if they are at risk of a certain injury, develop an appropriate corrective exercise training program to address the identified risk factors and hopefully prevent the injury from occurring or rehabilitate the athlete to prevent the recurrence of future similar injuries. Sefton et al. (2011) indicate that individuals with chronic ankle instability can improve their performance on the Star Excursion Balance Test after 6 weeks of balance training. In summary, this article, and others referenced in the bibliography, provide us with good evidence to support 1) the importance of screening for specific injury risk, 2) the development of appropriate corrective exercise training programs to improve our scores on the screening tests and 3) the development of rehabilitative training programs to improve the scores on the screening tool to pre-injury level and in time to the sport specific cut score that is indicative of “risk of injury”. ∆ 29

Do foot orthoses change lower limb muscle activity in flat-arched feet towards a pattern observed in normal-arched feet?

Murley, G.S, Landorf, K.B., and Menz, H.B (2010). Clinical Biomechanics, 25, 728-736.

Commentary by Allan Wrigley


he use of foot orthotics in Canadian sport seems to be on the rise. There are many rational reasons for this centering on their function to help in the management of a number of lower limb issues; be that from overuse conditions, anatomical deficiency, or to help correct body positioning for athletic performance. I find that this study is interesting for two reasons; one being an explicit intent of the study and the other being a by-product of how the study was designed. The main result of the research shows that using foot orthotics altered lower limb muscle activation patterns in patients with flat-arched feet to patterns that are closer to those found in normal-arched feet individuals. More interestingly then that though, was that modified pre-fabricated (off-the-shelf) orthotics were rated as comfortable and were actually shown to have a greater positive impact on muscle activation patterns then custom made orthoses. The modifications to the off-the-shelf model simply consisted of using a heat gun to soften the insole for a better fit to the individual foot and adding a 20 degree wedge (consistent with the manufacturer’s recommendations). The custom orthotics were made from plaster casts taken by a podiatrist with 10 years of clinical experience sent to an orthotic lab. Considering the cost of custom orthoses and the time to have them made, this research paper provides some compelling evidence that a more affordable (and potentially more effective) solution can be found. ∆

SIRCuit Volume 1 (3) Spring / printemps 2011

The role of positive ethics and virtues in the context of sport and performance psychology service delivery.

Aoyagi, M.W. & Portenga, S.T., (2010). Professional Psychology: Research and Practice, 41(3), 253-259.

develop and incorporate their values and beliefs into ethical practice” (p.258) which is far more performance enhancing for the practitioner than principle ethics of “do no harm.” Just as sport psychology practitioners assist athletes in reaching their fullest potential, they should strive to reach their fullest potential as a practitioner. ∆

Commentary by Judy Goss, PhD,


he delivery of sport psychology often falls outside the guidelines of ethical practice from a clinical/counselling psychology perspective, the majority of the sporting community organizations appear to be fine with this. Whether this is due to naivety or few problems associated with this, it does not come without its difficulties for the sport psychology practitioner. Aoyagi and Portenga (2010) describe a number of factors that make sport psychology delivery unique and therefore make some ethical guidelines inadequate. They provide perspective for coaches, administrators and organizations as to how certain systemic issues cloud the specific ethical path for a sport psychology practitioner. For example, who exactly is the client? A sport organization may be funding a sport psychology position to work with individual athletes, a team, coaches and an Integrated Support Team but who are they reporting to? Now with multiple funding agencies; monitoring, accountability and reporting seem to have been taken to a whole new level. Aoyagi and Portenga (2010) provide different ways for a sport psychology practitioner to conceptualize multiple relationships, boundaries issues and confidentiality. I feel that this article is a good reminder to coaches, administrators and organizations as they reflect on sport psychology service delivery. The concept of virtue ethics is introduced which emphasizes the character of an individual. This encourages a sport psychology practitioner to “proactively consider,

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) Consensus Statement on Periodic Health Evaluation of Elite Athletes, March 2009

Arne Ljungqvist, MD, PhD; et al. Clinical Journal of Sport Medicine. 2009;19:347– 365

Commentary by Willem Meeuwisse


here has long been debate about which aspects of the athlete “medical” should be included in the health assessment of the athlete, Recently, a group was convened by the IOC Medical Commission to critically evaluate the elements of history, physical examination and tests/ investigations that should be done in the setting of the elite athlete. The resulting Consensus Statement reflects the current international standard by which we should be both screening and monitoring our elite athletes. ∆

Training for intense exercise performance: highintensity or highvolume training?

