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Yann Le Mansec, Sylvain Dorel, Antoine Nordez and Marc Jubeau

Purpose:

To develop a simple, reliable, and sensitive test to measure stroke performance (ball speed and accuracy) in table tennis.

Methods:

Fifty-two players were divided into 3 groups in accordance with their level: expert (EG), advanced (AG), and inexperienced (IG). The test consisted of 45 forehand shots where players were asked to reach 3 targets. The test was performed 2 times (separated by 8 min) during the first session (n = 52) to assess intrasession reliability. A second session (n = 28), at least 3 d later, was performed to test intersession reliability. Both speed and accuracy of the ball were measured to evaluate the absolute sensitivity and reliability of the specific test.

Results:

This study showed good reliability of the specific test for both ball speed and accuracy of EG and AG (ICC range .42–.96, CV range 2.0–9.0%). However, the reliability is low for IG. Ball speed and accuracy were greater in EG than in the other groups, and both variables were correlated with the level of the players.

Conclusion:

Results suggest that the specific test appears to be a simple and sensitive procedure to assess stroke performance in table tennis and that this test could be a relevant tool for coaches in table tennis.

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Thomas Cattagni, Clément Billet, Christophe Cornu and Marc Jubeau

Context: Prolonged tendon vibration may induce muscle fatigue, as assessed by a decrease in maximal force production. It remains unknown, however, whether the decrease in muscle strength after prolonged Achilles tendon vibration is related to the vibration frequency. Objective: To assess the maximal capacity of plantar-flexor (PF) neuromuscular function before and after prolonged Achilles tendon vibration at low and high frequencies generated using a portable device. Design: Pre- and posttest intervention with control.Setting: University laboratory. Participants: 10 healthy men age 22.6 ± 4.0 y. Intervention: Each subject participated in 3 experimental sessions that were randomly distributed and separated by 1 wk. During each experimental session, 1 of the following vibration protocols was applied for 30 min: 40-Hz vibration, 100-Hz vibration, or no vibration (control protocol). Main Outcome Measures: Maximal-voluntary-contraction torque, voluntary activation level, twitch torque, maximal electromyographic activity, and maximal M-wave of PF muscles (measured before and after each vibration or control protocol).Results: Statistical analysis exhibited no significant effect of vibration protocol on the measured variables. Conclusions: The current study demonstrates that 30 min of Achilles tendon vibration at a low or high frequency using a portable stimulator did not affect the neuromuscular performance of the PF muscles. These results emphasize the limits of tendon vibration, whatever the frequency applied, for inducing neuromuscular fatigue.

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Yann Le Mansec, Jérôme Perez, Quentin Rouault, Julie Doron and Marc Jubeau

Purpose:

The main aim of the present study was to evaluate the effects of muscle fatigue on badminton performance during a smash stroke.

Methods:

Seventeen young well-trained players completed twenty forehand smash twice (pre and post fatigue protocol) and both speed and precision of the strokes were measured. The fatigue protocol consisted in ten series of ten maximal counter movement jump (CMJ, 3 s rest in-between) followed by eight lunges. Perception of effort and CMJ performance during each series were also measured to assess fatigue.

Results:

Shuttlecock speed decreased moderately (-3.3%) but significantly after the fatigue protocol (P<0.001, ηp 2=0.671). Precision significantly decreased after the fatigue protocol (-10.3%, P=0.001, ηp 2=0.473). The decrease in precision was mainly due to an increased number of faults (P=0.006, ηp 2=0.378, dz=0.756) and to a decrease in accuracy (P=0.066, ηp 2=0.195, dz=0.478).

Conclusion:

The present study showed that fatigue impairs the performance during specific badminton skills. Moreover, by showing a slight decrease in speed and a large decrease in accuracy of the shuttlecock when fatigue is experienced, the present study suggested that, as previously observed in other racket sports, the speed of the missile appears to be the key factor used by the players to win the rally. Coaches and physical trainers should therefore develop intervention aiming to limit the negative impact of fatigue on badminton strokes.