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The Magazine of the Sport Medicine Council of Alberta

Sport Science Edition Fall 2009

In this issue...



Determining Anaerobic Threshold in Soccer and Rugby Players G. Bell & A. Game

9 World-Class Sprinters’ Training and Effective Coach Planning J. Denison & K. Tyler


Assessment of Symptoms Following Concussions M. Mrazik, C.L. Lebrun, D. Naidu & J. Matthews-White

Fall 2009 Pulse  

Sport Science Edition...

Perspectives of AbleBodied Athletes in Wheelchair Basketball


N. Spencer-Cavaliere & D.L. Peers


Dryland Training and Youth Alpine Ski Racers PK. Doyle-Baker, JK. Stewart, & AA.Venner


Biomechanical Characteristics of Tae Kwon Do & Karate Gongbing Shan

11 2 Pulse Summer 2009

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Fall 2009 Pulse  

SMCA NEWS Happy Holidays to everyone and their families from the SMCA Staff and Board. We are wishing everyone a safe holiday and wonderful new year! Please note that our office will be closed from December 24 to January 3 Do you have questions related to sport science? Starting next edition, Pulse will have a Q & A column with answers from various sport science professionals. Please email any questions to Desi at Sport Science Students: Scholarships for the 2009-10 academic year will be due in the spring. Please visit for more information. Official applications and due dates will be available online in the new year. With the help of Alberta Lottery Fund's Community Initiatives Program (, the SMCA is proud to present upgraded physician and therapist kits available for loan. Thank you to the Alberta Lottery Fund for their generous grant!

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pulse Summer 2009 Vol. 23 No. 1

SMCA Board of Directors Ray Kardas—President Dwayne Laing—Past President Gabrielle Cave—Vice-President Breda Lau—Secretary Michael Becher—Treasurer Dr. Herbert Janzen—CASM Rep Chris Holt—SPC Rep Maria Novak—AATA Rep Stephane Simard—SSAA Rep Steve Johnson—SNS Rep Kristine Godziuk—Member at Large Koralee Samaroden—Member at Large Michael Wagner—Member at Large

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Pulse Magazine Published by: Sport Medicine Council of Alberta 11759 Groat Road Edmonton, Alberta, Canada T5M 3K6 Phone: (780) 415-0812 Fax: (780) 422-3093 Website: Contents copyright 2009 by SMCA. Articles may not be reprinted without permission. The opinions are those of the respective authors and are not necessarily those of the SMCA. ISSN: 1181-9812 Publication agreement no. 40038086

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4 Pulse Summer 2009

University of Alberta

Noninvasive Determination of the Anaerobic Threshold Using Heart Rate Deflection During the Leger Shuttle Run in Soccer and Rugby Players G. Bell & A. Game University of Alberta Introduction Conconi et al. (1982) has shown that a deflection in heart rate (HR) from linearity occurs during graded exercise that coincides with the anaerobic threshold (AT). Further research has shown that this HR deflection can be reliably measured using a variety of different field tests using a gradual increase in velocity while assessing HR with a relatively inexpensive personal monitor (Cellini et al., 1986; Conconi et al., 1982; Droghetti et al., 1985).

Setting University of Alberta, Edmonton.

