Sports Science

Why do some people, chess players or musicians, practice less but attain more?

In the 1990s, under the guise of wage protectionism, the Clinton administration got legislation passed that made it far more difficult for immigrants to get a work visa.  The concern was that a foreign worker would work in the US for less.  Result overall: Jobs instead went overseas.

Impact in science; we now spend $5 billion a year on STEM programs, trying to convince American children who are inclined to be doctors that they should instead be scientists, while foreign science students educated in the US are forced to go back home where they become competitors to the US.

Cornelius McGillicuddy, Sr., better known as Connie Mack, once said that pitching is 75 percent of baseball.  He was speaking from experience, not data, and looks can be deceiving, as people who think a curve ball move two feet can attest, but science is about understanding the world according to data, and that includes baseball.   The data say he is wrong, according to a new analysis by a University of Delaware professor. Pitching is just 25 percent of a team's success.

A recent study fed rats homobrassinolide, found in the mustard plant, which produced an anabolic effect, and increased appetite and muscle mass, as well as the number and size of muscle fibers.  

So maybe you can get ripped by gardening a little more. Homobrassinolide, a type of brassinosteroid found in plants, given orally to rats triggered a response similar to anabolic steroids, with minimal side effects. In addition, the research found that the stimulatory effect of homobrassinolide on protein synthesis in muscle cells led to increases in lean body mass, muscle mass and physical performance.

Many people exercise to improve the health of their hearts. Now, researchers have found a link between your heart rate just before and during exercise and your chances of a future heart attack.

Just the thought of exercise raises your heart rate. The new study shows that how much it goes up is related to the odds of you eventually dying of a heart attack.

More than 300,000 people die each year from sudden cardiac arrest in the U.S., often with no known risk factors. Being able to find early warning signs has been the goal of researchers like Professor Xavier Jouven, of the Hopital Européen Georges Pompidou in Paris.

Here’s a question for your buddies at the next golf outing or bowling league night: Are we more active because we drink more or do we drink more because we’re more active? Recent research showed that there is a correlation between the two, but could not offer a solid reason.

Either way, another study claims the combination of moderate alcohol use and exercise will help our hearts more than just choosing one over the other.
The highest paid player in baseball has the last name "Rodriguez" and 3 of the top 10 highest paid players in major league baseball are black - but major league umpires are racist, argues Johan Sulaeman, a financial economist at Southern Methodist University.

They looked at 3.5 million pitches from 2004 to 2008 and found that minority pitchers are so convinced white MLB umpires call strikes more often for white pitchers than for minority pitchers that they throw 'safe' pitches and therefore hurt their own performance.
In football, if you are a lineman, you are going to give and take a lot of hits - but running backs really get punished.  
Almost half of recreational runners drink too much fluid during races, showing many athletes hold unscientific views regarding the benefits of different hydration practices .

Expert guidelines recommend runners drink only when thirsty but a recent Loyola survey found that 36.5 percent of runners drink according to a preset schedule or to maintain a certain body weight and 8.9 percent drink as much as possible.
Most baseball general managers live in obscurity most of their careers.  Its their first hire, the manager, that usually gets the red hot spotlight, after every win and loss, second-guessed by reporters with recorders and then later by fans.  The GM puts the players on the field and lets the manager and his coaches take it from there.