EXERCISE AND QUALITY OF LIFE
Research article
Volume 4, No. 2, 2012, 1-5
UDC 796.012.23
IS THERE A LINK BETWEEN SPINE AND HIP
MOBILITY?
Miroslav SaviË and
S2P, Laboratory for Motor Control and Motor Learning, Ljubljana, Slovenia
Nejc Sarabon
S2P, Laboratory for Motor Control and Motor Learning, Ljubljana, Slovenia
Science and Research Centre Koper, Institute for Kinesiology Research, University of
Primorska, Koper, Slovenia
Abstract
Measurement of spinal range of motion is frequently used objective approach in
assessment of patients with low back pain, also because of the ease of use. Although
emphasized, stretching of hip flexors and extensors is often performed inappropriately. We
hypothesized that subjects with reduced hip mobility will probably compensate with pronounced
spine mobility and that a significant negative correlation exist between these two entities. Fifty
one healthy adults (age 43.7 ± 15.1 years) that are regularly involved in moderate physical
activity (agility and endurance) participated in this study. Range of motion was measured by
means of goniometry and adjusted Schober method that were previously shown to be reliable
methods for spine and hip mobility assessment. The correlation between spine movements in
different anatomical planes and correlation between spine and hip mobility was calculated.
Pearson correlation coefficients were calculated between pairs of flexibility variables. Contrary
to our expectations, analysis revealed absence of the correlation between the flexion of the trunk
and flexion of the hip. However, moderate correlations were found between flexibility parameters
related to trunk movements in different direction. Ranges of motion of the hip and of the trunk
give complementary information and cannot be predicted from one another. Therefore, mobility
of both joints/regions should be evaluated in order to get insightful information about movement
function of the lumbo-pelvic region either in the context of low back pain or sports performance.
Keywords: range of motion, trunk, hip, correlation
Introduction
Measurements of hip and spinal range of motion are most frequently used objective
measures in rehabilitation and prevention of the trunk musculoskeletal health problems. It has
Corresponding author. S2P Ltd, Laboratory for Motor Control and Motor Learning, Tehnoloöki park 19, SI-1000,
Ljubljana, Slovenia, e-mail: miroslav.savic@s2p.si
M. SaviË & N. Sarabon
been shown that hamstring`s flexibility is reduced in lower back pain
(LBP) patients in
comparison to healthy subjects (Johnson & Thomas, 2010). Mayer, Tencer, Kristoferson, and
Mooney (1984) reported that subjects with LBP had less overall flexion and that the percentage
of lumbar flexion to overall flexion compared to the subjects without LBP.
Forward bending has been clearly recognized as a risk factor for the development ofLBP.
Altered movement patterns of the lumbar spine and hips during forward bending may help
explain why forward banding is a risk factor for the development of LBP. Shorter hamstrings
might influence the lumbo-pelvic rhythm during forward bending and consequently predispose
subject to LBP. McGill (2007) have shown that increased lumbar flexion during forward bending
tasks increases anterior shear forces on the spine and increases risk of an injury. Thus, lack of the
hamstring`s flexibility can lead to increased lumbar flexion of the trunk during forward bending
tasks which can increase the risk of an injury of the spine from mechanical stress.
Results of previous studies on the relationship between hip and spinal range of motion are
inconsistent. Negative correlation was shown between hamstrings` flexibility and lumbar
excursion during the forward reaching task to the low target in healthy population (Johnson &
Thomas,
2010). Those findings are in agreement with theory that increased hamstrings`
flexibility decreases the amount of lumbar flexion required during forward reaching. Li,
McClure, and Pratt (1996) did not found correlation between the length of the hamstring muscles
and lumbar lordosis or pelvic tilt in relaxed standing. They also investigated the influence of
hamstring muscles length on the amount of pelvic and lumbar motion during forward banding
and found increased hip motion and decreased ratio of lumbar to hip motion during forward
bending as hamstring muscle length increased. Stretching of hamstrings did increase hip motion
but did not cause less lumbar motion during forward bending. Although some trend toward
reduced lumbar motion during initial part of forward bending was observed, the change was not
statistically significant.
Therefore the goal of this study was to assess relationship between hip and spine range of
motion. We hypothesized that there will be medium-to-high negative correlation between hip
and spine range of motion, because the subjects with shortened hamstrings and thus reduced hip
mobility may have to compensate with increased spine mobility in order to perform functional
activities of everyday living. Additionally, correlation between mobility of lumbar and toraco-
lumbar parts of spine was calculated to evaluate if only partial measures of spine mobility can be
representative for total spine mobility in healthy population.
Method
Subjects
Fifty-one healthy adults (age 43.7 ± 15.1 years, body height 169.9 ± 9.5 cm, and body
weight 72.8 ± 33.4 kg)that are regularly involved in moderate physical activity (sport games and
cyclic endurance activities) participated in this study. Neither of the participants had a history of
neurological diseases, major orthopedic lesions, vestibular or visual disturbance. The interview,
during which the details of the study were presented, was carried out prior to the start of the
experiment. After explaining the purpose and potential risks of the study, a written informed
consent was obtained. The study was approved by the National Medical Ethics Committee.
Procedure and materials
Subjects first conducted a 5-minute standardized warm-up. Hamstrings` flexibility was
then assessed with the straight leg raise manoeuvre (Figure 1-D) using bubble inclinometer
(Fabrication enterprises inc., New York, USA). Subjects were supine lying and the contralateral
2
Is there a link between spine and hip mobility?
leg was fixated parallel with the table (0°). Hip flexion range of motion was initially checked
with knee bent to exclude possible restriction that would limit evaluation of hamstring flexibility.
Hip extension flexibility was assessed in prone position also using a bubble inclinometer.
Investigator manually fixated subjectís pelvis by pressing over ipsilateral iliac bone. Hip
extension was performed passively over distal thigh with knee flexed ~80°. Spinal mobility was
assessed with the use of adjusted Schober method (Figure 1-A) that was previously shown to be
a reliable method for spine mobility assessment (Fitzgerald, Wynveen, Rheault, & Rothschild,
1983). Lumbar flexion mobility was expressed as the difference between the distance from most
cranial border of sacrum to spinosus process of the first lumbar vertebrae in relaxed standing and
the same distance in full forward bending position. Similarly, toraco-lumbar flexibility was
expressed as the difference between distances from most cranial border of sacrum to spinosus
process of seventh cervical vertebrae in the same positions. Side flexion flexibility was assessed
in barefooted standing position with pelvis fixated (Figure 1-B). Subjects performed full active
side flexion of the spine and distance from the floor to the tip of the middle finger was measured.
Trunk rotational range of spine motion was assessed in sitting position. Pelvis was fixated to the
sitting surface of the custom made chair with the rotating back support which enabled fixation of
the shoulders (Figure 1-C). Data from the potentiometer built into the rotational axis of the chair
was sampled at 100 Hz and stored on a PC for later quantification. All flexibility measurements
were performed three times and the mean value was used for further analysis. Subjects were
tested by the same staff using the same measurement equipment.
A
B
C
D
Figure 1. Assessment of spinal flexion mobility with adjusted Schober method (A); Assessment
of spinal side flexion (B) and rotational (C) mobility; Assessment of hip flexion mobility (D).
Statistical analysis
For statistical analyses, SPSS
18.0 software
(SPSS Inc., Chicago, USA) was used.
Descriptive statistics were calculated for all measured variables. Normality of data distribution
was confirmed using Shapiro-Wilk test. Pearsonís correlation coefficient was then calculated
between different planes of spine movement. Pearsonís correlation coefficient was also
calculated between spine flexion and hip flexion. In all analysis, a probability less than 0.05 was
considered statistically significant.
Results
Correlations between the flexion of the trunk and flexion of the hip are shown in Figure 2
(a, b) and correlation between different direction related to the trunk movements is shown in
Figure 2 (c). The analysis revealed low correlation between the trunk flexion and hip flexion
(0.002 < R2< 0.004), which is contrary to our hypothesis, while medium correlation between
3
M. SaviË & N. Sarabon
flexibility parameters related to
trunk movements in different direction is revealed (0.4 < R2<
0.5).
Figure 2. Scater plot ilustrating the correlations (R2) between different range of
motions
Discussion
Many of the tasks that occur during either work or everyday activity
require forward
bending, which is a complex combination of lumbar and hip movement. Therefore, the goal of
this study was to assess relation
between hip and spine range of motion in healthy individuals. In
contrast to some previous reports, our results indicate the absence of correlation between the
hamstring and trunk flexibility.
Findings are in agreement with those of Esola, McClure, Fitzgerald, and Siegler (1996)
who analysed lumbar and hip motion during forward bending in subject with and without LBP.
No difference was observed in total contribution of the lumbar and hip motion in full forward
banding. However, there were differences in the pattern of the motion. Contribution of lumbar
motion in the first 30°of forward
bending was higher in LBP group which showed that subjects
with LBP tend to expend their available lumbar spine motion earlier during the forward bending.
Toppenberg and Bullock
(1998) examined the relationships between spinal curvatures,
pelvic tilt and lengths of different surrounding muscles (abdominal, erector spinae, iliopsoas,
gluteal rectusfemoris and hamstring muscles) in the relaxed standing posture.
. They found no
correlation between pelvic tilt
and lumbar curvature. On the other hand, longer abdominal
muscles and shorter erector spinae muscles were associated with increased lumbar lordosis. Also
the length of the hamstring muscles was negatively correlated to the lumbar curve, meaning that
shorter hamstrings were associated with a greater degree of lumbar lordosis
(Toppenberg &
Bullock, 1998).This correlation
is somewhat surprising and is probably consequence of other
muscles influencing spine curvature in standing position since there is no tightening of
hamstrings in this position.
Results of this study are
in contrast with hypothesis that reduced hamstring flexibility
will be correlated with increased spine mobility. Although restricted hip mobility has been
previously shown to influence the lumbo-pelvic rhythm (Johnson & Thomas, 2010),there is no
correlation with total spine mobility. One of the reasons may be that participants in this study
were healthy individuals with no
LBP and with no known restrictions in hamstrings` flexibility.
Although correlation between lumbar and thoraco-lumbar mobility was significant, it was very
low. In order to get representative information of spine mobility separate assessment of lumbar
and thoraco-lumbar spine would
be recommended as these deliver different/complementary (and
not correlated) information.
Is there a link between spine and hip mobility?
Acknowledgment
Nejc Sarabon would like to acknowledge the support of the Slovenian Research Agency,
grant no. L5Ø4293.
References
Esola, M. A., McClure, P. W., Fitzgerald, G. K., & Siegler, S. (1996). Analysis of lumbar spine
and hip motion during forward bending in subjects with and without a history of low
back pain. Spine (Phila Pa 1976), 21(1), 71-78.
Fitzgerald, G. K., Wynveen, K. J., Rheault, W., & Rothschild, B. (1983). Objective assessment
with establishment of normal values for lumbar spinal range of motion. Physical
Therapy, 63(11), 1776-1781.
Johnson, E. N., & Thomas, J. S. (2010). Effect of hamstring flexibility on hip and lumbar spine
joint excursions during forward-reaching tasks in participants with and without low back
pain. Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, 91(7), 1140-1142.
Li, Y., McClure, P. W., & Pratt, N. (1996). The effect of hamstring muscle stretching on
standing posture and on lumbar and hip motions during forward bending. Physical
Therapy, 76(8), 836-845.
Mayer, T. G., Tencer, A. F., Kristoferson, S., & Mooney, V. (1984). Use of noninvasive
techniques for quantification of spinal range-of-motion in normal subjects and chronic
low-back dysfunction patients. Spine, 9(6), 588-595.
McGill, S.
(2007). Low Back Disorders: Evidenced-Based Prevention and Rehabilitation.
Human Kinetics.
Toppenberg, R. M., & Bullock, M. I. (1998). The interrelation of spinal curves, pelvic tilt and
muscle lenghts in the adolescent female. Australian Journal of Physiotherapy, 32(1), 6-
12.
5
EXERCISE AND QUALITY OF LIFE
Research article
Volume 4, No. 2, 2012, 7-14
UDC 796.325-055.25:572.5
SOMATOTYPE OF YOUNG FEMALE VOLLEYBALL
PLAYERS
Mirjana Mili„, Zoran Grgantov and Ratko Kati„
Faculty of Kinesiology, University of Split, Croatia
Abstract
The aim of this study was to compare the somatotype of youth Croatian female volleyball
players (mean age 14.05 years) in terms of playing performance. All players evaluated were
classified into a less successful group (N=53) and a group of more successful players (N=61).
The somatotype means of the whole sample were 4.41 ñ 2.79 ñ 3.68±1.02 ñ 1.04 ñ 1.29, of less
successful players 4.69 ñ 2.94 ñ 3.40 ± 0.95 ñ 0.96 ñ 1.21, and of more successful players 4.17 ñ
2.69 ñ 3.87 ± 1.03 ñ 1.07 ñ 1.30. Based on a Category Chart, 7 somatotype categories were
obtained. A significantly higher proportion of balanced ectomorph somatotype category was
established in more successful players, and a significantly higher proportion of ectomorphic-
endomorph somatotype category was found in less successful players.
Keywords: anthropometric characteristics, Heat-Carter, playing performance, volleyball
Introduction
Analysis of the body build structure, shape and composition of athletes in different sports
and their relation to sport success has been an area of great scientific interest for a long time. The
height of the net separating the opponent teams, small dimensions of the court, great ball speed
and specific game techniques characterize volleyball as a sports game. These specificities also
condition the specificities in body build which are necessary for successful performance of
different movement structures in competitions (sprinting, direction of movement changes, jumps,
landingsÖ). Somatotyping is one of the most frequently used techniques for analyzing the body
build. Because of its uniqueness, somatotyping has been used to study many aspects of exercise,
sports sciences and human biology, which may be important in identifying talented young
athletes for particular sports (Carter, Ackland, Kerr, & Stapff, 2005).
