Do hang cleans improve vertical jump height?

Vertical jump height is a valuable indicator of lower body power and athleticism. Further, jumping is a component of nearly all field and court sports. An athlete’s ability to propel themselves vertically provides an advantage during competition. Catching high thrown balls in football, stealing a rebound from your opponent under the rim in basketball or …

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Effect of Sleep Deprivation on Performance

The importance of adequate sleep quality and duration cannot be overstated for optimum health and performance in athletes. The benefits of ample quality sleep are well documented, ranging from improved recovery to superior body composition. You must ask yourself, are my athletes getting enough sleep? How much is their performance impacted by this? Two recent …

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Half-Time Strategies to Improve Performance

The half-time of a competition provides a period of rest and recovery for athletes while giving the coaches an opportunity to make adjustments for a strategically strong second half performance. It is common practice for most teams to be completely sedentary during the half time period, concluding with some brief stretching on the field right …

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Ankle Range of Motion Affects Jump Height

Without question, there is a direct relationship between lower body strength/power and vertical jumping ability. However, other factors are at play that can enhance or inhibit ones jumping potential. Specifically, biomechanical factors such as range of motion restrictions at the ankle joint can alter jumping mechanics and reduce jump height. Recent work published in the …

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Influence of Cognitive Factors on Reactive Agility Performance

Agility is an extremely important skill for field and court sport athletes. The ability to change direction quickly and safely in response to stimuli is crucial for high level performance and limiting injury potential. How to develop this skill requires a multi-faceted approach to training. Lower body strength and power enable an athlete to change …

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Do movement screens really capture dysfunction?

The Functional Movement Screen has grown in popularity as a means of screening athletes for asymmetries, dysfunction and ultimately risk of injury. The movement screen involves a series of seven movements that an athlete is to perform with minimal instruction or feedback from the coach. A scoring system is used to grade the athlete’s overall …

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Effective Athlete Monitoring: Wellness Questionnaires

Advancements in both sports science and technology have resulted in the development of very sophisticated equipment for monitoring athletes and quantifying training load. At elite levels of competition, coaches may be using expensive GPS devices to keep track of player load. Blood testing, heart rate variability, psychomotor speed changes, and so forth may also be …

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All else being equal, does the stronger athlete win?

If you were to assess a team of young athletes in a 5 and 20 meter sprint, countermovement vertical jump, and squat jump, you will likely determine that the strongest athletes performed best. This is precisely what Comfort et al. (2013) found when they tested a team of 17 year old soccer players in these …

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Do pre-adolescent athletes benefit from plyometrics?

Coaching youth sports teams presents many challenges for the coaching staff. Oftentimes, coaches may only be able to practice with their players as little as 1-2 times per week. The coaching staff must decide how they will budget their time with the kids to best educate them on the skills and fundamentals of the game …

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Waking Resting Heart Rate and Testosterone

A morning measurement of resting heart rate has been used to assess fatigue levels in athletes for quite some time now. Generally speaking, higher resting heart rates upon waking are indicative of higher levels of fatigue. Monitoring changes over time is thought to provide a good, objective measure of physical stress. It has been suggested …

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