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Article Title

RELATIONSHIPS BETWEEN RELATIVE STRENGTH AND SPECIFIC PERFORMANCE INDICATORS AMONG NCAA DIVISION III MEN’S LACROSSE ATHLETES

Abstract

Quincy R. Johnson, Cody L. Diehl, Cody Stahl, Javier Zaragoza, Bert H. Jacobson, FACSM, Doug B. Smith, & J. Jay Dawes

Oklahoma State University, Stillwater, OK, USA;

Lacrosse players are required to perform multiple sprints and changes of direction over the course of a game. These skills are highly reliant on the ability to produce lower-body force rapidly to be successful. Currently, little research examining the relationship between specific performance indicators and relative strength within this population exists. PURPOSE: The purpose of this study was to identify relative strength thresholds most related to lower-body power, sprint, and change of direction speed (CODS) performance in Division III collegiate men’s lacrosse athletes. METHODS: Archived data for 18 NCAA Division III male lacrosse athletes were used for this analysis. Relative lower-body strength was assessed using a onerepetition maximum back squat. Power was assessed using a countermovement jump (CMJ), squat jump (SJ), and standing long jump (SLJ). Sprint speed was measured at 10 yards and 30 yards, of a 30 yard sprint. CODS was evaluated using a T-Test (TT) and modified T-Test (MTT). Descriptive statistics were calculated for each variable. Pearson’s correlation was used to find relationships between relative lower-body strength, power measurements (CMJ, SJ, and SLJ), CODS tests (TT and MTT), and linear sprint speed (10 yards and 30 yards). Statistical significance was set at p ≤ 0.05. RESULTS: Pearson’s correlation revealed no significant relationships between relative lower-body strength and any sprint (r(16) = -.20 - -.26, p > 0.05) or CODS tests (r(16) = -.27 - -.02, p > 0.05). However, significant relationships were observed between relative strength and power (SJ) (r(16) = .55, p = 0.02), power (CMJ, SJ, and SLJ) and CODS (TT and MTT) r(16) = -.51 - -.64, p = 0.05 - 0.001), and power (CMJ, SJ, and SLJ) and 30 yard sprint speeds (r(16) = -.51 - -.67, p = 0.05 - 0.001). CONCLUSION: Although relative strength was not found to be directly related to sprint or CODS performance, it may indirectly affect these measures based on its relationship to power, and power’s relationship to sprint and CODS performance. Therefore, while focusing on lower-body power development is a key component in preparing male lacrosse athletes for their sport, strength and conditioning professionals can also aim to improve relative strength as well.

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