In volleyball, somatotyping has been used for comparing senior female volleyball players
to female athletes in other sports (Bayios, Bergeles, Apostolidis, Noutsos, & Koskolou,. 2006),
but also for analyzing the differences between female senior volleyball players regarding player
positions and/or competitive successfulness
(Gualdi-Russo, & Zaccagni 2001, Esper 2004,
Malousaris, Bergeles, Barzouka, Bayios, Nassis, & Koskolou 2008, Carvajal, Betancourt, LeÛn,
Deturnel, MartÌnez, EchevarrÌa, Castillo, & Serviat 2012).
Corresponding author. Faculty of Kinesiology, University of Split, Teslina
6,
21000 Split, Croatia, e-mail:
mirjanam@kifst.hr
M. Mili„, Z. Grgantov and R. Kati
A great number of somatotype research studies have also been conducted on samples of
young female volleyball players from different countries (Riegerova, & Ryöavy, 2001, Duncan,
Woodfield, & Al-Nakeeb 2006, Soares, & De Paula 2006, Dostalov·, Riegerov·, & P¯idalov·
2007, De Hoyo, Corrales, & Paez 2008, B.G. Cabral, S.A. Cabral, Batista, Fernandes Filho, &
Knackfuss 2008, Ayan, Bektas, & Ali Emre 2012). Differences between young volleyball
players regarding player positions were analyzed in some of these studies, but the authors were
not able to find a single research in which differences in somatotype had been analyzed in
relation to player quality of young female volleyball players. Moreover, most of these studies
were conducted on relatively small subject samples.
Considering the abovementioned shortcomings of previous research conducted on a
sample of young female volleyball players, the main goal of this research is to analyze the
differences in frequency of each somatotype category between less successful and more
successful female volleyball players using a larger subject sample.
Method
Somatotype data were collected on 114 young female volleyball players, members of 6
clubs from the Dalmatia region, of average chronological age of 14.06±0.96, average height of
170.22±7.06 cm and body mass of
58.35±8.35 kg. With the purpose of calculating the
somatotype (by Heat-Carter method), 10 anthropometric measures were measured: height and
mass; triceps, subscapular, supraspinale and calf skinfolds; flexed arm and calf girth; humerus
and femur breadth (Carter, & Heath, 1990).
Player quality on a five-point Likert represents a criterion variable. A grade of 1-5 was
assigned to each player regarding 2 criteria (Table1):
1. Team ranking in the competition: All teams participated in the Croatian regional
championship and, based on their ranking in the championship, they were classified
into 3 categories (1th-4th place; 5th-8th place; 9th-12th place)
2. Player quality within the team (assessed by the coaches). Each coach divided the
players of her/his team into 3 groups (the most successful ñ the most efficient players,
average ñ other members of the starting line-up and reserves who contribute to game
quality; the least successful ñ players who very rarely or never enter the game)
All players who were assigned grades of 1-3 were categorized into the less successful
group, and all players who were assigned grades 4 and 5 were categorized into the group of more
successful.
Table 1
Categorization of individual player performance level
Individual performance level
Competition
The most
Average
The least
ranking
Members of the
successful players
players in the
successful players
national team
in the team
team
in the team
1-4
5
5
4
3
5-8
5
4
3
2
9-12
5
3
2
1
8
Somatotype of young female volleyball players
The data was analyzed by first calculating the basic descriptive indicators of the 10
morphological measures, as well as 3 somatotype components (arithmetic mean and standard
deviation), separately for the whole sample and for more successful and less successful players.
Then, each volleyball player was classified into one of the 13 possible somatotype categories. In
such a way, 7 somatotype categories were obtained. Frequency and percentage of each category
were calculated within the whole sample, as well as in the subsamples of less successful and
more successful players. Analysis of differences in proportions was used to establish whether
there were significant differences in frequency of each somatotype category between the less
successful and more successful players. In order to emphasize the differences of somatotype
between player positions, along with the profile of the whole sample and of the subsamples, 2
player profiles were singled-out of players who are members of the youth Croatian national team
(one playing the middle hitter position, and the other playing libero).
By using the Somatotype software, subjects were classified according to somatotype
categories, while statistical data analysis was conducted by using the Statistica Ver 10.00 software.
Results
Descriptive statistics results of morphological variables of 114 young female volleyball
players are presented in Table 2. The analysis of distribution parameters shows that all variables
are normally distributed and that there are no deviations from normal distribution. Normality of
distribution was tested by using a Kolmogorov-Smirnov test with a critical value of 0.13.
Young female volleyball players tested in this research were on average 5 cm taller and 3
kg heavier than 152 female students of primary school Bija„i from Kaötela and 25 Croatian
female karateka of approximately the same age tested in the research conducted by Kati„, Juki„,
& Mili„ (2012). In comparison to female handball players of the same age (Zapartidis, Vareltzis,
Gouvali, & Kororos, 2009), female volleyball players tested here are averagely 6 cm taller, but
with the same body mass. This points to the importance of body height for success in volleyball,
and of muscle mass for success in handball. Such results are to be expected because the net
separating the opponent teams in volleyball prevents contact between the players. Therefore,
prominent muscle mass is not necessary, and due to the height of the net, taller players have an
advantage during blocking and spiking.
Table 2
Descriptive statistics of variables of morphological characteristics in young female volleyball players
(N=114)
Variables
Median
Mean
SD
Range
KS
Height
170.35
170.22
7.06
154.2-193.1
0.05
Mass
57.10
58.35
8.35
37.4- 80.6
0.05
Triceps SF
17.27
17.27
4.79
9-30.27
0.07
Subscapular SF
10.07
10.53
3.02
5.47-20.13
0.10
Supraspinale SF
15.62
16.26
5.10
6.07-35.73
0.07
Calf SF
14.50
15.19
4.52
6.73-27.4
0.07
Arm
26.00
25.96
2.41
16.26-31.4
0.06
Calf Girth
34.45
34.24
2.53
27.7-41
0.06
Humerus B
6.10
6.13
0.31
5.4-7.3
0.09
Femur B
9.20
9.21
0.40
8.4-10.4
0.06
Test= 0.13
LEGEND: Median ñ central value, Mean ñ mean, SD ñ standard deviation, Range ñ the lowest and the highest value, KS - Kolmogorov-
Smirnov test
9
M. Mili„, Z. Grgantov and R. Kati
As it can be seen in Table 3, all somatotype components are averagely expressed (within
the range of 2.5 to 5) in the whole sample as well as in the subsamples of less successful and
more successful volleyball players. The endomorph somatotype component is dominant in all
samples, while the mesomorph component is the least expressed one. Given the values of each
somatotype component, young female volleyball players averagely fit the ecomorphic-
endomorph category, the subsample of more successful players averagely fits the ectomorph-
endomorph category, and less successful players fit the balanced endomorph category.
The abovementioned categories were obtained based on mean values of the larger
number of players in each somatotype component. The main problem is that such an approach
does not allow insight into the somatotype specificities of individual players, i.e. it does not
provide information about individual classification of players into somatotype categories.
Table 3
Descriptive indicators of somatotype components of the whole sample, less successful and more
successful female volleyball players
Total sample (N=114)
Less successful (N=53)
More successful (N=61)
Somatotype
components
M
SD
M
SD
M
SD
Endomorphy
4.42
1.02
4.69
0.95
4.17
1.03
Mesomorphy
2.81
1.03
2.94
0.96
2.69
1.07
Ectomorphy
3.66
1.28
3.40
1.21
3.87
1.30
LEGEND: M ñ mean, SD ñ standard deviation
Therefore, classification of players into somatotype categories was calculated separately
for each player, as can be seen in Table 4. Frequency (N) and percentage (%) of each somatotype
category was calculated for the whole sample, as well as for the subsamples of more successful
and less successful players, along with the significance of differences in proportions of each
category in the subsamples of less successful and more successful female volleyball players (p).
Table 4
Frequency and percentage of each somatotype category and significance of differences in
proportions between less successful and more successful female volleyball players
Total sample
Less successful
More successful
(N=114)
(N=53)
(N=61)
Somatotype category
p
N
%
N
%
N
%
Endomorph-ectomorph
19
16.67
10
18.87
9
14.75
0.278
Ectomorphic endomorph
15
13.16
12
22.64
3
4.92
0.003
Balanced endomorph
7
6.14
5
9.43
2
3.28
0.086
Mesomorphic endomorph
28
24.56
14
26.42
14
22.95
0.334
Mesomorph-endomorph
5
4.39
2
3.77
3
4.92
0.383
Balanced ectomorph
33
28.95
5
9.43
28
45.9
0.000
Central
7
6.14
5
9.43
2
3.28
0.086
LEGEND: Nñsubject frequency, %ñ relative values, p-significance of differences in proportions between less successful and more successful
female volleyball players
10
Somatotype of young female volleyball players
Based on a Category Chart, 7 somatotype categories were obtained (table 3). Most of the
young female volleyball players fit the categories of balanced ectomorph
(29%) and
mesomorphic endomorph (25%).
The highest percentage of more successful volleyball players (46%) fits the balanced
ectomorph category, followed by the mesomorphic endomorph category (23%). Less successful
players, in the highest percentage, fit the somatotype categories of mesomorphic endomorph
(26%), ectomorphic endomorph (23%) and endomorph ectomorph (19%). By analysis of
differences in proportions between less successful and more successful young female volleyball
players, a significantly higher proportion of the balanced ectomorph somatotype category was
established in more successful players, and a significantly higher proportion of the ectomorphic-
endomorph somatotype category was found in less successful players.
The somatoplot (Figure 1) shows mean values of somatotype for the whole sample,
subsamples of more successful and less successful players, as well as individual somatoplots of
young female volleyball players. Also, 2 somatoplots of the most successful players (Croatian
national team members) who play the positions of libero and middle hitter were singled-out from
individual somatoplots.
Figure 1 Somatoplot of young female volleyball players
11
M. Mili„, Z. Grgantov and R. Kati
Discussion
After examining the mean somatotypes of the subsamples of young female volleyball
players with different performance levels (Table 3), it can be noticed that there is a trend of a
decreased endomorph component and an increased ectomorph somatotype component among
more successful players. This indirectly indicates that a relatively small body mass in relation to
body height is required in volleyball. The dominance of the endomorph component can even in
more successful players be partly explained by characteristics of the sample which was
composed of female volleyball players at the lower (club) performance level. Namely, in most
somatotype studies conducted among young female volleyball players with the national team
quality level, the dominance of the ectomorph somatotype component has been established. For
example, Cabral et al. (2008) obtained mean somatotype values of 3.1 ñ 2.2 ñ 3.9 on a sample of
14 young female Brazil national team members of average age of 15.9, and Ayan et al. (2012),
using a sample of 58 young female Turkish volleyball players who received invitations to the
representative camp, established mean somatotype values of 3.4 ñ 2.1 ñ 4.5. On the other hand,
the dominance of the endomorph somatotype component in the whole sample indirectly indicates
the problem of excessive subcutaneous fat tissue in some volleyball players, which has also been
noticed in some previous studies involving the sample of young female Croatian volleyball
players (Grgantov, Kati„, & Jankovi„, 2006).
Analysis of the somatotype categories (Table 4) enables a more precise insight into the
differences in body build between more successful and less successful female volleyball players.
A significantly higher frequency of somatotype predominated by the ectomorph component, with
balanced development of the endomorph and mesomorph somatotype component (balanced
ectomorph category) in successful volleyball players, is in accordance with the aforementioned
research conducted on samples of young female national level volleyball players. Such body
build is especially suitable for those volleyball elements which are performed above the net
(spiking and blocking). These elements are characteristic for all player positions in volleyball,
except for libero and, to some extent, for setter, and through their successful performance, a team
can win most points in a competition.
On the other hand, the dominance of the endomorph somatotype component, with a less
expressed mesomorph component (ectomorphic-endomorph category) is significantly more
frequent in less successful volleyball players. It is evident that excessive subcutaneous fat tissue,
along with the lack of body mass, has a negative impact on agility and explosiveness in young
female volleyball players. Low level of these motor abilities hinders successful performance of
most movement structures in volleyball (sprinting, direction of movement changes, jumping,
hitting, landingsÖ), and therefore successful performance of all technical-tactical elements.
The mesomorphic-endomorph somatotype category is characteristic for over 20% of
players in both subsamples. It can be assumed that players in the more successful subsample are
mostly libero players who compensate their somewhat more expressed endomorph somatotype
component with, for example, well developed motor abilities, technical-tactical skills or
intellectual abilities and personality traits. The fact that relatively short, but strong players, who
are also efficient in a setter position or even an outside hitter position, can be seen in the younger
age groups in competitions must not be disregarded.
The abovementioned, and particularly the presented differences in the mean somatotype
between the two young Croatian national team members who play the libero and middle hitter
positions (Figure 1), indicate the necessity for further analysis of somatotype of young female
volleyball players in different player positions.
12
Somatotype of young female volleyball players
References
Ayan, V., Bektas, Y., & Ali Emre E. (2012). Anthropometric and performance characteristics of
Turkey National U-14 volleyball players. African Journal for Physical, Health
Education, Recreation and Dance, 18(2), 395-403.
Bayios, I. A., Bergeles, N. K., Apostolidis, N. G., Noutsos, K.S., & Koskolou M. B. (2006).
Anthropometric, body composition and somatotype differences of Greek elite female
basketball, volleyball and handball players. Jurnal of Sports Medicine and Physical
Fitness, 46(2), 271-280.
