Special Issue "Strength Training in Sprint Sports"

A special issue of Sports (ISSN 2075-4663).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 April 2019)

Special Issue Editor

Guest Editor
Dr. Robert Lockie

Department of Kinesiology, College of Health and Human Development, 800 North State College Blvd., Fullerton, CA 92834, USA
Website | E-Mail
Interests: speed and agility; strength and power; team sports; tactical

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Strength is a foundational quality in athletes that is required to sprint maximally over a range of distances within respective sports. This includes field sports, such as football, rugby, Australian and American football, and field hockey; court sports, such as basketball, volleyball, tennis and badminton; and track sprinting. Numerous methods have been adopted within the literature to measure strength (e.g., repetition-maximum testing, and isokinetic and isometric dynammometry), and these have been found to have a widespread influence on the performance of athletes from sprint sports. Furthermore, a variety of approaches have been adopted to improve strength in these athletes. It is essential for the practitioner to understand the implications of greater strength on the performance of athletes from sprint sports, and the most appropriate protocols that should be used to measure strength in these athletes. The aim of this Special Issue is to: 1) investigate the influence of strength on the performance of athletes from sprint sports; 2) investigate how the influence of strength on performance could vary depending on the methods used to measure this quality by the practitioner; and 3) determine the effects of strength training on the performance of athletes from sprint sports.

Dr. Robert Lockie
Guest Editor

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Keywords

  • Maximum strength
  • Strength training and conditioning
  • Sprint acceleration and maximum velocity
  • Field and court sports

Published Papers (5 papers)

