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This study explored the physical movement patterns associated with an elite Under 18 Australian Football AF team. The Wing position covered 11, m, the greatest total distance during an entire game, whilst the HBF and Centre positions both recorded 11, m and 11, m respectively and the Ruck position covered 9, m. Results also show the completion of less total efforts and smaller total distances, in Under 18 players, recorded compared to professional senior AF data. The results from this study suggest that further in-depth research is required into movement patterns and game activity demands in this AF playing group. Little information currently exists in the movement patterns and physical activity levels in Australian football at both senior and junior levels.
It is important to note that methodological limitations in this exploratory study were the type of observation only recording distances covered and type recording technique, and the relatively low number of players observed in the study which makes normative profiling difficult Hughes et al. However, the mean results of all players presented from the five matches highlight both similarities and differences in the movement patters observed from the five playing positions chosen during games in this study which suggest further research must continue.
Previous research Norton et al. The data obtained within this study has used an elite junior population group at the relatively early stage of their development within the sport. Consequently, discretion is required, in terms of fitness levels and skill abilities, when comparing the observed differences within the two population groups. The split results for the junior data refers to the specific position under the general classification e.
Coaches may fill these positions with players of similar athletic capabilities involving speed, agility and endurance, highlighted by similar total movement distances recorded. However, there were a number of differences observed between these three positions that could be important and should be considered carefully when determining who might be capable of playing each position and how each position should be adequately prepared.
The HBF position has two roles during a game: This concurs with Reilly and Thomas who reported the large variation in distance covered by the defensive positions according to the attacking style and line-up of the opposing team. The midfield positions Wing and Centre on the other hand, as reported by Dawson et al. Hence, they are required to cover a greater distance per effort and in total to be present at as many contests as possible.
Skill execution requires the expenditure of energy, therefore decreasing recovery time further as they continued to work to the next contest. Based on this study, planning for training activities involving the midfield players should involve a large number of working efforts with minimal recovery intervals. This could include some working efforts followed by minimal rest perhaps broken only by the inclusion of a skill such as kicking.
This suggests that training drills for the ruckman involving greater resting intervals between working efforts should be prescribed compared to the midfield positions. In general, the number of efforts performed was similar across the playing positions, but there were larger differences in the distances covered. These results confirm that fitness sessions should be designed and implemented throughout each training session that focus on repeat efforts over these specific distances required by the playing positions.
Whilst some efforts recorded over m and fewer over m, the mean distances recorded during this study were between m. Therefore, running sessions should be designed around efforts covering distances of m with recovery intervals covering m, specifically replicating those recorded during this study.
The results showed that when compared to recent data at the elite level Dawson et al. Applied physiology and physical performance of sport. Physiology of movement and motor control. Physical performance of sport. Exercise and children. Exercise and aging. National Center for Biotechnology Information , U. J Sports Sci Med. James P. Alan J. John S. Author information Article notes Copyright and License information Disclaimer.
Received Aug 14; Accepted Feb 9. This article has been cited by other articles in PMC. Abstract This study explored the physical movement patterns associated with an elite Under 18 Australian Football AF team. Key points. Key words: Australian football, time-motion analysis, game demands. Position, field placement descriptions Figure 1 illustrates the nomenclature, placement of positions on the field and position descriptions adapted from those used in the study by Dawson et al. Open in a separate window.
Figure 1. As it is a set position it often does not cover as great a distance as other positions. Data collection The following procedures were completed throughout the study: Observer reliability To ensure reliability of measurements, three of the five games were chosen at random for retrospective re-analysis, with movement patterns re-measured to determine intra-observer reliability.
Data analysis Following game observations, data was logged into an Excel spreadsheet producing a report documenting the movement patterns for the different positions each quarter and across the entire game.
Table 1. Figure 2. Table 2. Positional analysis of the number of working efforts completed each quarter. Table 3.
Positional analysis of the number of resting efforts completed each quarter. Figure 3. Figure 4. Table 4.
