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An Examination of the Stretching Practices of Division I and Division III College Football Programs in the Midwestern United States

Judge, Lawrence W1; Craig, Bruce1; Baudendistal, Steve1; Bodey, Kimberly J2

The Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research: July 2009 - Volume 23 - Issue 4 - p 1091-1096
doi: 10.1519/JSC.0b013e318192b7d6
Original Research

Judge, LW, Craig, B, Baudendistal, S, and Bodey, KJ. An examination of the stretching practices of Division I and Division III college football programs in the midwestern United States. J Strength Cond Res 23(4): 1091-1096, 2009-Research supports the use of preactivity warm-up and stretching, and the purpose of this study was to determine whether college football programs follow these guidelines. Questionnaires designed to gather demographic, professional, and educational information, as well as specific pre- and postactivity practices, were distributed via e-mail to midwestern collegiate programs from NCAA Division I and III conferences. Twenty-three male coaches (12 from Division IA schools and 11 from Division III schools) participated in the study. Division I schools employed certified strength coaches (CSCS; 100%), whereas Division III schools used mainly strength coordinators (73%), with only 25% CSCS. All programs used preactivity warm-up, with the majority employing 2-5 minutes of sport-specific jogging/running drills. Pre stretching (5-10 minutes) was performed in 19 programs (91%), with 2 (9%) performing no pre stretching. Thirteen respondents used a combination of static/proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation/ballistic and dynamic flexibility, 5 used only dynamic flexibility, and 1 used only static stretching. All 12 Division I coaches used stretching, whereas only 9 of the 11 Division III coaches did (p = 0.22). The results indicate that younger coaches did not use pre stretching (p = 0.30). The majority of the coaches indicated that they did use post stretching, with 11 of the 12 Division I coaches using stretching, whereas only 5 of the 11 Division III coaches used stretching postactivity (p = 0.027). Divisional results show that the majority of Division I coaches use static-style stretching (p = 0.049). The results of this study indicate that divisional status, age, and certification may influence how well research guidelines are followed. Further research is needed to delineate how these factors affect coaching decisions.

1School of Physical Education Sport and Exercise Science, Ball State University, Muncie, Indiana; and 2Department of Recreation & Sport Management, Indiana State University, Terre Haute, Indiana

Address correspondence to Larry Judge,

© 2009 National Strength and Conditioning Association