Article

Effect of Age on Anthropometric and Physical Performance Measures in Professional Baseball Players

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Abstract

The purpose of this study was to investigate age-related changes in anthropometric and performance variables in professional baseball players. Baseball players (n = 1157) from several professional baseball organizations were categorized into seven cohorts based upon age. All adolescent athletes were categorized as age group 1 (AG1), while the next five groups (AG2 - AG6) consisted of players 20 - 22 y, 23 - 25 y, 26 - 28 y, 29 - 31 y, and 31 - 34 y, respectively. The final group (AG7) was comprised of athletes 35 y and older. All performance assessments were part of the athlete's normal pre-season training camp testing routine. Field assessments were used to analyze lower-body power, speed, agility, grip strength, and body composition. Players were heaviest between the ages of 29 - 31 (AG5), and their body mass in that age group was 10.1% (p = 0.004) greater than AG1. A 7.0% increase (p = 0.000) in LBM occured between AG1 and AG5. No differences in 10-yd sprint times or agility were seen across any age group or position. A 2.0 s (p = 0.001) slower run time for the 300-yd shuttle was seen between AG4 and AG5 for all positions combined. Elevations in grip strength were seen at AG4 compared to AG1 (p = 0.001) and AG2 (p = 0.007) for all position combined. No other differences were noted. Lower body power was increased for all positions combined from AG1 to AG3 (p = .007). This pattern was similar to that observed in position players, but a 12.4% decrease (p = 0.024) in VJMP was seen between AG7 and AG5 in pitchers. Results of this study indicate that lower body power is maintained in baseball players until the age of 29 - 31, while speed, agility and grip strength are maintained in players able to play past the age of 35. Age-related differences observed in this study suggest that athletes focus on their strength and conditioning programs to extend the length of their professional careers.

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... La prueba 5-10-5 de agilidad es la más parecida a situaciones ofensivas en el béisbol, y se ha utilizado en diferentes estudios para evaluar la agilidad en otras situaciones de juego en el béisbol (Hoffman et al., 2009;Mangine et al., 2013). La prueba 5-10-5 de agilidad consiste en recorrer 20 yardas con dos cambios de dirección a 180 grados. ...
... Estas capacidades pueden variar de acuerdo con la edad, posición de juego, nivel competitivo y lado de bateo. En un estudio por Mangine et al. (2013) se evaluaron los cambios relacionados con la edad en variables antropométricas y de rendimiento en el béisbol en 1,157 jugadores de béisbol. Los jugadores fueron divididos en siete grupos de acuerdo con la edad: menores de 20 años, 20-22, 23-25, 26-28, 29-31, 31-34 y ≥ 35 años y, también, por posición de juego (lanzadores y el resto de las posiciones). ...
... El sóftbol es un deporte que incluye la corrida entre bases similar al béisbol, pero con menor distancia entre bases en comparación con el béisbol. Similar al béisbol en que se utiliza la prueba 5-10-5 para evaluar la agilidad (Hoffman et al., 2009;Mangine et al., 2013), en el sóftbol se utiliza la prueba 5-0-5 como una prueba general para evaluar la relación entre la agilidad y el corrido entre bases. La prueba 5-0-5 de agilidad consiste en tres líneas con una distancia de 10 metros entre las primeras dos y 5 metros entre las últimas dos para un total de 15 47 metros. ...
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This study developed a baseball-specific agility test (BSAT) covering the curvilinear component in baseball base running and was compared with the pro-agility test (linear motion) and reactive strength index (RSI). Twenty-six baseball athletes participated, completing: the 36-yard BSAT; the 20-yard pro-agility test, and a jump protocol to determine the RSI. They reported a positive significant correlation (r = 0.63) between the BSAT and the pro-agility test and significant inverse correlations between RSI and BSAT (r = -0.46). The BSAT (curvilinear component) could be a better tool for evaluating offensive agility in baseball and bring new specific information to players, coaches, scouts, and managers.
... Major League Baseball is one of the world's oldest professional spectator sports and has a storied and extensive tradition of classifying statistical and physical metrics of its athletes. Strength and conditioning programs have slowly evolved since the early 1980s to become an institution within MLB, which further investigated anthropometric associations to statistical prowess and competitive development (6,12,15). Class A players, competing in the lowest level of professional competition, typically weigh the least and represent the leanest subgroup, demonstrating body mass and percent body fat gains to a maximum upon reaching the major leagues (12). Aging appears to be a prominent influence on physical growth, as players 29-31 years old were found heaviest with the highest body fat percentages within a 20-to 35-year age range (15). ...
... Class A players, competing in the lowest level of professional competition, typically weigh the least and represent the leanest subgroup, demonstrating body mass and percent body fat gains to a maximum upon reaching the major leagues (12). Aging appears to be a prominent influence on physical growth, as players 29-31 years old were found heaviest with the highest body fat percentages within a 20-to 35-year age range (15). ...
... Baseball research on anthropometrics investigated associations to position (4), age (15), and professional development (12) but lacks longitudinal tracking in how players' bodies evolved to present. Our anthropometric examination identified longitudinal trends, evidencing increased physical size among players of the modern era. ...
Article
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Major League baseball players have not been longitudinally examined for changes in physical size. Height, weight, and body mass indices (BMI) were examined among offensive league leaders (OLL) and Major League (MLB) reference cohorts at 1970, 1990, and 2010. Anthropometric values were expected to increase successively, where OLL were expected to be larger at each respective time point. A Mixed Model ANOVA (p<0.05) examined anthropometric differences over time within and between groups. Mass and BMI increased over successive years with the largest effect seen between 1990 and 2010 (p<0.001). A significant height reduction was shown for OLL from 1970 - 1990 (p<0.05), being the only significant decrease in physical size, yet leaders were heavier and taller compared to the MLB reference population (p<0.014). Results show that physical size has evolved in Major League Baseball, with the OLL being the largest players shown at each year in succession. Professional baseball scouts may have been influenced by greater offensive prowess shown by larger athletes, yet increased secular anthropometrics must also be factored in greater heights, weights, BMIs shown over time in Major League Baseball. It is possible that greater participation in strength and conditioning programs at an earlier age, advances in sport nutrition, and potential abuse of anabolic drugs are factors perpetuating growth rates at present.
... M ajor League organizations have recently inspired investigation into how body composition affects athletic and baseball performance (2,5,6). In 2010, physical size had peaked among position players, with athletes typically weighing more than 93 kg, standing taller than 1.85 m, and having a body mass index (BMI) greater than 27 kg$m 22 (4). ...
... Advances in hypertrophic stimuli, such as improved strength and conditioning practices among baseball populations (youth, high school, and collegiate), emergence of sport nutrition, and global advances in nutrition may have facilitated the availability of larger players for professional drafts. Therefore, throughout the modern era of baseball, athletes of greater mass relative height seem to have greater advantages at the professional level (2,4,6). ...
... Effects of body composition and physiological performance on baseball statistics had been described among a heterogeneous participant pool, which included widespread skill classifications of various ages in professional baseball (Rookie, A, AA, AAA, and ML) (2,5,6). Skill heterogeneity involving disparity in talent may been most influential on the results, and therefore, the strength of association of lean body mass, grip strength, 10-yard sprint, pro-agility, and vertical jump peak power to common offensive statistics (homeruns [HR], slugging percentage [SLG], and total bases) remains in question (5). ...
