María Cañadas, Miguel-Ángel Gómez, Javier García-Rubio and Sergio J. Ibáñez
Scientific literature has stated the presence of various stages in athletes sportive development, with different objectives in each one of them. This should lead coaches to different training plans according to the athlete’s formation stage. The aim of this study was to analyse training plans and identify differences in basketball objectives according to formative stages (U’12 and U’14) in boys and girls. A total of 1,976 training tasks were collected and analysed, for a total of four teams (girls and boys of U’12 and U’14 categories) during an entire season. Pedagogical variables, game phases, game situations, training means and content were studied. The results showed significant differences between genders. Girls’ teams performed more tasks on offense and technical skills. By contrast, boys’ teams performed more defensive tasks and tactical contents. The 1-on-0 and 1-on-1 were the most repeated game situations in all teams. Coaches used different training tasks according to gender and age. In male U’12 teams, drills predominated, whereas in the other categories, games predominated. For boys’ teams, the contents were tactical oriented, and for girls’ teams, the contents were oriented toward skill acquisition. Studying the pedagogical variables of the training process allowed for identification of the utility of training, assessment, and modification of this process.
Paulo H. Marchetti, Mauro A. Guiselini, Josinaldo J. da Silva, Raymond Tucker, David G. Behm and Lee E. Brown
In-line and traditional lunge exercises present differences in technique as lower limb positioning (anterioposterior), and medio-lateral (ML) balance may differentially affect primary and stabilizer muscles. The purposes of this study were to examine ML balance and muscle activation in anterior and posterior leg positions between in-line and traditional lunge exercises. Fifteen young, healthy, resistance-trained men (25 ± 5 years) performed 2 different lunge exercises (in-line and traditional) at their 10 repetition maximum in a randomized, counterbalanced fashion. Surface electromyography measured muscle activation of the vastus lateralis, biceps femoris, gluteus maximus, and gluteus medius. ML balance was measured with a Wii Fit Balance Board. The vastus lateralis activity was not significantly different between exercises or leg positions. The biceps femoris activity was not significantly different between exercises, however, it was significantly greater in the anterior compared to the posterior position for the in-line (p = 0.003), and traditional lunge (p < 0.001). The gluteus maximus activity was not significantly different between exercises, however, it was significantly greater in the anterior compared to posterior position for the in-line (p < 0.001) and traditional lunge (p < 0.001). ML balance was significantly greater in the in-line exercise in the anterior limb (p = 0.001). Thus, both in-line and traditional lunge exercises presented similar overall levels of muscle activation, yet the anterior limb generated the highest biceps femoral and gluteus maximus muscle activation when compared to the posterior limb. The in-line lunge presents greater ML balance when compared to the traditional lunge exercise.
Bruno Gonçalves, Hugo Folgado, Diogo Coutinho, Rui Marcelino, Del Wong, Nuno Leite and Jaime Sampaio
Success in soccer is much dependent on how players and teams create and restrict space and time. In match situations, players constitute small sub-groups to improve their collective synchronization and achievement of specific goals. This study aimed to identify changes in the effective playing space (EPS, defined as the smallest polygonal area delimited by the peripheral outfield players) when considering sub-groups of 3 to 10 players. Twenty outfield professional players participated in this study. The EPS, its regularity pattern (measured by the approximate entropy), coefficient of variation and players’ mean speed were calculated for sub-groups of 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9 and 10 players, considering the smallest inter-player distance as the criterion. The EPS presented a most likely increase with a higher number of players, especially considering the transition from 3 to 4 players (~440% of variation, very large). As the EPS increased with the number of players, the correspondent regularity presented a trend of a most likely increase (from EPS3 vs. EPS4: ~25%, very large; to EPS9 vs. EPS10: ~11%, moderate). The mean speed results suggest that players may achieve different states of collective coordination, mainly between ~6 to 8 km.h-1. Overall, three different match scenarios should require additional attention when aiming to design more match transferable tasks: i) transition from EPS3 to EPS4; ii) transition from EPS4 up to EPS8; and iii) transition from EPS8 to EPS9. These results help to understand match self-organized behaviours and, consequently, allow to optimize task characteristics in practice sessions.
