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Michael Hanlon, Philip Kearney and Joan Condell

The spanning set technique quantifies intertrial variability as the span between polynomial curves representing upper and lower standard deviation curves of a repeated movement. This study aimed to assess the validity of the spanning set technique in quantifying variability and specifically to determine its sensitivity to variability presented at different phases of a movement cycle. Knee angle data were recorded from a male participant completing 12 overground running trials. Variability was added to each running trial at five different phases of the running stride. Ten variability magnitudes were also used to assess the effect of variability magnitude on the spanning set measure. Variability was quantified in all trials using mean deviation and the spanning set measure. Results of a repeated-measures ANOVA showed significant differences between the spanning set score for trials using different phases of added variability. In contrast, mean deviation values showed no difference related to the phase of added variability. Therefore, the spanning set technique cannot be recommended as a valid measure of intertrial movement variability.

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Paul Kinnerk, Stephen Harvey, Philip Kearney, Ciaran MacDonncha and Mark Lyons

Game Based Approaches (GBAs) have been advocated as pedagogies that positively impact athletes’ personal and social development, decision-making, tactical awareness and physical fitness. Despite the growing support for GBAs in the academic literature, evidence is currently lacking regarding the application of GBAs across different sports and developmental levels. Accordingly, the present study aimed to investigate Gaelic football coaches’ self-reported practice activities and session sequencing and assess how these aligned with benchmarks outlined in the GBA academic literature. In addition, coaches’ practice activities were examined as a function of developmental level (academy/developmental/senior) and time of the season (pre/peak). Responses to an online survey, completed by 150 practicing inter-county Gaelic football coaches, were analysed. During pre-season, coaches estimated spending the majority of time in Training Form activities (e.g., isolated fitness, technical skill), whereas they predominately utilised Playing Form activities (e.g., modified games) during peak-season. Coaches reported utilising Training Form activities in the first half of their coaching session before progressing to game like activities in the second half of the session. Few differences were noted across developmental levels. Further education with Gaelic football coaches is required to ensure a more sophisticated conceptual understanding and application of GBAs in coaches’ practice.