Article
Minimal work has studied physical size effects on statistical performance among Major League players. In this study, longitudinal, bivariate, and regression analyses studied the impact of physical size on offensive baseball statistics within a homogeneous talent sample of Major League batting leaders. BMI was calculated from heights and weights that were publicly available to form a statistical database of 4,360 offense leaders from 1950-2010. Repeated measures ANOVAs examined differences in anthropometrics and baseball statistics between each decade from 1950-2010. Bivariate correlation and linear regression analyses evaluated BMI as an independent variable of influence, where all tests applied an a priori significance level (p<0.05). After 1980, offensive performance increased (p<0.05) concurrent to body mass and BMI growth (p<0.001). During the 1960s, only batting average and on-base-plus-slugging percentages were found statistically decreased (p<0.05). All baseball statistics were positively correlated and predicted by BMI (p<0.001). Consideration to covariant factors is required in data interpretation, yet nonetheless, our results showed physical size (BMI) to positively influence Major League offensive statistics. Over the sixty-year period, greater body weight-to-height proportions owed to improved competitive performance, which suggests greater emphasis on hypertrophic stimuli in training and nutrition, as well as selection of larger professional baseball prospects.
... Recently, several studies have been conducted investigating anthropometric, physical and physiological profiles of athletes to better gain insight to differences between playing positions and levels of competition in rugby, 1-3 soccer, 4,5 and baseball 6,7 . Previous investigations into positional differences between backs and forwards in rugby have shown differences to measures of anthropometrics, strength, and speed across both playing position and levels of competition. ...
... 6 Additionally, the effect of age was investigated on similar measures of anthropometry and physical performance with differences seen across age groups in professional baseball players. 7 Specifically, differences were seen in the vertical jump height, anthropometrics, and anaerobic capacity (300 yd shuttle). While this has led to greater understanding of the professional baseball players, there was no analysis performed across playing positions. ...
... Additionally, these investigations used either position players 6 or combination of both pitchers and position players. 7 The present investigation found similar measures of anthropometry and vertical jump performance between the present study and previous investigations with baseball athletes. 6,7 This is important as the previous investigations included several different organizations, thus the results of this study maybe generalizable to the professional level within the United States, though only 1 of 32 organizations were assessed. ...
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Objectives: Previous investigations have shown that differences exist between positional groups within a team, which has led to more specific methods of training to enhance performance for that positional group during competition. The purpose of this investigation was to examine anthropometric and physical performance measures between these two classifications of base-ball pitchers. Design and Methods: Twenty professional pitchers completed a battery of test including anthropometrics, body composition, vertical jump, sprint cycling, and shuttle run. All testing was performed during the preseason prior to the start of competi-tion. Independent sample t-tests were performed on each variable between starters and relievers. Results: Significant differences were seen between starters and relievers in height (p < 0.05). No other variables showed statistically significant differences, though moderate effect sizes were present for sprint cycling and shuttle run times. Conclusion: Findings of this investigation lend support to training pitchers in a similar manner as no differences were seen been groups based on physical performance and anthropometric.
... Hoffman, in a review of professional baseball players found significant positive relations between lower-body power performance and home runs, total bases, and slugging 2 percentage. Strength, power, and agility have also been found to correlate with subjective 3,4 evaluation of batting and fielding performance. Given the strong relationship between 4,5 strength/power and baseball-specific performance, it is not surprising that the vast majority of conditioning programs in high-level baseball emphasize strength and power development. ...
... Strength, power, and agility have also been found to correlate with subjective 3,4 evaluation of batting and fielding performance. Given the strong relationship between 4,5 strength/power and baseball-specific performance, it is not surprising that the vast majority of conditioning programs in high-level baseball emphasize strength and power development. This manuscript investigates the relationship between pre-season training with the Gravitational Wellness (GW) weightlifting system and the batting performance of a Division I ® baseball team. ...
... Baseball pitching is a skill that requires the coordination of multiarticular movement; i.e., the proper spatial and temporal relationship of whole-body segments and joints. Accordingly, pitching coordination is associated with physical anthropometry and maturity, pitching-related muscle strength, and pitching skills and mechanics (Fleisig, Barrentine, Zheng, Escamilla, & Andrews, 1999;Mangine et al., 2013;Stodden, Langendorfer, Fleisig, & Andrews, 2006). In addition, studies have found that the anthropometric and physical performance, shoulder strength (Huang, Wei, Chi, & Chang, 2005), and pitching mechanics (Davis et al., 2009) of baseball players significantly differ with age. ...
... In the previous study, 10-to 15-year-old players were classified as "youth" and were compared with two older groups comprising players between the ages of 15 and 20 years and 17 and 23 years, whereas in the current study, players in the 10-18year age range were classified into three groups (senior group: 16-17 years old; junior group: 13-15 years old; little group: 10-12 years old). The 16-17-year-old players, entering puberty, which increases strength (Huang et al., 2005), anthropometrics (Mangine et al., 2013) and experience (Dun et al., 2007), may have caused the variation in coordination among the age groups in the present study. In addition, delivering at higher velocities extended the variation in segments involved in pitching. ...
Article
This study compared the whole-body movement coordination of pitching among 72 baseball players of various ages and velocity levels. Participants were classified as senior, junior, and little according to their age, with each group comprising 24 players. The velocity levels of the high-velocity (the top eight) and low-velocity (the lowest eight) groups were classified according to their pitching velocity. During pitching, the coordinates of 15 markers attached to the major joints of the whole-body movement system were collected for analysis. Sixteen kinematic parameters were calculated to compare the groups and velocity levels. Principal component analysis (PCA) was conducted to quantify the coordination pattern of pitching movement. The results were as follows: (1) five position and two velocity parameters significantly differed among the age groups, and two position and one velocity parameters significantly differed between the high- and low-velocity groups. (2) The coordination patterns of pitching movement could be described using three components, of which the eigenvalues and contents varied according to age and velocity level. In conclusion, the senior and junior players showed greater elbow angular velocity, whereas the little players exhibited a wider shoulder angle only at the beginning of pitching. The players with high velocity exhibited higher trunk and shoulder rotation velocity. The variations among groups found using PCA and kinematics parameter analyses were consistent.
... This can potentially be attributed to the differences in level of play, physical maturity, power, speed, agility, and body compositions, with highly skilled professional pitchers being less likely to have errors. 2,21 Discordantly sequenced pitchers had greater maximum shoulder external rotation compared with chronologically sequenced pitchers. This is consistent the findings of Oyama et al, 25 who also reported greater maximum shoulder external rotation in improperly sequenced high school pitchers. ...
Article
Background: Inefficient energy transfer from the pelvis and trunk has been shown to increase compensation at the level of the shoulder. Kinetic chain sequencing of the core segments is underexamined in professional baseball pitchers, especially as it relates to changes in upper extremity kinetics. Purpose: To evaluate elbow and shoulder kinetics in a cohort of professional pitchers differentiated by instances of discordant pelvic to upper torso sequencing during the pitch. Study design: Descriptive laboratory study. Methods: 285 professional baseball pitchers were evaluated using 3D motion capture (480 Hz). Pitchers were divided into "chronological" and "discordant" groups based on whether maximum pelvic rotation velocity occurred before (chronological) or after (discordant) maximum upper torso rotation velocity during the pitch motion. Pelvic, upper torso, and shoulder kinematic parameters, shoulder distraction force, shoulder internal rotation torque, and pitch efficiency (PE) were compared between groups. Results: Pitchers with discordant torso sequencing (n = 30; 110 pitches) had greater shoulder horizontal adduction at maximum external rotation (mean difference, 3.6°; 95% CI, -5.2° to -2.0°; t = -4.5; P < .001) and greater maximum shoulder external rotation (mean difference, 3.7°; 95% CI, 5.7° to 1.5°; t = -3.5; P < .001) than chronological pitchers (n = 255; 2974 pitches). PE did not differ between groups (P = .856), whereas ball velocity was significantly faster in the discordant group (mean difference, 0.6 m/s; 95% CI, -1.1 to -0.3 m/s; t = -3.3; P = .0012). Chronological pitchers had significantly reduced shoulder distraction force (mean difference, -4.7% body weight (BW); 95% CI, -7.9% to -1.5% BW; t = -2.9; P = .004) with no difference in shoulder internal rotation torque (P = .160). These kinematic and kinetic differences were not observed when accounting for interpitcher variability. Conclusion: Between pitchers, those who had a discordant pelvic to upper torso sequence experienced significantly greater shoulder distraction forces, potentially compensating by increasing maximum shoulder external rotation and horizontal abduction. Achieving maximal pelvic rotation velocity before maximal rotation velocity may be advantageous in preventing compensation at the upper extremity and excessive throwing arm loading. Clinical relevance: Identifying risk factors for increased upper extremity forces has potential implications in injury prevention. Specifically, mitigating shoulder distraction forces may be beneficial in reducing risk of injury.