Subjects Female Alberta rugby players between the ages of 18 and 24 were recruited from a varsity athlete population. A healthy, active individual was defined as a person who participated in regular aerobic physical activity a minimum of 3 times a week and was free of conditions that may have impeded their metabolic function or their effort and performance during the graded Leger and Lambert (1982) have created a shuttle exercise test. This study was approved by a run field test that gradually increases in velocity University Research Ethics Board. and is used to predict maximal aerobic power or VO2max. The Leger 20 m Shuttle Run test has Intervention/Main Outcome Measures been validated and proven to be reliable for this The exercise testing involved two visits to the prediction (Leger and Gadoury, 1987) and is exercise physiology lab: a laboratory session now used extensively by an number of sporting for a graded treadmill test to exhaustion using groups as an inexpensive field test for aerobic both increases in speed and later grade to fitness. assess VT and maximal oxygen consumption The intention of the present study was to deter- (VO2max) and on a separate day, a 20-m shutmine whether a “Conconi” HR deflection can be tle run test with HR monitoring in an indoor measured during a Leger 20 m shuttle run test. facility was performed. Speed and HR at VT during the treadmill test was performed using Objective the V-Slope method of Wasserman. HR The purpose of this study was to determine deflection (HRd) was determined as the point whether a HR deflection can be identified during at which HR departed from linearity during the the Leger 20 m Shuttle Run test in female ath- 20-m shuttle run test determined visually from letes. It was hypothesized that the HR deflection a plot of HR versus speed and the correspondcan be measured during the Leger 20 m Shuttle ing speed at which the HRd occurred was also Run test and that it will indicate the individual recorded. HR was determined using Suunto ventilatory threshold (VT) measured using an HR monitors that we set to record to memory established lab protocol. and downloaded to a laptop for analysis. Metabolic measurements were made with a Design Parvo-Medics metabolic system. Single group, 2 condition experimental design.

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Main Results The mean height, weight and VO2max for the women rugby players was 169.5 ± 6.6; 71.7 ± 12.2 kg, 44.2 ± 4.4 ml/kg/min (mean ± sd). There was a significant difference between running speed at VT determined on the treadmill (11.6 ± 0.61 km/hr) and running speed equivalent to the HRd during the 20-m shuttle run test (11.1 ± 0.52 km/hr). There was also a significant difference between the HR at VT determined on the treadmill (183 ± 8 b/min) and the HRd that was determined during the 20-m shuttle run test (187 ± 9 b/ min).

Conclusions These observations suggest that a HR deflection can be observed during a 20-m shuttle run test to exhaustion with the use of HR monitoring in women rugby players. However, the speed at which the HR deflection occurs was lower than the speed at which VT occurred during a treadmill test in the same athletes. As well, the HR at the deflection point during the 20-m shuttle was higher than HR at VT during the treadmill test. These findings suggest that the stop start nature of shuttle running elicits a higher HR response at threshold in comparison to graded treadmill running and may also be partially why the prediction of running speed at threshold was lower during the 20-m shuttle run test using the HRd method. Source of funding: Sport Science Association of Alberta (SSAA) through the ASRPWF. For more information contact: Dr. Gordon Bell, Faculty of Physical Education and Recreation, E424 Van Vliet Center, University of Alberta, Edmonton, AB, T6G 2H9. Commentary Anaerobic threshold is widely used to assess aerobic fitness and as a basis to prescribe aerobic training intensities in various athletes. However, anaerobic testing requires sophisticated equipment that can also be expensive. Field tests of anaerobic threshold are few, but measuring HR during running that gradually increases in speed has been show to elicit a deflection from linearity in HR response that may indicate anaerobic threshold. The popular and commonly performed 20-m shuttle run test is used to assess aerobic fitness and can be adapted to include measurements of HR that can be used to determine a HR deflection as a field indicator of the anaerobic threshold. Our findings indicate that this can be done, but it is cautioned that the HR deflection point measured during shuttle running may under predict running speed at VT by an average of 0.5 km/hr and overestimate HR responses by an average of 4 b/min. However, these differences may be considered small and thus the HR deflection measured during the 20-m shuttle run test still may be useful for exercise prescriptions that include a range of speed and heart rate responses for athletes to train within.

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University of Calgary

What Fitness Variables Change from Dryland Training in Developing Alberta Youth Alpine Ski Racers? PK. Doyle-Baker, JK. Stewart, AA. Venner University of Calgary Introduction Alpine skiing requires a large aerobic base to support the necessary anaerobic power, muscular strength, complex motor skills and coordination.1,2 The four disciplines of Slalom, Giant Slalom, Downhill, and Super Giant (SG) have on hill differences related to racer speed, distance between the gates, and length of the course. Differences in physiological and anthropometric related parameters of racers who are specialists in one of the above disciplines have recently been reported in the literature. Smaller, leaner males were more successful in the Slalom event (had lower FIS points), while skiers with more body fat did better in downhill events and were the heaviest of all four disicplines.3,4 Males in general had lower percent body fat then females (8-10% vs. 2022%).5 In summary, body composition appears to be an important factor in contributing to success in an alpine discipline. There currently is limited, published data on the characteristics of developing alpine ski racers in Alberta and there is no recorded data that investigates whether young racers experience success because of a given body composition.

