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

Purpose:

This study examined the validity of a squash-specific test designed to assess endurance capability and aerobic power.

Methods:

Eight squash players and eight runners performed, in a counterbalanced order, incremental treadmill (TT) and squash-specific (ST) tests to volitional exhaustion. Breath-by-breath oxygen uptake was determined by a portable analyzer and heart rate was assessed telemetrically. Time to exhaustion was recorded.

Results:

Independent t tests revealed longer time to exhaustion for squash players on the ST than runners (775 ± 103 vs. 607 ± 81 s; P = .003) but no difference between squash players and runners in maximal oxygen uptake ( Vo2max) or maximum heart rate (HRmax). Runners exercised longer on the TT (521 ± 135 vs. 343 ± 115 s; P = .01) and achieved higher Vo2max than squash players (58.6 ± 7.5 vs. 49.6 ± 7.3 mL·kg−1·min−1; P = .03), with no group difference in HRmax. Paired t tests showed squash players achieved higher Vo2max on the ST than the TT (52.2 ± 7.1 vs. 49.6 ± 7.3 mL·kg−1·min−1; P = .02). The Vo2max and HRmax of runners did not differ between tests, nor did the HRmax of squash players. ST and TT Vo2max correlated highly in squash players and runners (r = .94, P < .001; r = .88, P = .003).

Conclusions:

The ST discriminated endurance performance between squash players and runners and elicited higher Vo2max in squash players than a nonspecifc test. The results suggest that the ST is a valid assessment of Vo2max and endurance capability in squash players.

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

Purpose:

We examined the reproducibility of performance and physiological responses on a squash-specific incremental test.

Methods:

Eight trained squash players habituated to procedures with two prior visits performed an incremental squash test to volitional exhaustion on two occasions 7 days apart. Breath-by-breath oxygen uptake ( Vo2) and heart rate were determined continuously using a portable telemetric system. Blood lactate concentration at the end of 4-min stages was assessed to determine lactate threshold. Once threshold was determined, test speed was increased every minute until volitional exhaustion for assessment of maximal oxygen uptake (Vo2max), maximum heart rate (HRmax), and performance time. Economy was taken as the 60-s mean of Vo2 in the final minute of the fourth stage (below lactate threshold for all participants). Typical error of measurement (TEM) with associated 90% confidence intervals, limits of agreement, paired sample t tests, and least products regression were used to assess the reproducibility of scores.

Results:

Performance time (TEM 27 s, 4%, 90% CI 19 to 49 s) Vo2max (TEM 2.4 mL·kg−1·min−1, 4.7%, 90% CI 1.7 to 4.3 mL·kg−1·min−1), maximum heart rate (TEM 2 beats·min−1, 1.3%, 90% CI 2 to 4 beats·min−1), and economy (TEM 1.6 mL·kg−1·min−1, 4.1%, 90% CI 1.1 to 2.8 mL·kg−1·min−1) were reproducible.

Conclusions:

The results suggest that endurance performance and physiological responses to a squash-specific fitness test are reproducible.

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Christopher Rosimus

A squash player’s ability to perform high-intensity variable movements is a key determinant of success at the elite level ( Wilkinson et al., 2012 ). The body composition of a squash player may affect performance as carrying excessive body fat may increase injury risk and impair agility and speed

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Michael A. Hemphill and K. Andrew R. Richards

Purpose:

The purpose of this study was to examine youth development outcomes in an Urban Squash program.

Methods:

A mixed method approach to was employed to address three research questions: 1) to what extent did the Urban Squash program exhibit features of a quality OST program?; 2) what aspects of the Urban Squash program were most valued by participants and stakeholders?; and 3) how were outcomes gained within urban squash transferred into the school day. The OST Observation Instrument was employed to provide a measure of fidelity related to the implementation of quality program structures. Youth participants (N = 21) and adults (N = 13) with knowledge of the program were interviewed in a semistructured format. Qualitative inductive analysis and constant comparison methods were used to generate themes.

Results:

Systematic observations demonstrated that the program reflected a strong program design with activities that were sequenced, active, personally focused, and explicit. Within that context, four qualitative themes related to quality programming include 1) academic enrichment, 2) academic transfer, 3) relationships, and 4) personal and social responsibility.

