Game performance (GP) is characterised by a high frequency of jumping & catching to maintain possession & create scoring opportunities. Coaches use Movement Competency (MC) to predict player GP. A cross-sectional observational study collected MC & GP data from 37 players (age 16±1 y, height 180±6 cm, mass 69.6±8.6 kg) to determine if associations existed between MC & GP. Jumping & catching were coded as frequency of successful actions. Landings were coded as symmetrical (SL) or asymmetrical (AL) and stable or unstable. Good performance in sports is thought to be reflected through good MC as the body segments are well aligned which promotes a fluid action & an expected positive association between MC & GP. The mechanism of ‘drop jumps’ (MC score) would be expected to have a relationship with landing & balance strategies (GP measure). Players in end (GA,GS,GD,GK) positions (Mean±SD 178±4 cm) were taller than players in link (WA,WD,C) positions (171±4 cm; t(22)=4.03, p=.001, two-tailed). The magnitude of the differences in the means (MD=7.5, 95% CI: 4 to 11) was very large (eta squared=.42). Players rated with a MC score of 21 across all scores are considered as moderately competent, 58% of the players failed to reach this score. The total MC score (maximum 32) ranged from 15 to 27. Link players jumped more frequently than end players (86% jumped over 5 times compared to 30% respectively; χ2 (1, n=37)=8.5, p=.001, phi=0.54), yet there was no association with jump frequency & the MC measures of jump height, jump power & position. Drop jump right (DJR) had a medium negative correlation with total catches (r=−.36, n=35, p=.04) with a low angle of DJR associated with lower frequency of total catches & it had a medium negative correlation with AL (r=−.36, n=35, p=.05) with a low angle of DJR associated with lower frequency of AL. There was a strong negative correlation with frequency of ankle balance strategy (r=−.51, n=35, p=.002) & a low angle of DJR associated with lower frequency of stability. Poor MC remains an issue in secondary school netball & strategies to improve movement & landing competency should remain a focus of coach & player development. Yet the poor association of MC to GP suggests this is an injury prevention measure, rather than as informative data underpinning talent identification.
- Sports medicine
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