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  • Author: Yann Le Mansec x
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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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Yann Le Mansec, Jérôme Perez, Quentin Rouault, Julie Doron and Marc Jubeau

Purpose: To evaluate the effects of muscle fatigue on badminton performance during a smash stroke. Methods: In total, 17 young, well-trained players completed 20 forehand smashes twice (prefatigue and postfatigue protocol), and both speed and precision of the strokes were measured. The fatigue protocol consisted of 10 series of 10 maximal countermovement jumps (3-s rest in between) followed by 8 lunges. Perception of effort and countermovement-jump performance during each series were also measured to assess fatigue. Results: Shuttlecock speed decreased moderately (−3.3%) but significantly after the fatigue protocol (P < .001, ηp2=.671). Precision significantly decreased after the fatigue protocol (−10.3%, P = .001, ηp2=.473). The decrease in precision was mainly due to an increased number of faults (P = .006, ηp2=.378, d z = 0.756) and to a decrease in accuracy (P = .066, ηp2=.195, d z = 0.478). Conclusion: The present study showed that fatigue impairs 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 interventions aiming to limit the negative impact of fatigue on badminton strokes.