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Pedro L. Valenzuela, Guillermo Sánchez-Martínez, Elaia Torrontegi, Javier Vázquez-Carrión, Manuela González, Zigor Montalvo and Grégoire P. Millet

Repeated-sprint ability is a major determinant of performance in intermittent sports (eg, team and racket sports). 1 Repeated-sprint training (RS) has shown to be effective for performance enhancement in these sports, increasing maximal oxygen uptake and peak and mean speed during a repeated

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Yann Le Mansec, Jérôme Perez, Quentin Rouault, Julie Doron and Marc Jubeau

Purpose:

The main aim of the present study was to evaluate the effects of muscle fatigue on badminton performance during a smash stroke.

Methods:

Seventeen young well-trained players completed twenty forehand smash twice (pre and post fatigue protocol) and both speed and precision of the strokes were measured. The fatigue protocol consisted in ten series of ten maximal counter movement jump (CMJ, 3 s rest in-between) followed by eight lunges. Perception of effort and CMJ performance during each series were also measured to assess fatigue.

Results:

Shuttlecock speed decreased moderately (-3.3%) but significantly after the fatigue protocol (P<0.001, ηp 2=0.671). Precision significantly decreased after the fatigue protocol (-10.3%, P=0.001, ηp 2=0.473). The decrease in precision was mainly due to an increased number of faults (P=0.006, ηp 2=0.378, dz=0.756) and to a decrease in accuracy (P=0.066, ηp 2=0.195, dz=0.478).

Conclusion:

The present study showed that fatigue impairs the 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 intervention aiming to limit the negative impact of fatigue on badminton strokes.

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Cesar Gallo-Salazar, Juan Del Coso, David Sanz-Rivas and Jaime Fernandez-Fernandez

Purpose: To determine whether the game activity and physiological responses of young tennis players differed depending on the session of play (eg, morning [MOR] vs afternoon [AFT]) and the final match outcome (eg, winners vs losers) during a simulated competition with 2 matches on the same day. Methods: A total of 12 well-trained male tennis players (age 14.5 [0.8] y) took part in a simulated competition of two 3-set matches separated by 3 h. All the matches were video recorded, and the participants were monitored using 10-Hz global positioning system units including a heart-rate monitor. Effect-size (ES) statistics were used to investigate the magnitudes of the differences. Results: During the AFT matches, in absolute terms, players covered longer total distance (ES = moderate) and ran more distance between 0 and ≤4 m·s−1 (ES = small to large) than in MOR matches. Total duration was also longer (ES = large) in the AFT, where the rest time between rallies was also longer (ES = very large). Heart rate was similar during AFT and MOR matches, but higher rates of perceived exertion (ES = moderate) were reported in the AFT. Only peak running velocity was observed to be likely higher for losers than for winners (ES = small). Conclusions: Game activity and physiological responses of young tennis players differ when 2 consecutive matches are played on the same day. These data might help elucidate the need for specific precompetition training loads and/or between-matches/sessions recovery strategies when facing overloaded competitions.

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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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Alessandro Moura Zagatto, Jorge Vieira de Mello Leite, Marcelo Papoti and Ralph Beneke

Purpose:

To test the hypotheses that the metabolic profile of table tennis is dominantly aerobic, anaerobic energy is related to the accumulated duration and intensity of rallies, and activity and metabolic profile are interrelated with the individual fitness profile determined via table tennis–specific tests.

Methods:

Eleven male experienced table tennis players (22 ± 3 y, 77.6 ± 18.9 kg, 177.1 ± 8.1 cm) underwent 2 simulated table tennis matches to analyze aerobic (WOXID) energy, anaerobic glycolytic (WBLC) energy, and phosphocreatine breakdown (WPCr); a table tennis–specific graded exercise test to measure ventilatory threshold and peak oxygen uptake; and an exhaustive supramaximal table tennis effort to determine maximal accumulated deficit of oxygen.

