EXERCISE AND QUALITY OF LIFE
Volume 8, Issue 1, December 2016
UDC 796.015.132:796.325.012.1-055.25
SKILL-BASED CONDITIONING TRAINING IN YOUNG FEMALE VOLLEYBALL
PLAYERS: IMPACT ON POWER AND CHANGE OF DIRECTION SPEED
Running head: Skill-based conditioning in volleyball
Tomislav Krističević1, Goran Sporiš1, Nebojša Trajković2, Nataša Penčić and Miloš Ignjatović2
1Faculty of Kinesiology, University of Zagreb, Croatia
2Faculty of Sport and Physical Education, University of Novi Sad, Serbia
Correspondence to:
Nebojša Trajković, PhD
Faculty of Sport and Physical Education, University of Novi Sad,
21000 Novi Sad, Lovćenska 16.
Tel: 00381 69 680314
e-mail: nele_trajce@yahoo.com
Abstract
Skill-based training has been developed in order to combine the skill and conditioning elements
in a coordinated approach. Our aim was to determine the effects of skill based conditioning
training on power and COD speed in youth female volleyball players. Sixteen young female
volleyball athletes (15±2 years) consented to participate in lower-body power and COD speed
testing.Players were involved in six weeks skill-based conditioning training during in-season.
There were no significant differences between pretraining and posttraining for Block jump and
Spike jump. Moreover, there were no significant (p > 0.05) improvements in Standing broad
jump also.However, compared with pretraining, there was a significant improvement in COD
speed tests. Training induced significant (p ≤ 0.05) improvements in 9-3-6-3-9 test (p<0,001) and
Side steps 10x4.5 m (p<0,001).In conclusion, skill-based conditioning training appears to have
stronger effects in improving COD speed compared to lover body power young female
volleyball players. Volleyball coaches could use this information in the process of planning the
in-season training.
Key words: game-based, athletes, effects, volleyball
20
Introduction
Volleyball is an intermittent sport that requires players to compete in frequent short bouts
of high-intensity exercise, followed by periods of low-intensity activity
(Gabbett,et al.,
2006).However, while well-developed physiological capacities are important for team sports,
athletes are also required to have well-developed technical skill and decision-makingability.
Young players often find it hard to support the traditional fitness training, because of a
lack of enjoyment and experience with this type of exercise (Wall &Côt, 2007). In recent years,
an approach called skill-based training has been developed in order to combine the skill and
conditioning elements in a coordinated approach
(Gabbett,2002; Gabbet,
2003;Gamble,
2004;Nurmekivi et al.,2002; Sassi, Reilly, &Impellizzeri, 2004). It is an important consideration
to optimize skill development in volleyball while still obtaining appropriate conditioning levels.
In order to expose players to the intensity, decision making, speedand skill execution required in
the competition setting, practice sessions need to replicate actual game events andphases of play.
Small-sided games, as a part of skill-based training are a popular training method used to
replicate technical skills and tactical awareness, whilst also representing the physiological
demands typical of a competitive match (Gabbett et al., 2009). According to Sampaio et al,
(2009) decrease in space and number of players in game allow greater self-recreation of players
and greater intervention in game.
The use of skill-based conditioning games as training drills allows the simulation of
movement patterns of team sports, while maintaining a competitive environment in which
athletes must perform under pressure and fatigue (Gabbett, 2002). Skill-based conditioning
training offers an additional challenge to team-sportathletes which is not present in non-skill
related conditioning activities (Farrow, Pyne, &Gabbett, 2008).
Studies have assessed the specificity of skill-based conditioning in a limited number of
team sports (e.g., volleyball, soccer, rugby league, and rugby union). Gabbet (2008) showed that
skill-based conditioning games that simulate the physiological demands of competition in junior
elite volleyball players offer a specific training stimulus. Gabbett, et al., (2006) have concluded
that skill-based volleyball training improves speed and agility performance, spiking, setting,
passing accuracy, spiking and passing technique, but has little effect on the physiological and
anthropometric characteristics of players. They also stated that skill-based training programs
should be supplemented with an appropriate amount of energy system training to enhance the
physiological and anthropometric characteristics of talented junior volleyball players. Trajković,
Milanović, Sporis, Milić&Stanković(2012) examined the effects of pre-season game based
conditioning training in semi- professional volleyball players. The authors stated that selected
program does not offer a sufficient stimulus for semi- professional volleyball players due to the
fact that there were no significant differences between pretraining and posttraining for lower-
body muscular power and agility.
