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The Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness 2021 Jul 19

DOI: 10.23736/S0022-4707.21.12533-2

Copyright © 2021 EDIZIONI MINERVA MEDICA

language: English

Physiological swimming test for water polo players in the last twenty years: a systematic review

Emanuele CHIRICO , Antonio TESSITORE, sabrina DEMARIE

Human Movement and Sport Science Department, University of Rome Foro Italico, Rome, Italy


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INTRODUCTION: Swimming represents a crucial capacity for water polo players. Several studies have proposed different protocols to understand the incidence of this capacity on water polo performance and improve the players’ swimming assessment. This work aims to provide a systematic review regarding the current status of physiological swimming tests for water polo players with the purpose to furnish a complete framework to coaches and fully exploit recent advances of scientific research to enhance performance assessment and monitoring of the athletes.
EVIDENCE ACQUISITION: PubMed, Google Scholar, Scopus, and Science Direct were searched for relevant studies published from January 2000 to January 2021. The study dealt with a specific water test and performed in a horizontal swimming position without ball were included.
EVIDENCE SYNTHESIS: Twenty-three studies met the inclusion criteria. The results indicate the physiological assessment of water polo players might be divided into two areas concerning the swimming evaluation: swimming sprint tests and endurance swimming test. Furthermore, endurance swimming tests may be split into two subgroups: anaerobic-endurance swimming and aerobic-endurance swimming tests. Each of these areas evaluates a specific conditional capacity through swimming protocols based on the players' individual profile and water polo demands.
CONCLUSIONS: In the last years, scientific research has studied the typical ability of each water polo rule and of every athletes' level that represents this sport. The results have oriented the researchers to choose different protocols to evaluate each swimming capacity that characterises a particular phase of the water polo match.


KEY WORDS: Water protocol; Specific evaluation; Performance assessment; Physical fitness

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