Methodology All measurements prior to the summer dry land program were completed in one day at the University of Calgary. Significance was set at p value = 0.051. 1. Height (HT, cm), Weight (WT, kg), calculated BMI, Waist Circumference (WC, cm), Grip Strength (R, L and combined total), Pushups (Pups number), Sit and Reach (cm), and Vertical Jump Height (VJ, cm) were performed by certified exercise physiologists (CEP) using CPAFLA guidelines. 2. Maximal oxygen consumption (VO2max, ml×kg-1×min-1) was calculated from the last stage completed during the Leger 20m shuttle run. 3. Agility was completed using the Illinois Agility run test -Hastad & Lacy (1994) protocol. Only the “right” test was used for K2 while both left and right was completed for FIS. 4. Percent Fat and Fat Free mass were determined by Whole-body DEXA scan (Hologic QDR 4500A scanner, Hologic Inc, Waltham, MA).

Both K2 (13-14 years; n=15) and FIS (15+ years; n=9) level Alberta Alpine ski racers were Purpose This primary research aimed to describe base- recruited from clubs in the province of Alberta. line fitness characteristics in young Alberta ski Participant characteristics are in Table 1. racers prior to the summer dry land program. A secondary objective was to investigate body Table 1. Participant Characteristics Mean (SD). Sex  N=24  Age (yrs)  Weight  Height  WC  composition differences by sex and age class   (kg)  (cm)  (cm)  category (K2; FIS). K2  

Setting Human Performance Laboratory (HPL), U. of C, Alberta.




13.2 (0.8)   46.7 (7.2)  

160.8 (3.2) 

63.2 (3.9) 


12.9 (0.9)   49.9 (11.7) 

161 (10.5)  

67.7 (6.9) 



16 (0)  

60.2 (8.8)  

168.8 (5.6) 

71.2 (2.8) 


15.6 (0.5) 

65.6 (6.0)  

175.6 (4.6) 

72.9 (4.6) 


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Table 2. Fitness Results tests by age class and sex. Statistical Analysis Two sample t-tests were completed within each age class category (K2 or FIS) by sex for all interested Test/  Age  Sex  N  Mean   P‐Value Measure  Class (SD)  variables. Figures 1 and 2 for VO2max and percent fat F  6  38.1 (4.0)  mass, respectively, depict mean values for each category. K2  0.1319   V02  M  9   42.4 (5.7)  Significant differences (**p<0.001, *p<0.05, ) are high- (‐1.min‐1)  F  3  46.0 (1.6)  FIS  0.0359*  lighted between males and females. Mean testing results M  5  50.1 (2.3)  by age class category and sex are outlined in Table 2 for F  6  20.2 (3.9)  K2  0.0823†  Fat Mass  M  9  15.7 (5.0)  all variables.

20 15 5


Mean F at M ass (% )

40 30 20


10 0

Mean V O2max (m in-1 )













Fig. 1. Mean VO2 max by Sex by Sex




Fig. 2. Mean % Fat Mass

Results Sex did not significantly affect the maximum oxygen consumption (VO2max corresponding to the Léger test score) for K2 racers (40.7±5.4 ml-1kg-1min-1; p=0.13), but it did significantly influence the VO2max of FIS racers (n=3; F=46.0±0.90, M=50.1±1.02 ml-1kg-1min-1; p=0.04). In addition, percent fat mass was not significantly dependent on sex for K2 racers (17.5±1.3 %; p=0.08), but it was for FIS racers (M=12.6±2.6, F=22.5±1.3 %; p<0.001). Sex did not significantly affect other standardized tests completed: push-up number (K2 =14.4±8.37; FIS=22±8.2), sit-and-reach distance (K2=31.3±7.6; FIS=42.2±5.3 cm), vertical jump height (K2=37.2±8.1; FIS=46.3±9.2 cm), combined grip strength (K2=61.0 ±18.4; FIS=80.0±19.6 cm) and the Illinois Agility (right) test (K2=19.2±1.7; FIS=18.0±0.8). Summary During pre-season measurement of young Alberta Alpine Skiers, sex differences did exist in aerobic capacity and body composition. Further data needs to be collected in these groups across Alberta. This would enable comparison across provinces and to analyze how pre- and post-season measurement scores affect race performance over time.

