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José-Antonio Cecchini, Antonio Méndez-Giménez and Beatriz Sánchez-Martínez

The objective of the study was to analyze changes in motivation in physical education students during a school year, as well as changes in their intentions to be physically active. The participants were 830 Spanish physical education students (M age = 13.86, range = 11–17 years) attending 10 secondary schools in northern Spain. The sample was divided into two groups: TARGET condition (n = 417), in which Epstein’s TARGET strategies were applied, and non-TARGET condition (n = 413). Questionnaires were administered at three different times during the school year: T1 (September), T2 (February), and T3 (June). Mixed-model linear procedures with maximum likelihood estimates were carried out. In the TARGET condition group, the results showed an increase in students’ intrinsic motivation, identified regulation and introjected regulation, whereas external regulation and amotivation gradually decreased. In the non-TARGET condition group, a decrease in students’ intrinsic motivation and identified regulation emerged, as well as an increase in external regulation and amotivation.

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Jose Antonio, John Uelmen, Ramsey Rodriguez and Conrad Earnest

The purpose of this study was to determine the effects of the herbal preparation Tribulus terrestris (tribulus) on body composition and exercise performance in resistance-trained males. Fifteen subjects were randomly assigned to a placebo or tribulus (3.21 mg per kg body weight daily) group. Body weight, body composition, maximal strength, dietary intake, and mood states were determined before and after an 8-week exercise (periodized resistance training) and supplementation period. There were no changes in body weight, percentage fat, total body water, dietary intake, or mood states in either group. Muscle endurance (determined by the maximal number of repetitions at 100—200% of body weight) increased for the bench and leg press exercises in the placebo group (p < .05; bench press ±28.4%. leg press ±28.6%), while the tribulus group experienced an increase in leg press strength only (bench press ±3.1 %, not significant; leg press ±28.6%, p < .05). Supplementation with tribulus does not enhance body composition or exercise performance in resistance-trained males.

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Antonio García de Alcaraz, David Valadés and José M. Palao

Purpose:

To assess the evolution of the volleyball’s game demands throughout players’ development in men’s volleyball.

Methods:

A total of 150 sets and 6.671 rallies were analyzed. The sample was composed of 30 sets each by under-14, under-16, under-19, national senior, and international senior teams (1.291, 1.318, 1.310, 1.372, and 1.380 rallies for each category, respectively). Sets included in the sample were stratified and then randomly selected. The variables studied included play time, rest time, rallies played, jumps, hits, types of ball contact, types of game interruptions, performance of the game phases, and performance of the actions. Student t and Mann Whitney U tests were used to analyze specific differences between categories.

Results:

The results showed significant reductions in the play times of the rally (from 8.91 to 6.79 s) and the set (6 min 23 s to 4 min 30 s), significant increases in the rest times of the rally (19.64 to 26.53 s) and the set (13 min 44 s to 20 min 27 s), and a significant increase in the number of jumps per set (113.5 to 181.3). Significant improvements in the reception performance (1.57 to 2.45 out of 3), attack performance (2.13 to 2.67 out of 4), and side-out-phase success (48.4% to 69.6%) were found. Throughout the players’ development, data show an increase in the speed, intensity, and efficacy of the side-out phase.

Conclusions:

The findings provide reference values to guide athletes’ development and to monitor training and matches both physically and technically tactically.

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Ricardo Rebelo-Gonçalves, Manuel João Coelho-e-Silva, Vítor Severino, Antonio Tessitore and António José Barata Figueiredo

Studies focused on position-related characteristics of young soccer players often ignore the goalkeepers. The aim of this study was to examine the effect of playing position on anthropometry, physiological attributes, soccer skills, and goal orientation across adolescence. One hundred forty-five soccer players age 11–19 y were assessed in training experience, body size, maturation, physiological parameters, soccer skills, and goal orientation. Factorial ANOVA was used to test the effect of age group, playing position, and respective interaction terms, while analysis of variance was used to compare goalkeepers vs outfielders in middle (under 13 [U-13] and U-15) and late (U-17 and U-19) adolescence. Discriminant analysis was used to identify the variables that contributed to explaining playing positions. Age group was a consistent source of variation for all variables except task and ego orientations. Fat mass, agility, endurance, dribbling speed, shooting accuracy, and passing were affected by the gradient derived from the classification between goalkeepers and outfielders. It was possible to correctly classify the playing position based on fat-free mass and 3 manipulative skills in younger players and on 4 skills in U-17 and U-19 soccer players. Future research should include longitudinal information to improve our understanding of the factors that contribute to distinguish goalkeepers from outfielders.