Results:

WOXID, WBLC, and WPCr corresponded to 96.5% ± 1.7%, 1.0% ± 0.7%, and 2.5% ± 1.4%, respectively. WOXID was interrelated with rally duration (r = .81) and number of shots per rally (r = .77), whereas match intensity was correlated with WPCr (r = .62) and maximal accumulated oxygen deficit (r = .58).

Conclusions:

The metabolic profile of table tennis is predominantly aerobic and interrelated with the individual fitness profile determined via table tennis–specific tests. Table tennis–specific ventilatory threshold determines the average oxygen uptake and overall WOXID, whereas table tennis–specific maximal accumulated oxygen deficit indicates the ability to use and sustain slightly higher blood lactate concentration and WBLC during the match.

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Aaron Raman, Paul W. Macdermid, Toby Mündel, Michael Mann and Stephen R. Stannard

The aim of this study was to ascertain whether a high carbohydrate diet in the days before movement patterns simulating a squash match would increase carbohydrate oxidation during the match, and alter physical performance. Nine New Zealand level squash players were recruited to complete a simulated squash match on two occasions: 1) following a 48-hr high carbohydrate (11.1g·kg−1); and 2) following a calorie-matched low carbohydrate (2.1 g·kg−1) diet. The interventions were assigned in a randomized, single-blind, cross-over design. The match simulation was designed to mimic a five-game match lasting approximately 1 hr. Performance was measured as time to complete each game. Expired respiratory gases and heart rate were continuously collected throughout the trial using a portable gas analysis system. Capillary blood glucose and lactate samples were obtained during a 90 s rest period between each game. Rating of perceived exertion was also recorded after each set. Respiratory exchange ratio was significantly higher during exercise following the high CHO diet (0.80 vs. 0.76) p < .001) and this was associated with significantly faster time to complete the games (2340 ± 189 s vs. 2416 ± 128 s, p = .036). Blood glucose and lactate concentrations were also significantly higher in the high carbohydrate condition (p = .038 and p = .021 respectively). These results suggest that ingestion of a diet high in carbohydrate (>10 g/kg body weight) preceding simulated competitive squash produces increased rates of carbohydrate oxidation and maintains higher blood glucose concentrations. These metabolic effects were associated with improved physical performance.

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

Purpose:

Given the travel that punctuates junior tennis development, an understanding of the changes in fitness owing to touring and the association between training loads (TLs) and fitness on return is vital. The authors investigated physical-capacity changes from pretour to posttour, determining if those changes were related to the TL of athletes on tour.

Methods:

Thirty junior athletes completed fitness testing before and after 4-wk tours. Testing included double-leg countermovement jump (CMJ), dominant single-leg and nondominant single-leg CMJ, speed (5, 10, 20 m), modified 5-0-5 agility (left and right), 10 × 20-m repeated-sprint ability (RSA), and multistage fitness tests. Repeated-measures ANOVAs determined physical-capacity change, with effect-size analysis establishing the magnitude of change. To avoid regression toward the mean, a 1/3-split technique was implemented for comparative analysis (high to low TLs).

Results:

Moderate effects (d = 0.50–0.70) for reductions of up to 3.6% in 5-, 10-, and 20-m speeds were observed. However, all remaining changes were only of trivial to small magnitude (d < 0.40). Closer analysis of the interaction between TL and physical capacities (1/3-split) revealed that subjects who completed the greatest amount of total and tennis TL returned with a greater decline in speed and aerobic capacities (d > 0.80). Furthermore, it was observed that match load dictates on- and off-court TL, with an increase in matches won understandably stunting exposure to off-court TL.

Conclusions:

Specific training should be prescribed on tour to maintain speed characteristics over a 4-wk international tour. On-tour training schedules should be carefully monitored to maximize specific TL exposure after losses on tour.

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Danielle T. Gescheit, Stuart J. Cormack, Machar Reid and Rob Duffield

Purpose:

To determine how consecutive days of prolonged tennis match play affect performance, physiological, and perceptual responses.