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14
EXERCISE AND QUALITY OF LIFE
Research article
Volume 4, No. 2, 2012, 15-22
UDC 796.322-051:796.012.266
THE EFFECTS OF BALANCE TRAINING ON BALANCE
ABILITY IN HANDBALL PLAYERS
Asimenia Gioftsidou, Paraskevi Malliou, Polina Sofokleous, George Pafis,
Anastasia Beneka, and George Godolias
Department of Physical Education and Sports Science, Democritus University of Thrace,
Komotini, Greece
Abstract
The purpose of the present study was to investigate, the effectiveness of a balance
training program in male professional handball players. Thirty professional handball players
were randomly divided into experimental and control group. The experimental group (N=15),
additional to the training program, followed an intervention balance program for 12 weeks. All
subjects performed a static balance test (deviations from the horizontal plane). The results
revealed that the 12-week balance training program improved (p<0.01) all balance performance
indicators in the experimental group. Thus, a balance training program can increase balance
ability of handball players, and could used as a prevent tool for lower limbs muscular skeletal
injuries.
Keywords: handball players, proprioception, balance training
Introduction
Handball is one of the most popular European team sports along with soccer, basketball
and volleyball
(Petersen et al.,
2005). The sport medicine literature reports team sports
participants, such as handball, soccer, hockey, or basketball players, reported an increased risk of
traumatic events, especially to their lower extremity joints
(Hawkins, and Fuller,
1999;
Meeuwisse et al., 2003; Wedderkopp et al 1997; 1999). Injuries often occur in noncontact
situations (Hawkins, and Fuller, 1999; Hertel et al., 2006) resulting in substantial and long-term
functional impairments (Zech et al., 2009).
The jumping and pivoting activities contained in team sports have been described as
injury risk factors by many authors proposing prevention strategies based on improving athletes
balance ability (Caraffa et al., 1996; Hewett 2001; Junge 2002). Also, rehabilitation bibliography
supports that balance exercise programs may improve proprioceptive function not only during
rehabilitation but also during the competition period, protecting athletes from forthcoming
injuries effectively
(Caraffa et al.,
1996; Hoffman & Payne, 1995; Hewett et al.,
1999;
Wedderkopp et al., 1999; Hrysomallis, 2007; McHugh et al., 2007).
Corresponding author. Department of Physical Education and Sports Sciences, Democritus University
of Thrace, Campus 69100 Komotini, Greece, e-mail: agioftsi@phyed.duth.gr
A. Gioftsidou et al.
Balance is generally defined as the ability to maintain the bodyís center of gravity within
its base of support and can be categorized as either static or dynamic balance. Static balance is
the ability to sustain the body in static equilibrium or within its base of support (Goldie et al.,
1989; Olmsted et al., 2002). Dynamic balance is supported to be more challenging because it
requires the ability to maintain equilibrium during a transition from a dynamic to a static state
(Ross and Guskiewicz, 2004). Both static and dynamic balance require integration of visual,
vestibular, and proprioceptive inputs to produce an efferent response to control the body within
its base of support (Irrgang et al., 1994; Guskiewicz and Perrin, 1996).
In addition, Hanney
(2000) states that proprioception is ìthe reception of stimuli
produced within organismî, whereas balance is ìphysical equilibriumî (Hanney, 2000). This
means that proprioception is a neurologic process, while balance is the ability to remain in an
upright position (Hanney, 2000). Balance exercises aimed at improving proprioception; train the
brain to recognize the body's segment position every moment. Therefore, a balance exercise
program will train and facilitate proprioception pathways under competitive circumstances
effectively. Specifically, in order to prevent limb injuries, peripheral and central nervous system
receptors (Hanney, 2000), mechanoreceptors within muscles, tendons, and ligaments have to be
activated and guide the body segments to move properly. Thus balance exercises seem to help
this activation occur faster and more effectively (Sammarco, 1995). In other words, the goal of
balance exercises possibly reduce the time between neural stimuli and muscular response
(Zachazewski et al., 1996) preventing forthcoming injuries.
Furthermore, many scientists (Bahr et al., 1997; Caraffa et al., 1996; Wedderkopp et al.,
1999; Soderman et al., 2000; Malliou et al., 2004; Gioftsidou et al 2006) support that balance
exercises are essential to athletic performance and should be incorporated into an athlete's daily
training. Recently published studies have shown that it is possible to prevent lower extremity
injuries in handball
(Petersen et al.,
2002; Wedderkopp et al., 2003; Olsen et al.,
2005).
However, there were no studies measuring balance parameters and their possible improvements
after an application of a specific balance exercise program in professional male handball players.
The purpose of the present study was to investigate the effectiveness of a balance training
program in handball players, aiming to improve proprioceptive ability.
Method
Participants
Following written, informed consent from each player and clearance from the University
Human Subjects Committee, thirty handball players participating in the Greek championship
volunteered to participate in this study. The subjects had a mean age of 22.9 3.4 years, a mean
weight 78.3 5.1, and a mean height of 1.81 6.53. None of the subjects were participating in
any other physical activity except the handball training and the balance training. Also, they were
free from injury in their lower limb and had no mechanical or functional instability in their knee
or ankle in that period, so they were participating in regular handball training. In addition, no
subject reported suffering from any systemic or vestibular-system disorders known to impair
cutaneous sensation or balance. According to the team physician they did not have any
biomechanical abnormality and had no other balance training activity prior to and during the
entire research period.
Leg dominance was determined through the ball kick test. The players were asked to kick
a ball as hard as possible. The leg used to kick the ball was recorded as the dominant leg
(Hoffman and Payne, 1995; Soderman et al 2000).
16
The effects of balance traininq in handball players
Protocol
The participants were randomly divided into two subject groups (N=15 each), one control
group (no training intervention), and one training group (experimental group) that performed a
specific balance program for 12 weeks, 3 times per week, 20 min per session. The training
program included balance exercises performed on a) a mini trampoline and b) two balance
boards, one with hemicylidrical base-shape restricting movement in one plane only and the other
with hemispherical base-shape allowing movement in all three planes.
Balance training
Description of the balance exercise program: The exercise program was designed using
principles from elite athlete training programs and those designed for rehabilitation of injured
athletes with functional instability of their ankles or rupture of the anterior cruciate ligament. The
main goal while designed the exercise program was to include skills that improve awareness and
knee control during standing, cutting jumping and landing, which are important handball
technical elements.
The subjects in the training group were asked to perform the following tasks in a random
order: 1) A 2 ½ min attempt to maintain balance with one leg only on the hemicylindrical
balance board performing anterior-posterior movements. 2) A 2 ½ min attempt to maintain
balance with one leg only on the hemicylindrical balance board performing medial-lateral
movements. 3) A 2 ½ min attempt to maintain balance with one leg only on the hemispherical
balance board. 4) A 2 ½ min attempt to maintain balance with one leg only on the trampoline. In
all tests (involving standing on the balance boards and trampoline), the subjects were asked to
perform throwing exercises with a partner and complex throwing exercises to the goal.
Balance assessment
The balance ability of all subjects was assessed at baseline and after the completion of the
12-week balance-training program. The balance ability assessment was performed with the
Biodex Stability System. The subjects stood with one leg only on the platform trying to maintain
it as stable as possible, on the Biodex system screen. More specific the participants were asked to
stood with one leg only on the system platform for 20 sec, while the platform was set to freely
move with the minimal resistance available (Stability level 1) and the deviations from the
horizontal were recorded on-line by the system. From the magnitude and duration of these
deviations, a total instability index (TI), an Anterior ñPosterior (API) and a Medial-Lateral index
(MLI) was computed by the system. The subjects performed three 20-sec practice trials and three
20-sec test trials out of which only the best score was further processed.
Analysis
The best values were collected for each test. Means and standard deviations were
calculated. Analysis of variance (ANOVA) for repeated measures was performed on recorded
values to detect differences in each group for each limb. Statistical significant was accepted at p
0,05.
17
A. Gioftsidou et al.
Results
Analysis of the data illustrated that training group demonstrated significant
improvements on Biodex stability tests, in SI (p <0.001), API (p <0.001) and MLI (p <0.001) for
the dominant and no-dominant limb as well (Table 1, Table 2). No difference (p>0.05) in
balance ability was found in the control group between baseline testing and re-testing.
Table 1
Balance stability indices for the two groups, for the dominant leg through Stability System
measurements
Pre training
Post training
MSD
MSD
Total Index () Control
10,232.26
10,082,32
Experimental
10,541,41
6,472,34***
A-P Index () Control
7,73,1
7,52,7
Experimental
7,93,2
4,31,9***
M-L Index() Control
6,91,5
6,61,8
Experimental
6,21,7
3,71,6***
*** p<.001
Table 2
Balance stability indices for the two groups, for the non-dominant leg through Stability System
measurements
Pre training
Post training
MSD
MSD
Total Index () Control
10,672.41
10,292,39
Experimental
10,722,11
6,122,73***
A-P Index () Control
7,93,2
7,82,9
Experimental
8,13,4
4,92,1***
M-L Index() Control
7,01,8
6,91,7
Experimental
6,91,9
3,81,8***
*** p<.001
18
The effects of balance traininq in handball players
Discussion
The present study showed that the balance program improved effectively the balance
ability for both legs in the experimental group. Although a lot of studies proposed that a balance
exercise program improve the balance ability deficits due to injury (Caraffa et al., 1996; Chong
et al.,
2001; Wedderkopp et al., 1999; Gioftsidou et al., 2006), there were found no studies
measuring balance parameters and their possible improvements after an application of a specific
balance exercise program in healthy professional handball male players.
More specific, injury rates reductions on professional athletes after the application of
balance exercise program have been recorded by many authors. Tropp et al. (1985) first showed
the preventive effect of balance-board training on the incidence of ankle sprains. Caraffa et al.
(1996) demonstrated in a prospective controlled study that the rate of ACL ruptures was
remarkably reduced after introducing proprioceptive training on balance-boards to semi-
professional male soccer teams. Similarly, Wedderkopp and his partner (Wedderkopp et al.,
1999) mentioned that the application of a balance training program on balance boards by healthy
female handball players, for 10 months resulted in decrease of frequency of lower limb injuries.
As regards the assessment of balance ability after an application of a specific balance
exercise program there were studies performed not on professional athletes but on healthy
people. Hoffman and Payne (1995), investigated the effects of ankle disk training (BAPS) on
postural sway of healthy subjects (n=28) and showed significant improvements. They concluded
that
10-weeks of proprioception ankle disk training can decrease postural sway parameters
significantly. Chong and his partners (2001) applied also a balance program on healthy people
using balance boards (4 weeks, 3 times per week). The program was carried out and the
participants improved their balance ability.
As concerns the content of balance training programs, which applied on healthy athletes,
it has been supported that they should be adjusted to the peculiarities of each sport, simulating its
activities (Tippett and Voight, 1995; Rozzi et al., 1999; Wedderkopp et al., 1999; Gioftsidou &
Malliou,
2006; Paillard et al.,
2006; Ricotti et al.,
2011; Ricotti,
2011). For that reason,
researchers designed balance training programs that included handball skills while the player
was standing on balance board (Olsen et al., 2005; Petersen et al., 2005). The design of the
balance programs used in the present study is in accordance with the above theory. The specific
balance exercises required the combination of balance ability and certain handball skills, like
throwing exercises.
In conclusion, the application of a specific balance program for 12 weeks, 3 times per
week, 20 min per session, can improve body control and increase proprioceptive ability. The
exercise program designed using principles from elite athlete training programs and those
designed for rehabilitation of injured athletes with functional instability. The exercise program
should include skills that improve awareness and knee control during standing, cutting jumping
and landing, which are important handball technical elements.
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22
EXERCISE AND QUALITY OF LIFE
Research article
Volume 4, No. 2, 2012, 23-30
UDC 796.322-055.15(439:497.11):316.64
ATTITUDE COMPARISON OF ONE HUNGARIAN AND
ONE SERBIAN TEAMíS YOUTH MALE HANDBALL
PLAYERS
Robert Paic
Institute of Physical Education and Sport Science, University of PÈcs, Hungary
Education and Society Doctoral School of Education, University of PÈcs, Hungary
Attila Kajos
Business Administration Doctoral School, University of PÈcs, Hungary
Institute of Physical Education and Sport Science, University of PÈcs, Hungary
Milka -uki„,
University ÑAlphaì, Belgrade, Serbia
Darinka Korovljev
Faculty of Physical Education and Sport, University of Novi Sad, Serbia
GyˆngyvÈr PrisztÛka
Institute of Physical Education and Sport Science, University of PÈcs, Hungary
Milorad -uki„
Faculty of Physical Education and Sport, University of Novi Sad, Serbia
Abstract
The results of the Hungarian and the Serbian male handball national teams are similar on
the international level; in the same time, the Hungarian club teams have more success in club
competitions. However, general supposition is that the Serbian handball players are more
successful and more acknowledged across the top European handball leagues. This is confirmed
by numerous Serbian internationals that play at high level in Hungary and other European
countries. We suppose that results of the youth national teams have considerable influence in
later success rate. In this article we were searching for the influential factors behind the success
of one Serbian youth team. Since there were no considerable differences in physical performance
and anthropometric parameters (the Hungarian players were even taller), we assumed the main
differences were in their relation and attitudes to coach and to training. In our study we support
this explanation with an analysis of the attitudes to the head coach, work and physical training.
Our samples were selected from one Serbian (Crvenka) and one Hungarian (KomlÛ) youth team.
For attitudes assessment a standardized PASSES scale was used (Hagger et al., 2007). The
results show that the Serbian youth players have better relations with their head coach and have
better stance for work and training, which might be an explanation for their better success.
Keywords: attitudes, success factors, coach, training, handball
R. Paic et al.
Introduction
In our days modern handball requires not only good technical and tactical preparation
for being in a good shape but the mental-psychic factors have their significance as well. There
are plenty of situations where the mentally and emotionally more stable athletes provide better
performance, especially those at a younger age. Coaches have big part of the success of the team.
The way of work, use of certain factors, volume and intensity are also influential factors (-uki„,
2010). The coach also has a big part in the development and maintenance of emotional stability,
because it is not common that young generation have their own qualified psychologist or mental
trainer. Coach who supports the athletes' self-realization also gives them the feeling of
appreciation and the fact that they are valuable part of the community (De Backer, 2011). Many
times coaches are not aware of the fact that their attitude affects their players' progress and
decision making ability, especially because of the impact of negative criticism. Unfortunately, it
happens in many sports (Walters, 2012).
