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7 smart gifts for your sport science wish list

There is so much that goes on behind the scenes of impressive physical and athletic performances. Discover books that offer simple explanations of complex subjects such as exercise physiology, biomechanics, anatomy, and more. Describe which external forces most affect the distance of a thrown in modern shot-putting, or why it’s beneficial for endurance athletes to participate in strength training. These books are a perfect gift to add to your wish list and your library.

Practical Guide to Exercise Physiology, Second Edition

Practical Guide to Exercise Physiology, Second Edition by Robert Murray and W. Larry Kenney

Science comes to life with Practical Guide to Exercise Physiology, Second Edition! Taking an application-based approach, supported by vivid medical illustrations, this book provides a simple and straightforward way to learn the fundamentals of human physiology, metabolism, and nutrition.

Intricate physiological processes responsible for how the body responds and adapts to physical activity are described in an accessible manner so that readers can easily select appropriate training programs and explain them to others. Practical Guide to Exercise Physiology, Second Edition, is complemented by medical artwork that puts these complex systems into a digestible visual context. These systems are then applied to real-world practice and training principles that are beneficial to specific body systems to achieve the desired results.

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Kinetic Anatomy, Fourth Edition

Kinetic Anatomy, Fourth Edition by Robert S. Behnke and Jennifer L. Plant

Gain a firm concept of musculoskeletal anatomy by systematically assembling each component of the human body. Layer by layer, you will study bones, ligaments, joints, and muscles as well as the nerves and blood vessels that supply these muscles that are essential for movement. With full-color visual aids and activities that invite you to apply your understanding of structural anatomy to your own life, the fourth edition is ideally suited for readers studying physical activity because it explores how the structural anatomy of the human body facilitates movement.

Kinetic Anatomy, Fourth Edition, contains nearly 400 photos, illustrations, and infographics to help you visualize structural anatomy. Throughout the book, Hands On exercises instruct you to physically identify anatomical structures on yourself or on a partner, and Focus On sidebars illustrate circumstances in everyday activity that relate to the specific anatomical structures in the text. Pop quizzes provide an opportunity to strengthen your clinical reasoning skills by asking you to identify the muscles shown in the accompanying photo.

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Nerves, arteries, and veins of the heart and lungs
The respiratory center is a group of cell bodies located on each side of the medulla oblongata. Arising from these centers are two sets of nerves (figure 10.17): (1) the phrenic nerves, arising from the cervical plexus and leading to the diaphragm, and (2) the intercostal nerves, which innervate the intercostal muscles. When the respiratory center is stimulated by carbon dioxide, it sends an impulse over the phrenic nerves, causing the diaphragm to contract (pull downward) and increasing space in the thoracic cavity. At the same time, the intercostal nerves cause the intercostal muscles to contract, lifting the ribs and increasing the space within the thoracic cavity. This change in capacity of the thoracic cavity creates a change in atmospheric pressure, causing air to rush in and distend the lungs (inspiration).

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Women and Sport

Women and Sport, edited by Ellen Staurowsky

Women and Sport: Continuing a Journey of Liberation and Celebration focuses on women winning access to the playing field as well as the front office in sport. Discover how women have been involved in sport and physical activity, how they have struggled for widespread recognition and legitimacy in the eyes of many, and how they continue to carve out their role in shaping sport as we know it today and as it will be in the future.

Edited by renowned expert Ellen J. Staurowsky, widely accepted as an authority on college athlete rights and Title IX and gender equity, Women and Sport facilitates interdisciplinary, research-based discussion by providing a detailed account of contributions from women in sport. The text features a foreword by sport executive Donna Orender and 15 chapters written by leading authorities in women and gender studies in sport.

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The racial spin in tennis
In her book So Much to Live For, Althea Gibson, the African American athlete credited with breaking the color barrier at two of the most prestigious tennis events in the world, Wimbledon and the United States National Tournament (later to be called the U.S. Open), wrote, "Most of us who aspire to be tops in our fields don't really consider the amount of work required to stay tops" (Gibson & Curtis, 1968, p. 59). While Gibson's quotation was in reference to the work ethic and practice involved in maintaining champion status, we cannot help but wonder how her identity as an African American woman in the White, upper-class sport of tennis may have influenced her perspective. Years later, Venus and Serena Williams, also African American, would grace the same courts as Gibson with a stature, strength, and flair that were outside the conservative norm of tennis.

