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A Journal on Applied Physiology, Biomechanics, Preventive Medicine,
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The Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness 2016 Jul 06


language: English

Physical performance and positional differences among young female volleyball players

Gabriel A. PAZ 1, 2, Tim J. GABBETT 3, 4, Marianna F. MAIA 1, 2, Haroldo SANTANA 1, 2, Humberto MIRANDA 1, Vicente LIMA 2

1 School of Physical Education and Sports, Rio de Janeiro Federal University, RJ, Brazil; 2 Biodynamic Laboratory of Exercise, Health, and Performance, Castelo Branco University, Rio de Janeiro, RJ, Brazil; 3 School of Exercise Science, Australian Catholic University, Brisbane, Australia; 4 School of Human Movement Studies, The University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia


BACKGROUND: The purpose of this study was to investigate the association among anthropometric, physical performance parameters, and dynamic postural control attributes of young female volleyball athletes, and to determine if differences exist in these attributes according to playing position.
METHODS: Forty-three young female volleyball players participated in this study. Players were divided by position into hitters (n = 17), middle blockers (n = 8), setters (n = 10), and liberos (n = 8). Stature, body mass, vertical jump (VJ), peak power, horizontal jump (HJ), sit and reach (SRT), star excursion balance (SEBT), and agility (e.g. shuttle run and Illinois agility test) tests were assessed on non-consecutive days in randomized order.
RESULTS: No difference was found between groups for SRT, peak power, VJ, and HJ (p ≤ 0.05). Middle blockers and hitters were taller than setters (p ≤ 0.05). Middle blockers were also taller than liberos (p = 0.017). Significant differences were observed among groups for agility tests, with hitters significantly faster than setters (p = 0.023) and middle blockers (p = 0.037). In addition, liberos were significantly faster than setters (p = 0.032) and middle blockers (p = 0.046), during the Illinois agility test. No difference was observed between groups for reach distance scores in the SEBT.
CONCLUSION: These results demonstrate important positional differences in agility measures of young female volleyball players. Coaches can use this information to determine the type of physical profile that is needed for specific positions and to design training programs to maximize strength, power, and neuromuscular development of young female volleyball athletes.

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