Mental factors can be different in various nationsí athletes' because of their different
preparation, different way of approaching the game, not mentioning their different training
methods. The Hungarian and Serbian senior male handball national teamís efficiency is similar.
(IHF ranking: Serbia 4. Hungary 5. [ihf.info 2012. may]), however there are many thoughts that
the ball players from the ex-Yugoslavia are more effective, successful and admired. A number of
ex-Yugoslavian players who are playing in Hungary as well as the youth men handball teams
results can prove that: IHF ranking: Junior: Serbia 6. (169 points ñ first Germany have 198)
Hungary 9. (86 points) Youth: Serbia 11. (86 points), Hungary (0 points) (ihf.info May 2012.).
Moreover, a few players from Serbia played in the Hungarian national team, who were
nationalized (Nikola Eklemovic, Milorad Krivokapic, Nenad Puljezevic). In our opinion the
reasons of the differences have to be searched in the youth age. The aim of the study is to analyse
the attitude differences comparing one Serbian and one Hungarian teamsí youth men handball
players' attitude towards their coaches and training. The study's principles are the works of
Gombocz J·nos - Gombocz G·bor (2006) and HajdunÈ L·szlÛ Zita - PrisztÛka GyˆngyvÈr (u.i.)
where the differences between the real and the ideal handball and basketball coaches are being
analyzed as well as the players' attitudes towards coaches. Our assumption was that the Serbian
athletes' attitudes to trainings are better than the Hungarian ones and that the Serbian players'
relationship with their coach is better as well.
Method
The study model compares two youth (from age 14 to 18) men handball teamís players
(n=37). The Hungarian KomlÛi BSK (n=17) and the Serbian RK Crvenka (n=20) both had
players who represented their countries in a big tournament. The two teams were chosen because
they represent high quality youth systems in accordance of the country average, although at this
moment their first teams competing in the second level of their national divisions. Both teamís
young players compete in more levels. Players from KomlÛ have 5 trainings per week and plays
league matches on the weekends, while also competing in he Hungarian Youth Cup. Players from
Crvenka have 6 trainings a week and compete both in the youth league and cup. Both clubís
training lasts for 90 minutes, so we can conclude that both nationsí playersí competitions and
training schedule are similar. Previously achieved results (from season 2010/2011) shows that
the Serbian youth players were more successful. Crvenka finished the season 8th while KomlÛ
was only 16th.
We enrolled data from January 2012 to May 2012. A two-part questionnaire was used
from the method PASSES (The perceived autonomy support scale for exercise settings,
24
Attitudes of hungarian and serbian handball players
developed by Hagger and his co-workers (2007), which studies the studentsí attitude to their P.E.
teachers and classes. In our research we altered P.E. teachers to coaches and P.E. classes to
handball trainings. During the research both the athletesí anthropometric and scholastic record
were collected and recorded. The questionnaire results were divided into two groups. The first
contains questions about the coaches (15 questions); while the second interests on the subject of
trainings (18 questions. In the part which concerning coaches the answers were given on a 7-
point Likert scale where 1 meant I totally disagree and 7 meant I totally Agree; while the
answers about trainings are given on a 4-point Likert scale where 1 meant I totally agree and 4
meant I totally disagree. In the training questionnaire the principal question was ìWhy do you
work hard on trainingsî. The reverse direction of scaling could be confusing, but we didnít want
to change the original (PASSES) surveys methods. We processed the data with IBM SPSS
Statistics
20 and Excel programs where we used simple mathematic-statistic
(descriptive)
methods and factor analysis.
Results and Discussion
After analyzing the athleteís stance to their coaches we can conclude that Serbian young
players has different opinion about their coach and has more positive relation to him than the
Hungarians. We can see from the Figures 1 and 2 that the average points are higher in every
question related to trainer in specific fields.
Figure 1. Average points of Hungarian and Serbian players to questions from 1 to 8
Figure 2. Average points of Hungarian and Serbian players to questions from 9 to 15
25
R. Paic et al.
The most singnificant difference between Hungarian and Serbian young athletes were in
fhe fields of coach appreciation, trust, acceptance and handling and sharing their feelings. The
lowest results were resulted to the questions ìDoes your coach ask you for an opinionîand ìDo
you feel right the way your coach talks to youî. This reflects the trainersí authoritive behavior
and the lack of interactive communication. Thus we can conclude that Serbian youth players
gave more points in every aspect according to the relation to their trainer. Hungarian athletes
scores almost reaches the Serbians in the field of understanding and encourage.
Only three results proven insignificant when analysing the differences between the
answers of Hungarian and Serbian players (using ANOVA, with p<0,05 ñ 9 cases with p<0,01).
These were ìUnderstandingî, ìOpenî and ìEncourageî. All other answers showed significant
differences between the youth players of the different nations.
The most conspicuous difference when analysing the answers concerning training
questions, is that there is only one question out of the 18 where the average result increases 2 in
case of the Serbian youngsters (which means that the given territory at least partly motives the
athlete) while in case of Hungarian playersí this number is 8. Moreover, among the Hungarian
athletes 5 elements reach or even surpass the value of 2.7.
When concentrating on the differences of the points given to each training questions
average points (using ANOVA) 15 out of the overall 18 questions (p<0.05) were significantly
different. The Hungarian and Serbian players answers were alike on the following three
questions: ìBecause the training is important to meî
(HUN mean=1.05; SRB mean=1.05;
F=0.013; Sig.=0.909); ìTo be a good playerî (HUN mean=1.88; SRB mean=1.95; F=0.34;
Sig.=0.854) and ìBecause it is a good thing to practiceî (HUN mean=1.82; SRB mean=1.55;
F=0.766; Sig.=0.387). In all other cases the Serbian youth players gave significantly lower
grades then their Hungarian sport mates.
We can conclude from these answers that the Serbian youth handball players are more
motivated in connection with their trainings (the average was 1.36 while in the Hungarian
sample the average was 2.12).
The main question to ask is why these athletes coming from two different countries have
different motivations? What motivates them most separately? The tables 1 and 2 present the
relevant data.
Table 1.
Hungarian handball playersí answers to the question ÑWhy do you work hard on trainings?î
rank
Answers
Points
1. Because the training is important to me
1.05
2. Because I find it useful
1.47
3. Because I miss it when I donít practice
1.58
4. Because I find it enjoyable
1.64
5. To do well on the training
1.71
26
Attitudes of hungarian and serbian handball players
Table 2.
Serbian handball playersí answers to the question ìWhy do you work hard on trainings?î
rank
Answers
Points
1. Because the training is important to me
1.05
1. Because I find it useful
1.05
3. Because I find it enjoyable
1.10
4. Because I miss it when I donít practice
1.15
5. Because I enjoy it
1.20
5. Because I have to do it on my coaches command
1.20
5. Becuse it gives me the feeling of joy and
1.20
satisfaction
5. Because it helps me in learning and developing
1.20
It is also interesting, which factors motivate them the least. These factors are presented in table 3
and 4.
Table 3.
Hungarian handball playersí answers, for the question ÑWhy do you work hard on trainings?î
rank
Answers
Points
18. Because I will be punished if I donít practice
3.65
17. Because I will get into trouble if I donít practice
3.23
16. I am ashamed if I donít practice
2.76
14. Because it is expected from me
2.71
14. Because I feel guilty if I donít practice
2.71
Table 4.
Serbian handball playersí answers, on the question ÑWhy do you work hard on trainings?"
rank
Answers
Points
18. Because I will be punished if I donít
2.05
17. To be a good player
1.95
16. Because I am ashamed if I donít practice
1.90
15. Because it is a good thing to practice
1.55
13. Because I will get into trouble if I donít practice
1.40
13. Because it is not good when I donít practice
1.40
It is within the tables that the Hungarian athletes are motivated in only one area.
Surprisingly one of the answers is positioned at the back (Hungarianís 8th, Serbianís 17th place)
ìTo be a good playerî. Originally we supposed the fact to be a great player will be one the most
determining factors, but it turned out to be false in both of the nations.
Factor analysis. We could establish by analyzing the second group of questionsí that all
items (18) were involved into the creations of the factor groups (Table 5). The obtained results
were in all areas appropriate for conditions for factor analysis. The KMO (Kaiser-Meyer-Olkin)
27
R. Paic et al.
criteria was 0.658 which is considered as medium-adequate factor creating variable mixture. The
Bartlet-test also had high significance level
(368.219 Chi-Square distribution at
0.000
significance level).
The questions integration to factors was confirmed by certain variables communalities
(the lowest communality was 0.677 which is beyond the most strict 0.5 level) as well the
determination of factor analysis with maximum likelihood method index number (59.549 Chi-
Square rate at 0.492 significance). Maximum likelihood tests have shown the main component
analysis and the Kaiser-criteria (factors eigenvalue min. 1) approves 6 equivalent factors (the
significance level was 0.267 with 5 factors). The factors explain 76.81 % of variance, so we can
accept them as good consideration. By all these facts we can separate 6 different factors.
Table 5.
Isolated factors and corresponding variables
Name of the factor
Variables
Because I enjoy the training.
Because the training is useful.
Demonstration/Self-respect
Because I want to do well on the training.
Because it is expected from me.
Because I will get into trouble if I donít practice.
Authority / Avoiding conflicts
Because I will be punished if I donít practice.
Because it is not good when I donít practice.
Because it gives me the feeling of joy and
Self-calming/ Urge
satisfaction.
Because I feel guilty if I donít practice.
Because the training is important to me.
Because I am ashamed if I donít practice.
Correspondence
Because the trainings are joyful.
Because I have to do it on my coaches command.
Because it helps me in learning and developing.
(Desire to) Develop
Because it is interesting.
Because I miss it when I donít practice.
Because I will be a great player.
Self-expression
Because it is a good thing to practice.
The comparison of the Hungarian and the Serbian athletesí scores on each factor is
shown in the table 6.
28
Attitudes of hungarian and serbian handball players
Table 6.
Comparison of Serbian and Hungarian players average points given to factors
Hungarian
Serbian
Difference
Demonstration/Self-respect
1.92
1.20
0.72*
Autority / Avoiding conflicts
3.295
1.725
1.57**
Self-calming/ Urge
2.23
1.28
0.95**
Correspondence
1.89
1.31
0.58
(Desire to) Develop
1.96
1.20
0.76**
Self-expression
1.85
1.75
0.10
* means significant difference (ANOVA) with p<0.1
1 ** means significant difference with p<0.05
We can read from the table above that the Serbian playersí motivation is more
individualistic. In the centre of their motivation is effectiveness and to progress. On the other
hand, Hungarian playersí motivation is to satisfy their coaches and themselves. We must state
that the strongest motivational aspects among Hungarian youth athletes stays below Serbianís
lowest ones.
When analysing the significance of differences, we find that the factors concluding the
previously mentioned not significantly different variables are significantly different as well.
Except for Demonstration/Self respect, which contains ìBecause I enjoy trainingî, but
significant difference at this factor is only valid on a 90% significance rate. Altogether we can
conclude that the Serbian young playersí motivation in the trainings is way better, no matter what
kind of motivations they have. The next important question would be the research of the
background motivation.
We have found interesting results after collecting the anthropometric parameters of the
young handball players. Average height of the Hungarian players is 184.5 cm while it is 181.8
cm in case of the Serbians. Average weight was 75.2 kg at KomlÛ and 76.6 kg at Crvenka.
Scholastic record was better among the Serbian young athletes (average 3.75 to 3.07 among
Hungarian athletes).
As for the limitations of the study it is important to mention that this research can be
regarded only as a ìpilotî study and we cannot conclude anything precisely. The main goal of the
research was to test the validity of the questionnaire, and that was the reason of working with
small sample size and with players only from second division. Besides that, the results are
provoking and showing the differences between two countriesí youth athletes. We must
emphasize that the differences are not (or not only) in the technical abilities but in the varieties of
attitude.
Serbian young handball playersí (from Crvenka) attitudes towards their coaches differ
from their Hungarian (from KomlÛ) sport mates, especially in the area of trust, handling their
feelings and admiration. This means that Serbian youth athletes are more open, have more
confidence toward their coaches, which makes the opportunity to be much more effective and all
in all successful. The lower points given to coaches on the area of communication, which is
similar to Walters and co-workersí (2012) research results among male baseball coaches made
more negative comments than female trainers. It is very important for coaches to know the
constructive and destructive power of their communication skills and efforts. Their methods can
result a higher but also much lower performance. In studies of Gombocz and Gombocz (2006)
29
R. Paic et al.
and HajdunÈ L·szlÛ and PrisztÛka GyˆngyvÈr (in press) we can realize the differences between
ideal and real coach image, especially in the field of authority. The ideal coach is more reliable
and communicative than we experience is the real world. Both countries players work hard on
their trainings because they think that handball is important, useful, enjoyable and they all strive
to become a great player. Surprisingly, over their more individualistic motivations the
expectation from the coach and the avoidance of punishment is has stronger motivating power
among Serbian handball players then Hungarians. Finally, the stance to training is way more
positive among Serbian athletes, which can be one of the reasons of a better overall performance.
References
De Backer M., Boen F., Ceux T., De Cuyper B., H¯igaard R., Callens F., Fransen K., & Vande
Broek G. (2011). Do perceived justice and need support of the coach predict team
identification and cohesion? Testing their relative importance among top volleyball and
handball players in Belgium and Norway. Psychology of Sport and Exercise,12, 192-201.
-uki„, M. (2010). Rukomet [Handball]. Novi Sad: Budu„nost.
Gombocz, J., & Gombocz, G. (2006). Opinion of young athletes of their trainer: Real and ideal
image of trainers among basketball players from age 14 to 16. Kalokagathia, 1-2, 76-85.
