Background Landings seem to be one of the important factors in the multi-factorial aetiology of patellar tendinopathy among jumping athletes.
Objective The aim of the current study was to investigate the frequencies and types of landings in sub-elite male volleyball players in both matches and training sessions.
Design Prospective cohort study.
Setting All landings of players of a Dutch first division volleyball team were analysed during 2 weeks. Five training sessions and two matches took place in this period.
Participants Players of a sub-elite male volleyball team (n=12).
Intervention and main outcome measurements Event (match/training session), landing foot (left/right/both), player position and action for which the jump was performed were recorded for every jump. A repeated measures analysis of variance was performed to test for possible effects of the variables event (within-factor), function (between-factor) and landing foot (within-factor) on mean number of landings per person.
Results 7944 landings were evaluated, the number of landings was higher during training sessions than during matches (ratio 5.5:1). 22% of the landings occurred on the left foot, 15% on the right foot and 63% on both feet. Jumps were performed for usual actions like a spike, block or set-up. The players landed significantly more on both feet than on their left or right foot. Setters landed significantly more on both feet than players with other functions and during training sessions landings occurred more on both feet than during matches.
Conclusions This study showed that far more landings were performed during training sessions compared to matches. Most effects of prevention programs can thus be expected from interventions on landing type and frequency during training sessions. In this way the development of overload injuries like patellar tendinopathy might be prevented.
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