According to author’s findings and experience, skill-based training could be a part of
training programs in younger volleyball players where the intensity of training is not as high as
in professional and elite volleyball players. However, studies investigating the effectiveness of
21
game-based training in female volleyball are limited. Therefore, more research is needed in order
to confirm this theory. The aim of our research is to determine the effects of skill
basedconditioning training on power and COD speed in youth female volleyball players.
Methods
Sixteen young female volleyball athletes consented to participate in lower-body power
and COD speed testing, and the procedures involved in the study were in accordance with and
approved by institutional ethics. Descriptive characteristics are presented in Table 1. All the
participants provided written consent after being informed of the test protocol. The protocol of
the study was approved by the Ethical Committee of the Faculty of sport and physical education,
University of Nis, and according to the revised Declaration of Helsinki. Each player had at least
4 years of training experience, corresponding to
2-hour training sessions, and at least
1
competition per week.
Table 1. Descriptive characteristics of the subjects*
Training
Body
Body
Standing reach
Age (y)
experience (y)
height (cm)
weight (kg)
height (cm)
15±2
4±1
1.74 ± 0.08
61±3
222±8.48
*Data are reported as mean ± SD.
This study was designed to address the question of how skill-based conditioning training on
affect jumping ability and COD speed gains, after a 6-week training program. Jumping ability,
and COD speed test performance tests were performed before and after training program. The
initial tests were completed on one day as part of a regular testing program. Before the initiation
of the training program subjects were instructed about the proper execution of all the exercises
that were to be done during the training period. None of the subjects had performed any strength
or jump training before. They were instructed to avoid any strenuous physical activity during the
experiment and to maintain their dietary habits for the whole duration of the study.
The players underwent physical tests assessment in an indoor stadium. During the testing, the air
temperature ranged from 22°C to 25°C. Testing began at 10 am and finished by 1 pm. None of
the participants had been injured 6 months before the initial testing as well as during the training
program. There was no supplement addition to the diet of the players. Measurements were taken
on Monday morning because the athletes had rested during the weekend. The testing session
began with anthropometric measurements. The players were then instructed to assess lower-body
muscular power and COD speed tests. Up to 3 trials were given on each jump, with a 1-minute
rest between jump test trials. The participants were all tested during the in- season. Typical
practice warm-up was completed before the testing sessions. This warm-up included 10 minutes
of general activity (walk, jog, light stretching), followed by 10 minutes of dynamic activity that
22
increased in speed and intensity, followed by 3 to 5 minutes of rest before beginning the testing
session. The players were encouraged to perform static stretching between trials. Body height
and body weight were measured according to the instructions of the International Biological
Program - IBP. Body height was measured with a GPM anthropometer (Siber&Hegner, Zurich,
Switzerland) to the nearest 0.1cm. Body weight was obtained by TANITA BC 540 (TANITA
Corp., Arlington Heights, IL) to the nearest 0.1kg.
Measures
Spike and block jump performances
For the standing reach, while wearing their normal volleyball footwear, players were requested
to stand with their feet flat on the ground, extend their arm and hand, and mark the standing
reach height while standing 90° to a wall. Players were encouraged to fully extend their
dominant arm to displace the highest vane possible to determine their maximum standing reach
height. The measurement of the standing reach height allowed for a calculation of the relative
jump heights on each of the jumping tasks (absolute jump height (cm) - standing reach height
(cm) = relative jump height) (Sheppard et al, 2009).
