Fostering second grade pupils' "ability to think, make judgments, and express themselves" through lessons on "exercises to create various movements" under the "new lifestyle" in elementary school during the COVID-19 pandemic: a case study The present article reports on some trials intended to foster second grade pupils’"ability to think, make judgements, and express themselves" (MEXT, 2018a, pp. 43-44) in lessons on "exercises to create various movements," (MEXT, 2018a, pp. 40-43) under the "new lifestyle" (MEXT, 2020b) in elementary school during the COVID-19 pandemic. The outcomes of these lessons were validated by reviewing the lessons and analyzing comments that the pupils wrote on handouts. In July 2020, lessons on “exercises to create various movements” were held in the second grade class of an elementary school. For the lessons, a teacher of the class designed learning activities that emphasized the pupils’ interacting with their peers, taking over the teaching in classes of Living Environment Studies and Physical Education held in 2019. In the lessons, learning activities were set in which the pupils played with plastic bags or balloons, identified their friends’ good movements, and tried to incorporate them into their own movements. Verification of learning outcomes from these lessons suggested that most pupils could make use of characteristics of the teaching materials, observed their friends in order to find good movements, and adapted what they had seen to their own movements. The results suggest that teachers can foster the pupils’ “ability to think, make judgments, and express themselves” in lessons on “exercises to create various movements” under the “new lifestyle” in elementary school by 1) focusing on learning to find good movements of friends through several learning units, and 2) taking over the learning outcomes in other subjects or in other learning units for the lessons.
The influence of mini-hurdle training on a 30-m sprint time of university baseball players The purpose of the present study was to investigate influences of mini-hurdle training on the 30-m sprint time of university baseball players. The participants, 17 male university baseball players (age 20.9±0.8 yr, body height 174.6 ± 5.9 cm, body weight 68.7 ± 6.2 kg), were assigned to either a mini-hurdle training (n=9) group or a sprint-training (n=8) group. Each group engaged in the training 10 times a session, with 3 sessions a week for 4 weeks. The training effect was evaluated by having the participants run a 30-m sprint. The measures were 30-m sprint time, and step frequency (SF) and stride length (SL) during the 30-m sprint. The results were as follows: #The change in the 30-m sprint time for the mini-hurdle training group was -1.71±1.37%, whereas it was -0.47±1.17% for the sprint-training group. The difference in the amount of change between the two groups was significant (p<0.1). #In the mini-hurdle training group, the SF of the players whose SL had been good tended to improve, and the SL of the players whose SF had been good and players who had done well on both measures, also tended to improve. On the other hand, the results on these measures were equivocal for the participants in the sprint-training group. The present results suggest that mini-hurdle training may be superior to sprint training for improving baseball players’ sprinting, even though it is sprint training that has traditionally been included in the general training of baseball players. However, training effect on the 30-m sprint may differ depending on the players’ performance prior to the training.
Long-term basketball free throw training with a reduced diameter hoop: Effects on the free throw performance of university women players The present study investigated effects of long-term free throw training using a basket with a hoop smaller than standard. The measure was the percentage of successful free-throws during a competition. The participants were seven members of a university women’s basketball team. The training was conducted once a week for 8 months (April through November, 2017), using a hoop with a diameter 10 cm less than the standard size. The goal of the training was successfully sinking 10 shots. By the final training session, the percentage of direct free throws that did not hit the rim improved compared to the women’s scores before the training. Also, in the All Japan University Basketball Championship, which was held from November to December 2017, just after the participants had completed this training, 75.4% of their free throws were successful. These results suggest that the long-term free throw training may have been effective for improving their free throw performance in the competition. However, the effect of this type of training may be limited for players who are already good at direct shooting without hitting the rim.
Suggestions of exercising with a water-bag before batting: rubber-ball baseball The present study investigated the brief reports to suggest an exercise with a water-bag before batting in male collegiate rubber-ball baseball. The participants were ten players with more than ten years' experience in baseball competitions. In the exercise, after the participants performed ten repetitions of a twisting motion with a water-bag weighing 3 kg, they swung the bat as fast as they could. After their exercise, they described how they felt about using the water-bag and whether they thought it had influenced their swing velocity. Many of the participants reported a feeling of being twisted around by the water in the bag. They also felt some change in their lower trunk. After they exerted the exercise, they felt that their lower trunk rotated more smoothly and faster than their arms. It seemed to them that their batting swing became faster. All participants agreed that the water-bag exercise was more effective than ordinary exercise with a training bat. The participants’ impressions suggest that exercising with a water-bag before their batting may have positively influenced a batter's swing velocity.
Effects of dual-task exercises using Moto tiles on the functional fitness and cognitive function of older adults living in the community
The purpose of the present study was to examine effects on the physical and cognitive functions of older adults living in the community of a dual-task exercise that combines exercise and cognitive tasks using Moto tiles, that is, 10 interactive tiles with built-in LED lights that are said to improve the balance, strength, endurance, mobility, and agility of older adults. The participants, 21 older adults, completed the memory domain items of the basic checklist (KCL) of the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare and, on the basis of the results, were divided into two groups: 12 with no decline (Group 1) and 9 with decline (Group 2). The following functional fitness parameters were examined: 30-sec chair stand (CS30), functional reach (FR), timed up-and-go (TUG), and 20-sec march test cycle time (pace, right foot, left foot), and the coefficient of variation (CV) was calculated. Cognitive function was evaluated using a simple reaction task, a Go/No-go reaction time task, the Eriksen flanker task, and the color-word Stroop task. The participants did the exercises twice a week for 12 weeks at the local community center. A repeated measures ANOVA showed a time effect for the 30-second chair stand, functional reach, timed up-and-go, checklist total scores, and the memory and physical domain scores on the checklist. The coefficient of variation of the left leg walking cycle during the 20-sec march test decreased significantly. After exercise, the changes in checklist total scores and cognitive region scores were larger in Group 2 than in Group 1. However, no significant change was observed on any of the cognitive function tests. In the present study, the group-based dual-task exercise for these older adults was associated with some improvement in their functional fitness and living function, so these exercises seem to be useful as a community-based exercise. However, further studies are required on the effects of the exercises on cognitive function.