Conclusions:

Urban Squash provided a quality program structure. Transfer from the program to the school was evident with academic enrichment and personal and social responsibility.

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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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Saqib Deen, Martin James Turner and Rebecca S.K. Wong

The use of rational emotive behavior therapy (REBT) in sport psychology has received little attention in research to date, but is steadily growing. Therefore, to further add to the building body of research, this study examines the efficacy of REBT (comprising five counseling sessions, and four homework assignments) in decreasing self-reported irrational beliefs, and increasing self-reported resilient qualities in five elite squash players from Malaysia. The study uses a single-case multiple-baseline across-participants design. Visual and graphical analyses revealed that REBT reduced self-reported irrational beliefs significantly in all athletes, and raised self-reported resilient qualities significantly in some athletes. Athlete’s feedback, reflections on the usage of REBT, Athlete Rational Resilience Credos, and the practice of sport psychology across cultures are discussed, along with guidance for the future use of REBT in relevant settings.

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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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Nerissa Campbell, Anca Gaston, Casey Gray, Elaine Rush, Ralph Maddison and Harry Prapavessis

Background:

Accurate assessment of physical activity energy expenditure (PAEE) among adolescents is important for surveillance, evaluating interventions, and understanding the relation between energy balance and normal physiological and behavioral growth and development. The purpose of this study was to examine the validity of the Short Questionnaire to Assess Health-Enhancing Physical Activity (SQUASH)13 for measuring PAEE among adolescents.

Methods:

The participants were seventeen adolescents (9 females; Mean age = 17.53; SD = 0.62). Energy expenditure was measured during a 9-day period with doubly labeled water (DLW). The SQUASH was self-administered on the morning of the 10th day and assessed commuting activities, leisure time activities, household activities, and activities at work and school over the previous 9 days.

Results:

A Bland-Altman plot indicated that the SQUASH underestimated PAEE compared with DLW by a mean difference of 126 kcal·d−1 (95% limits of agreement: –1,207 to 1,459 kcal·d−1), representative of a 10% underestimation. The Spearman rank order correlation coefficient showed there was a significant association between the SQUASH and DLW (r = .50, P = .04), for estimating PAEE.

Conclusion:

When using a sample of highly active adolescents, the SQUASH is a valid self-report tool for measuring PAEE at the group and individual rank order level.

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Youlian Hong, Paul D. Robinson and Wan Ka Chan

The purpose of this paper was to profile game strategy used by world’s top female squash players in international competitions using postevent notational analysis methods. A total of 10 matches from the Ladies Hong Kong Open 1993 and 1994 were selected for analysis. A total of 15 right-handed competitors, who were ranked in the top 15 in the world at that time, were involved in the matches. Matches were played under the International scoring system. A 3-CDD video camera, positioned behind the court, was used to record the player’s performance throughout the matches. Frame-by-frame video notation was used to record the player, the kind of stroke, the position where the stroke was made, and the success or failure of that stroke. Shots were classified as “effective”, “ineffective”, “winning” and “losing” shots. Statistics show that the mean number of games per match was 4, rallies per game was 13.57 and shots per rally was 12.44. Of all the shots, 57.13% were “effective”, 31.36% were “ineffective”, 6.24% were “winning” and 5.27% were “losing” shots. Over half (62.01%) of all shots played were the drive, followed by drop (18.20%), volley (11.23%), boast (5.06%) and lob (3.50%). Of all shots played, 43.81% were in the back left court, 32.66% in the back right court, 13.04% in the front left court, and 10.49% in the front right court, showing that these right-handed players preferred to attack the backhand of the opponent. The drive (45.9%) was found to provide the greatest contribution shots to winning scores, with the next greatest being the drop (27.9%), then the volley (20.2), the boast (5.6%) and, finally, the lob (0.5%). Almost an equal number of cross-court shots and straight shots were played. In an average game, the winner played 50% more winning shots than the losing player, showing that in high level competition of female squash, the attacking shots, which produce the most winning scores, are required for success.

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Martin J. Lee and Hilary Roberts