Latest research in football - week 39 - 2015

As previous literature updates, we have performed a PubCrawler search looking for football articles in NCBI Medline (PubMed) and GenBank databases.

Following studies were retrieved for this week:

#1 Soccer athletes are superior to non-athletes at perceiving soccer-specific and non-sport specific human biological motion
Reference: Front Psychol. 2015 Sep 3;6:1343. doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2015.01343. eCollection 2015.
Authors: Romeas T, Faubert J
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Summary: Recent studies have shown that athletes' domain specific perceptual-cognitive expertise can transfer to everyday tasks. Here we assessed the perceptual-cognitive expertise of athletes and non-athletes using sport specific and non-sport specific biological motion perception (BMP) tasks. Using a virtual environment, university-level soccer players and university students' non-athletes were asked to perceive the direction of a point-light walker and to predict the trajectory of a masked-ball during a point-light soccer kick. Angles of presentation were varied for orientation (upright, inverted) and distance (2 m, 4 m, 16 m). Accuracy and reaction time were measured to assess observers' performance. The results highlighted athletes' superior ability compared to non-athletes to accurately predict the trajectory of a masked soccer ball presented at 2 m (reaction time), 4 m (accuracy and reaction time), and 16 m (accuracy) of distance. More interestingly, experts also displayed greater performance compared to non-athletes throughout the more fundamental and general point-light walker direction task presented at 2 m (reaction time), 4 m (accuracy and reaction time), and 16 m (reaction time) of distance. In addition, athletes showed a better performance throughout inverted conditions in the walker (reaction time) and soccer kick (accuracy and reaction time) tasks. This implies that during human BMP, athletes demonstrate an advantage for recognizing body kinematics that goes beyond sport specific actions.

#2 Lumbopelvic motor control and low back pain in elite soccer players: a cross-sectional study
Reference: J Sports Sci. 2015 Sep 25:1-9. [Epub ahead of print]
Authors: Grosdent S, Demoulin C, Rodriguez de La Cruz C, Giop R, Tomasella M, Crielaard JM, Vanderthommen M
Summary: This study aimed to investigate the relationship between the history of low back pain and quality of lumbopelvic motor control in soccer players. Forty-three male elite soccer players (mean age, 18.2 ± 1.4 years) filled in questionnaires related to low back pain and attended a session to assess lumbopelvic motor control by means of five tests (the bent knee fall out test, the knee lift abdominal test, the sitting knee extension test, the waiter's bow and the transversus abdominis test). A physiotherapist, blinded to the medical history of the participants, scored (0 = failed, 1 = correct) the performance of the players for each of the tests resulting in a lumbopelvic motor control score ranging from 0 to 5. Forty-seven per cent of the soccer players reported a disabling low back pain episode lasting at least two consecutive days in the previous year. These players scored worse lumbopelvic motor control than players without a history of low back pain (lumbopelvic motor control score of 1.8 vs. 3.3, P < 0.01). The between-groups difference was particularly marked for the bent knee fall out test, the knee lift abdominal test and the transversus abdominis test (P < 0.01). In conclusion, most soccer players with a history of low back pain had an altered lumbopelvic motor control. Further research should examine whether lumbopelvic motor control is etiologically involved in low back pain episodes in soccer players.

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