... Consistent strength training has been shown to lead to an increased throwing velocity 1,2 and bat swing speed 3,4 in baseball athletes. The importance of strength, power, and agility, in relation to batting and fielding performance, has been demonstrated, 5,6 and it has been recommended that their development be the focus of off-season strength and conditioning training programs. 7 Upper body strength is believed to be important in baseball, and as such, the bench press is commonly included in resistance training programs for baseball athletes. ...
Article
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Purpose To determine the impact of inclusion of a band or chain compensatory acceleration training (CAT), in a 5-week training phase, on maximal upper body strength during a 14-week off-season strength and conditioning program for collegiate male athletes. Patients and methods Twenty-four National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) collegiate baseball players, who were familiar with the current strength and conditioning program and had a minimum of 1 year of formal collegiate strength and conditioning experience, participated in this off-season training study. None of the men had participated in CAT before. Subjects were matched following a maximal effort (1-repetition maximum [1-RM]) bench press test in week 1, then were randomly assigned into a band-based CAT group or a chain-based CAT group and participated in a 5-week training phase that included bench pressing twice per week. Upper body strength was measured by 1-RM bench press again at week 6. A 2 × 2 mixed factorial (method × time) analysis of variance was calculated to compare differences across groups. The alpha level was set at P<0.05. Results No difference (F1,22=0.04, P=0.84) existed between the band-based CAT and chain-based CAT groups. A significant difference was observed between pre- and posttests of 1-RM bench (F1,22=88.46, P=0.001). Conclusion A 5-week band CAT or chain CAT training program used in conjunction with an off-season strength and conditioning program can increase maximal upper body strength in collegiate baseball athletes. Using band CAT and/or chain CAT as a training modality in the off-season will vary the training stimulus from the traditional and likely help to maintain the athlete’s interest.
... These distances were shorter with respect to those recorded during rugby male elite games (17), likely because of the reduced dimension of the basketball court. However, the basketball sprint and RSA tests reported in the literature (10,12,13,16,24,38) mainly require players to sprint over longer distances and do not correspond well to the game requirements. Therefore, future studies should consider the development of sprint tests ,10 m for evaluating women's basketball players. ...
Article
The aim of this study was to assess elite women's basketball game performance. Five elite women's games (3 Italian first division and 2 Euroleague) were analyzed for individual and team time-motion analyses. The individual analysis evaluated the players' movement patterns with particular focus on high-intensity activity (HIA), sprint activity, and repeated sprint events (RSEs). Team analysis included live time (LT), stoppage time (ST), and their ratio, transfer (TR) phases, and half court and full court actions. The frequency of occurrence of changes of activities was n = 576 ± 110, one every 2.56 seconds of LT. Total HIA was 8.5 ± 1.8% of LT and no significant differences between quarter periods were observed. In general, players performed linear sprints (48.3 ± 2.9%) over 1-5 m distance (56.8 ± 5.6%). The occurrence of RSE was 4.4 ± 1.7, with 58.6 ± 18.5% passive recovery between sprints. Team analysis showed no significant difference between games for LT and ST phases (ratio = 1.18 ± 0.25). For game analysis, LT and ST were 43.4 ± 7.8% and 51.1 ±8.4%, respectively. A difference between games was found for half court actions (p < 0.01) and TR phases (p ≤ 0.05). Moreover, 1 TR and 2 TR were the most performed (45.3 and 23.9%) actions. These results encourage coaches to include repeated sprint ability with mainly linear and short sprints into a comprehensive training program.
... Little difference in power exists between professional baseball position players as they age; players who are able to maintain their power with age are the ones who are still playing. 29 The same may be true for players at shortstop and second base. ...
Article
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Unlabelled: The ultimate zone-rating extrapolation (UZR/150) rates fielding performance by runs saved or cost within a zone of responsibility in comparison with the league average (150 games) for a position. Spring-training anthropometric and performance measures have been previously related to hitting performance; however, their relationships with fielding performance measures are unknown. Purpose: To examine the relationship between anthropometric and performance measurements on fielding performance in professional baseball players. Methods: Body mass, lean body mass (LBM), grip strength, 10-yd sprint, proagility, and vertical-jump mean (VJMP) and peak power (VJPP) were collected during spring training over the course of 5 seasons (2007-2011) for professional corner infielders (CI; n = 17, fielding opportunities = 420.7 ± 307.1), middle infielders (MI; n = 14, fielding opportunities = 497.3 ± 259.1), and outfielders (OF; n = 16, fielding opportunities = 227.9 ± 70.9). The relationships between these data and regular-season (100-opportunity minimum) fielding statistics were examined using Pearson correlation coefficients, while stepwise regression identified the single best predictor of UZR/150. Results: Significant correlations (P < .05) were observed between UZR/150 and body mass (r = .364), LBM (r = .396), VJPP (r = .397), and VJMP (r = .405). Of these variables, stepwise regression indicated VJMP (R = .405, SEE = 14.441, P = .005) as the single best predictor for all players, although the addition of proagility performance strengthened (R = .496, SEE = 13.865, P = .002) predictive ability by 8.3%. The best predictor for UZR/150 was body mass for CI (R = .519, SEE = 15.364, P = .033) and MI (R = .672, SEE = 12.331, P = .009), while proagility time was the best predictor for OF (R = .514, SEE = 8.850, P = .042). Conclusions: Spring-training measurements of VJMP and proagility time may predict the defensive run value of a player over the course of a professional baseball season.
... In particular, physically immature baseball pitchers may be susceptible to lower extremity muscle fatigue with increasing numbers of pitches (Erickson et al., 2016). Additionally, it was revealed that lower extremity power (vertical jump height and power) decreases with age in professional baseball pitchers (Mangine et al., 2013). Third, although we did not measure upper extremity and trunk functions in this study, it is possible that muscle fatigue of the upper extremity and/or trunk muscles was related to decreased ball velocity at the end of the simulated game. ...
Article
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Compared to upper extremity function, the changes in lower extremity function with increasing numbers of pitches have not fully been investigated in baseball pitchers. In addition, little is known about the correlation between lower extremity function and pitching performance. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effect of fatigue on lower extremity function and pitching performance in a simulated baseball game. Eighteen collegiate baseball pitchers threw 117 pitches in 9 innings (13 pitches per inning) with 5-min rest between innings at an official pitching distance in a simulated game. Isometric hip muscle strength (abduction and adduction) and squat jump performance (height, mean/peak power, and mean/peak velocity) were measured before and after the game. The mean ball velocity and pitching accuracy were assessed per inning. Ball velocity significantly decreased in the 7th (P=0.026) and 9th (P=0.001) innings compared to the 1st inning, but pitching accuracy did not change significantly. Hip abduction (P=0.009) and adduction (P=0.001) strength significantly decreased after the game, but squat jump performance did not significantly change before and after the game. A significant correlation between decreased ball velocity in the 9th inning and decreased hip adduction strength was found (P=0.011, r=0.583). Our findings suggest that hip abduction and adduction strength are susceptible to fatigue owing to repetitive throwing motions and that hip adduction strength, especially, is an important physical fitness factor for maintaining ball velocity during a game in baseball pitchers.
... This classification was performed based on the different activity on the pitch, and the primary area in which this activity was performed. In line with previous studies in soccer (4) and individual sports (19,(21)(22)(23)(29)(30)(31)(32), soccer players were divided into 5-year age groups: G1 (,20 years), G2 (20-24.9 years), G3 (25-29.9 ...