Methods:

Seven well-trained male tennis players completed 4-h tennis matches on 4 consecutive days. Pre- and postmatch measures involved tennis-specific (serve speed and accuracy), physical (20-m sprint, countermovement jump [CMJ], shoulder-rotation maximal voluntary contraction, isometric midthigh pull), perceptual (Training Distress Scale, soreness), and physiological (creatine kinase [CK]) responses. Activity profile was assessed by heart rate, 3D load (accumulated accelerations measured by triaxial accelerometers), and rating of perceived exertion (RPE). Statistical analysis compared within- and between-days values. Changes (± 90% confidence interval [CI]) ≥75% likely to exceed the smallest important effect size (0.2) were considered practically important.

Results:

3D load reduced on days 2 to 4 (mean effect size ± 90% CI –1.46 ± 0.40) and effective playing time reduced on days 3 to 4 (–0.37 ± 0.51) compared with day 1. RPE did not differ and total points played only declined on day 3 (–0.38 ± 1.02). Postmatch 20-m sprint (0.79 ± 0.77) and prematch CMJ (–0.43 ± 0.27) performance declined on days 2 to 4 compared with prematch day 1. Although serve velocity was maintained, compromised postmatch serve accuracy was evident compared with prematch day 1 (0.52 ± 0.58). CK increased each day, as did ratings of muscle soreness and fatigue.

Conclusions:

Players reduced external physical loads, through declines in movement, over 4 consecutive days of prolonged competitive tennis. This may be affected by tactical changes and pacing strategies. Alongside this, impairments in sprinting and jumping ability, perceptual and biochemical markers of muscle damage, and reduced mood states may be a function of neuromuscular and perceptual fatigue.

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Isabelle Rogowski, David Rouffet, Frédéric Lambalot, Olivier Brosseau and Christophe Hautier

This study compared EMG activity of young tennis players’ muscles during forehand drives in two groups, GD—those able to raise by more than 150% the vertical velocity of racket-face at impact from flat to topspin forehand drives, and GND, those not able to increase their vertical velocity to the same extent. Upper limb joint angles, racket-face velocities, and average EMGrms values, were studied. At similar joint angles, a fall in horizontal velocity and a rise in racket-face vertical velocity from flat to topspin forehand drives were observed. Shoulder muscle activity rose from flat to topspin forehand drives in GND, but not for drives in GD. Forearm muscle activity reduced from flat to topspin forehand drives in GD, but muscle activation was similar in GND. The results show that radial deviation increased racket-face vertical velocity more at impact from the flat to topspin forehand drives than shoulder abduction.

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Michael Fuchs, Oliver Faude, Melissa Wegmann and Tim Meyer

Purpose:

To overcome the limitations of traditional 1-dimensional fitness tests in analyzing physiological properties of badminton players, a badminton-specific endurance test (BST) was created. This study aimed at analyzing the influence of various fitness dimensions on BST performance.

Methods:

18 internationally competing male German badminton players (22.4 ± 3.2 y, 79.2 ± 7.7 kg, 1.84 ± 0.06 m, world-ranking position [WRP] 21–501) completed a straight-sprint test, a change-of-direction speed test, various jump tests (countermovement jump, drop jump, standing long jump), a multistage running test (MST), and the BST. During this on-court field test players have to respond to a computerized sign indicating direction and speed of badminton-specific movements by moving into the corresponding corners.

Results:

Significant correlations were found between performance in MST and BST (individual anaerobic threshold [IAT], r = .63, P = .005; maximum velocity [Vmax], r = .60, P = .009). A negative correlation (r = –.59, P = .014) was observed between IAT in BST and drop-jump contact time. No further associations between performance indices could be detected. Apart from a small portion explained by MST results (IAT, R 2 = .40; Vmax, R 2 = .36), the majority of BST performance cannot be explained by the determined physiological correlates. Moreover, it was impossible to predict the WRP of a player on the basis of BST results (r = –.15, P = .55).

Conclusions:

Neither discipline-specific performance nor basic physiological properties were appropriately reflected by a BST in elite badminton players. This does not substantiate its validity for regular use as a testing tool. However, it may be useful for monitoring on-court training sessions.