Hagger, M. S., Chatzisarantis, N. L. D., Hein, V., Pihu, M., SoÛs, I., & Karsai, I. (2007). The
perceived autonomy support scale for exercise settings (PASSES): Development, validity,
and cross-cultural invariance in young people. Psychology of Sport and Exercise, 8, 632ñ
653.
HajdunÈ L·szlÛ, Z., & PrisztÛka, G. (in press). Image of trainer: aspect of young handball
players. Magyar Sporttudom·nyi Szemle.
Walters, S. R., Schluter P. J., Oldman A. R. H., Thomson, R. W., & Payne, D. (2012). The
sideline behaviour of coaches at childrenís team sports games. Psychology of Sport and
Exercise, 13, 208-215.
Rankings on International Handball Federationís website (www.ihf.info )
Rankings on European Handball Federationís website (www.eurohandball.com )
30
EXERCISE AND QUALITY OF LIFE
Research article
Volume 4, No. 2, 2012, 31-39
UDC 797.21-051:796.015.86
INFLUENCE OF DURATION AND INTENSITY OF
WARM-UP SESSIONS ON THE PERFORMACE AMONG
SHORT DISTANCE SWIMMERS
Goran Dimitri„, Miroslav Smaji„ and -orðe Agbaba
Faculty of Sport and Physical Education, University of Novi Sad, Serbia
Abstract
It is well established that warm-up sessions are very important and essential part of every
swimming competition. There is much evidence which tells how strong the influence of these
sessions on swimming performance is. Although there are many suggestions about content of
warm-up sessions in swimming, their duration and intensity, there are no clear conclusions about
all segments of warm-up. Because of that many researchers tried to reveal how good warm-up
sessions should look like. In this study 8 male and 4 female competitive swimmers aged 19 to 26
were tested. They were asked to swim three different warm-up sessions followed by 100 meters
performance with maximal intensity. Before trial number 1 they performed long duration warm-
up session, before trial 2 short duration warm-up session and before trial 3 they were asked to
perform warm-up session with high intensity. The recovery time between each warm-up session
and the performance was 5 minutes and during these 5 minutes. ANOVA with Repeated
Measures was used to test the differences in the performance that swimmers achieved after three
different warm up sessions. Statistical significance was set at p<0.05. The results showed that
there was not significant difference in the performance after long duration and short duration
warm-up sessions (p=1). On the other hand the difference in the performance on the trial 1 and
trial
3 was significant (p=.02). Furthermore, the difference between trial 2 and trial 3 was
significant as well (p=.03). Duration of the warm up session did not have significant influence on
the performance. On the other hand, the results showed that the intensity of the warm-up has big
influence on the performance. High intense warm-up without appropriate recover can cause drop
in the result. More research needs to be done on this topic with many different conditions.
Keywords: swimming, warm-up, duration, intensity, performance
Introduction
In many sports disciplines the athlete should be prepared for the competition or training
session on the best possible way. ìA warm-up is a group of exercises performed immediately
before activity, which helps the body to adjust from a state of rest to exerciseî (Harris and
Elbourn, 2002, p. 9). In this paper it will be discussed about the influence that prior exercise has
on the performance. ìThe performance is defined as the ability to bring about some end result
with maximum certainty and minimum outlay of energy, pr of time and energyî (Guthrie, 1952).
G. Dimitri, M. Smaji and -. Agbaba
The main goal of the good warm-up session is to give the opportunity to the athlete to perform
his or her best during the performance. That means that warm-up sessions should be designed to
increase muscle temperature, flexibility and motivation of the athlete (Leonard, 1992). For
different kinds of sport activity there are different kinds of warm-up as prior exercise. However,
it can be said that there are two different types of warm-up sessions for all activities: active
warm-up and passive warm-up. Passive warm-up results with increasing of muscle temperature
by some external factors such as hot showers and baths, saunas and heating pads. Compared to
passive warm-up, active warm-up is result of physical activity and causes bigger physiological
changes in athleteís body (Bishop, 2003).
There is no one standardized warm-up session that is recommended for all swimmers. An
effective warm up session should be set for each athlete individually because every athlete is
different. Moreover, different swimming events require different types of warm-up and the
content of warm-up session before each competition should be carefully designed by swimming
coaches, but the content should be discussed with the athlete as well (Lewin, 1979). Well
designed warm-up session should prepare swimmerís cardiovascular, cardiorespiratory,
musculoskeletal and neuromuscular system for high intense exercise (Harris and Elbourn, 2002).
Two most important effects that warm-up have on swimmers are psychological and
physiological effects.
Warm-up sessions before the competition are very important especially for the swimmers
that have problems with high level of anxiety. ìAnxiety is defined as unpleasant, consciously
perceived feelings of tension and apprehension, with associated activation or arousal of the
autonomic nervous systemî (Spielberger,
1972). Athletes with high level of anxiety have
negative feelings before some event and coaches must give them appropriate instructions about
their warm-up. That is one of the ways of putting their attention to something else, not to
negative self-talking to themselves. Self-talk before competition can be positive as well and can
have some positive effect on the result (Leonard, 1992). However, if the self-talk is negative it
can result with high level of anxiety and it is clear that cognitive anxiety can have big influence
on the performance among athletes (Vickers, 2007). During that session swimmers are becoming
familiar with the swimming pool and they have the opportunity to put their attention on all
aspects of their race. Moreover, they have enough time during that session to carefully plan their
races one more time, because that is one very important part of the overall preparation for the
important race (Volcansek, 2002).
Physiological goal of warm-up sessions is to transform swimmersí body from resting
state into the state in which can be performed competition. Before every exercise muscles are not
prepared to start with exercise immediately (Harris and Elbourn, 2002; Hoffman, 2002). The
main physiological goals of warm-up are to prepare body to deliver more oxygen to the muscles,
and muscles to use that oxygen more rapidly (Maglischo, 2003). Also, warm-up sessions should
increase flexibility of the muscles, blood flow through them and heart rate. The first thing that
athletes can notice after a proper warm-up is that their muscles have higher temperature.
Probably, that is the main reason why prior exercise is well known as warm-up. The increscent
of muscle temperature result with increscent of muscle strength (Bergh and Ekblom, 1979).
Moreover, there are some evidences that higher muscle temperature results with higher
flexibility of the muscles for more than
20% (Wright and Johns, 1960). Other, also very
important physiological factor of prior exercise and performance as well is oxygen consumption.
The results from some studies
(Burnley et al.,
2001) showed that prior exercise cannot
significantly improve oxygen consumption, but after the warm-up, there will be more anaerobic
capacities for the performance. Also the warm-up sessions before competitions can decrease the
accumulation of lactic acid (Bishop, 2003). However, many authors states that physiological
effects of warm-us do not last for a long period of time. They do not exist after 15-20 minutes
after warm-up and also cannot be beneficial for reduction of lactic acid anymore (Leonard,
32
Influence of warm up sessions on swimmersí performance
1992). Because of this it is recommended to prolong warm-up session as close as it is possible to
the event.
During the process of designing warm-up sessions, coaches should be aware of many
parameters such as duration, intensity, content of the session and others. Intensity of the exercise
shows how demanding the exercise is on the participant (Harris and Elbourn, 2002). The
intensity of the exercise is correlated with lactate production. Many authors states that every
exercise with intensity higher than 70% of athleteís VO2max increase the level of the lactic acid
in the blood (Fratric, 2006). Because of that, authors and coaches suggest that the swimmers
should avoid swimming with high intensity during the warm-up session before the competition.
Short distance swimmers should consider doing hard 15m, 25m and 50 meters distance to
establish race pace. Swimmers that swim longer distance races should use longer distance for
establishing their pace such as 100 meters (Colwin, 1992). The precise answer on the question
what is recommended duration and the amount of swimming that swimmers need to do for
proper warm-up, the coaches and the researchers cannot give us. The amount of time that is
required for warm-up session before competition is from 20 to 45 minutes (Maglischo, 2003).
Every swimmer with longer experience in swimming can easily assess how much of swimming
is enough for him or her to have decent warm-up (Colwin, 1992). Some researchers claim that 30
minutes is minimum required for doing all procedures for proper warm-up, while others think
that everything that is longer duration than 30 minutes is waste of time. Swimming warm-up
session before the race can be divided into a couple of separate parts. Chronologically, first,
before entering the water all swimmers should do some flexibility exercises. That should make
their bodies more flexible and prepare them for swimming. Swimming should start very easily,
at 20% to 40% of maximal effort of swimming (Maglischo, 2003). The most of the warm-up
session should be done at intensity from 30% to 50% of athleteís VO2max (Chwalbinska-
Moneta and Hanninen, 1989). That sounds very reasonable because of the fact that high intense
exercise can cause many physiological changes in the athleteís body that can result with
dropping in the performance (Bishop, 2003; Wilkerson et al., 2004). The researchers and many
coaches are agreed that effective swimming warm-up session should contain kicking, pulling,
swimming stroke drills, full stroke swimming to warm up all muscle groups. All that should be
contained in this part of warm-up session to rehearse swimmerís stroke mechanics. Other, very
important part of every warm-up before the event is practicing starts and turns.
Method
The idea for this research study was to test short distance swimmers and to find out if
there is any influence of different intensity and duration of warm up regimes on subsequent
performance. There were three different types of warm up sessions: long (overall 3000 meters)
and short duration warm up sessions (overall 1500 meters) and high intensity (overall 3000
meters) warm up session with same structure but higher intesity. After each warm up session
swimmers were perform 100 meters as quickly as possible. The data that were collected during
this study were the time of the performance on 100 meters and split time on 50 meters. Our
dependent variables will be duration and intensity of warm up sessions. Eight male and four
female participants took a part in this study. All of them were competitive swimmers aged 19 ñ
26. All of them were engaged with four to six training sessions in the swimming pool per week.
All the participants were regularly attempting training sessions at least three months before
testing. For this type of study it was necessary to use ANOVA with Repeated Measures. This
analyse were done for the split times after first 50 meters on the 100 meters performance and
100 metar time. In the results the researchers were looking for significant difference in the
performance that swimmers achieved after those three warm up sessions. Statistical significance
was set at p<0.05.
33
G. Dimitri, M. Smaji and -. Agbaba
Results
The mean time of all twelve participants during first trial which represent the results that
swimmers achieved on 100 meters performance after long duration warm-up session was
01:01:67. The mean time after short duration warm-up session was 01:01:73 and after high
intensity warm-up 01:02:32 (Table 1).
Table 1.
The results after of 100 meters swimming performance - Descriptive Statistics
Std.
Mean
F
p
Deviation
Trial 1
01:01.666
00:06.918
Trial 2
01:01.735
00:07.179
8.75
0.02
Trial 3
01:02.321
00:06.988
The tests of Within Subjects Effects showed that there was significant difference between
different conditions
(F GG(2, 22) = 8.75, p=.002). Pairwise Comparisons showed that the
difference between trial 1 and trial 2 was not significant (p=1). On the other hand the difference
was significant between trial 1 and trial 3 (p=.02) and between trial 2 and trial 3 as well (p=.03)
(Table 2).
Table 2.
The results of 100 meters swimming performance - Pairwise Comparisons
Mean
(I) Trial (J) Trial Difference (I-J) Std. Error
Sig.
2
-.069
.105
1.000
1
3
-.655*
.202
.024
1
.069
.105
1.000
2
3
-.586*
.192
.033
1
.655*
.202
.024
3
2
.586*
.192
.033
The mean time of all twelve participants during first trial which represent the split time
for the first 50 meters that swimmers achieved on 100 meters performance after long duration
warm-up session was 00:29:58. The mean time of first 50 meters after short duration warm-up
session was 00:29:72 and after high intensity warm-up 00:29:80 (Table 3).
34
Influence of warm up sessions on swimmersí performance
Table 3.
The results after first 50 meters during swimming performance - Descriptive Statistics
Std.
Mean Deviation
F
p
Split 1
00:29.582
03.471
Split 2
00:29.726
03.432
3.75
0.04
Split 3
00:29.808
03.468
The tests of Within Subjects Effects showed that there was significant difference between
different conditions
(F GG(2, 22) = 3.74, p=.04). Pairwise Comparisons showed that the
difference between trial 1 and trial 2 was not significant (p=.44). Moreover, the difference
between trial 2 and trial 3 was not significant (P=1), but the difference between trial 1 and trial 3
was significant (p=.03) (Table 4).
Table 4.
The results after first 50 meters during swimming performance - Pairwise Comparisons
(I)
(J)
Mean
Trial
Trial Difference (I-J) Std. Error
Sig.
1
2
-.143
.092
.437
3
-.225*
.074
.033
2
1
.143
.092
.437
3
-.082
.084
1.000
3
1
.225*
.074
.033
2
.082
.084
1.000
Discussion
Swimming warm-up sessions are one of the essential things in all preparation for the
performance during some swimming competition (Maglischo, 2003; Volcansek 2002). The
results showed that there was not any significant difference in the performance between long
duration and short duration warm-up session (p=.1). Although the duration of long duration
warm-up session was twice longer compared to short duration session the difference between
them was not significant. However, the intensity of both sessions was at the same level. The
difference in split times after first 50 meters during performance was not significant as well
(p=.44). From those data it can be concluded that for the short-term races it is not necessary to do
warm-up session that has more than 1500 meters. However, the coaches should be careful with
those results especially because there are some evidences that long-term races require longer
duration of warm-up sessions (Maglischo, 2003; Volcansek, 2002). In this case, the short term
swimmers performed 100 meters swim very similar after both, long and short duration warm-up
sessions. However, these results just suggest that there is no difference between long duration
35
G. Dimitri, M. Smaji and -. Agbaba
and short duration warm-up at the same level of intensity. It can be said that easy swimming is
very beneficial and can improve short term performance
(Genovely and Stanford,
1982;
Houmard et al., 1991; Maglischo, 2003) compared to high intense warm-up in this study and no
warm-up conditions and dry-land warm-ups in the previous studies (Bishop, 2003; Romney and
Nethery, 1993). When comparing performance time after long duration warm-up and after
warm-up session with high intensity there was significant difference (p=.02). Furthermore, the
difference was significant between short duration and high intensity warm-up sessions (p=.03).