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Rey, E, Costa, PB, Corredoira, FJ, and Sal de Rellán Guerra, A. Effects of age on physical match performance in professional soccer players. J Strength Cond Res XX(X): 000-000, 2019-This study aimed to evaluate the effects of age using a large-scale analysis of match physical performance in professional soccer players. A total of 10,739 individual match observations were undertaken on outfield players competing in the first and second divisions of the Spanish soccer professional leagues during the 2017-2018 season, using a computerized tracking system (TRACAB, Chyronhego, New York, USA). The players were classified into five positions and into 5 age groups (<20 years, 20-24.9 years, 25-29.9 years, 30-34.9 years, and ≥35 years). The results showed that (a) professional soccer players aged ≥30 years exhibit a significant decrease (p < 0.01) in the total distance covered, medium-speed running distance, high-speed running (HSR) distance, very HSR (VHSR) distance, sprint distance, and maximum running speed compared with younger players (<30 years); (b) professional soccer players aged ≥35 years exhibit a significant decrease (p < 0.01) in the number of HSR, number of VHSR, and number of sprints compared with younger players (<35 years); and (c) all playing positions reduced their physical performance; however, external midfielders were less affected by age effects. In conclusion, this study demonstrates players' physical match performance reduces with increasing age. Such findings may help coaches and managers to better understand the effects of age on match-related physical performance and may have the potential to assist in decisions regarding recruitment and player list management within professional soccer clubs.
... Not only do major league players possess superior physical qualities, further research has shown they are able to maintain these qualities as well, with lower body power being maintained until the age of 29-31, whereas speed, agility, and grip strength are maintained in players able to continue playing professionally past the age of 35 (Mangine et al., 2013). were following a periodization model (Ebben, Hintz, & Simenz, 2005). ...
Article
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The popularity of strength and conditioning specialists is rising, especially at competitive levels of sport in Asia. The aim of this review paper is to provide an overview of the findings of past and recent literature to clarify how strength and conditioning transfers to sport performance. Later in this review, baseball will be used as an example to help explain several of the specific physical qualities baseball players require to be successful, and how strength and conditioning should approach the identification and development of these qualities to improve sport performance. The body of this review will cover the following: (a) an introduction to current trends in Asian strength and conditioning, (b) the necessity of understanding periodization models, (c) understanding evidence-based training concepts for strength and power training transfer to sport, (d) baseball strength and conditioning as an example of applying literature to improve performance, and (e) a summary. It is the authors' hope that this review emphasizes the importance of strength and conditioning programs being evidence-based, that is, grounded in the scientific literature as opposed to current trends in health and fitness, or the popularity of various training methods. This review will specifically address several myths about training methods and periodization that are contrary to what is known from the scientific literature on training and performance. It is important for strength and conditioning coaches to understand fundamental concepts and sound training methods if they are to maximally impact their athletes' performance in competition.
... This phenomenon is consistent with the concept that strength is associated with greater performance, but these correlations also involve age. BM, LBM, and %BF all significantly increase with age until a later stage that is over a collegiate baseline player's age; MLB level players demonstrated significantly higher amounts of LBM and BM compared to the younger players in the Minor Leagues 11 . In our study, SJS, the eldest players of the groups, exhibited higher values in every BC variable measured at the beginning of the season, compared to First-years, validating the idea that BC change is correlated with age. ...
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Purpose: The purpose of our study was to evaluate the body composition fluctuation pattern, in baseball players thus generating insights that may contribute to optimization of the diet/training regimes for maximal performance and optimal health. Methods: Dual energy x-ray absorptiometry (DXA) scans performed at the start and end of five different seasons (2015-2019) were analyzed and compared. Groups were stratified to examine differences in players' positions (Pitchers vs. Position Players) and first-year status effects (Freshman/Transfer vs. Sophomore/Junior/Seniors). Results: Body weight and lean body mass, significantly decreased from the beginning to end of season for the overall team (p ≤ 0.05). Position Players exhibited a statistically significant decline in body weight, body fat percentage, and fat mass (p ≤ 0.05) during the season while pitchers did not demonstrate significant changes in these measures. First-year players exhibited a statistically significant increase in visceral adipose tissue (VAT) mass over the season while Sophomore/Junior/Seniors demonstrated a significant decrease in body weight and fat mass (p ≤ 0.05). Conclusion: Baseball players' body composition changes over the season, therefore, the study results may be helpful for collegiate baseball programs, and potentially athletes in similar sports, to improve the performance, development, and health of young student athletes. Introduction Success of baseball athletes can be evaluated through physical performance measures (i.e., speed, grip-strength, vertical jump etc.) and in-game statistics (i.e. homeruns, runs-batted in, earned run average) 2,6,8,22. While strength and conditioning programs are typically utilized aiming to support the athlete regarding performance and training demands, other relevant important determinants such as nutrition and body composition (BC) have not been extensively studied or effectively used in baseball. On the contrary, in other sports such as football, hockey, and soccer there has been significantly more extensive examination of the relationship between BC and performance, while a limited body of research has been conducted with baseball players 12. In terms of BC aspects, knowledge of the amount and respective distribution of various tissue types can be important to athletic performance as well as optimal physical health and development. In this context, detailed sport-specific analyses enable athletes and coaches to better understand the needs and define goals in terms of optimal BC for maximum performance potential for their respective sport 21 .
... In addition, athletes and coaches should focus on developing and maintaining strength indicators, because they seem to be the best indicators of athletic performance at least in young baseball players. 39 This study has some weaknesses: i) it was not possible to evaluate dietary habits and calcium intake, and ii) it was not possible to have a control group. Notwithstanding, this is a first study carried out in selected young Brazilian baseball players that may serve as a baseline for future studies. ...
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The physical actions developed by baseball players can increase muscular fitness, and consequently improve bone health. The objective was to relate some indicators of muscular fitness to bone health in young baseball players. A descriptive cross-sectional study was carried out in 102 children and adolescent baseball players of the Brazilian National Team. The age range ranged from 9.0 to 15.0 years, the average chronological age was 12.2±2.2 years and the maturity status was 14.8±0.5 APHV (age at peak height velocity). Anthropometry, body composition [% fat, fat mass (FM) and fat-free mass (FFM)], physical tests [horizontal jump (HJ) and medicine ball throw (MBT)] bone health was estimated by anthropometry [bone mineral density (BMD) and bone mineral content (BMC)]. There was positive and significant correlation between bone health with FFM (r2= 89%) and with muscle strength tests (HJ and MBT) (R2= 55 to 75%). Young baseball players classified with low bone health level, reflected decreased values of FFM, HJ and MBT, in relation to young players classified with moderate and high bone health level (p<0.05). It was shown that good bone health is a consequence of a greater presence of muscular fitness, as a result of increased physical activity. These results suggest that emphasis should be placed on those young people who present a greater risk of having low BMD and BMC.
