United States Sports Academy
America's Sports University®

The Sport Digest - ISSN: 1558-6448

volume 16 number 4

MRSA - Attacking Athletes Everywhere

Athletes are facing an attack from a new competitor. This competitor can be deadly. This competitor is called MRSA – Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus Aureus Bacteria – commonly known as “Staph Infection”.

Today it seems that athletes have a new opponent to contend with and it is not another athlete from an opposing team. This nasty bacteria does not respond to commonly prescribed antibiotics and attacks the body fast. According to infectious-disease experts from the CDC – this germ is as tough and resilient as the athletes it attacks.

Sport: Grounded in Science

Today, one can see that physical training for sport-performance has become very scientific. Coaches and athletes must have a thorough understanding of human movement, the biomechanics and the physiology involved and how these scientific concepts and factors apply specifically to sport-performance.

By studying the dimensions of the mechanics and the proper execution of a movement, one can come to realize the importance of the physical factors that are at play. These physical factors are all based on physical laws and principles of physics. Knowledge and understanding of these physical factors provide a scientific foundation for the training programs for sport-performance.

Sport Education is the Key to Managing Catastrophic Sports Injuries


Physical activity and sport by their very nature include inherent risks leading to injuries for many individuals who participate (1). Most sports injuries encountered by young athletes are minor in nature, but when an injury is extensive enough to be categorized as catastrophic it can be devastating to those involved.

Fortunately, catastrophic injuries are rare, but it remains important to be aware of the remote possibility of their occurrence and the need for shared the responsibility for the management of such injuries. All who are involved should assume a strong sense of accountability for the healthcare and safety of young athletes participating in physical activity and sports.

Impact of Drug Testing in High School Sports

With the sport supplement industry last year alone topping out at over $6.1bn, up 7.5 percent from 2006, it is hard to imagine what percentage of this total amount was purchased by athletes 18 years of age and younger. A large part of the athletic culture in high school is now consumed by the image of the shredded athlete who will grace the cover of a major publication, or one of the many commercials showing an athlete who is bigger, faster and stronger.

It is not surprising that due to this popular media image of what an athlete should look like, many of today’s youth athletes are turning to illegal drugs at an alarming rate to achieve what they may consider a measure of success. Research by Calfee and Fadale (2005) showed that up to one third of high school students who use anabolic steroids are in the population of non-athletes who use steroids to improve appearance (as cited in Buckley et al., 1988, p. 3441). Current estimates put the number of US athletes taking some form of illegal drug or steroids specifically at 1 to 3 million (Silver, 2001). One can only imagine how this number breaks down to the high school and middle school level.

Elite athlete training and immune system


There is both anecdotal and epidemiological evidence that regular moderate exercise reduces the risk of infections by having a positive effect on the immune system( Pacque, Booth, Ball, & Dwyer, 2007). Couple physiological factors and changes associated wit peak performance and relationship with elite athletic performance. Several studies have examined various physiological responses associated with the cardiorespiratory, metabolic, hormonal, neuromuscular and immunological systems during the pre-event taper across a number of sports (Mujika, Padilla, Pyne, & Busso, 2004).

Man or Technology?

The May 2008 Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) ruling opened the way for South African sprinter Oscar Pistorius to attempt to qualify for the 2008 Olympic Games. The implication of the CAS ruling could alter the world of track and field as it currently exists. Pistorius, a double amputee, had been banned from competing in International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) sanctioned events against able-bodied athletes in January 2008. At issue for the IAAF, track and fields world governing body is whether Pistorius’ use of technology provided him with an unfair advantage over able-bodied runners (CAS, 2008).

The technology in question, carbon-fiber cheetah flex-foot prosthetics, according to the IAAF, violated a competition rule prohibiting the use of technical devices that incorporate springs, wheels or any other element that provides the user with an advantage (IAAF, 2008). The IAAF’s decision was based on an Italian laboratory’s examination of a videotape of a Pistorius race held in Rome and a two-day biomechanical examination conducted in Cologne, Germany (CAS, 2008).

Peak Performance in Elite Tae-kwon-do Athlete


In 2008, Taekwondo became recognized as an official sport at the Begin Olympics. Taekwondo is a full contact free-sparring sport which awards points for head contact. Weight cycling is a term used to describe rapid weight loss following self-induced food limitation and/or dehydration. Both gradual (seasonal) and rapid (weekly) weight reduction cycles are used by athletes, and have been investigated for potential effects on nutrition and performance (Mohsen Heather,& Young ,2005). These cycles are used in various sports such as judo, rowing, wrestling, and boxing in order to make a weight category. Like many of these sports, Taekwondo consists of repeated-effort, high intensity physical demands. Although the World Taekwondo Federation has eight distinct weight classes per gender for all competitions and championships except for the Olympic Games, no rulings have been implemented to address weight cycling in the sport (Mohsen, Heather, & Young , 2005).Overtraining syndrome is a neuroendocrine disorder characterized by poor performance in competition, inability to maintain training loads, persistent fatigue, reduced catecholamine excretion, frequent illness, disturbed sleep and alterations in mood state(MacKinnon, 2000).

Yoga Teaching Techniques Helping Yoga Practice

The Practice of Yoga is teaching the mind to be steady or to be calm, without distraction, fixed on the sound and quality of breath (Fronske, 2005). Certain techniques are considered to be important yoga teaching methods. They are deep breath, self-massage, and attention to instructor’s words.

Deep breathing is important to perform during the practice of yoga (Ferretti, 2007). Deep breathing is performed by breathing deep through the nose. When teaching yoga, deep breathing helps the progress of smoothly practicing yoga postures. Weber (2007) indicated that a healthy lymphatic flow is one of the body’s fundamental defense mechanisms against infection. Deep breathing during Asana is a major stimulator of the lymphatic flow.