Sports Science Sunday: Negative halftime speeches prove more effective than positive ones

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There’s a stereotypical halftime talk that permeates Hollywood versions of sport stories. It’s the angry head coach or manager, pointing out the negatives, smashing chalk boards, going after individual players’ performances. Turns out, it’s not only true, but also the most effective approach to motivating players. According to a study published in the Journal of Applied Psychology, “the researchers found a significant relationship between how negative a coach was at half-time and how well the team played in the second half: The more negativity, the more the team outscored the opposition.”

A recent study in the Journal of Sports Science and Medicine studied anxiety and depression among athletes aged 6-18. The researchers found that there was a difference in incidence between team sports and individual sports. According to the paper, “A higher proportion of individual sport athletes reported anxiety or depression than team sport athletes. Individual sport athletes were more likely than athletes in team sports to play their sports for goal-oriented reasons, as opposed to for fun.”

A study published in the American Journal of Sports Science investigated the effect of androgenic anabolic steroids on the effectiveness of bone repair among users. Needless to say, it’s not good news. “The results showed that there was a significant loss in bone healing on groups treated with AAS, since there was no regeneration in fractured fibula, besides increasing resorption process at the ends of fracture stumps. For this reason it is possible to conclude that the misuse of AAS interferes negatively in metabolism of bone tissue reinforcing the danger of indiscriminate use for health, warning that, addition other biological tissues, the bone may be affected by abuse of these substances.”

The National Basketball Association is joining the Big Data revolution in a big way, and it’s not just a matter of performance analytics. The NBA has started an electronic medical record system designed to track players’ health status. As per the Journal of Athletic Training, “The system is customized and maintained by the NBA and individual teams as part of the employment records for each player and is deployed uniformly across all 30 teams in the league, thereby allowing for standardized data on injuries, illnesses, and player participation in NBA games and practices.”

IMAGE SOURCE: Creative Commons

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