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Baseball pitchers throw various types of pitches to disrupt the hitter’s timing by changing speed, trajectory, and location. Pinching and gripping are fundamentally important to manipulate a thrown ball by a pitcher. PURPOSE: To measure and evaluate normative data for pinch and grip strength and assess the relationship between these data and pitch velocity and spin variables (spin rate, spin efficiency, and true spin) of different pitch types (four-seam fastball, curveball, slider, and changeup) thrown by collegiate baseball pitchers. METHODS: Twenty-one Division I collegiate baseball pitchers (age = 19.9 ± 1.5 yr., height = 186.6 ± 6.0 cm, body mass = 90.7 ± 13.8 kg, lean body mass = 77.3 ± 9.3 kg, percent body fat = 14.6 ± 5.2%) volunteered for this study. Tests included dominant (D) and non-dominant (ND) hand grip strength (GS), index finger pinch strength (IPS), middle finger pinch strength (MPS), total pinch (IPS and MPS measured simultaneously) strength (TPS), and combined pinch (IPS + MPS) strength (CPS). Pitch velocity, spin rate, spin efficiency, and true spin of the different pitches were recorded in a lab setting. Pitchers threw from a custom-built pitching mound into a pocket net 18.44 m away. The device used to record velocity and spin variable data was placed 4.72 m in front of the home plate with the camera facing the pitcher. Pitchers randomly threw 5 four-seam fastballs, curveballs, sliders, and changeup pitches from the windup. Paired sample t-tests were run on each of the strength measures. The velocity and spin variables of each pitch were correlated with DGS, DIPS, DMPS, DTPS, and DCPS by using a correlation matrix from raw data scores. Statistical analysis used Pearson product-moment correlation coefficient with an alpha level of 0.05. Correlations were listed as high (± 0.800 - 1.0), moderately high (± 0.600 - 0.799), or moderate (± 0.400 - 0.599). RESULTS: There were no statistical differences between D and ND pinch strengths or grip strength except TPS (p < 0.04). There was a moderately high significant relationship between DTPS and curveball true spin (r = 0.660, p < 0.04) and spin efficiency (r = 0.653, p < 0.04). There was a moderate significant relationship between DTPS and fastball velocity (r = 0.520, p < 0.02) and fastball spin rate (r = 0.509, p < 0.03). There were no other significant correlations found between any of the pinch and grip variables and the velocity, spin rate, spin efficiency, and true spin of the four pitches. CONCLUSIONS: These data provide normative values for pinch and grip strengths in collegiate baseball pitchers. There were significant relationships between DTPS and curveball true spin and spin efficiency as well as fastball velocity and fastball spin rate. There were no correlations between DIPS, DMPS, DCPS, or DGS on any of the different pitch variables. PRACTICAL APPLICATIONS: For those who train baseball pitchers and would like to improve their pinch strength to potentially enhance the baseball spin variables, it is recommended to have pitchers engage in finger grip training. This may improve the rate of force development and maximal force applied to the baseball. It is recommended that pitching coaches and pitchers work on finding the most effective grip for each pitcher to develop the optimal spin variables for the pitches they throw. These data can help contribute to developing normative data for pinch and grip strength for college baseball pitchers.
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IN THE SPORTS OF BASEBALL AND SOFTBALL, POWER, SPEED, AND AGILITY ARE ESSENTIAL CHARACTERISTICS FOR SUCCESS. PLAYERS WHO POSSESS THESE CHARACTERISTICS MAY BE ABLE TO COVER A LARGER PORTION OF THE FIELD AND REACT TO SPECIFIC SITUATIONS WHILE RUNNING ON THE BASE PATHS. IT IS ESSENTIAL THAT THE COACH OR STRENGTH AND CONDITIONING PROFESSIONAL CONDUCT DRILLS THAT ARE SPORTS-SPECIFIC TO THE GAME OF BASEBALL OR SOFTBALL. THE FOLLOWING ARTICLE DISCUSSES THE BASEBALL/SOFTBALL PLAYERS’ NEEDS AND PROVIDES RECOMMENDATIONS FOR POTENTIAL SPORT-SPECIFIC DRILLS THAT CAN BE COMPLETED IN AN INDOOR FACILITY OR ON THE BASEBALL/SOFTBALL FIELD.
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Introduction: Anthropometric characteristics is one of the methods that they have been used in sport talent detection. However, few studies have analyzed the morphological profile of elite baseball player. Objective: To analyze the anthropometric profile of elite Spanish baseball players, classified by playing positions and globally. Material and methods: Two hundred and seventeen male baseball players (age: 23.87 ± 5.32 years) from Spanish Honor Division participated in this study. Athletes were classified based on their playing position. Anthropometric variables were measured and somatotype, body composition, body mass index (BMI) and six skinfolds sum were calculated. Results: Players did not show significant differences based on their playing position in stretch stature; body mass; triceps, subscapular, biceps, supraspinale, abdominal and medial calf skinfolds; six skinfold sum; and wrist (bi-styloid) bone breadth. There were significant differences in front thigh skinfold, arm flexed and tensed and calf girths, humerus (biepicondylar) and femur (biepicondylar) bone breadths; BMI, body composition and somatotype. Endomorphy showed a high value, mesomorphy a high or medium-high values and ectomorphy a low value. Generally, athletes showed a mesomorphic endomorph and mesomorph-endomorph somatotype, depends on the playing position. Conclusion: Baseball players of all the playing positions showed a high homogeneity in the anthropometric profile. There were only few differences in some anthropometric variables such as girths and bone breaths.
Article
Introducción: a pesar de que las características antropométricas es uno de los métodos utilizados dentro de la selección de talentos deportivos,son pocos los estudios que han analizado el perfi l morfológico del jugador de béisbol de élite.Objetivo: analizar el perfi l antropométrico de los jugadores de béisbol de élite nacional de forma global y según el puesto ocupado.Material y métodos: Doscientos diecisiete jugadores de béisbol masculino (edad: 23,87 ± 5,32 años) de la División de Honor españolaparticiparon en el presente estudio. A todos ellos se les clasifi có según su posición de juego y se les realizó una valoración antropométrica.Posteriormente se calculó su somatotipo, composición corporal, índice de masa corporal (IMC) y sumatorio de seis pliegues.Resultados: los jugadores no mostraron diferencias signifi cativas en función de su posición en el campo en la talla, el peso, los plieguestríceps, subescapular, bíceps, supraespinal, abdominal y pierna, ni en el sumatorio de seis pliegues o el diámetro biestiloideo. Sí que se encontrarondiferencias signifi cativas en el pliegue del muslo, perímetros del brazo contraído y pierna y diámetros biepicondíleo del húmero y fémur.Tampoco se hallaron diferencias signifi cativas en el IMC, la composición corporal o el somatotipo. Los valores de endomorfi a fueron altos, losde mesomorfi a altos o medio-altos y los de ectomorfi a bajos, siendo la clasifi cación del somatotipo mesoendomorfo o endomorfo-mesomorfosegún la posición de juego.Conclusión: existe una gran homogeneidad en el perfi l antropométrico de los jugadores de béisbol según su posición de juego, diferenciándoseúnicamente en algunas variables antropométricas como perímetros y diámetros.
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Background: Among professional pitchers, anthropometric changes and their effect on statistics are relatively unknown. Bivariate analyses and Repeated One- Way ANOVA evaluated the impact of physical size on baseball pitching statistics and attributes within an elite talent sample of Major League pitching leaders. Methods: BMI was calculated from publicly available players' heights and weights to form a statistical database of 1,028 pitching leaders from 1950-2010. Repeated measures ANOVAs examined differences in anthropometrics and baseball statistics between decades 1950-2010. Bivariate correlation evaluated BMI as an independent variable of influence on statistics, where all tests applied an a priori significance level (p<0.05). Results: BMI increased throughout the sixty year period with weight growth greater than height (p<0.001). Increased BMI reported earlier signing age, and age of debut (p<0.05), where larger pitchers showed small positive correlation seen among saves (p<0.001) concurrent to negative correlation with innings pitched and complete games (p≤ 0.001), as well as shutouts (p<0.05). A contrast between saves and complete games pitched was found where saves increased over time (p<0.001) while complete games pitched declined (p<0.001). Conclusion: Over time, throwing workloads showed better management for larger starting pitchers with less innings pitched and complete games thrown added to an extra rest day in the pitching rotation. In contrast, paralleled increases in physical size with recorded saves at present requires greater medical and training attention to protecting the throwing arm of the larger relief pitchers, as increased body size can increase force properties and ball velocity owing to greater injury risks.