Spike (SJ) and block (BLJ) jump performances for volleyball players depend heavily on the
height at which these skills are performed above the net and are determined by not only the
capacity of the athlete to raise vertically his center of gravity, but also his stature and standing
reach. In this particular case, specific tests would provide a further understanding of the training-
induced adaptation. For the SJ, the standing reach was determined as the maximal distance
between the fingertip of the attack hand and the ground, while standing 90° to a wall. The SJ was
measured from a running lead (2- or 3-step approach) by using a basketball backboard marked
with lines 1 cm apart. For the BLJ, the standing reach was determined as the maximal distance
between fingertips of the block hands and the ground, while facing the wall. The BLJ jumps
started from a standing position with the hands at shoulder level and arms raised from the start
position without extra swing. All tests used the same observer who was situated on a volleyball
referee stand placed 2 m from the backboard. Both jumps were recorded as the best of the 3
attempts (Stanganelli, Dourado, Oncken, Mançan, da Costa, 2008).
The standing broad jump was used for assessing the explosive power of the lower limbs. The
players were instructed to stand behind a line and jump as far as possible—allowing arm and leg
countermovement. The distance was measured from behind the line to the back of the heels at
landing.
Change of direction speed (COD speed)
Sprint 9-3-6-3-9 m. The players started after the signal and ran 9m from starting line to the first
line (the lines were white, 3 m long, and 5 cm wide). Having touched the line with one foot, they
made either an 180 left or right turn. All the following turns had to be made in the same
direction. The players then ran 3 m to second line, made another 180 turn, and ran 6 m forward.
23
Then, they made another 180 turn and ran another 3m forward, before making the final turn and
running the final 9 m to the finish line.
10 x 4,5 m Lateral Shuffle Test. The Edgren Side-Step Test has used solely shuffling movements
(Chu, Shiner, 2006; Harman, Pandorf, 2000; Tomchuk, 2011) and is a prominent field test.
However, some tests differed from the original test and have reported their own versions (Chu,
Shiner, 2006; Tomchuk, 2011.). It appears to be no consistent procedures for the ESST. The
lateral shuffle test in this study was modified and ESST was chosen because it is the only test
consisting entirely of lateral movements
(Brughelli, Cronin, Levin, Chaouachi, 2008). The
Lateral shuffle test used a 4,5 m distance with lines marked on both sides. The participants
started the test straddling one of the lines. They moved laterally and crossed the last line before
changing directions. The participants shuffled continuously for ten times. Participants were
instructed not to cross their feet during the duration of the test, and a trial was discarded if a
participant crossed his or her feet.
Training program
One cycle of six weeks was analyzed in in-season (2014). The schedule of the performed in-
season beach volleyball training is shown in Table 2. The goals of the in-season conditioning
were to increase the intensity of sport-specific training, and attention was given to volleyball
skills and movement. None of the players was performing any additional resistance or aerobic
training outside of the 3 volleyball training sessions. The duration of training sessions was
recorded, with sessions typically lasting 80-100 min. For this purpose skill based exercise were
selected based on previous experience and according to performance analysis in volleyball
studies. After warm up, in the first part of sessions players were involved in technical drills and
after that they were divided in smaller groups
(2 vs. 2, 3 vs. 3) practising on smaller courts. In
the end, players played a 4 vs. 4, 6 vs. 6 games, with constant changes where the winning team
would always stay on the court. Although the duration of each individual rally in this drills was
not controlled by the coach, total duration of the drill can be recorded to assist in inter and intra-
session planning.
24
Table 2. Training sessions of skill based conditioning training program
Goal: in-season volleyball program
Sessions 1-18 (Monday-Wednesday-Friday)
Exercises
Warm up
General activity + specific warm up with the ball (25 min)
Instructional
20 min of drills that include low intensity movement and combine
drills
for
volleyball technique. Two drills were performed with 2 minute
technique
break between.
2 vs. 2,
Small-sided (3 vs. 3, 4 vs.4) games where the volleyball court was
3 vs. 3,
separated in two smaller (9 x 4.5 m) courts.
4 vs. 4
Competitiondrills (2 vs. 2) with the majority of free balls to each
6vs. 6
side thrown by the coach. Teams rotate depending of the scoring.
After one team reaches 15 points players take two minute break
(40 min).
Competitiondrills (6 vs. 6) with the majority of free balls to each
side thrown by the coach. Teams rotate depending of the scoring.