F  4  22.5 (1.3)  M  5  12.6 (2.6)  F  6  14.3 (4.7)  K2  M  9  14.4 (10.4) Pups  (#)  F  4  24.3 (6.0)  FIS  M  5  20.4 (10.0) F  6  35.4 (7.5)  K2  Sit‐and‐Reach M  9  28.5 (6.8)   (cm)  F  4  41.7 (4.0)  FIS  M  5  42.6 (6.6)  F  6  33.7 (4.0)  K2  VJ  M  9  39.5 (9.5)  (cm)  F  4  40.4 (4.6)  FIS  M  4  52.1 (9.1)  F  6  52.6 (7.8)  K2  Combined GS M  9  66.3 (21.7)  (cm)  F  4  70.3 (19.6) FIS  M  5  87.0 (17.9) F  6  19.9 (1.0)  K2  Illinois Agility  M  9  18.7 (2.0)   (right, s)  F  4  18.6 (0.6)  FIS  M  5  17.5 (0.5)  **p<0.001, *p<0.05, †=trend to significance FIS 

0.0003** 0.9810  0.5189  0.0893†  0.8236  0.1822  0.0604†  0.1650  0.2226  0.2128  0.0229* 

age, gender, province, and age class category. This information would shed light on body composition changes as skiers move through the levels of racing and whether these body composition changes contribute to success in an alpine discipline over time.

References 1. Åstrand et. al (1986). Textbook of Work Physiology. (3rd Ed.) NY: McGraw Hill. 2. White et. al., (1993). Sports Medicine, 15(3):170-178. 3. Karlsson J. (1984). Clinics in Sports Medicine, 3(1):245-265. 4. Haymes et. al., (1980). MSSE, 12(3):153-158. 5. Brown et. al., (1983). MSSE, 15(6):491-495. 6. Hastad et. al., (1994). Measurement & evaluation in PE. (2nd Ed). Scottsdale, AZ: Gorsuch Scarisbrick.

Source of funding: Sport Science Association of Alberta (SSAA) through the ASRPWF.

Conclusion Future young athlete profiling would benefit from research For more information contact: Dr. PK Doyle-Baker: of a longitudinal nature that tracks the fitness characteris2500 University Drive NW, Faculty of Kinesiology, tics and body composition for both pre and post season by University of Calgary, Calgary, AB, T2N 1N4

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University of Alberta

World-Class Sprinters’ Training and Effective Coach Planning J. Denison, K. Tyler University of Alberta Introduction Central to the practice of coaching is the ability to plan an athlete’s training (Lyle, 2002). Effective planning is what links a coach’s aspirations, knowledge and action; it is a guide to day-by-day activity and provides a template against which changes can be calculated, new ideas and perspectives considered, contingencies accommodated and a strategic overview created. Effective planning is crucial in a sport like track and field, and in particular the running events, where an athlete’s progression and capacity for performance is largely dependent on regulating and monitoring intensity and volume and other features of work necessary to adapt specific energy systems and neuromuscular pathways (Noakes, 2003). Although the “pure” or theoretical principles of planning a runner’s training have been studied and explained well by a number of sports scientists (e.g., Bompa, 1994; Daniels, 2005; Grasso, 2006), what actually gets done in training is often different from what was planned. In this regard, it is vital that coaches have an accurate record of the work their athletes have completed to know the exact workloads that are contributing to their results. Objective The purpose of this project is to record and analyse a group of world-class sprinters’ training based in Edmonton at the Canadian Athletics Coaching Centre. These results will provide their coach, and co-investigator, Kevin Tyler, with a detailed breakdown of his athletes’ responses to training that will undoubtedly assist him in planning future workouts and competition schedules.