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Danoff, JV and Raupers, EG. Effect of a one-semester conditioning class on physiological characteristics of college students. J Strength Cond Res 28(11): 3120-3125, 2014Long-term exercise is known to have positive effects on the health of adults. Some college activity courses are designed to give participants exposure to, and practice with, safe exercise techniques. Whether these 1-semester courses, usually 12-14 weeks, are sufficient to alter physiological characteristics, such as blood pressure or strength, has not been established. Therefore, the purpose of our investigation was to evaluate physiological and performance measures in college students to determine whether changes would result after 14 weeks of a general conditioning activity course. This study involved 79 students from several sections of exercise and conditioning classes at our university. Classes included a variety of fitness- and strength-oriented exercises. Physiological and performance measurements were collected in weeks 2 (pretest) and 14 (posttest), and compared pre with post using paired t-tests subject to Bonferroni correction (significant p < 0.0055). There were significant improvements in resting heart rate (HR) (73 vs. 70 bmin(-1), p < 0.002), hand grip strength (250 vs. 272 N, p < 0.001), push-ups (29 vs 37, p < 0.001), sit-ups (32 vs. 35, p < 0.001), and step test HR recovery (122 vs. 110 bmin(-1), p < 0.001). Systolic and diastolic blood pressures, body weight, and percent body fat did not change. These results suggest that 14 weeks of regular exercise in an organized college-based activity class can result in significant improvements in some measures of fitness and strength in college-aged participants.
Article
The aim of this study was to assess elite women's basketball game performance. Five elite women's games (3 Italian 1st division and 2 Euroleague) were analyzed for individual and team time-motion analyses. The individual analysis evaluated the players' movement patterns with particular focus on high intensity activity (HIA), sprint activity, and repeated sprint events (RSEs). Team analysis included live time (LT), stoppage time (ST), and their ratio, transfer (TR) phases, half court and full court actions. The frequency of occurrence of changes of activities was n=576 ± 110, one every 2.56 s of LT. Total HIA was 8.5 ± 1.8% of LT and no significant differences between quarter-periods were observed. In general, players performed linear sprints (48.3 ± 2.9%) over 1-5 m distance (56.8 ± 5.6%). The occurrence of RSE was 4.4 ± 1.7, with 58.6 ± 18.5% passive recovery between sprints. Team analysis showed no significant difference between games for LT and ST phases (ratio = 1.18 ± 0.25). For game analysis, LT and ST were 43.4 ± 7.8% and 51.1 ± 8.4%, respectively. A difference between games was found for half court actions (p<0.01) and TR phases (p<0.05). Moreover, 1TR and 2TR were the most performed (45.3% and 23.9%) actions. These results encourage coaches to include repeated sprint ability with mainly linear and short sprints into a comprehensive training program.
Thesis
The purpose of this thesis is to study the morphological changes of top athletes and identify structural links between performance and anthropometric characteristics. This thesis is comprised of various studies that analyze the highest level of performance by morphological aspect and different levels of proof. At first, we show differentiated changes between high level athletes and individuals in the general population (Studies 1 and 2), presupposing that athletes draw benefits from their anthropometric characteristics. Then we highlight the direct links between anthropometric characteristics and performance in track and field athletes and rugby players (studies 2 and 5): rugby teams with heavier forwards and taller backs are more successful than others. In track and field, calculated allometric coefficients show the impact of mass depending on the distance of the race and sex, suggesting a possible anthropometric progression margin for female athletes. The third level of supporting evidence, highlights the existence of couples [optimal morphologies - optimal performance], biometric attractors beneficial in scoring in basketball (Study 3), and BMI optimum with performance intervals in race distance (studies 4, 5 and 6). Mass, height and BMI are relevant indicators used to specify athletes between different events (morphological gradients in track and field following the spectrum of distances, like energy gradients) but also according to their level (inverse gradient between mass and height according to middle and long distances and sprints). These three indicators also reveal morphological differentiation depending on the specific position. Comparing the two, changes in mass and height show asynchronous growth indicative of atypicity. Independent from BMI’s primary function of measuring body size and obesity, it should be refined as a useful indicator of high level performance. Indeed, it reveals trade-offs between power, energy capacity and organization of efficient body structure for high level athletes. In athletic performance, the whole body is in action, and mass, height and BMI take into account the entire athlete who moves. The findings of this thesis will assist in making conclusions and new ways to understand performance and will assist to generate the development of experimental protocols. Physiques are the expression of the performance as well as the organization from which it is realized. The results of this thesis, based on the analysis of consistent databases, provide a new vision on morphological optimizations. For the purpose of performance, it is necessary to know the optimizations established in order to situate athletes in their morphological fields, but also enable them to move towards better anthropometric adaptation specific to their activities.
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As independent aspects, body size, body composition, and physiological performance of elite athletes have aroused the interest of sports scientists but, unfortunately, studies that combine these aspects are scarcely avalaible in water polo. The aim of the present study was to: 1) to develop an anthropometric profile of highly skilled male Water Polo players, and 2) to identify significant relationships between these features and overhead throwing velocity in highly skilled male water polo players. Thirteen male water polo players, with a mean age of 26.10±4.82, were recruited from the Spanish Water Polo team and an anthropometric assessment on all of them was carried out. Throwing velocity was evaluated in three different situations from the 5 m-penalty line on the center of the water polo goal: A) throwing without a defender nor a goalkeeper; B) throwing with a goalkeeper only, and C) 3) armfuls running shot with goalkeeper. Maximal handgrip was also tested. Biacromial breadth shows a significative correlation with hand grip in water polo players (r=0.792; P=0.001) and also correlates with Throwing velocity (r=0.716; P<0.001). Biepicondylar femur breadth correlates significatively with hand grip (r=0.727; P<0.05) and also with throwing velocity in "throwing with goalkeeper" situation (r=0.664; P<0.05). Hand grip shows a significant correlation with throwing velocity in "throwing with goalkeeper" situation (r=0.603; P<0.05). In conclusion, body mass aspects are not related with throwing velocity in highly skilled Water Polo players. Maximal hand grip is related with throwing velocity in "throwing with goalkeeper" situation. More investigations about water polo are necessary.
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This study aimed to investigate relationships between peak power (PP) as measured by upper limb (PPUL) and lower limb (PPLL) force-velocity tests, maximal upper limb force assessed by 1 repetition maximum bench press (1RMBP), and pullover (1RMPO) exercises, estimates of local muscle volume and 3-step running handball throwing velocity (T3-Steps). Fourteen male handball players volunteered for the investigation (age: 19.6+/-0.6 years; body mass: 86.7+/-12.9 kg; and height 1.87+/-0.07 m). Lower and upper limb force-velocity tests were performed on appropriately modified forms of a Monark cycle ergometer, with measurement of PPUL and PPLL, and the corresponding respective maximal forces (F0UL and F0LL) and velocities (V0UL and V0LL). T3-Steps was assessed using a radar Stalker ATS system. Muscle volumes of the upper and lower limbs were estimated with a standard anthropometric kit. T3-Steps was closely related to absolute PPUL and to F0UL (r=0.69, p<0.01 for both relationships). T3-Steps was also moderately related to 1RMBP and 1RMPO (r=0.56, p<0.05; r=0.55, p<0.05 respectively), and to PPLL and F0LL (r=0.56, p<0.05; r=0.62, p<0.05, respectively). When PPLL was expressed per unit of limb muscle volume, the relationship with T3-Steps disappeared. This suggests the importance of muscle volume to performance in throwing events. Force-velocity data may prove useful in regulating conditioning and rehabilitation programs for handball players. Our results also highlight the contribution of both the lower and the upper limbs to handball throwing velocity, suggesting the need for coaches to include upper and lower limb strength and power programs when improving the throwing velocity of handball players.