Stretching
5 minutes of stretching for the muscle groups mainly involved in
sessions
Data analysis was performed using the Statistical Package for Social Sciences (v13.0, SPSS Inc.,
Chicago, IL, USA). Descriptive statistics were calculated for all the experimental data. In
addition, the Kolmogorov-Smirnov test of the normality of distribution was calculated for all
variables before the analysis. Changes in the lower-body muscular power and COD speed of
players over the training period were compared using t-tests. The level of significance was set at
p≤0.05 and all data are reported as means ± SD.
Results
Lower-body muscular power
The changes in Block jump, Spike jump and Standing broad jump are shown in Table 3. There
were no significant differences (p >0.05) between pretraining and posttraining for Block jump
(p=0.25) and Spike jump (p=0.65). In addition, there was no significant (p > 0.05) improvement
in Standing broad jump also.
25
Table 3. Lower-body muscular power and COD speed of young female volleyball players before
and after 6 weeks of training
initial
final
P value
Block jump
38.46 ±3.79
39.64 ±4.031
0.25
Spike jump
44.19 ±4.89
44.77 ±5.019
0.65
Standing broad jump
201.93± 2.93
203.21± 2.73
0.08
9-3-6-3-9 agility test
9.95±0.49
9.38±0.52
0.001*
10 x
4.5 m Lateral
16.20 ± 1.09
15.30 ± 0.93
0.001*
Shuffle Test
* Significant difference p < 0.05 between initial and final testing
COD speed
Compared with pretraining, there was a significant (p ≤ 0.05) improvement in COD
speed tests (Table 3). Training induced significant (p ≤ 0.05) improvements in 9-3-6-3-9 COD
speed test (p<0,001) and Side steps 10x4.5 m (p<0,001).
Discussion
This study investigated the effect of a skill-based volleyball training program on the
measurements of power and COD speed in young female volleyball players. A significant
improvement in COD speed was observed. However, there were no significant differences
between pretraining and posttraining for lower-body muscular power.
In our study, results for Block jump and Spike jump test showed there were no significant
difference between groups pre- to post-training (p > 0.05). In similar studies with young male
subjects Gabbett et al. (2006) have concluded that skill-based volleyball training improves speed
and agility performance, spiking, setting, passing accuracy, spiking and passing technique, but
has little effect on the physiological and anthropometric characteristics of players. In addition,
Gabbett (2008) stated that skill-based conditioning games have induced improvements in speed,
vertical jump, spike jump, agility, upper-body muscular power, and estimated maximal aerobic
power. Our results are similar to results found in Gabbett (2008) study. It has been suggested that
traditional technical training, which uses blocked practice, provides greater short-term
improvements (Shea & Morgan, 1979). However, using random practice could have longer-term
performance benefits (Gabbett, 2008).
Significant improvements were found in COD speed tests. These findings are in line with
the previous authors who reported significant decreases in time during agility tests following
training (Gabbett2008; Gortsila, Theos, Nesic, &Maridaki,2013). Gortsila, et al. (2013) showed
in their study that training on sand surface could be a useful and effective tool for improving
agility in prepubescent female volleyball players. Aforementioned authors stated that the
instability of the sand surface could be one of the explanationswhich contributed to the
improvements of balance, which in turn improved agility. Less powerful spiking in female
26
volleyball compared to male could contribute significantly to the improvement in COD speed.
Moreover, rallies in female volleyball are longer with many defensive actions during which
players sprint, change direction, shuffle.
The results of this study indicate that there were no significant improvements in jumping
performance. However, COD speed tests showed improvement in post testing compared to pre
testing following a 6 week of skill-based conditioning training program. It cannot be concluded
that young female volleyball players develop distinctive performance characteristics at this age
and level. Therefore, more studies must be conducted in order to better understand this kind of
training in female volleyball players and its’ effects.In conclusion, skill-based conditioning
training appears to have stronger effects in improving COD speed compared to lover body power
young female volleyball players. Volleyball coaches could use this information in the process of
planning the pre and in-season training. In this way, the training will be more specific and the
transfer of training effects to game efficiency will be faster. Many coaches do not use the
approach described in this article to the training process because they fear of insufficient
stimulus that skill-based training could have in volleyball. However, this kind of study could
provide practical application for coaches and sport researchers.