Design Descriptive analysis of training data and competition results. Setting University of Alberta, Edmonton. Subjects Three world-class short sprinters (100m, 2 men, 1 woman) and three world-class long sprinters (400m, 2 men and 1 woman), all of whom were coached by the co-investigator were the particpants in this study. Intervention/Main Outcome Measures This project involved detailed data input to record the workouts completed by a group of world-class sprinters training in Edmonton. An Excel spreadsheet was used to calculate percentages of work done, including measures of volume and intensity. Importantly, data was recorded specific to the energy systems being trained, thus providing an exact breakdown of each athlete’s workloads. Main Results Volumes of weekly training data were compiled and plotted, resulting in the observation of a number of important facts. During the preperation period the short sprinters (100m) performed upwards of 360m of maximal speed work across 3 speed sessions/ week. Correlations indicate that maximal speed work exceeding 300m/week over 3 sessions caused a reduction in training capability. Approximately 180m of weekly sprinting across 1-2 sessions appears to be all that can be maintained. In the competitive period an excess of 200m of maximal speed work lent itself to poor performances. The longer

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sprinters (400m) ran upwards of 1700m of weekly special endurance work—their primary sprint training modality. However, training in excess of 1000m/week lead to a breakdown in training, as did 3 weekly sprint sessions. Approximately 800m of special endurance volume was a maintainable load. A sufficient volume of special endurance training over a number of weeks (greater than 4) leading into a competition also led to better performances. A lack of this work immediately preceding competition correlated with slower performances. Conclusions The short sprinters can maintain an approximate average of 180-200m of maximal speed work during the preparation period and approximately 120m of this training appears to work during the competitive period. The longer sprinters can maintain approximately 800m of special endurance work and should maintain this at a lower level during the competitive period. We conclude that exceeding these volumes or 2 weekly sprint sessions can result in an injury or a reduction in training load for a number of weeks. Source of funding: Sport Science Association of Alberta (SSAA) through the ASRPWF.

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For more information contact: Dr. Jim Denison, Faculty of Physical Education and Recreation, E424 Van Vliet Center, University of Alberta, Edmonton, AB, T6G 2H9. Commentary Research on planning and periodization is often conducted with average population samples and tends not to be very long term. This project was intended to provide the co-investigator with some specific result to enhance his effectivness as a coach. Accordingly, the deelopment of the spreadsheet for this project and the subsequent results will enable coach Tyler to complete a more informed analysis of his athletes’ responses to specific types of training, enabling him to be more effective at planning future workouts and determining the association between workloads and results. A further benefit of accumulating such specific training data is a greater likelihood of reducing overtraining and avoiding injuries. Moreover, with these results both investigators will bne in a strong position to advance the educational aims of the Canadian Athletics Coaching Centre through presentations and publications that provide evidencebased accounts of the relationship between the Centre’s athletes’ training and their results. In this way, this project has both performance and educational outcomes that should not only benefit athletes and coaches in Alberta but across the world.

University of Lethbridge

Tae Kwon Do vs. Karate – Biomechanical Characteristics Gongbing Shan, Ph.D. University of Lethbridge Introduction Quantitative motion analysis study into the characteristics of martial arts has been overlooked. Hence, there is a need to gain such knowledge. On the other hand, some skeptics feel that serious injury may be more likely to occur in martial arts practice than by being hit on the head by a mugger (Sports Injury Bulletin, 2006). One study (Pieter & Taaffe, 1992) found that male college Tae Kwon Do athletes had an injury rate just below that of American Football participants in college. The inherent wisdom uncovered by quantitative analysis of martial art techniques is significant. Such analysis by way of advanced technology will aid coaches in both skill improvement and injury prevention. Objective The goals of this proposed research are: 1. To supply 3D kinematic characteristics of advanced practitioners. 2. To quantify weight transfer patterns of the various techniques during performance 3. To disclose the muscle control and the possible control pattern of advanced players

joints’ ROMs (range of motion) and dynamic COG (center of gravity). With the help of EMG measurement synchronized to motion capture, the 3D kinematic characteristics, weight transfer patterns and neural muscle control will be revealed. Main Results The full body kinematics reveal: 1) trunk and hip rotation (twist) plays an import role in increasing the hand punching velocity / momentum; 2) the weight transfer (figure below) shows that karate punch is more stable in medial-lateral direction than Tae-Kwon-Do punch; 3) hip rotation contribute significantly to the quality of kick movement; and 4) the timing of joint coordination (e.g. the timely coordination among hip, trunk, shoulder, elbow and wrist in punching movement) is a key factor for determining athlete performance level.