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Miguel Angel Campos-Vazquez, Alberto Mendez-Villanueva, Jose Antonio Gonzalez-Jurado, Juan Antonio León-Prados, Alfredo Santalla and Luis Suarez-Arrones

Purpose:

To describe the internal training load (ITL) of common training sessions performed during a typical week and to determine the relationships between different indicators of ITL commonly employed in professional football (soccer).

Methods:

Session-rating-of-perceived-exertion TL (sRPE-TL) and heart-rate- (HR) derived measurements of ITL as Edwards TL and Stagno training impulses (TRIMPMOD) were used in 9 players during 3 periods of the season. The relationships between them were analyzed in different training sessions during a typical week: skill drills/circuit training + small-sided games (SCT+SSGs), ball-possession games + technical-tactical exercises (BPG+TTE), tactical training (TT), and prematch activation (PMa).

Results:

HR values obtained during SCT+SSGs and BPG+TTE were substantially greater than those in the other 2 sessions, all the ITL markers and session duration were substantially greater in SCT+SSGs than in any other session, and all ITL measures in BPG+TTE were substantially greater than in TT and PMa sessions. Large relationships were found between HR >80% HRmax and HR >90% HRmax vs sRPE-TL during BPG+TTE and TT sessions (r = .61−.68). Very large relationships were found between Edwards TL and sRPE-TL and between TRIMPMOD and sRPE-TL in sessions with BPG+TTE and TT (r = .73−.87). Correlations between the different HR-based methods were always extremely large (r = .92−.98), and unclear correlations were observed for other relationships between variables.

Conclusion:

sRPE-TL provided variable-magnitude within-individual correlations with HR-derived measures of training intensity and load during different types of training sessions typically performed during a week in professional soccer. Caution should be applied when using RPE- or HR-derived measures of exercise intensity/load in soccer training interchangeably.

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Oliver Gonzalo-Skok, Julio Tous-Fajardo, José Luis Arjol-Serrano, Luis Suarez-Arrones, José Antonio Casajús and Alberto Mendez-Villanueva

Purpose:

To examine the effects of a low-volume repeated-power-ability (RPA) training program on repeated-sprint and changeof-direction (COD) ability and functional jumping performance.

Methods:

Twenty-two male elite young basketball players (age 16.2 ± 1.2 y, height 190.0 ± 10.0 cm, body mass 82.9 ± 10.1 kg) were randomly assigned either to an RPA-training group (n = 11) or a control group (n = 11). RPA training consisted of leg-press exercise, twice a week for 6 wk, of 1 or 2 blocks of 5 sets × 5 repetitions with 20 s of passive recovery between sets and 3 min between blocks with the load that maximized power output. Before and after training, performance was assessed by a repeated-sprint-ability (RSA) test, a repeated-COD-ability test, a hop for distance, and a drop jump followed by tests of a double unilateral hop with the right and left legs.

Results:

Within-group and between-groups differences showed substantial improvements in slowest (RSAs) and mean time (RSAm) on RSA; best, slowest and mean time on repeated-COD ability; and unilateral right and left hop in the RPA group in comparison with control. While best time on RSA showed no improvement in any group, there was a large relationship (r = .68, 90% CI .43;.84) between the relative decrement in RSAm and RSAs, suggesting better sprint maintenance with RPA training. The relative improvements in best and mean repeated-COD ability were very largely correlated (r = .89, 90% CI .77;.94).

Conclusions:

Six weeks of low-volume (4–14 min/wk) RPA training improved several physical-fitness tests in basketball players.

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Oliver Gonzalo-Skok, Julio Tous-Fajardo, Luis Suarez-Arrones, José Luis Arjol-Serrano, José Antonio Casajús and Alberto Mendez-Villanueva

Purpose:

To compare the effects of unilateral and bilateral resistance training on single-leg power output, between-limbs imbalance (BLI), bilateral deficit (BLD), change of direction (COD), and linear sprinting and jumping performance in young elite basketball players.

