Off-season training habits and pre-season functional test measures of Division III collegiate athletes: a descriptive report.

Authors: Brumitt J, Heiderscheit BC, Manske RC, Niemuth PE, Rauh MJ

Division III (D III) collegiate coaches are challenged to assess athletic readiness and condition their athletes during the preseason.  However, there are few reports on off-season training habits and normative data of functional assessment tests among D III athletes. The purpose of this study was to examine off-season training habits of D III athletes and their relationships to the standing long jump (SLJ) and single-leg hop (SLH) tests.  The authors reported that male athletes reported training more hours per exercise category than their female counterparts.  Mean SLJ distances (normalized to height) were 0.79 ± 0.10 for females and 0.94 ± 0.12 for males. Mean SLH distances for female athletes’ right and left limbs were 0.66 (± 0.10) and 0.65 (± 0.10), respectively.  Mean SLH distances for male athletes’ right and left limbs were 0.75 (± 0.13) and 0.75 (± 0.12), respectively. Several significant differences between off-season training habits and functional test measures were found for both sexes: males [SLJ and weightlifting (p=0.04); SLH and weightlifting (p=0.04), plyometrics (p=0.05)]; females [SLJ and plyometrics (p=0.04); SLH and scrimmage (p=0.02)]. This study provides normative data for off-season training habits and preseason functional test measures in a D III athlete population. Greater SLJ and SLH measures were associated with increased time during off-season training. The findings between functional tests and off-season training activities may be useful for sports medicine professionals and strength coaches when designing their preseason training programs. 

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