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Laurie D. Booher, Karla M. Hench, Teddy W. Worrell and Jill Stikeleather

Traditionally, lower extremity strength assessment has been performed in an open kinetic chain. Several authors, however, recommend closed kinetic chain assessment of lower extremity performance. Reliability of closed kinetic chain tests is not available. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to determine the reliability of the following single-leg hop tests: hop for distance, 6-m hop for time, and 30-m agility hop. Eighteen subjects (4 males and 14 females) participated in this study. An ANOVA repeated measures analysis revealed significant differences between the test trials within and between sessions for all dependent variables. However, when the mean of two test trials was analyzed, the three single-leg hop tests values were stable, that is, intraclass correlation coefficient (ICC 2,1) ranged from 0.77 to 0.99. Results demonstrate that these three single-leg hop tests were reliable as used in this study. Future research is needed to determine the sensitivity of these tests in the assessment of lower extremity performance following injury and following rehabilitation procedures.

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Thomas A. Haugen, Espen Tønnessen, Jonny Hisdal and Stephen Seiler

The overall objective of this review was to investigate the role and development of sprinting speed in soccer. Time–motion analyses show that short sprints occur frequently during soccer games. Straight sprinting is the most frequent action before goals, both for the scoring and assisting player. Straight-line sprinting velocity (both acceleration and maximal sprinting speed), certain agility skills, and repeated-sprint ability are shown to distinguish groups from different performance levels. Professional players have become faster over time, indicating that sprinting skills are becoming more and more important in modern soccer. In research literature, the majority of soccer-related training interventions have provided positive effects on sprinting capabilities, leading to the assumption that all kinds of training can be performed with success. However, most successful intervention studies are time consuming and challenging to incorporate into the overall soccer training program. Even though the principle of specificity is clearly present, several questions remain regarding the optimal training methods within the larger context of the team-sport setting. Considering time-efficiency effects, soccer players may benefit more by performing sprint-training regimens similar to the progression model used in strength training and by world-leading athletics practitioners, compared with the majority of guidelines that traditionally have been presented in research literature.

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Gal Ziv and Ronnie Lidor

The soccer goalkeeper (GK) is required to perform strenuous actions during practice sessions and actual games. One of the objectives of those professionals who work with GKs is to obtain relevant information on physical characteristics and physiological attributes of GKs, and to use it effectively when planning training programs for them. This article has three purposes: (a) to review a series of studies (n = 23) on physical characteristics, physiological attributes, and on-field performances of soccer GKs; (b) to outline a number of methodological limitations and research concerns associated with these studies; and (c) to suggest several practical recommendations for soccer coaches who work with GKs. Four main fndings emerged from our review: (a) professional adult GKs usually are over 180 cm tall and have a body mass of over 77 kg; (b) studies on agility and speed produced mixed results, with some showing similar values between GKs and field players and others showing reduced performance in GKs; (c) GKs usually have higher vertical jump values when compared with players playing the various field positions; (d) GKs cover approximately 5.5 km during a game, mostly by walking and jogging. Four methodological limitations and research concerns associated with the reviewed studies were discussed, among them the lack of a longitudinal approach and the lack of on-field performance studies. Three practical recommendations are made for coaches, one of which is that coaches should adopt a careful approach when selecting testing protocols and devices for the assessment of GKs’ physiological attributes.

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Nidal M. Shahrour and Hossam Mansour

This research aimed to investigate the Jordanian school students’ attitudes towards Physical Education In Jordanian School, 100 UNRWA schools were recruited from (4) education area in Jordan, 50 students with a total (500) students from 8th -10th grade. Questionnaire was distributed to students the questionnaire with a 5-point Likert-type scale, with 20 items. Mean, SD, & (ANOVA) was utilized to determine the current status of the Attitude for the students, findings showed that the highest score was Item 2, which state that “(PE) is not only beneficial to those who are already in good body conditioning”, The second highest score was Item 16, which said that “During high school years, anybody who is serious about (PE) is not foolish”. The third highest score was Item 11, which the students believed that “Physical exercise is the best way to obtain a youthful looking and agile body.” The fourth highest score was Item 18, in which the students did not believe that “High school would be better without (PE) activities classes.” The fifth highest score was Item 5, in which the students believed that “Physical exercise provides an important relief from the stress of one’s daily life.” Beside of that, the overall mean score for the 20 items was 70.160+3.948 indicating that the students in this study certainly possessed positive ATPEA.

According to the findings of this study the researchers recommend to improve PE experiences and promote positive ATPEA in Jordan school students: (1) Increase students number to involve in motor activities within class and free time (3) Multiple teaching strategies to be applied to meet the needs of diverse learners.

