Thursday, July 29, 2010

Would you let a child drink ten cans of cola?

Would you let a child drink ten cans of cola? Would you let them drink an energy beverage? You may consider the latter; strategically marketed to appeal to youth and seen at sporting events you may never have realized that some of these drinks can contain upwards of 500ml of caffeine. It isn’t easy to figure out exactly how much caffeine is in an energy drink. The nutritional label often does not state the total amount of caffeine, simply listing caffeinated herbal extracts as an ingredient. An early release editorial titled “Caffeinating” children and youth caused some waves this week appearing in the Globe and Mail as well as on TV. The above issues as well as the negative side effects (irritability, nervousness, rapid heartbeat, sleep deprivation) are discussed.

In sport, studies have been done over the years on energy drinks versus sport drinks. It is an area that confuses most. The SIRC Collection contains the following articles that may help:

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Learning from Disappointment

Athletes and coaches can have good and bad days and they must learn how to deal with both. Knowing what can trigger disappointment and how to deal with it can be beneficial to athlete and coach as well as those around them. A recent article in Modern Athlete & Coach provides tips in both of these areas.

Factors leading to disappointment:
  • Unsatisfactory interpretation of results
  • Unsatisfactory interpretation of performance standard during competition or training
  • Missing training or competition.
  • Injury
  • Poor interpretation of training or missing training
  • Challenging or poor relationship between athlete and coach or between athletes
  • Inability to efficiently manage sport and life

Tips for managing disappointment:

  • De-briefing after every competition
  • Regular performance reviews
  • Looking at what has been accomplished
  • Developing a support network of professionals (mentors, psychologists)
  • Incorporating cross training
  • Linking performance to goals and time-plans
  • Philosophy that you do not know whether an event is good or bad until long after
  • Understanding that “disappointments” are part of sport

There are numerous factors that can lead to disappointment however managing it well can have a positive impact on coaches and athletes.

Klarica, Anthony. (2010) Dealing with Disappointment. Modern Athlete & Coach. 48(3), p.19.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Inclusion in Sport and Physical Activity

Everyone in Canada should have the opportunity to participate in sport and physical activity. It a recent ParticipACTION forum it was pointed out that those with disability can be expanded to those with limited access due to items like strollers or walkers. When this is taken into account statistics that state 1 in 6 Canadians have a disability can increase to much more. As a result it is important to create environments of inclusion making sure that activities are available and accessible to everyone.

A great resource that provides an overview of how to play a sport as well as modify it for inclusion is available on the Active Living Alliance for Canadians with a Disability website. Anything from badminton to triathlon can be adapted for inclusion.

Benefits for those with disability from participation in sport and physical activity include improvements in health and well-being, improved self-esteem and self-confidence, and improve mood. Inclusion in sport is researched in developing countries as well.

Practical resources are available that provide information on inclusion.

Easy Adaptation and Universal Design: All Abilities Welcome
Recreation Your Way: A Resource Guide Designed to Help Facilitate Inclusive Recreation in Your Community.
Resources Overview: Active Living Alliance for Canadians with a Disability

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Dry Land Training for Ice Speed

Although hockey season in not quite here yet, dry land training season is. Many young players are taking part in strength and speed training clinics in order that they may perform better on the ice come September. You will see them outside on the fields using agility ladders, step hurdles and even speed chutes to improve their performance on the ice. Experts suggest that dry land training for hockey players should start when the player hits the 12 to 14 year age group. This is when they can benefit the most from a fitness regime both on and off the ice. It will not only improve their ice speed but also help them to develop a harder shot.

Anaerobic endurance is one of the benefits of dry land training. This can be done by including running, jogging, cycling or skipping in your workout. But one of the most effective benefits of dry land training would be for power, strength and speed. These would be exercises that focus on the legs and core, such as sprints, squats, lunges and any abdominal exercises such as sit ups. To increase an athlete’s power resistance training is also important, as well as exercises such as the jump squat.

SIRC has lots of resources on dry land training as well as drills specifically suited for hockey. So before you strap on those skates for the hockey season, strap on those cross trainers and get outside and run, sprint, squat, lunge and jump and before you know it you will be the fastest player on the ice.
  • Jumping into plyometrics: 100 exercises for power & strength. Chu, Donald A. Human Kinetics, 1998.
  • THE SECRETS TO EUROPEAN DRY-LAND WORK. DIXON, RYAN, Hockey News 2009 Special Issue, p7
  • Training for high-performance collegiate ice hockey. / Entrainement pour la haute performance en hockey sur glace universitaire. Hedrick, A., Strength & Conditioning Journal Apr 2002: Vol. 24 Issue 2. p. 42-52
  • Ice hockey/roller hockey: in-season resistance training. Penn State Sports Medicine Newsletter Dec 1998: Vol. 7 Issue 4. p. 2
  • Intensive Hockey Camps establish new training benchmark. Hockey News 2/7/2006, Vol. 59 Issue 20, pHS41

Monday, July 19, 2010

Sportsmanship and Fair Play!