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Aging diminishes the ability to run fast, but the specific mechanisms responsible for this deterioration remain largely unknown. In the present study, we investigated the age-related decline in sprint running ability through a cross-sectional examination of biomechanical and skeletal muscle characteristics in 77 competitive male sprinters aged 17-82 yr. Ground reaction force (GRF) and kinematic stride cycle parameters were measured during the maximum-velocity phase using a 9.4-m-long force platform. Knee extensor (KE) and ankle plantar flexor (PF) structural characteristics were investigated using ultrasonography and muscle biopsies (vastus lateralis). Force production characteristics of leg extensor muscles were determined by dynamic and isometric contractions. The main findings were as follows: 1) the progressive age-related decline in maximum running velocity (Vmax) was mainly related to a reduction in stride length (Lstr) and an increase in ground contact time (tc), whereas stride frequency showed a minor decline and swing time remained unaffected; 2) the magnitude of average braking and push-off resultant GRFs declined with age and associated with Lstr, tc, and Vmax; 3) there was an age-related decline in muscle thickness, Type II fiber area and maximal and rapid force-generating capacity of the lower limb muscles; and 4) muscle thickness (KE + PF) was a significant predictor of braking GRF, whereas the countermovement jump height explained most of the variance in push-off GRF in stepwise regression analysis. Age-related slowing of maximum running speed was characterized by a decline in stride length and an increase in contact time along with a lower magnitude of GRFs. The sprint-trained athletes demonstrated an age-related selective muscular atrophy and reduced force capacity that contributed to the deterioration in sprint running ability with age.
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In this study, we examined gender and age differences in physical performance in football. Thirty-four elite female and 34 elite male players (age 17 +/- 1.6 to 24 +/- 3.4 years) from a professional football club were divided into four groups (n=17 each) according to gender and competitive level (senior males, senior females, junior males, and junior females). Players were tested for specific endurance (Yo-YoIR1), sprint over 15 m (Sprint-15 m), vertical jump without (CMJ) or with (ACMJ) arm swing, agility (Agility-15 m), and ball dribbling over 15 m (Ball-15 m). The Yo-YoIR1 and Agility-15m performances showed both a gender and competitive level difference (P < 0.001). Senior and junior males covered 97 and 153% more distance during the Yo-YoIR1 than senior and junior females, respectively (P < 0.001). Gender but not age differences were found for Sprint-15 m performance (P < 0.001). No difference in vertical jump and Ball-15 m performances were found between senior and junior males (P > 0.05). More marked gender differences were evident in endurance than in anaerobic performance in female players. These results show major fitness differences by gender for a given competitive level in football players. It is suggested that training and talent identification should focus on football-specific endurance and agility as fitness traits in post-adolescent players of both sexes.
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1. Skinfold thickness, body circumferences and body density were measured in samples of 308 and ninety-five adult men ranging in age from 18 to 61 years. 2. Using the sample of 308 men, multiple regression equations were calculated to estimate body density using either the quadratic or log form of the sum of skinfolds, in combination with age, waist and forearm circumference. 3. The multiple correlations for the equations exceeded 0.90 with standard errors of approximately ±0.0073 g/ml. 4. The regression equations were cross validated on the second sample of ninety-five men. The correlations between predicted and laboratory-determined body density exceeded 0.90 with standard errors of approximately 0.0077 g/ml. 5. The regression equations were shown to be valid for adult men varying in age and fatness.
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I model average running speed on distances from 5000 m to the marathon as a function of age, distance and sex. Using data on US age-dependent road-racing records, I simulate optimal performance forages ranging from 3 to 95 years. The results of the correlation between running speed and age are in line with medical results on the relation between age and maximal oxygen uptake. The results show that official track and field age-grading overestimates human performance at older ages.
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The purpose of this article is to introduce the baseball athletic test (bat), a battery of tests designed to evaluate player performance.
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The Lewis formula and nomogram, published in widely distributed textbooks, are used to calculate power output from vertical jump-and-reach distance and body weight. Despite the fact that the method has never been supported by refereed journal publication and the texts never revealed whether peak or average power was being estimated, the test has become increasingly used by physical educators, coaches and researchers. Theoretical analysis has raised questions about the the formula's validity. In order to evaluate the test, Lewis formula derived power output was compared to peak power and average power generated by 17 male subjects jumping vertically from a computer-interfaced force plate. Use of the Lewis formula should be discontinued because it does not provide accurate estimates of either peak or average power produced by the muscles. While the force-platform technique remains the method of choice for precise jumping-power determinations in the laboratory, the above equations can be used in conjunction with other tests to screen applicants for athletic teams and physically demanding jobs, and to monitor progress among participants in physical training and programs. Keywords: Lewis formula; Force platform; Tests.
Article
This study examined the relationship of athletic performance tests, player evaluations, and playing experience relative to playing time in 29 male Div. I college basketball players over 4 years. Performance tests consisted of field tests common to athletic conditioning programs. Regression analysis indicated that the most prominent predictor in each equation was the coach's evaluation of the player. This variable explained 56 to 86% of the playing time variance. The physical fitness components and playing experience explained an additional 6 to 20% of playing time variance. When player evaluation and playing experience were excluded from the regression equation, the performance tests explained 64 to 81% of the playing time variance. This study demonstrated the important relationships between leg strength, vertical jump, speed, and agility on playing time. It also appears that minimum levels of upper body strength and aerobic endurance are important components of a basketball player's preparation. However, levels greater than those of average college players do not appear to offer any further advantages in playing time. (C) 1996 National Strength and Conditioning Association
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The purpose of this study was to compare anthropometric and athletic performance variables during the playing career of NCAA Division III college football players. Two hundred and eighty-nine college football players were assessed for height, body mass, body composition, 1-repetition-maximum (1RM) bench press, 1RM squat, vertical jump height (VJ), vertical jump peak, and vertical jump mean (VJMP) power, 40-yd sprint speed (40S), agility, and line drill (LD) over an 8-year period. All testing occurred at the beginning of summer training camp in each of the seasons studied. Data from all years of testing were combined. Players in their fourth and fifth (red-shirt year) seasons of competition were significantly (p < 0.05) heavier than first-year players. Significant increases in strength were seen during the course of the athletes' collegiate career (31.0% improvement in the 1RM bench press and 36.0% increase in squat strength). The VJ was significantly greater during the fourth year of competition compared to in the previous 3 years of play. Vertical jump peak and VJMP were significantly elevated from years 1 and 2 and were significantly higher during year 4 than during any previous season of competition. No significant changes in 40S or LD time were seen during the athletes playing career. Fatigue rate for the LD (fastest time/slowest time of 3 LD) significantly improved from the first (83.4 ± 6.4%) to second season (85.1 ± 6.5%) of competition. Fatigue rates in the fourth (88.3 ± 4.8%) and fifth (91.2 ± 5.2%) seasons were significantly greater than in any previous season. Strength and power performance improvements appear to occur throughout the football playing career of NCAA Division III athletes. However, the ability to significantly improve speed and agility may be limited.
Article
This study compared anthropometric and performance variables in professional baseball players and examined the relationship between these variables and baseball-specific performance (i.e., home runs, total bases, slugging percentage, and stolen bases). During a 2-year period, 343 professional baseball players were assessed for height, weight, body composition, grip strength, vertical jump power, 10-yard sprint speed, and agility. Subject population consisted of players on the rosters of one of the minor league affiliates (Rookie, A, AA, AAA) or major league team (MLB). All testing occurred at the beginning of spring training. Players in Rookie and A were significantly (p < 0.05) leaner than players in MLB and AAA. These same players had significantly lower lean body mass than seen in MLB, AAA, and AA players. Greater grip strength (p < 0.05) was seen in MLB and AAA than in Rookie and A. Players in MLB were also faster (p < 0.05) than players in AA, A, and Rookie. Vertical jump power measures were greater (p < 0.05) in MLB than AA, A, and Rookie. Regression analysis revealed that performance measures accounted for 25-31% of the variance in baseball-specific power performance. Anthropometric measures failed to add any additional explanation to the variance in these baseball-specific performance variables. Results indicated that both anthropometric and performance variables differed between players of different levels of competition in professional baseball. Agility, speed, and lower-body power appeared to provide the greatest predictive power of baseball-specific performance.
Article
Baseball players exhibit a pattern of improvement and decline in performance; however, differing lengths of careers and changes in rules and characteristics of the game complicate assessments of age-related effects on performance. This study attempts to isolate the impact of age on several player skills while controlling for relevant outside factors using longitudinal data from 86 seasons of Major League Baseball. The results indicate that players age in different skills in accord with studies of ageing in other athletic contests. For overall performance, multiple-regression estimates indicate that hitters and pitchers peak around the age of 29 - later than previous estimates. Athletic skills such as hitting and running peak earlier than skills that rely heavily on experience and knowledge, such as issuing and drawing walks.
