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Christopher Thomas, Paul A. Jones and Paul Comfort

Purpose:

To determine the reliability of the Dynamic Strength Index (DSI) in college athletes.

Method:

Nineteen male college athletes performed the squat jump (SJ) and isometric midthigh pull (IMTP) to determine peak force, on 2 separate days. Reliability was assessed by intraclass correlation coefficient (ICC), typical error (TE), percentage change in the mean, smallest worthwhile change (SWC), and coefficient of variation (%CV).

Results:

Peak force for the SJ was 2137 ± 499 N and 2781 ± 435 N for the IMTP, resulting in a mean DSI of 0.78 ± 0.19. Peak forces in the SJ (ICC = .99, TE = 57.22 N, change in mean = 0.2%, SWC = 4.7%, CV = 2.6%) and IMTP (ICC = .95, TE = 104.22 N, change in mean = 0.5%, SWC = 3.1%, CV = 3.8%) were considered highly reliable between sessions. However, IMTP peak force was the only variable with an overall TE < SWC. The DSI was also highly reliable (ICC = .97, TE = 0.03, change in mean = −0.3%, SWC = 5.1%, CV = 4.6%) between sessions.

Conclusion:

This study demonstrates that peak force in the SJ and IMTP are reliable, resulting in a reliable assessment of dynamic-force-production capabilities via the DSI. The DSI may be used to guide individualized training interventions and monitor specific adaptations to training. Changes in SJ peak force, IMTP peak force, and DSI were >4.67%, 3.13%, and 5.13%, respectively, identifying meaningful changes in response to training or competition.

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Paul Potrac and Robyn. L Jones

This paper seeks to illuminate the micropolitical strategies that Gavin (a pseudonym) used in an attempt to persuade the players, the assistant coach, and the chairman at Erewhon City Football (soccer) Club to “buy into” his coaching program and methods. Data for the study were collected through in-depth, semistructured interviews, and a reflective log relating to those interviews. The interviews were transcribed verbatim with the subsequent transcripts being subject to a process of inductive analysis. Ball’s (1987) micropolitical perspective, Kelchtermans’ and Ballet’s (2002a, 2002b) work on micropolitical literacy, and Goffman’s (1959) writings on the presentation of the self, are used to make theoretical sense of the specific strategies used by Gavin in an attempt to persuade the players to see the merits of his coaching.

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Paul J. McCarthy and Marc V. Jones

This focus group study examined the sources of enjoyment and nonenjoyment among younger and older English children in the sampling years of sport participation (ages 7–12). Concurrent inductive and deductive content analysis revealed that, consistent with previous research, younger and older children reported sources of enjoyment such as perceived competence, social involvement and friendships, psychosocial support, and a mastery-oriented learning environment. Nonenjoyment sources included inappropriate psychosocial support, increasing competitive orientation, negative feedback and reinforcement, injuries, pain, and demonstrating a lack of competence. Differences between younger and older children’s sources of enjoyment and nonenjoyment also emerged. Younger children reported movement sensations as a source of enjoyment and punishment for skill errors and low informational support as nonenjoyment sources. Older children reported social recognition of competence, encouragement, excitement, and challenge as sources of enjoyment with rivalry, overtraining, and high standards as sources of nonenjoyment. These differences underscore the importance of tailoring youth sport in the sampling years to the needs of the child.

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John J. McMahon, Paul A. Jones and Paul Comfort

Purpose:

To determine the concurrent validity and reliability of the popular Just Jump system (JJS) for determining jump height and, if necessary, provide a correction equation for future reference.

Methods:

Eighteen male college athletes performed 3 bilateral countermovement jumps (CMJs) on 2 JJSs (alternative method) that were placed on top of a force platform (criterion method). Two JJSs were used to establish consistency between systems. Jump height was calculated from flight time obtained from the JJS and force platform.

Results:

Intraclass correlation coefficients (ICCs) demonstrated excellent within-session reliability of the CMJ height measurement derived from both the JJS (ICC = .96, P < .001) and the force platform (ICC = .96, P < .001). Dependent t tests revealed that the JJS yielded a significantly greater CMJ jump height (0.46 ± 0.09 m vs 0.33 ± 0.08 m) than the force platform (P < .001, Cohen d = 1.39, power = 1.00). There was, however, an excellent relationship between CMJ heights derived from the JJS and force platform (r = .998, P < .001, power = 1.00), with a coefficient of determination (R 2) of .995. Therefore, the following correction equation was produced: Criterion jump height = (0.8747 × alternative jump height) – 0.0666.