These data are strong evidence that during this study, the high intensity warm up session and
short recovery period had big influence on the short-term swimming performance. Both, short
duration session and high intensity warm-up session had the same amount of swimming ñ 1500
meters. However, the difference in intensity was great. Observing these data it can be noticed
that high intensity warm-up session was too intense. Also, the recovery period of 5 minutes
between that session and performance obviously was not long enough.
Some previous studies showed that very short recovery time between warm-up session
and the performance can cause dropping in the performance if the warm-up session was at higher
level of intensity (Burnley et al., 2005; Ferguson et al., 2007). As many authors suggest, for
removing lactic acid from the blood it is necessary to pass some time or to spend that time in
easy swimming or massage (Bishop, 2003; Hoffman, 2002; Maglischo, 2003). In this case, the
swimmers had only 200 meters of easy swimming and 5 minutes time for recovery before the
performance. It is suggested that warm-up sessions before swimming performance should be
prolonged as much closer to the race as it is possible the recovery period of 5 minutes was
appropriate (Leonard, 1992). In this case the problem was the high intensity during most of the
time of the high intense warm-up session. High intensity swimming as prior exercise to the race
is recommended only for establishing correct race pace during warm-up. However, during high
intensity warm up session in this study that was not the case. As some authors suggest the time
period between high intense pace practicing and performance should be at least 20 minutes
(Maglischo, 2003; Volcansek, 2002), what in this study was not the case. One of the most
important things during designing a proper warm-up session is the combination of the intensity
of the session and the duration of the recovery period before the performance (Hoffman, 2002;
Palmer et al., 2009; Vanhatalo and Jones, 2009; Volcansek, 2002). So far, by observing the data
from this study it is possible to say that high intensity played significant role in dropping in the
performance. The best split time after first 50 meters on the 100 meters performance, swimmers
had during the first trial which was performed after long duration swimming session. However,
comparing to trial 2 that was performed after short duration session the difference in the time
was not significant (p=.43). But, as in overall performance the difference in split times was
significant between trial 1 and trial 3 (p=.03). That means the swimmers have performed first 50
meters after long duration session much faster compared to first 50 meters after high intense
warm-up. On the other hand, the interesting finding is that split time after first 50 meters was
very similar during trial 2 and trial 3. In this study, first time there is not significant difference
between performance after one low intense warm-up and high intense warm-up (p=1). However,
that means that last 50 meters were significantly better performed after short duration session
with low intensity compared to high intense warm-up. Here, the conclusion can be that the level
of the lactic acid in the blood significantly increased and caused the drop in the performance
during last 50 meters during last trial. Even it cannot be said for sure, because there are no
provided data about the level of lactic acid in the blood, the high intense warm-up without
appropriate recovery caused drop in the performance on 100 meters race, especially during last
50 meters. To compare the level of the lactic acid during the race the best option will be long-
term swimming performance. There are evidences that the lactate level in the blood is dropping
faster after performance that was done after proper swimming warm-up session (Bishop, 2003;
Genovely and Stanford, 1982; Robergs et al., 1990). Now, with the data for 100 meters
performance and without lactate blood sample it is not clear how duration of the session and the
amount of swimming can influence on the performance. In the case of short term performance
36
Influence of warm up sessions on swimmersí performance
the duration of the warm-up session and the amount of swimming during it did not show any
significant influence on the result.
Conclusion
It is established that the warm-up session prior short term swimming performance is
benefitial and can improve swimming performance (Bishop, 2003; Maglischo, 2003). However,
there are still many questions about warm-up sessions that should be answered in the future. It is
still not 100% clear what should be appropriate content of every warm up session, how great
should be the total amount of swimming during those sessions and how intense those sessions
should be. Furthermore, there are no many clear evidences about the recovery period between
warm-up and the performance. From the results from this study and many others already existing
evidences it can be said that the recovery period between high intense swimming during warm-
up and performance should be long enough or there is going to be visible drop in the results
(Bishop, 2003; Ferguson et al., 2007; Palmer et al., 2009). In the case of this study, very short
recovery period after high intense swimming caused drop in the performance, compared to the
100 meters swim performed after sessions with low intensity swimming.
One of the key findings from this study was non-significant difference in the performance
performed after long duration and short duration warm-up. However, these results should be
interpreted carefully and the readers should be aware that in this study was tested short-term
swimming performance only. That finding can have its role in planning of the warm-up sessions
before swimming races, but before the training sessions as well. If something can significantly
improve performance it can have very useful role in making training sessions more productive.
Good warm-up session should be planed for every swimmer individually, because
different strokes, different distances, and different persons need different warm-up sessions. That
is the only way for the athletes to be well prepared for the performance. The best warm-up
session for some athlete is the session that gives the best results to that athlete, even if that warm-
up session may be does not look very best and does not have all important findings implemented
inside.
This study has revealed some interesting findings but many research need to be done in
the future. If the researchers and sports scientists want to improve swimming performance and to
move the limits in the modern swimming they should pay a lot of attention on the prior exercise.
Especially, more research is needed with high intense parts of the warm-up sessions. Those
sessions should be as much realistic and similar to those during competitions as it is possible.
Suggestion for further research projects can be the testing of high intense part of swimming
sessions at different part of the session and different recovery period before the performance. A
lot of attention should be putted on the recovery period between high intense part of the warm-up
session and the performance. Duration and the content of that period should be tested. Many
important findings the researchers have already found out, but still there is a gap in the
knowledge. It is sure that in the future swimming warm-up sessions will have some different
structure, but that structure will not be the result of only some new findings, but the result of
already existing evidences improved with some new findings.
37
G. Dimitri, M. Smaji and -. Agbaba
References
Bishop, D. (2003). Warm up II: Performance changes following active warm up and how to
structure the warm up. Sports Medicine, 33(7), 483-498.
Chwalbinska-Moneta, J., & Hanninen, O.
(1989). Effects of active warm-up on
thermoregulatory, circulatory, and metabolic responses to incremental exercise in
endurance-trained athletes. International Journal of Spots Medicine, 10(1), 25-29.
Colwin, C. M. (1992). Swimming Into the 21st Century. Champaign, IL: Human Kinetic.
Ferguson, C., Whipp, B. J., Cathcart, A. J., Rossiter, H. B., Turner, A. P., & Ward, S. A. (2007).
Effects of prior very-heavy intensity exercise on indices of aerobic function and high-
intensity exercise tolerance. Journal of Applied Physiology, 103, 812-822.
Fratri„, F.
(2006). Teorija i metodika sportskog treninga. [Theory and Methodics of Sport
Training]. Novi Sad: Pokrajinski zavod za sport.
Genovely, H., & Stanford, B. A. (1982). Effects of prolonged warm-up above and below the
anaerobic threshold on maximal performance. European Journal of Applied Physiology,
28, 323-330.
Guthrie, E. R. (1952). The Psychology of Learning. New York: Harper and Row.
Harris, J., & Elbourn, J. (2002). Warming Up and Cooling Down. Champaign, IL: Human
Kinetic.
Hoffman, J. (2002). Physiological Aspects of Sport Training and Performance. Champaign, IL:
Human Kinetic.
Houmard, J. A., Johns, R. A., Smith, L. L., Wells, J. M., Kobe, R. W., & McGoogan, S. A.
(1991). The effects of warm-up responses to intense exercise. International Journal of
Sports Medicine, 12, 480-483.
Leonard, J. (1992). Science of Coaching: Swimming. Champaign, IL: Human Kinetic.
Lewin, G. (1979). Swimming. Berlin: Sportverlag.
Maglischo, E. W. (2003). Swimming Fastest: The essential reference on technique, training, and
program design. Champaign, IL: Human Kinetic.
Palmer, C. D., Jones, A. M., Kennedy, G. J., & Cotter, J. D. (2009). Effects of prior heavy
exercise on energy supply and 4000m cycling performance. Medicine Science and Sports
Exercise, 41, 221-229.
Romney, N. C., & Nethery, V. M. (1993). The effect of swimming and dryland warm-ups on
100-yard freestyle performance in collegiate swimmers. Journal of Swimming Research,
9, 5-9.
Robergs, R. A., Costill, D. L., Fink, W. J., Williams, C., Pascoe, D. D., Chwalbinska-Moneta, J.,
et al.
(1990). Effects of warm-up on blood gases, lactate and acid-base status during
sprint swimming. International Journal of Sports Medicine, 11(4), 273-278.
Spielberger, C. S.
(1972). Anxiety: Current Trends in Theory and Research. New York:
Academic Press.
Vanhatalo, A., & Jones, A. M. (2009). Influence of prior sprint exercise on the parameters of the
all-out critical power test in men. Exercise Physiology, 94, 255-263.
Vickers, J. N. (2007). Perception, Cognition, and Decision Training. Champaign, IL: Human
Kinetic.
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Influence of warm up sessions on swimmersí performance
VolËanöek, B. (2002). Bit plivanja. [The Essence of Swimming]. Zagreb: Kinezioloöki fakultet
SveuËiliöta u Zagrebu.
Wilkerson, D. P., Koppo, K., Barstow, T. J., & Jones, A. M. (2004). Effect of prior multiple ñ
sprint exercise on pulmonary O2 uptake kinetics following the onset of perimaximal
exercise. Journal of Applied Physiology, 97, 1227-1236.
Wright, V., & Johns, R. J. (1960). Physical factor concerned with the stiffness of normal and
diseased joints. Bulletin of Johns Hopkins Hospital, 106, 215-231.
39
EXERCISE AND QUALITY OF LIFE
Research article
Volume 4, No. 2, 2012, 41-47
UDC 796-057,875:796,015,132
AEROBIC FITNESS TREND OF STUDENTS OF THE
FACULTY OF SPORT AND PHYSICAL EDUCATION AT
THE UNIVERSITY OF BELGRADE
Goran Prebeg
Faculty of sport and physical education, University of Belgrade, Serbia
Natalija Mihajlovi„
Bachelor of Sport, Belgrade, Serbia
Duöan Miti„
Faculty of sport and physical education, University of Belgrade, Serbia
Abstract
Aerobic fitness, endurance, and cardiovascular endurance are synonyms for work
capacity, which itself is an important prerequisite for the health and life of every man. The
purpose of this research was to identify the trend of aerobic fitness of students in the last 15
years. The Survey method, which implies nonexperimental crossectional research, was used. The
instrument is UKK 2km, walking test. The total sample consisted of 605 subjects (389 males,
216 females), students of Faculty of Sport and Physical Education, aged 18-28 years. They were
divided into three groups, according to when they were tested, the first group was tested in the
period 1997-2000 (N = 299), the other was tested from 2001-2004 (N = 200), the third was
tested in 2012 (N = 106). Analysis of the results showed a decreasing trend in fitness index of
male students with 104.1 to 77.3, and of the female students from 96.4 to 84.8. T-tests confirmed
differences in fitness index, at the level of p<0.05 for both sexes. The maximum oxygen
consumption among male students declined from 51.3 to 40.3 ml/kg/min, and among female
students from 37.5 to 33.7 ml/kg/min. The results indicate toward decreasing trend in students'
aerobic fitness in both sexes, but the trend is less pronounced in female students. Students of
both sexes have fitness index values below the standard norms of the Swedish population.
According to the criteria of Cooper oxygen consumption students have moved from the
ìExcellentî to the ìVery goodî category. The general trend of decreasing aerobic fitness of the
population can be seen in the sport and physical education students, as a consequence of lifestyle
in which there is not enough adequate physical activity.
Keywords: students, UKK 2 miles, fitness level
Corresponding author. Faculty of Sport and Physical Education, University of Belgrade, Blagoja Parovi„ 156,
11030 Belgrade, Serbia, e-mail: goran.prebeg@fsfv.bg.ac.rs
G. Prebeg, N. Mihajlovi and D. Miti
Introduction
A number of studies point to the key role of physical activity in order to ensure proper
physical and mental growth and development, environmental health, improvement of working
capacity and quality of life. For it is precisely through physical activity, the development of
aerobic fitness, or cardiovascular endurance important prerequisite.
However, despite the large number of information available on the various benefits of
physical activity in general, remain the most vulnerable people such as children, adolescents,
persons exposed to stressful situations, and the elderly. If we consider only the categories of
adolescents, this group, in addition to high school age, and belong to the students as well as older
adolescents. Study represents a significant change in lifestyle, the qualitative organization of
learning, and frequently change their place of residence. Adolescents, the majority, have
stabilized work habits, social behavior in the area are still searching for their own identity and
self-affirmation. The way of life is such that there is not enough physical activity, with great
psychological stress, especially during exam preparation. On the other hand, modern lifestyles
and modern technologies contributing to spare the man from physical strain and fatigue, but
denied physical activity. Leisure is becoming a victim of this technology, in which all forms of
communication and movement to the use of its products (Miti„, 2001).
At universities in Serbia, in the period between 1963 to 1998, regular physical education
classes for all first year students were organized. In addition, a number of recreational activities
was offered at nearby resorts. However, repeated testing of students from the Faculty of sport
and physical education in Belgrade, using the Cooper UKK test brisk walking 2 km, known in
the literature as a test to assess aerobic endurance (Laukkanen, 1992), indicated a declining trend
in aerobic capacity, as a result of less physical activity.
Method
Testing was performed on the total sample of 605 subjects (389 males, 216 females),
aged 18 to 28 years, all of them being students of Faculty of Sport and Physical Education in
Belgrad. They were divided into three groups, in relation to the period when they were tested.
The first group was tested in the period 1997-2000, N = 299, the second group was tested
from 2001-2004, N=200, and a third group 2012th years, n=106th. To extract and analyze the
results the Survey method was used, ie. a nonexperimental cross-sectional research. Statistical
analysis comprised the Student t-test, commonly-used parametric test of significance to test the
null hypothesis (Cvetkovi„, 2009).
