Physiological correlates of multiple-sprint ability and performance in international-standard squash players

Mick Wilkinson, Matthew Cooke, Stafford Murray, Kevin Thompson, Alan St Clair Gibson, Edward Winter

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

From measures on a battery of fitness tests in elite-standard squash players on different tiers of a national performance program, we examined the relationships among test scores and player rank, and fitness factors important for squash-specific multiple-sprint ability. Thirty-one (20 men, 11 women) squash players from the England Squash performance program participated: n = 12 senior; n = 7 transition; n = 12 talented athlete scholarship scheme (TASS) players. In 1 test session and in a fixed order, the players completed a battery of tests to assess countermovement jump height, reactive strength, change-of-direction speed, and multiple-sprint ability on squash-specific tests and endurance fitness. Two-way analysis of variance compared senior, transition, and TASS players by sex on all measures except jump height where only senior and transition players were compared. Effect size (ES) was calculated for all comparisons. Pearson's correlation examined relationships among test scores and multiple-sprint ability. Spearman's ρ investigated relationships among test scores and players' rank in men and women separately. Regardless of sex, seniors outperformed TASS players on all except the endurance test (p <0.05, ES at least 1.1). Seniors had better multiple-sprint ability than did transition players (p <0.01, ES = 1.2). Transition outperformed TASS players on the reactive-strength test (p <0.05, ES = 1.0). Men outperformed women in all tests at all performance program tiers (p <0.05, ES at least 0.5). In men, rank was related to multiple-sprint ability, fastest-multiple-sprint-test repetition, and change-of-direction speed (ρ = 0.78, 0.86, 0.59, respectively). In women, rank was related to fastest multiple-sprint-test repetition (ρ = 0.65). In men and women, multiple-sprint ability was related to change-of-direction speed (r = 0.9 and 0.84) and fastest-multiple-sprint-test repetition (r = 0.96 for both) and to reactive strength in men (r = −0.71). The results confirm that high-intensity variable-direction exercise capabilities are important for success in elite squash.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)540-547
JournalJournal of Strength and Conditioning Research
Volume26
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2012

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