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    Ground reaction forces, asymmetries and performance of change of direction tasks in youth elite female basketball players

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    The magnitude and direction of inter-limb asymmetries in a change of direction (COD) have increased interest in scientific research in recent years. This present study aimed to investigate the magnitude of asymmetries in an elite youth female basketball sample (n = 18, age = 17.79 ± 0.67 y) and determine its directionality using force platform technology. Participants performed 70◦ and 180◦ COD tests analyzing the following variables: time, ground contact time (GCT) and ground reaction forces (GRF) along the anterior–posterior, mediolateral, and vertical axes. Inter-limb asymmetries were evident in both COD tests, with substantial differences observed between limbs (p < 0.01). The asymmetry values ranged from 3.02% to 24.31% in COD 180◦ and from 1.99% to 21.70% in COD 70◦, with anterior–posterior GRF consistently exhibiting the highest asymmetry magnitude. Additionally, the directionality exhibited variability between the tests, indicating poor agreement and suggesting the independent directionality of asymmetries across tasks. Moreover, players required more time to complete the COD 180◦, the GCT was noticeably longer for the COD 180◦ than for the COD 70◦, and GRF varied across the axis, suggesting that players adapt uniquely to the specific demands of each task. The utilization of force platforms presents a comprehensive approach to assess asymmetries and COD variables performance variables which are “angle-dependent”, which could have important implications for COD screening and effective training interventions

    Nest/ing: an emergent (un)methodology for becoming otherwise

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    A dense, pungent, brown-green, intricately woven, itchy-silky, moss-strewn, twig-ridden ball brought us together. Since then, nest(ing) has become a shared methodology - nest/ing has offered a praxis of getting to know each other, getting to know nests (better) and it has become a capacious writing methodology. Taking nest(ing) seriously has drawn into sharp focus the perils of human exceptionalism. Nesting has gifted opportunities to wallow in porous boundaries and to luxuriate in modes of liminal reading/writing/experimenting, informed by a feminist politics to imagine the world differently (Despret, 2016). It is through lively storytelling, involving passing patterns back and forth that this piece, this assemblage of words (and memories, sensations and more) has nested into being - robust yet fragile, unruly yet hospitable, unknowable yet knowing. Storying the everyday is nesting. Nest/ing has become an emergent (un)methodology for becoming otherwise; something of an affective ecology that felts together guilt, awkwardness, vulnerability and inseparability. Nest/ing has taken us to places we could not have anticipated in advance and it has persisted in keeping our curiosity provoked as we dwell upon and amongst ordinary affects (Stewart, 2007) as they are encountered through minor gestures (Manning, 2016)

    Legal change and the role of the scholar: scratching beneath the surface of comparative taxonomies

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    Both the classical theory of legal families and its more modern articulations place East European jurisdictions in the same box because they give precedence to their common socialist experience. Not only they serve as distorting mirrors propelling stereotypes, but also they close off promising avenues of comparative research because of the politically tainted pre-understanding(s) of legal systems which they impose. This article argues that legal change is frequently facilitated by small groups of individuals who are often scholars. By paying closer attention to their role and incentives as well as the networks to which they belonged, we may see traditional categories realign and gain a more in-depth understanding of the patterns of legal change—namely, the intricate ways in which law evolves—and uncover little-known but important relationships between legal systems which comparative taxonomies either ignore or fail to explain. The article illustrates its argument by zooming in onto the role of three scholars—Lyuben Dikov, Filippo Vassalli, and Karl Llewellyn—who may hold the key to explaining interesting, but unexpected similarities between Bulgarian, Italian, and US law

    Practices and perceptions of strength and conditioning in female golf: a survey study of touring professional players

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    The aim of the study was to provide an understanding of current practices and perceptions of strength and conditioning (S&C) training in female touring professionals. A cross-sectional, explorative survey was undertaken and contained 30 questions separated into four sections: i) general participant information, ii) S&C practices, iii) Likert scale questions on S&C for golf performance, and iv) knowledge and awareness of S&C. A total of 102 players completed the survey with a combination of multiple-choice questions (MCQs), open-ended questions, and Likert Scale style questions utilised throughout. Results showed that ≥ 94% of players believed that strength and power in both the lower and upper body, in addition to flexibility, were the most important physical characteristics to complement golf shot metrics (e.g., clubhead speed [CHS], ball speed, carry distance, etc.). However, 26% of players conducted S&C training only in the off-season, with 21% suggesting that they had a fear of injury from S&C training. When considering the barriers to undertaking S&C training, the most common reasons included time constraints (20%) and players wanting to prioritise golf practice (15%). Finally, 58% of players believed that training in the weight room should replicate the golf swing. Although it is positive to see that the main physical characteristics for golf are well-understood by professional players, it is also evident that further education and knowledge translation is required relating to the application of S&C training for performance enhancement and injury risk mitigation purposes

    Coming out in the workplace: a comparative study between Italy and England

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    Introduction: The study aims to analyze the main characteristics and differences relating to the lived experiences of coming out in the workplace in two very different territorial contexts (Italy and England), looking at universities as a case study. Method: 30 sexual and gender minority university teachers (15 from Italy and 15 from England), ranging from 29 to 56 years of age (M = 41.66; SD = 10.13), were recruited in 2019 to participate in a qualitative research study. Data were collected through semi-structured interviews and analyzed in line with the assumptions of the six-step thematic analysis approach. Result: The propensity to come out in the workplace is mainly affected by legislative safeguards. However, policies and the regulatory framework alone are not enough. Results suggested that the cultural context and the working climate have an equally significant impact. Conclusion: The stigma toward LGBT + people cannot be eradicated overnight and changing cultural beliefs is a slow process that requires imaginative and creative methods to get students and the university community to interact with LGBT + people. Practical implications: Stimulating a bottom-up change within individual institutions can represent a possible strategy to activate a process of change and social inclusion toward the LGBT + community with an echo on the wider environmental and cultural context

