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Jan Boone and Jan Bourgois

Purpose:

The current study aimed to gain insight into the physiological profile of elite basketball players in Belgium in relation to their position on the field.

Methods:

The group consisted of 144 players, divided into 5 groups according to position (point guards [PGs], shooting guards [SGs], small forwards [SFs], power forwards [PFs], and centers [Cs]). The anthropometrics were measured and the subjects underwent fitness tests (incremental running test, 10-m sprint, 5 ×-10 m, squat and countermovement jump, isokinetic test) to obtain insight into endurance, speed, agility, and power. The parameters of these tests were compared among the different positions by means of 1-way variance analysis (MANOVA). Tukey post hoc tests were performed in case of a significant MANOVA.

Results:

It was observed that Cs were taller and heavier and had a higher percentage body fat than PGs and SGs. For the anaerobic sprint test Cs were slower than the other positions. For the 5 × 10-m the PGs and SGs were faster than SFs and PFs. For the jump test Cs displayed a significantly lower absolute performance than the other positions. PGs and SGs had a higher VO2peak and speed at the anaerobic threshold than PFs and Cs. The isokinetic strength test showed that the quadriceps muscle group of Cs could exert a higher torque during knee extension than the other positions.

Conclusions:

The current study showed that the physiological profile of elite players in the Belgian first division differs by player position. More specifically, guards were characterized by high endurance, speed, and agility, whereas centers and power forwards had higher muscle strength than the other positions.

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James Zois, David Bishop and Rob Aughey

High-intensity, short-duration warm-up techniques improve acute physical performance, but sparse research has examined their consequence when followed by intermittent activity, which is pertinent to team sports. The authors compared a 5-repetition-maximum (5RM) leg-press, a small-sided game (SSG), and a current team-sport warm-up in 10 semiprofessional soccer players after 2 intermittent-activity protocols consisting of 15 repetitions of a 60-s circuit that included sprinting, slalom, walking, jogging, decelerations, changes of direction, backward running, and striding activities. There was a large improvement in countermovement-jump height in the 5RM after the 1st intermittent-activity protocol (mean, ±90% CL 6.0, ±4.0%, P = .03) and a small improvement after the 2nd (4.6, ±4.0%, P = .04) compared with team sport. Reactive agility was moderately faster via 5RM after the 1st intermittent-activity protocol (3.1, ±2.6%: P = .04) and the 2nd (5.7, ±2.7%, P = .001) than via SSG. There was a small improvement in reactive agility after the 1st intermittent-activity protocol in the 5RM, compared with team sport (3.3, ±2.9%, P = .04). There was a small improvement in mean 20-m-sprint times after both intermittent-activity protocols in the 5RM, compared with SSG (4.2, ±2.0%, P = .01, and 4.3, ±2.0%, P = .01) and, after the 1st intermittent-activity protocol only, compared with team sport (4.2, ±2.1%, P = 0.02). Small increases in blood lactate concentration were observed (46.7, ±18.6%, P = .01) in the 5RM compared with the SSG after the 2nd intermittent-activity protocol. Improved performances after the 5RM warm-up should encourage practitioners to reduce activity time and include high-intensity tasks in team-sport warmups aimed at inducing a potentiating effect.

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Jaime Fernandez-Fernandez, David Sanz, Jose Manuel Sarabia and Manuel Moya

Purpose:

To compare the effects of combining high-intensity training (HIT) and sport-specific drill training (MT) versus sportspecific drill training alone (DT) on fitness performance characteristics in young tennis players.

Methods:

Twenty young tennis players (14.8 ± 0.1 y) were assigned to either DT (n = 10) or MT (n = 10) for 8 wk. Tennis drills consisted of two 16- to 22-min on-court exercise sessions separated by 3 min of passive rest, while MT consisted of 1 sport-specific DT session and 1 HIT session, using 16–22 min of runs at intensities (90–95%) related to the velocity obtained in the 30–15 Intermittent Fitness Test (VIFT) separated by 3 min of passive rest. Pre- and posttests included peak oxygen uptake (VO2peak), VIFT, speed (20 m, with 5- and 10-m splits), 505 Agility Test, and countermovement jump (CMJ).