Setting University of Lethbridge, Biomechanics Lab. Subjects This study involved 15 participants from Lethbridge area (aging from 20 – 28 years old). Intervention/Main Outcome Measures From motion capture, we can obtain anatomical positions that allow the modeling of the skeletal structure, which enables the reconstruction of human body and the calculation of

Source of Funding: Sport Science Association of Alberta (SSAA) through the ASRPWF. For more information contact Dr. Gongbing Shan at UofL (


Fall 2009 Pulse 

SMCA SPORT TRAINER COURSE This is a 2-day course that combines the SMCA’s Athletic First Aid and Taping & Strapping courses Athletic First Aid course: √ Learn about many common athletic injuries √ Further your knowledge in preventing & treating injuries Taping & Strapping course: √ Taping techniques for common sports injuries √ When to tape, when to brace, and when to do nothing √ Twenty taping techniques for all parts of the body Registration includes:

√ A Taping & Strapping manual and Athletic First Aid manual √ Taping & Strapping and Athletic First Aid certificates, which are current for three years

Upcoming Course Dates:

♦ Edmonton: November 7/8, 08:30-16:30 ♦ $175 ($25 less than when courses taken separately) Visit for more info or to register

12 Pulse Fall 2009

University of Alberta

Assessment of Symptoms Following Concussions in Athletes M. Mrazik, C.L. Lebrun, D. Naidu & J. Matthews-White University of Alberta Introduction The evaluation and treatment of athletes who sustain mild head injuries (concussion) has evolved considerably in the past two decades. Within this time frame, scientific investigation has become more rigorous and employed research designs that have yielded a greater understanding of the issues pertinent to sports -related head injuries (McCrory et al, 2005). In recent years several computerized methods have evolved and their statistical properties tested in athletic populations (Aubry et al., 2002). The Immediate Post-Concussion Assessment and Cognitive Symptom Scale (ImPACT; Lovell, 2006) system is the leading measure having received considerable support for its reliability (Schatz et al., 2005). Objective There were 3 purposes to the current study. The first involved training physicians from the Glen Sather Sports Medicine Clinic with ImPACT to become familiar with the use of ImPACT when assessing athlete who suffer concussions. The second purpose was to evaluate an athlete’s self-report concussion symptoms at baseline and compare results to symptoms following a concussion sustained in sport. Our goal was to evaluate the relationship between cognitive functioning and symptoms associated with fatigue. Finally, the third purpose was to compare and contrast various methods of collecting data (concussion symptoms) from athletes. Design Quasi-experimental and repeated measures design.

Setting University of Alberta, Edmonton. Subjects One hundred and seventeen collegiate athletes from the University of Alberta were recruited prior to the start of the 2007-08 and 2008-09 competitive seasons. This included 29 females and 88 males from football, men’s hockey, and women’s rugby. The ImPACT training session was conducted by Dr. Lisa Fisher, a registered trainer with ImPACT. Nineteen physicians and clinicians from the Glens Sather Sports Medicine Clinic took part in the training session that was held April 17th, 2008. This study was approved by a University Research Ethics Board. Intervention/Main Outcome Measures Prior to the start of competitive seasons, subjects were divided into 2 groups (interview versus self-report) to complete the PostConcussion Checklist. Subsequently, all athletes underwent ImPACT testing. Athletes who sustained a concussion were followed up by physicians from the Glen Sather Sports Medicine Clinic. The Post-Concussion Symptom Scale is a well validated instrument used to detect symptoms associated with concussions (Lovell, 1996). Main Results A two-way ANOVA was chosen to simultaneously assess the effects of the two independent variables (sport and mode of administration) on the dependent variable (total symptom score). To disentangle the sources of variability identified in this unbalanced design, an ANOVA with a type 1, a-priori ordering approach was taken.