Michal Lehnert, Mark De Ste Croix, Zuzana Xaverova, Michal Botek, Renata Varekova, Amr Zaatar, Ondrej Lastovicka and Petr Stastny
The aim of this study was to examine the acute effects of soccer specific fatigue on muscular and neuromuscular function in male youth soccer players. Elite soccer players (n = 20; age 15.7 ± 0.5 y; body height 177.75 ± 6.61 cm; body mass 67.28 ± 8.29 kg) were measured before and after soccer specific exercise (SAFT90). The reactive strength index (RSI) was determined by a drop jump test, leg stiffness (LS) by a 20 sub-maximal two-legged hopping test, and a functional hamstring to quadriceps strength ratio from isokinetic concentric and eccentric strength of the dominant and non-dominant leg (measured at angular velocities of 1.05 rad · s−1 and 3.14 rad · s−1). Metabolic response to the SAFT90 was determined by blood lactate and perceived exertion was assessed by the Borg scale. After simulated match play, a significant decrease in absolute LS (t = 4.411; p < 0.001; ω2 = 0.48) and relative LS (t = 4.326; p < 0.001; ω2 = 0.49) was observed and the RSI increased significantly (t = 3.806; p = 0.001; ω2 = 0.40). A reduction in LS found after the SAFT90 indicates possible reduction in dynamic knee stabilization. However, if we consider the changes in other observed variables, the present study did not clearly confirm that fatigue induced by a soccer specific protocol increased the risk of ACL and hamstring injury. This may be attributed to the simulated rather than actual match play used in the present study.
The purpose of this study was to compare core muscle activation during a prone bridge (plank) until failure and 6-RM back squats. Twelve resistance-trained males (age 23.5 ± 2.6 years, body mass 87.8 ± 21.3 kg, body height 1.81 ± 0.08 m) participated in this study. Total exercise time and EMG activity of the rectus abdominis, external abdominal oblique and erector spinae were measured during 6-RM back squats and a prone bridge with a weight of 20% of participants’ body mass on their lower back. The main findings showed non-significant differences between the exercises in the rectus abdominis or external oblique, but greater erector spinae activation in squatting. Furthermore, in contrast to the prone bridge, the erector spinae and rectus abdominis demonstrated increasing muscle activation throughout the repetitions while squatting, whereas the prone bride demonstrated increasing external oblique activation between the beginning and the middle of the set. It was concluded that since squatting resulted in greater erector spine activation, but similar rectus abdominis and oblique external activation as the prone bridge, high-intensity squats rather than isometric low intensity core exercises for athletes would be recommended.
Paulo E. Redkva, Mauro R. Paes, Ricardo Fernandez and Sergio G. da-Silva
The aim of this study was to investigate possible correlations between aerobic and anaerobic fitness (in field tests) with performance during a 90 min friendly match, through the following variables: total distance covered, maximal running speed, number of high-intensity actions and number of sprints. Eighteen professional soccer players from a Brazilian elite team (age 23 ± 3 years, body mass 77.5 ± 8.9 kg) participated in the study. The athletes performed a Yo-Yo Endurance Test (aerobic fitness) and a Running Anaerobic Sprint Test (six maximal 35 m efforts separated by 10 s of passive recovery, anaerobic fitness). Data were collected during friendly matches using a GPS with 5 Hz technology. To establish the correlation between the variables determined during the matches, the Pearson correlation coefficient was used (significance level of p ≤ 0.05). A high correlation was found between distance covered in the Yo-Yo endurance test and total distance covered (r = 0.72; p < 0.05), number of high-intensity actions (r = 0.78; p < 0.05) and number of sprints (r = 0.88; p < 0.01) in the soccer matches. The RAST variables did not relate to the standards set during the matches (p < 0.05). From the results of the present study, it may be concluded that there is no correlation between RAST and friendly match data variables. However, better results in the Yo-Yo endurance test correlate with total distance, number of high-intensity actions and sprints during matches.
