A comparison of cutting technique performance in rugby union players.
ABSTRACT Rugby union is a dynamic running game requiring players to regularly perform change of direction maneuvers to avoid player opposition. The change of direction/cutting task is characterized by rapid deceleration onto the plant leg (PL) then reacceleration by the push-off leg (POL) into the new direction. Identification of the kinematic characteristics of cutting tasks and their relationship to playing ability may offer practical guidelines for coaches and strength and conditioning staff to design effective agility drills and provide player feedback to improve technique. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to investigate the kinematic and temporal characteristics of cutting tasks and their relationship to performance in rugby union players. Semiprofessional rugby union players from the All-Ireland League were placed in a Starters (N = 13) or Nonstarters (N = 10) group based on whether they were routinely selected in the starting team or were reserve 'bench' players. Each participant was fitted with reflective markers and performed 10 cutting trials (5 left, 5 right) of a single 45° cutting task to collect relevant kinematic data. The directions of the cutting trials were classified as a dominant or nondominant cut based on the participant's dominant leg. All trials were then analyzed to determine the timings, angular displacements, and velocities during key events of the PL and POL in the cutting task. The total time to complete the cutting task was not statistically significant between groups; however, Starters demonstrated significantly shorter contact time of the PL during dominant cuts and initiated knee extension of the POL faster than Nonstarters in dominant and nondominant cuts. This preliminary study demonstrates that components of the cutting task differed between groups and may provide an insight for strength and conditioning professionals to assess change of direction technique.
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ABSTRACT: Change-of-direction speed (CODS) is an important quality to performance in multi-direction sports. The purpose of this study was to examine two methods used by basketball players to change directions when playing defense to see if one technique was faster than the other. Within basketball, there are two commonly taught methods of changing directions when playing defense: the drop step and the hip turn. Fourteen female college basketball players participated in this study. The study used a 2x2 (movement x direction) within-subjects repeated measures ANOVA to analyze the average differences between the time to change directions using a drop step compared to a hip turn. There was a significant difference between the two techniques in a novel test, with the hip turn faster than the drop step (F = 117.568, p < .0001). These results suggest that the hip turn compared to the drop step may be a quicker means of changing directions for female basketball players when playing defense.International Journal of Sports Science & Coaching 09/2014; DOI:10.1260/1747-9522.214.171.1245 · 0.93 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Gaining a greater understanding of the response of athletes to training stimuli has been the pursuit of coaches, practitioners and sport scientists for centuries. The research area of the complex “dose-response” relationship between training and adaptation has received a great amount of attention within the literature as it forms the basis of evidence-based training prescription. The accurate quantification of training stimuli is necessary for the examination of this relationship. However, due to the intermittent multidirectional nature of football, the methods utilised within continuous linear sports such as cycling, swimming and distance running are thought to be inappropriate. In recent years global positioning system micro-technology (GPS) has become widely used by elite sports teams despite a general lack of supporting evidence regarding the validity, reliability and usefulness of the calculated metrics. It was the aim of this thesis to examine the physical and physiological demands of elite football. Due to the multi-planar intermittent movement of football it was evident that GPS technology would play a central role in the quantification of external training load. Firstly, the efficacy of contemporary GPS technology for measuring discrete movements had to be established prior to pursuing further investigation. Secondly, an examination of the physiological response to frequent acceleration was conducted in order to elucidate the consequences of omitting acceleration parameters in time-motion analysis of football training and competition. Time-motion analysis including acceleration parameters was then conducted for training and competition scenarios. Thirdly, acute physical and physiological responses to elite football training were studied. Lastly, following a comprehensive understanding of the relatively homogenous training load imposed by football training, the effects of accentuated eccentric lower body exercise on determinants of football performance was investigated.06/2014, Degree: Ph.D, Supervisor: Phillip R. Hayes, Duncan French, Kevin G. Thompson
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ABSTRACT: Research has often examined the relationship between one or two measures of strength and change of direction (COD) ability reporting inconsistent relationships to performance. These inconsistences may be the result of the strength assessment utilized and the assumption that one measure of strength can represent all "types" of strength required during a COD task. Therefore the purpose of this study was to determine the relationship between several lower body strength and power measures, COD and agility performance. Twelve (n=12) elite female basketball athletes completed a maximal dynamic back squat, isometric mid-thigh pull, eccentric and concentric only back squat, and a counter-movement jump, followed by two COD tests (505 and T-Test) and a reactive agility test. Pearson product moment correlation and stepwise regression analysis were performed on all variables. The percentage contribution of each strength measure to an athletes total strength score was also determined. Our results demonstrated that both COD tests were significantly correlated to maximal dynamic, isometric, concentric and eccentric strength (r = -0.79 to -0.89), with eccentric strength identified as the sole predictor of COD performance. Agility performance did not correlate with any measure of strength (r = -0.08 to -0.36), while lower body power demonstrated no correlation to either agility or COD performance (r = -0.19 to -0.46). These findings demonstrate the importance of multiple strength components for COD ability, highlighting eccentric strength as a deterministic factor of COD performance. Coaches should aim to develop a well-rounded strength base in athletes; ensuring eccentric strength is developed as effectively as the often-emphasized concentric or overall dynamic strength capacity.The Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research 05/2014; DOI:10.1519/JSC.0000000000000547 · 1.86 Impact Factor