Fall 2009 Pulse  

Mode of administration was given priority in this design followed by sport of athlete, and lastly, the interaction. Levene’s test for equality of variances was not significant, F = 1.51, p > 0.05 suggesting homogeneity of variance. Results indicated a statistically significant difference in mean total PCSS score by mode of administration F, (1, 83) – 4.88, p < 0.05. As predicted, athletes in the self-report group reported a higher total symptoms score (M = 10.19, SD = 8.9) compared to those in the interview group (M = 6.52, SD = 6.26). A factorial ANOVA did not reveal a significant main effect of sport (F, (,83) = 3.70, p > 0.05. We had a very small number of concussions evaluated during the 2007 – 2008 competitive season (n = 3). Therefore, we were unable to undertake statistical analysis of post-concussion symptoms and cognitive functioning as measured by ImPACT. Conclusions Results suggest that identification of symptoms in athletes is complex. Athletes may be reserved in reporting symptoms to medical personnel for a variety of reasons. This has implications for clinicians working with athletes. There were no conclusions regarding the outcomes of cognitive and self-report symptoms as a result of concussion due to the very small sample

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size obtained during this study. Source of funding: Sport Science Association of Alberta (SSAA) through the ASRPWF. For more information contact: Dr. Martin Mrazik, Faculty of Education, 6-135 Education North; University of Alberta, T6G 2G5. Commentary The identification of symptoms associated with concussions in athletes has become paramount in new paradigms designed to monitor and assess the impact of concussions on athletes (Johnson et al., 2007). However, the optimal method for measuring these symptoms is complex. Athletes present with unique variables that may impact their willingness/openness to discussing symptoms related to injury. The current study suggested a trend for athletes to disclose more symptoms by self-report than by interview. Differences in gender of the athlete and clinician did not contribute to significant results. Therefore, the current results have implications for education of athletes and clinicians working with athletes related to optimal assessment of symptoms associated with sports-related concussion.

University of Alberta

Exploring the Perspectives of Able-Bodied Athletes in Wheelchair Basketball N. Spencer-Cavaliere and D.L. Peers University of Alberta Introduction Within the sport of wheelchair basketball in Canada, athletes with and without disabilities compete with and against each other. This type of reverse integration is made possible by a functional classification system, wherein athletes are assigned a point value based on limitations in functional skills. Able-bodied athletes (AB, those without functional limitations) are assigned a value of 4.5. Classifiable athletes (those with disability) are assigned a value ranging from 0.5 to 4.5 depending on the degree of functional limitation. This classification system is intended to balance the functional potential of competing teams. Brasile (1990, 1992) suggested that reverse integration in wheelchair basketball has increased opportunities for all athletes to take part, while at the same time promoting an equitable platform for competition and socialization. In a study examining the perspectives of classifiable women wheelchair basketball players, Spencer-Cavaliere, Peers and Watkinson (in preparation) also found significant support for reverse integration. Athletes suggested that wheelchair basketball reduced differences between athletes without and without disabilities through the promotion of valued roles, teaching and athletic identities. Conversely, Thiboutot, Smith & Labanowich (1992) have argued that reverse integration devalues the athleticism of athletes with disabilities and limits their competitive opportunities. Although reverse integration is becoming more widespread (Medland & Ellis-Hill, 2008) research investigating its impact is still limited.

letes. This is a follow-up to the study by Spencer-Cavaliere et al. (in preparation) that looked at the perspectives of classifiable women athletes. As with this previous study, athletic identity, or an individual’s identification with the role of athlete, served as the foundation to investigate reverse integration. According to Brewer, Van Raalte & Linder (1993) athletic identity is positively associated with increased motivation, sport performance improvement, and developing a salient sense of self, but negatively associated with exclusivity of identify. Issues related to differences between athletes with and without disabilities as revealed in the initial study were also explored.

