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  • Author: Jean-Benoit Morin x
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Bruno Marrier, Yann Le Meur, Julien Robineau, Mathieu Lacome, Anthony Couderc, Christophe Hausswirth, Julien Piscione and Jean-Benoît Morin

Purpose:

To compare the sensitivity of a sprint vs a countermovement-jump (CMJ) test after an intense training session in international rugby sevens players, as well as analyze the effects of fatigue on sprint acceleration.

Methods:

Thirteen international rugby sevens players completed two 30-m sprints and a set of 4 repetitions of CMJ before and after a highly demanding rugby sevens training session.

Results:

Change in CMJ height was unclear (–3.6%; ±90% confidence limits 11.9%. Chances of a true positive/trivial/negative change: 24/10/66%), while a very likely small increase in 30-m sprint time was observed (1.0%; ±0.7%, 96/3/1%). A very likely small decrease in the maximum horizontal theoretical velocity (V0) (–2.4; ±1.8%, 1/4/95%) was observed. A very large correlation (r = –.79 ± .23) between the variations of V0 and 30-m-sprint performance was also observed. Changes in 30-m sprint time were negatively and very largely correlated with the distance covered above the maximal aerobic speed (r = –.71 ± .32).

Conclusions:

The CMJ test appears to be less sensitive than the sprint test, which casts doubts on the usefulness of a vertical-jump test in sports such as rugby that mainly involve horizontal motions. The decline in sprint performance relates more to a decrease in velocity than in force capability and is correlated with the distance covered at high intensity.

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Pedro Jiménez-Reyes, Amador García-Ramos, Victor Cuadrado-Peñafiel, Juan A. Párraga-Montilla, José A. Morcillo-Losa, Pierre Samozino and Jean-Benoît Morin

Purpose: To compare the sprint mechanical force–velocity (F–V) profile between soccer and futsal players. A secondary aim was, within each sport, to study the differences in sprint mechanical F–V profile between sexes and players of different levels. Methods: A total of 102 soccer players (63 men) and 77 futsal players (49 men) who were competing from the elite to amateur levels in the Spanish league participated in this investigation. The testing procedure consisted of 3 unloaded maximal 40-m sprints. The velocity–time data recorded by a radar device were used to calculate the variables of the sprint acceleration F–V profile (maximal theoretical force [F 0], maximal theoretical velocity [V 0], maximal power [P max], decrease in the ratio of horizontal to resultant force [DRF], and maximal ratio of horizontal to resultant force [RFpeak]). Results: Futsal players showed a higher F 0 than soccer players (effect size [ES] range: 0.11–0.74), while V 0 (ES range: −0.48 to −1.15) and DRF (ES range: −0.75 to −1.45) was higher for soccer players. No significant differences were observed between soccer and futsal players for P max (ES range: −0.43 to 0.19) and RFpeak (ES range: −0.49 to 0.30). Men and high-level players presented an overall enhanced F–V profile compared with women and their lower-level counterparts, respectively. Conclusions: The higher F 0 and lower V 0 of futsal players could be caused by the game’s specific demands (larger number of accelerations but over shorter distances than in soccer). These results show that the sprint mechanical F–V profile is able to distinguish between soccer and futsal players.

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Bruno Marrier, Alexandre Durguerian, Julien Robineau, Mounir Chennaoui, Fabien Sauvet, Aurélie Servonnet, Julien Piscione, Bertrand Mathieu, Alexis Peeters, Mathieu Lacome, Jean-Benoit Morin and Yann Le Meur

Purpose: Preconditioning strategies are considered opportunities to optimize performance on competition day. Although investigations conducted in rugby players on the effects of a morning preconditioning session have been done, additional work is warranted. The aim of this study was to monitor changes in physical and psychophysiological indicators among international Rugby-7s players after a priming exercise. Methods: In a randomized crossover design, 14 under-18 international Rugby-7s players completed, at 8:00 AM, a preconditioning session consisting of a warm-up followed by small-sided games, accelerations, and 2 × 50-m maximal sprints (Experimental), or no preloading session (Control). After a 2-h break, the players performed a set of six 30-m sprints and a Rugby-7s match. Recovery–stress state and salivary stress-marker levels were assessed before the preloading session (Pre), immediately after the preloading session (Post 1), before the testing session (Post 2), and after the testing session (Post 3). Results: Experimental–Control differences in performance across a repeated-sprint test consisting of six 30-m sprints were very likely trivial (+0.2, ±0.7%, 3/97/1%). During the match, the total distance covered and the frequency of decelerations were possibly lower (small) in Experimental compared with Control. Differences observed in the other parameters were unclear or possibly trivial. At Post 2, the perceived recovery–stress state was improved (small difference) in Experimental compared with Control. No difference in salivary cortisol response was observed, while the preconditioning session induced a higher stimulation of salivary testosterone and α-amylase. Conclusions: The players’ ability to repeat sprints and physical activity in match play did not improve, but their psychophysiological state was positively affected after the present preconditioning session.