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Jackie A. Dabinett, Karen Reid and Nic James

The purpose of the present study was to develop a hydration strategy for use by female English field hockey players at the 1998 Commonwealth Games in Malaysia. An additional aim was to initiate the process of acclimation. Fifteen elite players, mean age (±SEM) 24.1 ± 1.19 years, height 1.67 ± 0.01 m, and body mass 62.8 ± 1.76 kg, took part in a 5-day training camp immediately prior to departure for the Games. In order to develop the hydration strategy, training took place under similar environmental conditions to those to be experienced in Malaysia (i.e., 32 °C, 80% humidity). Acclimation training consisted of 30–50 min of either continuous, low intensity cycling or high intensity intermittent cycling, which more closely replicated the pattern of activity in field hockey. Body mass measures taken each morning, and pre and post training, together with urine color measures, were used to assess hydration status. Pre-loading with up to 1 L of a 3% carbohydrate-electrolyte solution or water immediately prior to acclimation training, as well as regular drinks throughout, ensured that players avoided significant dehydration, with percent body mass changes ranging from −0.34% to +4.24% post training. Furthermore, the protocol used was sufficient to initiate the process of acclimation as demonstrated by a significant reduction in exercising heart rate and core temperature at all time points by days 4 and 5. In conclusion, although labor intensive and time consuming, the camp was successful in developing a hydration strategy that players were able to utilize once at the Games.

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Enzo Hollville, Vincent Le Croller, Yoshihiro Hirasawa, Rémi Husson, Giuseppe Rabita and Franck Brocherie

Field hockey is an invasive territorial game that involves semistochastic intermittent activities (ie, maximal or near-maximal anaerobic efforts interspersed with low- to moderate-intensity aerobic phases) with and without the ball over an extended period (4 × 15 min since the Fédération

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Janet L. Starkes

The present study assessed the relative importance of attributes determined largely by the efficiency of the central nervous system versus cognitive attributes in the determination of expertise in field hockey. Three groups were assessed on a battery of field hockey related perceptual and cognitive tasks: the Canadian Women's Field Hockey team, a university team, and a novice group. The attributes assessed were simple reaction time, dynamic visual acuity, coincident anticipation, ball detection speed and accuracy, complex decision speed and accuracy, shot prediction accuracy both when ball impact was viewed and when it was occluded, and recall accuracy of game-structured and nonstructured information. The multitask approach revealed the importance of cognitive abilities in the determination of skill in field hockey.

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Jennifer J. Mancuso, Kevin M. Guskiewicz and Meredith A. Petschauer

Stress fractures, particularly those in the lower extremity, are disabling and time-consuming injuries commonly seen in athletes. A stress fracture of the posterior talus is rare and presents with signs and symptoms similar to those of soft-tissue injuries in the rear foot. This case study involves a Division-I collegiate female field-hockey athlete who developed a stress reaction in her posterior talus approximately 6 weeks after sustaining a mild eversion ankle sprain. Her chief complaint was pain with forceful plantar flexion during running and cutting. Clinicians must be cautious when an athlete presents with posterior foot pain, being sure to properly assess and rule out differential diagnoses such as tendinitis, os trigonal fracture, and muscle strains. This athlete was able to remain weight bearing during healing, so her rehabilitation protocol allowed for a variety of exercise options.

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Denise Jennings, Stuart J. Cormack, Aaron J. Coutts and Robert J. Aughey

Purpose:

The purpose of this study was to investigate the influence of multiple games on exercise intensity during a world-class hockey tournament.

Methods:

15 players (mean ± SD age 27 ± 4 y, stature 179 ± 5 cm, body mass 77 ± 5 kg, and estimated VO2 64.2 ± 3.1 mL · kg−1 · min−1) competing in the Champions Trophy (CT). Global-positioning systems assessed total distance (TD), low-speed activity (LSA; 0.10–4.17 m/s), and high-speed running (HSR; >4.17 m/s) distance. Differences in movement demands (TD, LSA, HSR) between positions and matches were assessed using the effect size and percent difference ± 90% confidence intervals. Two levels of comparison were made. First, data from subsequent matches were compared with match 1, and, second, data from each match compared with a tournament average (TA).

Results:

In all matches, compared with game 1, midfielders performed less HSR distance. However, the amount of HSR did not decrease as the tournament progressed. When compared with the TA, defenders showed more variation in each match. All positions showed lower movement outputs when the team won by a large margin.

Conclusions:

It was possible for elite team-sport athletes to maintain exercise intensity when playing 6 matches in a period of 9 days, contrary to the only other investigation of this in elite male field hockey.

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Andrew D. White and Niall MacFarlane

Purpose:

The current study assessed the impact of full-game (FG) and time-on-pitch (TOP) procedures for global-positioning-system (GPS) analysis on the commonly used markers of physical performance in elite field hockey.

Methods:

Sixteen international male field hockey players, age 19–30, were studied (yielding 73 player analyses over 8 games). Physical activity was recorded using a 5-Hz GPS.

Results:

Distance covered, player load, maximum velocity, high-acceleration efforts, and distance covered at specified speed zones were all agreeable for both analysis procedures (P > .05). However, percentage time spent in 0–6 km/h was higher for FG (ES: –21% to –16%; P < .001), whereas the percentage time in all other speed zones (1.67–3.06 m/s, 3.06–4.17 m/s, 4.17–5.28 m/s, and > 6.39 m/s) and relative distance (m/min) were higher for TOP (ES: 8–10%, 2–7%, 2–3%, 1–1%, 0–1%, respectively; P < .001).