References
Brughelli, M., Cronin, J., Levin, G., &Chaouachi, A. (2008).Understanding change of direction
ability in sport.Sports Medicine, 38(12): 1045-1063.
Chu, D.A., &Shiner, J. (2006).Plyometrics in rehabilitation.In Sport specific rehabilitation. R.
Donatelli, ed. St Louis, MO: Churchill Livingstone Elsevier. 233-246.
Farrow, D. Pyne, D. &Gabbett T. (2008). Skill and Physiological Demands of Open and Closed
Training Drills in Australian Football. International Journal of Sports Science &
Coaching, 3 (4), 489-499.
Gabbett, T. J. (2008). Do skill-based conditioning games offer a specific training stimulus for
junior elite volleyball players? Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, 22, 509-
517.
Gabbett, T. J., &Georgieff, B. (2006).The development of a standardized skill assessment for
junior volleyball players.International journal of sports physiology and performance,
1(2), 95.
Gabbett, T., (2003). Do Skill-Based Conditioning Games Simulate the Physiological Demands of
Competition? Rugby League Coaching Manuals, 32, 27-31.
Gabbett, T., Georgieff, B., Anderson, S., Cotton, B., Savovic, D., & Nicholson L.
(2006).Changes in skill and physical fitness following training in talent-identified
volleyball players.Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research,20: 29-35.
Gabbett, T., Jenkins, D., & Abernethy, B. (2009).Game-based training for improving skill and
physical fitness in team sport athletes. International Journal of Sports Science &
Coaching, 4(2), 273-283.
27
Gabbett, T.J.,
(2002).Training Injuries in Rugby League: An Evaluation of Skill-Based
Conditioning Games, Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, 16(2), 236-241.
Gamble, P., (2004). A Skill-Based Conditioning Games Approach to Metabolic Conditioning for
Elite Rugby Football Players, Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, 18(3),
491-497.
Harman E,&Pandorf C. (2000). Principles of test selection and administration. In: Essentials of
strength training and conditioning,
2nd ed. T.R. Baechle, and R.W. Earle, eds.
Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics,.
Nurmekivi, A., Karu, T., Pihl, E., Jurimae, T., Kaarna, K. &Kangasniemi, J.
(2002).
Comparative Evaluation of the Influence of Small Game 4 vs. 4 and Running Load in the
Training of Young Football Players, ActaKinesiologiaeUniversitatisTartuensis, 7, 77-86.
Sampaio, J., Abrantes, C., &Leite, N. (2009). Power, heart rate and perceived exertion responses
to 3x3 and 4x4 basketball small-sided games.Revista de Psicología del Deporte, 18(3),
463-467.
Sassi, R., Reilly, T. &Impellizzeri, F. (2004). A Comparison of Small-Sided Games and Interval
Training in Elite Professional Soccer Players (Abstract), Journal of Sports Sciences, 22,
562.
Shea, J. B., & Morgan, R. L. (1979). Contextual interference effects on the acquisition, retention,
and transfer of a motor skill. Journal of Experimental Psychology:Human Learning and
Memory, 5(2), 179.
Sheppard, J.M., Gabbett, T.J., &ReebergStanganelli, L-C.
(2009). An analysis of playing
positions in elite men’s volleyball: considerations for competition demands and
physiologic qualities. Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, 23(6), 1858-1866.
Stanganelli, L. C. R., Dourado, A. C. ,Oncken, P., Mancan, S., & da Costa, S. C. (2008).
Adaptations on jump capacity in Brazilian volleyball players prior to the under-19 world
championship.Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, 22: 741-749.
Tomchuk, D.
(2011). Companion guide to measurement and evaluation for kinesiology.
Sudbury, MA: Jones & Bartlett Learning.
Trajković, N., Milanović, Z., Sporis, G., Milić, V., &Stanković, R. (2012).The effects of 6 weeks
of preseason skill-based conditioning on physical performance in male volleyball
players.Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, 26(6):1475-80.
Wall, M., &Côt, J. (2007). Developmental activities that lead to dropout and investment in
sport.Physical Education & Sport Pedagogy, 12(1), 77-87.
28