Jose M. Saavedra, Sveinn Þorgeirsson, Milan Chang, Hafrún Kristjánsdóttir and Antonio García-Hermoso
Sports performance analysis has been a growing field of study in the last decade. However, the number of studies in handball is small. The aims of this present study were (i) to compare handball game-related statistics by the match outcome (winning and losing teams) and (ii) to identify characteristics that discriminated performance in elite women’s handball. The game-related statistics of the 236 matches played in the last four Olympic Games (Athens, Greece, 2004; Beijing, China, 2008; London, United Kingdom, 2012; and Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, 2016) were analysed. Differences between match outcomes (winning or losing teams) were determined using the chi-squared statistic, also calculating the effect sizes of the differences. A discriminant analysis was then performed applying the sample-splitting method according to match outcomes. The results showed the differences between winning and losing teams were red cards and assists. Also, the discriminant analysis selected five variables (shots, goalkeeper-blocked shots, technical fouls, steals, and goalkeeper-blocked fast-break shots) that classified correctly 83% of matches. The selected variables included offensive and defensive predictors. Coaches and players can use these results as a reference against which to assess their performance and plan training.
Michal Wilk, Artur Golas, Petr Stastny, Monika Nawrocka, Michal Krzysztofik and Adam Zajac
Volume and intensity of exercise are the basic components of training loads, having a direct impact on adaptive patterns. Exercise volume during resistance training has been conventionally evaluated as a total number of repetitions performed in each set, regardless of the time and speed of performing individual exercises. The aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of varied tempos i.e. regular (REG) 2/0/2/0, medium (MED) 5/0/3/0 and slow (SLO) 6/0/4/0 during resistance exercise on training volume, based on the total number of performed repetitions (REPsum1-5) and time under tension (TUTsum1-5). Significant differences in TUT (s) were found in particular sets for each tempo of 2/0/2/0, 5/0/3/0 and 6/0/4/0 (p < 0.001). The ANOVA also revealed substantial differences in the REP for individual sets (p < 0.001). Post-hoc analyses showed that TUT for each set and total TUTsum1-5 were significantly higher in the 5/0/3/0 and 6/0/4/0 tempos compared to 2/0/2/0 (p < 0.001). REP was significantly higher for the 2/0/2/0 tempo compared to 5/0/3/0 and 6/0/4/0 tempo in each set. Total REPsum1-5, TUTsum1-5 between 5/0/3/0 and 6/0/4/0 tempos were not significantly different. The main finding of this study is that the movement tempo in strength training impacts training volume, both in terms of repetitions and total time under tension.
Daniel Jara, Enrique Ortega, Miguel-Ángel Gómez and Pilar Sainz de Baranda
The aim of this paper was to determine how the size of the pitch affected technical and tactical actions of the goalkeeper when playing small-sided games. The participants were 13 male youth players, including 3 goalkeepers. Three different pitch sizes were used (62 x 44 m; 50 x 35 m; 32 x 23 m). On each pitch, the players played three matches of 8 minutes, with 5-minute breaks between matches. Numerous variables were recorded and examined: defensive and offensive technical and tactical actions, opponent’s shooting zone, length and zone of the offensive action, and goal zone where the shoot was directed. An ad hoc observational tool was used. A descriptive analysis was described. The Fisher’s exact test was used when the expected distribution was below 5 or included values below 1%. Statistical significance was set at p < 0.05. The results showed that the technical-tactical actions of the goalkeeper differed among pitch sizes. In defensive actions, when the pitch was larger, the 1-on-1 situations took precedence, whereas when the pitch was smaller, the proportion of blocks increased. In offensive actions, the goalkeepers did not show a wide variety of actions when the pitch was larger, but when the pitch was smaller, passes with a hand or foot increased. These results show that the size should be taken into account when planning and designing tasks.
Nuno Batalha, Sónia Dias, Daniel A. Marinho and José A. Parraca
The continuous execution of swimming techniques, supported mainly by the upper limbs, may cause shoulder rotator muscle imbalances, which leads to injuries. The aim of this study was to evaluate and compare the effects of two training programs on strength, balance and endurance of shoulder rotator cuff muscles in youth swimmers. Twenty-five male swimmers were evaluated and randomly divided into two groups – the land group (n = 13), which conducted a conventional dry-land training program with elastic bands, and the water group (n = 12), which conducted a water resistance program. In both groups, the level of strength of the shoulder rotators was evaluated with an isokinetic dynamometer on two occasions (baseline and after 10 weeks) using two protocols: i) three repetitions at 60o/s; ii) twenty repetitions at 180o/s. The land group significantly increased the unilateral ratios compared to the water group. The land group also decreased the external rotator levels of muscular fatigue. The dry-land training program conducted proved to be more effective than the one conducted in the water, allowing to reduce the muscle imbalance and to decrease muscle fatigue.