Check out the latest SIRC Newsletter - Sportsmanship and Fair Play!

Sportsmanship is something simple, visible, tangible and attainable. It’s when teammates, opponents, coaches and officials treat each other with respect. When everyone shares a mutual respect for the game it’s easy to see the benefits that participants in sports gain about fair play, courtesy and grace in loosing. Sportsmanship is a learned behavior, and it’s important that all coaches, officials and parents model, teach and lead by example. Over the last decade studies have shown that there has been a decline in sportsmanship and that professional and collegiate athletes only care about winning. With this trend, shouldn’t good sportsmanship be at the forefront just as much as fundamental movement skills when teaching sport?

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Safe Road Cycling

Cyclists and cars are often competing to use the same road space. Though many cities have started to build in safety features for cyclists including bicycle paths, bicycle lanes and signage, there are many things a cyclist must do to remain safe on the roadways. While it is recognized that the vehicle drivers also need to take responsibility for their behavior on the road in regards to bicyclists, a recent article from the SIRC Collection suggests the following 15 tips through which cyclists can ease the bike-car struggle.
  1. Choose appropriate routes for the time of day
  2. Take the space you are allowed
  3. Have the right skills for the situation
  4. Be very visible
  5. Report serious incidents to the police even when there is an accident
  6. Acknowledge when a driver does the right behavior
  7. Change were you are riding if you are having habitual accidents
  8. Take a cycling course if you are not an experienced commuter
  9. Seek a bike buddy or start a bike bus
  10. Bunches shouldn’t exceed 20 riders
  11. Know and obey the road rules
  12. Don’t push the rules in some situations
  13. Treat everyone as if they are about to do something stupid
  14. Defend bike riders sensibly
  15. Join a local cycling group that works with local government to improve cycling conditions

For more details, order the full article from SIRC: Bosch, Tanya (2010). Sharing the Road. Australian Cyclist, 35 (2), p.26-28.

For cycling information in Canada check in to the resources at the Canadian Cycling Association/Association cyclist canadienne

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Calling It Like It Is

If anyone was watching the FIFA World Cup final match this past weekend, they know that a referee’s job is not always easy. With a final match record 14 yellow cards and one red, emotions were riding high. So how do officials handle highly charged scenarios?

The referee plays a key role in soccer matches. His vigilance, concentration and authority on the pitch ensure the respect of the players and adherence – or enforcement of the Laws of the Game. This is true for any officiated sport. According to Sports Officials Canada and their Code of Conduct, officials are charged with emphasizing the spirit of the competition rather than its outcome, striving to provide a sportsman-like environment, and placing the safety and welfare of competitors above all else.

The following tips to prevent and resolve conflict are central to providing a competition focused on the sport itself as opposed to the personality of those participating.

Tips to prevent conflict:

  • Prevention is always better than cure! If action is taken early in the game, conflict is less likely to occur
  • Make competitors aware of your presence by reacting immediately to rule infringements (when appropriate)
  • Remain objective, no matter what prior knowledge of participants/teams an official has.
  • Be definite and firm with decisions and communication
  • Look sharp and act sharp - this will gain respect as an official
  • Don’t take criticisms personally. Remember that coaches and participants are seeing the game from a different perspective to the officials
  • At the beginning of the competition, provide structure and guidance, but also start a dialogue with the participants.
  • Acknowledge the participant’s abilities and experience, and invite constructive viewpoints from some participants
  • Speak clearly and firmly in heated situations. This will indicate confidence in managing the situation
  • Keep cool if the situation starts to get a bit heated

Tips to resolve conflict:

  • Be professional
  • Remain calm
  • Address the problem, not the emotions
  • Focus on the person
  • Be fair - avoid team or individual bias at all costs
  • Be confident and open
  • Be firm

References from the SIRC Collection:
Grunska, Jerry (2010). Enough is Enough: Where Should Officials Draw the Line on Coaches? Referee, 35 (2), p.62-63.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Exercising in a heat wave…

According to the news we are experiencing a heat wave in Ottawa. This means that we have three or more consecutive days of temperatures over 32ºC. However, the humidex is pushing it up to 44ºC and that is H-O-T!

How does this effect physical activity? It’s the summer, and for most their days and evening are made up of outdoor activities. Rising temperatures call for smart planning when preparing for exercise outdoors.