    Discrimination and daycare choice: evidence from a randomized survey

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    We use a randomized survey to study the relation between parenting styles and attitudes towards ethnic minorities in a daycare setting. Parents choose between two daycare centers: a free-play facility that reflects a “relaxed” parenting approach and a structured facility that reflects a “strict” parenting approach. We find biases against ethnic minorities among parents who prefer the structured daycare but not among parents who prefer the free-play one. Using data from the European Value Survey, we further document an association between discriminatory attitudes towards peer ethnicity and parenting style

    The role of character-based personal mitigation in sentencing judgments

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    Personal mitigating factors (PMFs) such as good character, remorse and addressing addiction help sentencers evaluate an offender’s past, present and future behavior. We analyzed data from the 2011- 2014 Crown Court Sentencing Surveys in England and Wales to examine the relationship between these PMFs and custodial sentences passed on assault and burglary offences, controlling for other sentencing relevant factors. Beyond revealing the distribution and co-occurrence of the three PMFs, it was found that good character, remorse and addressing addiction all had a significant mitigating effect. The effects of addressing addiction were the strongest of the three across both offence types, while good character had a stronger effect on burglary than assault. In addition, some mitigating factors appear to be underweighted when they occur together. We consider the implications of these findings for sentencing policy and practice

    Eat the fruit earlier: Sakis (Pithecia chrysocephala) show enhanced temporal fruit resource access compared with squirrel monkeys (Saimiri sciureus) in an urban forest fragment in Brazil

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    Fruit availability experienced by different primate species is likely to vary due to species‐specific fruit use, even within the same habitat and timeframe. Pitheciines, primates of the subfamily Pitheciinae, particularly favor the seeds of unripe fruits. Researchers consider this dietary characteristic an adaptation to increase access to fruit resources. However, the relative advantages of pitheciines over sympatric non‐pitheciine non‐seed‐eating primates regarding species‐specific fruit availability is not well studied. In a 26‐ha forest within the city of Manaus, Amazonian Brazil, we assessed the wild‐food feeding behavior of free‐ranging groups of golden‐faced sakis (Pithecia chrysocephala) and sympatric common squirrel monkeys (Saimiri sciureus). We hypothesized that sakis would have greater and more consistent access to wild fruit due to (1) a wider variety of fruit species in their diet, and (2) longer consumption periods per fruit species. We recorded the plant species, part (pulp or seed), and developmental stage (ripe or unripe) of wild fruit consumed by both species. We also conducted monthly fruit censuses of 1000 trees and vines to estimate overall wild fruit abundance. As an indicator of fruit availability, we calculated the proportion of available fruiting trees and vines for each primate species separately based on their observed diet. Throughout the year, the proportion of available trees and vines was significantly higher and more temporally stable for sakis than for squirrel monkeys. This was because sakis used shared fruit species longer than squirrel monkeys by consuming both ripe and unripe fruit. Although sakis had a broader fruit repertoire than squirrel monkeys, it did not contribute to the higher fruit availability. Thus, the fruit feeding system of sakis identifies aspects of a niche that is less restricted in the timing of fruit consumption, which led to a relative advantage in fruit availability

    Associations between physical characteristics and golf clubhead speed: a systematic review with meta-analysis

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    Background: Historically, golf does not have a strong tradition of fitness testing and physical training. However, in recent years, both players and practitioners have started to recognise the value of a fitter and healthier body, owing to its potential positive impacts on performance, namely clubhead speed (CHS). Objectives: The aim of this meta-analysis was to examine the associations between CHS (as measured using a driver) and a variety of physical characteristics. Methods: A systematic literature search with meta-analysis was conducted using Medline, SPORT Discus, CINAHL and PubMed databases. Inclusion criteria required studies to have: 1) determined the association between physical characteristics assessed in at least one physical test and CHS, 2) golfers of any skill-level but had to be free from injury, and 3) been peer-reviewed and published in English language. Methodological quality was assessed using a modified version of the Downs and Black Quality Index tool and heterogeneity assessed via the Q statistic and I2. To provide summary effects for each of the physical characteristics and their associations with CHS, a random effects model was used where z-transformed r values (i.e., zr) were computed to enable effect size pooling within the meta-analysis. Results: Of the 3039 studies initially identified, 20 were included in the final analysis. CHS was significantly associated with: lower body strength (zr = 0.47 [95% confidence intervals {CI}: 0.24, 0.69]), upper body strength (zr = 0.48 [95% CI: 0.28, 0.68]), jump displacement (zr = 0.53 [95% CI: 0.28, 0.78]), jump impulse (zr = 0.82 [95% CI: 0.63, 1.02]), jumping peak power (zr = 0.66 [95% CI: 0.53, 0.79]), upper body explosive strength (zr = 0.67 [95% CI: 0.53, 0.80]), anthropometry (zr = 0.43 [95% CI: 0.29, 0.58]), muscle capacity (zr = 0.17 [95% CI: 0.04, 0.31]), but not flexibility (zr = -0.04 [95% CI: -0.33, 0.26]) or balance (zr = -0.06 [95% CI: -0.46, 0.34]). Conclusions: The findings from this meta-analysis highlight a range of physical characteristics are associated with CHS. Whilst significant associations ranged from trivial to large, noteworthy information are that jump impulse produced the strongest association, upper body explosive strength showed noticeably larger associations than upper body strength, and flexibility was not significant. These findings can be used to ensure practitioners prioritise appropriate fitness testing protocols for golfers


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