Results:

There were significant improvements after the training period in VO2peak (DT 2.4%, ES = moderate; MT 4.2%, ES = large) and VIFT (DT 2.2%, ES = small; MT 6.3%, ES = large) for both DT and MT, with no differences between training protocols. Results also showed a large increase in the 505 Agility Test after MT, while no changes were reported in the other tests (sprint and CMJ), either for MT or DT.

Conclusions:

Even though both training programs resulted in significant improvements in aerobic performance, a mixed program combining tennis drills and runs based on the VIFT led to greater gains and should be considered the preferred training method for improving aerobic power in young athletes.

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Juan Del Coso, Alberto Pérez-López, Javier Abian-Vicen, Juan Jose Salinero, Beatriz Lara and David Valadés

There are no scientific data about the effects of caffeine intake on volleyball performance. The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of a caffeine-containing energy drink to enhance physical performance in male volleyball players. A double-blind, placebo-controlled, randomized experimental design was used. In 2 different sessions separated by 1 wk, 15 college volleyball players ingested 3 mg of caffeine per kg of body mass in the form of an energy drink or the same drink without caffeine (placebo). After 60 min, participants performed volleyball-specific tests: standing spike test, maximal squat jump (SJ), maximal countermovement jump (CMJ), 15-s rebound jump test (15RJ), and agility T-test. Later, a simulated volleyball match was played and recorded. In comparison with the placebo drink, the ingestion of the caffeinated energy drink increased ball velocity in the spike test (73 ± 9 vs 75 ± 10 km/h, P < .05) and the mean jump height in SJ (31.1 ± 4.3 vs 32.7 ± 4.2 cm, P < .05), CMJ (35.9 ± 4.6 vs 37.7 ± 4.4 cm, P < .05), and 15RJ (29.0 ± 4.0 vs 30.5 ± 4.6 cm, P < .05). The time to complete the agility test was significantly reduced with the caffeinated energy drink (10.8 ± 0.7 vs 10.3 ± 0.4 s, P < .05). In addition, players performed successful volleyball actions more frequently (24.6% ± 14.3% vs 34.3% ± 16.5%, P < .05) with the ingestion of the caffeinated energy drink than with the placebo drink during the simulated game. A caffeine-containing energy drink, with a dose equivalent to 3 mg of caffeine per kg body mass, might be an effective ergogenic aid to improve physical performance and accuracy in male volleyball players.

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Patrick Delisle-Houde, Nathan A. Chiarlitti, Ryan E.R. Reid and Ross E. Andersen

Ice hockey is a physically demanding contact sport that requires players to perform repeated bouts of high-energy output shifts lasting 30 to 80 seconds. 1 , 2 Ice hockey players are required to develop many physical attributes such as speed, agility, and flexibility to perform optimally in the

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Michael Wilkinson, Damon Leedale-Brown and Edward M. Winter

Purpose:

We examined the validity and reproducibility of a squash-specifc test designed to assess change-of-direction speed.

Methods:

10 male squash and 10 male association-football and rugby-union players completed the Illinois agility run (IAR) and a squash change-of-direction-speed test (SCODS) on separate days. Tests were repeated after 24 h to assess reproducibility. The best time from three attempts was recorded in each trial.

Results:

Performance times on the IAR (TE 0.27 s, 1.8%, 90% CI 0.21 to 0.37 s; LOA -0.12 s ± 0.74; LPR slope 1, intercept -2.8) and SCODS (TE 0.18 s, 1.5%, 90% CI 0.14 to 0.24 s; LOA 0.05 s ± 0.49; LPR slope 0.95, intercept 0.5) were reproducible. There were no statistically significant differences in performance time between squash (14.75 ± 0.66 s) and nonsquash players (14.79 ± 0.41 s) on the IAR. Squash players (10.90 ± 0.44 s) outperformed nonsquash players (12.20 ± 0.34 s) on the SCODS (P < .01). Squash player rank significantly correlated with SCODS performance time (Spearman’s ρ = 0.77, P < .01), but not IAR performance time (Spearman’s ρ = 0.43, P = .21).

Conclusions:

The results suggest that the SCODS test is a better measure of sport-specific capability than an equivalent nonspecific field test and that it is a valid and reliable tool for talent identification and athlete tracking.