Propulsion force of swimmers’ hands and mechanical power in sprint training
The present study reports a quantitative evaluation of the mechanical power (Pk) of the propulsion force of the hands of swimmers when doing sprint training for swimming competitions. The participants were 5 male university swimmers. The swimmers did four kind of sprint training (a push-off trial, a float trial, an assist trial, and a resist trial), once each. During these trials, three-dimensional motion analyses were conducted including measurement of the distribution of pressure and motion capture. The swimming speed in the assist trials was significantly higher than in the other three trials, but the average propulsion force of the swimmers’ hands and their mechanical power were significantly lower. No significant differences were found in average propulsion force or mechanical power in the push-off trials, float trials, and resist trials, but significantly higher maximum propulsion force was found in the resist trials compared to the other trials. In conclusion, the present study enabled a quantitative evaluation of features of 4 methods of sprint training. It is suggested that, for effective training, swimmers and coaches should be more aware of the positive and negative aspects of each of these methods.
Preliminary study of effects of a video delay playback device and problems associated with implementation of the device with a wrestling team
The present study is a preliminary investigation with wrestling teams of an automatic video delay playback device, in order to obtain information prior to the introduction of the device in more open-skill events. Effects of the video delay playback device on the performance of the athletes and on the training environment, and problems with using it were examined from the viewpoint of the wrestlers, coaches, and trainers. The participants were 17 wrestlers, 4 coaches, and 3 trainers from a university wrestling club. When initially asked to describe problems that they had during wrestling practice, 13 of the wrestlers answered that there were occasions in which they were unable to understand why they had received a particular score. Next, the video delay playback device was used for two months and then evaluated by the participants. Of the 13 wrestlers who had answered that there had been occasions in which they were unable to understand why they had received a particular score, 11 reported that using the delay playback device had reduced the number of such occasions. Although some improvements were made in the device, it seems that by introducing the automatic video delay playback device into the wrestlers’ training, the number of occasions in which the athletes did not understand a score that they had received might decrease. The wrestlers’, coaches’, and trainers’ evaluations of the device were generally good, which suggests that it may be effective for skill acquisition and coaching.
A proposed method for softball players to judge how a team should best handle hit balls
The present study investigated a method for softball players as a group to judge how to handle a hit ball by focusing on spatiotemporal information and communications among the players. The participants were 10 female university softball players whose positions were pitcher, catcher, first base, second base, third base, and shortstop. The present study was conducted in an actual softball field in a condition in which there were no outs and a runner on first base. It was proposed that the batter would make a sacrifice bunt, and the participants were requested to judge which player, that is, the pitcher, the catcher, the first baseman, or the third baseman, should catch the ball, and which player (first base or second base) the ball should be thrown to. The participants’ decisions about which player was responsible for handling the ball depended on their prediction of the location that the ball had been hit to. If it were hit into an area that a specific player handled, that player then would declare her intention to catch and throw the ball. On the other hand, if it were hit into an area that more than one player handled, the player who would catch and throw the ball called out to the others that she would do so and, in addition, gave instructions to the other players. Furthermore, estimates of the time required to catch the ball and the speed of the runner were used to judge which base to throw the ball to. These results suggest that it may be important to identify the time required to catch balls in order to make correct judgments as to the optimum base to throw the ball to.
Athletic rehabilitation and recovery process of the lower limb of a 64-year-old female masters short-distance runner who had had knee surgery
The present report describes the results of athletic rehabilitation (AR) and a rebound jump (RJ) test for evaluating the effects of surgery to reconstruct the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) of the left knee of a 64-year-old female masters short-distance runner. The report also evaluates the validity and key points of this attempt. The objective of the athletic rehabilitation was to enable the runner to regain the ability to execute extension-contraction cycles in her lower limb. The exercise program combined drop jumps and rebound jumps. A rebound jump test was conducted during the period between 157 and 308 days after the surgery. The recovery dynamics of performance variables were evaluated with a polynomial trend curve. When the runner did a left lower limb rebound jump, her ground contact time was extended because, when she landed, her knee could not support her weight, and her rebound jump power did not change. Then, taking into account the rebound jump test results and the participant’s comments, the load was increased gradually by fine tuning the content of the athletic rehabilitation. Starting 200 days after the operation, her ground contact time shortened; it stabilized after approximately 250 days. Around 250 days after the operation, her rebound jump power had recovered to a level that enabled her to participate in competitions. Furthermore, 260 days after the operation, she achieved full return to her previous condition and participated in an official 100-meter dash competition. Since then, she has continued to improve.
Coaching a gymnast in the Zou Li Min (on one arm, giant swing forward with 1/1 turn to el-grip and 1/1 turn) on the horizontal bard
The present report describes exercises and coaching techniques for the Zou Li Min performed on the horizontal bar in order to demonstrate effects of an exercise method devised by the first author. The participant was a university student gymnast who had not previously done a Zou Li Min. After practicing the new exercise method, the participant was able to perform a Zou Li Min. This suggests that practicing this exercise method might enable gymnasts to do the Zou Li Min.