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Purpose: To assess the effect of match-day napping and duration of naps on perceptual and performance indices in elite female netball players over 2 consecutive netball seasons. Methods: A total of 14 elite female netball athletes (mean [SD]; age = 23 [6] y) participated in an observational study over 26 competition matches. On each match day, athletes provided information on their napping habits and perceived energy levels, then performed 3 countermovement jumps 3 h:30 min prior to the start of the match. One hour after the match, subjective player performance ratings from the players and 2 members of the coaching staff were obtained. Naps were characterized into 3 conditions for analysis: no nap (NN), <20-min nap (SHORT), and ≥20-min nap (LONG). Results: A significant difference in peak jump velocity was observed between the SHORT and the NN condition in favor of the shorter nap (3.23 [0.26] and 3.07 [0.36] m·s−1, respectively, d = 0.34, P < .05). A moderate, significant difference (d = 0.85; P < .05) was observed for the coach rating of performance (out of 10) between the SHORT and the NN condition (7.2 [0.8] and 6.4 [0.9], respectively) in favor of SHORT. Conclusions: The findings from the study would suggest that a short nap (<20 min) on the day of competition can enhance jump velocity and improve subjective performance in elite netball players, as assessed by coaching staff.

The authors are with the University of Waikato, Hamilton, New Zealand. O’Donnell is also with Waikato/BOP Magic Netball, Hamilton, New Zealand. Driller is also with High Performance Sport New Zealand, Auckland, New Zealand.

O’Donnell (shannonleaodonnell@gmail.com) is corresponding author.
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