PURPOSE: The purpose of the current study was to compare agility, power and strength values as tested for NCAA Division III male basketball, baseball and football athletes to published NCAA Division I percentile rank values. METHODS: NCAA Division III (DIII) male basketball (BKB), baseball (BSB) and football (FB) subjects were tested in the pro agility [PRO: BKB (n = 19), BSB (n = 136), FB (n = 143)]; vertical jump [VJ: BKB (n = 46), BSB (n = 138), FB (n = 235)]; back squat [BS: BKB (n = 69), BSB (n = 275), FB (n = 140)]; and bench press [BP: BKB (n = 75), BSB (n = 172), FB (n = 268)]. Percentile rank (PR) comparisons were then made to NCAA Division I (DI) counterparts. Pearson product moment correlation coefficients were also computed for all DIII athlete measures. RESULTS: The following mean values were found for the DIII athletes with the closest corresponding DI athlete PR: · PRO BKB (4.35s ± 0.16; 70%); PRO BSB (4.52 ± 0.20; 20%); PRO FB (4.78 ± 0.30; 20%) · VJ BKB (25.8in ± 2.8; 30%); VJ BSB (24.61 ± 2.42; 50%) VJ FB (26.59 ± 3.55; 40%) · BS BKB (276.8lbs ± 48.1; 60%); BS BSB (275.0 ± 53,5; 50%) BS FB (357.0 ± 66.84; 20%) · BP BKB (200.6lbs ± 41.5; 30%); BP BSB (214.0 ± 52.2; 40%) BP FB (268.6 ± 48.68; 10%) A significant correlation (r = −0.744; p<0.001) was found for FB between PRO and VJ. No correlations were found at or above r = .60 for any of the other measures examined for each team. Examination of the BP and BS results indicated BP to BS ratios of 72.5%, 77.8% and 75% for BKB, BSB and FB respectively. CONCLUSIONS: DIII BKB athletes were at or above the 50th percentile as compared to DI BKB athletes in the PRO and BS tests (1). DIII BSB athletes were at or above the 50th percentile as compared to DI BSB athletes in the VJ and BS tests (1). DIII FB athletes were not above the 40th percentile in any measure (1). There are several factors which could have an effect on these comparisons. 1.) Depending on their preferred style of play coaches may recruit different types of athletes. For example a basketball coach that plays more of a perimeter style may want a smaller more agile athlete than a coach with a style focused more on an inside game. A football coach using a triple option offense may recruit smaller more mobile players. 2.) Strength and conditioning program design varies from institution to institution. Some institutions may put more of an emphasis on upper body or lower body strength than others. 3.) DI athletes are often more genetically or physically gifted than DIII athletes. The BP to BS ratios found were slightly lower for BKB and BSB and similar for FB to previously published values (2). Practical Applications: There is not much published performance measure data for DIII athletes. Strength and conditioning professionals working at the DIII level need normative data to help gauge the effectiveness of their programs focusing on agility, power and speed development.
Department of Exercise Science and Sport Studies, Springfield College, Springfield, MA