P. B. Laursen, Scandinavian Journal of Medicine & Science In Sports 2010: 20 (Suppl. 2): 1–10

Commentary by Leo Thornley


he discussion around the most effect training methods for improving exercise performance will be one that is always followed closely. The increasing demands on athletes and coaches time and the search for the most efficient and effective use of that time is one driving force behind training methods research. The recent plethora of research highlighting high intensity training is one example of this. This paper is a review by Dr Paul Laursen currently working at the New Zealand Academy of sport and a well written author on this topic. This paper looks at high intensity training and high volume training with respect to improving aerobic metabolic capacity. Laursen’s review defines high intensity sporting events as lasting between 1 and 8 minutes in this case. The paper gives a brief back to basics approach to understanding the demands of high intensity efforts in sport. This reminds us of the need for a thorough understanding of what specifically it is we are trying to improve from an energy supply and demand perspective. The paper also highlights the adaptations seen from both high intensity and high volume types of training as well as the potential mechanisms behind such improvements. When new research is published showing enhancements in performance there can be a tendency to view the outcomes as the magic answer to our quest for athletic improvement. To some extent this has


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been seen in the last few years relating to high intensity interval training. The research has shown what a potent form of physiological improvement this method of training can be, a point which few dispute. As with any good research and critical evaluation though it should also cause us to ask questions such as how much should be done? When should it be introduced? How is it incorporated into a taper? And most importantly how does it best fit in an athlete’s long term career planning? This review discusses the interplay between these two types of training and ultimately highlights the importance of a solid foundation in high trainingvolume prior to utilising significant shifts to high intensity interval training. “The art of successful intense exercise coaching, therefore, appears to involve the manipulation of training sessions that combine long duration low-intensity periods with phases of very high-intensity work, appropriate recovery and tapering (Mujika et al., 2000; Issurin, 2008; Pyne et al., 2009)” ∆

Nutritional strategies to promote postexercise recovery.

Beelen, M., Burke, L. M., Gibala, M. J., and van Loon, L., J., C. International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism (2010) 20(6):515-532.

Commentary by Heather Hynes


he goal of postexercise nutrient intake is to restore the body’s primary fuel source, to repair muscle damage caused during the training session and to build new muscle tissue. When the training or competition schedule of an athlete demands repeated performance over a short period of time, less than 8 hours between sessions or events, the timing of nutrient intake is crucial. Research in the area of postexercise nutrient intake has been ongoing for decades. This review article by Beelen et al. (2010) provides a complete overview of the research that has been conducted, the performance measured noted and the ideal nutritional recommendations. Recovery nutrition recommendations are presented but the authors do stress the importance of athlete tolerance and food individual preferences, therefore making group recommendations are not appropriate. One of the primary goals in the recovery phase is the regeneration of muscle glycogen. Research has clearly shown that carbohydrate (CHO) intake postexercise is critical for muscle glycogen resynthesis. The research presented demonstrates that a dosage of 1.2g CHO/kg bodyweight/ hr, consumed in 15 to 30 minute intervals results in maximal muscle glycogen storage in the recovery phase. Since this CHO dosage may not be suitable or tolerable for some athletes, other strategies are presented. Another dietary intervention that was presented is the addition of protein to enhance muscle glycogen resynthesis. Research has shown that 31

the addition of 0.2 to 0.4g protein/kg bodyweight/hr to a lower CHO dosage (0.8g/kg bodyweight/hr) resulted in similar muscle glycogen resynthesis. Caffeine was also presented as a possible facilitator to muscle glycogen resynthesis postexercise. Limited research has been conducted in this area but one study presented did find a greater increase in muscle glycogen resynthesis when a caffeine dosage of 2mg/kg bodyweight/hr was combined with the CHO dosage (1.0g/ kg bodyweight/hr) versus providing the body with only CHO (1.0g/kg bodyweight/hr). This review paper provides great insight into the research that has been conducted and the need for more studies to be done with high performance athletes. With the guidance of sport dietitians, coaches will be able to use the recommendations presented to develop optimal training and competition meal plans to maximize sport performance. ∆

SIRCuit Volume 1 (3) Spring / printemps 2011

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SIRCuit Volume 1 (3) Spring / printemps 2011


Haut niveau “Merging COACHING with SPORT SCIENCE &amp; MEDICINE” Online interview with Alex and her coach, Wolfgang Staudinger Entrevue en l...

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