Conclusions:

These data demonstrate that GPS analysis procedures should be appropriate for the nature of the sport being studied. In field hockey, TOP and FG analysis procedures are comparable for distance-related variables but significantly different for time-dependent factors. Using inappropriate analysis procedures can alter the perceived physiological demand of elite field hockey because of “rolling” substitutions. Inaccurate perception of physiological demand could negatively influence training prescription (for both intensity and volume).

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Juan Del Coso, Javier Portillo, Juan José Salinero, Beatriz Lara, Javier Abian-Vicen and Francisco Areces

The aim of this investigation was to determine the efficacy of a caffeine-containing energy drink to improve physical performance of elite field hockey players during a game. On 2 days separated by a week, 13 elite field hockey players (age and body mass = 23.2 ± 3.9 years and 76.1 ± 6.1 kg) ingested 3 mg of caffeine per kg of body mass in the form of an energy drink or the same drink without caffeine (placebo drink). After 60 min for caffeine absorption, participants played a simulated field hockey game (2 × 25 min). Individual running pace and instantaneous speed during the game were assessed using GPS devices. The total number of accelerations and decelerations was determined by accelerometry. Compared with the placebo drink, the caffeinated energy drink did not modify the total distance covered during the game (6,035 ± 451 m and 6,055 ± 499 m, respectively; p = .87), average heart rate (155 ± 13 beats per min and 158 ± 18 beats per min, respectively; p = .46), or the number of accelerations and decelerations (697 ± 285 and 618 ± 221, respectively; p = .15). However, the caffeinated energy drink reduced the distance covered at moderate-intensity running (793 ± 135 and 712 ± 116, respectively; p = .03) and increased the distance covered at high-intensity running (303 ± 67 m and 358 ± 117 m; p = .05) and sprinting (85 ± 41 m and 117 ± 55 m, respectively; p = .02). Elite field hockey players can benefit from ingesting caffeinated energy drinks because they increase the running distance covered at high-intensity running and sprinting. Increased running distance at high speed might represent a meaningful advantage for field hockey performance.

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Matthew C. Hoch, Lauren A. Welsch, Emily M. Hartley, Cameron J. Powden and Johanna M. Hoch

Context: The Y-Balance Test (YBT) is a dynamic balance assessment used as a preseason musculoskeletal screen to determine injury risk. While the YBT has demonstrated excellent test-retest reliability, it is unknown if YBT performance changes following participation in a competitive athletic season. Objective: Determine if a competitive athletic season affects YBT performance in field hockey players. Design: Pretest-posttest. Setting: Laboratory. Participants: 20 NCAA Division I women's field hockey players (age = 19.55 ± 1.30 y; height = 165.10 ± 5.277 cm; mass = 62.62 ± 4.64 kg) from a single team volunteered. Participants had to be free from injury throughout the entire study and participate in all athletic activities. Interventions: Participants completed data collection sessions prior to (preseason) and following the athletic season (postseason). Between data collections, participants competed in the fall competitive field hockey season, which was ~3 months in duration. During data collection, participants completed the YBT bilaterally. Main Outcome Measures: The independent variable was time (preseason, postseason) and the dependent variables were normalized reach distances (anterior, posteromedial, posterolateral, composite) and between-limb symmetry for each reach direction. Differences between preseason and postseason were examined using paired t tests (P ≤ .05) as well as Bland-Altman limits of agreement. Results: 4 players sustained a lower extremity injury during the season and were excluded from analysis. There were no significant differences between preseason and postseason reach distances for any reach directions on either limb (P ≥ .31) or in the between-limb symmetries (P ≥ .52). The limits of agreement analyses determined there was a low mean bias across measurements (≤1.67%); however, the 95% confidence intervals indicated there was high variability within the posterior reach directions over time (±4.75 to ± 14.83%). Conclusion: No changes in YBT performance were identified following a competitive field hockey season in Division I female athletes. However, the variability within the posterior reach directions over time may contribute to the limited use of these directions for injury risk stratification.

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Zandrie Hofman, Rolf Smeets, George Verlaan, Richard v.d. Lugt and Peter A. Verstappen

In a double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled study, we investigated the effect of 8 weeks of supplementation with bovine colostrum (Intact™) on body composition and exercise performance (5 × 10-m sprint, vertical jump, shuttle-run test, and suicide test). Seventeen female and 18 male elite field hockey players, including players from the Dutch national team, received either 60 g of colostrum or whey protein daily. The 5 × 10-m sprint test performance improved significantly (p = .023) more in the colostrum group [0.64±0.09 s (mean ± SEM)] compared to the whey group (0.33±0.09 s). The vertical jump performance improved more in the colostrum group (2.1 ± 0.73 cm) compared to the whey group (0.32 ± 0.82 cm). However, this was not statistically significant (p = .119). There were also no significant differences in changes in body composition and endurance tests between the 2 groups. It is concluded that in elite field hockey players, colostrum supplementation improves sprint performance better than whey. However, there were no differences with regard to body composition or endurance performance.

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Karen J. Tropp and Daniel M. Landers

This study quantified the interaction channels used by intercollegiate field hockey teams and compared these to Bavelas' centrality index and the emergence of leadership/interpersonal attraction. Interaction frequencies, defined as passes to teammates, were determined for each playing position for three teams (N = 37) using 4-3-2-1-1, 5-3-2-1, and 4-2-3-1-1 structural systems. Members of four teams for each system (N = 177) then rated each teammate on leadership and attraction. Analyses of variance showed leadership and attraction differences among low, moderate, and high interactors (p < .05), but these differences disappeared when goalies were eliminated from the analysis. Thus, high-interaction frequencies were not indicative of high leadership and attraction ratings. Only “leadership,” “years on the varsity,” and “attraction” were found to discriminate between captain and noncaptains. The results suggest that for highly dynamic tasks functional centrality and task independency are perhaps more important factors than spatial centrality and high interaction.