Volleyball players in mid court suffer more physical stress than teammates

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Melbourne, Sep 23 (ANI): A new Australian study has shown that volleyball players, who play in the middle position on court, end up with more physical stress from jumping and landing than their team-mates do.

The study, by Dr Jeremy Sheppard and his colleagues of the Queensland Academy of Sport, has implications for how best to manage training of elite players.

"This study is an up-to-date analysis of the demands of competition," ABC Science quoted Sheppard, who is also with the Australian Volleyball Federation, as saying.

Sheppard also said that in the highly competitive world of elite sports, there is a growing trend towards assessing the physical load on players to make sure they don't suffer repetitive strain injury.

In volleyball jumping and landing puts the most load on players, and after Sheppard and colleagues studied 16 international volleyball matches to analyse the players, they found those in the middle position did the most extreme jumping.

Sheppard and colleagues also recorded the physical characteristics of players and confirmed that volleyball players, especially those in the middle position, are getting taller and heavier.

"Middle players are taller and heavier and they jump better than they did 10 years ago, 20 years ago," he said.

Sheppard says to "future proof" Australian volleyball talent identification, players selected for the 2016 and 2020 Olympics will need to be taller than those selected for the 2000 games.

"For middles we're looking for ginormous human beings - 220 centimetres wouldn't disappoint me, but certainly we're going to need players that are over 215 centimetres," he stated.

Being taller means middle players can jump and reach further, but this is a double-edged sword.

"Bigger athletes tend to break down easier under musculoskeletal stress," Sheppard added.

He also said the answer is to regularly measure training load, using microsensors, to ensure the players don't overdo it, and that working out how to train smarter, rather than necessarily less, is essential in all sports.

Sheppard and colleagues have reported their findings in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research. (ANI)

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