Objective The purpose of this study was to explore reverse integration from the perspectives of female, able-bodied wheelchair basketball ath-


Fall 2009 Pulse  

Design Qualitative semi-structured interviews. Setting Western Canada Subjects Nine Canadian women aged 22 to 47 (mean age 32 yrs, 7 mo) took part in this study. All participants had or were currently playing wheelchair basketball at a competitive level as an able-bodied athlete. Competitive was defined as involvement in tournament play including the National Club level. Approval for this study was granted by a University Research Ethics Board. Intervention/Main Outcome Measures Interviews consisted of two parts. In the first part, the Athletic Identity Measurement Scale (AIMS) (Brewer et al., 1993) served as the basis for the semi-structured interview guide. This scale contains 10 items with 4 subscales that assess selfidentity, social identity, exclusivity, and negative affectivity (Martin, Mushett & Ecklund, 1994). Participants responded to items on a 7-point Likert scale and were asked follow-up questions to explore responses within the context of reverse integration. The second part of the interview involved exploring the themes from the previous study (Spencer-Cavaliere et al, in preparation). The interviews were transcribed and analyzed using an inductive content analysis approach (Morse & Field, 1995). Main Results The analysis resulted in the emergence of five themes. Four of these themes provided support for the inclusion of AB athletes: (1) athletic identity, (2) teaching and learning, (3) teamwork, and (4) opportunities. Only the fifth theme, (5) outsider perspectives, was identified as a challenge to reverse integration. All participants expressed a strong identification with the role of athlete, and perceived athletes with disability as able and athletic. A number of participants also expressed

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that the athletes with disabilities were better than the AB athletes. Teaching and learning were important components of the wheelchair basketball context. Athletes with disabilities played a critical role in the teaching of wheelchair skills, game play and disability awareness. Aspects of the game related to teamwork were apparent as athletes discussed the importance of classification. Classification was primarily associated with diverse, yet valued player role expectations as opposed to disability. Teamwork related to these different roles facilitated the execution of specific wheelchair basketball strategies. From the perspective of the AB athletes, their involvement in the sport increased opportunities for the athletes with and without disabilities to compete at higher levels, to develop more teams and to promote awareness of wheelchair basketball. Finally, participants referred to the misconceptions of outsider perspectives about AB involvement. These misconceptions included thinking AB players were mocking people with disabilities and taking away their spots on teams. Participants spoke about the need to educate the public about reverse integration. Conclusions The results of this study support much of what was found in the study by Spencer-Cavaliere et al. (in preparation). Collectively these themes challenge many of the assumptions of disability as difference. Furthermore, these results suggest that reverse integration in wheelchair basketball may provide an important and unique opportunity for the development of equal status relationships and to create awareness of the abilities of people with disabilities. Source of funding: Sport Science Association of Alberta (SSAA) through the ASRPWF. For more information contact: Dr. Nancy Spencer-Cavaliere, Faculty of Physical Education and Recreation, E-488 Van Vliet Center, University of Alberta, Edmonton, AB, T6G 2H9.

Library Feature

Bigger Faster Stronger By: Greg Shepard

Bigger Faster Stronger presents the most popular strength-training for high school athletes over the past 30 years. With Bigger Faster Stronger you can learn how to:

Create, implement, and modify a training program that will most effectively meet your needs

Perform essential lifts such as squats, bench press, hex-bar deadlift, and power clean with perfect technique

Enhance speed, agility, and flexibility using specific techniques such as plyometric training

Use both in- and off-season training with maximum efficiency

*Bigger Faster Stronger and all of the other books and DVDs in our library are available to borrow for FREE to all SMCA members. Other Titles:

Visit for more information or to borrow a resource.


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SMCA Sport Nutrition Course This 6-hour course: Educates athletes, coaches, trainers, volunteers, and the general public at large about the fundamental concepts of nutrition, and how those concepts can be utilized to improve athletic performance. The course is taught by Sport Nutritionists & Registered Dietitians. Registration includes a Sport Nutrition Level 1 Workbook and handouts, and, upon completion of the course, participants are presented with a Sport Nutrition certificate that is current for three years.

*Upcoming Course Date: December 12/09 (Calgary) & January 30/10 (Edmonton) Visit for more info or to register

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Fall 2009