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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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Amelia Ferro, Jorge Villacieros and Javier Pérez-Tejero

The purpose of this study was to develop a methodology to accurately analyze sprint performance of elite wheelchair basketball (WB) players in their own training context using a laser system and to analyze the velocity curve performed by the players regarding their functional classification and their playing position. Twelve WB players, from the Spanish men’s national team, took part in an oncourt 20-m-sprint test. BioLaserSport® was used to obtain time, mean velocities (Vm), maximum velocities (Vmax), and distances at 90%, 95%, and 98% of their Vmax. Vm and Vmax reached high values in Classes II and III and in the guard playing position. The protocol developed with the laser system makes it possible to obtain a precise velocity curve in short sprints and allows easy analysis of decisive kinematic performance variables in WB players, showing immediate feedback to coaches and players. The normalized data allow an interpretation of how much, where, and when Vmax occurs along the test.

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John M. Rosene, Christian Merritt, Nick R. Wirth and Daniel Nguyen

well as player position. All procedures were approved by the University of New England’s institutional review board for the protection of human subjects. Methods Participants Twenty-three men’s lacrosse players (age = 20.25 ± 1.27 years; height = 179.80 ± 7.22 cm; mass = 81.23 ± 9.02 kg) had head

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Kevin M. Cross, Kelly K. Gurka, Susan Saliba, Mark Conaway and Jay Hertel

level, age, level of play, and event factors. Within the event factors, additional analysis was conducted on event type, time of injury within practices and competitions, time of season, player position, field location, practice type, soccer activity, and injury mechanism. Table  1 presents the levels

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Michael S. Guss, John P. Begly, Austin J. Ramme, David P. Taormina, Michael E. Rettig and John T. Capo

performance variable—Wins Above Replacement (WAR). Demographic data including age and player position were recorded. Performance data recorded for one season before and after injury included isolated power (ISO); on-base plus slugging (OPS); batting average; and rates for doubles, triples, homeruns, strike

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Joseph J. Crisco, Bethany J. Wilcox, Jason T. Machan, Thomas W. McAllister, Ann-Christine Duhaime, Stefan M. Duma, Steven Rowson, Jonathan G. Beckwith, Jeffrey J. Chu and Richard M. Greenwald

The purpose of this study was to quantify the severity of head impacts sustained by individual collegiate football players and to investigate differences between impacts sustained during practice and game sessions, as well as by player position and impact location. Head impacts (N = 184,358) were analyzed for 254 collegiate players at three collegiate institutions. In practice, the 50th and 95th percentile values for individual players were 20.0 g and 49.5 g for peak linear acceleration, 1187 rad/s2 and 3147 rad/s2 for peak rotational acceleration, and 13.4 and 29.9 for HITsp, respectively. Only the 95th percentile HITsp increased significantly in games compared with practices (8.4%, p = .0002). Player position and impact location were the largest factors associated with differences in head impacts. Running backs consistently sustained the greatest impact magnitudes. Peak linear accelerations were greatest for impacts to the top of the helmet, whereas rotational accelerations were greatest for impacts to the front and back. The findings of this study provide essential data for future investigations that aim to establish the correlations between head impact exposure, acute brain injury, and long-term cognitive deficits.

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Lael Gershgoren, Edson Medeiros Filho, Gershon Tenenbaum and Robert J. Schinke

This study was aimed at capturing the components comprising shared mental models (SMM) and the training methods used to address SMM in one athletic program context. To meet this aim, two soccer coaches from the same collegiate program were interviewed and observed extensively during practices and games throughout the 2009–2010 season. In addition, documents (e.g., players’ positioning on free kicks sheet) from the soccer program were reviewed. The data were analyzed inductively through a thematic analysis to develop models that operationalize SMM through its components, and training. Game intelligence and game philosophy were the two main operational themes defining SMM. Moreover, four themes emerged for SMM training: (a) the setting, (b) compensatory communication, (c) reinforcement, and (d) instruction. SMM was embedded within a more comprehensive conceptual framework of team chemistry, including emotional, social, and cognitive dimensions. Implications of these conceptual frameworks are considered for sport psychologists and coaches.