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Peggy M. Roswal, Claudine Sherrill and Glenn M. Roswal

This study compared the effectiveness of data based and creative dance pedagogies in relation to motor skill performance and self-concept of mentally retarded students. Subjects (N=35) were moderately mentally retarded males and females, ages 11 to 16 years, in special education classes. Their mean age was 12.88 years in the data based group and 13.47 years in the creative dance group. Excluding testing, the study lasted 8 weeks. Each group received 40 lessons of 30 minutes each. Data based pedagogy was based on the work of Dunn, Morehouse, and Dalke (1979), and creative dance pedagogy was based primarily on the work of Riordan (Fitt & Riordan, 1980). Pretest and posttest data were collected through administration of the Data Based Dance Skills Placement Test, selected subtests of the Cratty Six-Category Gross Motor Test, and the Martinek-Zaichkowsky Self-Concept Scale. Multivariate analysis of covariance revealed no difference between pedagogies. The group means indicated improvement in dance skill performance but not in self-concept or body perception, balance, and gross and locomotor agility.

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Avery D. Faigenbaum, Jie Kang, James McFarland, Jason M. Bloom, James Magnatta, Nicholas A. Ratamess and Jay R. Hoffman

Although pre-event static stretching (SS) is an accepted practice in most youth programs, pre-event dynamic exercise (DY) is becoming popular. The purpose of this study was to examine the acute effects of pre-event SS, DY, and combined SS and DY (SDY) on vertical jump (VJ), medicine-ball toss (MB), 10-yard sprint (SP), and pro-agility shuttle run (AG) in teenage athletes (15.5 ± 0.9 years). Thirty athletes participated in three testing sessions in random order on three nonconsecutive days. Before testing, participants performed 5 min of walking/jogging followed by one of the following 10 min warm-up protocols: a) five static stretches (2 × 30 s), b) nine moderate-to-high-intensity dynamic movements (2 × 10 yards), or c) five static stretches (1 × 30 s) followed by the same nine dynamic movements (1 × 10 yards). Statistical analysis of the data revealed that performance on the VJ, MB, and SP were significantly (p < .05) improved after DY and SDY as compared with SS. There were no significant differences in AG after the 3 warm-up treatments. The results of this study indicate that pre-event dynamic exercise or static stretching followed by dynamic exercise might be more beneficial than pre-event static stretching alone in teenage athletes who perform power activities.

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Robert H. Wood, Rafael Reyes-Alvarez, Brian Maraj, Kristi L. Metoyer and Michael A. Welsch

It has been suggested that physical and cognitive functions are associated with health-related quality of life (HRQL). Previous work examining the relationship between physical ability and HRQL is equivocal, and information about cognitive function in relation to HRQL is largely restricted to people with cognitive impairments. We investigated the relationships of physical ability and cognitive performance to HRQL in 44 older adults (72-93 years). The results suggest significant relationships between the endurance item of the AAHPERD test and the physical mobility and pain components of HRQL and between AAHPERD agility scores and the physical mobility component of HRQL. Visual simple-reaction time and the backward digit-span memory test were found to be related to physical mobility. The subject-performed-tasks memory test was related to the social component of HRQL. These data support the use of the AAHPERD test for characterizing physical ability of older adults as it relates to HRQL and identify specific cognitive support measures that reflect the relationship between cognition and HRQL in older adults.

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Anne Jobling

This longitudinal research examined the development of motor proficiency in 99 children with Down syndrome born in Brisbane from 1973 to 1984. The Bruininks-Oseretsky Test of Motor Proficiency (BOTMP) was used to assess motor proficiency, and the Stanford-Binet L-M was used to obtain a measure of general intelligence. Although significant progress on the BOTMP subtest scores occurred with age for most subtests, this was related to mental age (MA) rather than chronological age (CA). Progress related to CA was associated with upper limb coordination and upper limb speed and dexterity subtests from CA 10 to 12 years, not from 12 to 16 years. There were considerable inter- and intraindividual differences on subtest items. A cluster analysis of 263 assessments revealed no one profile of strengths and weaknesses. Two distinct profiles were found with high scores in either the visual–motor or the running speed and agility subtests, with balance scores at a low level of proficiency in both clusters. Across the study groupings, sex differences were also evident.