Conclusions:

The JJS provides a reliable but overestimated measure of jump height. It is suggested, therefore, that practitioners who use the JJS as part of future work apply the correction equation presented in this study to resultant jump-height values.

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Christopher Thomas, Paul Comfort, Paul A. Jones and Thomas Dos’Santos

Purpose:

To investigate the relationships between maximal isometric strength, vertical jump (VJ), sprint speed, and change-of-direction speed (CoDS) in academy netball players and determine whether players who have high performance in isometric strength testing would demonstrate superior performance in VJ, sprint speed, and CoDS measures.

Method:

Twenty-six young female netball players (age 16.1 ± 1.2 y, height 173.9 ± 5.7 cm, body mass 66.0 ± 7.2 kg) from a regional netball academy performed isometric midthigh pull (IMTP), squat jumps (SJs), countermovement jumps (CMJs), 10-m sprints, and CoDS (505).

Results:

IMTP measures displayed moderate to strong correlations with sprint and CoDS performance (r = –.41 to –.66). The VJs, which included SJs and CMJs, demonstrated strong correlations with 10-m sprint times (r = –.60 to –.65; P < .01) and CoDS (r = –.60 to –.71; P = .01). Stronger players displayed significantly faster sprint (ES = 1.1–1.2) and CoDS times (ES = 1.2–1.7) and greater VJ height (ES = 0.9–1.0) than weaker players.

Conclusion:

The results of this study illustrate the importance of developing high levels of lower-body strength to enhance VJ, sprint, and CoDS performance in youth netball players, with stronger athletes demonstrating superior VJ, sprint, and CoDS performances.

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Thomas Dos’Santos, Christopher Thomas, Paul A. Jones and Paul Comfort

Purpose:

To investigate the within-session reliability of bilateral- and unilateral-stance isometric midthigh-pull (IMTP) force–time characteristics including peak force (PF), relative PF, and impulse at time bands (0–100, 0–200, 0–250, and 0–300 milliseconds) and to compare isometric force–time characteristics between right and left and dominant (D) and nondominant (ND) limbs.

Methods:

Professional male rugby league and multisport male college athletes (N = 54; age, 23.4 ± 4.2 y; height, 1.80 ± 0.05 m; mass, 88.9 ± 12.9 kg) performed 3 bilateral IMTP trials and 6 unilateral-stance IMTP trials (3 per leg) on a force plate sampling at 600 Hz.

Results:

Intraclass correlation coefficients (ICCs) and coefficients of variation (CVs) demonstrated high within-session reliability for bilateral and unilateral IMTP PF (ICC = .94, CV = 4.7–5.5%). Lower reliability measures and greater variability were observed for bilateral and unilateral IMTP impulse at time bands (ICC = .81–.88, CV = 7.7–11.8%). Paired-sample t tests and Cohen d effect sizes revealed no significant differences for all isometric force–time characteristics between right and left limbs in male college athletes (P >.05, d ≤ 0.32) and professional rugby league players (P > .05, d ≤ 0.11); however, significant differences were found between D and ND limbs in male college athletes (P < .001, d = 0.43–0.91) and professional rugby league players (P < .001, d = 0.27–0.46).

Conclusion:

This study demonstrated high within-session reliability for unilateral-stance IMTP PF, revealing significant differences in isometric force–time characteristics between D and ND limbs in male athletes.

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Christopher Thomas, Thomas Dos’Santos, Paul A. Jones and Paul Comfort

Purpose:

The purpose of this investigation was to determine the reliability of the 30-15 Intermittent Fitness Test (30-15IFT) in semiprofessional soccer players.

Methods:

Fourteen male semiprofessional soccer players performed the 30-15IFT on 2 occasions separated by 7 d. Reliability was assessed by intraclass correlation coefficient (ICC), typical error of measurement expressed as a coefficient of variation (CV), and smallest worthwhile change (SWC) to determine any significant difference between testing sessions.

Results:

Maximal intermittent running velocity (VIFT) demonstrated good reliability (ICC = .80) for between-sessions reliability. The CV was 2.5% for between-sessions reliability of the 30-15IFT. As the SWC (0.70 km/h) falls within the range in which the individual’s true score is likely to lie (1.0 km/h), the usefulness of the VIFT was rated as marginal. Despite the usefulness of the 30-15IFT being deemed marginal, a change in performance as small as 1.0 km/h (2 stages) in VIFT could be considered substantial or real.

Conclusion:

This study demonstrates that VIFT in the 30-15IFT is reliable, resulting in a reliable assessment of team-sport-specific cardiorespiratory fitness, with changes as small as 1.0 km/h (2 stages) in VIFT considered meaningful.