The instrument applied in this study was UKK 2 km, a brisk walking test, according to
Dr. Kenneth Cooper, the 2 km long track. It is intended for testing of healthy adults aged 18 to
65 years. The test is relatively simple and does not require complex research skills. It is generally
performed under field conditions, allows simultaneous usage on many subjects, and is quite
reliable when it comes to testing non-atletes. Walking is an activity that engages the large muscle
groups, it is safe, low-risk activity that doesn't lead to the rapid fatigue. Before preparation for
the test, subjects complete a standardized questionnaire dealing with their daily physical activity
habits, leisure time physical activity or physical activity at the workplace, organized forms of
sport or recreation in which they participate, possession of sports equipment, and satisfaction
with their level of physical activity. Then the respondents height and weight were measured, by
anthropometer and digital scale, respectively, so to get information on the percentage of muscle
and fat tissue in the body.
42
Aerobic fitness of students of Faculty of sport and PE
The aerobic fitness test applied, known as aerobic endurance test, is based on an indirect
estimate of maximum oxygen consumption, which forms the basis of physical work capacity.
Test protocol demands respect for outside air temperature in the range of 5 - 25 º C, moderate
humidity, loose-fitting clothing, and warm-up 5 - 10 minutes prior to testing (stretching the
muscles of the legs and spine, brisk walking about 200 meters).
After completion of brisk/vigorous two miles walk on the clean and flat track, the
walking time and heart rate are recorded. Precise test performance enables determination of
fitness index (general fitness), as well as estimation of indirect maximum oxygen consumption,
calculating BMI (body mass index) and the possibility of calculating the energy input required
calories per day in relation to body composition (Ksale / KJ) .
Walking test was performed on the total sample of 605 subjects, aged 18 to 28 years, who
are students FSFV in Belgrade, that is 389 male students and 216 female students. They were
divided into three groups, in relation to the period when they were tested. The first group was
tested in the period 1997-2000, N = 299, the second group was tested from 2001-2004, N = 200,
and a third group 2012th years, n = 106th.
The goal of this research was to compare mean values of fitness index and maximal
oxygen consumption (VO2 max) of three groups of subjects. The t-test examined whether there
were statistically significant differences between groups in Fitness index and maximal oxygen
consumption.
Testing was performed according to the protocol, and the data processed by the
appropriate formulas. Fitness formula for calculating the index of the people aged 18 to 65 years
(Stojiljkovi„, Miti„, Mandari„, & Neöi„, 2005):
Men = 420 ñ (11.6 min + 0.2 sec + 0.56 HR + 2.6 BMI) + 0.2 years
Women = 304 ñ (8.5 min + 0.14 sec + 0.32 HR + 1.1 BMI) + 0.4 years
Achieved time in minutes and seconds (eg, 15: 30 is split into 15 min and 30 sec),
HR - heart rate at the end of the test within one minute;
BMI-weight(kg)/height(m)squared,
The age of patients .
Table 1.
Categories according to FITNESS INDEX
Obtained values of FITNESS INDEX
< 70 well below the average
70 ñ 89 somewhat below average
90 ñ 110 average
110 ñ 130 something above average
>130 well above average
FITNESS INDEX is the fitness level of the person from the test, compared with the
average level of people the same age and sex, was calculated based on walking time, heart rate,
body weight index and age. FITNESS INDEX 100 corresponds to an average maximum oxygen
consumption between genders, individuals and years. Values below 100 presents a below
average level of fitness, a value above which fitness levels are above average. The formula for
calculating the maximal oxygen uptake ñ VO2 max (ml / min / kg):
43
G. Prebeg, N. Mihajlovi and D. Miti
Men = VO2 max = 184.9 ñ 4.65 time ñ 0.22 HR ñ 0.26 years ñ 1.05 BMI
Women = VO2 max = 116.2 ñ 2.98 time ñ 0.11 HR ñ 0.14 years ñ 0.39 BMI
Recorded time of test execution is translated as follows: 15 min and 30 sec = 15.5 min
predicted VO2max is the estimated consumption of VO2max (ml / min / kg) calculated on the basis
of time walking, heart rate, body weight index and age. The value of maximum aerobic capacity
is presented in Table 4. and 5. Predicted HR max is the highest heart rate that can be achieved by
testing, and estimated based on oxygen consumption and heart rate during a walk in the test.
Maximum heart rate can be used to determine the person's target zone, with recommendations
for further training.
Table 2.
The maximum aerobic capacity VO2 max (ml / min / kg) ñ men
Age
Decreased
Insufficient
Average
Good
Excellent
20 ñ 29
< 25
25 ñ 33
34 - 42
43 ñ 52
> 53
30 ñ 39
< 23
23 - 30
31 - 38
39 ñ 48
> 49
40 ñ 49
< 20
20 - 26
27 - 35
36 ñ 44
>
45
50 ñ 59
< 18
28 - 24
25 - 33
34 ñ 42
> 43
60 - 69
< 16
16 ñ 22
23 - 30
31 - 40
> 41
Table 3.
The maximum aerobic capacity VO2 max (ml / min / kg) ñ women
Age
Decreased
Insufficient
Average
Good
Excellent
20 ñ 29
< 24
24 ñ 30
31 - 37
38 - 48
> 49
30 ñ 39
< 20
20 - 27
28 - 33
34 ñ 44
> 45
40 ñ 49
< 17
17 - 23
24 - 30
31 ñ 41
> 42
50 ñ 59
< 15
15 - 20
21 - 27
28 ñ 37
> 38
60 - 69
< 13
13 ñ 17
18 - 23
24 - 34
> 35
44
Aerobic fitness of students of Faculty of sport and PE
Results
Data for the fitness index and maximal oxygen consumption (average value), particularly
for women and men, in relation to the period when they were tested, are shown in the lower part
of Figure 1. and 2.
Figure 1. Fitness index and VO2max for men
On Figure 1. the results show that the index of the first tested fitness group (1997-2000)
is 104.1, which according to Swedish population norms is within the average range of the index
(90-110). In the second group the index is 91.1, which is slightly lower than the previously tested
group, but still within the average values. In the third group (2012) Fitness index is 77.3, which
is lower than the both previously tested groups, and according to the Swedish population norms
this value falls into the category of 'somewhat below average' (70-89). Figure 1 presents the
mean maximal oxygen uptake, VO2max, in which also noted a downward trend. In the first
group, the average value of VO2 max was 51.3, 46.1 in the second. Both of these values,
according to Cooper's maximal aerobic capacity norms (ml / min / kg), are above the average
category. In the third group, VO2max value is 40.8, which is the average value.
Figure 2. Fitness index and VO2max for women
45
G. Prebeg, N. Mihajlovi and D. Miti
Figure 2 shows that in women there is a declining trend in Fitness Index, with the first
group (1997-2000) average value of 96.4, which is the average index value, according to the
Swedish population norms. In the second group (2001-2004) index is 86.1, while the third group
(2012) achieved index value of 84.8. Index values in the second and third group fall into the
category of 'somewhat below average."
According to Figure 2, showing the average values of maximum oxygen consumption in
women, the first group scored 37.5, second group - 34, and third group - 33.7. All three values
are within the average category, according to the criteria of the Cooper oxygen consumption. T -
test showed a statistically significant differences for both sexes.
Conclusions
The aim of this study was to compare the fitness index and maximal oxygen consumption
between three groups tested with Coopers brisk walking test on the path of
2 km. The
participants where students of the Faculty of Sport and Physical Education, which have been
tested over the last fifteen years, in the period from 1997-2000, the first group, 2001-2004, the
second group, and 2012. the third group. Testing was performed by the same protocol in similar
conditions. Number of subjects tested 1997-2000 is approximately equal to the number of
subjects tested, 2001-2004, while the number of subjects tested 2012th was slightly smaller. As
for the number of subjects divided by sex, more male subjects were tested, while in the age
category all respondents have between 18 and 28 years. T - test showed that there were
significant statistical differences between the three groups when it comes to fitness index and
maximal oxygen consumption.
Students tested in the period from 1997-2000 had higher fitness index than the students
tested in subsequent periods. Fitness index of the value of 104.1 in the first group tested falling
to 91.1 in the second group tested, and in the third group tested its value was 77.3. In the last
generation of students tested, the index value is below the average value of the Swedish
population norms, while the index for the first two groups moving average. Speaking of
maximum oxygen consumption in men, there is also a trend of decreasing this value. This value
was 51.3 for first tested group, falling to 46.1, and in the third 40.8 ml / kg / min. According to
the criteria of the Cooper VO2max values of oxygen consumption in the first and second groups
were slightly above average values, while the third group had average value.
For female students there is also a downward trend in the value of Fitness index from
96.4 tested in the first group, to 86.1, in the second group tested, and finally to 84.8 in the third
group. This means that only the index of the first group was in range of average values, while the
second and third group value is below the average. Maximum oxygen consumption t has a
downward trend from 37.5 in the first group, 34 in the second group to 33.7 in the third group
tested. VO2max values for females was average range.
The results obtained are showing trend of decreasing aerobic capacity in students of both
genders, but the trend is less pronounced decline for female students. The general trend of
decreasing aerobic fitness of the population can be seen in the students and faculty staff also.
This phenomenon is a consequence of the way of life in which there is not enough adequate
physical activity. Concern that the investigation relates to the students of Faculty of Sport and
Physical Education, beacuse exercise should be the essence of their interest. The problem may be
in the reduction of the material in college (the number of hours of practical training), which is
related to physical activity, and reduced students interest in extracurricular or recreational
activities. It is important to note that the implementation of the test was at the beginning of the
school year, after the exams, when students where ocupied in exam preparation and most of the
time during the day they spend in a seated position, which may be the cause of physical
inactivity.
46
Aerobic fitness of students of Faculty of sport and PE
References
Cvetkovi„, M. (2009). Sportska dijagnostika. Novi Sad: TIMS.
Laukkanen, R., Oja P., Pasanen M., & Vuori I. (1992). Validity of a two kilometre walking test
for estimating maximal aerobic power in overweight adults. Journal of Obesity and
Related Metabolic Disorders, 16(4), 263-268.
Mihajlovi„, N., & Miti„, D. (2010). Stanje kondicije uËesnika na letnjem festivalu rekreacije. U
Zbornik radova »anj 2010 (str. 416-420). Beograd: Fakultet sporta i fiziËkog vaspitanja.
Miti„, D. (2001). Rekreacija. Beograd: Fakultet sporta i fiziËkog vaspitanja.
Stojiljkovi„, S., Miti„, D., Mandari„, S., & Neöi„, D. (2005). Fitness. Beograd: Fakultet sporta
fiziËkog vaspitanja.
47
EXERCISE AND QUALITY OF LIFE
Research article
Volume 4, No. 2, 2012, 49-56
UDC 316.628-053.6:796.07
YOUTH MOTIVES FOR PRACTICING SPORTS
Borka MalËi„
Faculty of Philosophy, University of Novi Sad, Serbia
Abstract
The aim of this study is to determine the motivational structure of youths for practicing
sports. The research included 60 participants, of both sexes, all aged between 13 and 16. The
survey method was applied. The research results showed the following facts: that intrinsic
motivation is the main instigator for practicing sports and 58.33% of the participants personally
made the decision to start doing sports. As for the structure of motives, health is in the first place
of importance, followed by love for sports, then success, friendship, popularity and good looks.
Money as primary motive is penultimate instigator, while fun is the last main motive for doing
sports. The hierarchy of motives for initial involvement in sports activities does not differ on the
basis of gender. Children are most intensively involved in sports between 6 and 10 years of age.
The main conclusion of the research is that coaches should improve the consciousness of
practicing sports for the purposes of fun and friendship.
Keywords: motivation, sports, physical activity, the youth.
Introduction
Movement is one of the very basic manís needs. We are today witnesses and victims of a
lifestyle which includes long hours spent in front of the computer, TV monitor or behind a
working desk, with an improper sitting posture, and excessive use of means of transportation
(cars, buses, elevators), even for short-distance commuting. Children use buses on their way to
school, even if it is only one bus stop away, or they have their parents take them by car. The
mass phenomena of bad posture and flat feet have been detected in children attending junior
elementary schools, along with many other consequences of hypokinesis. Taking into
consideration all above mentioned facts, it is necessary that children and youth practice physical
activity, that is, exercises, for the purpose of proper growth and development (psychophysical,
social, as well as spiritual) and health in its most general sense. The greatest value of sports lies
in nurturing sportsmanship spirit, which is characterized by ethics, fair play, team work, health,
outstanding achievements, character and education, joy and fun, observance of rules and
regulations, respect for oneself and other participants, courage, solidarity etc.
Correspondingauthor. Faculty of Philosophy, University of Novi Sad, Dr Zorana -inði„a 2, 21000 Novi Sad,
Serbia, e-mail:
B. MalËi
Research of the motivational aspects of the youth sport experience is a problem that has
so far not been intensively dealt with by psychologists and educational experts. Bearing in mind
that through sports a child develops communicational skills and improves interaction with other
people, becomes better prepared to undertake responsibility and obligations, develops working
habits, the sense of fair play and sportsmanship, learns about organizational skills and learns how
to accept both victory and defeat, forms personal responsibility for taking risks and achieves
many other useful purposes, it is needless to discuss the importance of doing sports and choosing
a sports discipline that would suit the child best. Involving the youth in any organized sports
activity, among its many other benefits, reduces the risk of sociopathologicalbehavior, such as
delinquency and criminal conduct, alcohol consumption, drug abuse or prostitution. Age is not
an obstacle for a child to start doing sports more intensively, even if he/she is very young, if
training is led by highly qualified sports experts. In that sense, sport becomes a means for
building up young people and develops certain traits of character which are basic for any other
activity. The main aim of our research is to determine the motivational structure of the youth for
doing sports and practicing sporting activities. Such formulation of the objective implies that
basic reasons for which young people startpracticing sports should be determined, as well as the
influences that made them opt for sport. Research results and data analysis are expected to lead
to yet another anticipated objective of the research, namely, to improve the educational work in
the field of sports and enable a higher-quality scientific design of sports activities. We expect our
research to contribute to the clarification of the origins of sports activities for children. What is it
that induces children to do sports and is there any difference between boys and girls in this
matter?