Employment Honours student, Victoria University. Research interests Applied physiology of elite junior football. This age period is also characterized as a time when individuals can tolerate high training loads and competition demands as well as improve their technical and tactical performance levels. The development of stature and body mass in junior players follows a characteristic pattern. The greatest rate of change in body mass occurs approximately 12 months after the growth spurt peak height velocity Croix, ; Myer et al.
Consequently, the time surrounding peak weight velocity is thought to be the window of opportunity for strength development Lloyd and Oliver, Consequently, the main objectives of this study were: 1 to investigate physical fitness and match performance differences between under U16 and under U18 female basketball players, and 2 to evaluate the relationship between physical fitness and game-related performances.
Material and Methods Participants Twenty-three elite, female, youth basketball players age: Players were eligible for participation in the study if they were 14—18 years old at the beginning of the study season , female, and elite basketball players. The players were divided into a U16 group players born before that participated in the first junior Catalan category and a U18 group players born before that participated in the second national female basketball league.
Most of the players included in the research were part of the Spanish national basketball teams in their respective age groups.
In addition to a weekend match, routine training sessions occurred times per week and lasted approximately min each. Before the study started, participants and their parents received detailed written and verbal information about the possible risks and discomforts associated with testing. Written informed consent and assent were obtained from both parents and participants, respectively.
Procedures To evaluate physical fitness, the mean scores of the physical fitness tests conducted pre- and post-season were used as the representative values.
These evaluations were carried out on separate days, over two weeks, with a minimum of 48 hours of rest between assessments. The physical fitness capacities tested were maximal aerobic capacity day 1 , speed and agility day 2 , lower and upper limb explosive strength day 3 , anaerobic capacity day 4 , repeated sprint ability day 5 and upper and lower limb strength day 6. To evaluate game-related performance, the average number of games played and the number of minutes played, points, rebounds, assists, steals and blocks per game were calculated for each player during the season.
Prior to every physical performance test, all subjects performed a 10 min neuromuscular warm-up. One week before evaluation, the subjects were familiarized with the testing procedures. Measures Biometrics. The body fat percentage was estimated using the Faulkner equation Faulkner, Aerobic power. The test consists of two 20 m bouts of progressive speed shuttle-running interspersed with 10 s of active recovery and is performed until exhaustion.
The test was considered complete when the participant failed to reach the 20 m demarcation lines in-time twice.
The total distance covered during the Yo-Yo IR1 was the primary performance measure and the speed attained during the last two sets of 20 m bouts was used to estimate VO2max. The test was performed on the basketball court. The start and finish lines were clearly marked with cones. Each player completed three sprints with a 3 min rest period between each sprint. The time was recorded with a digital stopwatch to the nearest 0.
Reliability of sprint tests had been reported to be excellent, with ICCs of 0. The fastest time of the three sprints was used for further analysis.
The T-test is the optimal test to be used in basketball to evaluate agility as it includes forward, lateral and backward running. Based on the protocol outlined by Pauole et al. Then, they side shuffled to their left without crossing their feet to another cone placed 4. Next, they shuffled sideways to the right to the third cone placed 9. Finally, they shuffled back to the middle cone, touched the base with the left hand and then ran backwards to the starting line.
Two trials were completed and the fastest time was used for further analysis. Time to completion was measured using a digital stopwatch to the nearest 0.
This test had previously demonstrated good reliability Hetzler et al. Lower limb explosive strength. Flight time was recorded using Chronojump software to calculate the vertical jump height obtained De Blas et al.
Every jump was separated by a rest period of 20 s. The highest vertical jump height was used for further analysis. Upper limb explosive strength.
The players stood at a line with the feet shoulder-width apart and faced the direction in which the ball was to be thrown. The ball was brought back behind the head and then thrown forward vigorously as far as possible.
The player was not permitted to step forward over the line before or after the ball was released. Players were allowed three attempts. Throw distance was measured using a measuring tape that was fastened on the floor. The greatest distance thrown was used for further analysis.
Anaerobic capacity. Players were asked to perform four consecutive shuttle sprints of 5. Standardised verbal encouragement for an all-out effort was given throughout the test. Two trials separated by 10 min were completed and the fastest time was used for analysis.