Academic journal article Journal of Physical Education and Sport

Investigation of the Repeated Sprint Performance and Fatigue Index of Pubescent Girl Athletes of Different Age Groups

Academic journal article Journal of Physical Education and Sport

Investigation of the Repeated Sprint Performance and Fatigue Index of Pubescent Girl Athletes of Different Age Groups

Article excerpt

Introduction

Many team sports require using both aerobic and anaerobic energy system (Özdemir et al., 2014). There are a lot of acceleration and deceleration activities in these kinds of games. One of the most important things for a player is to perform most of acceleration and deceleration movements which are maximal or near-maximal with very short recovery time during the game. This ability is defined as a repeated sprint ability (RSA) (Fitzsimons et al., 1993). The RSA is quite important for players because the activities of acceleration or deceleration should be performed permanently and at the same high intensity with a very short recovery duration during match (Mujika et al., 2009). The study performed with match analysis system suggested that the rate of approximately 1-10 % of the total distances was maintained by sprint or high intensity activities in males (Spencer et al., 2004). For this reason, the physiological and physical requirements of RSA have to be fully understood and should be improved with appropriate training strategies, especially in team games (Bishop et al.,2011). The RSA is evaluated with fatigue index and the best repeated sprint performance is defined with high level sprint performance (Bishop et al., 2011). The fatigue index that occurs during RSA is defined as a decrement maximal force output or decrement sprint performance. The RSA is related with a lot of physiological parameters (VO2max, muscle glycogen stores, buffering capacity of H+ ion) that affect the improvement of both aerobic and anaerobic performance and therefore, the improvement of sports performance (Aziz, 2004; Bishop & Edge, 2006; Bishop et al., 2004; Ratel et al., 2004).

Muscular fatigue (peripheral fatigue) can be well understood with high intensity repeated activity that is defined as a decline maximal force or speed capacity (Gandevia, 2001). During high intensity repeated exercises, the muscle's recovery capacity and fatigue resistance contribute to neuromuscular function (Dipla et al., 2009). Besides, fatigue resistance and muscle's recovery capacity are related with biological maturation (Ratel et al., 2002) and sex (Hicks et al., 2001). Children have a better fatigue resistance than adults (Falk & Dotan, 2006). Fatigue resistance is much better in children because of their muscle morphological structure and metabolic differences may have important roles in these diversities (Falk & Dotan, 2006). Dipla et al. (2009) suggested that there was no fatigue resistance difference between children, postpuberty and adult men and women. On the other hand, Falk and Dotan (2006) found that children have faster recovery capacity than adults (Falk & Dotan, 2006).

Although the repeated sprint activity is used intensively in team sports, the studies that investigate the relationship between children's RSA and age development in team sports are not quite much in the literature. The participant group is constituted with men or boy athletes. Children have different development phases and they have different physical, physiological and biological growth rates in these developmental phases that effect the performance directly (Açikada, 2004). Muscle mass, body size, muscle fiber type and contractil properties, glycogen stores, glycolytic enzyme activities increase with age (Rowland, 2005). However, girls have a less anaerobic performance than boys at the same age (Eisenmann & Malina, 2003; Kosar & Demirel, 2004; Morin et al., 2011; Saavedra et al., 1991). The boys' sprint performance improves with age, but girls have less physical and performance improvement than boys (Kosar & Demirel, 2004). To our knowledge, the studies that investigate age related differences in RSA and fatigue index generally included only boys and this relation is not clear in the girl population. For this reason the purpose of this study is to investigate the relation of RSA and fatigue index with the age development in girl athletes. …

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