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Long-Term Power Performance of Elite Australian Rules Football Players

McGuigan, Michael R1; Cormack, Stuart1,2; Newton, Robert U1

The Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research: January 2009 - Volume 23 - Issue 1 - p 26-32
doi: 10.1519/JSC.0b013e31818753ca
Original Research

McGuigan, MR, Cormack, S, and Newton, RU. Long-term power performance of elite Australian rules football players. J Strength Cond Res 23(1): 26-32, 2009-Measuring and tracking performance variables such as peak power output is essential for assessing the effects of training and for informing adjustments to optimize program design. The purpose of this study was to track the long-term changes in muscular power, velocity, and jump height of elite Australian Rules Football (ARF) players during a 3-year period. Twelve members of an ARF team were tracked during the study. The physical characteristics of the subjects were age, 25.3 ± 2.8 years; body mass, 93.0 ± 6.8 kg; and height, 192 ± 6 cm. The subjects performed unweighted and weighted (40 kg) countermovement jumps (CMJ) and static jumps (SJ). Peak power, jump height, and bar velocity were determined using a force plate and position transducer. Measures of peak power output during both the CMJ and SJ indicated significant (p ≤ 0.001) increases of 13% (effect size [ES] = 0.70) and 17% (ES = 1.77), respectively, during the course of the tracking period. There was also a significant 9% (ES = 0.71) increase in CMJ40 peak power. The subjects' CMJ peak velocity improved by 10.7% (ES = 0.34), and SJ peak velocity improved by 12.6% (ES = 0.37). The data from this study show that elite-level ARF players can continue to increase muscular power and velocity. This information is of interest to strength and conditioning coaches who are interested in improving power performance of their athletes for a long-term period.

1School of Exercise, Biomedical and Health Sciences, Edith Cowan University, Joondalup, Australia; and 2West Coast Eagles Football Club, Perth, Australia

Address correspondence to Michael R. McGuigan,

© 2009 National Strength and Conditioning Association