Purpose/Background: Division III (D III) collegiate coaches are challenged to assess athletic readiness and condition their athletes during the preseason. However, there are few reports on off-season training habits and normative data of functional assessment tests among D III athletes. The purpose of this study was to examine off-season training habits of D III athletes and their relationships to the standing long jump (SLJ) and single-leg hop (SLH) tests.
Methods: One-hundred and ninety-three athletes (110 females, age 19.1 ± 1.1 y; 83 males, age 19.5 ± 1.3 y) were tested prior to the start of their sports seasons. Athletes reported their off-season training habits (weightlifting, cardiovascular exercise, plyometric exercise, and scrimmage) during the six weeks prior to the preseason. Athletes also performed three maximal effort SLJs and three SLHs.
Results: Male athletes reported training more hours per exercise category than their female counterparts. Mean SLJ distances (normalized to height) were 0.79 ± 0.10 for females and 0.94 ± 0.12 for males. Mean SLH distances for female athletes’ right and left limbs were 0.66 (± 0.10) and 0.65 (± 0.10), respectively. Mean SLH distances for male athletes’ right and left limbs were 0.75 (± 0.13) and 0.75 (± 0.12), respectively. Several significant differences between off-season training habits and functional test measures were found for both sexes: males [SLJ and weightlifting (p=0.04); SLH and weightlifting (p=0.04), plyometrics (p=0.05)]; females [SLJ and plyometrics (p=0.04); SLH and scrimmage (p=0.02)].
Conclusion: This study provides normative data for off-season training habits and preseason functional test measures in a D III athlete population. Greater SLJ and SLH measures were associated with increased time during offseason training.
Clinical Relevance: The findings between functional tests and off-season training activities may be useful for sports medicine professionals and strength coaches when designing their preseason training programs.
Published in International Journal of Sports Physical Therapy, 2014; 9(4): 447-455 http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/journals/1500/