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Gylton Da Matta, Linda Gagen and Michael C. Rhoads

The purpose of this paper is to demonstrate the importance of using developmentally appropriate serving strategies that will promote the game of volleyball and facilitate learning while minimizing injury. A critical review of serving discusses the main developmental, maturational, and technical issues related to socialization and long-term development in volleyball. Teaching complex serving styles (such as the jump serve to athletes under the age of 14) might have implications for athletes’ long-term development and might lead to injury. The adoption of developmentally appropriate practices in coaching young athletes is still a novelty for many coaches. Therefore, this article stresses the importance of implementing adapted or modified games and of teaching skills in a progressive fashion to aid development.

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Linda M. Gagen, Kathleen M. Haywood and Steven D. Spaner

This study tested the hypothesis that scaling environmental objects can afford differently sized individuals the opportunity to make similarly effective movements with that object. Four similar tennis rackets were scaled to provide consistent differences in length, weight, and grip size. Children between 4 and 10 years of age were asked to strike with each racket for speed and accuracy. A significant relationship existed between body size and strength and the ability to both generate racket head speed and control the racket for an accurate strike; racket size and weight, however, were not significant factors in the ability to swing effectively.

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Nelson Cortes, James Onate, João Abrantes, Linda Gagen, Elizabeth Dowling and Bonnie Van Lunen

The purpose of this study was to assess kinematic lower extremity motion patterns (hip flexion, knee flexion, knee valgus, and ankle dorsiflexion) during various foot-landing techniques (self-preferred, forefoot, and rear foot) between genders. 3-D kinematics were collected on 50 (25 male and 25 female) college-age recreational athletes selected from a sample of convenience. Separate repeated-measures ANOVAs were used to analyze each variable at three time instants (initial contact, peak vertical ground reaction force, and maximum knee flexion angle). There were no significant differences found between genders at the three instants for each variable. At initial contact, the forefoot technique (35.79° ± 11.78°) resulted in significantly (p = .001) less hip flexion than did the self-preferred (41.25° ± 12.89°) and rear foot (43.15° ± 11.77°) techniques. At peak vertical ground reaction force, the rear foot technique (26.77° ± 9.49°) presented significantly lower (p = .001) knee flexion angles as compared with forefoot (58.77° ± 20.00°) and self-preferred (54.21° ± 23.78°) techniques. A significant difference for knee valgus angles (p = .001) was also found between landing techniques at peak vertical ground reaction force. The self-preferred (4.12° ± 7.51°) and forefoot (4.97° ± 7.90°) techniques presented greater knee varus angles as compared with the rear foot technique (0.08° ± 6.52°). The rear foot technique created more ankle dorsiflexion and less knee flexion than did the other techniques. The lack of gender differences can mean that lower extremity injuries (e.g., ACL tears) may not be related solely to gender but may instead be associated with the landing technique used and, consequently, the way each individual absorbs jump-landing energy.