Stay hydrated! Heat and humidity will increase the amount of fluid loss from the body.
Morning exercise. This is the coolest time of day.
Acclimatize; start out slowly to let your body adjust to the heat.
Rest when you need to.
Think safety first. Heat stroke and other forms of heat illnesses are preventable.

There are many resources in the SIRC Collection about exercising in the heat. A few examples are:
  • Dreher, Beth. Heat Advisory. Runner’s World. 45 (8)Aug 2010: 27
  • Karp J. Exercising in the Heat. IDEA Fitness Journal. June 2010;7(6):26-29.
  • McDermott B, Casa D, Yeargin S, Ganio M, Armstrong L, Maresh C. Recovery and Return Activity Following Exertional Heat Stroke: Considerations for the Sports Medicine Staff. Journal of Sport Rehabilitation. August 2007;16(3):163-181.

Also, check out some of our online weather resources for additional information.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Tour de France is back…

Everywhere you look the world is talking about the FIFA World Cup but another race has started. The 2010 Tour de France began on July 3rd and will run until July 25th. For road cycling fans this is always an interesting race to watch. In its 97th year this race is broken down into 1 prologue and 20 stages covering 3,642km from Rotterdam to Paris.

The Tour is always exciting to follow. With the completion of stage one there is already controversy over who won the stage after a disastrous crash with only 3km left. Resources in the SIRC Collection such as Cycling Weekly and Bicycling Australia have been discussing the race for months. The following is a quick summary of what is sure to be fantastic race to follow over the next three weeks!

Race Route:
- 1 prologue
- 9 flat stages
- 6 mountain stages and 3 summit finishes
- 4 medium mountain stages
- 1 individual time trial stage
- 11 new stage towns

- 16 pre-selected teams
- 6 wildcard teams
- 9 riders per team
- 198 total competitors

Cycling Weekly listed the following as people to watch:
- Alberto Contador (Astana : Kazakhstan)
- Lance Armstrong (RadioShack / USA)
- Bradley Wiggins (Team Sky/ Great Britain)
- Andy Schleck (Saxo Bank: Denmark)
- Carlos Sastre (Cervelo: Switzerland)
- Denis Menchov (Rabobank: Netherlands)
- Ivan Basso (Liquigas: Italy)
- Cadel Evans (BMC Racing Team: USA)

Also, watch for these Canadians amongst the riders!
- Ryder Hesjedal (Garmin-Transitions: USA)
- Michael Barry (Team Sky: Great Britain)

Friday, July 2, 2010

Schools out for summer!!!

Well it is official, summer vacation has begun. How are you spending those crazy, hazy days of summer? How are you keeping your children entertained for the next 10 weeks? What are your vacation plans? Why not try an active vacation this year? Perhaps some adventure travel? Keeping you and your family active this summer is very important, so why not combine sport and adventure for your vacation.

Maybe sea kayaking in one of our Atlantic Provinces, white water rafting in Quebec, cycling in the Drumheller Badlands of Alberta or hiking in the Rockies of British Columbia? Tree top tours are the latest craze in family adventure travel and can even be done as a day trip in most areas of Canada. Haliburton Forest in Ontario has the world’s largest canopy boardwalk. Imagine being suspended 20 meters above the forest floor. Your children will forget all about their video games after an exciting day in the tree tops.

How about a multi-sport vacation? Whiteshell Provincial Park in Pinawa, Manitoba, offers golf, tennis, rafting, canoeing, hiking, sailing and geocaching. What is geocaching you ask? It is basically a high tech treasure hunt and will definitely keep your techno teens entertained, outside and active this summer. Participants use GPS devices and often traverse rocks, mountains and creeks to locate caches — usually a stash of trinkets and clues to the next location. It’s fun for the whole family!

To learn more about how you and your family can have an active vacation this summer check out these SIRC resources:
  • Adventure travel, running and triathlon. Active Woman Canada Sept/Oct 2004: Vol. 2 Issue 5. p. 10-12
  • Travel like a PRO. Broudy, Berne, Backpacker Mar2009, Vol. 37 Issue 2, p37
  • ADVENTURES GUIDE. Bicycling Jul2008, Vol. 49 Issue 6, p133

To learn more about geocaching check out these SIRC resources:

  • Teaching GPS Technology in Nature Education Programs. Bourdeau, Virginia, Camping Magazine Nov2007, Vol. 80 Issue 6, p1
  • SCAVENGER HUNTS GO HIGH TECH. Hontz, Jenny, Shape Jul2006, Vol. 25 Issue 11, p42
  • Over the River and through the Woods. Chavez, Deborah J.; Courtright, Rich; Schneider, Ingrid, Parks & Recreation Apr2004, Vol. 39 Issue 4, p68