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Simon P. Roberts, Keith A. Stokes, Lee Weston and Grant Trewartha

Purpose:

This study presents an exercise protocol utilizing movement patterns specific to rugby union forward and assesses the reproducibility of scores from this test.

Methods:

After habituation, eight participants (mean ± SD: age = 21 ± 3 y, height = 180 ± 4 cm, body mass = 83.9 ± 3.9 kg) performed the Bath University Rugby Shuttle Test (BURST) on two occasions, 1 wk apart. The protocol comprised 16 × 315-s cycles (4 × 21-min blocks) of 20-m shuttles of walking and cruising with 10-m jogs, with simulated scrummaging, rucking, or mauling exercises and standing rests. In the last minute of every 315-s cycle, a timed Performance Test was carried out, involving carrying a tackle bag and an agility sprint with a ball, followed by a 25-s recovery and a 15-m sprint.

Results:

Participants traveled 7078 m, spending 79.8 and 20.2% of time in low- and high-intensity activity, respectively. The coefficients of variation (CV) between trials 1 and 2 for mean time on the Performance Test (17.78 ± 0.71 vs 17.58 ± 0.79 s) and 15-m sprint (2.69 ± 0.15 vs 2.69 ± 0.15 s) were 1.3 and 0.9%, respectively. There was a CV of 2.2% between trials 1 and 2 for mean heart rate (160 ± 5 vs 158 ± 5 beats⋅min−1) and 14.4% for blood lactate (4.41 ± 1.22 vs 4.68 ± 1.68 mmol⋅L−1).

Conclusion:

Results suggest that measures of rugby union-specifc high-intensity exercise performed during the BURST were reproducible over two trials in habituated participants.

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Elena Fedotova

Morphological parameters (stature, weight, segment lengths, diameters, circumferences, body composition), functional characteristics (work capacity, respiratory performance, static strength of hand) and aspects of health- and skill-related fitness (explosive strength, speed, anaerobic and aerobic endurance, agility) of 141 well-trained young female field hockey players (10 to 18 y) were examined and analyzed. The main purpose of the investigation was to study growth trends of these parameters of female field hockey players and to analyze the character and feature of their development.

Standard anthropometric measurements were used for evaluation of morphological characteristics. Matiegka’s equations were used for computation of body composition’s parameters. Modification of the Harvard step test was used for estimation of physical capacity. Respiratory performance was evaluated using vitalograph. Static strength of the hands was obtained using a handgrip. Characteristics of health- and skill-related fitness were evaluated using the following test battery: standing broad jump, 30 m dash run, flying 30 m test, 210 yards shuttle run, 2000 m run, push-ups and 20 m zig-zag run.

Results of the study were as follows: the functional characteristics have the greatest total increase (about 108-144 %) during the age span considered (from 10 to 18 years). Stature and other length parameters increased about 18-20 %. The periods of the acceleration of increases in morphological parameters precede the periods of the sizable increases in functional parameters. Based upon the analysis of aspects of health- and skill-related fitness of players training and practicing in hockey has a beneficial effect on this group of characteristics. Based on the results of the study, the optimum periods for speed, strength and endurance training of female hockey players are exposed.

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Alistair P. Murphy, Rob Duffield, Aaron Kellett, Dani Gescheit and Machar Reid

Purpose:

Difficulties in preserving physical capacities while on tennis tours necessitate targeted training prescription. This study analyzed training and match loads performed before and on tour for their relationship with posttour physical-capacity changes. A secondary aim was to determine whether the presence of a strength and conditioning (S&C) coach affected the type and volume of on-tour training load.

Methods:

The training and match loads of 30 high-performance junior tennis players were recorded over 8 wk: 4 wk before and 4 wk during an international tour. Fitness tests were conducted pretour and posttour, including double and single-leg (dominant and nondominant) countermovement jump, speed (5, 10, and 20 m), modified 5-0-5 agility, 10 × 20-m repeated-sprint ability, and multistage fitness tests. Tour training and match loads were categorized according to whether S&C support was present or absent.

Results:

Total and tennis training loads were significantly greater on tour than pretour (P ≤ .05, d > 0.8). Increases in on-tour, on-court training loads were moderately correlated with decrements in speed and aerobic power (r = .31-.52). Finally, S&C presence on tour significantly increased total, on-court, and off-court training load completed (P ≤ .05, d > 0.8).

Conclusions:

Training loads should be carefully prescribed to ensure that sufficient total and tennis loads are completed pretour. Specifically, speed and aerobic capacities may regress with increased training on tour. Finally, a practical observation was that on-tour S&C support resulted in increased S&C training load (around match loads), potentially countering the observed regression of physical capacities. Such a finding has the capacity to alter current physical-preparation structures in high-performance tennis environments with finite resources.