Despite the fact that sport has a high potential for developing educational effect, only a
few researchers have explored the issue of motivational aspects of the youth for practicing
sports. During the 1970s and 1980s, research was carried out in the USA and it showed that most
of the American children did sports for fun, because they liked doing something they were good
at, in order to improve their sports skills, for the sake of challenge, competition, keeping in good
shape, spending time with friends and making new friends (Gill, 1983; Gould and Petlichkoff,
1988). Until 1990, studies in motivation that were carried out in our country were mostly
directed towards examining the degree to which achievement motives were expressed in adult
sportspeople of various success rates, and towards the links between achievement motives and
other personality dispositions (Havelka and Lazarevi„, 1981; Lazarevi„ and BaËanac, 1985). In
the early 1990s, BaËanac et al (BaËanac, Lazarevi„ and Arunovi„, 1994) established the main
reasons for which children and youth in Serbia usually opted for practicing sports, using the
sample of 417 young sportspeople. They found that young people in our country start practicing
sports primarily because they want to achieve success (advance towards a higher level), because
of the attraction that a sports competition holds, because of their need to get in good shape, to do
something they are good at, and to spend time with their friends. The latest research related to
this issue was carried out in the USA in 1993. Its authors were Weiss and Ferrer-Caja. They
reached firm conclusions on the three leading motives of children for doing sports. Firstly,
children practice sports because they want to improve their physical fitness (athletic skills,
physical abilities and physical appearance). The second motive for doing sports could be found
in creating social acceptance and support (making friends, belonging to a group and obtaining
support from parents and teachers). The third motive is related to fun and aims at increasing
positive social experiences and reducing the negative ones.
The general hypothesis of the research was as follows: HgñIt is assumed that today, in the
time of economic crisis, as well as the crisis of general value system that society is faced with,
motivational aspects of the young people for practicing sports are not of intrinsic (personal)
quality. Based on the research tasks, specific hypotheses were derived from the general
hypothesis. These are the following: H1 ñ It is assumed that health and love for sports represent
individual motives that stand first in the hierarchy of the youthsí motives for practicing sports
and sports activities. H2 ñ It is assumed that, in Novi Sad, youth participation in sports activities
50
Motives of youths for practicing sports
is most intensive between the ages of six and ten. H3 ñ It is assumed that boys differ from girls
as concerns their motivational structure for practicing sports. H4 ñ It is assumed that parents
have influence on young peopleís decision to start doing sports and practicing sports activities.
Method
This research study included
60 participants, chosen among the students of senior
elementary schools and first two grades of secondary schools, of both sexes, aged 13 to 16 and
enrolled in sports clubs located at the territory of Novi Sad. Of the total number, 29 were female,
and 31 were male. The research included the following sportspeople: 11 tennis players, 13
handball players, 15 water polo players and 21 volleyball players, all of them from national
leagues.
The applied research techniques included survey and rating of importance of the stated
reasons. The survey was carried out by a questionnaire for young people practicing sports. In
order to examine the set research problem, we used a questionnaire that was designed
independently for the purpose of this research study and with the aim to measure motivational
characteristics of the youth for practicing sports. The introductory part of the questionnaire
contains the instructions for filling out the questionnaire, information about the club at which the
participant is a member and about the participantís gender. It contains 15 items, both open-ended
and closed-ended, as well as a list of eight most frequent reasons for practicing sports, which was
given to young participants so that they could rank the reasons according to the importance they
had for their involvement in sports.
For data procession, the statistical package program ìSPSS 8.0 for Windowsî was used.
Basic statistical parameters of descriptive statistics were calculated, and measures of average and
correlation were made. On the basis of the recorded marginal frequency of participantsí answers,
we determined their distribution, which basically contained the middle values of each variable.
This was carried out on the sample as a whole, as well as on the sub-samples determined
according to gender. Chi-square test was applied for testing the differences in the distribution of
answers between boys and girls,with level of significance of p ≤ .05.
Results
By analyzing the results, we reached the conclusion that 73.33% of the participants
answered that their motives for doing sports are personal (Table 1). Young people of both sexes
view sports primarily as a means of improving and preserving their own health. This motive was
marked as primary by 24 participants (40%). This motive is immediately followed by love for
sports. 22 of the young participants put this motive in the first place on the scale of the offered
motives, which represents 36.7%. Success rated third in the hierarchy of the most important
motives for doing sports (8.3%). Friendship was listed as the primary motive by 6.6% of the
participants. These are followed by popularity and looks with 3.3% of the participants who rated
them first. Money serves as the basic motivation for youthsí sports activities in 1.7% of cases. At
the end no one among the young participants (0%) sees fun as the basic motive for doing sports
(Table 2). Youth involvement in sports is most intensive between the ages of six and ten
(71.66%), then between ten to fourteen (18.34%), while at the very early ages, between four and
six, the percentage is small (10%). The mean value for the age at which the young participants
started their involvement in sports and sports activities is 8.3 years (Table 3). The hierarchy of
motives for initial involvement in sports activities does not defer on the basis of gender. The
motivations to start playing sports are health and love for sports, with same percentage and it was
51
B. MalËi
mostly present in the answers given by boys (45.16%).Furthermore, success was mostly present
in the answers given by girls
(17.24%), friendship by girls
(6.89%) and good looks and
popularity by girls (6.89%). At the end, fun as a primary motive for practicing sports is same for
both sexes (0%). Since p = .374 it could be said that by using method ˜2 test no significant
differences found between the youths' gender and their motives for involvement in sports(Table
4). Young peopleís predilection for their involvement in sports is primarily a personal decision
(58.3%) and other peopleís influences are proportionately smaller. Among other important
people, under whose influence the young ones most frequently start practicing sports, we found
parents in the first place (15%), then friends (11.7%), then other unnamed persons (8.3%) and at
the very end, sports idols (6.7%) were listed as the reason that young people start doing a
particular sport (Figure 1).
Table 1 shows resultsthe percentage prevalence of other influence for which young
people start practicing sports.
Table 1
Numeric and percentage (%) share of the nature of motives for which young people start
practicing sports
I practicesportsonly because of my personal reasons
Completelyagree
Mostlyagree
Cannotdecide
Tend to disagree
No answer Total
44 (73.33%)
12 (20%)
2 (3.33%)
1 (1.66%)
1 (1.66%)
60 (100%)
Table 2 shows numerical results of rankingmotivesby the degree ofimportancefrom first
toeighth placeto startpracticing sportsfor both sexes. Offered motives were: Fun, Popularity,
Money, Good looks, Love for sports, Health, Success and Friendship.
Table 2
Summary table of motives rated from 1 to 8 according to their importance as reasons for
practicing sports
rank
Health Success Love for sports Good looks Friendship Fun Popularity Money
I place
24
5
22
2
4
0
2
1
II place
14
10
15
3
5
4
1
5
III place
6
9
9
6
16
8
2
0
IV place
6
10
5
8
13
10
6
2
V place
1
8
2
8
11
18
6
5
VI place
2
12
3
10
5
5
16
8
VII place
2
5
1
12
2
5
20
12
VIII place
5
1
3
11
4
10
7
27
52
Motives of youths for practicing sports
Arithmetic means are presented in Table 3. Values of arithmetic meansindicatethat the
youths in average start practicing sports when they are 8,3 years old.
Table 3
Average age at which youths start practicing sports
Age at whichinvolvement in
Number of participants
sportsbegan
4years
2
5years
4
6years
8
7years
11
8years
7
9years
7
10years
10
11years
8
12years
2
13years
0
14years
1
Meanvalue
8,3 years
Table 4 shows that there are no statistical significance (p=0.374) between boys and girls
in motives they have to start practicing sports. Motives that were outlined by participants as the
most important for practicing sports are given in numbers and percentages.
Table 4
Results of numeric (n), percentage (%) and statistical significance gender-based share of the
motives for which young people start practicing sports
Love for
Health
Friendship
Success Goodlooks
Fun Popularity Money
Total
Sports
10
2
5
2
8
0
2
0
29
Girls
(34.48%)
(6.89%)
(17.24%)
(6.89%)
(27.58%) (0.00%) (6.89%) (0.00%) (48.33%)
14
2
0
0
14
0
0
1
31
Boys
(45.16%)
(6.45%)
(0.00%)
(0.00%)
(45.16%) (0.00%) (0.00%) (3.22%) (51.66%)
24
4
5
2
22
0
2
1
60
Total
(40.00%)
(6.66%)
(8.33%)
(3.33%)
(36.66%) (0.00%) (3.33%) (1.66%) (100.00%)
2 (df = 1) = p =0.374
53
B. MalËi
Figure 1
Who had the influence on young people to start practicing sports
Personal decision 58,33%
Parents 15%
Friends 11,67%
Other persons 8,33%
Idols 6,67
Figure 1 shows the percentage prevalence of other influence for which young people start
practicing sports
Discussion
General hypothesis Hg ñ
It is assumed that today, in the time of economic crisis, as well
as the crisis of general value system that society is faced with, motivational aspects of the young
people for practicing sports are
not of intrinsic (personal) quality ñ was not confirmed. Young
people decide for sports primarily for their personal motives. These results lead towards the
conclusion that internal motivation is the dominant instigator for participation
and continuous
involvement in physical activities and sports.The H1 ñ It is assumed that health and love for
sports represent individual motives that stand first in the hierarchy of the youthsí motives for
practicing sports ñ proved to be true. By analyzing results, we reached the conclusion that young
people of both sexes view sports primarily as a means of improving and preserving their own
health. We can conclude that all
the data invariably confirm that young people
view their sports
activities as a factor in obtaining
and preserving health, but also as an opportunity for achieving
success and confirming their own
competence, or as a place where they can spend time with their
peers. Money, fun, popularity and good looks are not among the priority motives. Hypothesis H2
was confirmed ñ It is assumed that, in Novi Sad, youth participation in sports
activities is most
intensive between the ages of six
and ten. The third hypothesis was H3 ñ It is assumed that boys
differ from girls as concerns their motivational structure for doing sports. This
hypothesis was
not confirmed. There is no significant differencein the structureof motivesbetween boys and
girls.The last hypothesis was H4
ñ It is assumed that parents have influence on
young peopleís
decision to start doing sports and practicing sports activities ñ and it proved incorrect. Young
peopleís predilection for their involvement in sports is primarily a personal decision and other
peopleís influences are proportionately smaller.
Limitations of this study
might be found in its relatively small sample of participants, or
in the territory where the research was conducted, considering that sports activities, and therefore
also the motivational structure for the beginning of sports activities, generally
depend on oneís
surroundings.
Although the only related research study that was carried out in the territory of Serbia
(BaËanac, Lazarevi„ and Arunovi„, 1994) shows that our young sportspeople
start practicing
sports for the prime purpose of achieving success, our research proves that, after some years, the
youthsí main motive has changed and that the awareness of healthy lifestyle reached through
Motives of youths for practicing sports
sports is now much more stressed in young population than it was fifteen years ago. What is
more, when compared to the latest research carried out in America, the motivational structure
here differs, primarily in the fact that in America, the primary motive is improvement in physical
fitness, followed by improvement in social acceptance, belonging to a group and having friends,
and lastly by the motive of having fun, which remarkably came in last in the hierarchy of
motives in our study. The results of the mentioned research and complexity of the youthsí
motivational factors for practicing sports taken into consideration, we expect that this study will
give proper contribution to the detection of these phenomena, and that the obtained results will
find their application in the development of the pedagogy of sports.
Although it is believed that doing sports has positive influence on the physical,
psychological and social development of young people, it should be noted that this influence
does not appear automatically. In order for youthsí involvement in sports to be used for the
purpose of their optimal psychological and social development, the contents, organization,
objectives and implementation of sports activities should be harmonized with the youthsí
interests, abilities, needs and expectations. A positive approach in sports and training implies that
there is knowledge and satisfaction of motivational aspects that instigate young people to start
doing sports, which is precisely the reason why this study is significant. This further implies that
the basic task of the physical education expert and trainer should be to develop the youthsí
intrinsic motivation, as well as such motives, attitudes, value orientations and other personality
dispositions that would form the basis for continuous practice of sports activities throughout their
lifetime. The development of personal motivation is therefore an important pedagogical and
psychological task of all those who work with young people. The condition for the fulfillment of
this task is the application of all measures and actions which increase satisfaction, fun, pleasure
and competence, and which are derived from all the contents of sports and physical education.
The core of every training session, discussion or other aspect of communication between
the trainer and a sportsperson, is always a process of learning (OljaËa, 2011), which points out
the importance of the trainer and pedagogue figure in sports. In order to prompt the young
peopleís wish to do sports, pedagogues and sports trainers should stress the contribution and role
of each sportsperson and significance of both victory and defeat. They should point out the
importance of observing rules and controlling oneís behavior; they should nurture individualism
and team work alike. Moreover, training sessions and sports activities in general should be
diverse, in order to avoid boredom and satiation.
Sports and sports activities have so far made part of the educational process. Educators,
trainers and sports experts should undertake the greatest part of responsibility for the youthsí
positive attitude towards sports, because the quality of young peopleís experiences with sports
largely depends on their style of leading young sportspeople and on the relationship they have
with them, and so do the youthsí motives for doing sports and practicing sports activities. If the
development of children in the spirit of sportsmanship is one of the goals of their upbringing, the
research of the youthsí motivational aspects for doing sports is then a task of crucial importance.
As one of the few forms of activity that simultaneously engage body, intelligence and will, sports
could in the future, and should, become the decisive factor in the development of young people
and their better social integration.
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