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Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research:
doi: 10.1519/JSC.0b013e31829bd7c5
Original Research

Performance and Muscle Architecture Comparisons Between Starters and Nonstarters in National Collegiate Athletic Association Division I Women's Soccer

Jajtner, Adam R.; Hoffman, Jay R.; Scanlon, Tyler C.; Wells, Adam J.; Townsend, Jeremy R.; Beyer, Kyle S.; Mangine, Gerald T.; McCormack, William P.; Bohner, Jonathan D.; Fragala, Maren S.; Stout, Jeffery R.

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Abstract: Jajtner, AR, Hoffman, JR, Scanlon, TC, Wells, AJ, Townsend, JR, Beyer, KS, Mangine, GT, McCormack, WP, Bohner, JD, Fragala, MS, and Stout, JR. Performance and muscle architecture comparisons between starters and nonstarters in National Collegiate Athletic Association Division I women's soccer. J Strength Cond Res 27(9): 2355–2365, 2013—This study compared performance and muscle architecture (MA) changes in starters (S) and nonstarters (NS) during a National Collegiate Athletic Association Division I women's soccer season. Twenty-eight women (19.9 ± 1.1 years; 1.71 ± 0.08 m; 64.7 ± 6.4 kg) were monitored for vertical jump power (VJP), repeated line drills (LDs), 3-dimensional multiple object tracking (3D-MOT), and reaction time (RT) at preseason, midseason, and postseason. Muscle architecture changes using ultrasonography were assessed at preseason and postseason. Comparisons between S (n = 11; 70.0 ± 14.6 min per game) and NS (n = 17; 8.4 ± 8.0 min per game) were performed to make magnitude-based inferences. No differences were seen in VJP during the season in either group. Starters were more likely (81.1%) to decrease LD time than NS, with no differences in fatigue rate. Starters and NS improved 3D-MOT (1.14 ± 0.41 to 1.55 ± 0.43) and RT (0.37 ± 0.05 to 0.34 ± 0.33 seconds), with no differences between groups. Rectus femoris (RF) echo intensity improved (65.57 ± 1.50 to 61.26 ± 1.59) in both groups, with no interactions observed. Cross-sectional area (20.84 ± 3.58 to 21.46 ± 3.66 cm2) increased and pennation angle (PANG) (12.58 ± 2.56 to 11.78 ± 2.03°) decreased for both groups in the vastus lateralis (VL). Muscle architecture comparisons between groups revealed S likely decreased VL muscle thickness (MT) and PANG (81.6 and 79.4%, respectively) and possibly decreased RF MT and PANG (65.7 and 59.4%, respectively) when compared with NS. Results indicate that VJP and LD fatigue rate are not changed during a competitive season, but S become faster than NS. Three-dimensional multiple object tracking and RT improve regardless of playing time. Changes in MA indicate that practices alone provide sufficient stimulus for improving muscle quality during the competitive season.

Copyright © 2013 by the National Strength & Conditioning Association.



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