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  • Author: Brendan J. O’Brien x
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Simon A. Feros, Warren B. Young, and Brendan J. O’Brien

Objectives: To evaluate the reliability and sensitivity of performance measures in a novel pace-bowling test. Methods: Thirteen male amateur-club fast bowlers completed a novel pace-bowling test on 2 separate occasions, 4–7 d apart. Participants delivered 48 balls (8 overs) at 5 targets on a suspended sheet situated behind a live batter, who stood in a right-handed and left-handed stance for an equal number of deliveries. Delivery instruction was frequently changed, with all deliveries executed in a preplanned sequence. Data on ball-release speed were captured by radar gun. A high-speed camera captured the moment of ball impact on the target sheet for assessment of radial error and bivariate variable error. Delivery rating of perceived exertion (0–100%) was collected as a measure of intensity. Results: Intraclass correlation coefficients and coefficients of variation revealed excellent reliability for peak and mean ball-release speed, acceptable reliability for delivery rating of perceived exertion, and poor reliability for mean radial error, bivariate variable error, and variability of ball-release speed. The smallest worthwhile change indicated high sensitivity with peak and mean ball-release speed and lower sensitivity with mean radial error and bivariate variable error. Conclusions: The novel pace-bowling test incorporates improvements in ecological validity compared with its predecessors and can be used to provide a more comprehensive evaluation of pace-bowling performance. Data on the smallest worthwhile change can improve interpretation of pace-bowling research findings and may therefore influence recommendations for applied practice.

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Simon A. Feros, Warren B. Young, and Brendan J. O’Brien

Objectives: To evaluate the current evidence regarding the quantification of cricket fast-bowling skill. Methods: Studies that assessed fast-bowling skill (bowling speed and accuracy) were identified from searches in SPORTDiscus (EBSCO) in June 2017. The reference lists of identified papers were also examined for relevant investigations. Results: A total of 16 papers matched the inclusion criteria, and discrepancies in assessment procedures were evident. Differences in test environment, pitch, and cricket ball characteristics; the warm-up prior to test; test familiarization procedures; permitted run-up lengths; bowling spell length; delivery sequence; test instructions; collection of bowling speed data; and collection and reportage of bowling accuracy data were apparent throughout the literature. The reliability and sensitivity of fast-bowling skill measures have rarely been reported across the literature. Only 1 study has attempted to assess the construct validity of its skill measures. Conclusions: There are several discrepancies in how fast-bowling skill has been assessed and subsequently quantified in the literature to date. This is a problem, because comparisons between studies are often difficult. Therefore, a strong rationale exists for the creation of match-specific standardized fast-bowling assessments that offer greater ecological validity while maintaining acceptable reliability and sensitivity of the skill measures. If prospective research can act on the proposed recommendations from this review, then coaches will be able to make more informed decisions surrounding player selection, talent identification, return to skill following injury, and the efficacy of short- and long-term training interventions for fast bowlers.

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Mitchell Mooney, Stuart Cormack, Brendan O’Brien, and Aaron J Coutts

Purpose:

The purpose of this study was to determine if Yo-Yo Intermittent Recovery level 2 (Yo-Yo IR2) and the number of interchange rotations affected the match activity profile of elite Australian footballers.

Method:

Fifteen elite Australian footballers completed the Yo-Yo IR2 before the beginning of the season and played across 22 matches in which match activity profiles were measured via microtechnology devices containing a global positioning system (GPS) and accelerometer. An interchange rotation was counted when a player left the field and was replaced with another player. Yo-Yo IR2 results were further split into high and low groups.

Results:

Players match speed decreased from 1st to 4th quarter, while average-speed (m/min: P = .05) and low-speed activity (LSA, <15 km/h) per minute (LSA m/min; P = .06) significantly decreased in the 2nd half. Yo-Yo IR2 influenced the amount of m/min, high-speed running (HSR, >15 km/h) per minute (HSR m/min) and accelerometer load/min throughout the entire match. The number of interchanges significantly influenced the HSR m/min and m/min throughout the match except in the 2nd quarter. Furthermore, the low Yo-Yo IR2 group had significantly less LSA m/min in the 4th quarter than the high Yo-Yo IR2 group (92.2 vs 96.7 m/min, P = .06).

Conclusions:

Both the Yo-Yo IR2 and number of interchanges contribute to m/min and HSR m/min produced by elite Australian footballers, affecting their match activity. However, while it appears that improved Yo-Yo IR2 performance prevents reductions in LSA m/min during a match, higher-speed activities (HSR m/min) and overall physical activity (m/min and load/min) are still reduced in the 4th quarter compared with the 1st quarter.

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Stuart J. Cormack, Renee L. Smith, Mitchell M. Mooney, Warren B. Young, and Brendan J. O’Brien

Purpose:

To determine differences in load/min (AU) between standards of netball match play.

Methods:

Load/min (AU) representing accumulated accelerations measured by triaxial accelerometers was recorded during matches of 2 higher- and 2 lower-standard teams (N = 32 players). Differences in load/min (AU) were compared within and between standards for playing position and periods of play. Differences were considered meaningful if there was >75% likelihood of exceeding a small (0.2) effect size.

Results:

Mean (± SD) full-match load/min (AU) for the higher and lower standards were 9.96 ± 2.50 and 6.88 ± 1.88, respectively (100% likely lower). The higher standard had greater (mean 97% likely) load/min (AU) values in each position. The difference between 1st and 2nd halves’ load/min (AU) was unclear at the higher standard, while lower-grade centers had a lower (−7.7% ± 10.8%, 81% likely) load/min (AU) in the 2nd half and in all quarters compared with the 1st. There was little intrastandard variation in individual vector contributions to load/min (AU); however, higher-standard players accumulated a greater proportion of the total in the vertical plane (mean 93% likely).

Conclusions:

Higher-standard players produced greater load/min (AU) than their lower-standard counterparts in all positions. Playing standard influenced the pattern of load/min (AU) accumulation across a match, and individual vector analysis suggests that different-standard players have dissimilar movement characteristics. Load/min (AU) appears to be a useful method for assessing activity profile in netball.