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Biomechanics of Sport and Exercise, Fourth Edition

Biomechanics of Sport and Exercise, Fourth Edition by Peter M. McGinnis

Biomechanics of Sport and Exercise, Fourth Edition, takes a unique approach to introducing exercise and sport biomechanics. Using simple terms, the book presents mechanics before functional anatomy, helping you first understand external forces and their effects on motion; then explores how the musculoskeletal system responds and generates its own internal forces to maintain position; and finally shows how to apply biomechanical principles to analyze movement and ultimately improve performance.

The fourth edition guides you to discover the principles of biomechanics through observation. Easy-to-understand experiments are presented for readers to try on their own. This practical approach—combining clear illustrations, sample calculations, and encouragement for active learning—helps you to develop a deeper understanding of the underlying mechanical concepts.

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Cycling Anatomy, Second Edition

Cycling Anatomy, Second Edition by Shannon Sovndal

Using the same methods that elite cyclists use, you can employ this well-rounded collection of 89 strength and conditioning exercises to maximize cycling power, speed, and endurance to improve your cycling performance. Each exercise includes clear step-by-step descriptions and full-color anatomical illustrations that highlight the primary muscle being used. You’ll find dozens of variations that use a wide range of training equipment so you can modify exercises to target specific areas, and minimize common cycling injuries.

The Cycling Focus section of each exercise includes illustrations of the active muscles involved in cornering, climbing, descending, and sprinting to show you how the exercises are fundamentally linked to delivering maximum power to the pedals. Using tried-and-true strength training principles for all parts of the body, Cycling Anatomy will help you develop a training plan based on your individual needs and goals.

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Assessment for Sport and Athletic Performance

Assessments for Sport and Athletic Performance by David H. Fukuda

Many scientific sport assessment resources are difficult to understand, can be time consuming to implement, and provide data that are difficult to analyze. Assessments for Sport and Athletic Performance effectively solves those problems in this practical, user-friendly guide to performance-based evaluation.

A perfect resource for coaches and fitness professionals, this book is a streamlined guide through the process of identifying appropriate tests for individuals or teams, making use of common low-cost equipment to administer the tests, interpreting data, adjusting training programs based on the results, and continually monitoring training.

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Be flexible with your approach to each athlete
While the phrase “garbage in, garbage out” illustrates that an informed decision requires accurate information, decision making without any, or with limited, input is simply guessing. The appropriate use of assessments by coaches and fitness professionals provides quality data that can inform the decision-making process. For example, a coach or fitness professional might notice that the client or athlete is noticeably slower toward the end of a soccer match and assume that this fatigued state is caused by a lack of aerobic conditioning. With this snap judgement, and without knowledge gleaned from a general fitness profile, the coach may select a course of action involving additional aerobic exercise that would take up valuable technical training time or extend the duration of an existing training session. However, periodic assessments, including those related to aerobic capacity or self-reported exertion/fatigue measures, might indicate that the individual was slower due to accumulated or residual fatigue and actually needed decreased training time or extended recovery.

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Applied Sport Mechanics, Fourth Edition

Applied Sport Mechanics, Fourth Edition by Brendan Burkett

Applied Sport Mechanics, Fourth Edition, will help you understand how the fundamental laws of human movement affect athletes’ performances. Foundational principles of kinetics, kinematics, and sports technique are clearly presented and then explored through a variety of applied scenarios.

Part I focuses on the fundamentals of sport mechanics. Major topics covered include the anatomy and fundamentals of sport mechanics, linear motion and linear kinetics in sport, angular motion and angular kinetics in sport, stability and instability, sport kinetics, and moving through fluids. Part II helps you apply the information you have learned, including how to observe and analyze an athlete’s technique and how to correct errors. You will learn how to break a skill into phases and what to look for in each phase. You will also learn the mechanical principles that will help athletes correct the errors. The book explores mechanics in a range of sport skills and techniques, including sprinting, jumping, swimming, lifting, throwing, and kicking.

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