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Research

Open AccessArticle
The Relationship between Change of Direction Tests in Elite Youth Soccer Players
Received: 30 March 2019 / Revised: 7 May 2019 / Accepted: 9 May 2019 / Published: 14 May 2019
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Abstract
Change of direction (COD) is a performance-limiting factor in team sports. However, there are no exact definitions describing which physical abilities limit COD performance in soccer. Nevertheless, different COD tests are used or have been recommended as being equally effective in the professional [...] Read more.
Change of direction (COD) is a performance-limiting factor in team sports. However, there are no exact definitions describing which physical abilities limit COD performance in soccer. Nevertheless, different COD tests are used or have been recommended as being equally effective in the professional practice of measuring COD performance. Therefore, the aim of this study was to evaluate the relationship between different COD tests, and to test the independence and generalizability of these COD tests in soccer. As such, 27 elite youth soccer players were randomly recruited and were tested in different COD tests (i.e., Illinois agility test (IAT), T agility test (TT), 505 agility test (505), Gewandtheitslauf (GewT), triangle test (Tri-t), and square test (SQT)). Bivariate Pearson correlation analysis was used to assess the relationships between the COD tests. The Benjamini–Hochberg method was used to control for the false discovery rate of the study at 0.05. This investigation calculated explained variances of 10% to 55% between performances in the different COD tests. This suggested that the tests covered different aspects or task-specific characteristics of the COD. Therefore, coaches and sport scientists should review and select different tests with a logical validity, based on the requirement profiles of the corresponding sport. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Strength Training in Sprint Sports)
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Open AccessArticle
Effects of Strength Training Program and Infrared Thermography in Soccer Athletes Injuries
Received: 15 August 2018 / Revised: 15 October 2018 / Accepted: 8 November 2018 / Published: 19 November 2018
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Abstract
The purpose of this investigation was to examine the effects of a periodized strength training program and the use of infrared thermography (IRT) in injuries mapping in under 20-year-old (U-20) soccer players. In this study, 26 professional soccer players participated in strength training [...] Read more.
The purpose of this investigation was to examine the effects of a periodized strength training program and the use of infrared thermography (IRT) in injuries mapping in under 20-year-old (U-20) soccer players. In this study, 26 professional soccer players participated in strength training (ST) twice a week and were tested with IRT consistently across the 1-year. Strength, vertical jump, heat differences and injuries were tracked and analyzed. Results: 69 injuries occurred during 12 months of tracking; most identified injuries were: contusions, sprains, strains to the thigh (n = 16), ankle (n = 15) and knee (n = 12). Differences (>7 °C) in IRT patterns were noted among injured and non-injured athletes. Significant improvements in strength (p < 0.005) were found for vertical jump, bench press, front lat pull down, shoulder press, leg press, leg curl and squat. Number of injuries decreased from 23 (33.3%) to 14 (20.3%) when early year rates were compared to late year (p < 0.005). Combined ST and IRT represent useful strategies for reducing injuries among U-20 soccer players. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Strength Training in Sprint Sports)
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Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Effect of Plyometric Training on Speed and Change of Direction Ability in Elite Field Hockey Players
Received: 11 October 2018 / Revised: 1 November 2018 / Accepted: 7 November 2018 / Published: 12 November 2018
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Abstract
This study investigated the effects of two plyometric training protocols on sprint and change of direction (COD) performance in elite hockey players. A parallel-group randomized controlled trial design was used and seventeen elite male and female field hockey players were randomly allocated into [...] Read more.
This study investigated the effects of two plyometric training protocols on sprint and change of direction (COD) performance in elite hockey players. A parallel-group randomized controlled trial design was used and seventeen elite male and female field hockey players were randomly allocated into either low-to-high (L-H, n = 8) or high-to-low (H-L, n = 9) training groups. Each group performed separate variations of the drop jump exercise twice weekly for six weeks, with an emphasis on either jump height (L-H) or drop height (H-L). Performance variables assessed included sprint times over 10 m and 20 m, as well as 505 time. A two-way repeated measures analysis of variance was performed and Cohen’s d effect sizes (ESs) were calculated. The H-L group displayed a significant small ES improvement from baseline to post-training in the 10 m sprint (1.893 ± 0.08 s pre vs. 1.851 ± 0.06 s post) (ES = −0.44) (p < 0.05). Differences between groups for 10 m and 20 m sprint performance failed to reach statistical significance, and no significant differences were observed within or between groups for 505 time. These findings highlight the difficulty in substantially enhancing speed and COD ability in highly trained athletic populations through the addition of a low volume, short duration plyometric training protocol. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Strength Training in Sprint Sports)
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Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
The Impact of Post Activation Potentiation on Achilles Tendon Stiffness, Elasticity and Thickness among Basketball Players
Received: 23 August 2018 / Revised: 24 September 2018 / Accepted: 10 October 2018 / Published: 12 October 2018
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Abstract
The purpose of this study is to examine and further understand the effects of post activation potentiation on Achilles tendon (AT) thickness, elasticity and stiffness among basketball players. Basketball is one of the world’s most popular and widely viewed sports. One of the [...] Read more.
The purpose of this study is to examine and further understand the effects of post activation potentiation on Achilles tendon (AT) thickness, elasticity and stiffness among basketball players. Basketball is one of the world’s most popular and widely viewed sports. One of the main factors which athletes depend on during their performance is elastic energy coming straight from the AT. Contractile activity increases the muscular force and is known in science as post activation potentiation (PAP). Twelve basketball players (aged 21.3 ± 2.1 years) from the first Polish league took part in this study. The PAP session consisted of single repetitions of the squat with loads corresponding to 60%, 70%, 80%, 90% and 100% of 1 repetition maximum (RM). The measurement method for AT thickness was ultrasonography and for the elasticity and stiffness was myotonometry. The measurements were taken before and immediately after PAP training session. Obtained results: AT stiffness increased significantly from the baseline post exercise, while AT thickness and elasticity decreased after the physical effort. The exercise in PAP caused significant changes in stiffness, elasticity and thickness of the AT. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Strength Training in Sprint Sports)
Open AccessArticle
Relationship of Absolute and Relative Lower-Body Strength to Predictors of Athletic Performance in Collegiate Women Soccer Players
Received: 1 September 2018 / Revised: 20 September 2018 / Accepted: 21 September 2018 / Published: 29 September 2018
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Abstract
The purpose of this study was to investigate the relationships between absolute and relative lower-body strength on predictors of athletic performance among Division II collegiate women’s soccer players. Archived pre-season testing data for seventeen (n = 17) female National Collegiate Athletics Association [...] Read more.
The purpose of this study was to investigate the relationships between absolute and relative lower-body strength on predictors of athletic performance among Division II collegiate women’s soccer players. Archived pre-season testing data for seventeen (n = 17) female National Collegiate Athletics Association (NCAA) Division II soccer players were analyzed, including: vertical jump, 3RM back squat, 505-agility, modified T-test, 10 m and 30 m sprint, and 20 m multistage fitness test (20 m MSFT). Relative strength was calculated based on the estimated 1RM back squat divided by the athlete’s body mass. Significant correlations were discovered between absolute lower-body strength and 505-agility (Right: r = −0.51, p < 0.05; Left: r = −0.59, p < 0.05), modified T-test (r = −0.55, p < 0.05), 10 m and 30 m (r = −0.59, p < 0.05; r = −0.54, p < 0.05), and sprint performance. Relative lower-body strength showed significant correlations with vertical jump (r = 0.54, p < 0.05), 505-agility (Right: r = −0.58, p < 0.05; Left: r = −0.67, p < 0.01), modified T-test (r = −0.75, p < 0.01), 10 m and 30 m (r = −0.59 p < 0.05; r = −0.67, p < 0.01), and the 20 m MSFT (r = 0.58, p < 0.05). These results indicate that strength and conditioning coaches should emphasize the development of absolute and relative lower-body strength with their players to improve power, agility, and speed performance. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Strength Training in Sprint Sports)
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