Methods:

Twenty-two young (U-16–U-19) male basketball players were randomly assigned either to an exclusive unilateral (UNI) (n = 11) or a bilateral (BIL) (n = 11) resistance-training group during a 6-wk period. Both groups training consisted of 3 unilateral or bilateral 90° back-squat sets. A postdetermined number of repetitions was set until power output dropped to <10% of maximum power (MP) output. In addition, both groups performed 2 sets of 5 unilateral or bilateral drop jumps and 2 sets of 5 unilateral or bilateral countermovement jumps (CMJ). Pre- and posttraining, performance was assessed by an incremental bilateral and unilateral squat-load test, a multiple-COD test (V-cut test), a 15-m-sprint test (7.5 + 7.5 m) with one 180° COD performed with both right (180° RCOD) and left (180° LCOD) legs, a 25-m-sprint test (5- and 15-m split time), and a CMJ test.

Results:

Within-group analyses showed substantial improvements in 180° RCOD, bilateral and unilateral MP, 25-m-sprint test, and CMJ in both groups. Between-groups analyses showed substantially better results in 180° LCOD, MP with right and left legs, BLI, and BLD in UNI than in BIL.

Conclusions:

Both training programs substantially improved most of the physical-fitness tests, but only UNI reduced between-limbs asymmetry and achieved greater enhancements in actions that mostly required applying force unilaterally in basketball players.

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Pilar Mahedero, Antonio Calderón, José Luis Arias-Estero, Peter A. Hastie and Anthony J. Guarino

The purpose of the paper was to examine the effects of student skill level on knowledge, decision making, skill execution and game performance in a minivolleyball Sport Education season. Forty-eight secondary school students from two classes participated in a 12 lesson season. Knowledge, decision-making and skill execution (components of game play) were evaluated prior to and on completion of the season. Paired t test analysis showed that the game performance components of decision making and game play achieved significant gains. Further, results of the regression analyses detected that the sigmoidal model was indeed superior to the linear model for (a) skill execution, (b) game play, and (c) knowledge, by explaining 4.0, 2.8, and 3.25 times more of the variance respectively. That is, improvements of the highest and lowest skilled students were less significant than those of more moderate levels. This outcome, accompanied by a lack of general improvement in skill execution, suggests that future research should examine in more detail the progressive development of the tasks and learning experiences incorporated during seasons of Sport Education.

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Luis Miguel Ruiz, Jose Luis Graupera, Juan Antonio Moreno and Isabel Rico

The purpose of the current study was to explore social interaction preferences for learning in Physical Education (PE) among Spanish secondary students. The sample consists of 6,654 students (3,500 girls and 3,154 boys, aged 12–17 years) from public and private urban and rural schools in two communities in Spain. All participants completed the Graupera/Ruiz Scale of Social Interaction Preferences in PE Learning (GR–SIPPEL) which explores four learning preference dimensions: cooperation, competition, affiliation, and individualism. Results indicated that the ordinal profile of students’ preferences in PE classes was: cooperative (very high preference), competitive and affiliate (high-moderate preference), and individualistic (moderate-low preference). Gender differences emerged: girls were less competitive and individualistic than boys, and slightly more cooperative and affiliate. Weak grade level differences were also observed.

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Elena Pardos-Mainer, José Antonio Casajús, Chris Bishop and Oliver Gonzalo-Skok

Purpose: To examine the effects of an 8-week combined strength and power training intervention on physical performance and interlimb asymmetries in adolescent female soccer players. Methods: Thirty-seven adolescent female soccer players (age 16.1 [1.1] y) were randomly assigned to a control group (n = 18) or experimental group (n = 19). The experimental group performed combined strength and power training twice a week, which consisted of strength and power exercises that trained the major muscles of the lower body and trunk musculature. Preintervention and postintervention tests included unilateral and bilateral horizontal and countermovement jump tests, a 40-m sprint test (10- and 30-m split times), a 10-m sprint with a 180° change-of-direction (COD) test, and a multiple-COD test (V-cut test). Asymmetries were also analyzed in the unilateral tests. Results: Significant group-by-time interaction of the improvement between pretest and posttest was observed for speed (effect size [ES]: −1.30 to −1.16) and COD tests (ES: −0.62 to −0.61) but not in jumping (ES: −0.09 to 0.28) and interlimb-asymmetry tests (ES: −0.13 to 0.57). Conclusions: The short-term in-season combined strength and power training program induced greater speed and COD performance improvements than soccer training alone in adolescent female soccer players.