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Paul Comfort, Paul. A. Jones, John J. McMahon and Robert Newton

The isometric midthigh pull (IMTP) has been used to monitor changes in force, maximum rate of force development (mRFD), and impulse, with performance in this task being associated with performance in athletic tasks. Numerous postures have been adopted in the literature, which may affect the kinetic variables during the task; therefore, the aim of this investigation was to determine whether different knee-joint angles (120°, 130°, 140°, and 150°) and hip-joint angles (125° and 145°), including the subjects preferred posture, affect force, mRFD, and impulse during the IMTP. Intraclass correlation coefficients demonstrated high within-session reliability (r ≥ .870, P < .001) for all kinetic variables determined in all postures, excluding impulse measures during the 130° knee-flexion, 125° hip-flexion posture, which showed a low to moderate reliability (r = .666–.739, P < .001), while between-sessions testing demonstrated high reliability (r > .819, P < .001) for all kinetic variables. There were no significant differences in peak force (P > .05, Cohen d = 0.037, power = .408), mRFD (P > .05, Cohen d = 0.037, power = .409), or impulse at 100 ms (P > .05, Cohen d = 0.056, power = .609), 200 ms (P > .05, Cohen d = 0.057, power = .624), or 300 ms (P > .05, Cohen d = 0.061, power = .656) across postures. Smallest detectable differences demonstrated that changes in performance of >1.3% in peak isometric force, >10.3% in mRFD, >5.3% in impulse at 100 ms, >4.4% in impulse at 200 ms, and >7.1% in impulse at 300 ms should be considered meaningful, irrespective of posture.

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Olivia R. Barber, Christopher Thomas, Paul A. Jones, John J. McMahon and Paul Comfort

Purpose:

To determine the reliability of the 505 change-of-direction (COD) test performed with both a stationary and a flying start.

Methods:

Fifty-two female netball players (age 23.9 ± 5.4 y, height 169.9 ± 3.3 cm, body mass 65.2 ± 4.6 kg) performed 6 trials of the 505 COD test, 3 with a flying start and 3 with a stationary start, once per week over a 4-wk period to determine within- and between-sessions reliability.

Results:

Testing revealed high within-session reliability for the stationary start (ICC = .96–.97) and for the flying start (ICC = .90–.97). Similarly, both the stationary start (ICC = .965) and the flying start (ICC = .951) demonstrated high reliability between sessions, although repeated-measures analysis of variance (P < .001) revealed learning effects between sessions for both tests. Performances stabilized on day 2 for the static start and on day 3 for the flying start.

Conclusions:

The 505 COD test is a reliable test in female netball players, with either a stationary or flying start. Smallest detectable differences of 3.91% and 3.97% for the stationary start and the flying start, respectively, allow practitioners to interpret whether changes in time taken to complete the 505 COD test reflect genuine improvements in performance or are measurement errors. It is suggested that 1 d of familiarization testing be performed for the stationary start and 2 d of familiarization for the flying start, to minimize learning effects.

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Thomas Dos’Santos, Paul A. Jones, Jonathan Kelly, John J. McMahon, Paul Comfort and Christopher Thomas

Purpose:

Skeletal-muscle function can be evaluated using force–times curves generated via the isometric midthigh pull (IMTP). Various sampling frequencies (500–1000 Hz) have been used for IMTP assessments; however, no research has investigated the influence of sampling frequency on IMTP kinetics. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to investigate the influence of sampling frequency on kinetic variables during the IMTP, including peak force, time-specific force values (100, 150, and 200 ms), and rate of force development (RFD) at 3 time bands (0–100, 0–150, 0–200 ms).

Methods:

Academy rugby league players (n = 30, age 17.5 ± 1.1 y, height 1.80 ± 0.06 m, mass 85.4 ± 10.3 kg) performed 3 IMTP trials on a force platform sampling at 2000 Hz, which was subsequently down-sampled to 1500, 1000, and 500 Hz for analysis.

Results:

Intraclass correlation coefficients (ICC) and coefficients of variation (CV) demonstrated high within-session reliability for all force and RFD variables across all sampling frequencies (ICC ≥ .80, CV ≤ 10.1%). Repeated-measures analysis of variance revealed no significant differences (P > .05, Cohen d ≤ 0.009) in kinetic variables between sampling frequencies. Overall, high reliability was observed across all sampling frequencies for all kinetic variables, with no significant differences (P > .05) for each kinetic variable across sampling frequencies.

Conclusions:

Practitioners and scientists may consider sampling as low as 500 Hz when measuring peak force, time-specific force values, and RFD at predetermined time bands during the IMTP for accurate and reliable data.