Article
Despite an increase in women sports participants and recognition of gender differences in injury patterns (e.g., knee), few normative strength data exist beyond hamstrings and quadriceps measures. This study had 2 purposes: to assess the lower-extremity strength of women (W) and men (M) basketball players who were 9-22 years old, and to determine which strength measures most correctly classify the gender of 12- to 22-year-old athletes. Fifty basketball players (26 W, 24 M) without ligamentous or meniscal injury performed concentric isokinetic testing of bilateral hip, knee, and ankle musculature. We identified maximal peak torques for the hip (flexors, extensors, abductors, adductors), knee (flexors and extensors), and ankle (plantar flexors and dorsiflexors), and we formed periarticular (hip, knee, and ankle), antigravity, and total leg strength composite measures. We calculated mean and 95% confidence intervals. With body mass-height normalization, most age and gender differences were small. Mean values were typically higher for older vs. younger players and for men vs. women players. Mean values were often lower for girls 12-13 years vs. those 9-10 years. In the age group of 16-22 years, men had stronger knee flexors, hip flexors, plantar flexors, and total leg strength than women. Men who were 16-22 years old had stronger knee flexors and hip flexors than did younger men and women players. Based on discriminant function, knee strength measures did not adequately classify gender. Instead, total leg strength measures had correct gender classifications of 74 and 69% (jackknifed) with significant multivariate tests (p = 0.025). For researchers and practitioners, these results support strength assessment and training of the whole lower extremity, not just knee musculature. Limited strength differences between girls 9-10 years old and those 12-13 years old suggest that the peripubertal period is an important time to target strength development.
Article
The decline of strength with age has often been attributed to declining muscle mass in older subjects. To investigate factors which might influence changes in strength across the life span, grip strength and muscle mass (as estimated by creatinine excretion and forearm circumference) were measured in 847 healthy volunteers, aged 20—100 years, from the baltimore longitudinal study of aging. Cross-sectional and longitudinal results concur that grip strength increases into the thirties and declines at an accelerating rate after age 40. However, the grip strength of 48% of subjects less than 40 years old, 29% of individuals 40–59 years old, and 15% of subjects older than 60 did not decline during the average 9-year follow-up. Grip strength is strongly correlated with muscle mass (r2 = .60, p < .0001). However, using multiple regression analysis, grip strength is more strongly correlated with age (partial r2 = .38) than muscle mass (partial r2 = .16). Additionally, a residuals analysis demonstrates that younger subjects are stronger and older subjects are weaker than one would predict based on their muscular size. Thus, while strength losses are partially explained by declining muscle mass, there remain other yet undetermined factors beyond declining muscle mass to explain some of the loss of strength seen with aging
Article
1. Skinfold thickness, body circumferences and body density were measured in samples of 308 and ninety-five adult men ranging in age from 18 to 61 years. 2. Using the sample of 308 men, multiple regression equations were calculated to estimate body density using either the quadratic or log form of the sum of skinfolds, in combination with age, waist and forearm circumference. 3. The multiple correlations for the equations exceeded 0.90 with standard errors of approximately +/-0.0073 g/ml. 4. The regression equations were cross validated on the second sample of ninety-five men. The correlations between predicted and laboratory-determined body density exceeded 0.90 with standard errors of approximately 0.0077 g/ml. 5. The regression equations were shown to be valid for adult men varying in age and fatness.
Article
In this study, the relationship between the physical fitness of college baseball players found from 6 field tests and a performance evaluation by coaches was investigated. The purpose was to ascertain whether the results would be similar to those obtained in a previous study. The subjects of the study were 43 college baseball players (mean age, 20.7 +/- 1.4 years; mean athletic career, 10.9 +/- 2.6 years). Referring to the previous study, the field tests of physical fitness were composed of 6 items: throwing distance, back strength, medicine ball throwing, standing long jump, T-test, and base running. For capabilities in batting, fielding, and running, the coach's evaluation was expressed by T scores. The results of the analysis indicated that those players with high evaluation scores had significantly better test results in comparison with those players who were rated low in the evaluation. Although the multiple regression models of the previous study were associated with a middle goodness of fit, a significant correlation was found between physical fitness found in the field tests and performance. The results from a partial correlation analysis indicated a significant correlation between the following: batting evaluation with back strength (p < 0.01) and medicine ball throwing (p <0.01); fielding evaluation with throwing distance (p < 0.05); and running evaluation with medicine ball throwing (p < 0.01), standing long jump (p < 0.05), T-test (p < 0.01), and base running (p < 0.01). It is certain that the performance of college baseball players is related to their physical fitness.
A study on the dynamic progress of performances of prominent world-class athletes in selected trackand-field events
  • T Pavel
  • K Kovar
  • P Hlavata
Pavel, T, Kovar, K, and Hlavata, P. A study on the dynamic progress of performances of prominent world-class athletes in selected trackand-field events. Kinesiology 37: 92-98, 2005.
But it's a rising generation of good young pitchers that may be driving baseball into an era in which the little things matter again
  • T Verducci
Verducci, T. When bigger gets smaller, small gets big: With steroid testing in place, power hitting is already in decline. But it's a rising generation of good young pitchers that may be driving baseball into an era in which the little things matter again. Sports Illustrated 102: 48-52, 2005.
Aging: It's effects on strength, power, flexibility, and bone density
  • K Adams
  • P Shea
  • O' Shea
Adams, K, O'Shea, P, and O'Shea, KL. Aging: It's effects on strength, power, flexibility, and bone density. Strength Cond J 21: 65-77, 1999.
Norms for Fitness, Performance and Health
  • J R Hoffman
Hoffman, JR. Norms for Fitness, Performance and Health. Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics, 2006. pp. 27-39.
The asterisk ERA New questions about steroids have cast doubt on the legitimacy of the legitimacy of the games power-hitting records.
  • Verducci
Verducci, T. The asterisk ERA? New questions about steroids have cast doubt on the legitimacy of the legitimacy of the game's powerhitting records. Sports Illustrated 100: 36-39, 2004.
Major league team rosters Available at: http://espn.go. com/mlb/team
  • Espn
ESPN. Major league team rosters. Available at: http://espn.go. com/mlb/team/roster/_/name/. Accessed October 25, 2011.
Major league team rosters
  • Espn
ESPN. Major league team rosters. Available at: http://espn.go. com/mlb/team/roster/_/name/. Accessed October 25, 2011.
Estimation of human power output from vertical jump
  • E A Harman
  • Rosenstein
  • Mt
  • Frykman
  • Pn
  • R M Rosenstein
  • Kraemer
  • Wj
Harman, EA, Rosenstein, MT, Frykman, PN, Rosenstein, RM, and Kraemer, WJ. Estimation of human power output from vertical jump. J Appl Sport Sci Res 5: 116-120, 1991.
Biomechanical and skeletal muscle determinants of maximum running speed with aging
  • M T Korhonen
  • A A Mero
  • M Alni
  • S Sipila
  • K Hakkinen
  • Vainio
  • Tl
  • Viitasalo
  • Jt
  • M T Haverinen
  • H Suominen
Korhonen, MT, Mero, AA, Alni, M, Sipila, S, Hakkinen, K, Vainio, TL, Viitasalo, JT, Haverinen, MT, and Suominen, H. Biomechanical and skeletal muscle determinants of maximum running speed with aging. Med Sci Sports Exerc 41: 844-856, 2009.
A study on the dynamic progress of performances of prominent world-class athletes in selected track-and-field events.
  • Pavel
When bigger gets smaller, small gets big: With steroid testing in place, power hitting is already in decline. But its a rising generation of good young pitchers that may be driving baseball into an era in which the little things matter again.
  • Verducci