The Use of Sprint Tests for Assessment of Speed Qualities of Elite Australian Rules Footballers

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Warren Young
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Andrew Russell
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Peter Burge
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Alex Clarke
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Stuart Cormack
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Glenn Stewart
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Purpose:

The purpose of this study was to determine the relationships between split times within sprint tests over 30 m and 40 m in elite Australian Rules footballers.

Methods:

Data were analyzed from two Australian Football League (AFL) clubs. The first club (n = 35) conducted a 40-m sprint test and recorded split times at 10 m and 20 m. The second club (n = 30) conducted a 30-m sprint test and recorded splits at 10 m and 20 m. Analyses included calculation of Pearson correlations and common variances between all the split times as well as “flying” times (20–40 m for the first club and 20 to 30 m for the second club).

Results:

There was a high correlation (r = 0.94) between 10-m time and 20-m time within each club, indicating these measures assessed very similar speed qualities. The correlations between 10-m time and times to 30 m and 40 m decreased, but still produced common variances of 79% and 66% respectively. However when the “flying” times (20–40 m and 20–30 m) were correlated to 10-m time, the common variances decreased substantially to 25% and 42% respectively, indicating uniqueness.

Conclusions:

It was concluded that 10-m time is a good refection of acceleration capabilities and either 20 to 40 m in a 40-m sprint test or 20 to 30 m in a 30-m sprint test can be used to estimate maximum speed capabilities. It was suggested that sprint tests over 30 m or 40 m can be conducted indoors to provide useful information about independent speed qualities in athletes.

Young is with the School of Human Movement & Sport Sciences, University of Ballarat, Ballarat, Victoria, Australia; Russell, Burge, and Clarke are with the Hawthorn Football Club, Mt. Waverly, Victoria, Australia; and Cormack and Stewart are with the West Coast Eagles Football Club, Subiaco, W.A.

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