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Remco Polman, Jonathan Bloomfield and Andrew Edwards

Purpose:

The main objective of this study was to investigate the efficacy of both programmed (speed, agility, and quickness; SAQ) and random (small-sided games; SSG) conditioning methods on selected neuromuscular and physical performance variables.

Methods:

Twenty volunteers (21.1 ± 4.0 y, 1.71 ± 0.09 m, 66.7 ± 9.9 kg; mean ± SD) completed the study. The study design used two physically challenging periodized experimental conditions (SAQ and SSG conditions) and a non exercise control condition (CON). Participants engaged in 12.2 ± 2.1 h of directed physical conditioning. All participants had at least 24 h of recovery between conditioning sessions, and each 1-h session included 15 min of general warm-up and a 45-min exercise session. Participants completed a battery of tests (15-m sprint, isokinetic flexion/extension, depth jump) before and following the training program.

Results:

There was a 6.9% (95% CI: -4.4 to 18.3) greater improvement in 5-m acceleration time and 4.3% (95% CI: -0.9 to 9.5) in 15-m mean running velocity time for the SAQ group compared with the SSG group. In addition, increases in maximal isokinetic concentric strength for both the flexor and extensor muscles, with the exception of 180 °/s flexion, were greater in the SAQ than SSG condition. The SAQ group also showed 19.5% (95% CI: -11.2 to 50.2) greater gain in reactive strength (contact time depth jump) and 53.8% (95% CI: 11.2 to 98.6) in mean gastrocnemius medialis activity in comparison with SSG.

Conclusions:

SAQ training should benefit the physical conditioning programs of novice players performing invasion games.

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Mohamed Ali Nabli, Nidhal Ben Abdelkrim, Imed Jabri, Tahar Batikh, Carlo Castagna and Karim Chamari

Purpose:

To examine the relation between game performance, physiological responses, and field-test results in Tunisian basketball referees.

Methods:

Computerized time–motion analysis, heart rate (HR), and blood lactate concentration [La] were measured in 15 referees during 8 competitive games (under-19-y-old Tunisian league). Referees also performed a repeated-sprint test (RSA), Yo-Yo Intermittent Recovery Test level 1 (YYIRTL1), agility T-test, and 30-m sprint with 10-m lap time. Computerized video analysis determined the time spent in 5 locomotor activities (standing, walking, jogging, running, and sprint), then grouped in high-, moderate-, and low-intensity activities (HIAs, MIAs, and LIAs, respectively).

Results:

YYIRTL1 performance correlated with (1) total distance covered during the 4th quarter (r = .52, P = .04) and (2) distance covered in LIA during all game periods (P < .05). Both distance covered and time spent in MIA during the 1st quarter were negatively correlated with the YYIRTL1 performance (r = –.53, P = .035; r = –.67, P = .004, respectively). A negative correlation was found between distance covered at HIA during the 2nd half (3rd quarter + 4th quarter) and fatigue index of the RSA test (r = –.54, P = .029). Mean HR (expressed as %HRpeak) during all game periods was correlated with YYIRTL1 performance (.61 ≤ r < .67, P < .01).

Conclusions:

This study showed that (1) the YYIRTL1 performance is a moderate predictor of game physical performance in U-19 basketball referees and (2) referees’ RSA correlates with the amount of HIA performed during the 2nd half, which represents the ability to keep up with play.

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Elizabeth L. Abbey and Janet Walberg Rankin

Purpose:

This study compared the effect of a honey-sweetened beverage with those of a commercial sports drink and a placebo on performance and inflammatory response to a 90-min soccer simulation.

Methods:

Ten experienced male soccer players randomly performed 3 trials (honey [H], sports drink [S], and placebo [P]), consuming the beverage before and during halftime for a total of 1.0 g/kg carbohydrate for H and S. Performance measures included 5 sets (T1–T5) of a high-intensity run and agility and ball-shooting tests followed by a final progressive shuttle-run (PSR) test to exhaustion. Blood samples were drawn pretest, posttest (B2), and 1 hr posttest (B3) for markers of inflammation, oxygen radical absorbance capacity (ORAC), and hormone response.

Results:

T2–T5 were significantly slower than T1 (p < .05), and a decrease in PSR time was observed from baseline (–22.9%) for all treatments. No significant effect of the interventions was observed for any performance measures. Plasma IL-1ra levels increased posttest for all treatments (65.5% S, 63.9% P, and 25.8% H), but H was significantly less than S at posttest and P at B3. Other cytokines and ORAC increased at B2 (548% IL-6, 514% IL-10, 15% ORAC) with no difference by treatment.

Conclusion:

Acute ingestion of honey and a carbohydrate sports drink before and during a soccer-simulation test did not improve performance, although honey attenuated a rise in IL-1ra. Ingestion of carbohydrate and/or antioxidant-containing beverages at frequencies typical of a regulation match may not be beneficial for trained soccer players.