Abstract

Purpose: To investigate differences in athletes’ knowledge, beliefs, and training practices during COVID-19 lockdowns with reference to sport classification and sex. This work extends an initial descriptive evaluation focusing on athlete classification.

Methods: Athletes (12,526; 66% male; 142 countries) completed an online survey (May–July 2020) assessing knowledge, beliefs, and practices toward training. Sports were classified as team sports (45%), endurance (20%), power/technical (10%), combat (9%), aquatic (6%), recreational (4%), racquet (3%), precision (2%), parasports (1%), and others (1%). Further analysis by sex was performed.

Results: During lockdown, athletes practiced body-weight-based exercises routinely (67% females and 64% males), ranging from 50% (precision) to 78% (parasports). More sport-specific technical skills were performed in combat, parasports, and precision (∼50%) than other sports (∼35%). Most athletes (range: 50% [parasports] to 75% [endurance]) performed cardiorespiratory training (trivial sex differences). Compared to prelockdown, perceived training intensity was reduced by 29% to 41%, depending on sport (largest decline: ∼38% in team sports, unaffected by sex). Some athletes (range: 7%–49%) maintained their training intensity for strength, endurance, speed, plyometric, change-of-direction, and technical training. Athletes who previously trained ≥5 sessions per week reduced their volume (range: 18%–28%) during lockdown. The proportion of athletes (81%) training ≥60 min/session reduced by 31% to 43% during lockdown. Males and females had comparable moderate levels of training knowledge (56% vs 58%) and beliefs/attitudes (54% vs 56%).

Conclusions: Changes in athletes’ training practices were sport-specific, with few or no sex differences. Team-based sports were generally more susceptible to changes than individual sports. Policy makers should provide athletes with specific training arrangements and educational resources to facilitate remote and/or home-based training during lockdown-type events.

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Cite as

Washif, J., Sandbakk, Ø., Seiler, S., Haugen, T., Farooq, A., Quarrie, K., Janse van Rensburg, D., Krug, I., Verhagen, E., Wong, D., Mujika, I., Cortis, C., Haddad, M., Ahmadian, O., Al Jufaili, M., Al-Horani, R., Al-Mohannadi, A., Aloui, A., Ammar, A., Arifi, F., Aziz, A., Batuev, M., Beaven, C., Beneke, R., Bici, A., Bishnoi, P., Bogwasi, L., Bok, D., Boukhris, O., Boullosa, D., Bragazzi, N., Brito, J., Cartagena, R., Chaouachi, A., Cheung, S., Chtourou, H., Cosma, G., Debevec, T., DeLang, M., Dellal, A., Dönmez, G., Driss, T., Peña Duque, J., Eirale, C., Elloumi, M., Foster, C., Franchini, E., Fusco, A., Galy, O., Gastin, P., Gill, N., Girard, O., Gregov, C., Halson, S., Hammouda, O., Hanzlíková, I., Hassanmirzaei, B., Hébert-Losier, K., Muñoz Helú, H., Herrera-Valenzuela, T., Hettinga, F., Holtzhausen, L., Hue, O., Dello Iacono, A., Ihalainen, J., James, C., Joseph, S., Kamoun, K., Khaled, M., Khalladi, K., Kim, K., Kok, L., MacMillan, L., Mataruna-Dos-Santos, L., Matsunaga, R., Memishi, S., Millet, G., Moussa-Chamari, I., Musa, D., Nguyễn, H., Nikolaidis, P., Owen, A., Padulo, J., Pagaduan, J., Perera, N., Pérez-Gómez, J., Pillay, L., Popa, A., Pudasaini, A., Rabbani, A., Rahayu, T., Romdhani, M., Salamh, P., Sarkar, A., Schillinger, A., Setyawati, H., Shrestha, N., Suraya, F., Tabben, M., Trabelsi, K., Urhausen, A., Valtonen, M., Weber, J., Whiteley, R., Zrane, A., Zerguini, Y., Zmijewski, P., Ben Saad, H., Pyne, D., Taylor, L. & Chamari, K. 2022, 'COVID-19 lockdown:a global study investigating the effect of athletes’ sport classification and sex on training practices', International Journal of Sports Physiology and Performance, 17(8), pp. 1242-1256. https://doi.org/10.1123/ijspp.2021-0543

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Last updated: 03 August 2022
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