Reporting athletic performance characteristics of a Division I collegiate football team may serve to inform coaching personnel and sports performance staff about the most versatile players to utilize for various competitions. Performance data may also help guide developing athletes about benchmarks to achieve for optimal competitiveness. PURPOSE: Our aim was to observe athletic performance characteristics of and differences between designated starters (ST) vs non-starters (NST). METHODS: 44 athletes – ST (n=22) vs NST (n=22) – were selected using a convenience sample and equally distributed between offense and defense positions. Preseason performance data were analyzed related to select power, including counter movement jump (CMJ), vertical jump (VJ), and Nordic hamstring (NH) tests; and select strength assessments, including 1 repetition max (RM) on power clean (PC), front squat (FS), and bench press (BP). All tests were conducted by sport performance staff using free weights and VALD Performance (Queensland, Australia) equipment (i.e., NordBord, ForceDecks) and software. Data were analyzed via a two sampled equal variance, right-tailed t-test with a significance level set at p < 0.05 and reported as mean±SD. RESULTS: The average age, height, and weight for ST vs. NST, respectively, were 21.2±1.4 & 20.4±1.0 y, 1.8±.4 & 1.9±.1 m, and 104.3±32.1 & 100.4±20.0 kg. Power related to CMJ peak, VJ, NH max of right + left leg averaged, and NH impulse between ST vs. NST were, respectively: 62±9.3 vs. 67.5±12.4 W/kg (p=0.053), .7±.1 vs. .7±.1 m (p=0.444), 553.1±61.3 vs. 478.0±142.1 N (p=0.017), and 7982.1±2235.6 vs 6833.8±1952.4 NS (p=0.040). PC, FS, and BP for ST vs NST were, respectively: 133.4±13.8 vs. 122.4±10.9 kg (p=0.004), 164.5±23.5 vs. 146.7±38.2 kg (p=0.049), and 140.8±20.7 vs. 132.9±15.9 kg (p=0.095). CONCLUSION: Specific to the group observed, there appears to be select power and strength performance characteristics that separate ST and NST. ST might be advised to maintain and NST should strive to achieve explosiveness and strength as described herein via augmented bilateral NH force and impulse in addition to developing a high 1 RM PC. Despite the ambiguity of athletic performance tests to identify talent and skill, coaches and players still might be able to utilize these standards for individualized success.



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