Purpose: To examine the measurement properties of an adductor strength-assessment system in professional Australian footballers. Methods: Observational, longitudinal design. Test–retest reliability data were collected from 18 professional Australian footballers from 1 club on the same day during the 2017 Australian Football League season. Week-to-week variation data were collected on 45 professional Australian footballers from 1 club during the same season at 48, 72, and 120 h postmatch (rounds 1–23). Players lay beneath a GroinBar hip-strength testing system in supine position with their knee joints at an angle of 60°. Force (in newtons) was extracted for the left and right limbs of each player and a pain score from 0 to 10 (0 = no pain, 10 = maximum pain) was provided. Coefficient of variation (CV) and smallest worthwhile change were calculated on test–retest data. Signal-to-noise ratio was calculated for each major time point. Mean difference between force scores in a subgroup of players with and without groin pain (n = 18) was collected as evidence of construct validity for the system. Results: Test CV was 6.3% (4.9–9.0%). CV exceeded the smallest worthwhile change on both limbs. Intraclass correlation coefficient was .94. Signal-to-noise ratio ranged from 1.6 to 2.6 on average for 48, 72, and 120 h postmatch. Groin pain had a very likely moderate negative effect on adductor strength (effect size: 0.41). Conclusions: The system possesses greater measurement precision than dynamometry and sphygmomanometer adductor strength-assessment methods in professional Australian footballers. Increased groin pain reduced groin squeeze force production. Practitioners may interpret changes exceeding 6.3% in adductor strength as real.
Samuel Ryan, Thomas Kempton, Emidio Pacecca and Aaron J. Coutts
Samuel Ryan, Emidio Pacecca, Jye Tebble, Joel Hocking, Thomas Kempton and Aaron J. Coutts
Purpose: To examine the measurement reliability and sensitivity of common athlete monitoring tools in professional Australian Football players. Methods: Test–retest reliability (noise) and weekly variation (signal) data were collected from 42 professional Australian footballers from 1 club during a competition season. Perceptual wellness was measured via questionnaires completed before main training sessions (48, 72, and 96 h postmatch), with players providing a rating (1–5 Likert scale) regarding their muscle soreness, sleep quality, fatigue level, stress, and motivation. Eccentric hamstring force and countermovement jumps were assessed via proprietary systems once per week. Heart rate recovery was assessed via a standard submaximal run test on a grass-covered field with players wearing a heart rate monitor. The heart rate recovery was calculated by subtracting average heart rate during final 10 seconds of rest from average heart rate during final 30 seconds of exercise. Typical test error was reported as coefficient of variation percentage (CV%) and intraclass coefficients. Sensitivity was calculated by dividing weekly CV% by test CV% to produce a signal to noise ratio. Results: All measures displayed acceptable sensitivity. Signal to noise ratio ranged from 1.3 to 11.1. Intraclass coefficients ranged from .30 to .97 for all measures. Conclusions: The heart rate recovery test, countermovement jump test, eccentric hamstring force test, and perceptual wellness all possess acceptable measurement sensitivity. Signal to noise ratio analysis is a novel method of assessing measurement characteristics of monitoring tools. These data can be used by coaches and scientists to identify meaningful changes in common measures of fitness and fatigue in professional Australian football.