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Daniel P. Muise, Sasho J. MacKenzie and Tara M. Sutherland

The increased awareness of concussion in sport has led to an examination of head impacts and the associated biomechanics that occur during these sporting events. The high rate of concussions in football makes it particularly relevant.1 The purpose of this study was to examine how frequently, and to what magnitude, Canadian University football players get hit in training camp and how this compares to practices and games in regular season. An ANOVA with repeated measures indicated that, on average, players were hit significantly more in games (45.2 hits) than training camp sessions (17.7 hits) and practices (8.0 hits), while training camp was associated with significantly more hits than practices (p < .001, η2 = .392). Multiple positional differences were found. In particular, significantly more hits were experienced by offensive linemen (36.7 hits) and defensive linemen (31.6 hits) compared with all other positions (p < .001, η2 = .247). Study outcomes determined players/positions most at risk for concussion due to head impacts, which is beneficial in forming concussion prevention and assessment strategies.

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Laura C. Reid, Jason R. Cowman, Brian S. Green and Garrett F. Coughlan

Global positioning systems (GPS) are widely used in sport settings to evaluate the physical demands on players in training and competition. The use of these systems in the design and implementation of rehabilitation and return-to-running programs has not yet been elucidated.

Objective:

To demonstrate the application of GPS technology in the management of return to play in elite-club Rugby Union.

Design:

Case series.

Setting:

Professional Rugby Union club team.

Participants:

8 elite Rugby Union players (age 27.86 ± 4.78 y, height 1.85 ± 0.08 m, weight 99.14 ± 9.96 kg).

Intervention:

Players wore GPS devices for the entire duration of a club game.

Main Outcome Measures:

Variables of locomotion speed and distance were measured.

Results:

Differences in physical demands between playing positions were observed for all variables.

Conclusions:

An analysis of the position-specific physical demands measured by GPS provides key information regarding the level and volume of loads sustained by a player in a game environment. Using this information, sports-medicine practitioners can develop rehabilitation and return-to-running protocols specific to the player position to optimize safe return to play.

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Thomas A. Haugen, Espen Tønnessen and Stephen Seiler

Purpose:

The purpose of this investigation was to compare sprint and countermovement-jump (CMJ) performance among female competitive soccer players as a function of performance level, field position, and age. In addition, the authors wanted to quantify the evolution of these physical characteristics among elite players over a 15-y period.

Methods:

194 female elite players (22± 4.1 y, 63 ± 5.6 kg), including an Olympic winning squad, tested 40-m sprint with electronic timing and CMJ on a force platform at the Norwegian Olympic training center from 1995 to 2010.

Results:

Moderate to large velocity differences across performance levels and positions were observed. National-team players were 2% faster than 1st-division players (P = .027, d = 0.5) and 5% faster than 2nd-division players (P < .001, d = 1.3) over 0–20 m. National-team players jumped 8–9% higher than 1st-division players (P = .001, d = 0.6) and junior elite players (P = .023, d = 0.5). Forwards were 3–4% faster than midfielders (P < .001, d = 0.8) and goalkeepers (P = .003, d = 0.9) over 0–20 m. No differences in velocity or CMJ height were observed among the age categories. Players from 2006–2010 were 2% faster (P < .05, d = 0.6) than players from 1995–1999 over 20 m, whereas no differences in 20- to 40-m velocity or CMJ performance were observed.

Conclusions:

This study provides effect-magnitude estimates for the influence of performance level, age, and player position on sprint and CMJ performance in female soccer players. While 20- to 40-m velocity and CMJ performance have remained stable over the time, there has been a moderate but positive development in 0- to 20-m velocity among elite performers.