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Haugen T.,Norwegian Olympic Federation | Buchheit M.,Myorobie Association | Buchheit M.,Victoria University of Melbourne
Sports Medicine | Year: 2016

The aim of this review is to investigate methodological concerns associated with sprint performance monitoring, more specifically the influence and magnitude of varying external conditions, technology and monitoring methodologies not directly related to human physiology. The combination of different starting procedures and triggering devices can cause up to very large time differences, which may be many times greater than performance changes caused by years of conditioning. Wind, altitude, temperature, barometric pressure and humidity can all combine to yield moderate time differences over short sprints. Sprint performance can also be affected by the athlete’s clothing, principally by its weight rather than its aerodynamic properties. On level surfaces, the track compliance must change dramatically before performance changes larger than typical variation can be detected. An optimal shoe bending stiffness can enhance performance by a small margin. Fully automatic timing systems, dual-beamed photocells, laser guns and high-speed video are the most accurate tools for sprint performance monitoring. Manual timing and single-beamed photocells should be avoided over short sprint distances (10–20 m) because of large absolute errors. The validity of today’s global positioning systems (GPS) technology is satisfactory for long distances (>30 m) and maximal velocity in team sports, but multiple observations are still needed as reliability is questionable. Based on different approaches used to estimate the smallest worthwhile performance change and the typical error of sprint measures, we have provided an assessment of the usefulness of speed evaluation from 5 to 40 m. Finally, we provide statistical guidelines to accurately assess changes in individual performance; i.e. considering both the smallest worthwhile change in performance and the typical error of measurement, which can be reduced while repeating the number of trials. © 2015, Springer International Publishing Switzerland. Source

Haugen T.A.,University of Agder | Tonnessen E.,Norwegian Olympic Federation | Svendsen I.S.,Loughborough University | Seiler S.,University of Agder
Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research | Year: 2014

Valid and reliable measures of sprint times are necessary to detect genuine changes in sprinting performance. It is currently difficult for practitioners to assess which timing system meets this demand within the constraints of a proper cost-benefit analysis. The purpose of this investigation was to quantify sprint time differences between single-beam (SB) and dual-beam (DB) timing systems. Single-beam and DB photocells were placed at 0, 20, and 40 m to compare 0-20 and 20-40 m sprint times. To control for the influence of swinging limbs between devices, 2 recreationally active participants cycled as fast as possible through the track 25 times with a 160-cm tube (18 cm diameter) vertically mounted in front of the bike. This protocol produced a coefficient of variation (CV) of 0.4 and 0.7% for 0-20 and 20-40 m sprint times, respectively while SEM was 0.01 seconds for both distances. To address the primary research question, 25 track and field athletes (age, 19 ± 1 years; height, 174 ± 8 cm; body mass, 67 ± 10 kg) performed two 40 m sprints. This protocol produced a CV of 1.2 and 1.4% for 0-20 and 20-40 m, respectively while SEM was 0.02 seconds for both distances. The magnitude of time differences was in the range of 60.05-0.06 seconds. We conclude that DB timing is required for scientists and practitioners wishing to derive accurate and reliable short sprint results. © 2014 National Strength and Conditioning Association. Source

Haugen T.A.,University of Agder | Shalfawi S.,University of Nordland | Tonnessen E.,Norwegian Olympic Federation
Journal of Sports Sciences | Year: 2013

We examined the effect of different false start rules and starters' holding time on athletics sprinters' reaction times. Reaction times from 210 female (25.2 ± 3.8 years) and 361 male (24.8 ± 3.8 years) 100 m sprinters, participating in international championships for seniors from 1997 to 2011, were analysed. Holding time calculations were based on television recordings from the analysed heats (n = 267). Mean reaction times have increased by 20% (0.03 s, P < 0.001) during a 15 year period due to stricter false start rules. Starters' holding times were between 1.3 and 2.2 s for the analysed competitions. There was a small but significant relationship between reaction time and starters' holding time for men (r = 0.16, P < 0.001) and women (r = 0.17, P < 0.001) between 1997 and 2003 and for men (r = 0.16, P < 0.001) in the time period 2003-2009, but not for women in the time period 2003-2009. While the interquartile range of reaction time decreased with longer holding time for female sprinters, the opposite trend was observed among the males. The present study demonstrates that world class sprinters' reaction times and thereby their 100 m performance can vary 0.03-0.05 s depending on false start regulations and holding time. © 2013 Copyright Taylor and Francis Group, LLC. Source

Haugen T.A.,University of Agder | Tonnessen E.,Norwegian Olympic Federation | Hisdal J.,Norwegian School of Sport Sciences | Seiler S.,University of Agder
International Journal of Sports Physiology and Performance | Year: 2014

The overall objective of this review was to investigate the role and development of sprinting speed in soccer. Time-motion analyses show that short sprints occur frequently during soccer games. Straight sprinting is the most frequent action before goals, both for the scoring and assisting player. Straight-line sprinting velocity (both acceleration and maximal sprinting speed), certain agility skills, and repeated-sprint ability are shown to distinguish groups from different performance levels. Professional players have become faster over time, indicating that sprinting skills are becoming more and more important in modern soccer. In research literature, the majority of soccer-related training interventions have provided positive effects on sprinting capabilities, leading to the assumption that all kinds of training can be performed with success. However, most successful intervention studies are time consuming and challenging to incorporate into the overall soccer training program. Even though the principle of specificity is clearly present, several questions remain regarding the optimal training methods within the larger context of the team-sport setting. Considering time-efficiency effects, soccer players may benefit more by performing sprint-training regimens similar to the progression model used in strength training and by world-leading athletics practitioners, compared with the majority of guidelines that traditionally have been presented in research literature. © 2014 Human Kinetics, Inc. Source

Haugen T.A.,Norwegian Olympic Federation | Tonnessen E.,Norwegian Olympic Federation | Seiler S.K.,University of Agder
Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research | Year: 2012

The difference is in the start: impact of timing and start procedure on sprint running performance. The purpose of this study was to compare different sprint start positions and to generate correction factors between popular timing triggering methods on 40-m/40-yd sprint time. Fourteen female athletes (17 ± 1 years), personal best 100 m: 13.26 (±0.68) seconds and 11 male athletes (20 ± 5 years), personal best 100 m: 11.58 (±0.74) seconds participated. They performed 2 series of 3 40-m sprints in randomized order: (a) start from the block, measured by means of Brower audio sensor (BAS) and Dartfish video timing (DVT), (b) 3-point start, measured by using hand release pod (HR) and DVT, and (c) standing start, triggered by both photocell across starting line (SFC), and foot release (FR) plus DVT. Video analysis was performed by 2 independent observers and averaged. Simultaneous measurements at national athletics competitions demonstrated that DVT and BAS were equivalent to Omega Timing within the limits of precision of video timing (±0.01 seconds). Hand and floor timer triggering showed small but significant biases compared with movement captured from video (0.02-0.04 seconds), presumably because of sensitivity of pressure thresholds. Coefficient of variation for test-retest timing using different starting positions ranged from 0.7 to 1.0%. Compared with block starts reacting to gunfire, HR, SFC, and FR starts yielded 0.17 ± 0.09, 0.27 ± 0.12, and 0.69 ± 0.11 second faster times, respectively, over 40 m (all p < 0.001) because of inclusion or exclusion of reaction time, plus momentum, and body position differences at trigger moment. Correction factors for the conversion of 40 m/40 yd and 40 yd/40 m were 0.92 and 1.08, respectively. The correction factors obtained from this study may facilitate more meaningful comparisons of published sprint performances. © 2012 National Strength and Conditioning Association. Source

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